Bhutan has immense and exciting natural beauty, not yet modified by modernization that ranges from the lowland sub-tropical lands, to the pastures and mountains of the high Himalayas. The countryside is dotted with secluded villages, monasteries and temples over the rugged landscape that has hardly changed over hundreds of years. Moving across Bhutan from west to east across diverse ecological zones and environments also gives the traveler the superb opportunity to see variety of flora and wildlife in its natural habitat; besides visiting some of Bhutan’s most sacred pilgrimage sites. There is also a particular focus on traditional arts and crafts in such fields as woodcarving, paper making, weaving and dying of textiles using age-old techniques and taboos.
After early breakfast, we take a short drive till Satsamchorten village and hike to Tiger’s nest monastery( round trip take 5-6 hrs). After lunch at the cafeteria, return to Paro and visit Kyichu temple and Paro Dzong.
AM drive to Thimphu and visit the grand Buddha statue, Memorial Chorten and Changangkha temple. After lunch, visit textile museum and free time visit handicraft shops. In the evening after office hours, visit Tashichhodzong. (day time visits allowed only during weekends and Gov. holidays). Distance – 55 kms/1 hr. drive. Alt. 2,300m.
After breakfast, we drive to Dochula Pass(3100m) marked by more than 108 stupas. On clear days one can have spectacular views of eastern Himalayas. Descend to Punakha, Bhutan’s best agricultural regions. In the afternoon, visit Punakha Dzong that served as the capital until 1955. Distance = 70 km/3 hrs.drive. Alt.1350m. O/night stay at Zangtopleri or Dragon Nest hotel.
After breakfast, drive through distant village settlements and the rich untainted surrounding countryside to Phobjikha valley and visit Gantey Gomba, the seat of a high re-incarnate Lama Pema Lingpa. The Phobjikha valley is the winter home to the rare endangered black-necked cranes, which returns each year to escape severe winters of the Central Asiatic Plateau. After lunch at Tushita Café in Rukhubji valley, drive to Chendebji chorten and then to Trongsa. Distance = 157kms/7-8 hrs. Alt. 2200m. Yangkhil or Tashi Ninjey.
In the morning, visit the most impressive Trongsa Dzong, followed by visit to Ta-Dzong(watch tower) which is being converted into another National Museum. Then, we drive across a high mountain pass into the spiritual sanctuary of Bumthang valleys. Picnic lunch will be served in enroute. In the afternoon, we visit Nimlung monastery in Chume valley. Distance = 68km/ 3 hrs. drive. Alt. of Jakar = 2600m.
AM drive to Ura valley and then across Thrumsingla Pass(3900 meters) to Mongar. En route one can see several waterfalls, thick forests, wild life and many species of birds especially the “Great Hornbills”. Distance = 210 kms. Alt. 1600 meters.
AM drive to Radi valley and hike to Tsangkher village where women are well, known for weaving and dying of textile using ancient skills. After picnic lunch, return to Trashigang and visit Trashigang Dzong. Note: If you are staying in Ranjung monastery guest house, one can witness monks performing early morning and evening rituals and prayers.