◾Government Fees, Royalty & Taxes.
◾Tours as mentioned in the itinerary.
◾Standard hotel room (Twin/double bed).
◾All meals (Breakfast/Lunch & Dinner) at a local restaurant or hotel.
◾SUV Car, Mini Van or Bus with driver throughout your stay.
◾Experienced tour guide.
◾Sights & entrance fees as per the itinerary.
◾Costs for extra activities
◾Personal drinks & beverages
◾Additional hotel facilities like laundry, personal calls etc.
◾Single room supplement: US$ 20 per room per nigh
- Day 1 Our counter part will be there to greet you at the Guwahati airport and drive to India-Bhutan border and the bustling town of Samdrup Jongkhar. Samdrup Jongkhar town holds the distinct honor of being the oldest town in Bhutan.
This border town is a bustling little settlement packed to the brim with shopkeepers and hawkers from across the border. The gateway to Eastern Bhutan, Samdrup Jongkhar is situated in the southeastern region of the country and shares borders with the Indian state of Assam. It is by far the largest urban center in eastern Bhutan. It lies at elevations ranging from 200m to 3,500m. In the past, many British Political Officers stationed in Sikkim took the route from Samdrup Jongkhar to enter into Bhutan. In the past Samdrup Jongkhar was the main trading center for the Bhutanese and it is still a convenient exit town for tourists who have arranged to visit the neighboring Indian state of Assam.
You might be interested to engage yourselves wandering the small bazaar and you can also visit the Zangtopelri three story temple set in the middle of town, is adorned with the work of the master Bhutanese craftsmen. Its intricate frescos and beautiful statues are truly a sight to behold. Due to its religious significance and convenient location Zangdopelri is at the heart of the spiritual lives of the people of this area.
- Day 2 Today your travel from Eastern – Western Bhutan will begin from Samdrupjonkhar to Trashigang all the way uphill through the thick vegetation which is more tropical, you will gradually ascend driving past by Deothang and many small villages at hillside through rich forest at the higher height from the plain to 2287m.
You will have the lunch at Womrong and you can visit the charming little private Gompa (monastery) here surrounded by trees, continue drive to Khaling (1829m) which is trap the green mountains and has a National Handloom Development project. From there soon you reach to Kanglung, which lies on a ridge at a cool 1829m, after driving past by Yonphu La (2500m). This is university town and oldest college.
Now it is a 22km drive to Tashigang Dzong(fortress) is the largest district in Bhutan and it lies in the far east on the river Gamri Chu. It was once center of busy trade with Tibet. Today it is the junction of the east west highway. The Dzong was built in 1658 and now serves as the administrative seat for the district as well as the home of the monk body.
- Day 3 Today our options include a visit to Trashi Yangtse (1hour 45mins) via Gom Kora to visit Chorten Kora (one of the only 2 huge chortens in Bhutan done in the Nepalese “eye” style). Trashi Yangtse borders the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The old trade route from east and west Bhutan used to travel through Trashi Yangtse. Stop at the village of Duksum to see the shops selling the colourful patterned cloth that is woven by the women of the village using back strap-looms or just relax and explore Trashigang.
Trashi Yangtse is famous for its handmade, lathed dapa wooden bowls and cups, and it is home to one of the finest traditional arts schools in the Himalayas, the National Institute for Zorig Chusum. We will also visit the Dapa Factory where wooden containers and bowls are made.
- Day 4 Today you will drive all the way to Mongar. Before our departure visit Tashigang Dzong, the Dzong precariously hugs a spur at more than 400 m, jutting out over the Gamri River. The Dzong commands a remarkable view of the surrounding countryside. Built in 1659 A.D. it is practically impregnable, protected on three sides by the river and ravines, and from behind by the mountains. It serves as the administrative seat for the district and the local monastic community and stroll through the town, absorbing the culture of eastern Bhutan, occupy part of the Dzong. En-route we will drive to the Drametse Goempa 16th century monastery, which is about 18km. Drametse, is the largest and most important monastery in the Eastern Bhutan and houses of laymonk. From there you can have a great view of eastern Bhutan. Now you will drive back down to the main roads, which soon open, into wide valley with the rushing river Gumri Chu and we will continue drive to Mongar. Your drive will take along the river to well known “Yadi loops” – series of ten bends which take you gradually ascent to the Yadi village. Reaching the Yadi you will drive past by the village of Zalaphangma look out for the striking Sherichhu waterfall. You now pass through the broadleaved forest, past the elegant Guru Lhakhang and a private temple at Nagtshang and you will continue ascend to the pass, Kori La at 2378m. The pass is marked by fluttering prayers flags and the chortens (stupa). Now you will descend down through a deep fern-lined forest of rhododendrons, blue pines and exotic orchids in steep trees covered mountain slopes to Mongar town (1620m), which mark the end of the eastern Bhutan.
- Day 5 Today day excursion to Lhuentse, it is one of the most isolated districts in Bhutan. The landscape is spectacular, with stark cliffs towering above river gorges and dense coniferous forests. The region is famous for its weavers, and their distinctive textiles are generally considered to be the best in the country. The Kurtoe region of Lhuentse is the ancestral home of the monarchy.
We will also visit Takila to see the tallest statue of Guru Nangsey Zilneon. The 157 feet Guru Nangsey Zilneon statue is one of the tallest statue in the world. Seated on a 38 feet lotus located on a hill in Takila overlooking Tangmachu village in Menbi Gewog. The construction took more than seven years. Located on a 27-acre area in Tangmachu, besides being a pilgrimage site, the site would also serve as a place where people can come for meditation and retreat.
You can also visit Kushitara Weaving Centres in Lhentse and if you want to buy souvenirs, then these are the cheapest place. In the evening return back to Mongar.
- Day 6 Today after early breakfast you will briefly visit the Mongar Dzong and you will start your journey to Bumthang which is considering as one of the most beautiful in the Himalaya crossing the 3800m high Trumshing La pass. Short after Lingmithang you can see the ruins of 12th century Zhongkhar Dzong, once the most powerful of eastern Bhutan’s dzongs. You will descend to the Kuri Zampa (683m) and Lingmithang (770m), the vegetation is semi-tropical.
Now you will ascend gradually to great heights through the clumps of bamboo and large cultivated fields of the staple crop corn as well as of rice. You will reach Namling Dra, where you can have a picnic lunch at the roadside above the Namling waterfall.
After lunch will continue with our drive and a quick stop at other side of Namling Dra, which is the best place to view, the impressive Namling Dra waterfall as it explodes off the mountain’s side and crashes down into the gorge. Ascending sharply from here you again enter the forest stretch and road clings precariously to a sheer mountain and will reach to a plateau at Sengor (2957m). From Sengor you will drive to the high point of the day Thrumshing La (3780m). You will descend down to Ura Village through conifers and rhododendrons and drive past by Sherteng La (3596m) and reach to Bumthang.
- Day 7 Today’s exploration of the Bumthang Valley, this valley is the general name for the four valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Chokhor and is considered to be one of the most beautiful and sacred valleys of Bhutan. The valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the kingdom. If the weather is clear, you will enjoy the view of green valley, dotted with hundreds of temples, thousand flags and beautiful Chamkhar river flows through the valley. The valley is also called mini Switzerland of Bhutan.
Today we will be driving in the remote eastern side of Bhutan in the Tang Valley. Our journey finds us driving 20 miles, 13 miles of which is on an unpaved road. We stop at a roadside temple and a nunnery, ending in the remote village of Kesum. From the road head we have a one-hour hike over a suspension footbridge, through farm fields and cluster villages, up a “hill” to the mystical Ugyen Choling Palace.
Ugyen Choling is a national treasure, privately owned by the same family for hundreds of years. It’s remote location makes it one of the less frequently visited historical sites in Bhutan, hosting fewer than two hundred guests per year. The best part of the Palace is the quaint museum housing permanent exhibits on three floors in the main building and the Utse, the central tower. Traditional living quarters are recreated to capture the realistic ambiance of the ancient lifestyles and conditions of the households. Everyday kitchen and weaving utensils, war weapons—including petrified yak dung to make gunpowder—tools and farming implements are the main part of the exhibits. Lunch will be serving in the Ugyen Choling Palace or in the farmhouse.
- Day 8 Today you drive into the glacier valley of Phobjikha which is one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country, because of the large flock of black-necked cranes during winter. The valley also has a very interesting Nyingmapa monastery dates back to the 17th century.
On the way we will stop at Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Kathmandu’s Swayambhunath stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. Lama Shida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot, built it in the 18th century. Stop enroute to visit the Ta Dzong Museum that highlights the history of Bhutanese monarchy and showcases some of the rare and priceless artifacts of the Kingdom, followed by a visit to Trongsa Dzong built in 1648 which is the ancestral home of Royal family. Both the first and second Kings ruled the country from this ancient seat. All the four kings held the post of Trongsa Penlop before being the King of Bhutan.
- Day 9 After breakfast, we will drive to Lhongmaya Village then our Day Hike start from here. The trail that leads to Lhongtey is below the motor road and follows the trail through the bamboo thickets and crossing a small wooden bridge gradually up to the village of Lhongtey. Then climb up gradually and then continue towards the Gyeche La Pass (3590metres). This trail that is being, mainly used in the olden days before the motor road came, by the natives of Gangtey and Sephu for trading and movement of yaks to higher grazing meadows during the winter months.
After about three hours of gradual to steep climb through this pristine mixed forest is the Gyeche La Pass marked by a stone structure with prayer flags. The view from here of Phobjikha Valley and its monastery Gangtey Gompa is absolutely gorgeous ad breathtaking. After a break of photo opportunity here on the pass, then we will continue to descent quite steeply till Gangtey Kunzangcholing Buddhist College. After a short and gradually hike through the pine forest, our vehicle will wait for us above the monastery to take us to our hotel.
- Day 10 Journey continues as we head towards Punakha at 1300 m and a warmer region. Punakha is the winter residence of the central monk body and it is one of the richest agricultural lands. The valley is blessed with one of the biggest rivers in the country.
You will visit Chimi Lhakhang through the paddy fields, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing.
You will then continue the drive to Paro with a stop at Dochu La for evening tea; from there we can enjoy the most spectacular view of the eastern Himalayan ranges and Bhutan’s highest mountain. We will also visit Druk Wanggyal Lhakhang built by the eldest Queen mother; the past and future appear to merge in the details of the Lhakhang that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distant future.
- Day 11 Today’s day will begin driving through the Paro valley to take on a stunning hike on foot to visit the Taktshang Gompa or Tiger’s Nest viewpoint. Our hike to Taktshang from the road point will take through the well-maintained path which is quite uphill and it takes around 3-4 hours at an average walking speed.
The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees adorned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang cafeteria. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his consort.
In the evening visit Paro Dzong, a premier example of Bhutan’s architecture. From the Dzong, a leisurely walk back into town crosses the scenic Nyamai zampa, a unique model of Bhutans traditional cantilever bridge.
- Day 12 After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport in time to catch up your onward flight. We bid farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.