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Trongsa Lhuntse Tshechu – 11 Days

The Tshechu is a festival honoring Guru Padmasambhava, “one who was born from a lotus flower.” This Indian saint contributed enormously to the diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, and

OVERVIEW OF THE TRIP

Trip:
Tour Type: Festival Tours
Trip Duration: 11 Days
Max Altitude: 3200 m /10496 ft
Trip Starts From: Paro
Trip Ends At: Paro
Trip Region: Bhutan
Best Season:
Trip Level: Easy
Just about anyone can participate in one of these holidays. Minimum walking time is 2 hours and maximum walking time is approximately 5 hours a day. By the time you walk around a number of historical sites you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time passes. You do have the chance to take your time and there are plenty of places where you can rest if needed.
Trip Route: Paro-Thimpu-Punakha-Trongsa-Bumthang-Wangdue-Thimpu-Paro

Trip Information

The Tshechu is a festival honoring Guru Padmasambhava, “one who was born from a lotus flower.” This Indian saint contributed enormously to the diffusion of Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan etc. around 800 AD. He is the founder of the Nyingmapa, the “old school” of Lamaism which still has numerous followers. The biography of Guru is highlighted by 12 episodes of the model of the Buddha Shakyamuni’s life. Each episode is commemorated around the year on the 10th day of the month by “the Tschechu”. The dates and the duration of the festivals vary from one district to another but they always take place on or around the 10th day of the month according to the Bhutanese calendar. During Tshechus, the dances are performed by monks as well as by laymen. The Tshechu is a religious festival and by attending it, it is believed one gains merits. It is also a yearly social gathering where the people, dressed in all their finery, come together to rejoice.


    ITINERARY

  • December 27– Arrive Paro (by Druk Air) and drive to Thimpu. Overnight at a hotel.

  • December 28– Thimphu Sightseeing. Overnight at a hotel.

  • December 29– Thimphu to Punakha. Overnight at a hotel.

  • December 30– Punakha to Trongsa. Overnight at a hotel.

  • December 31– Trongsa Festival. Overnight at a hotel.

  • January 01– Trongsa to Bumthang. Overnight at a hotel.

  • January 02– Sightseeing in Bumthang. Overnight at a hotel.

  • January 03– Bumthang to Wangdue. Overnight at a hotel.

  • January 04– Wangdue to Thimphu. Overnight at a hotel.

  • January 05– Thimphu to Paro. Overnight at a hotel.

  • January 06– Depart Paro (by Druk Air)


    TRIP DETAILS

  • December 27- Arrive Paro (by Druk Air) and drive to Thimpu

    You can take flight to Paro from Bangkok, New Delhi, Kathmandu, Dhaka etc. We recommend you to fly from Bangkok because Druk air offer everyday flight from Bangkok – Paro – Bangkok whereas Druk air do not operate everyday flights from other sectors.

    The flight into Paro on Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of the country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will drive you to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive will take around 1 hour. Thimphu has a population of about 98,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • December 28- Thimphu Sightseeing

    After breakfast we will visit the House of Incense and House of Paper to see the process of hand making incense and paper from raw product in Bhutan. Most amazing, highest quality incense and paper products can be purchased. We will then visit the Memorial Chorten built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who ruled the Kingdom from 1952-1972, Changlimingthang Lhakhang and the Handicrafts Emporium. After lunch we will visit the “Textile Museum”; Bhutan’s textiles are unique for their diversity and sophistication; the Textile Museum explores this dynamic craft. Embroidered and appliqué splendid fabric for sacred and ceremonial use is displayed, as well as several exquisite thangkas and altar coverings. Upstairs gallery highlights the diversity of Bhutan’s textile arts and skills featuring masterpieces from the Royal Family of Bhutan. A stop to tour Bhutan’s National Library where you will view hundreds of ancient manuscripts and ancients scrolls. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • December 29- Thimphu to Punakha

    Morning depart Thimphu and drive over the Docchu-La pass (3,200m) to Punakha. The teahouse at the pass offers beautiful views of the Himalayan range in the distance. This is a 3-hour drive with stops en route. Afternoon visit the magnificent Dzong spanning the Mo Chu and Po Chu rivers. This is the winter residence of the monastic body and the Je Khenpo (chief Abbott). Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • December 30- Punakha to Trongsa

    Today we start early for the fabulous drive to the central valleys of Bhutan. The drive to Trongsa via Gangtey is about 6 hours crossing over Pele La Pass (3,300meters) and Yotongla Pass (3,400meters). The Central Road, across the Black Mountains was completed 30 years ago, and it bought about great changes to the people in central Bhutan. We pass Wangdue, one of the major towns and district headquarters of Western Bhutan where we make a short stop to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. We then climb steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pelela Pass (3,300m) with an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between west and east Bhutan. If the weather is clear, the Himalayan range can be seen, particularly the peak of Jhomulhari (7,314m) to the west. En route we cross Chendebji Chorten built many centuries ago to suppress a demon. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • December 31- Trongsa Festival

    Today we attend a full day at the Trongsa Festival. What an exciting and exhilarating way to celebrate the day! The Trongsa Dzong was built by Chogyel Minjur Tempa, theThird Desi, in 1648 AD. It is presently the administrative seat of the district and home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the Dzong is an architectural wonder. Views from here are extensive creating strategic location of this Dzong. Over the Dzong is the medieval Watchtower. This ancient structure gives unobstructed views of the valley and its Winding River and roads. The watchtower is located strategically above the Trongsa Dzong. Load your camera to capture the intensity of this festival, while your gain merit and religious purification; be immersed into medieval Bhutan and the enchanting Bhutanese culture. Here one can truly appreciate the essence of Bhutanese people and a preserved steadfast culture. Arrays of colourful brocades whirl through the air as the dancers spin and dance the “thunderbolt step”. Masks of glorious demonic demons and animals arouse your senses as purification takes place. The intensity goes on; your spirit will fly. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • January 01- Trongsa to Bumthang

    Today we will witness half day Trongsa festival; After lunch drive to Bumthang (68 kms, 3 hrs). This is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. Here many great teachers meditated and left in their wake many sacred grounds. The Guru and his lineage of Tertons (treasure finders), have led to the sprouting of many temples in the valley. Evening stroll down in the town of Bumthang. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • January 02- Sightseeing in Bumthang

    Enjoy breakfast and get ready to explore Bumthang village. Meet with textile weavers at looms as they weave their Bhutanese fabric and textile on toe strap looms with hand spun and dyed threads. Here is the best place for purchase of textile. Tour historical Jakar Dzong, “Palace of the White Bird”, as well as Jambay and Kurjey Lhakhang. A short walk to Flamming Lake to visit this religious and holy pilgrimage spot. Visit a Stone flour grist water mill and a beer and cheese factory, Tamshing Monastery and Wangdichholing Palace. In the evening visit a farmhouse for local hospitality. Return to lodge for relaxation and dinner. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • January 03- Bumthang to Wangdue

    Departing Bumthang we drive westward to Wangdue. Photo and rest stops along our way; perhaps an interesting archer’s match in Trongsa. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • January 04- Wangdue to Thimphu

    We arrive in Thimphu today; check into our hotel and enjoy an afternoon and exploration in Thimphu. Perhaps you have a special interest item to purchase; ask you expert Bhutanese guide to assist you. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • January 05- Thimphu to Paro

    After breakfast we depart Thimphu towards Paro village. As we drive to a path to hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800m. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padmasambbava alighted here upon the back of a tigress. We enjoy lunch at Tigers Nest cafeteria and will have the option to hike up the mountain close to the Tigers Nest Monastery; spirituality and peace is within; what an incredible way. We then depart down the mountain to our vehicle and return to Paro to our hotel for rest and relaxation. Overnight at a hotel.
    (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

  • January 06- Depart Paro (by Druk Air)

    Drive to Paro airport and fly to your next destination. We hope you have enjoyed your visit to Bhutan.
    (Breakfast Included)


    COST INCLUDES

  • Pick up from and drop off at the hotel and the airport on a tourist car / van /minibus.

  • Standard government-approved accommodation (in twin sharing rooms) for the duration of the tour.

  • Full-board meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea & snacks - for the duration of your stay.

  • Drinking water for the duration of the tour.

  • Country presentation and tour Briefing on the evening of Day 01 with welcome drinks.

  • Licensed English-speaking Bhutanese tour guides.

  • Private transportation and a designated driver within Bhutan. Toyota 4WD luggage vans and light trucks for group travel. Luggage will be hauled by horses, mules or yaks at higher elevations, if required.

  • Monument and museums entrance fees at all sightseeing locations detailed in the itinerary.

  • Cultural afternoon/evening sessions with traditional mask and folk dances (with beverages). Only for group tours.

  • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.

  • Government royalty (35% of $200), which goes to the country's health and education projects.

  • All route access and monument entry permits and fees.

  • All government taxes, official expenses and tourist service charges.


    COST DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • International airfare and airport departure tax.

  • Your travel insurance.

  • Expenses of personal nature, such as laundry.

  • Alcoholic and cold drinks.

  • Personal clothing and equipment. (See the equipment tab for detail information)

  • Tips for tour guides, porters, driver, hotel lobby and in restaurants.

  • Other expenses not mentioned in the Price Includes section.


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