Experience Grand Tour of Bhutan (West–East) - 21 Days

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This 3-week tailor-made tour (west–east route) is specifically designed for those holidaymakers looking for once in a lifetime, long stay holiday in Bhutan. Arrive in Paro in the west by air and then snakes around western and central regions before heading eastern circuits through some of the untouched villages and spectacular mountains. The finish point is Samdrup Jongkhar, which is the port of entry and exit in eastern Bhutan, bordered by the Indian state of Assam. You will experience everything the country has to offer – the splendours and famous sights of the Buddhist Kingdom, amazing mountain views, untouched wilderness, stunning flora and fauna, unspoilt tradition and cultures, striking dzongs (fortress-like structures), fantastic monasteries, unique Buddhist architecture and tapestries, several hikes, interesting villages and meeting the most friendly people of Bhutan.

Day 1: Arrive Paro
Day 2: Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Day 3: Paro – Haa
Day 4: Haa – Thimphu
Day 5: Hike to Cheri Monastery
Day 6: Thimphu – Punakha
Day 7: Punakha
Day 8: Punakha – Gasa
Day 9: Gangtey Nature Trail Walking
Day 10: Phobjikha – Bumthang
Day 11: Jakar Valley Gentle Walking
Day 12: Bumthang – Yonkola
Day 13: Yonkola – Lhuentse
Day 14: Lhuentse
Day 15: Lhuentse – Mongar
Day 16: Mongar – Trashiyangtse
Day 17: Bartsham Countryside Excursion
Day 18: Bartsham – Merak (Tribal Village)
Day 19: The Nomads Land
Day 20: Trashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar
Day 21: End of Tour

Day 1
Arrive Paro

Flying into Bhutan offers the most spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges, including Mt. Everest (8,848m/29,028ft), Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m/28,169ft) and Mt. Gangkar Puensum (7,564m/24,836ft). On arrival we meet you at Paro International Airport after clearing your immigration and customs formalities and transfer to your hotel in Paro for check-in. Paro is home to the famous Taktshang Monstery (also known as Tiger’s Nest), National Museum, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. Afterwards, we visit the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower), located about 6-km from Paro town, which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan. Walk down to the Paro Dzong (also known as Rinpung Dzong), which is located across the Pachhu River (about 2-km from Paro International Airport). The dzong was built in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to safeguard Paro Valley against Tibetan invasion. The evening is at leisure to relax and enjoy, we have allowed some time for this and also to explore a small Paro town and its surroundings. Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and dinner with BGT. Overnight in Paro.

Day 2
Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Bhutan’s famous Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) is an unforgettable sight. No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Paro Taktshang (3,120m). It is stunning in its beauty and location. Today is a real highlight as you take a short hike to the Taktshang Monastery, clinging on a rock cliff at 900m above the Paro Valley floor. The monastery is one of the most revered pilgrimage places in Bhutan because Guru Rinpoche (one the founding fathers of Tibetan Buddhism) is believed to have flown to the site on the back of a flying tigress in the 8th century. An 11-km (round-trip) hike starts from the base of the mountain from the road point (Ramthangkha), which is 2-km drive from Paro town. Enjoy your rewarding hike about 4 hours (round-trip) with extra one hour to tour the monastery at a leisurely pace. There is a small teahouse halfway through from where a view of the spectacular monastery to enjoy! Gentle horse/pony rides are permitted till the viewpoint. Afterwards, there will be time to visit the Kyichu Lhakhang en route, one of the oldest and 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century (so full of history and mythology). Overnight in Paro.

Day 3
Paro – Haa

We exit Paro and set off for a scenic, meandering drive (70-km) about 2.5 hours to Haa (2,700m), bordered by Tibet to the north and Paro to the southwest. It is one of the smallest and least populated districts after Gasa. A rugged and mountainous terrain, endowed with very rich flora and fauna, characterizes Haa. En route you’ll see the Kila Gonpa Nunnery (also known as Chelela Gonpa), straddled on the cliff-side facing Paro. There are about seven small temples and several huts, a serene home of around 100 Buddhist nuns. Stop off at Chelela Pass (3,988m), the highest motorable pass in Bhutan. Soak up the most spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari (7,314m) and Jichu Drake (6,989m) from here. Then it’s all downhill (26-km) to Haa as we leave the mountain scenery. Afternoon sightseeing includes the Lhakhang Karpo and the Lhakhang Nagpo. These two temples located just above Haa–Thimphu highway are among the 108 monasteries built in one day by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. Lhakang Karpo means the “White Temple,” built at a site where Songtsen Gampo released a white pigeon. The sacred white temple was reconstructed in 2010 and consecrated in 2018, which houses the monastic body of Haa. Whereas the Lhakhang Nagpo means the “Black Temple.” Similarly, a site where the black temple stands is believed that a black pigeon flew. Enjoy some leisure time in Haa Valley in the evening. Overnight in Haa.

Day 4
Haa – Thimphu

We leave Haa Valley behind and make your way (112-km) about 4 hours to Thimphu city (2,300m) via Chhuzom where the Pachhu and Wangchhu Rivers join. Chhuzom (confluence) is a major road junction connecting Thimphu (30-km) to the northeast, Paro (24-km) to the southeast and Phuentsholing (141-km) to the south. Thimphu is a small city, home to approximately 138,736 inhabitants. En route you’ll see the Dobji Dzong looming majestically on a hilltop. It was built in 1531, considered to be the first model Dzong in Bhutan by Ngawang Chogyal (brother of Lam Drukpa Kunley). In ancient times the dzong served as a central jail. Today it is used as a Buddhist monastery. Bhutan’s capital is not a concrete jungle that you see in other parts of the world. Thimphu is set in a lovely rural valley with beautiful natural scenery on all sides and buildings built in the traditional Bhutanese style. No traffic lights in Bhutan yet! Marvel at the police directing traffic with an intricate ballet of hand signals at the main intersections. Arriving in Thimphu, visit the National Memorial Chorten (stupa), built in 1974 in honour of the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (1928-1972). This stupa is a prominent monument for Bhutanese daily worship in the city with its golden spires and bells. Another must see place to tick off on your list is Kuenselphodrang (the largest 169ft Buddha Dordenma statue in the world), built in 2006 and sits atop a hill, overlooking the southern entrance to Thimphu city. Use your free time to relax or explore the streets of Thimphu city. Overnight in Thimphu

Day 5
Hike to Cheri Monastery

Leaving the hustle and bustle of Thimpu city behind, we set out for a beautiful hike to Cheri Monastery (2,850m) through woods of blue pine, oak trees and rhododendron species. The oldest monastery is home to many sacred relics and also a meditation center, located around 14-km (35-minutes) north of Thimphu Valley. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (founder of Bhutan) built this monastery in 1620 and established the first monk body here. You’ll at first cross a cantilever bridge, vibrant with prayer flags and the sound of gushing Thimphuchhu River before hiking uphill about 1 hour along a steep trail. A visit to the monastery is spiritually purifying. Why not pray inside the monastery and play dices to reveal what is in store for your life, like fortune-teller stuff? You can also easily spot deer and jaru (mountain goats) as you approach the monastery. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the riverside. Then we drive back to Changlingmithang (Sports Complex), if lucky you will see the locals playing outrageous archery matches (national game of Bhutan) and also football. In the evening, visit the Tashichhodzong, first constructed in 1216 AD and re-built in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (founder of Bhutan), which now houses some ministries, the office and throne room of His Majesty the King and the Central Monk Body. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 6
Thimphu – Punakha

After breakfast, we travel (71-km) about 3 hours to Punakha, once the winter capital of Bhutan until 1955. It is situated in western Bhutan with a warm and temperate climate, bordered by Gasa to the north, Thimphu to the west and Wangdue Phodrang to the east and south, and also a popular tourist destination. Stop off at Druk Wangyal Chortens (108 Stupas) before crossing over Dochula Pass (3,050m). On a clear day, you can enjoy panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, including Bhutan’s highest mountain (Mt. Gangkar Puensum at 7,564m). Continue our scenic journey (52-km) to Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang Valley. Arriving in Punakha (1,350m), visit the fertility Chimi Lhakhang (temple) en route, nestled on a round hillock near a village called Sopsokha, built in 1499 by Saint Drukpa Kunley (known as the Divine Madman). The temple is about 10-km from Punakha Dzong and takes 20-minutes walk through agriculture fields. Legend has it that the childless couples wishing to have a baby from across Bhutan and occasionally from overseas are blessed with a child after visiting this mysterious temple. We also visit the Punakha Dzong, which is strategically located at the confluence of the Phochhu (male) and Mochhu (female) Rivers. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (founder of Bhutan) built the dzong in 1637. Jacaranda trees beautifully cover the dzong with the purple bloom of flowers in the spring. Overnight in Punakha.

Day 7
Punakha

Discover the delights of Punakha–Wangdue Phodrang Valley. Punakha is situated in western Bhutan with a warm and temperate climate, bordered by Gasa to the north, Thimphu to the west and Wangdue Phodrang to the east and south, and also a popular tourist destination. You’ll at first drive (7-km) about 30-minutes to the parking by the Mochhu River before climbing up the majestic Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. The Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk built this 100ft tall temple in 1994, located on a strategic ridge overlooking terraced fields and countryside of Punakha Valley. From the parking, cross a suspension bridge over the Mochhu River and walk up through paddy fields to the base of the hill before climbing a moderately inclined trail surrounded by pine trees. It takes about 45-minutes to hike up to the top. In the afternoon, sightseeing includes the Punakha Dzong, strategically located at the confluence of the Phochhu (male) and Mochhu (female) Rivers. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (founder of Bhutan) built the dzong in 1637. Jacaranda trees beautifully cover the dzong with the purple bloom of flowers in the spring. Your tour continues to the charming Rinchengang village opposite to the Wangduephodrang Dzong, which is about 20-minutes walk uphill from the highway, and the village is known for its skill in traditional method of stone masonry. Our final stop is at the Sangchen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery Buddhist College in Wolakha, spectacularly located on a hilltop (25-minutes drive from Punakha Dzong). The Queen Mothers’ parents built it in 2008 for nuns to pursue higher Buddhist studies. Overnight in Punakha.

Day 8
Punakha – Gasa

We set out early this morning to Gasa (73-km) about 3 hour away from the crowds. Gasa is a remote place, located in the extreme northwestern of Bhutan bordered by the autonomous region of Tibet to the north and offers an off-the-beaten-track experience. It has the smallest population with just about 3,000 people, famously known for its inhabitants, the Layaps (nomadic herders with a unique culture), and for the Snowman Trek (one of the most challenging treks in the Himalayas). Gasa is naturally splendid and has some of the highest snow-capped Himalayan peaks in the country with over a hundred glacial lakes at the foot of these mountains. It is also home to the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park and the habitat for different species of birds and animals including takin, musk deer, blue sheep, snow leopard, red pandas, raven, wild pheasants, snow pigeons, red billed cough, Himalayan black bear, tiger, etc. Later, visit the Gasa Dzong (known as Tashi Thongmon Dzong), built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate the victories over the Tibetans. The fortress is circular in shape with three watchtowers placed on strategic points. Flower lovers will find abundant of wild orchids such as epiphytic orchids and ground orchids. One of the top attractions includes the hot springs, located at the bottom of the ridge. The hot spring is popular amongst Bhutanese during the winter. In the evening, we return to Punakha for overnight.

Day 9
Gangtey Nature Trail Walking

This morning, our journey covers (78-km) over 2 hours of driving into the countryside of Phobjikha (2,900m), and takes us past the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong overlooking the convergence of the Dangchhu and Punatsangchhu Rivers. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (founder of Bhutan) constructed the dzong in 1638, resembling that of a sleeping elephant. The fortress was gutted by fire in 2012 and is under reconstruction. Phobjikha Valley is a must visit for nature enthusiasts and is also well-known for the winter home to the rare Black-Necked Cranes that migrate from the Tibetan plateau from late October to mid-March. Take the opportunity to visit the 17th century picturesque Gangtey Gonpa (monastery) on the hillock with amazing views of the valley. This monastery is the only Nyingmapa School of Buddhism taught here in western Bhutan. Afternoon is set aside for a short and gentle nature hike (4-km) about 2 hours. The best way to soak up this magnificent valley is to head downhill from the start point (nearby the monastery) to Semchubara village. This trail takes you through beautiful forests, flower meadows and into vast plains of Phobjikha Valley, ideal for spotting some birds, grazing cows, farmhouses, people and the local life. After passing a chorten and Khewa Lhakhang through gentle grassy slopes carpeted with purple primluas, your hike ends at the local community school. Overnight in Phobjikha.

Day 10
Phobjikha – Bumthang

Today you’ll at first travel to Trongsa (120-km) about 3 hours via Chelela Pass (3,390m). It is not uncommon to encounter grazing yaks by the roadside along the East–West highway. On the way we pass by the Chendebji Chorten below the road. A nice stop to stretch your legs and walk around the stupa! This 18th century monument resembles the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. Enjoy a scenic journey, changing landscapes from the awe-inspiring mountains to lush vegetation. From the viewpoint (Thumangdra) opposite to the Tronsa Dzong, you can take photos of the beautiful landscapes and dzong. Lunchtime is at Trongsa, the ancestral home of the present Royal Family of Bhutan (where the Institutional Monarchy of Bhutan was born). Trongsa was once the headquarters for the central and eastern regions and has been the seat of Trongsa Penlop (Governor). All the Kings of Bhutan first invest as the Trongsa Penlop before ascending to the throne. Visit the massive and majestic architectural masterpiece of the Trongsa Dzong with a distinctive yellow roof. It is the largest fortress in Bhutan, built in 1648, overlooking the gorge of the Mangdichhu River. Continue your journey to Bumthang (68-km) about 2.5 hours via Yotongla Pass (3,425m). You have an option to explore the Yathra Weaving Centre in Chumig village en route, where the Bumthap women weave yak and sheep wools into the beautifully patterned fabric called “Yathra” including woollen mattresses (Drumzeedhen). Evening is at leisure where you’ll have some time to stroll along the streets of a small Jakar (Bumthang) town.. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 11
Jakar Valley Gentle Walking

We explore the pristine Bumthang Valley (also known as Jakar), the religious heartland of Bhutan and home to some of the oldest temples and monasteries in the country. From your hotel, we drive 10 to 15 minutes to the Jambay Lhakhang (Temple of Maitreya), said to be one of the 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo on a single day in the 7th century (so full of history and mythology). This temple was built to subdue evil spirits of the demoness causing obstruction to the spread of Buddhism. Continue onto a farm track along the valley floor walking about 15 to 20 minutes towards the Kurjey Lhakhang complex, which consists of three temples. A 108-chorten walls surround these impressive temples with a huge front yard on the side of a hill. Guru Rinpoche meditated in a cave in the 8th century to subdue the local demon (Phola Shelging Karpo) to fight off ill health of the King of Bumthang, Sindhu Raja. Of the three temples, the oldest and holiest Guru Lhakhang was built in 1652, and hence the temple was named after Guru’s body imprint left on a rock. Next, we cross a suspension bridge over the rushing Chamkharchhu River on foot to the Tamshing Lhakhang. Terton Pema Lingpa founded this temple in 1501 for the teachings of Nyingma Buddhism in central Bhutan, who was prolific treasure finder and one of the influential religious figures in Bhutanese history. From here, your transport will pick you up and head to the Kenchosum Lhakhang (dates back to the 8th century), located opposite to the Kurjey Lhakhang and very close to the Tamshing Lhakhang. Kenchosum Lhakhang is renowned for its ancient relic, the 8th century broken bronze bell (believed to be a gift from mermaid). Legend has it that when this bell is rung the sound could be heard as far as Lhasa in Tibet. Much of this temple was almost destroyed by a butter-lamp fire in 2010. It is now re-constructed with brightly painted building and re-consecrated in 2014, housing the three statues of Due-Sum-Sangay (The Present, Past and Future Buddhas) amongst other relics. This evening enjoy authentic traditional Bhutanese dinner in Sherab Dema Farmhouse. Here you can play archery or laze in a traditional hot stone bath. Overnight in Bumthang.

Day 12
Bumthang – Yonkola

Today is a driving day but rewarding journey covering over 170-km about 6 hours to Yonkola, the hotspot for birding in eastern Bhutan. Soak up the scenic views of the rushing rivers, cascading waterfalls, imposing cliffs and snow-capped peaks along the East–West highway. En route stop off at Ura Shelthangla, where you’re rewarded with a magnificent view of Mt Gangkar Puensum (7,564m), Bhutan’s highest unclimbed peak. Continue to Ura (3,100m), which is about 49-km from Bumthang town. If taken the new Nangar–Ura bypass (32-km), a journey to the east is reduced considerably. Ura Valley (3,100m) is a quaint and beautiful vilage, home to Bhutan’s largest clustered settlement. Notice the scenery changes as you enter from Bumthang to Yonkola, a haven for nature, bird and wildlife watchers via Thumshingla Pass (3,880m), which is the highest point of the journey, shrouded in thick hemlock and rhododendron forests. If lucky enough you may encounter Satyr Tragopan, Ward’s Trogon and Rufous-necked Hornbill. Stop for Lunch in Sengor (3,500m), which is 55-km from Ura. Sengor is home to the most special mountain bird, Himalayan Monal. Then we travel to Yonkola (1,855m) via Namling (3,000m), Bhutan’s most sought-after birding area where many avid bird watchers spend many days here. Overnight in Yonkola.

Day 13
Yonkola – Lhuentse

We set out this morning at a leisurely pace towards Autsho (920m) under Lhuentse district in the northeastern Bhutan. Autsho is a small town located by the Kurichhu River. We follow the scenic route through Lingmithang with rich sub-tropical rainforest. You’ll cros the hydro power plant (60 MW) generates sufficient power for the eight eastern districts. The road to Lhuentse is a junction at Gangola (1,110m), where the local farmers sell packets of cornflakes, fruits, peanuts and vegetables. You arrive in Phayul Resort at Autsho for your overnight, located by the riverside with a delightful garden, offering a relaxed vibe and fine rural atmosphere. Rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax and enjoy, we have allowed some time for this and also to explore the idyllic Autsho town and its surroundings. Overnight in Autsho.

Day 14
Lhuentse

Lhuentse (1,400) is one the historic places and ancestral home of our Kings. Today we continue towards Tangmachhu (38-km) navigating through paddy fields and traditional houses. Sightseeing includes the 154ft tall Guru Padma Sambhava statue (Guru Nangsa Zelnen), built in 2008-2015, sits atop a hill in Takila. Next, visit the Lhuentse Dzong (also known as Lhundup Rinchentse Dzong), located on a hilltop overlooking the Kurichhu River. It was built in 1654 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa and houses many sacred artifacts installed by 4th Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Perhaps why not also see the Gangzur village known for its earthen pottery farm (2-km away from Lhuentse town)? End you day exploring the Khoma village (about 11-km) from Lhuentse town, notably famous for its signature hand woven, intricately patterned textiles and fabrics called “Kishuthara.” The kishuthara is highly regarded and most expensive textiles of Bhutan, worn by women in every special occasion, even the Royal Family places their order for clothes here. In the evening, it is free for you to go around some homes, mingle with locals and experience their culture. Overnight in Khoma village.

Tonight you’ll spend your night in local homes. A farmhouse in Bhutan is very colourful, decorative and traditionally built having a 2-storey with decent toilets, shower, hot stone bath, etc. Such service providers are trained in basic housekeeping, cleanliness and hygiene for tourist purposes. It gives you a total new experience living in a village house where food and drinks are served by the housemother like she does for her family members, intermingle with the locals and participate in the local daily activities (including how to prepare a Bhutanese meal) if you so wish, etc. You won’t regret for adventuring into this bit of lifetime fun!

Day 15
Lhuentse – Mongar

Our return journey takes us to Mongar, one the fastest developing districts in eastern Bhutan with many economic activities. The second biggest hospital is built here. Mongar is known for its lemon grass, a plant that can be used to produce an essential oil. Visit the Mongar Dzong, built in 1930 (which not located is strategically unlike the other dzongs of Bhutan). The original 17th century dzong (fortress-like) was in Zhongar, located on a hilltop overlooking the Themnangbi village and is visible on descending to Lingmenthang from the East–West highway. You have plenty of time today – perhaps why not drive to see Kilikhar Shedra (Buddhist College), which is about 4-km (10-15 minutes) drive from the Mongar town? The Buddhist College is also known as Kedeykhar Lungtok Choeki Gatshel Shedra, founded in 2000. There are over 84 monks learning Budhhism here. The evening is at leisure to relax, enjoy and explore the delightful surroundings of Mongar town. Overnight in Mongar.

Day 16
Mongar – Trashiyangtse

Today we make our way (124-km) about 6 hours to Trashiyangtse (1,750m), an ethnically and culturally diverse new district bifurcated from Trashigang in 1992. Follow the same road travelling back via a stretch of the East–West highway called the “Yadi bends” (17-km), which zigzag downhill a series of hairpin after crossing over Korila Pass (2,289m). Two roads diverge from Chazam (81-km) downhill; take left turn for Trashiyangtse straight. Explore the Gomkora Lhakhang (temple), which is 22-km from Trashigang town. It is a sacred site in eastern Bhutan where Guru Rinpoche meditated in a rock adjoining the temple to subdue a demon. Over the next 2 hours (32-km) takes us to Trashiyangtse via Duksum, and en route explore the old Trashiyangtse Dzong, rebuilt in the 15th century by Terton Pema Linpa, which now houses the monastic body. Later, visit the College of Zorig Chusum, established in 1997, where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Final stop is at the dazzling white Chorten Kora (a stupa modelled like that of the famous Boudhanath Stupa in Nepal), located on the Kholongchhu riverbank. This stupa was built over a period of 12 years around 1740, and locals believe that an 8 year dakini girl was buried alive on her own free will in the stupa as an offering from the Dakpa tribe from Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh in India. In the evening, enjoy some leisure time exploring a small Trashiyangtse town. Overnight in Trashiyangtse.

Day 17
Bartsham Countryside Excursion

Leaving Trashiyangtse behind, this morning we travel (approximately 54-km) about 2 to 3 hours to the untouched Bartsham villages via Duksum (30-km) through Ramjar (17-km). Bartsham geographically shares its boundaries with Ramjar, Jamkhar, Yalang and Bidung villages. Today enjoy the countryside excursion walking through idyllic villages surrounded by forest hills. Visit the Chador Lhakhang Monastery (also known as Gonpa Ringbu), built in the 12th century. It is located atop a ridge with commanding views of the surrounding villages and mountains in north Trashigang. The main relic, statue Chana Dorji (also fondly called Memmay Chador), a precious treasure is the protecting deity in the locality. The monastery is a revered place of worship for the Bartsham community and devotees across Bhutan. Later, spend time to mingle with young monks in the Shedra (Buddhist College) adjoining the monastery. The Shedra offers 12-year courses in Buddhist philosophy, astrology, rituals, liturgical studies, rigney (grammar) and other Buddhist practices including 3 years of retreat. Spend rest of the day on an optional visit to a farmhouse for authentic Bhutan experiences. Get to know the farmers and engage in village activities such as milk cows, brew ara (local wine), weaving, learn to cook and eat together, etc. Overnight in Bartsham.

Day 18
Bartsham – Merak (Tribal Village)

Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour northwest of Trashigang, which has picturesque villages including the semi-nomadic of Merak village (a remote place you’ll visit on this trip). You’ll at first travel via Bidung villages (10-km) to the east of Bartsham. A scenic countryside journey (13-km) further takes us to Rangjung, a small commercial hub. Visit the Rangjung Woesel Choeling Monastery, located on a small hillock overlooking Rangjung town and the surrounding villages. The monastery, built in 1989 in the Tibetan-style architectural, has a monastic school to study Buddha dharma for the benefit of the Buddhist community around the world. Here you may spot the nomadic people from Merak and Sakteng again, who come to the lower valleys on a shopping trip. Enjoy a leisurely stroll in the delightful countryside of Radhi villages, known as the “Rice Bowl of the East” and famous for skilled-weaving of the raw silk textiles and dyeing. Break for authentic traditional Bhutanese lunch at a local farmhouse. In the afternoon, continue to Merak (3,500m) via Khardung village (38-km) about 4 hours. Stop in places to view scenery, meet local people, villages, and farm for photography. The remotest and least known Brokpa tribes of Merak and Sakten valleys in eastern Bhutan offer a unique insight of the semi-nomadic lifestyle. Spend rest of the evening by visiting around some tribal homes, mingle with locals and experience their culture. Overnight in Merak.

Tonight you’ll spend a night in local home stay. A farmhouse in Bhutan is very colourful, decorative and traditionally built having a 2-storey with decent toilets, shower, hot stone bath, etc. Such service providers are trained in basic housekeeping, cleanliness and hygiene for tourist purposes. It gives you a total new experience living in a village house where food and drinks are served by the housemother like she does for her family members, intermingle with the locals and participate in the local daily activities (including how to prepare a Bhutanese meal) if you so wish, etc. You won’t regret for adventuring into this bit of lifetime fun!

Day 19
The Nomads Land

A truly unforgettable day in the land of nomads today! Merak and Sakteng were not opened for tourists until 2010. The semi-nomadic Merak village was connected with a motorable road in 2014. Bropka (yak herders) speak a unique dialect, wear unique clothing and migrate through the seasons with their yaks, moving between the highlands in summer and the lowlands in winter. They still practice the barter system, trading cheese, butter and dried meat for grains and other goods for livelihood. This morning, enjoy a few hours of tour around Merak with a visit to the Merak Lhakhang and Merak Primary School. Enjoy stunning views of the village, surrounding mountains and Aum Jomo peak, a female protective deity of the nomads. After lunch, we bid farewell to our host in the village and head back to Trashigang town (approximately 61-km). Overnight in Trashigang.

Day 20
Trashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar

Departing Trashigang, your final trip in Bhutan takes us to Samdrup Jongkhar (290m), the entry and exit point for tourists entering eastern Bhutan overland. It is by far the largest urban centre in eastern Bhutan, which is situated in the southeastern region of the country and shares borders with the Indian state of Assam. Today’s journey is 180-km about 7 hours. This morning we pass by Bhutan’s first university, Sherubtse College in Kanglung (28-km), which was established in 1978. Next, we reach Khaling (14-km) and continue onto Wamrong (29), via Kharungla Pass (2,350m). The country’s only school for the visually impaired, Muenselling Institute in Khaling, established in 1973 can be seen below the road. Visit the National Handloom Development Centre in Khaling en route, where young women from remote rural areas get trained in weaving with supports from the National Women’s Association of Bhutan. Stop for lunch in Wamrong (29), located midway between Samdrup Jongkhar–Trashigang. Continuing our scenic journey we arrive in Narphung (41-km), a popular stopover where shops sell a variety of local produce such as fresh vegetables, fruits, cereals, dairy products, bamboo crafts, etc. after passing Melong Bra (the highway cut through sheer cliffs). Admire the Mithun (Bos fontalis), the best breed of cattle in Bhutan at the Regional Mithun Breeding Farm, Orong. Stop off at Dewathang (18-km) before reaching Pinchina checkpoint. Dewathang was the site the site where the father of Bhutan’s First King led the Bhutanese troops in a final battle against the British in 1884. The evening is at leisure to explore the border town and all of the fun attractions and shopping. Overnight in Samdrup Jongkhar.

Day 21
End of Tour

Your tour ends today. Our Indian ground operator (local representative) will transfer you to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, Assam in the northeastern state of India to connect with your onward flight. Goodbye and Good luck!

Peak Season – Land Only (Prices in USD Per Person)

Start Date Mondays1 person 2 people3-10 people11-15 people16-20 people
07 Sep 2020$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
14 Sep 2020$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
05 Oct 2020$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
12 Oct 2020$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
02 Nov 2020$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
09 Nov 2020$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
01 Mar 2021$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
08 Mar 2021$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
05 Apr 2021$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
12 Apr 2021$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
03 May 2021$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040
10 May 2021$4890 $4800 $4230 $4120 $4040

Regular Season – Land Only (Prices in USD Per Person)

Start Date Mondays1 person 2 people3-10 people11-15 people16-20 people
07 Dec 2020$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
14 Dec 2020$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
04 Jan 2021$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
11 Jan 2021$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
01 Feb 2021$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
08 Feb 2021$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
07 Jun 2021$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
14 Jun 2021$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
05 Jul 2021$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
12 Jul 2021$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
02 Aug 2021$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080
09 Aug 2021$3880$3790$3220$3150$3080

Our Pricing Policy

Prices are quoted and payable only in (US dollars). All prices published on our websites, brochures and marketing materials are set as low as possible. The guide prices may vary at any time subject to government actions, changes in exchange rates, increase in transportation costs or fuel prices before we have accepted your booking. However, we guarantee our prices who have already signed up for your tour.

Price includes

  • Pickups and drops from airports and hotels
  • Comfortable transport (private vehicle) throughout your trip
  • Licensed English-speaking guide & driver
  • Best accommodation in 3 star hotels with private bathrooms based on 2 adults sharing a twin/double bed (single supplements apply)
  • Comfortable farmhouse/home stay/heritage house can also be arranged
  • Camping facilities and haulage for trekking tours
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and bottled water daily
  • All sightseeing & hiking (entrance fees to museums and other attractions)
  • Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
  • All applicable internal taxes and service fees
  • Bhutan visa fees

Price Excludes

  • International and domestic flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Other personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks & beverages, laundry, telephone calls, etc.
  • Discretionary tips for guides and drivers (see FAQs)
  • Upgrade to luxury properties (4 star and 5 star hotels)
  • Single room supplement from USD $50 per night
  • Optional activities & additional services
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