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Cultural & Rhododendron Festival Tour

8N/9D Minimum 2 persons

bhutan tourBhutan is a land of festivals....located in the high Himalayas it is a land filled with dzongs, monasteries, monks and majestic mountains as the back drop. The warmhearted people with deeply held religious beliefs make the festivals a joyous occasion. Festivals are known as 'Tshechus' and 'Dromchoes' and are part of the daily life of the Bhutanese people. They are known to be raucous, colorful, while offering deep spirituality and tradition. The dzongs come to life when the valley people and the town folk put on their finest clothes and dance to exorcise evil spirits and rejoice in a new harvest.

The three-day Rhododendron festival is held at the Royal Botanical Park in Lamperi, Dochula about 35kms from Thimphu. This festival showcases about 29 types of Rhododendrons of the total of 46 species grown in Bhutan.

The festival will also focus on ecology, culture, food and entertainment. There will be local traditional songs and dances as well as other cultural and educational programs & activities performed by the school children with emphasis on the conservation of the environment. It is one of the few festivals that showcases nature as well as culture.

Bhutan Land Tour Itinerary | Quotation | Booking Information

Bhutan Land Tour Itinerary

Day 1          Arrival Bangkok - Paro
bhutan tourMeeting assistance by our Representative of Rainbow Tours.
Paro Altitude: 2400m. Paro is a town and seat of Paro district in Bhutan. It is also the home to the only international airport in the country.

The flight to Paro is considered one of the most spectacular flight experiences in the world.  While flying in and out of Bhutan, one can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makula, and other high peaks such as Jumolhari, Jichu Drakey, and Tsrim Gang. You will be received by representative of Rainbow Tour & Trek and transferred to your hotel.

National Museum - Ta- Dzong (the watchtower) was built in the 17th century to guard the Paro Rimpong dzong (fortress) below.  It was said that the future first king was kept in this tower as a prisoner for a week. It was the third king who restored the Ta-dzong and converted it into the National Museum.  The visit to the museum will familiarize you with the Bhutanese way of life and will also acquaint you with the natural and cultural history.

Paro Rimpong Dzong - Regal and imposing, dzongs are arguably among the most distinctive and important structures in Bhutan. For the Bhutanese, these striking architectural marvels harken back to much earlier times, to the rise of law and order, peace, harmony, legitimate authority, centers of learning, strength, defense, festivity, and social life.  The original Paro dzong dates back to 17th century and was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the man who unified Bhutan.  It burned down in 1907 but was rebuilt in the same year with the same architectural design.  Currently, it is the headquarters of the Paro district, housing the head administrator and staff, as well as a monastic body with about 200 monks. From the dzong, hike down to the bridge and then take a short drive for an opportunity to explore the town of Paro.

Drukgyel Dzong : This Dzong, which was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders was destroyed by fire in 1951. On a clear day, this point offers bird eye view of the Mt. Chomolhari (7329m). Explore the village just below the dzong and get a feel of rural Bhutan.

Overnight in Paro

Day 2       Paro - Haa (65kms/1.5hrs)
Drive to the valley of Haa via Chele La Pass (3,810m). This is a scenic drive and you might spot few yaks along the way. Hike along the pass and enjoy the break-taking view of the Himalayan ranges.

The walk along the pass can be modified (shortened) to suit you. The guide will assist.

Located in South West of Paro and covering an area of roughly 1706 sq. km. Haa is the smallest Dzongkhag in the country. This tiny region is one of the most beautiful and isolated areas in the kingdom, adorned with pristine alpine forests and tranquil mountain peaks.

bhutan tourHaa is the ancestral home of the Queen Grandmother and the illustrious Dorji family. This valley remains one of the least visited areas in the country and retains the air of an unspoiled, primeval forest. The wooded hills of Haa provides an ideal location for hiking and mountain biking. Biking around the valley to visit the dozen or so local temples is an enjoyable way to spend the day when visiting. Haa is home to a number of nomadic herders.

Visit Haa Town - The town has been developed along the Haa Chu River and can be divided into two distinct sectors; the Northern part of town has the central bazaar, main shops and restaurants while the Southern half of town is occupied by an IMTRAT (Indian Military Training Team) camp and a Bhutanese army training camp. Rather uniquely, Wangchulo Dzong is located inside the IMTRAT compound. This is one of the newer dzongs having been constructed in 1913.

Overnight in Haa Valley

Day 3     Haa - Punakha (137kms/4hrs)
bhutan tourPunakha Altitude: 1300m/4265ft. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan during the time of Zhabdrun Ngawanf Namkgya, the founder of Bhutan. Today it is the administrative and religious center of the district and the winter home of Bhutan’s Central Monk Body.

Start your morning by enjoying and taking pictures of the Dorchula Pass (3150m/10,000ft) with its panoramic views of the Himalayas. The pass is decorated with 108 Druk Wangyel Chorten, which were built to celebrate the stability and progress, brought to Bhutan by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King.

Visit the following places:
Chimmi Lhakhang: take a short hike (can be modified or deleted with the help of the guide) through the rice field to Chimmi Lhakhang, the 15th-century monastery built by Lam Ngawang Chogyal on the spot where his cousin Lam Drukpa Kuenley (popularly known as “the Divine Madman”) subdued a powerful demon.  This monastery is also referred to as the “Abode of Fertility” and believed that any couple who gets blessing from this temple is blessed with a child in the next year or so.

bhutan tourPunakha’s Dzong: The name means Palace of Great Bliss. This dzong stands magnificently on the spit of land where two rivers (Pho chu and Mo chu) meet. Punakha Dzong has special significance in Bhutanese history as the place where Bhutan's first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned in 1907.  It is also the winter residence for the Je Khenpo (spiritual leader) and the entire central monk body.

Punakha suspension bridge: this is an exciting bridge for photography enthusiasts.

Overnight in Punakha

Day 4             Punakha - Phobjikha (78mks/2.3 hrs)
Nestled in the inner Himalayas at about 3000 metres above sea level, Phobjikha is a wide alpine wetland valley that is considered the largest and the most significant wetland in the country. It is often cited for the harmonious co-existence of its inhabitants with nature and the valley also holds great cultural significance.

bhutan tourThe valley is the most significant wintering ground of the rare and endangered Black‐necked cranes in Bhutan and has been protected since time immemorial by the local people’s traditional respect for all living beings. Every year, over 300 of the estimated 500 cranes that migrate to Bhutan spend their winter months in this valley.

Additionally, the highly revered Gangtey Monastery that overlooks the wetlands surrounded by subsistence farms and natural forest areas makes Phobjikha a stunningly beautiful and sacred valley. Today, this glacial valley is an attraction not just to tourists but also pilgrims. Besides being the home to the cranes, Phobjikha is also the livelihood base for about 5000 subsistence farmers who have aspirations for economic development.

Visit the following places:
Gangtey Gompa: one of the biggest Nyingma temple of the kingdom located on the hilltop

*Short Hike: hike through the nature trail and visit local villages and interact with the local people. They are shy but very friendly. The little kids though shy, speaks some English and loves conversing with the foreigners.  *This hike will be modified and you can do it for a shorter period, the guide will assist. Or this hike can be deleted – ask your guide.

Overnight in Phobjikha

Day 5         Phobjikha – Thimphu (135kms/5hrs)
Drive to Thimphu after breakfast and visit the followings in Thimphu:

bhutan tourCentenary Farmer’s Market: Talk a walk though this market and shop/interact with the local farmers. Thimphu’s new weekend market is by far the largest domestic market for the farmers in Bhutan. Farmers come from all over the country to sell their farm products in the market. With its wide assortment of fresh, organic produce, the Farmer’s Market has become a favorite spot for tourists and a recreational place for people from all walks of life nearby, across a cantilever footbridge, Kuendeyling Bazaam, to the west bank is a collection of stalls selling clothing, textiles and handicrafts.

Evening: Stoll through and discover Thimphu town at your leisure.

Overnight in Thimphu

Day 6          Rhododendron Festival at Dochula
Attend Rhododendron Festival.

bhutan tourThe three-day Rhododendron festival is held at the Royal Botanical Park in Lamperi, Dochula about 35kms from Thimphu. This festival showcases about 29 types of Rhododendrons of the total of 46 species grown in Bhutan.

The festival will also focus on ecology, culture, food and entertainment. There will be local traditional songs and dances as well as other cultural and educational programs & activities performed by the school children with emphasis on the conservation of the environment.

Overnight in Thimphu

Thimphu Altitude: 2320m. Thimphu is a small, charming capital city nestled in the heart of the Himalayas with a population of about 100,000 people.  It is nothing like what a capital city is imagined to be. All houses and buildings are painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style.

Memorial Chorten: Memorial Chorten. This stupa was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme  Dorji Wangchuck. This religious structure is circumambulated only in a clockwise direction (reciting prayers and whirling the large red prayer wheels).

bhutan tourBuddha Point – In the afternoon visit the world’s largest sitting Buddha, an immense statue housing a monastery and visitors center. Enjoy a stunning view of Thimphu city from this point.

Tashichho Dzong:  has been seat of Bhutan's government since 1952 and presently houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. It also house the monastic body.

Painting School - It is the primary center of learning for Bhutanese artists.  Depending upon the student’s interest, one can specialize in any of the thirteen arts and crafts, including painting, weaving, sculptures, blacksmithing, embroidery, etc.  It is the best place for visitors to learn about traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts.

Thimphu's National Textile Museum: This museum is worth a visit to learn about Bhutan's living national art of weaving. The ground floor focuses on cham costumes, while the upper floor introduces the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and type of textiles made by women and men. There is usually a small group of weavers working their looms inside the shop, which features work from the renowned weaving centre of Lhuentse in northeastern Bhutan

Zoo - See the famous national animal of Bhutan called the Takin.  These odd-looking creatures have a very strange shape and a very strong smell.  Locals believe that it was created by the famous Lama Drukpa Kuenley (popularly known as “the Divine Madman”).  It was said that to make the takin, he had joined the head of a goat and the body of a cow together. Another beautiful view of the city from a different angle from this point.

Overnight in Thimphu

Day 8            Paro - Hike to Taktshang
*Optional – you can hire mule/donkey and pay on the spot

After breakfast drive to Paro (65kms/1hr) and hike to Taktshang, Tiger’s Nest (3-4hrs) 

bhutan tourBhutan’s most scenic icon or the most important landmark, Taktshang the Tiger’s nest clings to the side of a steep cliff 300 meters above the Paro valley. The place was first visited by Guru Rimpoche, founder of the tantric form of Buddhism in Himalayan countries, in the 8th century.  It was said that he meditated there for about three months.  The original temple was built in the 17th century, but tragically, it was consumed by fire in 1998.  Like a phoenix, the temple was rebuilt to its fullest glory in 2003.  Takshang is considered to be the 10th-holiest site in the Buddhist world. You can visit three different temples inside the main Takshang complex. Riding Ponies provided upon request.  

Overnight in Paro

Day 9           Departure: Paro -Kathmandu (NEPAL)
After breakfast, on time transfer to the airport for departure to Kathmandu OR Bangkok.


Quotation Per Itinerary 

Call for Rates

  1. Hotel accommodation (twin sharing). We will use the best standard hotels including a few superior hotels, recognized by the Department of Tourism. (Upgrades to Nak Sel Boutique hotel is provided).
  2. All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  3. English speaking Guide (We have some of the best guides in the country)
  4. Surface Transportation (Toyota deluxe Coaster bus)
  5. Special festival
  6. Visa Fee
  7. Tourism Development Fee (TDF) Tax
  8. Government Royalty
  9. Mineral water served in vehicles during travel
  10. Museum Fees per itinerary

International airfare including Druk Air (from Kathmandu to Paro & return from Paro to Bangkok) *shown separately

Charges for services of a personal nature, such as personal tipping, telephone, Laundry, room service, airport taxes, trip/baggage insurance, visa/passport fees, Camera/video fees, extra meals and beverages and any items not specifically mentioned.

A visa is required for travel to Bhutan. The visa for Bhutan is obtained via Druk Air and is stamped on your passport on check-in at Druk Air. The visa fee is included in the tour cost. Passport information is required to obtain the visa approval at time of booking.

Your passport must be valid for six (6) months beyond your last date of travel and contain a minimum of three blank pages.

We highly recommend trip protection insurance and we can assist you in obtaining this valuable coverage, at competitive rates.

We request a deposit of $500.00 per person, to proceed with all reservations. The balance is due 60 days prior to departure, and final documents are sent 30 days prior to departure.

We request a signed copy of our terms and conditions which details our cancellation policies and terms of booking. We also need a clear copy of your passport. (Please enlarge to 120%).

All rates are based on current tariffs and rates of exchange and are subject to change. Government taxes are based on current rates and are subject to change.  

All airfares quoted are subject to change, unless ticketed. Once reservation is confirmed ticketing must be completed within seven (7) days. All discount fares are subject to penalties for changes and cancellations after ticketing. No mileage credit.

Click here to download our Booking Form / Credit Card Authorization Form / Terms & Conditions.

We offer low cost add-on airfares from your home city. Call 714-964-6896 / 800-423-9566 for more details.

Please contact us for bookings and information.