MATSUTAKE MUSHROOM FESTIVAL

7 Days/ 6 Nights

Package Price: USD 1,250.00/- Per Person

Fixed Departure Dates: 14 Aug – 20 Aug 2019

ITINERARY OVERVIEW

14th AUGUST: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU
15th AUGUST: THIMPHU
16th AUGUST: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA
17th AUGUST: PUNAKHA – PHOBJIKHA
18th AUGUST: PHOBJIKHA – PARO
19th AUGUST: PARO
20th AUGUST: DEPART PARO

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

Genekha, a secluded village in Thimphu hosts an annual two day mushroom festival in the month of August.  The festival celebrates the beginning of the wild Matsutake mushroom season.  Masutake mushroom is also known as pine mushroom as it grows at the base of the pine trees, however the local name is Sangay Shamu.  This coveted mushroom is known for its aromatic and succulent flavor.  Matsutake mushrooms are believed to be a natural anti-cancer remedy, and useful for managing and treating other conditions like heart disease and high cholesterol.

At the festival, visitors will learn to identify the fabled mushrooms and will get to experience the lifestyle of the local people. Many varieties of mushroom and other local products are displayed at the festival and you can sample delicious Matsutake recipes, engage in songs and dances together with the locals and one can also taste the local cuisine with the mushrooms as one of the ingredients.  The mushroom is prized in Japan and depending on the season and size.  The mushroom can cost up to USD 1000 per Kilogram is a major source of income for the villagers.

Highlights of the Tour

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MASUTAKE FESTIVAL TOUR

Bhutan provides a stunning array of photographic opportunities, pristine landscapes, scared and ancient sites, colorful festivals and a fascinating people. This fascinating tour offers you to visit to many cultural and wilderness highlights of the western Paro valleys, Thimphu, Punakha and Phobjikha valley.

  • Experience the celebration of the beginning of the Masutake mushroom season at the Festival.
  • Gain a fascinating insight into the rural communities of Genekha village.
  • Discover some of the most scared monasteries and temples.
  • Drive over mountains passes with sensational views of the Himalayan Peaks.
  • Pleasurable and leisurely walk to the Gangtey Nature trail.
  • Visit to many cultural attractions including medieval fortress (Dzongs), markets and museums.
  • Hike up to famous Taktsang Monastery.
  • Marvel at the elaborate and ancient wall paintings and carvings in Dzongs and temples.
  • Traverse beautiful landscapes from lush valleys to dense forests.
Detailed Itinerary

DETAILED ITINERARY

14th AUGUST: ARRIVE PARO – THIMPHU

Your guide and driver from Bhutan Travel Bureau will welcome you at the airport.

Drive to Paro town and visit to the Ta Dzong, the National Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts. Next walk to the 17th century fortress the Rinpong Dzong crossing the cantilever bridge. The architecture, monks and the mural paintings will help you understand the way of life and Bhutanese peculiar customs, traditions and philosophies. Now it serves as the district monastic body and administrative centers. Continue the drive to the capital city, Thimphu.

Overnight in hotel (Thimphu)

15th AUGUST: THIMPHU (Masutake Festival in Genekha)

Morning drive to Genekha (45 minutes’ drive) from Thimphu to attend the Mushroom Festival. During the festival, you will get to see the local people and local products with stalls run by the local people. The displays of varieties of mushroom with the name tag along with the mushrooms. Enjoy the festival by trying out some local Masutake recipes, engage in the songs and dances performed by the local people. After festival, drive back to Thimphu.

Time permitting, visit to Tashichho Dzong built in 1960s in the traditional style using neither nails nor written plans. Since 1952, Trashichhodzong houses the throne room and offices of kings, the secretariat and ministers, and the central monk body.

Overnight in hotel (Thimphu)

16th AUGUST: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA

Begin your day with a short drive to the statue of Buddha Dordenma (169 foot bronze statue), one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. You will also enjoy a panoramic view of the capital city. Then visit to the memorial stupa also known as National Memorial Chorten. Built in 1974 by the Late Royal Grand Mother Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuk in the memory of third king dedicated to world peace.

After lunch, drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass via Dochula to see the 108 memorial Chortens known as Druk Wangyal Chortens. On a clear day you will see the views of Himalayan peaks. On arrival to Punakha, enjoy a walk to the Chimi Lhakhang (fertility temple) dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley. It is believed that the childless couples pray at this temple are usually blessed with children.

Overnight in hotel (Punakha)

17th AUGUST: PUNAKHA – PHOBJIKHA

Morning after breakfast, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace if Great Happiness” built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and serves as the winter residence of Central Monk Body. Then a few minutes’ walk to the suspension bridge built over Pho Chu River connecting the villagers on the other side of the bank.

Drive to Phobjikha valley, the winter home for the endangered species Black Necked Cranes. Every winter (early November to end of March) they come to roost here from the Tibet. Check into your hotel then visit to the Black Neck Crane Centre to know and understand more about the endangered species Black-necked cranes.

Then visit to Gangtey Goenpa Lhakhang following the pleasurable and leisurely walk to the Gangtey Nature trail where you can admire the beauty of the valley.

Overnight in hotel (Phobjikha)

18th AUGUST: PHOBJIKHA – PARO

Enjoy the journey from Phobjikha to Paro via Thimphu. En-route, make a visit to one of the oldest dzong in Bhutan; Semtokha Dzong which was built in 1627.

Overnight in hotel (Paro)

19th AUGUST: PARO

After breakfast, hike up to Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang Monastery) approximately 2 hours hike. It is one of the holiest place in Bhutan, built on a sheer cliff face 900 meters above the Paro valley. It is named Tiger’s as according to legend, the great Guru Rimpoche and his consort are said to have meditated in a cave here for three months when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. After meditation, they manifested themselves in the forms of Guru Dorji Drolo and a tigress to subdue demons in the valley below. The cave, where the monastery was later built is said to be the origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. Refreshments and lunch will be arranged in the tent specifically pitched on the path to Taktsang Monastery.

If there is time, visit to Kyichu Lhakhang one of the most scared and the oldest temple in Bhutan, built in 17th century by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.

Overnight in hotel (Paro)

20th AUGUST: DEPARTURE FROM PARO

Transfer to Paro airport where you will bid farewell.

TASHI DELEK!

Special Terms & Conditions

Special Terms & Conditions

You can register for our fixed departure tours individually, as a couple or together with friends.  There will be no surcharges for the solo traveler.  Our standard deadline for registration is one month before the tour start date for low season and three months prior to tour start date for high season.  Please NOTE that the tours dates are set and not changeable in order to ensure the concessions of group travel for our clients.

Our groups size will be anywhere from 3- 16 people and will be put together by language preference.  All groups are provided with an English speaking guides, however we will try our best to accommodate translators subject to availability.

Please read in detail what is included and excluded from the tour package along with our cancellation policy for fixed departure on our website.  It will also be shared with you during the registration and confirmation process.

For those who wish for a tailor designed tour, oor consultants are experts in creating the most unique Bhutan tour just for you.

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BHUTAN TOUR DATES

The Fixed Departure tours were especially designed keeping in mind cost saving for our clients without compromising on the quality of the experience. Our Matsutake Festival Tour is perfect for the client who is adventurous, friendly and willing to share their adventure with other travelers.   The itinerary dates and times are set to facilitate the timely completion of the tours for all our clients that select the set departure tour packages.

Please NOTE that the tours dates are fixed and not changeable in order to ensure the concessions of group travel for our clients.   We set minimum of three clients and maximum of 16 in a group.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

*Private guided tour

*Visas for Bhutan Guaranteed

*Airport transfers

*Daily 3 meals (B/L/D) at designated restaurants or hotels

*Accommodation at 3-star hotel

*A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide

*An experienced driver and Vehicle

*Monument Entry fees & road permits

*Government fee, royalty, taxes & surcharges

*Mineral bottled water

WHAT’S EXCLUDED

*Flight into Bhutan via Drukair (can be arranged with us)

*Travel Insurance

*Extra baggage charges

*Telephone calls

*Personal expenses

*Soft Drinks and alcoholic Beverages

*Accommodation and meals in luxury hotels

*Tips for the guide and driver