PUNAKHA TSHECHU FESTIVAL
Punakha Dromchoe is an annual festival introduced by Zhabdrung, the founder of united Bhutan to commemorate the victories over the Tibetans. During the festival, the ‘pazaps’ or local militia men, dressed in battle gear showcase a battle scene of this distant past recalling the days when in the absence of a standing army, men from the village blocks of Thimphu came forward and managed to expel the Tibetan forces out of the country ushering in a new-found internal peace and stability.
Druk Airways flight to Bhutan provides during a clear weather the most fascinating view of Himalayan scenery. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be greeted by our representative and transfer to hotel. After lunch, visit Paro Dzong, which was built in 1646, and visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country and the National Museum. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Morning drive to Punakha, with a stop en route for tea at Dochu La Pass (3,100 meters). The passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag. The pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the Himalayas on a clear day. En route stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley popularly known as the Devine Madman. If you wish, you may receive a special fertility blessing from a wooden phallus. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
After breakfast, you will attend the Punakha Dromchoe festival. Enjoy an annual festival introduced by Zhabdrung to commemorate the victories over the Tibetans. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
Today you will drive back to Thimphu via Dochula pass. At Dochula, you can visit the new Druk Wanggyel Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their Today you will drive back to Thimphu via Dochula pass. At Dochula, you can visit the new Druk Wanggyel Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. After this continue drive to Thimphu. Check into hotel on arrival. In the afternoon, you can stroll in Thimphu City of your own and absorb the lifestyle of the people. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast, you will visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), nunnery temple, Folk heritage Museum, which depicts the life of a rural Bhutanese and the Textile museum which is a repository of archaic Bhutanese textiles. After a relaxing lunch, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichhodzong and the giant Buddha statue on a hill overlooking Thimphu which is reputed to be the largest Buddha Shakymuni in the world. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
Morning will be spent hiking to Wangditse Monastery. The hike starts from Radio tower. It is a one hour walk on a levelled trial amidst pine forests with great view of north Thimphu valley. On the way, you will also have an opportunity to see Takins – unique national that is found only in the Himalayas. You will hike back till road head at Radio tower where your vehicle will be waiting to transfer you to Thimphu. After lunch, you will drive to Paro. In the evening, you can visit Paro town. Overnight hotel in Paro.
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Lunch will be served at Cafeteria restaurant located up on the mountain. After having explored the monastery, you will have back to Paro. Evening visit a traditional farm house which offers opportunity to mingle with local people and to get an idea on their lifestyle. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Drive to Paro airport for flight to onward destination.
8 days | 7 nights
19 - 26 February
For treks we require a minimum of 2 person to run the tour and limit our group size to 8 people maximum to facilitate group dynamic.
Hotels and meals
Bhutan has hotels ranging from international luxury chains like Aman Resorts, Hotel Uma, Taj Hotel, Le Meridian, Zhiwaling, Termalinca Resorts, Sixth Senses and other four and three star category hotels. Our package include star hotels only and supplement would require for upscale and luxury hotels. Good hotels are concentrated in touristic sites of western Bhutan and facilities and services become simpler travelling towards least developed eastern Bhutan.
Our hotels and restaurant serve choices of meals from continental, Chinese, Indian along with traditional Bhutanese menus. Vegetarian dishes are also served and on prior notice, you dietary needs can also be met if you have any dietary restrictions.
We use comfortable cars as most of your road journeys are through windy lengthy roads. We use 4WD SUV cars for FITs, Toyota Hi-ace and H-1 mini van for group of 4-6 people. For large group we use Toyota coaster buses.
Our guides are knowledgeable, friendly and dynamic. They are equipped with knowledge on local history, Buddhism and current affairs. They are trained and certified by the government to lead groups.
When to book?
Visa and Passport
Tourist’s visas need to be arranged in advance through local tour operators. No foreign missions abroad grant tourists visa. You will have to make an advance payment to approve your visa. Once your visa is been approved, visa clearance letter (VCL) will be sent to you. You must carry this letter to be shown at the check-in counter from where you board your flights to Bhutan. Actual Bhutanese visa will be stamped on your passport on arrival at Paro international airport. Your passport should have minimum six months validity from the date on entry into Bhutan and at least one full blank page for visa. You will not need to carry passport size photos for visa.
What is a Festival?
Festivals are religious mask dance performed by monks and laymen in Dzongs or fortresses, temples and monastery at certain time of a year. It’s an enactment of teachings of Buddhism and reminds people of death and impermanence. During some festival, a giant scroll paint called Thangka is being hung from the tall wall of a temple. The laities gather early in the morning or through out day to witness festival with their finest traditional dresses.
Tips and Gratitude
Weather and Clothing
Bhutan has all four seasons of a year. October, November, December, January and February are cold months. Day temperature will be 18-degree celsius and mornings and nights 6-8 and night temperature might drop to below zero degree celsius. Mornings and evenings are cold but days are warmer. You will have to come with warm clothes. However thick woollen overcoats are not necessary.
March, April, May, June, July, August and September are warmer months. Temperature during the day will be 20-24 degree celsius and at night temperature will be 12-14 degree celsius.
Although tipping is not compulsory, your service provider might expect from you. You can consult with the company office with regards to tipping slab.