Insider access to Bhutan's spectacular festivals, including the Tsechu Festival
Appreciate the beauty of Bhutan without having to trek! This cultural odyssey whisks you back in time to a world guarded by gigantic mountains and covered with thick primeval forests. Our unique trip includes lively festivals and day hikes, along with insider explorations of the small town of Punakha. Attend the Tsechu religious festival, where elaborately costumed dancers perform masked dance-dramas. Mingling with the locals at this joyous celebration is a unique honor, bestowed only to a limited number of visitors each year.
Book Early for Bhutan Trips!
Flights between Bangkok and Paro on Druk Air, Bhutan’s national airline, sell out four to six months in advance. We recommend you reserve your Bhutan trip as early as possible, so we can secure these flights for you.
Easy to moderate touring, optional moderate day hikes, some long drives on narrow, winding roads (max. elev. 11,234'—on drive)
- Explores the vibrant towns of Paro, Thimpu, and Punakha
- Witness the lively Tsechu festival—a kaleidoscope of whirling dancers in colorful costumes
- Explore the serene Punakha Valley, winter seat of the highest lama in Bhutan until the 1950s
- Take a step back in time for a glimpse of traditions and customs that are quickly disappearing from the rest of the Himalaya
Duration: 9 days Start Location: Bangkok End Location: BangkokDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Bangkok
NOTE: Itinerary varies slightly for each departure, depending on the location of the Tsechu which is held in various districts throughout Bhutan at different times of year.
Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand.
Day 2 : Thimphu (7,600')
Fly to Paro, Bhutan, scenically situated in a pretty terraced valley. Drive to Thimphu, capital of Wang Chu Valley.
Day 3 : Thimphu (7,600')
Attend the Tsechu Festival along with locals who come attired in their finest clothing and jewelry. Hike to Cheri Monastery.
Day 4 : Punakha (4,100')
Drive across Dochu La pass 10,000 feet.
Day 5 : Punakha (4,100')
Long drive day over Pelela Pass. Views of Chomolhari, Bhutan's sacred mountain.
Day 6 : Paro (7,500')
We’ll spend the morning exploring Wangdue Phodrang. After lunch, we return to Paro.
Day 7 : Paro (7,500')
Optional 2-hour hike to a teahouse with an incredible view of Taktsang Monastery. Visit National Museum.
Day 8 : Bangkok
Return to Bangkok. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Bangkok.
Day 9 : Fly home
Depart Bangkok or join one of our extensions to Vietnam or Cambodia.
DATES: Best time to go: March - April, September Departures: Apr 9 - 17, 2014 Trip trip visits the Paro Festival Oct 3 - 11, 2014 This trip visits the Thimphu Festival
$3,395 (4-15 members)
$940 internal airfare – Bangkok/Paro/Bangkok - subject to change
Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport HotelBangkok
The Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport is a 4 star hotel located 10 min walk from Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. Boasting 612 comfortable and contemporary rooms, the hotel also offers 2 bars and 4 restaurants. With a 24 hr airport shuttle every 10 min from Gate 4 Level 2 and parking available, there is no better place to stay.
Druk HotelThimphu, Bhutan
Experience the unique and legendary hospitality of the Bhutanese people at this fine accommodation in the midst of the Himalayas. Located in the heart of the capital city, the hotel is close to shopping, culture, and the bubbling Thimphu River.Thim
Damchen Resort HotelPunakha, Bhutan
This charming hotel on the banks of the Punakha River offers a pleasant stay in a serene atmosphere. Spacious rooms combine modern design with traditional Bhutanese architecture. Surrounded by pine forests but a mere 5-minute walk from town, the Damchen Resort is a convenient oasis.
Zhiwa Ling HotelParo, Bhutan
The Zhiwa Ling combines the sensibilities of a fine Bhutanese guesthouse with the best of modern comforts. Guests can enjoy a traditional outdoor hot-stone bath, a Tea House, a Meditation House, and two restaurants specializing in both contemporary international and classic Bhutanese cuisine.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Tandin is a graduate of Bangkok University, Thailand, majoring in Tourism and Hospitality Management. He has been leading treks and cultural tours in Bhutan since 2000. Tandin also worked for a few months as the Human Resource Manager at The Zhiwaling Hotel in Paro. Last year, he had the opportunity to work as an Interpreter for the EU Election Observers for a period of one month in Eastern Bhutan and got a very positive evaluation from them. He is very knowledgeable of the cultures, religions, and traditions of his country and enjoys sharing his experiences with you. Tandin speaks English, Nepali, Hindi and passable Thai in addition to his native Bhutanese.
Sanjay Nepal has been working as a tour guide & trip leader since September 1999 in Nepal, India, Bhutan & Tibet & uses a lot of unusual anecdotes, humor & patience while working. He holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu & has EMBA (Executive MBA) in General Management from University of Ljubljana, Slovenia apart from Senior Diploma in French from French Cultural Center in Kathmandu. He has a sound knowledge on religion and culture of the sub-continent as he himself practiced it for 12 long years (1985-1997) during which he associated with several high profile lamas & religious personalities. He speaks Nepali, Hindi, Urdu, English and French fluently. He has traveled extensively in Europe (Slovenia, Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic) for seminars and lecture tours on Buddhism & Hinduism as well as Palmistry & Chinese Face Reading. He has been practicing it professionally since 1991 and has given consultations to several hundreds of people since then. He has also published several articles in English journals in Nepal. His other passion is poetry which can be sampled at www.poetry.com. Beside that his other interests include music, movies, driving, books & traveling.
Namgay Dorji, the senior manager of our Bhutan office, has been leading treks and tours for the past nine years. He is very knowledge about the history, culture, and religion of Bhutan, has many relatives in the monk body, and looks forward to sharing his experience with you. Namgay speaks seven languages: English, Japanese, German, Spanish, Hindi, Nepalese, and Urdu; is a graduate of Bissau College, Meghalaya, India; and received his diploma in Tourism and Travel Management from the Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management in Salzburg, Austria. His many personal interests include bird watching, rock climbing, trekking, and archery.