Himalaya Holiday Service
Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan & India Tours and Travel Operator
- Bhutan Highlights with Ura Yakchoe Festival
- A Cultural Exploration of Western Bhutan
- Bhutan West to East Traverse
- Cultural and Walking Tour of Thimphu and Paro
- Glimpse of the Dragon Kingdom
- Grandeur of Western Bhutan
- Paro Festival Tours 2013/2014
- Punakha Festival Tour
- The cultural exploration and walking tours of Western Bhutan
- The Cultural Heart of Bhutan
- Thimphu Festival Tour
- Western and Central Bhutan Highlights
- Druk Air Schedule
- Druk Airline Information
- 31st March 2013 - 14 May 2013
- 15th May 2013 - 26 October 2013
- Winter 27 Oct 13 - 31 Jan 2014
- Winter 01 Feb 14 - 28 Feb 2014
- Winter 01 Mar 14 - 31 Mar 2014
- Singapore - Paro (Bhutan) - Singapore
- Domestic Flight (31 Mar - 27 Oct 2013)
Thimphu, as the capital, is a unique blend of the modern and the ancient. The bustling modern town is surrounded by ancient temples and the Tashichhodzong, the seat of the government and the monastic order. The Thimphu Tshechu reenacts the teachings of Guru Rinpoche through mask dances and is attended by thousands of local people.
Thimphu Tshechu Festival
The biggest cultural festival in Bhutan.
(Date: 9th – 13th September 2013 & 28th Sept. – 2nd October 2014)
Trip length: 11 Days / 10 Nights
Day 1: Paro-Thimphu
The flight into Bhutan takes you to the great Himalayas, offering the most beautiful scenery of the world's highest glacial peaks. On arrival at Paro Airport, you will be received by your tour guide. After lunch, you will drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. In the evening relax at the hotel or stroll through Thimphu town. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 2: Thimphu Festival
After early breakfast attend full day Thimphu Festival, which is held outside the courtyard of Tashichhodzong. The Tshechu is a festival in honour of Guru Rimpoche, the saint who brought Buddhism to Bhutan and the Himalayan world. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 3: Thimphu-Punakha
After breakfast this morning, enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock. You will arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River. After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight at hotel in Punakha.
Day 4: Punakha-Bumthang
After early breakfast you will drive to Bumthang, the cultural heartland of the country. The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La pass, and at certain times of year it's possible to see yaks. You will stop in Trongsa for lunch. After lunch you'll visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture. Then you'll proceed to Bumthang with lush valleys and hilly forests. Along the way you will stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms. Check into hotel on arrival. Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.
Day 5: Bumthang
Today’s sightseeing in Bumthang includes Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Jambey Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating. After lunch, you will also have a chance to tour Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. In the evening you can visit local shops. Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.
Day 6: Bumthang-Wangdue
You'll begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Wangdue. Along the way visit the typical Bhutanese town of Wangdue with its dramatic Dzong perched on a ridge at the bend of a river. The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings. Overnight at hotel in Wangdue.
Day 7: Wangdue-Thimphu
This morning you will return to Thimphu. On the way, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! You will stop at Dochula pass for lunch. Here you will visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. Check into your hotel on arrival. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 8: Thimphu
After breakfast you will visit the King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972). Next visit the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the takin. From there you will visit the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts), and the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the Institute for Zorig Chusum). After a relaxing lunch, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory and the majestic Tashichhodzong. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 9: Thimphu-Paro
After breakfast, you will drive back to Paro. You will visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now the National Museum. The museum has wide assortment of ancient paintings, armors, philatelic display and “field of Buddhas”, which helps one to visualize while meditating. Then walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels". After lunch, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From there you will be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314meters. Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 10: Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (8th century spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. After having explored the monastery, you will hike down to Paro. In the evening, you can visit a traditional farmhouse and, if you wish, enjoy "ara" a local wine produced by a brewery of wheat or rice. Overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 11: Depart Paro
After breakfast, drive to the airport for departure. Our representative will bid you farewell.
Festival Date: (Date: 9th – 13th September 2013 & 28th Sept. – 2nd October 2014)
Tour cost: for best and reasonable cost, Contact Us
Trip Cost Includes
• Accommodation on twin sharing.
• All transfers and sightseeing as on itinerary.
• Three meals a day.
• English speaking local Tour Guide.
• Sightseeing admission fee.
• Bhutan visa fee
Trip Cost Does Not Include
• Airfare to and out of Bhutan.
• Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tip, laundry, phone etc.
• Extra expenses due to nature and unforeseen events.
• Travel Insurance
The following basic equipments check lists should help you with your packing. Please remember that you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. At the start of the trek your packed trek bag should not weigh more than 33 pounds or 15 kg.
- Sun hat or scarf
- Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Under Garments
- Hiking shorts
- Lightweight cotton long pants
- Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
- Fleece or wool pants
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
- Thin, lightweight inner socks
- Thick, warm wool hiking socks
- Hiking boots with spare laces
- Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals) Gaiters for hiking in winter to the base camp
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (optional)
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket *
- Lightweight gloves
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
- Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees F *
- Headlamp (e.g. Petzl Zoom) with spare bulbs and batteries
- Small pad or combination lock-to-lock
- Trekking Bags *
- Basic First Aid Kit *
- Large plastic bags - for keeping items dry insidetrekbag
- Daypack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches)
- Thermarest sleeping pad
- Water bottles
- Toiletries (Small wash towel, Toilet papers etc)
- 1 medium sized quick drying towel
- Tooth brush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Feminine hygiene products
- Small mirror
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Reading book
- Trail Map/Guide book
- Journal & Pen
- Pencils and small notebooks
- Travel game i.e. chess, backgammon, scrabble
Bhutan, "The Land of Thunder Dragon" as it is known to foreign countries, is perhaps the last Shangri-La in the earth. Sandwiched by India and China (Tibet) the kingdom is spread over 18000 sq. miles with variety of climate in different region. The people here are mostly Buddhist and Hindu.
GETTING IN & OUT
Bhutan is least air connected country in the world. Only Druk Air, the national flag carrier of Bhutan links Bhutan with other country. Those, who wish to enter by air, Paro is linked to Kathmandu, Calcutta, Delhi, Bangkok and Dhaka. There are flights to these destinations at least twice a week. For schedule and other information please write to us.
The other option of traveling to Bhutan is by land and the entry point is Phuntsholing (Indo- Bhutan Border). Phuntsholing is 08 hours drive from Kakarvitta (Indo - Nepal Border) and THIMPU is 6 hours from Phuntsholing. Please note, if you wish to enter by land you will need Indian visa as you will be traveling in India for a day (From Nepal Border to Phuntsholing). Indian Visa fee is not included in the trip cost and can be obtained in Kathmandu or in your home country.
VISA & FORMALITIES
All foreigners are required to have a valid passport for a minimum of 6 months and must send in the following details of passport at least 30 days in advance of the trip : Name - as in Passport, Nationality, Passport No. Date of expire, Profession, 3 Photograph (P.P. Size) and date of birth. Visa fee is US$ 20 per person for first two weeks and extension will be US$ 20 for each two weeks.
Visa is not provided abroad but stamped upon arrival in Paro airport or Phuntsholing. Please note without the visa clearance no from THIMPU, Druk air does not issue your ticket to Paro. Therefore, confirmation of any trip as early as possible will make it easier for you to get the flight tickets. We handle all the visa process once we receive confirmation from your side.
ACCOMMODATION AND TRANSPORT
Accommodation is always in hotel while you are in town like Paro, THIMPU, WANGDI PHODRANG, PUNAKHA etc. All the hotels and guest houses are regularly monitored by the government and are all tourist class. It is not possible to have the budget rates and budget class hotels in Bhutan as in other countries as the rates are all fixed by the government. While in off season you will have the choice of staying in the hotels you wish but during the peak season you will have to settle on whichever is available. But till now there has not been any kind of dissatisfaction as all the hotels are tourist class.
While in trek the organizer of your trip arranges all the required equipment with horse or yaks for trekking to carry the equipment and food. An expert guide will escort you and a helper will arrange all the necessities necessities.
Latest brand or the deluxe vehicles are used for tourist transfers and is usually included in the prices so it is not possible to have the separate rate for separate sectors. Mostly Japanese vehicles are used in Bhutan for transfers.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH
Except for some treks, any one who is physically fit can join our tours and treks. Treks, which include altitude of 4000 m or higher are more difficult because of high altitude and therefore requires a certificate of fitness. There are modern hospitals in Paro and in THIMPU for emergency purpose but your precaution is the only way to be healthy if you are traveling to remote areas of the country. It is therefore advised to have through check up with your doctor before heading to Bhutan.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
The best time to visit Bhutan is March, April, May, September & October since this period provides clear blue sky, and plenty of greenery. Winter (Dec, January, February) will be too cold since the temperature will be well below zero degree. Summer (June, July, August) is pleasant but wet due to the monsoon. Autumn (September, October, November) is similar to spring but a bit warmer and also the best time to visit. However please see the tours and treks sections for specific time to visit the specific areas.
Light warm clothing are always recommended since it is a hilly country (even in summer). A pair of comfortable shoes for walking, some spare T-shirts, trousers, sun glass, sun hats, pullovers are always necessary. During winter warm clothing are a must.
Bhutanese currency is called NGULTRUM and the rate is US$ 1= NG 46 approx. Only few hotels and outlets accept credit cards in Bhutan. So it is best to have some CASH US$ for your expenses and even better to have it on small bills.
Bhutan is 6 hours ahead (+) of GMT, 30 Minutes ahead of India and 15 Minutes ahead of Nepal.
|Frequently Ask Questions|
Here you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If you still have any doubts or queries do not hesitate to contact us.
1. Where is Bhutan located?
2. Who is Bhutan Himalayas Guide?
3. Is Himalayas Guide, a secure site?
4. Why should I choose Himalayas Guide?
5. How much will my package cost?
Peak season months: March, April, and May, September, October & November.
6. How does the booking process work?
7. How do I contact Himalayas Guide?
8. Do you offer discounts for children & students?
9. What is included in my trip package?
10. Tell me more about the tour & trek itinerary?
11. How do I pay for bookings with Himalayas Guide?
12. When will I get my trip confirmation?
13. What airline will I fly on and from where?
14. What if I need to cancel my trip at the last moment?
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