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Holidays in Bhutan

All tours, wherever possible, will  include

a visit to Taktshang Monastery

a visit to the weekend market in Thimphu (Fri-Sat-Sun)

a  “welcome” meal on the first day

a “farewell” meal on the penultimate evening

an optional evening visit to “down town Thimphu”

a meal in a restaurant with traditional Bhutanese dancers and singers

a lunch-time meal in a Bhutanese farmhouse

The fabled 'Thunder Dragon Kingdom' of Bhutan,

high in the Himalayan range is a country only just beginning to open up to Western tourism.

Bhutan is a beautiful, intriguing and fascinating country  with a wide diversity of wild life

and its own unique version of Tibetan Buddhism.

Paro - Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Generally regarded as Bhutan’s most recognizable cultural icon, the Taktshang Monastery, or Tiger’s Nest, is strikingly iconic of the country’s culture and traditions.

Festivals (Tsechus)

Festivals in the Land of the Thunder Dragon are rich and happy expressions of its ancient Buddhist culture. These festivals are held in all districts in honour of Guru Rinpoche, the saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. There is simply no better way of experiencing the colour, passion and sheer vibrancy of Bhutan than by attending one of the numerous religious festivals that take place around the year.  Tsechus are held on auspicious days and months in the Bhutanese calendar, and last up to four days in which a series of highly stylized masked dance rituals are performed.

Festivals, held to celebrate various public holidays such as the King’s birthday and the winter solstice, are times for singing, playing and above all dancing.  Attendees adorned in astounding colour gather from far and wide, sporting exotic masks and taking part in the myriad events that are on offer, from games of chance at the local fairs to elaborate mystic rituals.  An experience that is not to be missed!

Our tours are timed to coincide with significant festival dates.

Paro

This beautiful valley is home to many Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and temples. The country’s only airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to Mount Chomolhari (7,300 metres) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu River flowing through the valley.

The ruined dzong is of historical importance. It was built in 1649 by Zhabdrung to commemorate the victory of the Drukpas over the Tibetan invasion in 1644. The Bhutanese still vividly recall and celebrate this victory which was tremendously important to the history of the area. On a clear day (7326m/ 24176ft), you have a fascinating view of the white domed peak of sacred Chomolhari (Mountain of the Goddess).

Some other highlights of your tour in Bhutan  

The Bhutanese Dzongs are huge architectural structures constructed for a variety of functions throughout the country, from administrative buildings to monasteries and temples, yet they are carefully and thoughtfully designed and are strikingly beautiful.  The Rimpung Dzong, known as the “fortress of the heap of jewels” in the picturesque setting of the Paro valley, is of

course no exception, built in the time of the dynamic spiritual and political leader

Zhabdrung in 1644.  Once a year, as part of the Tsechu festival, one of the oldest

Thongdol (gigantic scroll paintings) is ceremonially unfurled here.

Gompas (Monasteries) There are 108 temples, built  in the different regions

of Tibet, Bhutan and in other Himalayan regions to control evil spirits,

disease and droughts out of which two of them are in Bhutan.(Kichu

Lhakhang in Paro and Jambay Lhakhang in Bumthang).

Druk Wangyal Chortens at Dochu La   On the way to Punakha from

Thimphu is the Dochu La (pass) from where there is a beautiful panoramic view

of the Himalayan mountain range,  especially on clear winter days. The beauty of this place is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chortens- a 108 stupas built by the eldest Queen, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck.

Punakha (altitude 4420 ft):

Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955. It is the winter seat of the Je Khenpo

(Chief Abbot). It has a temperate climate and its rich fertile valley is fed by Pho (male) Chu and

Mo (female) Chu rivers.

Tourism to Bhutan is rigorously controlled and you must visit the country as part of a confirmed package


Bhutan's attractions, though more than make up for this limitation - from Paro Dzong, to the Tiger's Nest monastery, perched precariously on the side of a mountain are images which will live with you forever.


Please give us a call if you are intending to visit Bhutan and we can talk things through with you and send you details of the packages we have available.

All photographs on this page are courtesy and copyright of Mr. Ian Siragher, to whom many thanks.  No photograph may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission.