THIMPHU FESTIVAL TOUR OVERVIEW

Trip Seasons
16th to 18th September 2021

Trip Type
Cultural and Thimphu Festival Tour

Trip Length
12Days/11Nights

Trip Cost
US$ 2540 pp

Places Covered on this Tour
Paro,Thimphu,Punakha,Wangdi,Gangtey,Trongsa and Bumthang

Day Trip Outline Accommodation
Day 01-24th September 21 Arrival Paro  Tashi Namgay Resort
Day 02-25th September 21 Paro  Tashi Namgay Resort
Day 03-26th September 21 Paro to Thimphu  Norpheling
Day 04-27th Sept 21 Thimphu Festival Norpheling
Day 05-28th September 21 Thimphu to Punakha (77km, 3hrs)  Hotel Four Boutique
Day 06-29th September 21 Punakha – Bumthang  Hotel Chummi Resort
Day 07-30th September 21 Bumthang (Jakar) sightseeing  Hotel Chummi Resort
Day 08-1st October 21 Drive to Tang, Walk to burning lake – Ura – Evening drive back to Jakar  Hotel Chummi Resort
Day 09-2nd October 21 Bumthang Jakar – Phobjikha  Hotel Dewachen
Day 10-3rd October 21 Phobjikha – Paro (180km, 7hrs)  Hotel Tashi Namgay
Day 11-04th October 21 Paro – Hike to Taktsang (tiger nest), above 3000m from sea level  Hotel Tashi Namgay
Day 12-05th October 21 Final Departure

Day 01: Arrival at Paro International Airport

The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport, after arrival & visa formalities and collection of baggage, who will be your tour guide during your entire trip to Bhutan.

Paro International Airport

Paro Airport

Day 02: Paro Sightseeing

Paro is the only international airport in Bhutan. Paro offers the best of central Bhutan. In part visit the Dungtse Lhakhang just 10 minutes drive from the main town. The temple is notable as it is in the form of a Chorten, very rare in Bhutan. It is located on the edge of a hill between the Paro valley and the Dopchari valley, across the bridge from Paro. Visit Drugyel Dzong 20 minutes drive from the monastery. The dzong is recently completed after the fire destroyed.

Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 03:Paro to Thimphu: 

In Thimphu, you can visit the National Memorial was built by Bhutan’s third kind, H.M.JigmeWangchuck who is also known as the ‘’Father of Modern Bhutan’’. The National Memorial Chorten is located in the center of the capital city, Thimphu, and is designed like a Tibetan-style Chorten.

The Chorten has patterned off the classical Stupa design with a pyramidal pillar crowned by a crescent moon and sun. One of the most distinctive features of the Chorten is it’s outwards flaring rounded part that makes the Chorten look more like a vase rather than the classical dome. The interior of the Chorten has a large number of paintings of Tantric deities, in explicit sexual poses that sometimes can be a little disconcerting to visitors.

Overnight hotel in Thimphu

Day 4: Thimphu Festival Tour.

One of the most popular Thimphu festivals is held for 3 days starting from the 10th day of the 7th Month of the Bhutanese calendar. All government offices and schools remain closed in Thimphu. This holiday is mainly for people living in Thimphu only and they visit the Dzongs to celebrate the festival with family. You can witness a huge crowd of locals as well as tourists attending the festivals.

Attend the Thimphu Festival in the morning which takes place in the courtyard of Trashichhodzong.

After the Thimphu festival tour, you can visit Kuensel Phodrang: The KuenselPhodrang or the Buddha point is the World’s largest sitting Buddha statue, the statue is 167 feet high. The statue is situated on top of a hill overlooking the city of Thimphu.

A journalist once described them as ‘’seeing an oasis of light in the desert of darkness’ ‘as the City light of Thimphu shines very bright in an otherwise dark Thimphu valley.

Day 05: Thimphu to Punakha   (77km, 3hrs).

Early breakfast and visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 A.D. Drive to Punakha via Dochula Pass at 3150mts. The drive would take about 3hours. On arrival, drive to Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” Built-in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’, Punakha Dzong is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers). It is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three-story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan’s first king was crowned. Overnight hotel in Punakha.

Day 6:Punakha – Bumthang(218Km)

It’s a long journey from Punakha to Bumthang and takes about 7 hours covering a distance of about  218Km. On the way, you will come across Pele La which is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.423m (11,230ft) above sea level. The pass divides the two major districts of Wangdi and Trongsa. On the way visit Trongsa Dzong.

After reaching Bumthang if time permits we shall take you to visit the beautiful valley of Bumthang.

Bumthang is the valley that is the religious heartland of Bhutan. It is also the first valley to receive Buddhism in Bhutan. Many important and religious figures in Buddhism have visited this valley and blessed by them.

Day 7: Bumthang (Jakar) sightseeing. 

Jakar is located in the second valley. It is the commercial hub of Bumthang. Visit to Bumthang includes Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, where Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. The last visit is to the beer brewery to witness and taste the local wine, night halt in Bumthang.

Day 8:Drive to Tang, Walk to burning lake – URA – Evening drive back to Jakar. (65km, 1 and half hour)

In the late 15th century, terton incarnation disciple of Padmasambhava – Pema Lingpa had a vision that there was a hidden treasure to be found at the foot of tang valley. This treasure had been indelicate by Guru Rinpoche many centuries before. Pema Lingpa found a treasure-a sacred text which he translated and which indicated he should return to the place. Since the local governor was skeptical about it, he held a butter lamp in his hand, told the crowd that he would only return with the treasure if he was right, with the butter lamp still burning, and then he jumped in the water. He remained underwater for a long time, but when he resurfaced he was holding another sacred scroll, another treasure but also a still burning butter lamp. Hence the name burning lake. After lunch drive to URA valley, this valley is believed to be the earliest inhabited place in Bhutan. The road to Ura climbs to amazingly open countryside. Sightseeing in ura valley, evening drive back to Jakar.

Bumthang Tour

View of Bumthang Valley

Day 9:Bumthang Jakar – Phobjikha (162km, 6hrs).

Drive to Phobjikha Valley, Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the periphery of the northwestern tip of the Black Mountain National Park at an altitude of 9,840 feet. We drive toward Phobjikha, the valley is a wide, beautiful alpine wetland valley and is a conservation area and lies on the northern boundary of the Jowo Durshing range. The hillside vegetation is mostly pine forest, interspersed with Rhododendron trees. Phobjikha valley is also one of the roosting grounds of the Black-necked cranes that migrate each year in winter from its northern habitats in Tibet and Siberia. These elegant and shy birds can be observed from early November to end of the March.

Lunch at Trongsa. Sightseeing in Trongsa includes, visit to Trongsa Dzong, Built in 1648, it was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan.  Both the first and second kings of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancient seat. The Dzong is a massive structure with many levels, sloping down the contours of the ridge on which it is built. Visit Ta-Dzong or the watchtower, which was converted to a museum in 2008. The museum houses about 244 items used over the years by the Wangchuck dynasty. Night halt at Phobjikha.

Day 10: Phobjikha – Paro (180km, 7hrs)

After breakfast drives back to Paro via Dochula Pass. If the weather is clear we shall stop for a while to view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas from this spot.

In the evening visit the small town of Paro. Located 1 hour away from Thimphu (The current capital city of Bhutan), The charming town of Paro comprises both the ancient as well as the modern face of Bhutan. It is the gateway to Bhutan and Home to only International airport. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 11:Paro- Hike to Taktsang (tiger nest), Above 3000mfrom sea level.

Early breakfast, Today, we hike up to the famous cliff-hermitage called Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest.” This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly scenic! It takes about two hours to reach the cafeteria, which gives a breathtaking view of the Tiger’s Nest. From Cafeteria, it takes 1 hour to reach the main temple. This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly scenic! This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.

After Lunch, visit drive to Drukgyel Dzong which is built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, the towering outer walls and central keep remain an imposing sight. On a clear day, you can see the splendid view of Mt. Jhomolhari (Alt.7321).

Thimphu Festival tour in Bhutan

Trek to Tiger Nest Temple

Day 12: -Final Departure.

Your Thimphu Festival tour ends here with a Guide dropping you at the airport.

FAQ

1.How can I get Bhutan Visa for Thimphu Festival Tour?

Ans: Visa to Bhutan is very easy to get. All visas to Bhutan will be processed by a tour operator that you book the tour with. No international agent or embassy can issue a tourist visa for Bhutan. Only tour operator like ourself can process your Visa.

2.What is the payment procedure to pay for the trip to Bhutan?

Ans: As per the Government Tourism regulation you need to transfer 100% of the tour payment upon confirmation. Only then your Bhutan visa will be processed upon the receipt of the payment.

Your payment is very safe since the payment directly goes into the Government account and the tour operator will get it only after your tour gets over. Here is how you can make tour payment for Bhutan Tour.

3. What is the Tour cancellation Policy?

Ans: Bhutan Tour cancellation policy will vary from the company. We make sure that you don’t face loss as far as possible. For this please check our page at Bhutan Tour Cancellation Policy.

Etiquette and Taboos

Cultural Considerations: Be aware that your cultural values may differ from those of locals. These may include different concepts of time, personal space, communication, etc., which are not wrong or inferior, just different. Making the extra effort to respect local customs and cultural differences will enhance your interactions with locals during your time in Bhutan and contribute to building mutual respect between locals and tourists.

What to wear during Thimphu Festival Tour? 

Most Bhutanese are pretty conservative from our western perspective so it is always polite to wear long pants at all times (Man and Women). Women should wear long pants or skirts. Shirts should not be revealing and bras should be worn. Unfortunately, many tourists ignore these cultural norms and can be seen in towns and villages wearing shorts and revealing summer attire; while it may be comfortable, it is not appropriate, especially when visiting monasteries and Dzongs.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Generally, we adhere to the original itinerary that we described but sometimes little alterations can be born due to situations that are beyond our control. On the other hand, in order to make our trip for your personal experiences and flexible, we allowed our clients to make minor changes by discussing with us (office staff) and guide (field staff). The trip detail itinerary is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destination or activities is by no means of guarantee that they will be encountered or carried due to sudden change in time and the local circumstances and climate.

Meals during the Festival Tour

During Thimphu Festival Tour you can explore the varieties of street food displayed in the main town while in Thimphu. In other places the Meals are usually provided in the buffet system and most of the tourist foods is blend and if you need to change the food varieties we are very open to change and you need to discuss with a guide. We have Indian, Chinese, and authentic Bhutanese restaurants where you can have very spicy food.

Bhutan Destination Guide

Bhutan is a unique travel destination with some special considerations. It is highly recommended that you undertake some background reading before travel to Bhutan. The more you learn about your destination, the more rewarding your travel experience will be.

Coming Soon.