Reference Eastern Bhutan Tour. Trashigang Festival Tour.
Trashigang is the main hub for Eastern Bhutan and a bustle during the festival as Nomads from the mountains come to witness the festival and barter their goods in preparation for the harsh winters back home.
DAY 01 ARRIVE PARO
During the journey, and on a clear day,the traveler will experience from the left side of the plane a spectacular view of Mt. Everest, and other famous Himalayan Mountains including the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by Bhutan Jewel Travel representative. Freshen up at the Hotel. Discuss the Tour Program with the Tour Guide and your Tour begins ;
Overnight: Hotel in Paro
DAY 02 PARO – SIGHT SEEING
Morning visit Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress), 16 kilometers away from Paro town. Although it has been in ruin but this Dzong has its great historical importance for the people of Bhutan. It was a place where the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetan invasion and drove them back. On a clear day one can view the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari (Mountain of Goddess). Its altitude is 7,329m.Visit Kyichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means temple). Which was built in 659 AD by the King Songtsen Gompo of Tibet as one of the 108 such monasteries he built in various places to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong. It is one of the holiest place in the country, as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country.
After Lunch visit National Museum which used to be a watch tower for Paro Rimpong Dzong (Fortress). It was converted into Museum in 1968. Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, the Dzong was built in 1646 AD, and walk down to town one the way you can see the traditional wood bridge of ancient style. Visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse and sightseeing trip to the Paro town.
Overnight: Hotel in Paro
DAY 03 PARO – A DAY EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY
Drive up to Satsam Chorten (10 km from Paro town) and from there walk up to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest “. The Monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff drop of nearly 4000 ft. and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava known as the second Buddha in Bhutan meditated on this spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress. Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. The round hike takes about 4 Hr.
Overnight: Hotel in Paro.
DAY 04 PARO – THIMPHU
Visit Simtokha Dzong on the way. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 AD. It houses the largest monastic schools in the country. Visit Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the Central Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks. Lunch hotel in Thimphu. Afternoon: Visit the Memorial Chorten (a great stupa) built in memory of the Third King of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Visit the mini Zoo where the national animals were kept and drive to Sangeygang where you can have a spectacular view of Thimphu valley. Visit nunnery in Zulikha. Visit the Wood Craft and Painting school where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive through the instructions of painting and curving. Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved.
Overnight in Hotel in Thimphu
DAY 05 THIMPHU – TRONGSA
Drive to Trongsa (200km) the journey takes about 6 hours through Dochula Pass (3150m). On the way stop for a photo stop at Dochula Pass which is 26km away from Thimphu valley, and for Tea and snacks and to enjoy the most spectacular view of eastern Himalayan snow capped Mountains and also the great view of Gasa Dzong at a distance (If weather is clear) and descends down to subtropical area Wangdue Phodrang and again it ascends up to the Pelela Pass which is 3340m where you can see wonderful view of Himalayan Mountains and this Pass separates the western from the other regions of the country. Lunch in Chendebji.
Overnight: Hotel in Trongsa.
DAY 06 TRONGSA – BUMTHANG
Visit the Trongsa Dzong, one of the largest Dzongs in the country, the ancestral home of our Royal family. It was built by Chogyel Minjur Tempa, the third Desi, in 1648. The Dzong now is the office of the district Administration and central monastic body. Visit also the Ta Dzong (Watch Tower) and stroll through the small Trongsa town. Lunch in Trongsa. Afternoon. Drive to Bumthang Valley across the Yutola Pass. The journey takes about 3 hrs and is one of the most scenically beautiful journeys to Bhutan, Enjoy the hospitality of Bhutanese family in farm house or guest house in Bumthang.
Over night: Guest house in Bumthang
DAY 07 BUMTHANG – SIGHT SEEING
Visit the village and explore the beautiful valley of Bumthang. Drive through the picturesque valley of Bumthang and visit Jambay Lhakhang Kurje Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, and Kuenshusum Lhakhang. Lunch in Guest house. Afternoon, Visit Jakar Dzong, built by Minjur Tempa, the 3rd Desi in 1646 AD (Desi means temporary ruler appointed by the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal) and drive to Member (Tsho) the burning.
Over night: Guest house in Bumthang
Day 08 BUMTHANG – MONGAR
After breakfast, drive to Mongar. Packed Lunch will be served on the way. You can pass through the Bumthang and enroute explore Ura valley, one of the most beautiful valley of Bhutan. There you can see the typical Bhutanese farm houses.
Over night: Hotel in Mongar.
DAY 09 MONGAR – TRASHIGANG
After breakfast, visit Mongar Dzong. This Dzong was rebuilt in 1953 and is quite small. There are around 50 to 60 monks in the Dzong, many of them young boys eight to ten years old. The image of in the Dzong are Buddha of long live as well as Guru Rimpoche ( One who brought Buddhism in Bhutan) and drive further to Trashigang. On the way to Trashigang, we have to cross over Korila Pass. Visit Trashigang Dzong which is on the high promontory that over looks the confluence of the Drangme Chu (River) and Gamri Chu. It was built in 1667 by Mingyur Tenpa, Bhutan’s third Desi(Govener). Here you can see many Nomadic herdsmen (Brokpas) of Higher Himalayas. This day is perfect for Photography with these Nomadic Herdsmen.
Over night: Hotel or farm houses.
Day 10 – 13 TRASHIGANG – ATTEND FESTIVAL
Attend the Festival and if time permits a day excursion to Khaling to visit the women weaving center.
Over night: Hotel or farm houses
DAY 14 TRASHIGANG – MONGAR
After breakfast, drive to Bumthang. Packed lunch will be served on the way. If you have time in the evening visit the Wangdicholing Palace (the old ruins Palace), where the residence for the 1st and 2nd Kings. In the evening, stroll in the town.
Dinner and over night in a Bhutanese Farm House to see the Bhutanese way of Life or Guest house in Bumthang.
DAY 16 BUMTHANG – GANGTEY VALLEY
Drive to Gangtey valley which takes about 5 hours journey and it is a beautiful valley situated at an altitude of 3000m, this valley was open its route very recently. During winter one can see the endangered species of bird (Black Naked Crane). Lunch in Phubjikha.
Over night: Hotel in Gangtey valley
DAY 17 GANGTEY VALLEY – PARO
Drive to Paro via Punakha and Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong lies between two great rivers with the wonderful view of Punakha Dzong. The names of the rivers are Phochu (Male River) and Mochu (Female River). This Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the district Administration. Lunch in Dochula Pass. Afternoon drive to Paro.
Over night: Hotel in Paro
DAY 18 PARO – PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT for departure
Drive to Paro International Airport and Bhutan Jewel Travel will accompany you to bid farewell as you embark on your onward journey back home.
This reference itinerary can be used as it is or can be customized as per the travelers choice of places and events