Bhutan Cultural, The people of Bhutan can be divided into three main ethnic groups: The "Sharchops", who live in the east of the country and are believed to be the original inhabitants. The "Ngalongs", who live mostly in western Bhutan and are the descendants of Tibetan immigrants who arrived in Bhutan from the 9th century. The "Lhotshampa", who are of Nepalese origin and settled in the south of Bhutan in the late 19th century. The Lhotshampa (meaning Southern Bhutanese) represent Nepali- speaking groups.
Bhutan is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with 79 percent of the people living in rural areas.
Bhutan is the only country to maintain Mahayana Buddhism in its Tantric Vajrayana form as the official religion. The main practicing schools are the state sponsored Drukpa Kagyupa and the Nyingmapa. Whereas Buddhism is the main religion in the northern and eastern Bhutan, Southern Bhutanese are mainly Hindus.
Bhutanese art reflects major Tibetan influences, though it has developed many of its own derivations. It has three main characteristics: it is anonymous, religious, and performs no independent aesthetic function. Intricate wall paintings and thankas (wall hangings), most historical writing and fine sculpted images all have a religious theme.
Although both Buddhism and the monarchy are critical elements, it is the general extensive perpetuation of tradition that is possibly the most striking aspect of Bhutan's culture. This is most overtly reflected in the style of dress and architecture. All Bhutanese continue to wear the traditional dress: the gho for men and the kira for women. Generally colorful apparel, the fabrics used range from simple cotton checks and stripes to the most intricate designs in woven silk.
The Bhutanese architectural landscape is made up of chortens, stonewalls, temples, monasteries, fortresses, mansions and houses. Associated with a number of clear-cut architectural concepts and building types rooted in Tibetan Buddhism, there is a strong association between state, religious and secular forms. What makes it quite unique is the degree of uniformity, with all structures corresponding to traditional designs. Thus ancient monasteries and fortresses appear to merge with more modern popular dwellings to create a setting that is fully internally consistent.
Day 01: Flight to Paro.
Day 02: Hike Taktsang Monastery and Tour the Paro Valley.
Day 03: Chele La Hike.
Day 04: Drive to Thimphu.
Day 05: Tour the Thimphu Valley and hike Cheri Gompa.
Day 06: Hike to Chokortse Monastery.
Day 07: Drive to Punakha.
Day 08: Chimi Lakhang Hike and explorations of Wangduephodrang Town and Dzong and drive to Trongs.
Day 09: Trongsa / Bumthang.
Day 10: Walking tour of Bumthang Valley.
Day 11: Excursion to Ura Valley.
Day 12: Drive back to Wangdue Phodrang.
Day 13: Drive back to Paro.
Day 14: transfer to airport for your flight to next destination.
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