Kathmandu, Nepal. International Airport
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Arrive Paro by Druk Air/ Bhutan airlines. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. On arrival, and after visa formalities, you will be received by Mountain Journeys Tours & Travels (MJTT) members and transfer to Hotel. If time permits sightseeing. Evening stroll around the market.
Paro Sightseeing – Proceed through the beautiful valley to the watch tower or locally known as Ta-Dzong. It was housed into the National museum in the 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The seven floors museum highlights various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century. A short walk downhill to the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the administrative center and school for monks. Walk further down crossing the traditional bridge into Paro Town. Afternoon visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Evening at leisure. Overnight at same Hotel.
After breakfast drive north of Paro valley to ruins of Drukgyel Dzong. From this fort Bhutanese repelled several invasions by Tibetan armies. Then take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutanese monasteries. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of Tigress and meditated at this Monastery, hence it is called “Tiger’s Nest”. The Excursion to Monastery’s view point takes about 5 hours for round trip. While return to Paro town. Overnight at the same hotel in Paro.
AM drive one hour to Thimphu, enroute visit Takchhokgang Lhakhang and check into Hotel. Afternoon visit the Institute of Zorig Chusum, National Memorial Chorten. Golden Buddha offering spectacular city & valley views and National library.
AM – drive & walk upto Chenri Hermitage. Chenri Hermitage was established in 17th century by the founder and first ruler of Bhutan , Shabdrung, Ngawang Namgyle. PM visit the Memorial chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, 15 century Changangkha monastery, Motithang mini zoo to see the rare “Takin” national animal of Bhutan and drive further down with good view of the Thimphu valley and free time in the market. Overnight at Hotel.
Drive 3 hours to Punakha by crossing the Dochula pass 3100 meters. On fine weather you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters. The drive from the pass is all the waydownhill dropping to the lower and warmer valleys of lobesa. Visit the Punakha Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Check into Hotel.
Drive 3 hours to Gangtey Gompa valley at an altitude of 2800 meters. The only Nyingmapa monastery in western Bhutan is located here. This beautiful valley is also home to the rare Black Necked Cranes migrating from the Tibetan plateau to escape the harsh winter. Currently there are 200 to 300 cranes residing in this valley and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) is taking every measure to ensure the safety of the Cranes. While the cranes reside in the winter valley for 4/5 months the village folks are not allowed to make loud noises or fish in the river that runs through the valley. Explore the fascinating glacier valley. O/N at Farm house.
Drive 6 hours crossing 2 passes over 3000 meters. The route offers magnificent views of the Himalayas and beautiful landscape through scattered hamlets and forest of rhododendrons and pine. Arrive in Trongsa meaning new village. The town mainly consists of Tibetan refugees but the most impressive of all is the Trongsa Dzong. The whole of eastern Bhutan was controlled from this fortress during the mid 17th century. Visitors are not allowed inside the building. Proceed another 3 hours to Bumthang visiting the Chume weaving center.
Overnight at Mountain lodge or similar.
Bumthang altitude 2600m, has an individuality that charms its visitors and separates it from other regions. Comprised of four smaller valleys, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in religious legend. Here tales of Guru Padmasambhava and his re-incarnation known as Tertons still linger in most nooks and corners. It is also known for its woolen material (yathra) which can be seen hung outside of houses for sale. Sightseeing – Visit the Jakar Dzong, 7th century Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey monastery, Tamshing and Kunchosum monastery. This sightseeing is a round trip so it is more interesting done on foot. Overnight same.
Excursion 2 hours to Ura village and visit the new Ura monastery. On the way visit the Mebartso meaning burning lake. Stroll around the village and return back to Guest house. Evening walk to the swiss farm where apple juice, cider, cheese etc… are made.
Today will be the longest drive almost 8/9 hours to Mongar winding through more rugged terrain. The drive from Ura is all the way uphill crossing the highest motor road pass named Thrumshing la in Bhutan at 4050 meters. The panoramic view from the pass is just thrilling. Down route from the pass goes through alpine & rhododendron forest reaching Sengor for lunch stop. This small village is a open vast land surrounded mainly by pine forest. The drive from here is hair raising as the roads is narrow and the bends gets sharper but the scenic beauty is truly enchanting passing cascading waterfalls, terraced fields and scattered farm houses. After descending at an altitude of 700 meters the climate gets warmer. Mongar is located on a hill side and is a new town. The Dzong built not long ago maintains the architectural traditions of old dzongs. Overnight at Hotel.
Day excursion to Lhuntsi. Lhuntsi is a small town and is famous for its textile weavers. You can stroll around and mingle with the people. O/N at same hotel.
The road from Mongar to Trashigang begins through lush forests and ferns passing over Kori la pass. Descend rapidly through corn fields and banana grooves passing Yedi village. Follow the Gamri river until the bifurcation to Drametsi perched atop a steep hill. It is also famous for the dance called Drametsi Nga cham (Drum dance). Trashigang lies 30 kilometers from the junction and lies on top of a steep hill. This district is the biggest and most populated in the Kingdom. The Dzong built strategically on the spur going out towards the Gamri river. Overnight Hotel.
Sightseeing – Drive 2 hours to Tashi Yangtsi. On the way visit Gom Kora monastery located near a river. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche turned into a Garuda to subdue a demon and the imprints of serpent and his body can be seen. Also there is a passage leading from one end to the other end of the huge boulder and who ever crosses the passage his/her sins will be forgiven. Next stop is at Duksum a small village boasting of the oldest iron suspension bridge built during the 15 century by Drupthob Chazampa builder of iron bridges. Further on lies the beautiful Chorten Kora a huge white washed stupa surrounded by a small community who make the famous wooden bowels (Dapa). Drive back to Trashigang. Overnight Hotel.
Drive 6/7 hours to Samdrupjongkhar. On the way visit Kanglung the only university in Bhutan. Further on visit the blind school and the famous weaving center. The road takes you through numerous towns and villages. the drive can be both adventurous and awesome. Upon arrival at Samdrupjongkhar the climate is warmer and more busy than the last visited areas since it is the border town with India. Overnight Hotel.
After breakfast you will be drop to Gauhati by Indian vehicle(3 hours drive).