Explore Eastern Bhutan (16 days)

Day 1 – Paro/Thimphu
Driving Distance: 65 Kms
Driving Time: 1.5 to 2 Hours

On your journey to Paro, the panoramic views of the Himalayas are sensational, including the Everest and other famous Himalayan Peaks. The approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro becomes more exciting as you enter Bhutan.

On arrival, you are met by your Bhutanese Guide and driven to Thimphu.

In the evening visit the Bhutanese textile and handicraft shops around the Thimphu Town.

Overnight in Hotel in Thimphu. Altitude: 2350 mts.

Day 2 – Thimphu/Punakha
Driving Distance: 76 kms
Driving Time: 2.5 – 3 hrs

After breakfast, drive to Punakha.

On the way, visit:

Dochula pass: The most known pass in Bhutan, about 30 km drive from the Capital City Thimphu on the way to Wangduephodrang. It is at around 3150 mt height. On a clear day, spectacular view of the mighty Himalayas mountain ranges can be seen. The pass also has 108 Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chhortens which is believed brings multi fold merit to all sentient beings and which make the pass a must visit place.
Chhimi Lhakhang: This temple is located on the way to Punakha. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility and was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in the 15 century. Lama Drukpa Kuenley is also known as the Divine Madman.

After Lunch, visit:

Punakha Dzong: This Dzong was built by the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637. It is built at the junction the Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers. The annual Punakha Tsechhu ( Festival ) is held here. The monk body resides in this dzong in winter.

In the evening free time to walk around Punakha town and valley.

Overnight in Hotel in Punakha. Altitude: 1310 mts

Day 3 – Punakha/Bumthang
Driving distance: 180 Kms
Drivinf time: 5-6 Hrs

After breakfast, drive to Bumthang.

While in Chummey Valley in Bumthang, visit the Yathra weaving factory.

Yathra: It is the most famous textile product of Bumthang. The Chummey Valley is known for the beautiful yathra woven by the locals. Yathra is a hand woven fabric made from the wool of sheep or Yak. The wool is first spun into threads and then dyed before they are woven into Yathra with beautiful flower patterns and colours. The Yathra cloth is made into scrafs, jackets, table cloths, bags, etc. Most of the women in this valley, especially in Zungye village earn their lively hood by weaving yathra which is supplied to various towns in Bhutan.

Overnight in Hotel in Bumthang. Altitude: 2600 mts

Day 4 – Bumthang

After breakfast, sightseeing includes:

Jakar Dzong : Literally meaning the Castle of White Bird. The current structure was built in 1667.

Lamey Goemba: A large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi.

Jambay Lhakhang: built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet. (In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here.)

Chakhar Lhakhang: Literally meaning the Iron Castle, the original palace was made of Iron and hence the name “Chakhar”.

Kurjey Lhakhang: Named after body print of Guru Rimpoche.

After lunch, signtseeing includes:

Tamshing Lhakhang: Literally meaning the Temple of the Good Message, established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa.

Membarstho: Literally meaning, “The burning Lake”.

The evening ends visit a local handloom weaving house and interact with the weavers.

OverNight in Hotel in Bumthang. Altitude: 2600 mts

Day 5 – Bumthang/Mongar
Driving Distance: 190 kms
Driving time; 7 – 8 hrs

After breakfast, drive to Mongar.

Stop at places to view scenery and for photography. Drive from Bumthang to Mongar shall take you across the highest point in Bhutan’s motorable road. The point is known as the Thrumsingla Pass at an altitude of 4000 mts.

Picnic lunch on the way.

The evening ends exploring the Mongar town.

Overnight in Hotel at Mongar. Altitude: 1600 mts.

Day 6 – Mongar/Lhuntse
Driving Distance: 78 Kms
Driving time: 3 – 3.5 hrs

After breakfast, visit the Mongar Dzong.

Mongar Dzong: This dzong was rebuilt in 1953 and it is unique as it has two entrances. There are about 60 young monks residing in this dzong. You will see the images of the Buddha of long life, as well as Guru Rinpoche and the Zhabdrung.

Drive to Lhuntse.

Lhuntse is one of the most isolated and rural settlements in Bhutan. It is mostly covered by beautiful conifer and pine forests. One of the most picturesque sights in Lhuntse is the Lhuntse Dzong. The Kurtoe region is the ancestral home of the Royal family of Bhutan.

Lhuntse dzong: The dzong lies on the eastern side of the the Kuri Chhu (River), perched on a hill top. Originally a monastery was established by Kunga Wangpo in the year 1943. The formal dzong was built in 1654 by the Trongsa Penlop Minjur Tenpa after winning a battle. The dzong was named Lhuentse Rinchentse.

Overnight in camp or a guest house in Lhuntse. Altitude: 1460 mts

Note: Accommodation may not be good in Lhuntse, however we shall try our best to make your stay comfortable possible.

Day 7 – Lhuntse
1-2 hour walk.

After breakfast, hike to Khoma Village.

Khoma Village is most known for the most famous and expensive hand woven Bhutanese textile, “ Kishuthara”. Weaving Kishuthara is the main source of income for the people here.

Kishuthara is fabric made by silk on silk weaving with intricate hand laced patterns. This is highly regarded and most expensive textiles in Bhutan.
Today is a special day for textile lovers as you shall see this famous textile at its originating place. You shall see the weaving technique of this most beautiful textile. You shall also have the opportunity to interact with the different weavers in the village, understand and study their weaving techniques, process and tools. You may also try weaving with the weavers. Walk back to Lhuntse.

Overnight in camp or Guest House in Lhuntse. Altitude: 1460 mts.

Day 8 – Lhuntse/Ranjung
Driving Distance: 218 kms
Driving Time: 8 – 8.5 hrs

After breakfast, drive to Ranjung.

In the evening, take a explore Ranjung Valley.

Overnight in Guesthouse in Ranjung.

Day 9 – Ranjung
Today is another special day for textile lovers. We shall be vising the Radhi village where another famous and expensive textile is produced, “Bura”.

After breakfast, visit Radhi Village which is famous for Bura. Bura is a Bhutanese textile woven from raw silk. Explore the village meeting different Bura weaver. Interact with the weavers, study and enjoy the techniques, process, tools and materials for this famous Bhutanese textile.

Overnight in Guest House in Ranjung.

Day 10 – Ranjung/Khaling/Trashigang
Driving distance: 125 kms
Driving time: 4.5 -5 hrs.

After breakfast, drive to Khaling and visit the National Institute for the Visually Impaired (NIVI).

NIVI: This institute was started in the year 1973 with its first three students. The first principal of the institute was Mr. Einar Kippenes, a Norwegian. The establishment of the institute was the personal initiative of His Royal Highness Prince Namgyel Wangchuck, the then honorable minister of Trade Industry and Forests. Today the institute produces a number of intelligent, talented, hardworking and dedicated citizens every year, who serve the nation in different capacities and ways.

Then visit the Khaling Textile Weaving Center which is operated by the National Women’s Association of Bhutan.

Drive to Trashigang.

Overnight in hotel in Trashigang. Altitude: 1620 mts.

Day 11 – Trashigang/Mongar
Driving Distance: 92 Kms
Driving Times: 3 – 3.5 Hrs

After breakfast, visit the Trashigang Dzong.

Trashigang Dzong: Trashigang dzong lies on the headland of the dzongkhag that gives us the confluence of the Drangme Chhu and the Gamri ChhuIt was built by Minjur Tempa, Bhutan’s third Desi in the year 1667. It was once destroyed by fire and was rebuilt in only three years. On the Gorikha (Veranda) are the paintings of the kings and guardians of the four directions.

After lunch, drive to Mongar.

Overnight in hotel in Mongar. Altitude: 1600 mts.

Day 12 – Mongar/Bumthang
Driving Distance: 190 kms
Driving time; 7 – 8 hrs

After breakfast, drive to Bumthang.

In the evening explore the Bumthang Valley.

Overnight in Bumthang. Altitude: 2600 mts.

Day 13 – Bumthang
Today is a rest day and you shall have leisure time the whole day.

If you choose to do any activities or go for sightseeing to the areas not visited, Please consult your guide and make plans accordingly.

Overnight in Hotel in Bumthang. Altitude: 2600 mts.

Day 14 – Bumthang/Wangdue
Driving Distance: 197 kms
Driving time: 7 – 7.5 Hrs

After breakfast, drive to Trongsa. While in Trongsa, visit:

Trongsa Dzong: The most impressive Dzong in Bhutan. The Dzong was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Zhabdrung to unify Eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family. The first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong.

Ta Dzong: An ancient watch tower. The chapel inside the is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal.

The evening ends exploring the Wangdue Valley.

Overnight in Hotel in Wangdue. Altitude: 1310 mts

Day 15 – Wangdue/ParoDriving Distance: 138 km
Driving time: 4 Hrs

After breakfast, drive to Paro.

After lunch, sightseeing in Paro includes:

Dungtse Lhakhang: This is a little three storied chorten-shaped temple. Built in 1421 by Thangtong Gyelpo on the top of head an ogress. The temple restored in 1841 by the 25th Head Abbot of Bhutan, Sherab Gyeltshen. This temple is unique in Bhutan and shows the progressive stages of tantric Buddhism.

Ugyen Pelri Palace: Built by the then Paro penlop, Tshering Penjor, this palace is in a secluded wooded compound on the west side of the Paro Rinpung Dzong. The palace is designed after the Guru Rinpoche’s Celestial Paradise, known as Zangtopelri.

Druk Choeding Lhakhang: This is the town temple built in 1525 by Ngwang Chhogyel, one of the prince abbots of Tibet. This temple is also known as the Tshongdue Naktshang.

Chhoeten Lhakhang: This is a large Bhutanese style chorten located in the south of the Paro town square.

Overnight in Hotel in Paro. Altitude: 2250 Mts

Day 16 – Departure: Paro
After breakfast, yore driven to the Paro Airport for your departure flight homebound or onward.

Begin or Extend your trip with an extension to Nepal.

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