THE COMPLETE BHUTAN: West to East
A cultural-powered tour that covers the entire breadth of the country, from cosmopolitan Paro and Thimphu in the west, to the cultural heartland of Bumthang, and the easternmost outpost of the Kingdom, the remote village of Trashiyangtse. We begin our long drive across this emerald jewel of a kingdom, taking the drives in short doses so we can savor the distinctiveness of each corner of the country. As we work our way eastward, we feel as though we are traveling further and further back in time.
This could well coincide with one of colorful religious festivals where we will spend time to attend the masked dances, which attract thousand of villagers from far and wide, but very few foreigners.
On this tour, we will traverse through high mountain passes affording spectacular mountain views.
Explore the serene valleys from west to east where we will take time to visit some of the more important dzongs (fortress-monastery) and temples.
Witness the colorful Tsechu festival – an occasion for dances that are clearly defined in religious context.
Meet and mingle with the local people in the countryside
Itinerary: THE COMPLETE BHUTAN- West to East
Day 1 – Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, and overnight at the Amari Airport Hotel.
Day 2 – Fly to Paro, Bhutan, scenically situated in a pretty terraced valley.
Day 3 – Explore Paro Valley visiting the several sacred sites dotting the beautiful landscape.
Day 4 – Hike to Taktsang Monastery (the “Tiger’s Nest”) on a steep trail through the forest. Later drive to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital.
Day 5 – Explore Bhutan’s capital. Optional – day hikes in the forested countryside near Thimphu.
Day 6 – Scenic drive over the Dochu La (10,000 ft.) to the Punakha Valley, Bhutan’s old winter capital.
Day 7 – Tour the Punakha Dzong, one of the most scenically situated dzongs in the country, and take a short hike over the rice paddies to the small but charming Chimi Lhakhang (temple).
Day 8 – Drive to Gangtey valley, the winter home to the rare and endangered black necked cranes. Visit the imposing 17th-century monastery.
Day 9 – Drive to Bumthang, enjoying views of snowy peaks and visiting weavers of the Chumey Valley.
Day 10 – Explore the monasteries and pilgrimage sites of the Bumthang Valley, the spiritual and cultural center of the country.
Day 11 – Drive to Mongar across the Thrumshing La (12,500 ft), spectacular mountain views everywhere in clear weather.
Day 12 – Drive to Trashigang, the biggest settlement in the east. Visit the impressive dzong.
Day 13– Day excursion to Trashiyangtse. Visit Chorten Kora stupa beautifully set in the valley.
Day 14 – Drive to Samdrup Jongkhar, border town. The scenery and vegetation changes as you drive through light mountain jungle.
Day 15 – Transfer to Gauhati, India for your flight home
Day 16 – Departure by flight
Note: (Itinerary varies slightly for each departure, depending on location of festival.)