Bhutan Fall Festival of Trongsa Tour

Bhutan Fall Festival of Trongsa Tour

  • CulturalSight-seeing
  • FarmHouseStay
  • Festival
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Textile
  • ValueAddedActivity
  • VillageLife
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Trip Code: T018
Trip Duration : 15 Days
Trek Duration:
Trip Type: Festival & Exclusive
Difficulty Level:
Psychical Demand:
Destination(s): Bhutan
Highest Altitude:
Max Elevation:
Highest Camp:
Max Group Size: 16
Best Season: April to June & Mid September to Mid Nov
Trip Start: Paro
Trip End: Paro
Avg. user rating:
Trip Route: Paro > Thimphu > Punakha > Gantey > Trongsa > Bumthang
Activities: Local festival, Hiking, Visit Farm House, Monastery, Museums, Weekend market, Stroll around the City etc

Overview


Bhutan Fall Festival of Trongsa Tour, Bhutan festival tour, festival in Bhutan is one of the unique festivals in Asia. While choosing Bhutan festival tour package. The Trongsa festival is one of the important districts in central Bhutan. Trongsa Dzong (fortress) was built in 1644 by Chhogyel Minjur Tenpa under the command of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is the biggest dzong in Bhutan. The present settlement originally started three centuries ago from a small retreat house. Over the centuries, the settlement gradually grew into the present form and the place was named Trongsa or “new village”. It was the main seat of the government in the early days of monarchy. Situated along a gorge, Trongsa offers unique landscape unlike other districts of Bhutan.The Fall Festival of Trongsa is held in the courtyard of the fortress. It is one of the popular festivals in Bhutan. The local people celebrate their annual five-day festival after the harvest during the winter. The festival begins with mask dances and ends with unfurling of huge ancient old Thangkha (Buddhist Religious Scroll) that is hung from a 3-storey building. As the beauty of Bhutan is better experienced in winter, we will spend couple of nights in Trongsa learning the history, meeting people and joining them in their festive mood. The surroundings look different with not many tourists in the main areas. The crops are in, village rooftops are bright red with the colors of drying chilies, and the pace of life in the villages is slow as villagers spend most of their time basking in the winter sun. The sky stays clear to let us view the snowcapped mountains forming a backdrop of brilliant white against the azure skies.

This trip allows the travelers to enjoy the daily lives of friendly Bhutanese people by visiting villages, temples, monasteries, and gigantic fortresses. It gives you a chance to meet people, enjoy the pristine forest with rare glimpse of wildlife and observe the ancient old traditions of arts and crafts. We would be traveling through the less frequented areas of Bhutan. Our journey starts from Paro Valley where our flight from Bangkok will land and continue by road through the lush valley of Thimphu and to Punakha. Continue our overland journey to the enchanting valleys of Trongsa and Bumthang, which played a key role in influencing Bhutanese history, culture and religion. And then to Phobjikha valley, a winter habitat to the rare black-necked cranes that migrate from Tibetan plateaus in winter. This route will take us through the temperate zone with great biodiversity, ranging from lush forest of conifer, rhododendron and magnolia to orchid draped oaks, banana trees and cactus plants. During clear weather, the high passes we cross, provides spectacular views of high snow capped peaks that go up to 25000 feet. There will be ample opportunities to interact with the friendly people of Bhutan and learn their philosophy of “GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS”.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the impressive Dzong (fortresses), former palaces and Buddhist monasteries!
  • Hike through the ridge top Goembas (monasteries) and meet the monks.
  • Hike through the terraced farmlands and villages, visit the farmhouses and meet the villagers.
  • Attend the local festivals and events.
  • Visit the vibrant markets and towns.
  • Visit the traditional arts and crafts workshop, meet the artisans, weavers and painters!
  • And much more…

What’s included

  • Receive and Transfer to Airport
  • Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
  • 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
  • Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver.
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All Sightseeing
  • Museum Fees
  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits
  • Bottled Mineral Water
  • Walks and Hikes

What’s is Not Include

  • Guide and Driver tip
  • International Airfare
  • Laundry Charges
  • Internet, International calls
  • Other Beverages
  • Donation when photographing
  • Travel Insurance
  • Baggage Handlers tip

Intinerary


You’ll follow an itinerary which has been researched and planned by our experts, saving you all the hassle of organizing the trip. The itineraries are designed to minimize the time spent travelling and maximize the variety of experiences. From small buses to riverboats as well as on foot.

Itinerary at a Glance:

  • DAY 1: 01st Janurary 2013. ARRIVE PARO & DRIVE TO THIMPHU
  • DAY 2: 02nd Janurary 2013. THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING
  • DAY 3: 03rd Janurary 2013. THIMPHU-PUNAKHA
  • DAY 4: 04th Janurary 2013. PUNAKHA–TRONGSA
  • DAY 5: 05th Janurary 2013. TRONGSA–BUMTHANG(JAKAR)
  • DAY 6: 06th Janurary 2013. BUMTHANG SIGHTSEEING
  • DAY 7: 07th Janurary 2013. BUMTHANG/Tang Valley
  • DAY 8: 08th Janurary 2013. Tang/Jakar(Bumthang)
  • DAY 9: 09th Janurary 2013. JAKAR–TRONGSA (Attend Festival)
  • DAY 10: 10th Janurary 2013. TRONGSA (Festival at the dzong).
  • DAY 11: 11th Janurary 2013. TRONGSA-PHOBJIKHA
  • DAY 12: 12th Janurary 2013. Gantey-Thimphu.
  • DAY 13: 13th Janurary 2013. Thimphu/PARO SIGHTSEEING
  • DAY 14: 14th Janurary 2013. EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY.
  • DAY 15: 15th Janurary 2013. DEPART BHUTAN.

Detail Itinerary

1

01st Janurary 2013. ARRIVE PARO & DRIVE TO THIMPHUFLIGHT TIME 2:20 hrs
PARO ALTITUDE 7,600 feet / 2,280 meters
THIMPHU ALTITUDE 7,730 feet / 2,320 meters
DISTANCE PARO – THIMPHU = 54 kilometers / 33.75 miles time taken 2Fly from Bangkok to Paro on Druk Air. From a left window seat on clear days you can experience a spectacular view of Himalayan peaks as you approach Paro. On arrival you will be received by our representative and then start our two hours drive to Thimphu, the road winds along with the Paro River, until you arrive at the confluence of Paro and Thimphu River. From here we start north along the Thimphu River passing through paddy fields, villages and Apple orchards until we see the Capital City from a distance. We check in to our hotel, if time permits we will have sightseeing around Thimphu Valley. This will solely depend on the arrival time of the Druk Air.

Overnight at htl in Thimphu.

2

02nd Janurary 2013. THIMPHUSIGHTSEEINGVisit King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Memorial Chorten, Dupthop Lhakhang ( Monastery for the nuns), National Library, the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkhas ( sacred Buddhist religious scrolls), and the Medicine Institute where traditional medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. After lunch you will visit Lungtenzampa to observe the traditional silver smiths plying at their crafts and tour the Bhutanese traditional paper factory. Return back to town to visit the handicraft stores and stroll around the tiny capital city.Overnight at Hotel. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. (B/L/D)

3

03rd Janurary 2013. THIMPHU-PUNAKHAPUNAKHA:ALTITUDE:4,162feet/1,250meters
DISTANCE:71Kilometers/44.38miles
TIMETAKEN;2.5hoursdriving
ALTITUDEGAIN:2,730feet &ALTITUDELOSS6,298feetAfter breakfast we will start our drive to Punakha early before the clouds come in and bloke the views of the Bhutan’s Snowcapped Mountain seen from the Dochula Pass. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (10,460 feet / 3,140 m). This pass offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges, as we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha (1,350 meters/ 4,162 feet). Before proceeding further to our hotel we will hike up to the Chimi Lhakhang temple on a small hilltop. This temple is dedicated to the great Yogi in 14th century known as Drukpa Kuenley or popularly known as “Divine madman” to the westerners. It is believed that this temple blesses women who seek fertility; it is about one hour of round trip walk. We proceed to hotel; check in, lunch will be served here. After lunch we will proceed to Punakha town to view the majestic Dzong (fortress), situated between the two rivers Pho Chu and Mochu (male and Female River). This fortress is now used as the winter seat of the Je Khenpo (the Spiritual head of Bhutan). In the past this Dzong was the capital seat of the Kingdom. Return to hotel.

Overnight at punakha.

4

04th Janurary 2013. PUNAKHA–TRONGSA
TRONGSA:ALTITUDE:7,259feet/2,180metersDISTANCE:143Kilometers/89.38miles
TIMETAKEN;6hoursdriving.We will have a heavy breakfast today as our lunch will be late and simple. The drive to Trongsa takes approximately 6 hours. We start early for the fabulous drive to the central valleys of Bhutan through the breathtaking beauties and serenity of Bhutan’s rich flora and fauna. As we cross the fertile valley of Punakha and enter into the valley of Wangdue Phodrang, we take an opportunity to photograph the majestic fortress of Wangdue Dzong, which stands on a 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 Pele la Pass (3,300 m/ 10,989 ft.) With an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo, the Pass is traditionally considered the boundary between West and East Bhutan. During the clear weather we can view the high snow capped peaks specially the Mount Chomolhari (7,314 m/ 24,355 ft.). From here we continue our drive to Chendebji Chorten, where we will make a brief stop. This Chorten or Stupa was built in 18th century by a Lama known as Shida, in order to nail into the ground a demon that had been terrorizing the inhabitants of this valley and the Ada valley just over the ridge. Continue your drive to Trongsa, as you enter Trongsa valley, the huge fortress of Trongsa makes you wonder if you will ever reach it. Backing on mountain and built on several levels, the Dzong fits narrowly on a spur that sticks out into the gorge of the Mangde River and overlooks the routes south and west. The view from the Dzong extends for many miles and in former times nothing could escape the vigilance of its watchmen.

Arrive Trongsa and overnight in Trongsa.

5

05th Janurary 2013. TRONGSA–BUMTHANG(JAKAR)BUMTHANG:ALTITUDE:8,591feet/2,580meters
DISTANCE:71Kilometers/44.38miles
TIMETAKEN;2.5hoursdriving
ALTITUDEGAIN:1,245meters/4,145feet &
ALTITUDELOSS:845meters/2,814feetAfter breakfast we will drive to visit the majestic Trongsa Dzong, built in 1647, by Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal, this Dzong was the source of many important historical events in making of Modern Bhutan. Our car will drop us at the junction of the road to Bazaar and the dzong, you will walk from here to the Dzong. After the visit the car will pick you and drive to Taa Dzong, the ancient watchtower, this tower had served as the watch tower in the ancient time, now it is turned into a beautiful museum dedicated to the Kings of Bhutan. We will then return to hotel for lunch, after lunch we will start our drive to Bumthang, crossing the Yotongla Pass and into the first four valley of Bumthang known as Chumey, we will make a short stop at Tsungney village, where we will observe the weavers weaving the famous Bumthang fabric known as Yathra. Continue our drive for an hour and arrive at the Chokhor Valley, if time permits your car will drop you at the Chamkhar Bazaar, from where you can walk back to the hotel after sightseeing around the market.

Overnight at htl in Bumthang.

6

06th January 2013. BUMTHANG SIGHTSEEINGAfter breakfast we will start our sightseeing around Chokhor valley. We begin our walk around the valley from our Lodge carrying our day pack towards the Jambay Lhakhang temple through scattered and clustered villages of Jakar. A Tibetan King, Songtsen Gonpo, built this temple in the 7th century. Your next stop will be Chakar Lhakhang, which was built in the 8th century. This House was a castle of the King Sindhu Raja who used to rule the Bumthang Valley. Continue your hike to Kurjey monastery, it is here, the great tantric saint Padmasambhava had meditated and subdues a local deity known as Shelging Karpo. Continue your hike north and cross the Chamkhar River over a suspension bridge and we will arrive at Tamshing Lhakhang. Terton Pemalingpa built this temple in 1500s. Overnight at hotel.

7

07th Janurary 2013. BUMTHANG/TangValleyToday after the breakfast we will drive to Tang valley with packed lunch and visit one of the old palaces, which is now a museum. From Jakar, we will drive towards Ura in the east. After about 10kms, unpaved road on the left leads you to narrow gorge of Tang. After the turn off, there is a parking lot for short walk to Mebartso. The road climbs above the river for 7km before the Drangchel village. You will notice the monastic hermitage Kunzangdrak Goemba perched on the rocky cliff. It was founded in 1488 by Terton Pema Lingpa. The excursion to Knzangdrak takes about 2 hrs of steep uphill climb. We will continue along high feeder road for about 3km and pass through Jamzhong village. After short descent for about 2km, you will arrive at Misithang. Short distance away from misithang is a lhakhang known as Tag Rimochen (impression of tiger stripes) now known as Tang Rimochen, located below an enormous rock. Tang Rimochen was founded by Dorji Lingpa in 14th Century. The name of the place was derived from the marks on the rock that resemble tiger’s stripes. It is a sacred place where Guru Rimpoche meditated. The rock has body imprints of Guru Rimpoche and his two consorts. After Tang Rimochen, the road gets rougher till Kizum. From Kizum, we will cross the bridge over Tang Chu and climb up to the hill top of UgyenChholing Palace, built in 16th century by Deb Tsoki Dorji. The palace complex is now a museum for religious studies, research and solitude. The exhibits in the main building depict the life style and art works of a Bhutanese noble family.Overnight: lodge in Tang.

8

08th Janurary 2013. Tang/Jakar(Bumthang)After breakfast we will see the morning session of the school kids at the community school. It’s about a walking distance from the lodge where you stay. We will continue our drive to Jakar and on the way we will visit the nunnery which is only the nyingma monastery in Tang valley.Overnight: lodge in Bumthang.

9

09th Janurary 2013. JAKAR–TRONGSA(AttendFestival)-After an early breakfast we will drive to Trongsa, this will take about 2.5 hours, we will straight away visit the ongoing festival at the Dzong. The festival is celebrated annually by the people of Trongsa district. During the festival various spiritual mask dances are performed and local people with their picnic lunch participate the festival in their finest dress. This is a season when you would like to see and be seen.

10

10th Janurary 2013. TRONGSA (Festival at the dzong).After the breakfast we will witness the festival at the dzong and the hot lunch will be served near by the dzong.

11

11thJanurary 2013. TRONGSA-PHOBJIKHAAfter breakfast we will start our drive back towards west taking the same lateral highway from where we drove in. From Pele Pass we will take the left hand road to beautiful glacial valley of Phobjikha. This valley is the designated winter home for 100s of endangered black-necked crane that migrate here from the Tibetan plateaus. This valley is also known for produce of best potatoes in Bhutan. From the Phobjikha Pass we will start walking downhill to Gangtey Monastery. If you enjoy the nature then this is a beautiful walk. If lucky you may encounter the precious Red Panda and many bird species. We will visit the magnificent Gangtey Monastery that overlooks the valley. This monastery has recently under gone a major renovation and has been built into a very magnificent Monastery.

12

12th Janurary 2013. Gantey-Thimphu.After breakfast we will start our 5 hours drive to Thimphu, we will have several stops en route for pictures and leg stretch. We will have a brief stop at the Dochu La Cafeteria, if weather permits; we will be able to see the northern snowcapped mountains of Bhutan from here. Continue our drive to Thimphu. Rest of the day free for shopping in the capital city, overnight at Hotel in Thimphu.

13

13th Janurary 2013. Thimphu/PARO SIGHTSEEING

14

14th Janurary 2013. EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY.After breakfast our car will drop us at the starting point of the excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s lair). The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. You stop at the cafeteria for a rest and refreshments and continue the hike (if not tired) for short while until you see, clearly and seemingly within reach, the remains of Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. The history states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. Looking at the monastery flying tigers doesn’t seem so impossible after all. Lunch will be served at the cafeteria. After lunch we start our hike back to Paro valley, if time permits we will have some more sightseeing or a free day for more shopping in the small Bazaar.Overnight at Paro.

15

15th Janurary 2013. DEPART BHUTAN.After breakfast our car will drop us at the Paro International airport for our flight back to Bangkok

Images



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FAQ

What is the best time to visit Bhutan?

In Bhutan every season has its own charm; as such the country has variety of doings to the tourist according to their interest. But the most visited months are usually March, April and May during which the country is at its best scenery as the spring just hits off and of course in the later months of the year like August, September, October and November. These are the peak seasons as the weather during these time of the years are pleasant and warm and not to forget the festival months. However, Bhutan Creative Tours is focusing to spread out visitation over the year because, come rain or shine, there is something for all parts of the year. The winters are cold, but we have winter treks and festivals in the southern parts of Bhutan,which has warm weather through out the year. A winter in Bhutan is characterized by clear blue skies, but you need your jackets with you.


Do I need a Visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a Visa for Bhutan?

All visitors traveling to Bhutan are required to obtain a Visa prior to your arrival to Bhutan, except for Indian nationals holding a valid Indian passport. After your confirmation to visit Bhutan with us, you can just download and fill out the Visa Application form from our website and send it to us. We’ll have the visa confirmation letter processed within 7 working days and send it to you. The Visa Application System used by the national tourism office is designed by our CEO when he was working as the Chief Researcher for the Tourism Council of Bhutan. This makes it very easy for us to leverage visa processing even during the final minutes before your arrival to Bhutan.


What Documents will I require at the Airport when I come to Bhutan?

You will need your Passport which has 6 months validity for its expiry date, Druk Air e-ticket, whether you booked it through us or the Druk air’s website and your Visa confirmation letter which we will send you prior to your arrival in the country. And please to carry a copy of your tour itinerary as well.

Route map