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Handcrafted Bhutan Tour Packages

Visiting Bhutan is like taking a journey into a different reality where temples uncomfortably dangle on the edge of cliffs 4,000 feet in the air, fortresses are built without nails, snow-capped peaks enhance primeval forests and spectacular dances commemorate important actions of the Great Sage.  Images of chilies decorating rooftops, red rice served at every meal, reincarnated lamas blessing passersby, and great sages who transform into lotus blossoms in their next life implore weary sightseers to find rest in their own Shangri La.

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The spirits of Bhutan

From: $1,840
per person

6 days/5 nights Paro - Thimphu - Punakha - Paro

The Razor’s Edge: A Spiritual and Cultural Quest

From: $48,189
per person

111 Days/ 110 Nights

UMA COMO Bhutan luxury experience

From: $4,760
per person

6 days/5 nights Paro - Punakha - Thimphu

Art of the Bhutanese

From: $1,440
per person

4 days/3 nights Thimphu - Paro

Essential Bhutan

From: $3,876
per person

12 Days / 11 Nights Bangkok - Paro - Thimphu - Phobjikha - Punakha

Bhutan at A Glance

From: $2,568
per person

7 Days / 6 Nights Bangkok - Paro - Thimphu - Phobjikha - Punakha

Compact Bhutan

From: $2,021
per person

5 Days / 4 Nights Bangkok - Paro - Thimphu

Testimonials What Travellers Say!

4.9 stars based on 120 reviews

Handcrafted Bhutan Tour Packages
Rating:(4.9 out of 5)
Total votes: 120 (120 reviews)

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“Absolutely fantastic!”My husband, a friend and I just completed a one-month trip to Vietnam, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang and Myanmar. Ms. NGUYN Hong Yen organized and coordinated a very rich itinerary which included many flights and hotel reservations. Yen is superbly professional and detail-oriented and...
zizette84

zizette84 New York

The most memorable tripWe arrived safely back in the UK yesterday morning after a really good trip so thank you for all your help in planning it.Everything went well with being met at the airports (the only problem being that the flight was delayed by...
Anne Merrick

Anne Merrick England, UK

“Wonderful agency that booked us the perfect honeymoon!”We booked our honeymoon to Thailand through Zicasso with Exotic Voyages. They made everything easy from the start. We were looking for an agency that would provide the transfers, hotels, guides, etc. and I can't say how pleased...
Kelan and Allie

Kelan and Allie Houston, Texas

Wow it was such an amazing trip!I was just too excited to write these words sooner to thank you for your brilliant trip. WE (3 young ladies) had been looking forward to our holiday in Vietnam and had tried imagine how beautiful the scenery are and...
Danielle Groom

Danielle Groom

For Bhutanese, life is all about balance and the belief in Gross National Happiness, which states that the well being of the people is more important than Gross National Product numbers. Besides the fact that Bhutan is the last remaining pocket of pristine life, the government limits – by law – the number of tourists allowed into visit their country making a vacation in Bhutan the most exclusive trip of a lifetime.

People and Culture

The philosophy of the Gross National Happiness described above is part of the Vajrayana Buddhist religion, which exerts the strongest of influences on all aspects of life in Bhutan.  This belief includes the Bhutanese view that protecting the environment is part of their cultural preservation. A law was recently passed which mandates that a minimum of 60% of the nation must remain forested at all times and for all future generations.

When to Go

In spite of attempts to market Bhutan tourism in October, the truth is that any time of year is an excellent choice to visit the place, depending on where you wish to go and what you want to do.

For example, since July and August are both fairly wet months, hiking and biking expeditions are ill advised. November and December, on the other hand, are ideal for photography since the light is softened by winter light and skies are crystal clear – and cold.  If you want to enjoy flowers and fauna, you must plan to go between March and May.  If you would like to see the traditional way of life such as rice harvesting, September and October are your best bets.

But, for the most exciting and memorable experiences, choose one of the many festivals and plan your visit around those.

Tshechus, is a festival celebrating an important event in the life of the second Buddha, Guru Rinpoche who is also known as The Precious Gem.  Even though to the outsider these festivals look like a secular celebration or one that is ancient and performed for tourists, they are not. Each one of these is a sacred religious feast and social gathering sometimes performed by monks only and at other times, performed by monks and specially designated men of the village. For that reason, spectators are welcome but asked to be appropriately respectful of the people.

A chart of all the festivals, their locations and dates for 2017, is included at the end of this article.

Simtokha Dzong – a fortress with the only tower with 12 sides and a large statue of Mahakala, the Buddhist deity that protects the household

Jakar – a tiny “one street town” in Central Bhutan that has plenty of restaurants and small gift shops as well as an Internet Café and espresso bar!

Shopping

Since there is a moratorium on the number of tourists allowed to enter Bhutan each year, shopping districts as are common in other countries are equally as minimal. The products made in Bhutan are primarily for the use of those who live and work there.

Sleeping and Eating

There are plenty of good hotels in Bhutan, namely:

  • Taj Tashi in Samten Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
  • Amankora Lodges – consisting of 5 lodges across Bhutan and the only foreign hotelier in the country
  • Hotel Gangtey Place – Paro, Bhutan
  • Meri Puensum Resort, Woolakha, Punakha, Bhutan
  • Como Uma Paro – Paro, Bhutan **this hotel was once owned by the Uma group and has been recently purchased by Como Hotels

The restaurants at the Amankora Lodges and Como Uma Paro hotels offer some of the best food in all of Bhutan. You will need a reservation for either one and, may have to wait anyway, but it is worth the wait.

Bhutanese food is similar to Chinese, Tibetan and Indian foods with slight differences.  It’s not as oily as Chinese and Indian and less spicy than Tibetan – which doesn’t say a whole lot since Bhutanese cuisine is loaded with red peppers and designed to make you sweat (a good thing for cold climates!)

If you like fresh mushrooms, Bhutan has more than 400 varieties that are identified as safe to eat. There is even a festival dance dedicated to celebrating the Matsutake mushroom.

You’ll definitely want to try the Red Rice of Bhutan which is grown in fields irrigated by glacier waters high in manganese and phosphorus that make it very red when raw.  (It turns a pink color when cooked so don’t be put off by the color.)  Bhutan’s red rice is the ultimate in sticky rice and full of antioxidants!

Momos are likely something you’ve heard of or tried in some other Asian cuisine, but Momo is an authentic and original dish of Bhutan that was transported to China, India, Tibet and Thailand over the years. These are usually eaten as snacks or treats between meals.

Jasha Maroo (Jasha Maru) is a spicy chicken dish made with diced chicken, hot, hot, hot chilies, onion, garlic, coriander and ginger. It’s a soup laden at the end of the cooking time with chicken broth. If you don’t like spicy food, be sure to let your server know this in advance  – or order several portions of yogurt to cool your mouth.

A Country Too Big For One Trip

The actual square mileage of Bhutan may be small but getting around on mountain roads – even those that are paved – takes longer than it would in more cosmopolitan nations.  Once you’ve been to this fantastic country, you’ll want to go back again and again.

Be sure to book well in advance for your second trip.

SNFESTIVALPLACE2017
1TAKIN FESTIVALDamji, GASA
2NOMAD FESTIVALNagsephel, BUMTHANG
3Bhutan International Marathon(Annual Event organized by BOC)
4PUNAKHA DRUBCHENPunakha Dzong, PUNAKHA4th – 6th March
5PUNAKHA TSHECHUPunakha Dzong, PUNAKHA7th – 9th March
6THARPALING THONGDROLTharpalingLhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG12th March
7CHHORTEN KORAChorten Kora, TRASHIYANGTSHE11th April & 26th April
8GOMPHUKORAGom Kora Lhakhang,TRASHIGANG4th – 6th April
9TALO TSHECHUTaloGonpa,PUNAKHA4th –6th April
10GASA TSHECHUGasa Dzong, GASA3rd – 6th April
11ZHEMGANG TSHECHUZhemgang Dzong, ZHEMGANG4th –7th April
12PARO TSHECHURinpung Dzong, PARO7th – 11th April
12Chhukha TshechuChhukha Dzong, Chhukha9th – 11th Apri
13RHODODENDRON FESTIVALLamperi Botanical Garden, Dochula, THIMPHU14th – 16th April
14DOMKHAR TSHECHUDomkhar, Chummi, BUMTHANG5th – 7th May
15URA YAKCHOEUraLhakhang, BUMTHANG7th – 10th May
16NIMALUNG TSHECHUNimalungDratshang, Chummi, BUMTHANG1st – 3rd July
17KURJEY TSHECHUKurjeyLhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG3rd July
18HAA SUMMER FESTIVALTown Festival Ground, HAA5th July
18Mushroom FestivalGenekha, Thimphu15th –16th August
19MATSUTAKE MUSHROOM FESTIVALUra, BUMTHANG23rd –24th August
20TOUR OF THE DRAGON (BICYCLE RACE)Bumthang to Thimphu2nd September
21THIMPHU DRUBCHENTashiChhodzong, THIMPHU25th – 29th September
22WANGDUE TSHECHUTencholing Army Ground, WANGDUEPHODRANG29th September-2nd October
23GANGTEY TSHECHUGangteyGonpa, Phobjikha, WANGDUEPHODRANG3rd–5th October
24TAMSHING PHALA CHHOEPATamshingLhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG29th September – 1st October
25THIMPHU TSHECHUTashiChhodzong, THIMPHU30th Sept. – 2nd Oct.
27Jhomolhari Mountain FestivalJhomolhari14th –15th October
27THANGBI MANITangbiLhakhang, Choekor, BUMTHANG4th –6th October
29JAKAR TSHECHUJakar Dzong, Choekhor, BUMTHANG29th – 31st October
29Dechenphu TshechuDechenphuLhakhang, Thimphu30th October
30PEMAGATSHEL TSHECHUPemagatshel Dzong, PEMAGATSHEL26th – 28th November
31JAMBAY LHAKHANG DRUPJambayLhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG3rd – 7th November
32PRAKHAR DUCHHOEDPrakarLhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG4th – 6th November
33BLACK NECKED CRANE FESTIVALGangteyGonpa, Phobjikha, WANGDUEPHODRANG11th November
34MONGAR TSHECHUMongar Dzong, MONGAR26th – 28th November
35TRASHIGANG TSHECHUTrashigang Dzong, TRASHIGANG27th – 29th November
36JAMBAY LAKHANG SINGYE CHAMJambayLhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG3rd December
37NALAKHAR TSHECHUNgaaLhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG3rd – 5th December
38DRUK WANGYEL TSHECHUDochula, Thimphu13th December
39TRONGSA TSHECHUTrongsa Dzong, TRONGSA26th – 28th December
40LHUENTSE TSHECHULhuentse Dzong, LHUENTSE26th – 28th December
41NABJI LHAKHANG DRUPNabjiLhakhang, Nabji, TRONGSA2nd – 4th January 2018

 

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