Grand Annual Festival of PARO Tshechu and Cultural Tour of Bhutan

Grand Annual Festival of PARO Tshechu and Cultural Tour of Bhutan

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7 Days From

$2364

$2290

Grand Annual Festival of PARO Tshechu and Cultural Tour of Bhutan

7 Days Starting and ending in Paro International Airport

Visiting: Thimphu, Tango Monastery, Punakha, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten, Phobjikha Valley, Gangtey Monastery, Dochula Pass, Paro, Taktsang Monastery

Tour code:

71355P12

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Low

Age range:

10+

Special diets catered:

Dietary needs respected

Tour operated in:

English

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

Private Available:

Request A Private Tour

From: $2364 $2290 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$74

NB: Prices correct on 15-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

This 7 nights trip will take you on an exhilarating journey through 4 western districts of Bhutan giving you the perfect opportunity to discover the pristine wilderness of the Kingdom of Bhutan, witness a dazzling annual Paro Tshechu festival and encounter fact-to-face with an ancient tradition that still flourishes alongside modern development. The festival portrays the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan and brings the whole community and people from different places together to socialize and foster harmony and happiness.

In Phobjikha valley, you will experience a glimpse of life living in the pristine glacial valley and visit one of the historic and largest monasteries in Bhutan and meet with compassionate monks.

Tentative Departure Dates for 2022
8th Apr: Paro Tshechu Festival (Day 06)
12th Apr: Paro Tshechu Festival (Day 01 & 02)

Tentative Festival Dates for 2023
28th Mar: Paro Tshechu Festival (Day 08 or 09)
2nd Apr: Paro Tshechu Festival (Day 01 & 02)

Highlights

  • Witness fascinating annual festival of Paro Tshechu and meet local people coming to celebrate the festival, socialize and foster harmony, promote peace and happiness

  • Travel to the ancient capital of Bhutan, hike to a serene mountain ridge and view the beautiful fertile valley below.

  • Visit the capital city of Bhutan and get a true glimpse of modern Bhutan with its ancient culture still vibrant. Immerse yourself into the contemporary Bhutanese lifestyle and discover happiness.

  • Travel to the glacial valley of Phobjikha at an altitude of 3,000 meters, the largest winter roosting ground for endangered Black-Necked Crane and stay at a family farmhouse and experience the warm hospitality of a Bhutanese family

  • Hike to the 8th-century sacred site where Bhutan’s iconic landmark, 17th century Paro Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest built on the face of the 800m rock cliff.

Places You'll See

Paro Rinpung Dzong

Getting Blessings From Giant Sacred Applique

Women In Their Best Costumes Sings Folk Songs At The Festival

Nature In The Pristine Valley Of Phobjikha

Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten In Punakha

Punakha Valley

Dazzling Mask Dances Performed By Skilled Monks

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Arrive Paro International Airport & Sightseeing In Paro (2200M)

Location: Paro International Airport

Accommodation: Hotel, Resort, Khangkhu Resort or Bhutan Mandala Resort

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Your guide and the driver will receive you at the Paro International Airport then go on your first adventure in the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

First, you will visit the National Museum of Bhutan. Located in Paro just above the Rinpung Dzong (administrative headquarter of Paro district where the festival will be taking place), the National Museum is housed in a 17th-century watchtower called Paro Ta Dzong built in 1649. It displays hundreds of ancient Bhutanese artifacts and artworks including traditional costumes, armour, weaponry and handcrafted implements for daily life. The collection at the National Museum preserves a snap-shot of the rich cultural traditions of the country.

Visit and auspicious Paro Kyichu Lhakhang. Located just a few minutes drive from the main town of Paro, Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan. It is believed to have been built on a single day in 659 A.D. by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet in his effort to build 108 such temples across the Himalayan region to subdue the spirit of a demoness who was causing obstruction to the spread of Buddhism.

Visit Drukgyal Dzong. Located about 14km away from Paro main town is Drukgyal Dzong (the fortress of the Victorious Drukpa). It was built in 1649 to commemorate a victory against the invasion by Tibetan-Mongol forces. The Dzong was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1951. Today, the Dzong is under reconstruction and it is expected to take few years before restoring to its former glory.

Leisure time around Paro town.

Day 2 : Full Day Witnessing The Grand Annual Festival Of Paro Tshechu / Transfer To Thimphu (2334M)

Location: Thimphu

Accommodation: Hotel, Resort, ResortKuenphen Rabten Resort or Amodhara

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today after breakfast, you will visit the 17th-century Paro Rinpung Dzong and witness one of the largest festivals in Bhutan, the annual Tshechu of Paro. Later you will be transferred to Thimphu and visit an auspicious and one of the largest Buddha statue.

Paro Rinpung Dzong was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1646 and established as the administrative and monastic centre of the western region. The annual event of Paro Tshechu is held here. Tshechus are grand events where entire communities come together to witness sacred mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. In addition to the mask dances, Tsechus also include colorful Bhutanese folk dances and other forms of entertainment. After watching the Paro Tsechu, take a short walk to the traditional wooden cantilever bridge called Nemey Zampa, where your driver will be waiting for you. The roofed wooden cantilever bridge is built in traditional style and this type of bridge is called Bazam.

You will then be transferred to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The road distance is 55km and takes about 1.5-hours.

On arrival in Thimphu, visit the gigantic Buddha statue. The marvelous 169ft tall bronze statue of Lord Buddha is located on a hilltop, Kuensel Phodrang, overlooking the Thimphu valley. The giant Buddha statue houses more than 100,000 8-inch tall Buddha statues of the same type.

Day 3 : Hike To The 12Th Century Tango Monastery / Transfer To Punakha Valley (1200M)

Location: Tango Monastery, Punakha

Accommodation: Hotel, Resort, Resort Lobesa or Meri Puensum Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast at the hotel, you will hike to one of the important religious centers in Bhutan. Later after lunch, transfer to Punakha valley via the sacred mountain pass called Dochula.

Tango is located on the mountainside north of Thimphu. There is also a monastery called Cheri located on a mountainside in the neighbourhood. Hiking to Tango is much easier as most part of the footpath is paved and the uphill ascent is not as steep. It is roughly 14km from the main Thimphu town. Following the trail through the forests, the walk uphill takes about 1.5 hour in slow pace. A traditional lunch will be served at Folk Heritage restaurant.

After lunch, visit the National Institute of Zorig Chusum (Zorig Chusum means 13 Traditional Arts & Crafts) was established to promote and preserve the thirteen traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan and to facilitate increased access in learning skills by Bhutanese youths. Closed on weekends and government holidays.

Transfer to Punakha valley. En route stop briefly at Dochu La Pass (3,150m/10,335ft from where you can see, on a clear day, some of the highest peaks of Bhutan.

Just about 11km before arriving Punakha town, visit Chimi Lhakhang popularly known as "The Temple of Fertility" located on a gentle hilltop near the village of Sopsokha. To reach the temple, you have to walk 20 – 30 minutes through beautiful terraced paddy fields and traditional farmhouses.

You will explore the nearby village and interact with the local people.

Driving time from Thimphu to Punakha: 2.5-hours

Day 4 : Sightseeing In Punakha Valley / Transfer To Phobjikha Valley (3,000M)

Location: Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten, Phobjikha Valley

Accommodation: Hotel, Homestay, Yue-Loki Guest House or at a village homestay to get insights into a typical village life in Bhutan

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

On Day 4 of your trip, you will do a short hike to a picturesque temple on a peaceful hilltop and after lunch, transfer to the pristine Phobjikha valley where you will visit an important landmark not only in the valley but also in the region.

After early breakfast, you will be going for a 2.5-3 hour round trip hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten. The hike takes you through terraced rice fields and a short climb before reaching the peaceful sacred site. The view below is stunning with glacial fed Mochu river snaking through the fertile valley of Punakha.

After the hike, drive back to Punakha town for lunch and then visit the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture, the 17th century Punakha Dzong. You will spend some time appreciating the ornately carved wooden pillars and sacred wall paintings.

From there walk to the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan that runs over Phochu (male) river.

Then transfer to Phobjikha valley. Driving time from Punakha to Phobjikha valley: 3 hours

Day 5 : Gangtey Nature Hike / Transfer Back To Paro Valley (2200M)

Location: Gangtey Monastery, Dochula Pass, Paro

Accommodation: Hotel, Resort, Khangkhu Resort or Bhutan Mandala Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you will do an exiting Gangtey Nature Hike through the pristine valley to learn about the local people living in the valley. After lunch, transfer back to Paro via the oldest fortress in Bhutan, Simtokha Dzong.

After breakfast, visit the most important landmark in the valley, the 17th-century Gangtey Monastery. From here go on an exhilarating Gangtey Nature Hike. The trail is about 5km and takes approximately 3 hours through the woods surrounded by splendid nature all around, wonderful meadows, beautiful traditional village houses, farmlands and crystalline streams. This short nature trail gives you a great feeling of the valley and understanding of the livelihood of the people living there. Lots of opportunities to take beautiful pictures!

After lunch, drive back to Paro. Driving time from Phobjikha to Paro 4.5-5 hours.

En route stop briefly at Simtokha Dzong, the first Dzong built in 1631 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel who founded the nation-state of Bhutan.

Day 6 : Hike To Paro Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) & Later Visit A Beautiful Farmhouse For An Authentic Home-Cooked Local Cuisine

Location: Taktsang Monastery

Accommodation: Hotel, Resort, Khangkhu Resort or Bhutan Mandala Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After an early breakfast at the hotel, you will hike to the famous Paro Taktsang and later in the evening visit a beautiful farmhouse for an authentic home-cooked traditional Bhutanese cuisine.

Drive to the base of the Taktsang monastery from where the hike begins. Taktsang monastery is located on a sheer 800-meter rocky cliff in Paro. After an hour of steep uphill hiking on the ancient trails shaded by pine trees, you'll reach a nice cafeteria from where you can see the spectacular view of the Taktsang monastery. Taktsang, or the Tiger’s Lair (people prefer to call Tiger’s Nest), is regarded as one of the most important monasteries in Bhutan.

The round trip hike takes about 4-5 hours for most visitors but you can hike at your own pace. Oneway horse riding is available on your way up for about USD20 up to the midpoint (Taktsang Cafeteria).

After lunch at the Taktsang Cafeteria, retrace your footstep back to the base where the driver will be waiting.

Towards the late afternoon, you will visit a beautiful farmhouse and enjoy delicious home-cooked local cuisine. You may participate and learn how to cook some popular local dishes. If you are interested in a home spa, you can soak up in a therapeutic and revitalizing traditional hot stone bath for a fee of about US$15. Specially selected stones believed to contain minerals are heated in a wood fired fireplace and dropped into a chamber of wooden tub releasing minerals. You can lighten up with a warm cup of locally brewed liquor known as “Ara” and feast on home-cooked authentic Bhutanese cuisine.

Day 7 : Departure From Paro International Airport

Location: Paro International Airport

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Paro International Airport for your onward journey. Our guide and driver will bid you farewell.

What's Included

  • Fully Guided

    Experienced licensed tour guide included

  • Local Taxes

    All internal taxes are included

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

    Round trip airport transfers included in the price

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

    Transport included as per itinerary for the entire duration of your stay in Bhutan

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation at 3star hotels mentioned in the itinerary or similar. We will arrange hotels that are certified by the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

    Bottled mineral water in the car

  • Drinks with Meals

  • Meals – Full Board

    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.

  • Extra experience like traditional archery and dart throwing.

  • Free Wi-Fi at Accommodation

    All hotel accommodations have wi-fi internet connections.

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What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

    International flights are not included.

    There are only two airlines (Drukair & Bhutan Airlines) operating in and out of Bhutan and so securing air tickets can be difficult especially during the months of high season.

    Currently, Bhutan is connected with these cities - Bagdogra, Bangkok, Delhi, Dhaka, Guwahati, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Singapore.

    We recommend you to book a few months in advance especially if you plan to visit during the high season months of March - May and September - November.

    If you need help in arranging flights to/from Bhutan, please let us know much in advance.

  • Drinks with Meals

    All drinks not included except bottled mineral water in the car

  • Any other expenditures of personal nature

Check out our Q&As

  • Is free Wi-Fi available in the accommodation used?

    Yes, all of the accommodations where you will say are equipped with wi-fi internet service.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    You will have some leisure time during the tour but you must follow the time schedule set by the guide.

  • What is the tipping policy?

    Tipping is optional but our guide and driver work hard to offer the best experience. You may tip them if you feel satisfied with their services.

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    Except for the holders of Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian passport holders, all other nationals are required to have a visa to enter Bhutan in advance.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    We have been in the business since the beginning of 2016.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Visitors are required to provide a COVID vaccine certificate and negative PCR test taken not more than 72 hours before the date of entry. Facemasks are mandatory at all places. Our guides and drivers will maintain a high degree of COVID-19 safety protocols. Vehicles are regularly sanitized.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    No, you may not join the tour that has already departed. In case you have booked that particular tour, you may join but you will not receive any refund for the portion you have missed. You also have to pay the airport pickup charges because separate transport has to be arranged.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    All of our hotels are certified by the Tourism Council of Bhutan and are regularly inspected by the authority for health and COVID-19 safety regulations.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    You can always change the date of the confirmed booking. We highly recommend you let us know a few months before the original date of arrival to ensure the flights and hotels are available on the new dates especially during the high season. A trip once booked can be postponed to any future date.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    You'll receive a copy of your BHUTAN e-Visa and an outline of the itinerary with the list of hotels where you will stay before you travel. We always let our guests know in advance the hotels they will stay in. No surprises and disappointments! If you are coming for a trekking adventure, we will send you a suggested packing list.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Sean Anthony, USA  

Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel sets the highest standard in Professionalism and Service

28-Apr-2019

Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel created an intimate Tour & Travel experience for 10-days to West-Central Bhutan. When I booked the trip the interaction was professional, responded promptly, informative of the process, and personal. Booking a trip to a rare country to visit that seems expensive per day rate but its actually very reasonable considering: hotel stay arranged, tour guide, driver with car, gas and bottled water, parking fees, temples and parks fees, and three meals a day are all inclusive. No out of pocket expenses is required unless you want a beer, soda, shopping or provide a tip. An average bhutanese citizen makes less than a dollar a day so the gesture of a tip can be life changing. I was fortunate to have Bhutan Acorn. Traveling alone, I was lucky to be the only one on the tour where other tours had a groups. My experience was a cultural immersion through culture, history and even attire, men's traditional gho. The itinerary is well planned and a jammed packed experience from visiting 8th century Temples, The Infamous Tigers Nest Temple in the Mountains, breathtaking landscapes, to enjoying a European beer and cuisine at the Swiss Guesthouse. I was lucky to attend the Tschechu Festival, an Annual Festival in Punakha where I got the chance to see the 5th King and Former Prime Minister, sightings of the Rare Black Necked Crane, a picture with a Buddhist Grand Master Teacher, and the experience of a 2-day homestay in Phobjikha. My tour guide, Millan Rai, is highly educated, spoke perfect English and provided a professional as well as personal experience that was life changing for me. The culture and religion in Bhutan is so rich and traditional for centuries that it helped me put life into perspective from the influences of fast-paced modern society and overwhelming technology. Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel will be my only company I choose for my next trip to Bhutan. I highly recommend this company as the highest level of standard in Professionalism, Service and Life-changing Experience. Enjoy the Journey!

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Wednesday - Tuesday

Apr 09, 2025 - Apr 15, 2025
$2364 $2290

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$74

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    Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel allows you to make 3 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 30 days before the start of the tour.

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    Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform bhutan acorn tours & travel, 30 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Bhutan Acorn Tours & Travel requires a minimum deposit of 50% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of bhutan acorn tours & travel charges.

    Up to 15 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 0% of booking price.

    At 29 days before tour starts: Forfeit 20% of booking price.

    At 7 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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