Dochula Festival or Tshechu, Druk Wangyel Tshechu, is commissioned by the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck in 2011. This is a unique festival as the festival is fully performed by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than the monastery. The soldiers have been given three months training in folk and mask dance.
DAY1: Arrival at Paro airport
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our team representatives will receive you at Paro airport. After lunch, we enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum and the 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang. Then we drive to Thimphu.
DAY2: Thimphu – Sightseeing
We will give you a tour of whole Thimphu exploring the most famous tourist spots around, most famous of all being The Memorial Chorten, Buddha point, Farmers’ Market, Folk Heritage Museum, Thimphu Tashichho Dzong and more. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
DAY3: Thimphu – Punakha
Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. While in Punakha, we will visit the Chorten Nebu Temple. Time permitting, we can visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’ as predicted by the great Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava). It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location.
DAY4: Dochula Pass – Attend the Festival
Witness the Druk Wangyel Tshechu – a unique festival performed by the Royal Bhutan Army rather than monks or lay people. It is a tribute to the wise leadership of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan. It also celebrates the continuous efforts of the Royal Bhutan Army in protecting the sovereignty and the stability of the country. If we got the time on our way back, we can stop by two most famous spots – The Punakha Dzong and the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.
The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to Mount Jomolhari (7, 300m) situated at the northern end of the valley. After a fulfilling meal, we can go for a sightseeing around Paro valley, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum, Drukgyal Dzong and the 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang.
After breakfast, we drive you to airport for your departure. We hope by now you would have made some friends and also kept many photos and beautiful memories of Bhutan! We look forward to seeing you again.
The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan. These must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan.
The minimum daily package applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan for tourists travelling in a group of 3 people or more is as follows:
• USD $200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.
• USD $250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.
The minimum daily package covers the following services;
• A minimum of 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star may require an premium payment).
• All meals
• A licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay
• All internal ground transport
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• USD 65 Sustainable Development Fee (SDF)
Tourists travelling in a group of two (2) persons or less shall be subject to a surcharge, in addition to the minimum daily package rates. These are as follows;
• Single individual – US$ 40 per night
• Group of 2 persons only – US$ 30 per person per night
The surcharge will not be applicable to representatives of foreign travel agents on business study or promotional visit duly approved and cleared by TCB.
There is no charge for delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or road blocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required. It is highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance prior to travel.
Individual tour operators has their own cancellation policy. Please discuss with your own service provider (tour operator) on the cancellation policy.
Prior to your trip to Bhutan, you will be asked to wire the full payment for your holiday to the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
You must wire the tour payment calculated by your tour operator as well as USD 40 (one time visa fee) to the Bhutan National Bank through one of their certified international partners with the Bhutanese tour operator specified as the ultimate beneficiary.
With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all other visitors travelling to Bhutan need a visa.
Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC)).
All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior the travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent.
You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.
At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.
Online Regional Permit System
In order to streamline and facilitate smooth visitation by tourists from Bangladesh, India and Maldives, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan have launched the Online Permit System. The system facilitates the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered Bhutanese tour operators and TCB certified hotels. The facility is offered as an optional channel to process permits for visitors from the region and is applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. Visitors who use this facility will be able to obtain their permit clearances and route permits ahead of their arrival in Bhutan similar to international tourists.
Payment System in Bhutan
Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) It is at par with the Indian rupee which is widely accepted in the country. ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard. In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.
How to make the payment?
All payments shall be made in US dollars via bank wire transfer to the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s bank account at the Bhutan National Bank, with your tour operator shown as the ultimate beneficiary of the funds. Please note that it is not possible to make the payment by credit card as the payment has to be routed through the government account in order for your visa to be authorized and is not paid directly to us.
Wire Transfer: In order to make your payment, please request your bank to remit money to the bank as follows via wire transfer only. It takes 3 – 7 working days to get your money in Bhutan.
Standard Chartered Bank Ltd, New York, USA Standard Chartered Bank Ltd., One Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010-3603 SWIFT Code: SCBLUS33 CHIPS ABA: 0256 FED ABA: 026002561 Beneficiary Bank Account : 358-202-171-9001 (USD A/C) Beneficiary Bank : Bhutan National Bank P.O Box 439, GPO Building, Chang Lam, Thimphu Bhutan SWIFT Code: BNBTBTBT Ultimate Beneficiary:
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Minimum of 3 star rated accommodation
All meals (excluding alcoholic beverages)
All internal transportation (excluding domestic flights if any)
Professional English-Speaking guide and driver
All road permits and entry fees
Government fee, royalty and surcharges
All services and assistance before, during and after the trip
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