• Traveling-to-Bhutan

Eastern Bhutan Tour.

Eastern Bhutan tour is the longest tour combining western, central and eastern Bhutan. Besides the sightseeing highlights in western and central Bhutan, you will visit the far eastern part of the country which has its own charm and beauty. The visit to the villages of Merak and Sakteng is the highlight of this Eastern Bhutan tour. These villages are home to the Nomadic Yak herders of eastern Himalayas and ecological Hotspots.

Eastern Bhutan Tour.

Day 01. Arrive Paro – Thimphu (Distance: 54 km, 1 hr drive):

Eastern Bhutan TourMeet and greet at the Airport and drive to Thimphu.

On the way, a short stop to view Tamchog Monastery:

  • This Monastery was built by Thang Thong Gyalpo, popularly known as “The Iron Bridge builder”. He built 108 bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, out of which 8 were built in Bhutan. His only surviving bridge is in Duksum (Tashi Yangtse in Eastern Bhutan).

In the Afternoon, visit to:

  • Memorial chorten, as the name suggests, is built in memory of the Late His Majesty Third King of Bhutan.
  • Tallest Statue of Buddha, simply marvel at the immense size of the Buddha statue that sits majestically on the hilltop. At a height of 169 feet (51.5 meter), it is one of the biggest Buddha Dordenma statues in the world.
  • Changangkha Lhakhang, this temple perched on a hilltop just above the valley constantly buzzes with pilgrim activity. Tibetan lama, Phajo Drugom Shigpo established it in the 12th century. The protective deity of the temple, Tamdrin, is supposed to bless newborns.
  • Takin Preserve center, a Mini zoo where Takins (Budorcas Taxicolor) are housed. Bhutanese believe that Takin was created in Bhutan by a Yogi, Drukpa Kuenley (Devine Madman) in the 15th Hence Takin is declared as the National animal of Bhutan.
  • Sangaygang view point.
  • Dupthop Lhakhang, located in Zilukha on a high hill above Tashichho Dzong, it houses over 70 nuns. One of the re-incarnations of Thang Thong Gyalpo founded this nunnery.

In the evening, free to stroll in the town for shopping and photography.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Galingkha.

Day 02. Thimphu Sightseeing:

Eastern Bhutan TourIn the Morning, visit to:

  • National Postal Museum where you can also print your pictures on the official Bhutanese stamps.
  • Craft Bazaar.
  • Textile Museum
  • School of 13 Arts and Crafts (Painting school).

Lunch at Simply Bhutan Museum restaurant, where you can enjoy typical Bhutanese dishes, Ara (Local wine), witness Folk dances, visit to the Folk Museum and many more.

In the Afternoon, witness the Archery match at Changlimithang stadium.

In the evening, visit Tashichho Dzong, built along the bank of a River, is an architectural delight. It houses the Throne room, offices of His Majesty the King and the Ministries of Home Affairs and Finance. It also is the summer residence of the Dratshang (Monk body).

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Galingkha.

Day 03. Thimphu – Punakha (76 Km, 2 hrs drive):

6 Days Bhutan TourIn the morning, drive to Punakha. On the way, visit to:

  • Dochu La Pass (Altitude 3140 m) with its 108 stupas and view the beautiful Himalayan Mountain Ranges in the North.
  • Chimi Lhakhang: Of all the religious figures of Bhutan, perhaps no one is as popular as Drukpa Kuenley or “The Divine Madman”. The maverick saint was so revered that a temple – Chimi Lhakhang (Popularly called The Temple of Fertility) was built in his honor. He was known as The Divine Madman for his unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism often with sexual overtones.
  • Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is the winter residence of Je Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck convened the First National Assembly here in 1952. Punakha was also an ancient capital of Bhutan until the rule of the Second King of Bhutan.

In the afternoon, hike to the beautiful Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery.

  • This temple is built on a hill top overlooking the valley below. It was built to remove negativity and promote peace, stability and harmony in the changing world. The temple dominates the upper part of valley with commanding views across the Mo Chu and up towards the mountainous peaks of Gasa and beyond.

In the evening, walk the Longest Suspension Bridge in Bhutan (160 meters).

  • This Bridge is considered the longest of its kind in Bhutan and connects the two sides of the Po Chu River. You will get a great view of the river, valley, temple, and a good boost of adrenaline as well.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Vara.

Day 04. Punakha –Wangdiphodrang – Gangtey (75 km, 2 hour drive):

The-View-of-Wangdiphodrang-Dzong-and-the-valleyIn the Morning, drive to Gangtey.

A short stop on the way to view Wangdiphodrang Dzong.

  • This Dzong was built in 1638 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This Dzong was razed by fire in 2012 and is under repair now. The Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong; four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered auspicious sign, representing the spread of religion to the four points of the compass.

Note: Upper part of the valley is called Gangtey and lower part is called Phobjikha.

While in Gangtey, visit to:

  • Gangtey Gompa Monastery built in 1613 by Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation.
  • Crane Information center.

In the evening, explore Phobjikha valley (Altitude 3000 m), the most beautiful glacial valley in the Himalayas and the roosting ground of the Rare Black- necked Cranes in winter.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Odiyana.

Day 05. Gangtey – Trongsa – Bumthang (156 km, 5 hour drive):

17 Days Eastern Bhutan TourIn the Morning, drive to Bumthang.

On the way, visit to:

  • Trongsa Dzong was built in the year 1648 and was the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second King ruled the country from this ancient seat. Protected from invaders by an impenetrable valley, Trongsa Dzong is an impregnable fortress. The Dzong itself is a labyrinth of temples, corridors and offices holding court over the local community. It is built on many levels into the side of the hill. This fortress can be seen from every approach to Trongsa heralding its strength as a defensive stronghold.
  • Ta Dzong was built in 1652 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, a task entrusted to him by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This is a cylindrical stone structure rising five storeys. After more than 350 years, it has been resurrected into a classy museum that represents a tasteful blend of tradition and modernity. There are 224 items on display from statues and scrolls to paintings, artifacts and religious objects.

In the Afternoon, drive further to Bumthang.

Dinner and overnight in Swiss Guest house.

Day 06. Bumthang sightseeing:

Jakar Dzong-17 Days Eastern Bhutan TourIn the morning, visit to:

  • Jakar Dzong which means “The Castle of White Bird” was built in 1667 by the Tibetan Lama Nagi Wangchuk. This Dzong sits on a small hill overlooking the Chamkhar valley.
  • Jambay Lhakhang built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. The Temple is visited by Guru Rimpoche who came to Bhutan in the 8th century on the invitation of Sindhu Raja.
  • Chakhar Lhakhang was initially built as the palace of the Indian King, Sindhu Raja.
  • Kenchosum Monastery built in the 6th century, this Lhakhang was renovated in 1995 and so it has a modern look to it. Legend has it that the Lhakhang contained a large bell that when it was rung, the sound could be heard all the way in Lhasa, Tibet.

In the Afternoon, drive to the beautiful Tang valley.

On the way, visit to Mebar Tsho or “The Burning Lake”.

  • Mebar Tsho or “The Burning Lake” is located along the way to the Tang valley. According to the legend, Terton Pema Lingpa had a vision of the sacred treasures that Guru Rimpoche had hidden within the lake centuries earlier.
  • Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. It is the most important Nyingma monastery because of its direct connection to Terton Pema Lingpa (1450-1521) and his re-incarnations.
  • Kurjey Lhakhang: In the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche traveled to Bumthang on the invitation of Sindhu Raja who ruled over Bumthang.

In the evening, free to stroll in the town.

Dinner and overnight in Swiss Guest house.

Day 07: Bumthang – Mongar (198 km, 7-8 hours drive):

Ura ValleyIn the Morning, drive to Mongar.

On the way, visit Ura which is the highest valley in Bumthang and believed by some to have been the home of the earliest inhabitants of Bhutan. The very traditional Ura village gives you an insight into how the central Bhutanese live with its cobbled streets lending a medieval feel. The elderly women of this region still wear sheepskin shawls on their backs which double as a blanket and cushion.  Packed lunch will be served on the way.

  • Visit Jarung Khashor Chorten is located in Lingmethang, near Kurichu River bridge. It is a replica of the Jarung Khashor Chorten in Nepal.
  • Yagang Lhakhang which is located in a small village next to Mongar town. It was built 16thcentury by Sangdag, the youngest son of Tertoen Pema Lingpa. This Chorten plays a vital role in the religious life of the locality.

In the evening, free to stroll in the town.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Druk Shongkhar.

Day 08. Mongar – Trashigang (90 km – 4 hours):

In the Morning, visit Mongar Dzong built in 1930 and drive to Tashigang.

In the evening, visit Trashigang Dzong built in 1659 to defend against Tibetan invasions.

Then, free to stroll in the town and you may come across “Brokpas”, the nomadic herdsmen of North Eastern Himalayas with a very unique dress.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Doethjung.

Day 09. Tashigang – Tashi Yangtse – Trashigang:

Chorten KoraIn the Morning, drive to Tashi Yangtse and visit the Dzong, Chorten Kora and Gom Kora.

In the evening, drive back to Tashigang.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Doethjung.

Day 10: Tashigang – Sakteng Border and back:

In the Morning, drive to Sakteng via Radi Village. This is the highlight of Eastern Bhutan Tour.

Radi village is famous for Handloom. Visit to the Radi Gompa. Packed lunch will be served.

In the evening, drive back to Tashigang.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Doethjung.

Day 11. Tashigang, Excursion to Kanglung & Yonphula Gompa:

Eastern BhutanIn the evening, return to Tashigang.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Doethjung.

Day 12. Tashigang – Mongar:

In the Morning, drive back to Mongar.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Druk Shongar.

Day 13. Mongar – Bumthang:

In the Morning, drive to Bumthang. We occasionally stop on the way to take pictures. Packed Lunch will be served on the way.

Dinner and overnight in Swiss Guest House.

Day 14: Bumthang – Paro sightseeing:

5 Days Bhutan TourIn the Morning, drive to Badbalathang airport and fly to Paro (Domestic flight).

After lunch,

  • Ta Dzong built in 1649, an ancient watch which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan. This unusual building is in a conch shape with 2.5m thick wall.
  • Rinpung Dzong built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Rinpung Dzong means ‘The Fortress on a Heap of Jewels’. It is the finest illustration of Bhutanese architecture and craftsmanship you’ll see. So impressive it is that even scenes of 1995 film, Little Buddha were filmed here.

In the evening, free to stroll in the town for shopping and photography.

Dinner and overnight in Tashi Namgay Resort.

Day 15. Paro – Haa valley – Paro (60 km – one way – 2 hr. drive):

chelela PassIn the Morning, drive to Haa valley.

We stop at Chelila pass and explore.

  • This pass is at 3988 m and has the highest motorable road in Bhutan and it separates Paro from Haa valley. You can see the beautiful view of Himalayas including Mt. Jumolhari. Little above the pass is the Sky burial site.

While in Haa valley, visit the Dzong. It is a fairly new Dzong and serves as the administrative center of Haa valley.

After Lunch, visit to:

  • Chorten Nagpo (Black Temple) & Chorten Karpo (White Temple). Both these temples were built by the Tibetan King Srongtsen Gampo in 659 on the same day as Kichu Monastery in Paro.

In the evening, return back to Paro.

On the way back, visit to Kila Gompa Nunnery. This nunnery houses around 70 -80 nuns and is a retreat center. You can see amazing views of Paro valley below, Jichu Drake and Jele Dzong in the far east.

Dinner and overnight in Tashi Namgay Resort.

Day 16. Paro Sightseeing – Hike to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery:

Taktsang-Monastery-in-ParoIn the Morning, drive to Satsam Chorten and 2 hour hike till the Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Taktsang).

  • This Monastery is without a doubt the most visited and the most photographed of all the monuments in Bhutan. It is nestled above a beautiful forest of blue pine and rhododendrons, overlooking the Paro valley. The monastery is of tremendous religious significance to the Bhutanese. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to this site on the back of a tigress and meditated here. The monastery was built in 1692 to honor and worship the Guru. The hike up to the Tiger’s Nest is give-or-take a two-hour ascent.

In the Afternoon, visit to:

  • Drugyal Dzong which means, the Fortress of the Victorious Bhutanese. A 16 km road passes up the valley to the ruins of this fortress-monastery, which was partly destroyed by fire in 1951.
  • Kichu Lhakhang, by far, this temple is one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan. The King of Tibet, Srongtsen Gampo built it in 659 AD. It is one of the 108 temples built by him in a single day across the Himalayan region. Legend goes that the King built it to overpower the left foot of a giant ogress that was thwarting the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet.

In the inner courtyard, you’ll see a mural of King Gesar of Ling. He was a popular Tibetan warrior-king, whose epic poem is said to be the longest in the world.

In the evening, free to stroll in the town for shopping and photography.

Dinner and overnight in Tashi Namgay Resort.

Day 17. Paro – Departure (End of Eastern Bhutan Tour):

After breakfast, drive to the Airport and farewell.