East-West Bhutan Tour
Bhutan East-West tour is an extremely exciting tour covering both sides of Bhutan. Entering from Samdrupjongkhar in the East and exiting from Paro in the west gives you an amazing experience. We will explore the eastern remote villages, monasteries, and famous weavings places and meet with the local people and visit their houses. Our journey begins towards gorgeous Bumthang in Central Bhutan, It is considered the spiritual heart of Bhutan and an area of great historical and cultural importance, and it contains numerous sacred sites. The most scared valleys hallowed 1200 years ago by the visit of Guru Rinpoche the great Buddhist. We will explore famous places, temples, and Dzongs.
Day 1: Arrival in Gauwahati-Samdrupjongkhar
Our team will be there to receive you at Guwahati airport and transfer you to Samdrupjonkhar. You will be driving through small villages, bicycles, and buses overcrowded with passengers. You will pass through the famous Assam tea garden. Check-in the hotel in Samdrupjonkhar and your free time in the town. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Samdrup Jongkhar-Trashigang
After breakfast drive to Tashigang, passing through several villages. Leaving behind the plains and you will be climbing towards the foothills of the Himalayas; you will be rewarded with the stunning landscape, rich tropical forest, and possibilities of sighting some wild lives. En-route visit hand loom (weaving center) in Khaling and then visit blind School. Continue drive to Tashigang, Vividly colored handloom cloth and end silk spun from cocoons bred from castor oils plants are local specialties. The dominant language of the region is Sharchopkha instead of Dzongkha. Trashigang is used as the market place for the hill people from Merak & Sakteng, who are known for their exceptional features and for their costume made of Sheepskin and Yak wool. The hat they wear is unusual but has a significance of its own. We might be able to meet a few of these people. Overnight in hotel.
Day 03: Trashigang-Merak
After breakfast drive up to Jigmeling for approximately 3 and a half hours. The hike up to Merak village takes 1 hour. Lunch at Merak. In the afternoon visit Merak village and mingle with the locals. Evening dines with the people of Merak followed by native dances of Merak and Sakteng – Achulamoa Cham and folk dances which is worth witnessing. Overnight at local guest house.
Day 04: Merak-Rangjung-Phogmey
On the way back visit Phongme village and drive to Radhi village and visit some houses to see women weaving. These villagers are known for the textile woven out of raw silks. Visit the nunnery in Radhi and take a short hike to Tshangkhar village known for its textiles and visit some houses to see women weaving. These villagers are known for the textile woven out of raw silks. After lunch drive to Rangjung and visit Rangjung Woesel Chholing Monastery-this was founded by Garab Rinpoche in 1990, the biggest Nyimapa School in the east. Later stroll around Rangjung town and Drive to Trashigang. Overnight Hotel in Trashigang.
Day 05:Trashigang-Trashi Yangtse-Trashigang
Early in the morning drive to Tashiyangtse and on the way we can visit GomKora temple and continue to drive to Yangtse. The main attraction in this valley is a great stupa, ChortenKora built in 1940 and modeled on the style of the Boudhanath stupa in Nepal. After lunch visit the Trashiyangtse town is small but very beautiful with traditional designs and colors of the houses. This place is also famous for wooden products like dapa (wooden plate), phob (cup), and others. One of the traditional painting schools is located in Tashiyangtse. Drive
back to Tashigang. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 06: Trashigang-Mongar
After breakfast drive to Mongar. En route stop to visit Drametse monastery- founded by Ani Choten Zangmo, Pema Lingpa’s granddaughter, who fled from Bumthang to escape a proposal of marriage from the local king. She fled east and when she found a place ideally suited for meditation and practice she named it ‘Drametse’ which literally means ‘the peak where there are no enemies’. Ani ChoetenZangmo’s kudung (remains) is preserved to this day in the monastery as the most important relic. Continue drive to Monger. After lunch visit Mongardzong which is built in keeping with tradition by not using any drawings or nails and then visit yaggang Lhakhang. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Mongar-Khoma – Lhuntse-Mongar
Make your way through a spectacular landscape with cliffs and coniferous forests as you travel towards Khoma. The village can be reached on foot, and is famous for its weavers who make fine quality fabrics called Kushuthara. Drive to Lhuntse it is the district is one of the most rural and isolated districts in Bhutan. The landscape is spectacular with stark cliffs and gorges, beautiful conifer and pine forests, and remote villages. The Kurtoe region of Lhuntse is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s Royal family. And also consider being the best for Kishu Tharatestiles. Visit Lhuntse Dzong and weaving village. Drive back to Mongar. Overnight
at the hotel.
Day 08: Mongar-Bumthang
After breakfast drive to Bumthang and you would notice a change in the weather condition and that the place becomes cooler. One of the most scenic drives in Bhutan. You will be driving through thick forest, waterfalls, remote villages, and high passes. Stop at Sengor where you would get to see the locals there. This area is a paradise for bird watchers. You can make numerous stops on the ways for pictures and to enjoy the beauty of nature. Stop at Ura village and stall around the village. Continue towards Bumthang for overnight.
Day 09: Bumthang-Halt
In the Morning drive to visit Jampa Lhakhang, a ten-minute drive from Jakar town. Walk from Jampa Lhakhang through fields and meadows to Kurjey Lhakhang. On the way, you will pass a beautiful Chorten and the newly built temple, Zangdo Palri. The trail continues past a water source, Kurjey Drupchhu (Holy water). After crossing a suspension bridge, will take it to Padmasambhava Lhakhang. After lunch visit Tamshing Lhakhang – This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message). Continue on to visit the lake of Mebartso (The Lake of Fire) later visit Khonchosum Lhakhang.Overnight in hotel.
Day 10: Bumthang-Gangtey
After Breakfast drive to Phobjikha via Pele la Pass at the altitude of 3,150 meters, a wonderful opportunity for photographs. En-route stops at Chummy
village to visit Yathra weaving central. Yathra is made into colorful scarves, bags, blankets, and sweaters. Continue to drive to Phobjikha a bowl-shaped valley on the western slopes of Black Mountain, visit Gantey Goenpa as it is a major attraction with an old monastery date back to the 16 century. Later walk around the valley which is also the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes, which migrate, from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia during winter to this valley. Overnight will be at the hotel.
Day 11: Gantey-Punakha
After breakfast drive to Punakha. On the way visit Chhimi Lhakhang – this was founded in the 15 Century by Lama Dukpa Kinley also known as a divine mad man. It is half hour walk across a local village and rice field After lunch visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Zhabdrung. It is one of the most beautiful Dzongs in the country. Later walk around Punakha and Khuruthang town. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu-approximately 3-hour drive through picturesque valleys and mountain slopes dotted with typical Bhutanese
villages. From the Dochula pass, at over 10,000ft, vast panoramic views of the high snowcapped peaks of the Bhutanese Himalaya can be enjoyed on a clear day. Lunch will be served at the Dochula cafeteria. And you even have an opportunity to take a picture of Dochula, 108 stupas. Continue drive to Thimphu. After reaching Thimphu, Visit Buddha Point and stroll freely at Thimphu town for shopping. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13:Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast, you will visit the King’s Memorial Chorten (built-in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Buddha Point, Changgangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the takin. From there you will visit the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts), and the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After a relaxing lunch, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichodzong. Overnight in Thimphu
Day 14: Thimphu-Paro
After early breakfast drive to Paro and check-in at the hotel. Later drive up the Pa Chu to Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined Fort (destroyed by fire in 1950.) which once defended this valley from the Tibetan invasion. From here one can have the view of sacred Mt. Jhomolhari on clear days. Drive back to visit Ta Dzong former Watch Tower which now houses the National Museum and then visit Rinpung Dzong which houses the monastic school and the office of the civil administration walk down passing close by the Paro Dzong, crossing the Bhutanese typical wooden roofed bridge. Lunch will be served in the hotel. Later in the afternoon walk stroll around Paro town. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 15: Paro – Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (3120m)
After breakfast drive towards the base camp of Taktsang for the hike up to the Taktsang Monastery-Tiger’s Nest. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill. From this point, enjoy the spectacular view of the monastery, The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 meters above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. The cave is said to be the origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. In the afternoon drive to the almost fully reconstructed Drukgyel Dzong. In fine weather, the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum and Rimpung Dzong visit other sights in Paro valley. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Day 16: Departure
Breakfast in the hotel then drive to the airport for a flight to your onward destination. Tashi Delek!