Enjoy the mountains and the marvellous view of high Himalayan peaks in Bhutan as you travel from West towards the eastern region of Bhutan.

Tour outline

  • Day 1: Arrive Paro International Airport and travel to Thimphu (55km, 2hrs)
  • Day 2: Thimphu tour
  • Day 3: Travel to Trongsa (200km, 7hrs)
  • Day 4: Trongsa tour and travel to Bumthang (68km, 2-3hrs)
  • Day 5: Bumthabg tour and Travel Ura (48 Km, 1-2hrs)
  • Day 6: Travel to Mongar (198 Km, 6-7hrs)
  • Day 7: Mongar Tour
  • Day 8: Travel Trashigang (91Km, 3-4hrs)
  • Day 9: Travel to Tashi Yangtse and Travel back to Trashigang (54Km, 4-5hrs)
  • Day 10: Travel to Bumthang (289Km, 6-7hrs)
  • Day 11: Travel to Punakha (208Km, 5-6hrs)
  • Day 12: Punakha tour travel back to Paro (130 Km, 4-5hrs)
  • Day 13: Paro tour
  • Day 14: Depart from Paro International Airport

Detailed Itinerary.

Day 01: Arrive Paro International airport and transfer to Thimphu.

The only two international flight (Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines) to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. Soon after you leave the Indian low lying plains and the great view of The Mount Everest from your window, you will be flying over densely forested areas and will see the far-flung Bhutanese Temples and Monasteries built on the steep terrain mountains and cliffs. Before you cease your imagination and wondering how people are going to get there on foot, you will be informed by flight attendant to fasten your seat belt to prepare for landing at Paro International Airport, the airport which has only one strip runway lying between a local community of Traditional Bhutanese Houses on one side and a high way motor road on the other side. Then as you descend towards the Paro Valley, you will be flying very close overhead the Paro Villages. The valley of Paro contains a wealth of attractions, with cover of green paddy fields, crystal clear Pa Chu river, the Paro Dzong (Fortress) and then slowly but spine chillingly (for the First timer into Bhutan), you will land at the airstrip and on landing, you are sure to wonder, “wow!!! the Pilot is really good…Thank God we have landed”. And usually, the First Timers flying into Bhutan, clap in unison and then there is a guffaw of laughter and giggles….Truly an instant awakening of happiness from the moment you land.

On arrival at Paro international airport, You will be then ushered to immigration counter and baggage claim areas by very astonishing and helpful airport staffs. After then, your tour guide will be waiting for you at the exit door with full of excitement expression on his/her face with Khadhar (a white scarf on his/her hand to offer you as tradition culture). The reason for offering a white Khadar is; traditionally we believe white colour symbolising a purity, hence to show you, you are now encircled by pure-hearted people, you are welcome and be loved as our guest and you will be taken full care. The good-humoured drivers and his cheerful assistant will be happy to gently pack your luggage in SUV cars and hit on the road towards Thimphu.

Travel to Thimphu: The distance of about 55kms from Paro town takes around 1hr excluding the sightseeing stops. Drive south following Pachu River to the river confluence at Chuzom. Along the way to Chunzom, you will first pass villages like Bondey, right after the airport. Then the next village is Shaba and followed by Isuna, the road crosses the bridge to the other side of the river. Just 5kms before Chuzom is Tamchog Lhakhang, a private temple owned by the descendants of famous Tibetan bridge-builder Thangtong Gyalpo.

Visit Tamchog Lhakhang: On the way to Thimphu, we will take an opportunity to visit Tamchog Lhakhang. This temple en route to Thimphu capital city of Bhutan, so anyone can visit this temple which is situated on a small hill overlooking the Paro river. One has to cross an ancient bridge and this bridge is the main attraction as the irons on this bridge are ancient and legend has it that these irons were pounded into Chain links by the Treasure Hunter of Bhutan in the 16th Century. The pounding was done by beating the iron on his thighs.

After then we will continue our smooth journey towards Thimphu, the next remarkable spot comes is Chhuzom (Confluence), is the juncture of Thimphu river (Wang Chu) and Paro river (Pa Chhu). Chuzom is also a major road junction, with southwest road leading to Haa (79km), south road to Phuntsholing (141km) and northeast to Thimphu (30km). From Chuzom, the road follows Wangchu River upstream as you pass through villages and suburbs to the capital, Thimphu. The notable villages you will see along the way are Kharbije, Ramtogto and on the opposite side of the river is Sisina, where you can stop to see the small nunnery institutions, Khasadrapchhu with Hydro plant and shops, Namseling with extensive rice paddies, apple orchards and several old houses. As you approach Thimphu, the suburbs are Simtokha and Lungtenphu.

We will straight away take you to the hotel, serve you lunch and let you take rest for while. After brief rest we will be doing Thimphu sightseeing of the following:

Visit Archery fields where most of the time there will be competitions. You must be knowing that Archery is national game for Bhutan. You will enjoy watching Bhutanese unique style of archery game, as Competitions are a riot of colour and excitement, with two teams in traditional dress shooting at small wooden targets placed 140m apart (Olympic standard is 50m). The distance is so great that team members gather dangerously close to the target to yell back how good the archer’s aim was. This is often accompanied by howls, chanting, encouragement and jokes. Members of the opposing team may shout back how terrible the archer’s aim is and make ribald remarks. When an arrow hits the tar­get, team-mates perform a celebratory dance and sing the praises of the shooter, who tucks a coloured scarf into his belt. For major tournaments, each team brings its own cheerleading section of girls decked out in their finest clothes. They perform dances in between play, and dur­ing the shooting they do brief routines and shout lewd and disparaging comments about the opposing archer’s parentage or sexual prowess.

Visit varieties of international and local restaurants and cuisine to taste food and drinks

Visit handicraft shops and traditional paper factory to explore the best skills of Bhutanese arts and crafts.

Visit Local farmer market where market consists of an explosion of colours and scents. You will see Thimphu residents, international people and peoples from other parts of Bhutan throng the market to buy the freshest local produce (pure organic) from across the country, as well as a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and other products imported from India. You’ll see the variety of food in the country, including basket fiery chillies, fresh cheese, and fruits and the seasonal vegetables are eaten by the Bhutanese, including various types of Orchids and Ferns.  In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It’s fun to meander the aisles, taking in the lively atmosphere of the market.

Visit radio tower, which will give you a spectacular bird’s eye view of Thimphu valley.

Visit National Institute of Traditional Medicine where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practised.

By evening we will conclude the program and take you to the Hotel, serve you dinner and usher you to the room for rest.

Day 02: Thimphu Tour

After breakfast, sightseeing of Thimphu valley includes the following;

Visit Tashichho Dzong; the Dzong has been the seat for Bhutan’s government since 1968. It presently houses the throne room and offices for the king, the cabinet secretariat and the Ministry for home & cultural affairs. It also houses the Central Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks.

Visit Textile Museum, you will see the Royal Collection, of Bhutanese antique textile artefacts, warp pattern weaves, and weft pattern weaves including crowns of Bhutan’s kings, Namzas (dresses) and other accessories are worn by the Royal Family, The ground floor of the Textile Museum has displays demonstrating the skills of spinning, colouring fibres, preparing a loom, and manipulating two sets of yarns. Decorative fabrics and textile arts and crafts are categorically displayed in the galleries situated on the first floor of the Textile Museum. There are displays showing the traditional regional garments produced by women and men in Bhutan, and those garments used for special religious occasions.

Visit Folk Heritage Museum. This museum lets you experience the traditional way of lifestyle at Bhutanese home. The museum also displays an impressive collection of typical household objects, tools and equipment. The Folk Heritage Museum is set inside a three-storied, 19th-century traditional house. The museum also organizes regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits and customs as well as hosting educational programs for children.

Visit The National Library; was established in 1967 for the purpose of preservation and promotion of the rich cultural and religious heritage of Bhutan. It holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts and contains arguably the best collection of religious and historical literature in the Himalayas.

Visit National Institute for Zorig Chusum. Zorig Chusum refers to the thirteen traditional visual arts and crafts that Bhutanese have practised for generations. The thirteen arts and crafts include; painting, carving, sculpture, calligraphy, carpentry, gold- silversmithing, bamboo work, wood turning, weaving and embroidery, pottery, blacksmithing, masonry and incense-stick making. You can have an interview or conversations with the students and instructors to know more. The showroom sells good-value pieces made by students.

Visit Simtokha Dzong; Built-in 1627 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, (the founder of Bhutan), the Dzong is the oldest fortress in Bhutan. The site is said to guard a demon that had vanished into the rock nearby, hence the name Simtokha, from simmo (demoness) and do (stone). The site was also a vitally strategic location from which to protect the Thimphu valley and entryway to the Dochu La and eastern Bhutan.

Visit Centenary Farmer Market is a must, The Centenary Farmer’s Market in Thimphu is an explosion of colours and scents. Thimphu residents throng the market on the weekends, to buy the freshest local produce (pure organic) from across the country, as well as a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and other products imported from India. You’ll see the variety of food in the country, including basket fiery chillies, fresh cheese, and fruits and the seasonal vegetables are eaten by the Bhutanese, including various types of Orchids and Ferns.  In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It’s fun to meander the aisles, taking in the lively atmosphere of the market.

Visit The TAKIN Preserve: Located in Motithang about 3km away from the heart of Thimphu city is a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. The reason for declaring takin as a national animal of Bhutan on 25 November 2005 is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. When a small number of Takin were confined in a “mini-zoo” in Thimphu, the Fourth King of Bhutan felt that it was improper for a Buddhist country to confine animals for religious and environmental reasons. He, therefore, ordered the release of the animals and the closure of the mini-zoo. To everyone’s surprise, the takin, known for their docile behaviour, refused to leave the immediate area and stayed in the streets of Thimphu in search of food for weeks.

Visit National Memorial Chorten (Stupa): This stupa one of the most visible religious structures in heart of Thimphu city, The building of this landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the  father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Visitors will find elderly

Bhutanese people circumambulating the Chorten throughout the day. Chorten literally means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha’.

Visit Buddha Dordenma Statue: This massive statue of Shakyamuni measures at a height of 51.5m, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue; 100,000 statues of which are 8-inches-tall and 25,000 statues of which are 12 inches tall. Each of these thousands of Buddhas has also been cast in bronze and gilded. The throne that the Buddha Dordenma sits upon is a large meditation hall.

There are many other attractions in and around Thimphu Valley, including, archery fields, restaurants, handicraft shops, Local farmer market, a radio tower (which will give you a spectacular bird’s eye view of Thimphu valley) and the National Institute of Traditional Medicine where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practised. Also visit mask maker workshop and workshop for fine metal craft, weaving, ceramics and a traditional paper factory.

Day 03: Travel to Trongsa ( East 200 Km, 6-7Hrs)

After early breakfast, drive to Dochula pass (3,050m) which is enrolee to Trongsa. We’ll have a chance to stop for a photo shooting and taking fresh air at Dochula Pass. Dochula pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquillity of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass. Bhutanese families enjoy visiting the pass during holidays and weekends to picnic and simply enjoy the scenery. It is common to see families and groups of friends seated amongst the chortens, enjoying a packed lunch and hot tea. For tourists, this is an ideal location to capture beautiful pictures of the Himalayan mountain range during clear, warm days. If the weather permits, you can see a range of high Himalayan peaks towards the northeast. Following peaks can be seen from this pass, on a clear day ; Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana – finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

Further drive onwards arriving Wangduephodrang town for lunch. The distance from Dochula into Wangduephodrang valley is quite long as the altitude difference is 1700 meters. Proceed to Tongsa across Pelela pass (3,300 m ), the traditional boundary between east and west. The pass is marked by an array of prayer flag and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop en route at Chendbji Chorten, which was built in the 18th century by a Lama named Shida, from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. The Chorten is patterned on Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu. It is common to see Bhutanese travellers in families and group stop by the chortens, enjoying a packed lunch and hot tea, while kids were seen playing on freshly pure green grass. By the time we reach Trongsa, it will be already late evening, so we will directly take you to the Hotel, serve you dinner and usher you to the room for complete rest after a fair bit of journey and sightseeing.

Day 4: Trongsa tour

After breakfast, sightseeing of Trongsa includes the following;

Visit Trongsa Dzong: The Dzong is easily visible from anywhere in town and is always an impressive sight as it is situated atop a steep ridge that drops off into the clouds on its south side.

The dzong is one of the largest and longest Dzong in the country. The Dzong was built in 1644 and used to be the seat of power of the Wangchuk dynasty of our hereditary kings before it became rulers of Bhutan in 1907. The Royal Family of Bhutan has strong links with Trongsa. Both the first and the second king ruled the kingdom from Trongsa’s ancient Dzong. Traditionally all the Kings of Bhutan has to serve as Trongsa Penlop (governor) before being named Crown Prince and eventually King. The only road connecting eastern and western Bhutan passed through the courtyard of the dzong. A five-day festival known as the Trongsa Tshechu is held in the northern courtyard during December or January.

Visit Taa Dzong: This watchtower, which once guarded Trongsa Dzong against internal rebellion, stands on a promontory above the town. It was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the 1st Governor of Trongsa in 1652 to guard the dzong against enemies. It has four observation points resembling Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon. Climb up the path to visit Ta Dzong, which now houses a shrine dedicated to the epic hero, King Gesar of Ling. A visit to this former watchtower provides visitors with an insight into the significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history. As of the date, the Ta Dzong of Trongsa is the most fascinating museum of the nation. It is a short, steep walk from the main Trongsa town. The building is a massive circular five-storey tower flanked by two lower towers. Two smaller, free-standing towers are below the main building. From 2005 to 2008 the watchtower underwent extensive structural and interior designing work in order to become a museum. The funds were granted by the Austrian Government and work was done by the Royal Government of Bhutan. The museum was opened in 2008, in celebration of three auspicious occasions: enthronement of the fifth King, recognition of 100 years of Monarchy and introduction of democracy in the country. The museum showcases some of the rare and priceless artefacts belonging to the monarchy.

Kuenga Rabten Palace: During the first half of the 20th century, the palace served as a winter residence for the second King, Jigme Wangchuck and his senior Queen, Ashi Phuntsho Choden. Due to this heritage, the Kuenga Rabten Palace is surrounded by stone walls that have spy-holes, which were used by the royal guards. A gallery runs around the courtyard on three sides, and the tall main building is located on the fourth side as two protruding aisles. The ground and first floors were used as a granary and a military garrison, respectively, when His Majesty and the Queen were staying at the palace. However, the ground floor is now empty and the first floor has classrooms for the monks. On the second floor, there are three adjacent rooms. The main entrance leads into the central room, known as the Sangye Lhakhang, which is the main temple. Next to the chapel was the private residence of King Jigme Wangchuck and Ashi Phuntsho Choden. At present, the King’s room is well preserved, with everything remaining as though the second King were still resident there. During the second King’s time in Kuenga Rabten, other rooms on the floor were used as guest rooms and to grant audiences. It takes about an hour from Trongsa to reach Kuenga Rabten, it passes through open countryside high above a river gorge. The land slopes quite gently in this region, and farming is well developed, so there is much of interest to observe in the fields and in the villages.

Travel to Bumthang (68km, 2-3hrs) You will cross another pass which is 29 km away from Trongsa towards Bumthang, its called Yutong La pass situated at 11,000 ft altitude and it is the highest pass. Top of the pass is fully covered by mist most of the time, prayer flags hang on top of the pass adds furthermore beautification on the site. This pass marks the border area between Trongsa and Bumthang. Further 13 km ahead, the road enters into a wide open cultivated valley known as Chumey valley under Bumthang district. Your tour guide will tease you while entering Bumthang valley, saying ‘Guys welcome to Switzerland’, its because the wide plain valley exactly resembles Switzerland. Depending on the arrival time to Bumthang, we will first take you to the hotel for check in and let you take rest for while, after brief rest, we will visit the following sightseeing should the time permits;

Visit Kurje Lhakhang where the saint Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock., the Jambey Lhakhang (7th-century temple), Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic school), the Jakar Dzong (administrative centre of the region) and Swiss Farm House. Return back to Hotel, serve you dinner and take complete rest to boost energy for next days trip.

Day 5: Bumthang tour

After breakfast, sightseeing of Bumthang includes the following;

Hiking: We will go for hiking to explore the true beauties of Bumthang valley. There are lots of smooth Trails maintained especially for tourist to walk or ride on strong trained horses. The long trail will take you around whole Bumthang valley to give you the experience of feeling you just been in Switzerland. You could choose to ride on horseback or just walk. Bumthang is known as heaven for hikers and trekkers and you will come across many beautiful monasteries, also important Buddhist monasteries and pilgrimage sites.

Jakar Dzong: The Jakar Dzong or the “Castle of the White Bird” dominates the Chamkhar valley and overlooks the town. Constructed in 1549, by the Tibetan Lam Nagi Wangchuk, the Dzong played an important role as the fortress of defence of the whole eastern Dzongkhags. It also became the seat of the first king of Bhutan. A special feature of the Dzong is the approximately fifty meters high Use or the Central tower, which is distinct from most other Dzongs in Bhutan. The other unique feature of the Dzong is a sheltered passage, with two parallel walls, interconnected by fortified towers, which gave the population of the fortress access to water in the case of a siege. The protected water supply is still intact to this day.

The Kurjey Lhakhang (Temple): where the kings of Bhutan are taken for their cremation rites. This large, active and important temple complex is named after the body (kur) print (jey) of Guru Rinpoche, which is preserved in a cave inside the oldest of the three buildings that make up the temple complex. The big cypress tree beside the Lhakhang is believed to be the walking stick of Guru Rimpoche. The great Guru also created a holy waterhole beside the temple which people frequent either for religious or medical purposes.

Wangdicholing Palace – Wangdichholing was built in 1857, on the site of the battle camp of the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyel, father of the first King of Bhutan, who was also born here. It was the first palace in Bhutan that was not designed as a fortress. Both the first and second king adopted Wangdicholing as their main summer residence. There are five giant water driven prayer wheels, to the north which is quite interesting to see.

Take a Drive to Ura valley: In the evening we will drive to Ura valley. On the way, if you are a cheese and honey lover, we will take you to the farm where you could try to taste the pure organic produced by Bumthang community. We will then proceed driving to Beautiful Ura valley which is located on the way to eastern Bhutan with the incredible community and amazing valley. It is also the most beautiful valley within Bumthang district with traditional and well-preserved cultures and traditions.

Visit Mebartsho: Enroute to Ura Valley, visit Mebartsho (The Burning Lake), it’s believed to be one of most sacred religious sites in Bhutan. During the time of Tertoen (Treasure Discoverer) Pema Lingpa it’s said that he discovered the hidden treasure of Guru Padmashambava from that lake with a lamp burning on his hand.

You could choose to spend the night in Ura as follows; Homestay, Motel, and Camping.

Day 6: Drive to Mongar

After breakfast, we will proceed driving towards Mongar which is 198 kilometres and 7 hours away from Ura. The road approaching Mongar is one of the most spectacular journeys in the country. It passes over sheer cliffs and through beautiful fir forests and green pastures. You will have the opportunity to visit the Rhododendron garden. There are countless varieties of rhododendrons here and on clear days you can even catch a glimpse of Gangkhar Puensum (7541 m), a strong candidate for the world’s highest unclimbed mountain. Enroute to Mongar, we will visit Lingmithang where you will get to explore a world-class hazelnut production industry in Bhutan. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests recognized the potential of hazelnuts in the 1990s and developed hazelnut trial orchards for nearly two decades, demonstrating that Bhutan has suitable conditions for hazelnut production in Lingmethang, hence the Royal Government of Bhutan has signed to become Partnership with Mountain Hazelnuts. This partnership is based on a 30-year Memorandum of Understanding between the Royal Government of Bhutan and Mountain Hazelnuts, structured with the aim of creating sustainable income for farmers, positive environmental effects, foreign currency earnings for the Government, and a profitable, sustainable private company.

Depending on arrival time Mongar, we’ll take a stroll through Mongar town’s main street. Dinner will be served after your short walk.

Also en route to Mognar, we will visit Gyelpozhing where the Kurichhu Hydropower plant is located. The hydropower is a run-of-river scheme, with a dam of height 55 m (from its deepest foundation), a crest length of 285 m and a surface power house located at the toe of the dam. The Project has an installed capacity of 60 MW consisting of four units of 15 MW each and a mean annual energy generation capacity of 400 million units (MU), which can cover electricity to whole eastern Dzongkhags. The Kurichhu Hydropower Plant was formally inaugurated by HRH Trongsa Poenlop Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Present Fifth King of Bhutan and H.E Shri Sudhir Vyas, Ambassador of India to Bhutan, on April 26, 2006.

Depending on the time, we’ll take a stroll through Gyelpozhing town’s main street. You’ll get to see the true nature and lifestyle of Bhutanese people at this market as because of huge employees of Hydropower and other organisations, business people and farmers from nearby villages swarms in this market for trade and evening gathering.

By the time we arrive in Mongar, it will be already late evening, so we will directly take you to the hotel, serve you dinner and usher you to the room for your complete rest.

Day 7: Mongar tour

After breakfast, the sightseeing of Mongar includes:

Explore Mongar town

Like many other settlements in Eastern Bhutan, Mongar town is situated atop a hill rather than within a valley. This town is considered the main trade and travel hub of Eastern Bhutan and most travellers and merchants active in the east pass through here often spending the night at one of the local hotels.

The main street is lined with traditionally painted stone buildings with wooden facades and verandas. Near the clock tower, there is a large prayer wheel around which people often gather to meet old friends and chat. The local restaurants offer a decent variety of Bhutanese and Indian cuisine.

Visit Lotus Pond International Restaurant: For a change of scene seek out this cheerful local restaurant with an ambitious menu including Bhutanese, Chinese, Indian, Tibetan and continental dishes. We recommend the chicken chilli and momos. You can also pick up a bottle of the owners’ home-made fragrant lemongrass oil here.

Mongar Dzong

Although more recently built (1930), it was constructed the same way as all earlier dzongs, without plans or nails. However, unlike the earlier dzongs, that are located in strategic positions, Mongar Dzong is located on a small gently sloping area just above the town. A visit to Mongar Dzong demonstrates how traditional Bhutanese architecture has continued to thrive through the centuries.

Vist Aja Ney

Another sacred site in the Mongar district is the renowned Aja Ney. Pilgrims from all other parts of Bhutan converge here to receive blessings and wash away their sins. A rock that bears 100 renditions of the sacred syllable “Aa,” is said to have been discovered by Guru Padmasambhava. It is located at an altitude of more than 3,500 meters and falls under Ngatsang geog. It is approximately a two-day trek from Serzhong village.

Visit Yagang Lhakhang

Yagang Lhakhang is located in a small village next to the town is another sacred monument of the Dzongkhag.

It was built in the 16th century by Sangdag, the youngest son of Tertoen Pema Lingpa. It was built after the Kupijigtsam Lhakhang in Yangneer village in Trashigang was completed. Today, the Lhakhang plays an important role in the religious life of the people. As you enter the main hall, notice how the original entrance on the far wall was blocked up after the arrival of the road (in the interests of security), leaving a mixture of old and new murals.

Dramitse Lhakhang

One of the most notable religious sites is the Dramitse Lhakhang. It was built in the 16th century by Ani Cheten Zangmo, the daughter of the renowned Terton (religious treasure seeker) Pema Lingpa.

The Dramitse Ngacham or the “Dance of the Drums of Dramitse,” was created in this Lhakhang in the 16th century. Today, it is a popular dance performed at all major festivals. It is also on the esteemed UNESCO World Heritage list.

Day 8: Travel to Trashigang (96Km, 3hours drive)

This trip of about 96 km takes 3 hours passing through Kori la pass (2,450m), the place marked by a pretty chorten and a stone wall. The first part of the journey is through a leafy forest filled with ferns. The latter road descends rapidly through corn fields and banana groves arriving the famous zigzags of Yadi, which is a recent settlement. After that follows the Gamri River until the bifurcation to Dametsi, this temple perched on top of the steep hill was founded by Choeden Zangmo and is the most important monastery of eastern Bhutan. This is the place from where the famous Naga Chham, masks dance with drums originated. About 30km onwards lies Tashigang at l000m. Trashigang is the centre of the biggest and most populated district in the country.

Upon reaching Trashigang, lunch will be served and after lunch, we will then visit

Trashigang Dzong, standing at the extreme end of the spur, overhanging the Gamri River. It serves as the administrative seat for the district and part of the dzong is occupied by the Drukpa monastic community. Overnight at the lodge in Trashigang.

Visit Radhi village:

The village is famous for two things, its rice fields and the skill of its weavers. It is often known as the ‘Rice Bowl of the East’ because of its verdant rice fields that supply most of the grain to eastern parts of the country.

The village has around 200 households, all of which the people make living from fine raw silk or bura textiles during the off-agricultural seasons. All textiles produced in Radhi are made using the traditional back-strap loom and traditional dyes. As a result, Radhi village produces some of the most authentic high-quality raw silk textiles to be found anywhere in Bhutan.

If the time permits, we will take a stroll through Trashigang town’s main street.

Day 9: Travel to Trashi Yangtse

After breakfast travel to Trashi Yangtse: Trashiyangtse is a place well known for its wealth of natural, historical and cultural resources destination that visitors to Bhutan will never forget. The entire area is filled with fig trees and alpine forests which gives this valley a majestic view. Filled with natural beauty, flora and fauna amongst its dzongs; it’s something which is nowhere else. 24 km away from Trashigang, towards Trashi Yangtse visit the temple of Gom Kora, set on a small alluvial plateau, overlooking the river. Gom Kora is a famous place where Guru Rinpoche subdued a demon. Further ahead reach Doksum village where you can see women busy in weaving traditional Bhutanese fabric and a chain bridge dating of the 15th century.

Visit Yangtse Dzong, situated at the altitude of 1,850m. In former times Trashi Yangtse was the important centre because it lies on one of the carven routes leading from western and centre Bhutan. The Dzong is new and nearby are the Art School and the famous Chhorten Kora.

Visit Chorten Kora

Chorten Kora is large, but not nearly as large as the stupa of Bodhnath in Nepal, after which it was patterned. It was constructed in 1740 by Lama Ngawang Loday in memory of his uncle, Jungshu Phesan, and to subdue local spirits. The story behind the chorten is that Lama Ngawang Loday went to Nepal and brought back a model of Bodhnath carved in a radish. He had it copied here so that people could visit this place instead of making the arduous trip to Nepal. The reason that Chorten Kora is not an exact copy of Bodhnath is that the radish shrank and became distorted during the return trip.

During the first month of the lunar calendar, there is an auspicious kora held here, whereby people gain merit by walking around the main chorten and its inner kora. It is celebrated on two separate dates (the 15th and 30th days of the lunar month). The first date (Dakpa Kora) is for the people from the Dakpa community in Arunachal Pradesh, India, who make the three-day pilgrimage here to celebrate the sacrifice of an eight-year-old girl from Arunachal Pradesh who was enshrined in the chorten to appease a troublesome demon. The second kora (Drukpa Kora) is for the Bhutanese, who come from all over eastern Bhutan, including from the Merak and Sakteng regions, to attend the local fair and gain some good karma by witnessing the unfurling of a giant Thongdrol. Dozens of stalls and gambling stands give pilgrims a chance to catch up on some shopping and local gossip. A month before the festival the chorten is whitewashed anew. This is paid for with funds earned from rice grown in the fields immediately surrounding the chorten.

Visit National Institute for Zorig Chusum: Zorig Chusum refers to the thirteen traditional visual arts and crafts that Bhutanese have practised for generations. The thirteen arts and crafts include; painting, carving, sculpture, calligraphy, carpentry, gold- silversmithing, bamboo work, wood turning, weaving and embroidery, pottery, blacksmithing, masonry and incense-stick making. Royal Government of Bhutan has opened this art and craft institute in the south of town in 1997, with the main intention to provide vocational training opportunities for those who are not continuing in the higher education system. You can visit the school, watch the students at work, get interact with teachers and students and take photographs. The institute showroom sells good-value pieces made by students, this can help interns of financial support to improve and develop new infrastructures for the institutions.

Visit Bomdeling Wildlife Sanctuary:

Located in the northwestern part it covers a massive area of 1,545 sq. km. The sanctuary is home to around 100 species of mammals, including globally endangered species such as snow leopard, Royal Bengal tiger and red panda. About 150 black-necked cranes spend their winter in Bumdeling every year from mid-November to early March. Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary is also a paradise for butterflies: as of now 130 species have been recorded and another 120 are expected to inhabit this area. Besides natural beauty and diversity, many significant religious and cultural places can be found inside the sanctuary, such as Rigsum Gompa, the mystic Singye Dzong and Dechenphodrang Lhaghang– maybe the most scenic monastery in the country. The area itself is a broad and plain which is very different landscapes from other valleys. Your tour guide will tease you saying ‘we are on the beach’ because some part of Bumdeling landscape looks like Bach which you may want to take photographs. It’s a good idea to spend some days here. Be here for a lifetime experience!

Evening return to Trashigang. Overnight at the lodge in Trashigang.

Day 10: Travel back to Bumthang (289 km)

After breakfast drive back to Bumthang with lunch en route. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.

Day 11: Travel back to Punakha

After breakfast, we’ll drive back to Punakha. Enroute to Punakha, we will visit Phobjikha which is another top highest priority sight reserved for tourist is situated at an average altitude of 3,000m is a wide and beautiful valley, designated as conservation zone within the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park (formerly known as the Black Mountains National Park) is a natural habitat for wildlife, including nesting grounds for endangered black-necked cranes that migrate from Central Asia in the winter (late October and stay till March). The general vegetation is composed of mainly blue pine, birch, maple and several species of rhododendrons. The Central Valley inhabited by the Cranes in winter has mostly dwarf bamboo. The magnificent Black-necked Cranes heighten the breathtaking scenery of Phobjikha in winter respiratory. The place is popularly known for camping which you may return back to experience it. Depending upon our arrival time at Punakha, we will stroll through Khuruthang town. If you are interested we may go for a local jam session to give you more relax after a long journey.

Day 12: Travel to Punakha

After breakfast, we’ll travel back to Punakha. (2 and half hours drive)

Sightseeing and cultural tours in Punakha includes;

Punakha Dzong: The journey continues through varying scenes of greenery all the way to Punakha Dzong. The Punakha Dzong lies between two great rivers with their local names as the Phochu (Male River) and the Mochu (Female River). Presently, this Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the District Administration. Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 by the founder of Bhutan, Shabdrung Rimpoche. Shabdrung Rimpoche went into meditation in 1651 at the age of 58, for 12 long years in the Punakha Dzong, after he had established the DUAL system of Governance in Bhutan. Shabdrung Rimpoche’s death was announced only 25 years after his death, as it was believed that even after his physical death, he remained in a meditational form which all the great Buddhist Lamas can only perform. The Dzong houses many sacred, holy ancient relics, the most sacred being the RANGJUNG KHARSAPANI. This relic is a self-created image of Avalokiteswara that miraculously emerged from the vertebrae of Tsangpa Gyarey, the founder of the Drukpa School when he was cremated. The first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. Punakha Dzong is not only the second oldest and second largest dzong but it also has one of the most majestic structures in the country.

Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten: The magnificent chorine sits high above Punakha Valley, affording panoramic views of the verdant hillsides below. The four-storey temple remains a worthy example of the country’s traditional architecture and artistic techniques. This chorten, however, is unique. It is not designed for community worship or for a monastic retreat or education like other Buddhist Institute and Colleges. It is designed as a magical tool. This is a temple situated on a hilltop and built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan for the fifth and reigning King of Bhutan. The temple is a mark of Bhutanese architecture and paintings. Its a half day hike round trip.

Experience River rafting in Phochu and Mochu: This river facing experience will surely offer you the best opportunity to briefly break away from the tour itinerary. The Pho Chu, with its approx 16 km course with about 15 rapids of class 2-4 is the most popular for rafting in Bhutan followed by Mo Chu river with 10 Km course comprising around 10 rapids with 2 –  2+ rapids. you are not only enjoying the rafting but can also watch world’s rarest bird, the white belled Heron in its natural habitat and Kingfishers frolicking on the riverbank – all these topped off with the spectacular sight of serene lush green alpine valleys,  are the most amazing experience you would love to treasure. Rafting in Bhutan is a superb experience in its own right. No special experience is required as long as you do not mind doing a bit of paddling and getting a bit wet – or quite possibly very wet! – then you will have an exciting time riding the white waters of the Himalayan rivers. Rivers in Bhutan also offer great potential for Kayaking. If you are looking for more adventure, we will be happy to customize a suitable Kayaking adventure in Bhutan.

Chime Lhakhang: Chime Lhakhang, located on a hillock among the green and lush paddy field stands a pilgrimage site for a childless couple. Chimi Lhakhang is known as the “Temple Of Fertility”. The temple was built over half a millennium ago by Ngawang Choegyel, the 14th Drukpa hierarch. The monastery is renowned throughout Bhutan as a fertility inducing magnet, pledging that all who wish to conceive will find guidance at the temple. Thousands of pilgrimage within and across the country visit the Fertility Temple in the hopes of having a child, as well as receiving a wang, blessing, from the saint with the ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom. Couples with new-borns often visit the temple so that a local lama, Buddhist teacher, can bestow a resounding forename on the child, whilst eager travellers can approach lamas for their unique Bhutanese name and special meaning. Myth and folklore cloak Chimi Lhakhang and its maverick saint, Drukpa Kunley. He preached Buddhism is an unconventional manner, by way of song, comedy, and shocking sensual connotations. Legend has it that the Yogi buried a dog-like demoness under the rotund earth, shaped in the female form, that now stands under the Stupa floor.  He actively encouraged phallus symbols to be used throughout the design of the temple in paintings and carvings. To this day, the monastery safeguards the original wooden phallus symbol, embedded with a silver handle, from Tibet, that is used to bless visitors and pilgrims. You will be also given a wooden phallus symbol locket or wristband.

Travel Back to Paro (125 Km, 4.1/2 Hours): By the time we conclude days program, it would be already late afternoon, so we will proceed to Paro. Upon reaching Paro, if the time permits we will walk to visit Paro market and take a stroll through town’s main street. Once we back to the Hotel we’ll serve you Dinner and overnight halt at the hotel in Paro.

Day 13: Paro Tour

After breakfast, sightseeing of Paro includes the following;

Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong: One of the main attractions in Paro is the Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress), which was built in 1646. The Dzong now houses for the office of the district Administration and district monastic body of Bhutan. On the way to Dzong, you can able to see Bhutanese traditional wooden bridge built in ancient style. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.

Visit The National Museum (Ta-Dzong) is located just above the Paro Rinpung Dzong, which was built to be used as the watchtower for the Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century. The Ta Dzong is now serving as National Museum. The Museum has got a collection of all kinds of traditional Masks, extinct wildlife animals skin cover, Stamps, Photos, Statues, Pottery, Arms and Ammunition, ancient costumes, relics, religious paintings, handicrafts, and hangs the Biggest mask in Bhutan. The collection at the National Museum preserves a snap-shot of the rich cultural traditions of the country.

Visit Drugyal Dzong (Victorious Fortress), Another site worth visiting in Paro is Drugyel Dzong or The Fortress of the Victorious Bhutanese. It was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over marauding Tibetan armies. On a clear day, one can get a spectacular view of Mountain Jhomolhari, the third -highest mountain in Bhutan at 7,326 meters. The fortress was destroyed by fire in 1951 but the ruins remain an impressive and imposing sight.

Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, (Lhakhang means temple) is the oldest temple in the country, built in the 659 AD, by the King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. It is believed that king had built 108 temples in the various place he visited on earth to spread Buddhism and Kyichu Lhakhang is included as one. The Lhakhang is located in between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong. In Bhutan, people believe that the place where Lhakhang is built is considered one of the holiest place in the country, as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country.

Visit Taktshang Monastery. (Taktshang means tiger nest) The Monastery’ is one of the Himalaya’s most incredible sites, miraculously perched on the side of a sheer cliff 900m above the floor of Paro valley. The Monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff drop of nearly 4000 ft and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. It’s the goal of every visitor to Bhutan and while getting there involves a bit of uphill legwork, it’s well worth the effort. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava known as the second Buddha in Bhutan meditated on this spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress and now this site is a sacred shrine for Bhutanese pilgrims.

Visit Kila Goenpa: This nunnery perched on a vertical hill is great to go for hiking because the place is well known for its serenity and beauty of looking down at the Bonday Valley. It’s only a half day hike, which we recommend you to take chance.

Visit Chelela Pass – Located at 3810m (13,000ft), between the valley of Paro and Haa, Chele La pass is the highest road pass in the country.  It is popular for short excursion for maybe two and half hours. You will see many tourists visiting this vantage point. Some prefer driving, some hiking and many wheels down either to Haa or Paro valley in their mountain bikes. The drive to Chele La is through dense spruce and larch forests. Depending on the season you will encounter various sights such as a frozen river, waterfall, Rhododendron forest and yaks grazing peacefully.  On a clear day, you can view Mt. Jumolhari (the third -highest mountain in Bhutan at 7,326 meters) along with other sacred mountains Jichu Drake and adjoining peaks to the North West, as well as the view of both the valley (Paro and Haa).

In the Evening we’ll visit Paro market and take a stroll through the town’s main street. And this successfully concludes your whole trip package with serving traditionally farewell Dinner in the hotel.

Day 14: Paro Depart

After breakfast drive to the airport for flight to onward destination. Our sincere service doesn’t end here. While you and tour guide exchange thanksgiving and bids farewell, our good-humoured drivers and his cheerful assistant gently stack your valuable luggage on the trolley, helps you to push till check-in counter and waits until you get through to board gate.

Click here to Book this package

Package Inclusion:

  • Airport Transfers
  • Stay in hotels as indicated in the itinerary
  • All three meals, tea and coffee
  • Dedicated SUV vehicle with a driver and
  • English Speaking Guide throughout the Trip
  • Short hikes, Packed lunches and snacks wherever required
  • Monumental Fees
  •  Bhutan Tourism Development Fee
  • VISA processing Fee

Package Does Not Include:

  • International Airfare
  • Refreshments and bottled drinks and alcoholics/gratuities
  • Cost arising out of Flight Cancellation/road blockades/ landslides and events beyond our control
  • Expenses of personal nature and any other expenses not mentioned in the above cost
Chorten Kora+Chorten Kora
Punakha Dzong+Punakha Dzong
Jakar Dzong+Jakar Dzong
Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten+Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten

Contact us

Tel: +975 7779 3477
Email: info@absolutehappinessbhutan.com

Address
Dazhi Lam road, Kabisa
Thimphu, Bhutan

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