Sacred Festivals of Bhutan

  • Gain an insider's perspective on Bhutanese culture and religion
  • Monasteries, dzong, temples, and other architectural treasures
  • Celebrate Bhutan’s most important annual festival alongside locals
Trip Type: Scheduled Departure & Sample Itinerary
Trip Length: 7 Days
Activity type(s): Cultural Tour
Trip Extensions: Angkor Extension
Laos Extension

Bhutan's festivals are joyous expressions of its Buddhist culture. Françoise Pommaret, describing their Chaucerian atmosphere, writes that “the festivals offer Bhutanese an opportunity to become immersed in the meaning of their religion, [but] they are also occasions for seeing people and being seen. People bring their finest clothes, their most beautiful jewels; they take out picnics rich with meat and alcohol. Men and women joke and flirt. An atmosphere of convivial, slightly ribald good humor prevails.”

In the spring and summer, we can attend the Punakha serda, the grand Paro tshechu, or the intimate Gangtey kurim. In the fall, we can visit Thimphu's equally exuberant tshechu. Over the winter holidays, we're pleased to offer festival trips to the central Bhutanese village of Trongsa, where we join hundreds of villagers to enjoy a rollicking carnival and watch mystical masked dances. All of these options explore the important villages and historic sites of western Bhutan, such as Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha. And it's worth noting that these trips are great to combine with other travel adventures: Angkor beckons, as do a host of other compelling destinations in Asia.


Don't miss our limited-time
special offer
for Asia.

Bhutan cultural tour map

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1: arrive in Paro
  • Day 2: drive to Punakha
  • Day 3: explore Punakha
  • Day 4: drive to Thimphu
  • Day 5: morning in Thimphu, return to Paro
  • Day 6: explore Paro
  • Day 7: fly to Bangkok.