Bhutan's exclusive and colourful history has found its way into the annals of history through the sheer brilliance of the vibrant Bhutanese Textiles that are still proudly wore by its people in the forms of Ghos and Kiras. You can visit Bhutan's only textile museum where ancient, priceless dresses dating back to hundreds of years are on display. Also catch our young Bhutanese girls weaving a tapestry of colours and patterns with their nimble and experienced hands at the weaving centre. Apart from textiles, one can visit the Art school in the capital, which is famous for retaining the famous traditional thirteen arts and crafts of Bhutan known as Zorig Chusum, men, usually monks, embroidery and appliqué religious images and shrine furnishings. The thangkas exemplify the textile artistry of men. They cut, stitch, embroider and appliqué furnishings for the interiors of dzongs and lhakhangs and the living quarters of the lay and ecclesiastic bodies. The costumes worn by the dancers during festival are one of the finest examples of Bhutanese textile art. Almost all homes in Bhutan are replete with textiles of all kinds made and woven by both men and women. Bhutan's textiles, besides the impressive architecture of dzongs and lhakhangs hold a high degree of intricacy and magnificence supplementing the country's unique assets. A Textile Tour in Bhutan is the best way to explore a way of dressing that was prevalent thousands of years ago, and is still alive in some parts of the country..
TOUR LENGTH: 16 Days.
SEASONS: December, January and February & June, July and August
Khoma Bhutan Textile Tour in Bhutan takes you to western, central and eastern Bhutan. This includes a day excursion to the remote Tashiyangtse district. You will hike to villages of Khoma and Radhi to watch live weaving.
While flying towards Paro, you can catch a spectacular view of the majestic mountains lining the passage, including the antediluvian Jumolhari& Jichu Drake peaks. At Paro, one of the most famous tour operators of Bhutan, A1 Bhutan Travel Services Bhutan will arrange for your transfer and stay at the hotel in Bhutan. Later, you can include Paro Dzong in your itinerary. Built in 1646 and now housing mainly government offices and monasteries, it gives one a substantial idea about what the essence of Bhutan is. Later in the day, make sure to visit the National museum, which contains a fine collection of pastels, antiques and religious statues. After paying homage at Kichu Lhakhang, Bhutan's oldest temple, you can amble along the alleys of Paro market before calling it a day at one of the many comfortable lodges.
Post breakfast; take a short hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most known monastery. Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands, hanging on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion. In the afternoon you will drive to Thimphu. Visit the awe-inspiring Tashichodzong to enjoy the day, and in the evening you can explore Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, and absorb the lifestyle of the people. You can also visit some interesting handicraft shops. Overnight stay at hotel in Thimphu.
After the morning meal, you will be taken to the King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), and Changangkha Monastery. From there, you will be escorted to the Nunnery, the National Library (housing ancient manuscripts), the Folk Heritage Museum & the School of Arts & Crafts (also known as the painting school), where the preservation of traditional Bhutanese arts is taught. Post lunch, you will visit the Textile museum, private weaving centre at Changzamtok. We will also take you to a private home to see real weaving being done. Bhutan's leading weaving expert Kesang has been a special weaver to the royal family and will show us how to weave in Bhutanese style. Stay back the night in Thimphu.
After breakfast you will be driven to Wangdiphodrang. En route, you can see the Simtokha Dzong and make a stop-over at Dochula (3,100 meters) for tea. On a sunny day you can get mesmeric views of the Himalayas. Continue driving and check into Hotel in Bhutan. After lunch you will drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, and visit Punakha Dzong, which is noteworthy both for being one of the most beautiful Dzongs in Bhutan and also for having been built by the first Shabdrung in 1637. On the way back from Punakha, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chhimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple, where you can pray for a special fertility blessing. Overnight in Wangdiphodrang.
This day starts by a drive towards Gangtey. You'll enter dense forests of oak trees and rhododendrons, and arrive at Gangtey village, where you'll visit Gangtey Goenpa, the only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan. From Gangtey, you can see the picturesque Black Mountain range as well as Phobjikha Valley, the winter habitat of the black-necked cranes. From there you'll head to Trongsa, the ancestral home of the royal family. The route is along a serpentine road, which crosses the 3,300- meter-high Pele La, and at certain times of the year, it's possible to view the yaks. You can window shop in the Trongsa markets in the afternoon. Overnight stay in Trongsa.
Post breakfast, you'll be taken to visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Here, you'll also see Ta Dzong, the watchtower built to defend this Dzong. After lunch, you'll proceed to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation, with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way you will stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory at Chumey, where the yathra are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. The afternoon will be spent sightseeing in the area, including Jakar Dzong, Woodcarving factory in Jakar; Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rimpoche left his imprint on the cave, when he was meditating. In the evening, you can do some shopping at select handicrafts shop while roaming around Bumthang town. Stay at your hotel in Bumthang.
This part of the journey sees you in Eastern Bhutan that is quite different from western and central Bhutan in terms of development and lifestyle. The steepness of the region provides the tourists with some spectacular views, with gushing waterfalls and impressive heights. The drive on this day is an exhilarating 10 hours, particularly the Thrumshing La (pass), which peaks at 3,750 meters. You can wander around Lhuntse town in the evening and sit down to a relaxing dinner. Overnight in Lhuntse.
Post breakfast, take a short hike towards Khoma village, a place that is very famous for itstextiles in Bhutan. You can see women folks weaving different types of textiles. If you want you can also buy the textiles at the reasonable prices. Then a short excursion to Ngangladhung village for the textiles, where you can also see the women weaving textiles with their nimble hands.
After breakfast drive to Rangjung. Check into Rangjung guesthouse. After lunch visit Radhi village. Radhi is famous for raw silk, which is known as "bura". You can also witness women weaving raw silk. Overnight at the guesthouse in Rangjung.
After breakfast, you will be driven to Khaling. There, you can visit the National Institute for the Disabled (NID), which caters to the educational needs to the disabled people in Bhutan. Enjoy lunch at the farmhouse. After lunch visit the Weaving Center which is operated by the National Women's Association of Bhutan. And you can see the girls weaving different types of textiles out of back strap loom. If possible we can also visit to the house a private weaver to see the techniques of Bhutanese dye. After, you'll be driven to Trashigang visiting Sherubtse College (Kingdom's only college) and Zangdo Pelri Lhakhang. Check into your hotel in Trashigang and stay the night.
This morning will see you in Tashiyangtse, which is a small, pretty, quiet town. The people are known for making wooden bowls and containers, which are said to be the best in Bhutan. Visit the Arts School and the Chorten Kora. Along the way to Tashiyangtse you will stop at the Gom Kora temple, behind which is a large black rock. It is said that Guru Rimpoche meditated in a cave in the rock and that you can see the impression of his thumb, his hat, and his body on the rock. You will also visit the abandoned iron chain-link bridge behind the village of Duksum. Legend has it that the bridge is the last remaining bridge of those built by a famous Tibetan bridge builder called Thangthong Gyalpo in the 15th century. Later, you can relax in Trashigang. Overnight in Trashigang.
Post refreshments, drive back towards Mongar. Stop at distinct places to capture images. Check in a hotel on arrival.
The next day will see you driving back to Bumthang, where you can again click arresting pics of the strikingly beautiful valleys and mountains. Check in a hotel at Bumthang.
Enjoy an early breakfast, then drive to Wangdiphodrang. En route make stop overs at different places for clicki9ng pictures of the picturesque valley. In the night, have a fulsome yet healthy dinner at your Hotel at Wangdiphodrang
Post breakfast, you will be driven to Paro with a lunch stop-over at Thimphu. There, you can roam around the market to see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It's fun to wander the aisles, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market, after which you will be taken to Paro. Check into the hotel. In the evening, you can visit a traditional farmhouse, where you can enjoy a hot-stone bath and some toothsome Bhutanese dinner. Overnight stay at hotel in Paro.
Say goodbye to travel in Bhutan. Come back again soon! Catch your flight in time!