Punakha Tshechu Festival Tour captures all the colorful glory of Punakha Tshechu celebrated at the grounds of the towering Punakha Dzong. Guru Rinpoche, a saint, introduced Buddhism in Bhutan and ‘tshechu’ or festival is celebrated to honor him. These festivals are very colorful with typical mask dances with the events and enactments being different each day. Locals have deep faith in these festivals and they come from all over in the spirit of festivity and celebration. Attending such festivals is one of the best ways of witnessing the ancient living culture of the Dragon Kingdom. The tour first begins with a spectacular flight over the world’s greatest mountain series towards the lush green valley of Paro. Then a scenic drive will bring you to the tiny capital – Thimphu, and after brief sightseeing in Thimphu, drive towards the old capital city of Punakha where the festival is held. Towards the end of the tour, take the ever-popular hike to the Taktsang Monastery perched in a vertical cliff, also known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’.
Outline Itinerary for Punakha Tshechu Festival Tour
Day 01 : Arrive Paro (2,250m) – Thimphu (2,350m)
Day 02 : Thimphu – Punakha (1,310m) via Dochula La (3140m)
Day 03 : In Punakha – Witness Punakha Tshechu Festival
Day 04 : In Punakha – Witness Punakha Tshechu Festival
Day 05 : Punakha – Paro (2,250m)
Day 06 : Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery (3,120m)
Day 07 : Paro – Depart
- Witness spectacular panorama of the worlds highest mountain series onboard flight to/from Paro.
- Enjoy sightseeing around the tiny capital- Thimphu.
- Observe colorful Punakha Tshechu being celebrated at the Punakha Dzong.
- Explore the city of Paro exploding with colors and tradition.
- Visit to religious dzongs, monasteries, temples & ancient fortresses.
- Discover rich Buddhist, Tibetan culture and traditions altogether.
- Witness the lifestyle and traditions followed by Bhutanese people.
Arrive Paro by the Bhutanese National Carrier (Druk Air) flying over the world’s highest mountains and finally landing at the lush green Paro valley. A cool and clean fresh air greets the visitor as stepping down from the plane, the first gift of Bhutan. After clearing customs and visa formalities, meet the representatives and the Bhutanese guide, and a short tour brief by the guide then transfer to Paro town for lunch. Then drive towards Thimphu (the capital of Bhutan) for about 1 & half hours drive. En-route Thimphu, one can do a short hike to Tamchog Monastery, a private temple owned by the descendants of famous Tibetan bridge – builder Thangthong Gaylpo. Later on continue the drive to Thimphu.
In Thimphu, visit Buddha point for a stunning view of Thimphu city and Takin Compound- on the way to the viewpoint over Thimphu is the home of Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin. Then continue to Tashi Choe Dzong- the fortress of the glorious religion was initially constructed in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in the 1960s, Folk Heritage Museum – a 300 year old traditional house converted into a museum, Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar. Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast, drive for about 3 hours to Punakha. Climb up the mountain road to Dochula La Pass at 3140m. On clear weather, the pass commands a wonderful panorama of the Eastern Himalayas. From the pass, descend through varied forest and finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. In Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong. Located at the confluence of the Pho-chu (male-river) and Mo-chu (female-river), the Punakha Dzong is arguably the most impressive dzong in the country. Overnight at Hotel in Punakha.
We will spend whole day in the festival which will accompany with various mask dances and folk dancers along with jokers actions in the crowd. Overnight at Hotel in Punakha.
Whole day in the interesting Punakha festival or in the afternoon we can proceed for other sightseeing like visiting Khamsum Yulay Temple or Wangdue excursion visit Rinchingang. Overnight at Hotel in Punakha.
Drive to visit a stunning hill-top nunnery – Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Chholing. Have a chat with the nuns and enjoy the charm of the surrounds! The main temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva of compassion (Avaloketeshvara) and next to the temple is a beautiful Stupa and there are slate carvings of religious figures. Re-crossing Dochula and stopping at Thimphu for lunch. Arrive Paro in the afternoon and check hotel. Overnight at Hotel in Paro.
This morning, make an excursion to Taktsang Monastery – this has to be the monastery with the most outstanding setting in Bhutan. Set on a vertical cliff face at 2950m above sea level, it defies all engineering logic. For the energetic, hike 2 hours up to get a more dramatic view of the monastery. (The hike demands a certain level of fitness and a pony ride to the monastery can be arranged at additional cost). Just on the outskirts of Paro town, visit Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and have the opportunity to meet the local villages in a local farm house. Overnight at Hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, drive to the Paro airport in time to catch the onward flight. Bid farewell to the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.
What is Included
- Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
- 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
- Bhutan visa fee - including all necessary processing
- Route Permit
- Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
- A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
- All land transportation by private vehicle
- Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
- Sightseeing as per itinerary
- Monuments entrance fees where applicable
- Drinking water
- All internal taxes and charges
- A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
What is Not Included
- Airfare & Travel Insurance
- Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
- Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Bhutan Visa Information:
The citizen of Bangladesh, Maldives and India do not require VISA to enter Bhutan. People from other countries except from Bangladesh, Maldives and India need a VISA permit while traveling to Bhutan. The VISA processing for Bhutan requires a readable color copy of passport via email that has at least six month of validity from the date of exit from Bhutan. The file Scan Copy should be forwarded to via email in JPEG or PDF format. The passport number and picture of the applicant should be visible in the e-document.
The application should be processed at least 10 days prior to the date of entry to Bhutan. The tourism council of Bhutan then issues a VISA clearance letter and fax or email it to the local travel agent. Please note that the VISA service is not offered in Bhutan, travelers have to buy full service package from the local tour operator. Travelers traveling by air are required to produce a printed VISA clearance copy at the time of check-in for Druk Air flight. People traveling by land to enter Bhutan via Phuentshoking or Samdrup Jonkhar are required to produce a VISA clearance letter at the immigration center. The actual VISA is stamped in your passport on your arrival in Bhutan.
Flights to Bhutan:
There are several cities that have direct flights to Bhutan. There are two airlines Druk air and Bhutan airlines running the flights to Bhutan. Druk air is the national carrier of Bhutan. With its fleet of Airbuses A319-115 and ATR 42 the airlines fly from different Asian countries to the Paro international airport, Paro (PBH); which is only the international airport in Bhutan. There are daily direct flights from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu to Paro International Airport.
The flights from Indian cities to Paro International Airport with the airport name and their codes are listed below:
Bagdogra Airport, Bagdogra (IXB)
Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (DEL)
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata (CCU)
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (BOM)
Likewise, there flights from other countries with the codes are as follows:
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand (BKK)
Shahjalal International Airport, Bangladesh (DAC)
Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore (SIN)
Note: The flight schedule and timings are subject to change. If you want to know more about the flight schedules and tour to Bhutan please feel free to contact us. We can also help to find you the cheapest fares available.
Best time to visit Bhutan:
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan lies in south Asia between China and India. Climate and weather vary according to the altitude, season and place of visit. Bhutan is open all year around for the visitors but it is better to make the travel arrangements as per your preference and nature of visit.
The ideal time to visit Bhutan is spring (March-May) and Autumn/fall (September-November). These are considered to be the best time to visit Bhutan to get the maximum adventure and trouble free experience. Summer and winter also have their own specialties that could draw the attention of tourists during these seasons. During the spring the weather mostly remains clear and climate is fantastic. It is also the best time to visit for the nature lovers to experience the mystifying beauty of nature. Varieties of flowers and plants bloom in this season that makes your adventure an exotic one. The route opens for Jomolhari and Druk Path treks from mid-April to May.
Summer (June-August) in the other hand could get tricky at times due to the early arrival of monsoon. The month of June would be great for traveling if the monsoon is pushed further. Usually monsoon is in full swing by early July. Travelers who would strive to get some trekking experience on muddy trail while witnessing swollen rivers, green forests and flourishing paddy field could choose late summer to plan their adventure. The view of open clear blue sky after the rain is something that strikes you with its mystifying beauty.
Fall (September-November) is another favorable and crowded season after spring. The weather gets mild despite cold mornings and evenings. Tourists from all around the world thong to Bhutan during this season to witness Black-Necked-Crane festival. The month of October has its own significance and the valley turn into a shade of gold as the farmers prepare to harvest their rice crops during this month.
Winter season (December to February) is not that crowded with tourists in comparison to other seasons. Planning your adventure during the winter could be a better idea if you want to avoid the hustle-bustle of the peak season. During the winter Bhutan may see some snow fall. The temperature level goes down (even below freezing point) during some winter days.
VACCINATION FOR BHUTAN:
No vaccinations are presently required However, the following vaccinations are recommended:
Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver. The disease is distinctly unpleasant, with profound nausea, loss of appetite, and weakness.
Tetanus: Tetanus bacteria can infect small wounds and cause a fatal infection.
Typhoid Fever: Typhoid fever is caused by infection with Salmonella typhi bacteria, passed in human feces and acquired by eating contaminated food or water.
WEATHER IN BHUTAN:
Bhutan lies in South Asia between China and India in the Himalayas, weather in Bhutan depends upon the altitude. In the northern parts of the country where mountains rise up to 7,000m, weather conditions are similar to arctic. Southwards, closer to India, the weather is hot and humid in the summer and cool in winter. The monsoon rains are usually heavy. Winters can be a good time to visit the lower parts, but then the highest areas are freezing.
The best times to visit Bhutan are spring (March-May) and autumn (late September – November) when the weather is warm, dry and sunny but always throw in a couple of warm clothes into your travelling gear when you travel to Bhutan regardless of the season.
WHAT TO WEAR AND BRING:
Bring your clothes according to the season and region of your travel. Based on your activity and the weather, you can make quick adjustments, by putting on more clothing if it is cold or taking off layers as it warms up. In the summer time, days can be quite warm, especially in the lowlands of Punakha and Phuentsholing, light cotton clothing is recommended for day time. But in most of the tourist and trekking areas, light woolen clothes for evenings and heavy woollens / down jackets for winter are necessary. A waterproof windbreaker is important for trekking and outdoor activities.
Comfortable and Sturdy shoes.
You have a lot of opportunity to walk around in Bhutan, you will be glad you wore sturdy shoes that keep your feet comfortable. Good shoes will let you explore the rural and allow you to have a long day walk. Bring sandals or slip ons to take off easily when entering temples.
Long pants / skirts
Wear particularly conservative clothing in the towns, women should wear long pants or long skirts, men should wear long pants and shorts are not appropriate for anyone. In the dzongs and temples, the legs and arms must be covered, and even threequarter-length capri pants are not acceptable for women.
Be prepared for occasional shower. A folding umbrella is a good idea to bring with.
Hat, Sunglass, Sunscreen & lip protection.
The sun can be scorching in Bhutan. Be sure to apply sunscreen in the morning and throughout your day.
A quality sleeping bag.
A headlamp torch and a normal torch. (Including spare batteries.)
Binoculars and Camera.
Small day pack.
Small medical kit that includes aspirin, motion sickness tablets, diamox.(The guide carries a larger Medical kit but please bring own travel medications)
Antiseptic hand gel for disinfecting hands without water.
DIFFERENT CURRENCY ACCEPTED BY BHUTAN BANK:
Credit cards are accepted only in major international hotels and high-end shops in Bhutan.