Bhutan Thimphu Tsechu and Thangbi Mani Festival Tour

 
  • Days: 9
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Overview

Trip facts

Duration: 9 Days

Country: Nepal

 

In Bhutan, the festival is mostly celebrated in different Dzongs and each festival has different myth behind. Attending these festivals, you get the full details about the myth of the festival from the locals.

This tour is perfect for those who want to experience the spiritual and unique mystical festival. This is a 9-day festival tour which not only bids you with exploring the festivals but also visits several Dzongs, monasteries, and hike to the Taktsang monastery (also called as Tiger Nest monastery constructed at the high edge of the cliff).

During these festivals, people from the different village come together to attend the festivals. So, it’s a great chance to explore the typical lifestyles of Bhutanese people. On this tour, you will be attending two different and main festivals which are somewhat similar but have a different legend.

This festival tour began with an airstrip observing the spectacular view of sacred peak Mount Chomolhari and Jichu Drake to Paro. The next day, we head early to attend the Thimphu Tsechu festival which is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in Bhutan from 13th October where lots of people attend. There is a saying that attending such festivals will get you free from sins. What you get to observe is the mask dance where monks and laymen put on demon and animal wooden mask and perform a spiritual dance. Besides observing this traditional dance, we get blessings from the head Lama.

Next day, we drive to Punakha, where on the trails, we pass through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forest. At Punakha, we will be visiting the Punakha Dzong. From the main point, we get the splendid views of the Himalayan peaks. The next day, we drive crossing through the Pele La pass where on the trails, you might also get to spot yak to reach Bhumthang. On the way, we stop to visit the Trongsa Dzong.

Next day in the early morning, we will be attending another festival known as Thangbimani festival. It is also a popular festival like Tsechu festival which is held in ChhoekhorGewog. The main highlight of this festival is that people will be jumping or crossing over the fire flames in an open ground. The Mewang people tend to believe that crossing over the flame will bring good fortune and also purify themselves. Also, the laymen and the monks perform some spiritual dance. It is assumed that this festival will bring goodwill, wealth and maintain enhanced harvest for the whole community.

Next day, we drive to Wangdue crossing two high passes, and on the way - we visit Chorten.  The next day we drive to Paro and visit the Chimilhangkhang. We will be sightseeing Paro for some days and lastly, hike to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger Nest monastery) located at the edge of the cliff with beautiful colorful prayer flags hanging all over the area.

This tour has a specific date which is listed in detail on our itinerary as according to the festival date in Bhutan. If you want to inquire more about the tour, please feel free to contact or email us.

Here we list tour detailed itinerary for Festival Tour:

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Itinerary

Day 1: (12 Oct, Wednesday): Arrival in Paro then transfer to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km, 1 hour

During your flight to Bhutan you can enjoy your scenic flight where you will get the panoramic view of the Himalayas including with the sacred peaks of Bhutan Jomolhari and the Jichu Drake and reach the airport our team of Accent Himalaya will welcome you and take us to the respective hotel in the Thimpu and you can either take rest or wander around the town. We will be spending our night at Thimpu.

  Welcome Dinner

Day 2: (13 Oct, Thursday): ThimphuTsechu festival

Early morning we will have our breakfast and attend the Thimphu Tsechu festival which is celebrated on the courtyard of Tashi Dzongs. Bhutan celebrates the festival in a grand way as most of the festivals are celebrated in same way but has the different myth and at this festival your will get to enjoy the mask dance performed by monks and laymen, traditional dance of Bhutan and even get the blessing of the head of the lama as well you will also get to interact with the local people. It is said that attending this festival and observing the mask dance is that one will get rid of their sins so, lots of people come to attend this festival. We will be spending our night at Thimpu.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3: (14 Oct, Friday): Thimphu to Punakha (1,250m/4,100ft): 76 km, 2 - 3 hours

After the breakfast our driver will drive us to the Punakha and then we will stop at the Dochu La Pass which is at 3100 meters where we will be enjoying the striking view of the Himalayas. After that we will drive downhill to the dense hemlock, rhododendron and fir forests. Then reaching the Punakha we will be visiting the Punakha Dzong which is situated at the Pho- male and Mho- Female River. We will be spending our night at Punakha

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4: (15 Oct, Saturday): Punakha to Bumthang (2,850m/9,350ft): 214 km, 7 hours

After the breakfast our driver will drive us to the cultural heartland of Bhutan- Bumthang. The trail is through the windy trail as we will be crossing the Pela La Pass which is at 3300 meters. On the way you might also get to spot yaks. For a lunch we will be stopping at Trongsa then after that we will be visiting the Trongsa dzong then we will continue our scenic drive to Bumthang through the verdant valley and forests. On the way we will stop at the Yatra – a textile weaving factory and here we will spend some time here at observing the weavers designing different pattern textile. We will be spending our night at Bhumthang.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: (16 Oct, Sunday): Thangbi Mani festival and Sightseeing in Bumthang

Early morning after the breakfast we will be attending the Thangbi Mani festival which is the another popular festival and the festival is held at the Chhoekhor Gewog as the main reason behind to celebrate this festival is that it will bring prosperity, peace and better harvest to the country. As on this festival you will also get to observe the mask dance and attending the festival for a moment we will then sightseeing the Bhumthang we will be visiting the landmarks of the Bumthang and then we will be visiting the ancient monasteries Jambey Lhakhang and then we will be visiting the sacred site known- Kurje Lhangkhang where the spiritual Guru Rimpoche has to meditate in the cave and left some mark on this cave. Then we will be visiting the Tamshing Lhangkhang- which is the place where the beautiful Buddhist paintings can be found and after that we will be wandering the local stalls. We will be spending our night at Bhumthang.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6: (17 Oct, Monday): Bumthang to Wangdue (1,240m/4,068ft): 197 km, 5 - 6 hours

Today we will begin our touring by firstly wandering the Bumthang market and our driver will drive us to Wangdue. We will stop for a lunch at Chendebji Chorten – it was built in the 18th century by the well-known lama Shida it is constructed in the style of Nepali architecture. We will be spending our night at Wangdue.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7: (18 Oct, Tuesday): Wangdue to Paro: 124 km, 4 - 5 hours

We take a scenic drive to Paro and on the way we will be stopping at the Metshina village and then we will be walking through the rice fields and then we will reach at Chimi Lhangkhang one of the fertility temple devoted to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenly. Then we will reach Dochu La Pass and then we will be visiting Druk Wangyal monastery. We will be stopping for our lunch at Thimpu and then we will wander around the market of Thimpu where the local people sell the locally made products like cheese, chili, and ripe mangoes and even they sell their handmade local products. We will be spending our night at Paro.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8: (19 Oct, Wednesday): Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery

Today we will be hiking to the famous monastery of Bhutan known as Taktsang monastery also called as Tiger nest monasteries which are situated on the high cliff at 3180 meters. It is said that the spiritual Guru Rimpoche has flown on the back of the tiger back and meditate in this cave which now stands has Taktsang monastery. We will be spending some time at the Taktsang monastery and then we will be having our lunch at the café which is situated midway up to the mountain. We will then retrace back to the valley. We will be spending our night at Paro.

  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9: (20 Oct, Thursday): Final departure

Today the Thimpu Tsechu and the Thangbi mani festival tour finally comes to an end and our team will be dropping you at the airport three hours earlier than your flight schedule.

  Breakfast

Includes and Excludes

 

What’s Included

  • Bhutanese visa fee
  • Pickup and drop from hotels and airport
  • Government approved A and B category hotels on twin- shared basis
  • All meals, tea, and snacks
  • Transportation in comfortable private vehicle(s)
  • English speaking, trained and experienced local guide and staff
  • All entrance and permit fees for visits to monuments and museums
  • Company services and all required Bhutanese government taxes/royalties

Not Includes in the Cost

  • Airfare for international flights to and from Bhutan
  • Personal items (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet, laundry, etc.)
  • Trip cancellation and medical/evacuation insurance
  • Tips for staff (guide and driver)
  • Travel insurance

Trip Note

 

Accommodation in Bhutan

Accent Himalaya manages its best to provide comfortable accommodation. Bhutanese hotels are approved and classified by the Government of Bhutan as grade A, B, and C which is equivalent to 3 or 4 - star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time booking, Grade ‘A' hotels will be provided in cities like Thimpu, Paro and so. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. A single supplement can be served on request with an additional charge.

Meals and Drinks in Bhutan

All the meals and breakfast required for you are included as in our package. A variety of meals are available in most hotels - the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common Continental food. Non-vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan such as pork, beef, chicken, and fish. Also for the best is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend for seasonal and fresh food.

Dinner and breakfast will be served in the same hotel where you spend overnight and the team leader or guide will find you a good place for lunch on the way to your destination. We recommend you to carry water purification pills along with you as normal water will be provided free of cost. But if you wish to drink bottled water, they are also available. However, bottled water and liquors are not included in the package.

Best Time to Travel

Best Seasons to visit Bhutan are in spring (March-May) and autumn (September-October). The months of April and May offer the natural grandeur of rhododendron blooms although Bhutan observes its biggest festivals during spring. Bhutan can also be visited during summer and winter if one wishes to avoid the crowd. However, summers are wet and winters are pretty cold which might not suit everyone.

Luggage or Backpack for tour

You will be carrying a small backpack with your water bottle, camera, tissue paper, towel, or other gears that you need to use frequently on the trip. The clothes and gears that you don't need can be packed and left in the locker or safe deposit box in the hotel free of cost.

Druk Air has a 44 pound (20 kg) weight limit for checked luggage and another 11 - pound weight limit for carry-on luggage on their flights. Your carry-on bags are restricted to one piece, and the size should not exceed 17" x 13" x 8". You have to remember following things before packing:

Official Papers

  • Passport with minimum validity of 6 months
  • Copy of the first page of your passport
  • Airline tickets
  • Visa approval for Bhutan (should be brought with you)

 

Packing List for Cultural or City Tours

  • 2 pairs of lightweight long pants
  • 2 pairs of dress pants/dresses for evening
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 4 short-sleeved shirts/blouses
  • 1 long-sleeved shirt for sun protection (also while visiting Dzongs, temples and monasteries).
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sleepers
  • Warm jackets (if the trip falls in Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan & Feb)
  • 1 sweater or lightweight jacket
  • 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes

 

Personal toiletries

  • Insect repellent
  • Spare nylon duffel bag for purchase
  • Sunscreen rated 20 SPF or higher
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses, prescription glasses
  • 1 visor/sun hat
  • Daypack/Hip pack for day trips
  • Prescription medications
  • Essential drugs such as for diarrhea, headache pills, pills for cold and cough
  • Anti-bacterial wipes or lotion (for face and hands)

 

Personal Expenses on Trek

Your personal expense literally depends upon your personal habit; whether you are alcoholic or non-alcoholic, extravagant or thrifty and so on. Normally, the cost of the meal and accommodation during the trek are covered in our package and you will be liable to pay for table drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages), snacks while trekking, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places), tips to the guide and porters. Tips to the guide and porter are your personal choice. However, we suggest you give tip and allocate 10-15 percent of your total tour cost if you are satisfied with their service.

Our Greetings at Airport

We advise you to flow the information of your international flight details after you confirm Bhutan – Festival Tour with Accent Himalaya for our meeting and greetings. Right after you cross the Customs and check out of the terminal building, you will find our representative holding a placard with your name or the name of the company (Accent Himalaya) and drop you to your hotel in a private car. In case you have booked the hotel by yourself, we suggest you inform us in advance the name of the hotel you are about to stay so that our representative can drop you to your hotel and would be easier to meet with the team leader or the guide.

Itinerary and Possible Changes on it

Our normal Itinerary includes 9 days for Bhutan – Festival Tour which is the most usual and practical. In the package, the days of your arrival and departure and a day of city tour are also counted. In case you managed further schedule, you want to exclude those days for our service and just want us to help you with the trekking part, upon your request, we can rearrange and adjust the itinerary and let you know about the final cost for the trip.

Also, you can extend or shorten your trek if you feel it's necessary with consulting our guide on the way to your destination. We recommend you to finish the trek within the last day mentioned in our package as many unforeseen circumstances may befall at any time.

Insurance/Rescue/Evacuation

Health, Safety, and Security of the clients are always our top most priority. So, In case of a serious sickness or any mishaps, while you are in Bhutan – Festival Tour (which we believe will not happen), we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital to save your life and you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation/rescue. So, please make sure that these expenses are covered by your insurance policy before assigning for the trek or you have to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu. Please ensure that you've insured yourself before doing the trip and visit Travel insurance page for more info about it.

Booking and Payment

You are required to make 20% (non-refundable) payment in advance in order to confirm and book Bhutan – Festival Tour along with a photocopy of your passport and flight details (arrival detail, flight name, number and time) and the remaining 80% balance is due when you arrive in Nepal. You have an option of paying the advance by bank transfer or credit card. So, do let us know which modes of payment are convenient for you, then we will forward the details of payment. We also accept transactions via Pay Pal.

Inquire about this trip

Before you book, you can customize this trip with the help of a trusted local specialist.

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