After a three-year hiatus, the highly anticipated Rhododendron festival opened yesterday and is in full swing, drawing in a significant number of tourists. Celebrating the vibrancy and colourfulness of the rhododendron blooms, the festival is being held at the picturesque botanical garden of Lamperi in Punakha.
The festival offers visitors a stunning backdrop against which to enjoy traditional Bhutanese cuisine and music, as well as dance performances.
Originally scheduled for the 17th of April, the festival was postponed due to the National Council Elections.
Visitors shared their excitement about attending the festival, despite the rhododendron plants having already shed most of its flowers because of the postponement.
“The country is fantastic and it has been very enjoyable coming here to the rhododendron festival,” said Rick, a tourist from the USA.
“Just seeing how the Bhutanese are keeping their tradition alive and continue staying true to their history, it’s really beautiful to watch the festival,” said Amelia, also from the USA.
This year’s festival also featured new attractions, including the rhododendron drink created by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with Dechentsemo Central School.
The refreshing cocktail made using locally brewed alcohol or Yue Chaang and other ingredients was particularly popular among tourists.
According to records, the festival has already welcomed around 500 tourists and 400 local visitors, with organisers expecting even more visitors on Monday, the last day of the festival.