Festivals of Bhutan holidays
Optional single supplement from £550 - £570.
Description of Festivals of Bhutan holidays
Wedged between the Tibetan mountains and the Indian foothills, Bhutan is a secretive kingdom where stunning landscapes meet spirituality. This Festivals of Bhutan holiday takes you not only to spectacular mountain scenery but also to vibrant festivals, where monks perform masked ritual dances and people come from all around to enjoy the carnival atmosphere. Depending on your departure date you’ll either visit the Paro festival (spring), the Thimpu festival (autumn) or the Trongsa festival (December).
Attending a festival will be the highlight of your trip. At both Paro and Thimpu, hundreds or even thousands gather to see the monks dressed in colourful costumes and painted masks, re-enacting old stories and legends though music and dance. It’s not all about the festivals, though. You’ll also get to experience the country’s dramatic scenery and ancient architecture. Highlights include a drive through the dramatic Paro valley to enjoy views over the eastern Himalaya from 3050m, a visit to sub-tropical Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, which has a remarkable fortress and is set between two rivers, and a hike up to both Lakhang and Taktsang Monasteries.
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1 Reviews of Festivals of Bhutan holidays
Reviewed on 16 Oct 2017 by Trish Nancollis
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The trek to Tigers Nest monastery, catching sight of it getting closer and hearing the sound of monks chanting across the valley.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Have patience going through the visa p[rocess at Kathmandu airport
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes local people, we used water from plastic bottles which unfortunately added to the plastic piles.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
An amazing experience visiting a country that may be changing quickly.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
PeopleLocal Craft & Culture:
This tour has a large focus on celebrating the culture of Bhutan and, of course, local crafts and traditions come into this. We visit multiple monasteries and workshops, for example the nunnery and handicraft and painting school in Thimpu. Our tours benefit these small communities here as travellers purchase goods as souvenirs and often make donations. There is also the advantage of perpetuating these ancient ways of life and manners of producing goods. The most flamboyant display of culture we support on the trip is the Paro Festival, where hundreds gather to see monks dressed in colourful brocade and painted masks, re-enacting tales about gods with music and dance. Also by law, $70 of the daily cost of any trip in Bhutan goes towards education and health.
A Fair Deal:
We employ guides from the area for their insider’s knowledge and huge passion for Bhutan. In exchange for this local expertise, we are happy to give fair wages and treatment to all our staff. They are fully trained and also given refresher courses on responsible travel issues and so are able to convey this to clients in careful briefings. These might include advice on where and when to dispose of litter on a trekking trail or appropriate dress and donations when entering a temple.
We are keen to support initiatives which empower disadvantaged or rurally located groups with employment opportunities and training. In Phobjikha, where the Black-Neck Crane Information Centre is based, they have started a community focused business where agricultural workers and housewives have the opportunity to learn from a teacher sent by the Royal Society for the Proection of Nature. They are taught some arts and crafts techniques and are then able to sell ther wares or to pursue a new line of work with this experience. Clients are encouraged to go here and find out more about local species and their surroundings or to buy handicrafts from the shop.
Accommodation & Meals:
During your trip to Bhutan you will spend 10 nights in hotels with en-suite facilities. The hotels employ local staff and try to source produce locally if possible in order to promote the area’s economy. The hotels usually offer buffet style food which is a mixture of Bhutanese and Chinese fare. All meals are provided, but clients are encouraged to stop in cafes as much as possible e.g. there is a small cafe opposite the Tiger’s Nest Monastery which has the perfect view of the buildings clinging to the mountain, so this is a good place to stop for a bite. Your local tour leader will be able to point out several authentic spots which are more off the tourist trail and would benefit from your commerce.