Bhutan festivals small group holiday
Description of Bhutan festivals small group holiday
Discover the peaceful beauty of the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan with this two week tour of its natural and historic sights. This is a small group holiday is culture-packed, led by local Bhutanese guides, and we’ll aim to see and do as much as possible in the time we’re here!
Our tour starts and ends in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, where we will have the time to browse the dazzling bazaars and temples, before catching a connecting flight to the picturesque city of Paro. From here we’ll drive east, through terraced rice fields and beautiful mountain landscapes, to Punakha. We will visit the interior of the majestic Punakha Dzong, once the seat of the Bhutanese government, before taking an easy hike to a local farm house where we can try some of the yak butter tea, a local speciality.
Keeping our eyes peeled for Himalayan black bears and muntjaks, we’ll wind our way through Phobjika Valley, stopping to see the famous Gangtey Monastery, before arriving at the capital of Bhutan: Thimphu. If you choose a tour that departs in November, one day will be spent watching the celebratory songs and dances of the annual Black Necked Crane Festival, which honour the winter arrival of the graceful black necked cranes.
The highlight of the tour is a visit to the iconic Tiger's Nest Monastery, precariously perched on a sheer cliff face, 900m above Paro Valley. The hike to the monastery is a demanding one, but the spectacular views are worth the effort.
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PlanetThis incredible trip explores Bhutan – a small Himalayan Kingdom that not only works to maintain its traditions, but has pledged to be carbon neutral for all time. A lofty ideal, but one that it is currently surpassed by being carbon negative – and the most carbon negative country in the world!
The country has achieved this by a mixture of sustainable policies including promoting electric cars that now comprise over 10% of all cars in the country and a reliance on hydroelectric power that significantly reduces its carbon emission in energy production.
On the trip we support this achievement by traveling in small groups of 10-14 people in a bus. We also walk as much as possible in each destination to allow the opportunity to really experience the scenery and to reduce driving time. The food in Bhutan is generally locally grown and the meals that we provide on the trip are predominantly vegetarian, using the best of local produce.
Our trips are led by local Bhutanese guides chosen for their excellent indigenous knowledge of the area and training. Their understanding of the country's flora, fauna and local culture will guarantee an accurate insight to traditional Bhutanese life.
One of the festivals that is celebrated on some of our trips to Bhutan is the Black Neck Crane Festival, which is an essential way to learn about and to contribute to the survival of this endangered species.
As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
PeopleAll travellers to Bhutan contribute (through the cost of their trip) to a compulsory Royalty levy part of which goes into education and health projects. All of the services we use in Bhutan such as hotels, restaurants, guides and transport are provided by locally owned and operated businesses, thus ensuring the financial impact of our visit is a direct (and much needed) contribution to the economy.
The endearing qualities of Bhutan are exemplified in its ranking as first in economic freedom and peace and the least corrupt country in South Asia. It is however still a very undeveloped country and the few tourists that visit contribute significantly to its development and to hopefully maintaining the equilibrium that it has nurtured. Our own trip allows you to contribute but also to benefit from this way of life.
All of the accommodation that we use is locally managed and a great example is the Pedling hotel in Thimphu which is owned by a Buddhist Institute and all proceeds from the hotel go to meeting the expenses of the 400 monks that it supports.
In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.