In this tour, you will embark on a thrilling adventure through the eastern to the western parts of Bhutan!
You will have the opportunity to explore the natural beauty and cultural richness of Bhutan as you journey from one end of the country to the other. You will visit various landmarks, monasteries, and dzongs, each with its unique story and charm.
You will witness the spectacular scenery of the high-altitude forests and the bustling small towns along the way. You will explore the rich cultural heritage of the eastern region and get an insight into the unique way of life of the people who call it home.
You will explore the vibrant city of Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, and discover the hidden gems of the Paro Valley.
Throughout your journey, you will be accompanied by an experienced guide who will help you discover the fascinating history and culture of Bhutan. You will also have the opportunity to interact with the locals and learn about their way of life.
Day 1: Arrival in Paro, Bhutan
During your flight to Paro, you will have the opportunity to marvel at some of the world's highest peaks, including Mt. Everest, Kenchenjanga, Makula, Jomolhari, Jichu Drakey, and Tserim Gang. The view from the plane is truly breathtaking and a wonderful way to start your Bhutanese adventure.
Upon arrival in Paro, you will be greeted by our representative who will accompany you to the National Museum. This museum features beautiful displays that showcase the rich cultural and natural history of Bhutan. It is an excellent introduction to the country and its unique heritage.
After the museum, we will visit the Paro Rimpong Dzong. These structures, known as dzongs, are among the most distinct and important buildings in Bhutan. They are architectural masterpieces that are as fascinating as they are beautiful. The original Paro dzong was built in the 16th century but was destroyed by fire in 1907. It was quickly rebuilt in the same year, following the same design and architectural style.
After exploring the dzong, we will hike down to the wooden bridge and enjoy some free time in the town. This is a great opportunity to soak up the local atmosphere and perhaps shop for some souvenirs.
Overall, this is a wonderful introduction to Bhutan, its history, and its unique architecture. You will have the chance to see some of the world's highest peaks and immerse yourself in the beauty of this magical kingdom.
Day 2: Crossing the Mountains to the East: The Thrilling Flight to Trashigang, Bhutan
Your day will begin with a transfer to the Paro airport for your flight to Trashigang. During the 40-minute flight, you will be treated to stunning views of the Himalayas in Bhutan. It's a truly breathtaking experience and a wonderful way to start your journey to the eastern part of the country.
Upon arrival in Yonphula, you will be transferred to your hotel in Trashigang where you can freshen up and relax. Once you're ready, we will drive for about 40 minutes to visit the monastic school founded by Garab Rimpoche in Ranjung. This is one of the biggest Nyimapa schools in the east and offers a fascinating glimpse into the traditional education system of Bhutan.
During the drive, we will make several stops for photos of rice fields, colorful houses, and picturesque villages. You will have the opportunity to admire prayer flags, chortens (religious monuments), and prayer wheels turned by water. It's a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the natural beauty of Bhutan.
Towards the afternoon, we will drive back to Trashigang and visit the Trashigang dzong. This impressive structure is a prime example of Bhutanese architecture and offers a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region. In the evening, you can explore the town at your leisure and soak up the local atmosphere.
You will spend the night in your hotel, resting and reflecting on the incredible experiences of the day. This is just the beginning of your journey through the stunning landscapes and rich culture of Bhutan's eastern region.
Day 3: A Journey to Sakten Village: Exploring the Land of the Brokpas
Embark on a memorable excursion to the remote Sakten village from Trashigang, located in the eastern part of Bhutan. After an early breakfast at your hotel, we will start our journey towards Sakten, which is located approximately 2 hours away.
As we drive towards Sakten, we will pass through breathtaking landscapes and traditional villages, offering you the opportunity to observe the daily life of the locals. The road is winding and bumpy, but the stunning scenery more than makes up for it. Along the way, we will make several stops for photographs and rest breaks.
As we near the village, you will notice a distinct change in the local culture, as the people of Sakten are known for their unique dress and traditions. The village is isolated and remote, which has helped preserve their traditional way of life.
Upon arrival, you will be warmly welcomed by the villagers who will guide you through the village and explain their customs and traditions. You will have the opportunity to interact with the locals and learn about their daily life, including their farming practices and handicrafts.
You will also have the chance to visit the local monastery, which is a significant religious site for the people of Sakten. The monastery is adorned with intricate carvings and murals, providing a glimpse into the religious and cultural heritage of the region.
After exploring the village and its surroundings, we will have a picnic lunch in a scenic spot before heading back to Trashigang. This excursion is a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and authenticity of Bhutan's eastern region, and you will undoubtedly leave with cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
Day 4: A Picturesque Drive to Mongar
As we leave Trashigang and head towards Mongar, we enter a region known for its abundant lemon grass. This wild plant grows on the mountains in the east and is a vital resource for the local people. As we make our way along the winding road, we are treated to stunning views of the surrounding mountains and villages.
Our journey takes us to Korila pass, which is situated at an altitude of 2400m. From here, we can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. As we descend towards Mongar, we are greeted with charming glimpses of the local way of life.
Upon arrival in Mongar, we take some time to explore the town. We visit the Mongar dzong, a relatively new structure that was built in the 1970s. The dzong houses around 200 monks and is also the district administration center. Inside the dzong, there are several temples that we can visit, providing an insight into the local religious practices.
After our visit to the dzong, we take a leisurely drive to our hotel, which takes around 40 minutes. Along the way, we pass through picturesque villages and take in the stunning scenery that surrounds us.
As we settle into our hotel for the night, we can reflect on the beauty and diversity of the eastern region of Bhutan. This part of the country is rich in culture, traditions, and natural resources, and our experiences here will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.
Day 5: A Scenic Drive Through Bhutan's Picturesque Route: Mongar to Bumthang
The drive from Mongar to Bumthang is regarded as one of the most picturesque routes in Bhutan. The journey takes you through thick forests, magnificent waterfalls, and remote villages that are tucked away in the folds of the mountains. The high passes offer stunning views of the surrounding peaks, and the winding roads make the drive an exhilarating experience. This region is also a haven for bird watchers, with a diverse range of species to be found here.
As you journey towards Bumthang, you will have the opportunity to make several stops along the way to take pictures and appreciate the stunning beauty of nature. One such stop is at Ura village, where you can take a stroll around the village and observe the local way of life.
The drive continues towards Bumthang, where you will spend the night. The journey takes approximately 5 hours, and upon arrival, you can relax and unwind in the comfort of your hotel. Bumthang is known for its rich cultural heritage, and there are several attractions that you can visit during your stay.
Day 6: Sacred temples and monasteries
The Bumthang valley is considered one of the most sacred regions in Bhutan, a place where the abstract and the concrete converge, and where legends and myths abound. During your visit to this region, you will have the opportunity to explore some of its most iconic landmarks, such as Kurje Lhakhang, where the Great Indian Saint Guru Padmasambhava subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock.
Another important site is Jamphel Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by Songsten Goembo, the Tibetan Buddhist King. This ancient temple stands as a testament to the rich cultural and religious heritage of the region.
Jakar Dzong, also known as the fortress of the white bird, is another famous landmark that you will visit. This impressive fortress was built in the 17th century by Tenzin Rabgay, the fourth Desi, and it remains one of the most important administrative and religious centers in the region.
In addition to these landmarks, you will also visit Tamshing Lhakhang, which was built in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa, the founder of religious treasures. This beautiful temple is renowned for its intricate murals and statues, which depict scenes from the life of Guru Padmasambhava.
You will also have the opportunity to visit Kunchosum Lhakhang and explore the small town in the evening.
After a day of exploration, you will spend the night in your hotel, reflecting on the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of this beautiful region.
Day 7: The Ultimate Cultural Experience: Tang Valley Exploration
The drive takes you through pristine forests, villages, and terraced fields. The valley is known for its unique culture and traditions that are different from the rest of Bhutan.
The first stop of the excursion is the Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, a temple that is believed to have been built in the 8th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. The temple houses some of the most ancient and sacred relics in Bhutan, including a statue of Guru Rinpoche that is believed to have flown here from Tibet.
The next stop is the Ogyen Choling Museum, a beautiful mansion that has been converted into a museum. The museum offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the aristocratic families of the region and displays various artifacts and objects that were used in their daily lives.
After the museum visit, you can explore the Tang valley and visit local farmhouses to learn about the rural lifestyle of the Bhutanese people. The valley is known for its beautiful woolen products, and you can purchase some souvenirs from the local weavers. Overnight lodge
Day 8: Discovering Bhutan's Architectural Masterpiece
After breakfast, you will depart from Tang and head towards Trongsa. Along the way, you will make a stop at Zugney village, famous for its textiles woven out of yak hair and wool. This will be an opportunity for you to observe the weaving process and purchase some souvenirs. Continuing your journey, you will cross over Yotongla pass, which stands at a towering height of 4325m. The view from the pass is breathtaking, offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Upon arrival in Trongsa, you will visit the majestic Trongsa Dzong, an architectural masterpiece that was once the ancient capital of Bhutan. The dzong is steeped in history and is a symbol of the country's rich cultural heritage. It is said that every king, before ascending the throne, must serve as the Penlop (Governor) of Trongsa. The Ta-Dzong, which was once a watchtower, has been converted into a museum, housing around 244 items used over the years by the Wangchuck dynasty. Among the exhibits is the famous Raven Crown, which was worn by the first king of Bhutan. You will have the opportunity to explore the museum and learn about the history of the Bhutanese monarchy. The intricate details and preservation of artifacts make the museum an educational and fascinating experience. After the museum visit, you will have some free time to stroll around the town and soak up the local atmosphere before continuing your journey.
Day 9: Discover the beauty of Phobjikha valley and its black-necked cranes
On the way to Phobjikha, you will stop at Chendipji stupa, a beautiful stupa that was built in the 19th century. The stupa resembles the Boudhanath stupa in Nepal, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. Its peaceful atmosphere and stunning surroundings make it an ideal stop for a brief meditation or reflection.
As you move further towards Phobjikha valley, you will enter one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan, known for its stunning natural beauty and serene environment. This valley is also the winter home of the rare black-necked cranes, who migrate from Tibet to Bhutan between November and March.
In addition to enjoying the natural beauty of the valley, you will also visit Gangtey Gompa, one of the oldest Nyingmapa monasteries in Bhutan. The Gompa resembles a Dzong and is an important spiritual center in the region. You will also have the opportunity to hike down to the valley, enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding villages along the way.
After a long day of exploration, you will retire to your hotel in Phobjikha valley, where you can relax and rejuvenate in the tranquil atmosphere.
Day 10: Punakha: The Former Capital of Bhutan, Its Rich History and Natural Wonder
The journey from your current location to Punakha is a delightful experience that will take roughly three hours. You will travel through stunning forests of rhododendron and fields of dwarf bamboo, adorned with brilliant wildflowers, lush meadows, roaring waterfalls, and a diverse range of vegetation that transforms with each mile traveled.
As you continue the descent to Punakha, a sub-tropical valley that served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955, you will come across the winter home of the Chief Abbot. Along the way, you will embark on an hour-long hike (round trip) to the Drukpa Kuenley monastery, which was constructed in the 15th century. This monastery is famed for its worship of the phallus and is linked with the "Divine Madman," Lam Drukpa Kuenley.
The Punakha Dzong, also known as the Fortress, was established in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and holds great significance in both the civil and religious life of the kingdom. At a distance, the Dzong appears like a colossal ship, gently swaying on a sea of calm water, as it sits at the confluence of two rivers, the Pho (male) and Mo (female) rivers. Although the Dzong was destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, it has been meticulously restored to its original splendor. The Fortress houses some of the most sacred and essential religious artifacts in the country.
After exploring Punakha, you will drive further up the valley and hike amidst the rice fields to the Khamsum Yuley Namgyel Temple, which overlooks the stunning Punakha valley. In the evening, you will return to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 11: Exploring the Spiritual and Cultural Gems of Thimphu
After breakfast, we will embark on a scenic two-hour drive to Thimphu. As we travel, we will reach Dochula Pass, which is about an hour away from Punakha. The pass, which stands at 3,100m, provides stunning views of the snow-capped eastern Himalayan Ranges. The peaks, which range from 6,000m to 7,554m, offer a breathtaking sight that is not to be missed. The pass is surrounded by 108 stupas, or chortens, built around a mound, adding to the area's beauty. Take a leisurely stroll around the stupas before continuing towards Thimphu.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Changangkha Lhakhang, a temple built in the 13th century overlooking Thimphu valley. The temple boasts of having the only sitting Buddha of Compassion in the country, making it a unique place to visit. We will also visit the Memorial Chorten, which is one of the best places to capture memorable pictures. The chorten, built in honor of the third king who passed away in 1972, is always bustling with pilgrims, creating an unforgettable experience.
We will spend the rest of the day exploring the town and taking advantage of the many photo opportunities available. Thimphu is a town that seamlessly blends modernity with tradition, and it's a great place to soak in the local culture. Drive time to Thimphu is approximately three hours. Overnight stay will be in a hotel.
Day 12: Explore Thimphu and around
After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we will embark on a 45-minute drive north of Thimphu to reach the Tango Buddhist Institute. The hike to this sacred place will take about 2 hours round-trip, but the stunning views of the surrounding landscape make it a rewarding experience. The institute was built in 1689 AD by Gyelse Tenzin Rabgyel, the 4th Desi of Bhutan, and today it serves as the largest Buddhist institute in the country. It is also the home of the young reincarnation of Gyelse Tenzin Rabgyel, adding to its spiritual significance.
In the afternoon, we will explore some fascinating places in Thimphu. Our first stop will be at Buddha Point, which is a popular tourist attraction offering a stunning view of the town of Thimphu. This point has one of the largest Buddha statues in the country, and it is a remarkable sight to behold. The statue stands tall and majestic, offering an inspiring image of the Buddhist religion.
Next, we will visit an archery field where we can witness Bhutan's national sport in action. The game is played with a longbow and arrow, and we can observe the players' incredible precision and skill.
Our next stop is the Takin Reserve, where we can observe the national animal of Bhutan, the takin. These unique creatures, with the head of a goat and the body of a cow, can only be found in the eastern Himalayas. In Bhutan, they are exclusively found in the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park. Legend has it that Drukpa Kuenley, a lama who is also known as the "Divine Madman," created the takin.
In addition to these exciting experiences, we will also visit Trashichodzong, a stunning fortress and monastery that serves as the seat of the Bhutanese government. We will also visit the weekend market, which offers an excellent opportunity to experience the local culture and cuisine.
After an exciting day, we will check into the hotel for a well-deserved rest.
Day 13: Local Experiences in Paro: Archery, Hot Stone Bath, and Farmhouse
Our journey towards Paro promises to be a delight for the senses, as we traverse through the beautiful Bhutanese countryside, taking in the stunning views of the mountains, forests, and valleys. En route to Paro, we make a stop at the Tachhogang Iron Bridge, a historical landmark that is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. The bridge offers a perfect spot for us to take some photographs and appreciate the splendor of Bhutan's landscape.
Later, we will visit the Kyichu temple, one of the oldest and most sacred temples in Bhutan. Legend has it that this temple is one of the 108 temples that King Songtsen Gyempo of Tibet built within a year around the Himalayan region. The temple's ancient architecture and spiritual significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Bhutan.
In the afternoon, we will take a break from sightseeing and visit a local farmhouse, where we will have the opportunity to try archery, the national sport of Bhutan. We will also savor some of the delicious local cuisines and enjoy a relaxing hot stone bath, a traditional Bhutanese therapy that involves soaking in hot water with heated stones to promote healing and relaxation.
We will spend the night in our hotel in Paro, eagerly anticipating the adventures that await us in the days to come.
Day 14: Paro – Takshang experience
No visit to Bhutan is complete without a trip to the Paro Taktshang, also known as the Tiger's Lair. This temple is one of the most sacred and revered places in Bhutan, and it is considered an architectural marvel. To reach the temple, we will drive for half an hour to the base of the mountain, where we will begin our five-hour round-trip hike. The trail is lined with colorful prayer flags, and the views are breathtaking.
Perched 1000 meters above the valley, the Paro Taktshang is believed to have been visited by Guru Padma Sambhava in 746 AD. The great Buddhist master is said to have flown to the temple on the back of a tigress in a wrathful form, subduing evil forces that were preventing the spread of Buddhism. The trek to the temple is challenging, but the experience is unforgettable, and it promises to be one of the highlights of your trip to Bhutan.
After a day filled with adventure and exploration, we will return to our hotel in Paro for a well-deserved rest.
Day 15: Departure
Transfer to the airport for departure