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    Mask Dance at Thimphu Festival

Bhutan Cultural Tour With Thimphu Festival

Most celebrated and elaborate festival happens in Thimphu- the capital of Bhutan with people all over the kingdom come to witness the 8th Century mask dance and folk songs. The event goes on for 5 days. You will also explore other 4 regions of Western Bhutan

Bhutan Culture Tour with Thimphu Festival - Tour Highlights

  • Thimphu Festival– most celebrated and elaborate festival in the country,
  • Experience and visit Western regions of Punakha, Paro, Punakha and Wangduephodrang
  • Tiger’s Nest/Taktsang Monastery. Hanging onto a precarious almost vertical mountain cliff, it’s a spectacular sight in terms of location, setting and history and is one of the holiest sites in the Buddhist arena.
  • Visit Dochula Pass and enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the Himalayas
  • Visit Tashi Chodzong or the fortress of the Auspicious Religion – the office of the Dragon King of Bhutan

Other Highlights

  • Included quality wining and dining : a welcome reception with drinks at every hotels of your stay,
  • Welcoming Dinner by the founders of Bhutan Swallowtail Tours and Travels,
  • Throughout your holiday to Bhutan, escorted by one of the Bhutan Swallowtail’s expert tour guide- your ‘travelling concierge’, expert guide, consummate facilitator and friend in a foreign land who ensures your journey is as enjoyable as possible.
  • Baggage handling everywhere on your tour.
  • Free Wi-Fi and internet in most of the hotel rooms and lobbies.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Bhutan Swallowtail’s Luxury air conditioned SUV and coach with extended leg room.
  • Airport Transfers as per the scheduled flights.

Bhutan Culture Tour with Thimphu Festival: Package Inclusion

  • Airport Transfers
  • Stay in hotels as indicated in the itinerary
  • All three meals, tea and coffee
  • Dedicated SUV vehicle with a driver and
  • English Speaking Guide throughout the Trip
  • Short hikes, Packed lunches and snacks wherever required
  • Monumental Fees
  • Bhutan Tourism Development Fee
  • VISA processing Fee

Package Does Not Include:

  • International Air fare
  • Refreshments and bottled drinks and alcohol
  • Tips/gratuities
  • Cost arising out of Flight Cancellation/road blockades/ landslides and events beyond our control
  • Expenses of personal nature and any other expenses not mentioned in the above cost

Transport and Facilities 

The vehicles of Bhutan Swallowtail are all luxurious and air conditioned catering to the comforts of our guests as well as ensuring a smooth ride over the mountainous and winding roads of Bhutan. With high ride quality and extended legroom you can enjoy the beautiful landscape from the inside of our cars. We have Toyota SUVs, Hi Ace buses and coaster buses with carrying capacity of up to 30 people in one bus. Driven by experienced and licensed drivers we will make sure you enjoy your holiday to Bhutan and the comforts of our luxurious fleet of cars. 

VISA to Bhutan

 All tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior to travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent.

 You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.

 At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

Terms and Conditions:

Tour prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All tour information is correct at time of tours going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.

Gallery

Bhutan Cultural Tour with Thimphu Festival Detailed Itinerary

17 September 2018 - Paro International Airport

Sightseeing at Paro- First Glimpse of Bhutan

On arrival at the Paro International Airport you will be welcomed by your tour guide and driver. Check into your hotel and after a brief rest, start your magical experience of Bhutan by first visiting the impressive Rinpung Dzong/Fortress of Heaped Jewels, a fine example of the ostentatious Bhutanese art and architecture.  The Dzong is located in the heart of the town and a few minutes walk through Nyimazam, one of the few last remaining traditional cantilever bridges in Bhutan. Dzongs serve as a monastic institution and as district administrative office.

Located above the Dzong is the National Museum that house various antiques and artifacts of Bhutan and provides a glimpse into Bhutan’s rich cultural and religious history.

Visit the 3 storied Dungtse Lhakhang/temple, built in the mid 1430’s by Thangtong Gyelpo, the iron bridge builder, to subdue a demon and the temple is firmly chained to the ground. The three floors of the temple represent hell, heaven and earth and house some of the finest murals in Bhutan. In the evening, visit a traditional farmhouse replete with paddy fields, vegetable garden and farm animals. Enjoy a hot stone bath in a wooden tub, get some cooking tips and help in preparing your dinner which you will eat in the traditional Bhutanese style with the whole family.

18 September 2018 - Paro – Thimphu Valley – 1 hour drive

Visit to Thimphu Capital City of Bhutan

After a leisurely breakfast drive for an hour to Thimphu through the beautiful landscape and during holidays you can stop over and watch an archery match in progress. Thimphu is one of the few capital cities in the world not having traffic lights and the traffic is still manned by traffic policemen.

Check into your hotel and visit the Royal Textile Museum which amongst other also has on display the wedding dresses and handmade shoes of the King and Queen. Stroll through the craft bazaar, a single line of shops selling art and craft items.

If you want to mingle with the Bhutanese people and jostle with local farmers amongst the aroma of organic fruits and vegetables, the Centenary Farmers Market is the place to be. Smiling tourists watch in awe as locals bargain with the vendors and you could even stock up on your organic fruits for the coming days.

In the evening visit the Tashichho Dzong/fortress of the Auspicious Religion and office of the Golden throne of the Dragon King of Bhutan

19 September 2018 - Thimphu Valley Excursion

Capital City of Bhutan

Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and is one of the last few capital cities without traffic lights and the traffic managed by traffic policemen. Thimphu is the most populated city with about 100,000 people and truly a combination of the ancient and the modern. While strictly maintaining the traditional style of architecture in modern building, there are also very old temples and numerous monasteries in and around the city, and few discotheques and Karaoke.

Soak in the panoramic view of the Thimphu valley from the site of the gigantic Lord Buddha, a 51 meter bronze Shakyamuni Buddha statue gilded in gold

The beautiful Memorial Chorten/stupa in town is another favorite with the tourists and a regular sight for congregation of devout Buddhists circumambulating the Chorten from dawn till dusk. The main statue of the Buddha inside the Chorten is said to grant wishes for the earnest and honest hearted!

If you want to mingle with the Bhutanese people and jostle with local farmers amongst the aroma of organic fruits and vegetables, the Centenary Farmers Market is the place to be. Smiling tourists watch in awe as locals bargain with the vendors and you could even stock up on your organic fruits for the coming days.

Visit the Simply Bhutan Museum which is a living studio showcasing the age old culture and traditional heritage of Bhutan. Walk for a few minutes from the Museum to Changangkha Lhakhang the oldest temple in Thimphu. In the evening visit the Tashichho Dzong/fortress of the Auspicious Religion and office of the Golden throne of the Dragon King of Bhutan. Stroll through the market places and the craft bazaar.

20 September 2018 - Attend Thimphu Tshechu/Festival (September 19-21)

Witnessing the Thimphu Festival

After a hearty breakfast drive out to the Thimphu Dzong/fortress to attend the famous Thimphu Tsechu with the locals and tourists around the globe. You will spend the whole day nestled among Bhutanese folks from all around the country in colorful clothing and jewelry. Witness the amazing cultural extravaganza of mask dance, cultural dance and religious dramatic performance.

During midday you will be escorted by your guide for lunch and after that you will be driven back to mingle again with the happy Bhutanese for the rest of the Tsechu events. Later you can check into your hotels for a relaxing dinner and rest for tomorrow. 

21 September 2018 - Thimphu – Wangdue & Punakha Valleys – 3 hours drive

Sightseeing at Wangduephodrang and Punakha

Soak in the panoramic view of the Thimphu valley from the site of the gigantic Buddha Shakyamuni, also one of the largest statue of Buddha at a height of 169 feet (51.5 meters).

The Memorial Chorten/stupa in town is another favorite with the tourists and elderly citizens as they circumambulate the Chorten chanting prayers and pulling at their beads. The main statue of the Buddha inside the Chorten is said to grant wishes for the earnest and honest hearted!

After breakfast check out of your hotel and drive for about three hours to Wangdue and Punakha valleys. Enroute stop over at the Dochulaa Pass (3150 meters) and enjoy the spectacular views of the snow capped Himalayan Mountains. The 108 small stupas built over a small hill is a beautiful sight you can’t miss.

The roads from the Pass winds down to the warm and fertile valleys and after a brief rest visit the Fertility Temple / Chime Lhakhang. It is a pleasant 30 minutes walk through mustard and paddy fields. Standing on a picturesque hilltop the Lhakhang is famous for its wish grants fertility to unlucky couples. Inside the walls of the Lhakhang are beautiful frescoes depicting the colorful life of Lama Drukpa Kuenley, the Divine Madman regarded for his crazy methods of teaching which included blessing women in the form of copulation!

Check into your hotel in Wangdue and in the evening stroll through the valley and market places.

22 September 2018 - Punakha Valley Excursion

Punakha - Old Capital of Bhutan

Punakha valley was the old capital city of Bhutan and the Punakha Dzong meaning the fortress of Great Bliss was built by 1673 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel (the first spiritual & political leader of Bhutan) to commemorate the final victory against numerous Tibetan invasions. Located on a piece of land between two rivers Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu (literally meaning male and female rivers), the Dzong is massive, huge and magnificent in all its architectural grandeur. Although ravaged by flood, fire and earthquake many times, the Dzong was always rebuilt with its original pattern and design. The Dzong has hosted significant events such as the crowning of the first king of Bhutan, The Royal Wedding ceremony of the Fifth King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck to Jetsun Pema on 13th October 2011 was conducted in Punakha Dzong and important religious ceremonies are still held in the Dzong.

Walk for about an hour to Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten stupa. It is a beautiful walk through the pine trees, the stupa is stunning and so is the view from there. Enroute you will also be walking through a suspension bridge over the Puna Tsang Chhu – Punakha River.

After visiting the Punakha Dzong/Fortress of Great Bliss, drive to the Nunnery and enjoy the spectacular views of Punakha and Wangdue valleys.

23 September 2018 - Taktsang Monastery/ Tiger’s Nest

Visit to Tiger's Nest Monastery

Have a sumptuous breakfast for your hike to Taktsang Monastery / Tiger’s Nest which is about 3 hours uphill and 2 hours down. Riding ponies are also available if you think the hike is a bit daunting. Located around 900 meters above the Paro valley on a precarious almost vertical mountain cliff, Taktsang Monastery is truly a wonderful and spectacular sight in terms of its location, setting and history. In the 8th Century this was one of the major sites where Guru Padmasambhava – the patron saint of Buddhism in Bhutan meditated with his consort Khandro Yeshey Tshogyal. It is believed that Guru flew on a female tigress in pursuit of a demon which he subdued at the current site of the Monastery. It is one of the holiest site in the Buddhist arena and the most important cultural icon in Bhutan.

You can have your lunch, tea/snacks at the cafeteria midway.

Before you drive back to your hotel visit the Kyichu Lhakhang/temple, one of the oldest temples built in the 7th Century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gyembo.

If you wish you can go for a stroll through the valley or rest in hotel.

24 September 2018 - Departure

After breakfast drive to Paro International Airport where your guide and driver will bid you farewell and hope you had a pleasant holiday and hope to see you in Bhutan again.