Discovery Tours

Discover Bhutan – Paro Festival

Country: Bhutan Region: Paro

Discover Bhutan – Paro Festival

£2270

11
DAYS

Book

Overview

  • Discover the Last Kingdom of Himlayas
  • Attend the colourful Paro Festival
  • Short hike to the “Tiger Nest” and Khamsum Yulley Monastery
  • Explore the beautiful Bumthang and Gangtey Valley

The tour gives you the opportunity to visit the Paro Festival on two occasions, as well as visiting a number of other attractions and sights that this region offers. You will have the chance to experience the history and culture of Bhutan, with a number of visits to museums and monasteries included on the tour. This tour has been designed to show you Bhutan at its finest; focusing on the Festival whilst not ignoring the other parts of Bhutan, as well as Thimphu, Punakha, Bumthang.  Local people come from different corners of Bhutan to attend the festival dance, feasting and socializing in their best clothes. You will be escorted in and out of the event by your guide to make best use of your time. On the final day you will have a chance to hike to the Takshang Monastery, which is believed to have been built in 1684. In order to reach the monastery you will hike through a beautiful pine forest. The monastery stands at the very edge of a cliff with a 900 foot drop below you and it is likely that this sheer drop will take your breath away. All overnight stays on this tour will take place in hotels that have been specifically selected for the comfort and relaxation that they will offer after a long day exploring. All of your meals are also included and you are sure to discover a whole new range of tastes as you sample some of the local traditional dishes.

Itinerary

DAY

1

Arrive Kathmandu

Upon your arrival a representative from FrozenGround will be waiting outside the airport to take you to the hotel. Depending on time of arrival, plans will be made for a briefing meeting once you have settled in.

Accommodation: Hotel

DAY

2

Arrive Paro and explore the town

Our representative will welcome you at the airport and transfer to Rimpong Dzong to witness the festival. After lunch, drive through the paddy field to visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong. The Dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. On the way back we visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the holiest and oldest monasteries in Bhutan. Finally, we visit a Traditional Bhutanese Farm House.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY

3

Attend Paro Festival and hike to Takshang Monastery

Following early breakfast, we visit the spectacular Takshang Monastery. “Takshang” literally means Tiger’s Nest. The trail to the Monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. This incredible monastery clings vertically to the edge of a granite rock cliff that plunges 900 meters above the valley floor. We have lunch at Takshang Cafeteria then transfer to Rimpong Dzong to witness Paro Festival. In the evening we walk down through the cantilever bridge to visit Paro town.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY

4

Thimphu sightseeing

After early breakfast drive to Thimphu. We visit the National Memorial Chorten, a huge Stupa built in memory of the third king of Bhutan HM Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. We stop by the National Library, which holds an extensive collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books. We make our way to the National Institute of Traditional Medicine followed by visit to Zilukha Nunnery & Dupthop Lhakhang. After lunch we visit the Bhutanese handmade paper factory, Handicrafts Emporium, Crafts Bazaar, Buddha’s Point, Takkin Preservation Center and Tashichhodzong.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY

5

Paro Thongdrel and Punakha

We drive back to Paro in morning to attend the Thongdrel ceremony, the closing of Paro festival. In the ceremony, a large and beautifully appliquéd ‘Thangka’ scroll known as a Thongdrel is exhibited for a few hours, enabling people to obtain its blessing, as this holy scroll confers liberation by the mere sight of it. Breakfast at a local restaurant then drive to Punakha across the Dochula Pass. If the weather is clear, you will have spectacular view of the snowcapped Himalayan mountain peaks from the pass. The colorful 108 chortens on top of the pass is spectacular to look at. After lunch visit Punakha Dzong.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY

6

Transfer to Trongsa

After breakfast we have a short climb uphill to visit the Khamsum Yulley Monastery; it is a gentle approx. 45-minutes climb. Continue sightseeing with a visit to Chimmi Lhakhang; a temple popularly known as “The Temple of Fertility” that is regarded as a pilgrimage site for barren couple in Bhutan. Drive to Trongsa stop by Wangduephodrang Dzong.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Walk: 2-3 hours

DAY

7

Transfer to Bumthang

In the morning visit Trongsa Dzong and the Monarchy’s Museum, which has a huge collection of antiques. Lunch in Bumthang then visit the Swiss farm & cheese factory. Explore the valley on foot in the afternoon.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY

8

Bhumthang sightseeing

Full day sightseeing: Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjee Lhakhang, Thamsing Lhakhang, Kenchosum Lhakhang. Afternoon visit Jakar Dzong, the administrative building of Bumthang valley, Yatha Weaving Center;

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY

9

Transfer to Paro

After breakfast we have long a long drive back to Paro. We stop by a local, countryside restaurant for lunch. Leisure in the evening.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY

10

Departure to Kathmandu, explore the city

Fly back to Kathmandu. Afternoon we start exploring the city including the 2,000 years old Buddhist shrine of Swyambhunath known as “Monkey Temple” because there’s a ton of monkeys around there; the colourful Durbar Square; Patan city – which is the most iconic place in the Buddhist history.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

DAY

11

Fly back home, taking with you the memory of a lifetime

Meals: Breakfast     

Additional Nights and Extensions

Tour Facts

Trip Cost Includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis in standard hotel in Bhutan
  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis in standard hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu flight with taxes
  • All meals and mineral water in Bhutan
  • Airport transfers and land transportation by private vehicle
  • English speaking guide
  • Entry fees for sightseeing
  • Government royalty and all applicable taxes
  • Visa fee in Bhutan

Trip Cost Doesn't Include

  • International flight ticket
  • Riding horse during trek
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Laundry, telephone or anything of personal nature
  • Visa fee in Nepal
  • Travel insurance
  • Emergency evacuation cost
  • Tips for trekking crew, guide and driver

Meals

We provide full board in Bhutan, breakfast in Kathmandu

Meals available are most palatable to the taste of western tourists; a varieties of Continental, Indian, Chinese, and local cuisine are available. Set meals for travellers tend to be on the bland side, because local food is heavily seasoned with red chillies and can be quite hot. We have our meals at restaurant or hotel chosen by tour leader. There are usually Continental, Indian, Chinese and Bhutanese dishes. The food in hotels is often the best in town, but in main towns now there are few restaurants increasingly becoming popular. Both vegetarian and non- vegetarian dishes are available all over the places. Most popular being pork, beef, chicken, fish and local seasonal vegetables. Even though the locals drink water straight from the tap, we suggest visitors to drink only bottled water. On trek, we provide boiled and filtered water.

Accommodation

10 nights in hotel

One of the most essential components of a great holiday is accommodation. At FrozenGround, we make it a top priority to use quality and character accommodation whenever it is possible. Accommodation can vary by destination and the types of holidays.

Hotel

We are accommodating in 3 & 4-star category hotels.  Standard of all accommodations that we use for our guests are approved for tourist stay by the Tourism Council of Bhutan. All hotels and lodges are built in traditional architectural style and are offered with traditional Bhutanese food with a mix of western cuisines.

Single supplement

Our holidays are operated on a twin-share basis. That means that cost is based on either sharing the accommodation with other member of the group of same sex or people who book together. However single supplement and private trip are available. Please note that some remote area single supplement not possible. Please contact us for further details.

Date and Price

Available Tour Dates

Flexible departure! Have you got any dates in your mind? Click here to contact us.

General Info

What to Wear

Due to wide range of temperature and climatic conditions, it is advisable to bring appropriate clothing. For protection against cold, layered clothing is better than a few thick ones. Warm clothing is recommended; and except for summer months, down jackets and woollen sweaters and socks, raincoat are suggested. In summer, heavy cottons and lightweight woollens will be acceptable.

While visiting temples and other religious institutions shoulders must be covered. Longer length skirts are more appropriate for women and slacks are more appropriate for men. Shoes must be removed when entering temples.

First Aid

A medical kit will accompany each group. You should also bring your own personal first aid kit, which should include the following: broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, Diamox (altitude), diarrhoea treatment (Imodium) painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralyte).

Vaccinations

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements to enter Nepal or Bhutan. However, you may at your own concern, wish to take immunisation against certain preventable diseases which are the following: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Malaria.

Visa

You will need visas for Bhutan and Nepal. Make sure your passport valid for at least 6 months at the time of entry into these counties.

Nepal

You can get a tourist visa upon arrival at the airport in Kathmandu. You must fill in an application form and provide two passport photographs at the customs. Nepal entry Visa fee (US$ 40 for 30 days and US$ 25 for 15 days) must be paid in cash at the custom.

Bhutan

FrozenGround will arrange your visa which has to be processed through our registered Bhutanese agent before travelling to Bhutan. A copy of visa clearance letter will be issued and forwarded to you through email; you will be able to board the flight to Bhutan with this clearance letter from your respective airport. The actual visa is stamped on arrival in Bhutan. You must carry the visa approval letter with you and you will be required to show this when checking in for your DRUK flight into Paro. Your passport must have at least 2 unused pages for visa stamp. We recommend taking 4 passport photos with you.

Weather

Bhutan is a rather small land mass to have such a varied climate, as well as four distinctly separate seasons, and that is generally due to its wide geographical variations. Bhutan’s entire southern region is tropical. In the west, the valleys of Wangduephodrang and Punakha have more of a semi-tropical climate and the winters tend to be cooler. The valleys of Lhuntse, Trashigang and Mongar in the east also share that same semi-tropical weather pattern. However, in Bumthang, Paro, Trongsa, and Thimpu, the climate is substantially harsher. They get torrential summer rain and heavy snowfall during the winters there. Winter in Bhutan starts around mid-November and can hang around until around mid-March. During that time, the weather is quite dry with temperatures during the day of about 16 to 18 degrees C and night-time temperatures way below zero. By mid-June, the monsoons generally arrive, bringing downpours mostly during the afternoon and evening. By the end of September, autumn starts, bringing pleasant weather for just about everybody until mid-November. This is an excellent time for trekking the deeper Himalayas.

Tour Leaders

All our tours are escorted by well trained, knowledgeable and English spoken guides who are certified by Tourism Council of Royal Government of Bhutan.

Group size

This holiday is guaranteed to run with minimum of 3 persons. The maximum group size is restricted to just 8 travellers which means clients not only get personalised service and support but also the opportunity to make some great new friends. Smaller group size also mean we minimise the impact on the environment we are exploring.

Vehicle and Safety

Comfortable surface transport is available in Bhutan, making journey in this mountainous terrain really pleasant. Latest model Japanese Toyota Cars, Land Cruisers, Hiace Buses and Coaster Buses are offered to our tourists depending upon the group size. Our experienced, courteous drivers are well trained and licensed by Department of Tourism and the Department of Motor Vehicles in safety and driving on mountainous terrain. Tourists are at ease riding in Bhutan Mountains. The transport and guide accompany the tourist right from arrival until departure.

Additional Nights and Extensions