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Eastern Bhutan Tour

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Day 1: Arrival Paro, Paro to Thimphu Arrive Paro by Druk Air, the only national carrier. The flight offers you a view of mountains and landscapes. Upon arriving in the Paro Valley and after completing visa . .
Country: Bhutan
City: Thimphu
Duration: 15 Day(s) - 14 Night(s)
Tour Category: Adventure Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99
Package Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Paro, Paro to Thimphu

Arrive Paro by Druk Air, the only national carrier. The flight offers you a view of mountains and landscapes. Upon arriving in the Paro Valley and after completing visa formalities, you will be met by Gawaling Tours & Treks’ representative at the airport.

We will then drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The journey would take us one and half hours. Visit # Memorial Chorten # towards evening visit Tashicho Dzong. Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 2: Thimphu to Punakha

Distance: 75 km
Time: 2 1/2 hours

We drive to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan over the Dochu La in the morning. If the weather is clear, we will be able to see around 200 miles of Himalayan summits bordering northern Bhutan. As we descend from the pass, we will notice that the vegetation changes from sub-alpine to sub-tropical. At the lower elevation, we will see banana plants, cactus, and other semi-tropical plants and the green terraced rice fields of Punakha.

We begin our explorations of Punakha valley with a visit to Punakha Dzong, located between two rivers. It serves as the winter residence for the central monastic body. Night halt at hotel.

Day 3: Punakha to Phobjikha

Early morning breakfast and drive to Wangdiphodrang. Visit the Wangdiphodrang dzong en-route and then proceed to Gangtey Gonpa, the seat of the Ngyingmapa Buddhism, one of the religious sects in Bhutan. The present reincarnate is the 9th descendant of Terton Pema Lingpa.

We will visit the Gangtey Gonpa monastery and take a stroll around the place. This place serves as the wintering place for endangered black-necked cranes migrating from Tibet from November to February to escape the harsh winter there. The road to Gangtey passes through dense forests and oak, rhododendron trees and is beautiful. Overnight at a Guest House.

Day 4: Phobjikha to Bumthang

After breakfast, we drive to Trongsa crossing 3,300m high Pele la pass; then we descent towards Chendebji Chorten, built in the 18th century and has the shape of that of Bodanath temple in Nepal. And we will visit the Trongsa Dzong- the biggest fortress. Then, we start our journey to Bumthang, located two and half hours towards the east. We cross over the Yotongla Pass(3400m) and then descend to Chumi Valley where we can see a weaving center- where professional weavers weave well-patterned fabrics out of wool known as “Yathra”.

After our lunch, we will visit Jambay Lhakhang- one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan in the 7th century. Then we move on to visit Kurji Lhakhang. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 5: Bumthang

Bumthang is the general name given to the combination of four valleys: Chumey, Choekhor, Tang, and Ura with altitudes varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many of prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries and was the seat of the government until the reign of the second king. Next visit Tamshing Lhakhang, the treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings, and Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley.

Afternoon we will make an excursion to see Mebar Tsho – a burning lake. It is believed that Terton Pema Lingpa had taken out a hidden treasure from the lake.

Day 6: Bumthang to Mongar

The journey continues eastwards winding through rugged terrain. This spectacular drive will take us seven hours to reach Mongar. We pass over Shaithang La /pass in the morning and descent to Ura village before climbing towards the highest motorable pass in the Kingdom, called the Thrumshingla pass (4,000 m). We will then gradually drop down to Sengor village, where we will stop for lunch. On our way, we can see cascading waterfalls. The road is narrow and overlooks deep valleys, but the scenic beauty will be breathtaking.

The descent stops at 700m, on a bridge over the Kurichu. We again ascend again through pine forest, maize fields, and eastern hamlets to Mongar town. Visit Mongar Dzong, built albeit quite recently; however, we can notice that the dzong still maintains the architectural traditions of old dzongs. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 7: Mongar to Trashigang

Our journey will take us about three hours passing through Kori la pass (2,450m), marked by a pretty Chorten and a stone wall. The first part of the journey is through a leafy forest filled with ferns. Later road descends rapidly through cornfields and banana groves and passes through the famous turns of Yadi. We then follow the Gamri river until the road bifurcates to Dametsi village, where famous Naga Chham, mask dance with drums originated. Trashigang is located about 30 km away at an elevation of 1,000m.

Trashigang is the center of the biggest and most populated district in the country. We will visit the Trashigang Dzong, which stands at the extreme end of the spur, overhanging the Dangmechhu river, the biggest river in Bhutan. The fortress serves as the seat of the administration and the monk body. Overnight stay at a hotel.

Day 8: Trashigang (excursion to Trashiyangtse)

Trashiyangtse has located around 76 km from Trashigang. About 24 km from Trashigang, is located the temple of Gom Kora, set on a small alluvial plateau, overlooking the river. Gom Kora is a famous place where Guru Rinpoche is believed to have subdued a demon. Further north at Doksum village we can see women busy weaving traditional Bhutanese fabric. Trashiyangtse Dzong is situated at an altitude of 1,850m.

In the past, Trashiyangtse was an important caravan route between western and central Bhutan. The Dzong was newly built. The Art School and Chorten Kora have located just a few minutes drive by car. Late afternoon we travel back to Trashigang.

Day 9: Trashigang to Mongar (excursion to Lhuntse)

After Breakfast drive to Mongar and then drive towards Lhuntshe to Visit Lhuntshe Dzong,

# Visit the site, where the statue of Guru Rimpoche is under construction. Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 10: Mongar to Bumthang

We will have early breakfast and then drive to Bumthang. Our lunch will be served en-route. Overnight stay at a Hotel.

Day 11: Bumthang to Punakha

We drive early morning and drive to Punakha. Lunch would be served en-route at one of the hotels in Trongsa. En-route at Wangdiphodrang take a short break for tea or coffee and then proceed to Punakha. Overnight stay in Hotel.

Day 12: Punakha to Thimphu

Drive towards Thimphu. Visit

# Traditional handmade Paper Factory

# Changangkha Lhakhang

# Mini Taken zoo

# Handicraft Emporium. Overnight stay in Hotel.

Day 13: Thimphu to Paro

Visit Ta Dzong, built-in 17th century, as a watchtower to defend Paro Dzong and the Paro valley. The fortress was later converted into the National Museum in 1968 by the Third King. It has a rich collection of antique Thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons, and Bhutan’s renowned postage stamps. Below the Ta Dzong, is the fascinating Rinpung Dzong meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels, which is the seat of the Paro district built-in 1645 by Shadrung Ngawang Namgyal. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred monasteries of Bhutan. Overnight stay at a hotel.

Day 14: Hike to Tiger's Nest

Paro is a valley of religion and myth. The most famous landmark, the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), stands on a granite cliff about 800m above the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, a famous Buddhist saint, flew to Paro on a tigress and meditated at Taktsang. The monastery is considered a national treasure of Bhutan.

The hike to Taktsang would take us around two and half hours. To reach a cafeteria, a point from where one can enjoy a great view of the monastery is more than an hour's walk from the road-head uphill. Those interested can walk further 45 minutes uphill to get a closer view of the monastery and return to the cafeteria for lunch. The journey downward to the road-head would take us less than one and half hours.

Day 15: Departure

After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for departure.

These Minimum Daily rates are inclusive of the following services :

. All private transfer & transportation during the tour in a 4x4 deluxe vehicle
. Proficient English-speaking guide.
. Tours & excursions as mentioned in the program.
. All entrance fees for museums & monuments.
. Twin sharing accommodations in govt. approved hotels with full board.
. Govt. Royalty of per person/night.
. All Govt. Taxes.

Not Included:

. Personal expenses, laundry, drinks etc
. Tips to guide and driver
. Horse ride to Tiger's nest
. Flight Fare

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