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Thimphu Festival Tour

TRIP OVERVIEW

Thimphu Festival tour is one of the biggest autumn festival in Bhutan. Indeed, taking journey to Bhutan can derive pleasure and satisfaction in travel; the Shangri La aspects in Bhutan are unquestionably plentiful. The motif of the country is wide, verdant and artfully cultivated valleys. Therefore, flanked by pine forested mountains with deep ravines, sweeping watercourses and rich flora and fauna. Therefore, for those who are short of time but eager to learn more about Bhutan, this 8-days Thimphu festival tour is the perfect choice. It covers most cultural highlights of this mountain kingdom in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Paro. Some of the best photos of the festival is featured in the BBC news on 9 October 2014.

HIGHLIGHT
  • Visit many cultural attractions including medieval fortresses (Dzongs), markets and museums.
  • Hike up to the famous Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff 900m above the valley floor.
  • Experience the beauty of Buddhism with every landscape with spiritual icons.
  • Feel Bhutan with real authentic Bhutanese lifestyle by visiting traditional Bhutanese farmhouse, wearing Bhutanese traditional dress (Gho & Kira) and traditional dances.
  • Duration 8Days
  • Tour Type Festival
  • Destination Paro - Thimphu - Punakha - Gangtey

Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival hall. You will drive to Punakha (127km, around 3.5 hrs) with a stop at Dochula Pass, a popular tourist spot where you will have a breathtaking panoramic view of the Eastern Himalayan Mountain ranges on clear days. The pass is adorned with 108 small stupas built on a small hill to commemorate Bhutanese soldiers killed in the 2003 battle.

Phunaka is the capital of Bhutan from 1637 to 1907 and the seat of government until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu.  It is quite warmer than other places as it is located at an elevation of 1,200m. We will visit the Punakha Dzong, often considered as the most beautiful Dzong in the country and the most important Dzong in Bhutanese history. It sits at the confluence of the Po (male) and Mo (female) rivers. In addition to its structural beauty, Punakha Dzong is notable for containing the preserved remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifer of Bhutan. It currently serves as the winter home of the Central Monk Body.

Overnight at Four Boutique in Punakha.

In the morning we will have a pleasant 20 minutes walk across terraced rice fields through the village of Sopsokha to Chimi Lhakhang, a small temple dedicated to one of Bhutan’s favorite saints, the “Divine Madman” Drukpa Kinley. Nearly 500 years ago, this region was the stomping ground of the unconventional monk who taught Buddhist dharma by employing shocking and ribald humor. Then we will visit Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten that is built by the third Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. This chorten is a splendid example of the Bhutanese architecture and art, and is the only one of its kind in the world.

After lunch we will travel to Phobjikha valley (70km, around 2 hrs), a vast U-shaped glacial valley at an elevation of about 3,000 metres on the western slopes of the Black Mountains, bordering the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. The valley is also known as the Gangtey Valley after the impressive Gangtey Goenpa (Gangtey Monastery) that sits on a ridge above the valley.

 Overnight at Dewachen Resort in Gangtey.

After breakfast we will drive to Gangtey and visit the Gangtey Goenpa, a large 17th century monastery overlooking Phobjikha valley. It is headed by the ninth Gangtey Trulku and is the largest Nyingma monastery in western Bhutan. It was founded in 1613 by Gyalse Pema Thinlay, a grandson and reincarnation of influential treasure finder Pema Lingpa.

After that we will take a nice and easy walk along the 4km Gangtey Nature Trail for approximately 2 hours.  It will leads downhill from the mani (prayer) stone wall just north of the Gangtey Goenpa to the Khewang Lhakhang. The trail descends to Semchubara village, passing by grass planes, farm houses and dense forest of pine trees, to a vast open space of the wide and flat valley. The wetland in the center of Phobjikha valley provides the nesting grounds and natural habitat for the endangered black necked cranes that migrate from Tibet in late autumn and typically stay until middle of March. As you will be visiting Phobjikha valley during off-season, the Black-Necked Crane Information Centre is the best place to learn more about the birds, their migration and various ways to help on their conservation.

Towards evening we will make a visit to the local house for dinner. Here you can also experience the traditional herbal hot stone bath.

Overnight at Dewachen Resort in Gangtey.

You will drive to Thimphu (135km, around 5-6 hrs), the capital city of Bhutan. Upon check-in at hotel, we will visit the National Memorial Chorten which is built in honor of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1974 by the late Queen Phuntsho Choden Wangchuk. Afterward, we will drive for around 8km to Kuenselphodrang to visit Buddha Dordenma, one of the largest statues of sitting Buddha in the world which is 51.5m tall and made of bronze. The statue houses over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues. From here you can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (Kuenselphodrang). The night view of Thimphu town from the Buddha point is ravishing and magical.

Overnight at City Hotel in Thimphu.

After breakfast, we will attend the Festival at Tendrel Thang in front of Tashichho Dzong, the capital fortress in Bhutan and also the seat of the office of the King of Bhutan. There will be performance of the mask dances known as cham and folk dances to bless the onlookers, to teach them the Buddhist dharma, to protect them from misfortune and to exorcise all evil. It is believed that merit is gained by attending this festival.

We will return to hotel for lunch and then we will take you to the Post office to make your own personalized stamp with the pictures of your choice and send to your loved ones. Then we will visit Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre where you can see the weaving process and drop in on the shop at the second floor that sells high quality textiles made of silk and cotton. There are nice and well-stocked souvenir shops around the town where you can buy anything from postcard, T-shirt, to the traditional Bhutanese costumes.

Overnight at City Hotel in Thimphu.

After breakfast, we will return to the Festival at Tendrel Thang in front of Tashichho Dzong. We will attend the Festival till noon and after lunch we will drive to Paro (65km, around 1 hr). Upon arrival we will pay a visit to Paro Dzong, also known as Rinpung Dzong, a 15th century massive fortress/monastery that is also the administrative center of the Paro Dzonkhag.

We will also visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest and the most sacred temple in Bhutan built in 7th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gompo. The legend says that he built 108 temples throughout the Himalayan regions in a single day to subdue the demons that were terrorizing the whole of Himalayan region.

Overnight at Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro.

Following early breakfast, we will be making the hike up to one of the key highlights in Bhutan today: the Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery. The total distance of the hike is 4 miles (6.4 km) roundtrip with the highest elevation at 3 km. On average, it takes between four to five hours to do the round trip hike, plus one more hour to tour the monastery. The Taktsang Monastery was first built in 1692 around the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave where Guru Padmasambhava have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. He rode on the female tiger, which is his spiritual consort called Tashi Kheuyuden. Padmasambhava is credited with introducing Buddhism to Bhutan and is the tutelary deity of Bhutan.

In the evening, you will visit a farmhouse to experience the traditional Bhutanese dinner and relax at the hot stone bath if you wish.

Overnight at Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro.

After breakfast, drive to Paro international airport for your onward flight. The representative of Rabsel Nima Bhutan Adventure will see off and bid farewell.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Bhutan VISA fee
  • Government royalty & taxes
  • 3-star accommodation (twin sharing)
  • Dedicated English speaking tour guide
  • Dedicated tour vehicle and drive
  • Daily 3 meals (B/L/D)
  • Airport transfers
  • Bottled water through out the trip
  • Entry fees to parks and monument

WHAT’S EXCLUDED

  • Flights to and from Bhutan
  • Personal expense/shopping
  • 4 or 5 star accommodation (extra charges will apply
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for guide and driver
  • Beverages (alcohol)

Tashi Namgay Resort

This resort is located conveniently opposite to the Paro airport away from the fuss of urban life. Boasting tradition and modern design ideas, this perfect blend offers you all the opulent amenities of modern life. The open field layout of the resort with lush green lawn provides yet another spiritual experience.

  • FREE WIFI FREE WIFI
  • TV TV
  • RESTURANT RESTURANT
  • SPA SPA
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City Hotel Thimphu

This hotel is another example of tranquil get away from the midst of everyday life yet in the heart of a town. It features modern furnishings to offer you an unbeatable comfort with modern amenities as well.

  • FREE WIFI FREE WIFI
  • TV TV
  • RESTURANT RESTURANT
  • SPA SPA
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Dhensa Boutique Resort

Dhensa Boutique Resort at Punakha is a mix of modern and traditional design ideas crafted for the peace of mind for any visitor. It boasts ideas and amenities that specifically deliver the essence Bhutanese hospitality and unforgettable comfort. Located at the heart warm Punakha valley, it sits among a vast field of paddy giving guests a rusty feel.

  • TV TV
  • FREE WIFI FREE WIFI
  • RESTURANT RESTURANT
  • SPA SPA
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Gangtey Lodge

The multi-award winning Gangtey Lodge Bhutan offers every comfort and luxury in one of the most remote places in the world. This lodge with traditional Bhutanese exterior sits on the hillock above the famous Gangtey Monastery in one of the remote valleys of Bhutan. Perfect for peace seekers, this scenic lodge in Gangtey valley offers one of the most perfect holiday comforts. This 12-suite lodge offers a perfect blend of happiness infused with traditional values. This lodge is a heaven for all co ....

  • FREE WIFI FREE WIFI
  • RESTURANT RESTURANT
  • SPA SPA
  • YOGA YOGA
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Terms & Conditions

Reservations and Payments: 

  • Reservations will be confirmed, based upon availability, upon receipt of the Booking Form and 100% payment to the Tour Operator.

Tour cancellation policy:

The tour cancellation policy is as follow:

  • 90 days+           100% refund of trip cost
  • 30-89 days        75% refund of trip cost
  • 15-29 days         50% refund of trip cost
  • 00-14 days        100% cancellation fee

Flight cancellation policy:

The flight cancellation policy is as follow:

  • 30 days+ 90%         refund of ticket cost
  • 10-29 days       75% refund of ticket cost
  • 04-09 days      50% refund of ticket cost
  • 00-03 days      100% cancellation fee

Note: Fee applicable for date change and passenger name change.

Insurance:

  • Client is responsible for travel insurance, including health and accident insurance coverage and medical evacuation.

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