Tamshingphala Choepa – 12 Days

Tamshingphala Choepa – 12 Days

This tour gives you the opportunity to explore Bhutans most visited sightseeing historical sites in Paro, Thimphu and Bumthang. Also experience the festival festivities that are celebrated. The festival is celebrated for three days, on
Go on 12 day trip for
US $4,140 PP
  • Trip Code: ATH3415
  • Country: Bhutan
  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Trip Level:
    Easy
    Just about anyone can participate in one of these holidays. Minimum walking time is 2 hours and maximum walking time is approximately 5 hours a day. By the time you walk around a number of historical sites you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time passes. You do have the chance to take your time and there are plenty of places where you can rest if needed.
  • Max Altitude: 4,000 m /13120 ft
  • Activity: Festival Tours
  • Trip Route:

    Paro-Thimpu-Phobjikha-Bumthang-Trongsa-Punakha-Paro

Trip Highlights

  • Sightseeing in and around Paro and Thimphu
  • Shopping in Bumthang village
  • Masked Dance & Culture festivities
  • Visit Trongsa Dzong fortress
  • Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger’s Nest)

Trip Information

This tour gives you the opportunity to explore Bhutans most visited sightseeing historical sites in Paro, Thimphu and Bumthang. Also experience the festival festivities that are celebrated. The festival is celebrated for three days, on the open grounds in front of the Tamshing lhakang. This festival is in honour of the “Terton” (treasure discoverer) Pema Lingpa of the 15th century. The religious dances are generally the same, but performed in a slightly different manner, as of the Nyingmapa sect of Mahayana Buddhism.

Itinerary

  • October 07– Arrival at Paro Airport and drive to Thimphu. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 08– Sightseeing in and around Thimphu valley. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 09– A long drive from Thimphu to Gangtey/Phobjikha. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 10– Drive from Gangtey to Bumthang. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 11– Bumthang Tamshingphala Choepa culture festival. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 12– Festival of Tamshingphala Choepa Bumthang sightseeing. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 13– Bumthang Sightseeing and festival activities. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 14– Leaving Bumthang for a scenic drive to Trongsa. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 15– Drive back to Punakha. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 16 – Head back to Paro. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 17 – Excursion to the Taktsang Monastery and Drugyel Dzong. Overnight at a hotel.
  • October 18 – Transfer to the international airport for your final departure
October 07 - Arrival at Paro Airport and drive to Thimphu

You can take flight to Paro from Bangkok, New Delhi, Kathmandu, Dhaka etc. We recommend you to fly from Bangkok because Druk air offer everyday flight from Bangkok – Paro – Bangkok whereas Druk air do not operate everyday flights from other sectors.

You will be met on arrival and then we take a 90-minute scenic drive to Thimphu and transferred to hotel. Overnight at a hotel.
(Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 08- Sightseeing in and around Thimphu valley

Sightseeing in and around Thimphu valley we visit the National Library, which holds a collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, as well as the institute for Zorig Chusum commonly known as Painting School, textile and Folk Heritage Museum which provides an insight into Bhutanese material culture and everyday way of life. Also visiting the National Memorial Chorten, Trashichho dzong an impressive monastery, Bhutanese Handicrafts displaying a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products. In the evening we explore the vibrant Thimphu Bazaar. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 09- A long drive from Thimphu to Gangtey/Phobjikha

6-hour drive to the glacial valley of Phobjikha. Along the slopes is the great monastery of Gangtey , established in the 17th century. This quiet and remote valley is the winter home of the black necked cranes. Explore Gangtey village and Phobjikha valley. The unique black necked crane festival is held on the valley floor every November. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 10- Drive from Gangtey to Bumthang

After an early breakfast, drive to Tongsa across Pele-la pass (3,300m). The pass is marked by a white chorten and many prayer flags. There is an abrupt change in vegetation with mountain forest replaced by high altitude dwarf bamboo.

Stop at Chendebji Chorten. You can see the chorten with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18th century by Lama Shida from Tibet, to cover the remains of evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Finally reaching towards Trongsa you can view the stunning Trongsa Dzong from a distance.

Bumthang, 68 km away from Trongsa, a journey of about 3 hours, over the Yutong-la pass (3,400m). The road winds steeply up to the pass, then runs down through coniferous forest into a wide, open cultivated valley known as the Chumey valley. Stopping in Chumey village there are many shops selling yathra, a woolen textile. Bumthang is famous for yathra a distinctive strip of woven woolen fabric in numerous colours and patterns mostly made using ancient dyeing techniques .The Road follows the valley down and it climbs through blue pine forests to Kiki La (2860m). We then descent down to the Choekor Valley or central of Bumthang. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 11- Bumthang Tamshingphala Choepa culture festival

Bumthang valley comprises of a combination of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitudes varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. Home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries also the traditional home to the great Buddhist teacher Pema Lingpa .

Tamshing was founded in 1501 by Terton (Treasure Revealer) Pema Lingpa, the incarnation of Guru Rinpoche. The monastery has very ancient religious paintings like 1000 Buddhas and 21 Taras (female form of Buddhisattvas) in Bhutan. Visit a farmer’s house for refreshments and observe the traditional way of living.

Enjoy the mask dance and cultural festivities of the famed Tamshingphala Choepa Festival held within the courtyard of this ancient temple amidst a rural atmosphere. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 12- Festival of Tamshingphala Choepa Bumthang sightseeing

Morning enjoy the Festival of Tamshingphala Choepa. Afternoon sightseeing to Jakar Dzong built in 1667 and it`s seat of district administration and regional monastic body of Bumthang. Jambay Lhakhang founded in 7th century by the Tibetan king Songsen Gampo it is one of the oldest monasteries in the country. Kurje Lhakhang, where the patron saint of Buddhism in Bhutan subdued a local demon and left his body imprint. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 13- Bumthang Sightseeing and festival activities

Morning drive to see the burning lake (me-bar tsho) and explore the village of Ura. In the afternoon, enjoy the festival activities of Tamshingphala Choepa. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 14- Leaving Bumthang for a scenic drive to Trongsa

Trongsa (2,300m) – literally meaning “new town” – forms the central hub of the nation and historically the place from where attempts at unifying the country were launched. The first and the second king had ruled the country from Trongsa. The crown prince of Bhutan holds the position of the Trongsa penlop (governor) prior to ascending the throne. Visit the Trongsa Dzong which was built in 1648. It is the biggest of all the fortresses in the country.

It is the most impressive and aesthetic with magnificent work of tradition architecture in the Kingdom. It was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 15- Drive back to Punakha

Retrace the route back to Punakha. Take a hike to Chimi Lhakhang Temple. This temple is on a hill top and dedicated to the great Yogi known as Drukpa Kuenley or popularly known as “Divine madman” of the 14th century. It is believed that this temple blesses women who seek fertility. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 16- Head back to Paro

Drive north to visit the majestic Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 which strategically occupies the land between the two rivers Phochu and Mochu. At Present the Dzong serve as the district administration and judiciary office as well as the winter home for Bhutan’s spiritual leader Je Khenpo and the monks of Thimphu and Punakha. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 17- Excursion to the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest) and Drugyel Dzong

Day Hike or Mule ride to Taktsang Monastery. One of the most venerated places in Bhutan precariously perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. Guru Rinpoche arrived at this spot on a back of tigress and meditated here in a cave, hence the name “Tiger’s Nest”. This site has been recognized as the most spiritual of sites in Bhutan and many eminent saints have meditated in this area. Now it is visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their life time. Lunch and refreshments at the cafeteria which offers an imposing view of the cultural landmark.

Drugyel Dzong(victory fortress), built in 1647 is 18 kms away from Paro town. Explore the magnificent ramparts of the last fortress which defended the country against several incursions. On a clear day one can also view the sacred Mount Jomolhari, from the northern battlements. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included)

October 18- Transfer to the international airport for your final departure

After breakfast our airport representative will drop you to the Paro International Airport for your flight departure from Bhutan.
(Breakfast Included)

  • We understand that some clients want their adventure trek/trip to be a private affair, so that it would enable them to spend some of their memorable moments with their near and dear ones at there own Schedule. Considering this, Ace the Himalaya organizes private journeys as well. Please choose your own departure date.
    • 12 minus three =
  • You can also use this tour as a base for a tailor-made itinerary. For example, we could add on more time exploring the Kathmandu Valley or relaxing in Pokhara, or add some wildlife safaris in Chitwan or Bardia National Parks. We can also adjust the trekking route and add some exciting white water rafting on the Seti, Trisuli or Bhote Koshi rivers. To discuss your ideas or to get some suggestions from one of our travel consultants, please fill in our tailor-made request form.
    • thirteen plus 1 =

Price Includes

  • Pick up from and drop off at the hotel and the airport on a tourist car / van /minibus.

  • Standard government-approved accommodation (in twin sharing rooms) for the duration of the tour.

  • Full-board meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea & snacks - for the duration of your stay.

  • Drinking water for the duration of the tour.

  • Country presentation and tour Briefing on the evening of Day 01 with welcome drinks.

  • Licensed English-speaking Bhutanese tour guides.

  • Private transportation and a designated driver within Bhutan. Toyota 4WD luggage vans and light trucks for group travel. Luggage will be hauled by horses, mules or yaks at higher elevations, if required.

  • Monument and museums entrance fees at all sightseeing locations detailed in the itinerary.

  • Cultural afternoon/evening sessions with traditional mask and folk dances (with beverages). Only for group tours.

  • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.

  • Government royalty (35% of $200), which goes to the country's health and education projects.

  • All route access and monument entry permits and fees.

  • All government taxes, official expenses and tourist service charges.

Price Does not Include

  • International airfare and airport departure tax. (Please see the Druk Air flight info below).

  • Your travel insurance (mandatory for the trip, see the travel insurance page).

  • Expenses of personal nature, such as laundry.

  • Alcoholic and cold drinks.

  • Personal clothing and equipment.(See the equipment tab for detail information)

  • Tips for tour guides, porters, driver, hotel lobby and in restaurants. (Tipping is expected).

  • Other expenses not mentioned in the Price Includes section.

Please note: Druk air flight cost are not included in the trip price. Druk air flights cost are different as per the flights sectors that you are taking. Druk air offer flights from following location. We recommend you to book your flight to Bangkok as they have every day flight to Paro and from Paro as well.

Please let us know which route is more convenient to you, the cost of the flights are as below. Please contact us for the up-to-date Druk air flight rate.
Bangkok – Paro – Bangkok = US$890
New Delhi – Paro- New Delhi = US$875
Calcutta – Paro- Calcutta = US$510
Kathmandu – Paro- Kathmandu = US$520
Bangkok – Paro – Kathmandu = US$ 860
Bangkok – Paro – New Delhi = US$ 875

All you need to bring for this Tour is simply some comfortable clothes; there is no any requirement of  special equipment on the tour. However for your ease, the following gives you the general idea about the personal items you need to manage for the trip. The personal items referred here are optional and depends upon your choice. The most important factor to be considered while choosing the equipments and your Bag-pack, is the time of the year you are travelling.

In a tour, the vehicle transfers all the heavy items and equipments. But the Personal belongings of the clients which is required at any moment like money, water bottle, camera, suns cream and toilet paper etc. should be carried by yourself. It is therefore advisable that you pack the personal belongings into your daypack.

If you are going bhutan from kathmandu, we will supply complimentary water and wind proof duffel bag, which you can use on the tour for your shopping purpose. The duffel bag is yours to keep.

List of Recommended Equipment for the Tour:

  • Duffel or Rucksack bag or suitcase (We will provide one complimentary ACE duffel bag for you to keep.)
  • Daypack
  • Warm wool or synthetic hat that cover your ears (only if you are travelling in the cold season i.e January, February and December)
  • Goggles or sunglasses for sunbeam, dust and wind.
  • A neck warmer is another piece of gear for extra warmth if you feel you will need it and is for cold season i.e January, February and December.(optional)
  • 1 pair warm gloves (This is required if your are travelling in cold season i.e January, February and December).
  • T-shirts (2).
  • Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket (preferable if you are travelling in rainy season from June to September.)
  • 1 pair cotton pants (loose jeans/khakis), 1 pair shorts.
  • 2 pairs lightweight long underwear/thermals (if you are traveling in winter January, February and December).
  • 2 pairs of liner socks, synthetic or capilene.
  • 1 pair light camping shoes or sneakers..
  • 1 pair sandals (Optional).

Medicines and First Aid Kits

(Please note our guide will also carry the first aid kit bag during the trek. However we still recommend you to bring your personal first aid kit as well)

  • Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude related headaches.
  • Ibuprofen for general aches and pains.
  • Immodium or Pepto bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhea.
  • 1 small personal sized first-aid kit with blister treatments such as mole skin, band-aids, some waterproof tape, anti-infection ointments, etc. Your guides will have more extensive medical gear, but you should have the basics for general use.

Miscellaneous, but Important !

  • Passport and extra passport photos (4 copies).
  • Airline ticket (Please make a copy and leave on at our office in KTM just in case if you need to change the date of your).
  • Durable wallet / pouch for travel documents, money & passport.
  • Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Toiletry kit. Be sure to include hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer
  • 2 bandanas.

This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you.

Here's a few answers to most common Questions asked by the customers.

This festival tour is suitable for any kind of person, no previous experience is required.

Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying signboard with your name on it. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.

Hotels vary in style and quality. All Government approved hotels are clean and well maintained with hot and cool water, telephones with international dialing and fax facilities. We use three to four star hotels for this trip. All the meals and hot drinks are included in the trip price.

Most of the restaurants serve Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine always plenty to choose from. Local Bhutanese food are spicy like the Indian food.

Ace the Himalaya is all about providing you with local insights, lifestyle as well as adventure. Using a variety of private transport is an integral part of our Himalayan tours, enhancing the experience!

We use private tourist vehicles for sightseeing, city tours and pickups; whereas we use the best 4WD SUVs as our support vehicle. These vehicles are extremely sturdy, spacious and reliable and they make the journey as comfortable as possible. For larger groups, we also use supported trucks to carry your luggage.

The best time for Bhutan tours is between February to June and September and December.

It depends on the season you’re travelling. During winter (December to February), it is colder at night and relatively warmer during the day, with the temperature ranging from 4°C at night to 22°C. Between March and May, the weather stays prefect as the temperature averages 25°C during the day. From September to December, following the monsoon, the temperature gets cooler and allows for a great time to travel. The average temperature during this season is 20°C. The vehicles and the hotels during the trip will be air-conditioned making your travel very comfortable.

These facilities will be available in most of the places in your hotel. Remember to bring travel adapters!

You will have many photo opportunities during the tours. Please ask for permission before taking a person’s photo. Photography in, monasteries, shrine rooms of Dzongs and religious institutions is generally not permitted, but outdoor photography is. To be sure when visiting such places, you may consult with your guide just to make sure. Carry plenty of films and batteries. Photo shops in Bhutan do not sell equipment or accessories.

Telephones and Internet and international calls are readily available in most of the town for this trip.

There are just a few ATM’s in Bhutan for credit card (Master card / Maestro) & only few establishments in Bhutan accept credit card payments hence US Dollars   (cash or Amex travelers cheques) or Euros Cash  is suggested and convenient  to cover any personal expenses  (eg. beverages , laundry ,phone bills , tipping , shopping etc) that  the Pax  may make in the Kingdom.    1US$ is equivalent to Nu. 55 & 1 Euro is equivalent to Nu.69 as of today (the day we writing this text).  .  NU= Ngultrum, the Bhutanese currency

It depends on your spending habits. Generally, all the foods, accommodation and hot drinks are included in the price. You can allocate USD 10 to USD 15 for chocolates and a few drinks during the trip.

Druk Air allows only up to 20 kgs of luggage per person, after which the excess baggage charge is USD 5 per kg.

Yes, they have all received a 45-day training from the Hotel Management and Tourism Center. The guides have also received high altitude first aid training.

We will handle the visa procedures for you. The Govt. will sanction the VISA only after the receipt of full payment in advance. The visa fee is included with our tour price. Actual Bhutan VISA will be stamped in your passport on arrival on Paro airport. Without visa clearance number, tourists cannot board the flight or enter the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs forwards a copy of this visa clearance to the concerned Druk Air stations and other entry points; we also fax a copy of the visa clearance document to our clients for their reference. While the actual visa is stamped on arrival, the initial visa clearance is also required at the time of issuing Druk Air Tickets.

All you need is to carry 2 copies of original passport-sized photographs, which are required on arrival in the country. Please e-mail us the clear color copy of the passport for the visa procedures.

Yes, you need to book your own International flights. We are a local agent and it would cost you significantly higher to book through us. Please find more information in the International Flight page.

Druk air is the only airline to and from Bhutan. We can ebook the Druk air flight to and from Bhutan and e-mail you the e-ticket.

Druk air flight cost is not included in the trip price. Druk air flights cost are different as per the flights sectors that you are taking. Druk air offer flights from following location. We recommend you to book your flight to Bangkok as they have every day flight to Paro and from Paro as well.

Please let us know which route is more convenient to you, the cost of the flights are as below. Please contact us for the up-to-date Druk air flight rate.

· Bangkok – Paro – Bangkok = US$890
· New Delhi – Paro- New Delhi = US$875
· Calcutta – Paro- Calcutta = US$510
· Kathmandu – Paro- Kathmandu = US$520
· Bangkok – Paro – Kathmandu = US$ 860
· Bangkok – Paro – New Delhi = US$ 875

This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from USD 20 to USD 1000 per person for guides and porters. Tipping is not required, but a small gesture of thanks to your guides and local porters thanks for their help. The level of the tip should reflect the level of satisfaction from and personal involvement with your guide.

The trip price included the drinking water for the all Bhutan trip. You don’t need to bring any bring purifying tablets/filter or pay for the water.

Our company insures all our staff members, including guides, cooks, Sherpas and porters.

Here are some documents that you will need to carry with you:

· Valid Passport – must be valid for up to 6 months after you return from your tour (Keep a separate photocopy)
· Travel insurance (Keep a separate photocopy)

· Cash and Traveller’s Cheques (Keep numbers and proof of purchase separately)
· Flight tickets
· Emergency contact numbers for T/C’s, banks, insurance, family contacts

No, because we can’t change your Druk air flight once it is booked.

Yes, there are a plenty of options and choices to extend your holiday before or after your main trip.Please go through the trip extension page for more information. 

We cater to all group sizes, while maintaining the field staff ratio to give you the best quality and experience.

Laundry service is easily available at your hotel. Please note that laundry service is not included in the package price.

No vaccinations are compulsory fro traveling in Nepal, but we do recommend you are covered for diphtheria & TB, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, *malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus.

We also recommend:

· A dental check-up prior to traveling
· That you know your blood group in case of emergency

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour, you make these known to your tour leader and Ace the Himalaya at the time of your booking.

These full and frank reviews are from the travellers who have travelled with Ace the Himalaya previously. They are not edited by us; find the real story, from real travellers below.

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    The above information is a guide and standard template of what we provide. Our trip can be customized at your request to accommodate your specific requirements.

    NOTE: During the trip; weather, local politics, transport or a multitude of other factors, that are beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.


    Book Bhutan Trip as early as possible
    Druk Air, Bhutan’s national airline is the only airline to entre and exit Bhutan. The Druk air flight tickets sold out two to eight months in advance. We recommend you reserve your Bhutan trip as early as possible, so we can secure these flights for you.

    What makes this trip different ?

    Ace the Himalaya works closely with and is one of the main supporters of local NGO Sambhav Nepal. We support them in a number of ways.

    Donation
    Ace the Himalaya donates up to 10% of its annual revenue to Sambhav Nepal’s projects which cover regular maintenance of school buildings, constructing toilets, rebuilding earthquake-affected houses and schools, and so on.

    Sponsorship
    One of the major activities of Sambhav Nepal is the children sponsorship program, which is conducted with full collaboration with Ace the Himalaya and its sister organizations, Ace Holidays and Ace Xpeditions.

    Partnership (Volunteering Program)
    The Volunteering Program, devised by Ace the Himalaya and Sambhav Nepal, aims to mobilize teams of experts and interested individuals as an effective and economic measure in providing the human capital for education, health and community development in the villages of northern Gorkha district, western Nepal.

    After the Earthquake of April 25, 2015, the Volunteering Program’s focus has been mobilizing the volunteers in various school and house rebuilding projects in the hard-hit Gorkha district.

    For more details, visit Sambhav Nepal’s website www.sambhavnepal.org