The Buddhist reverence for all forms of life and Bhutan's dedication to nature preservation unite at Gangtey Monastery's Black-necked Crane Festival in central Bhutan. The Monastery sits high above a broad valley overlooking the Phobjika Nature Reserve, which hosts hundreds of wintering Black-necked Cranes. Monks pray for the safe return of the birds, considered Boddhisatvas or “agents of God." After the cranes' long journey south from Tibet, local villagers gather at the Monastery for a colorful festival celebrating their safe arrival. The Gangtey monks adapt their traditional temple dances to themes related to the cranes, and more celebrations and gift-giving ceremonies abound amidst the country fair atmosphere. Whether it's the dramatically beautiful cranes, the fascinating Bhutanese culture, or the many opportunities for day hiking, this festival trip has something for travelers from all walks of life. This trip includes other not-to-be-missed sights such as Taktsang Monastery, several of the greatest Dzongs, and the great museums and palaces of Punakha, Paro, and Thimphu.