After an early breakfast drive over the Dochu-La pass, which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into Punakha Valley. The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan Kingdom's.
Punakha was the formal capital of Bhutan. On arrival, drive to Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” to attend the festival. You will see locals dressed in their finest clothes who have walked from miles around to attend the festivities. They come to watch masked dances, to pray, and to feast. While the underlying purpose of the festival is spiritual, dances are more often like plays, telling stories where good triumphs over evil, or depicting significant historical events, especially surrounding the life of Bhutan’s patron saint, Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche). In the evening free for leisure walk to explore Punakha town and walk around the town is easy and would be enjoyable to experience the Bhutanese way of life.