Special Tour Package

The highlight of this trip is the fishing opportunities on the trek in the beautiful alpine lakes teeming with giant sized trout. Besides fishing this trip also allows the travelers to meet people, enjoy the pristine forest with rare glimpse of wildlife and observe the ancient old traditions of arts and crafts while traveling through the less frequented areas of Bhutan. Your journey starts from Paro Valley where your flight from Bangkok or Delhi will land and where we will spend a day or two of sightseeing and fishing before we set off on our trek. Our trek leads from Paro to Thimphu crossing the chain of mountains that separates the two valleys with almost no settlement along the route. The area is famous for its spectacular rhododendron forests, which bloom in May and June. In the clear days of autumn and winter the views are superb be it of snow capped mountains or that of valleys beneath… After the trek, we will spend a day at leisure in the capital city, Thimphu before we return to Paro to catch up the flight to our onward destination.

Day 01:
Arrive Paro Flying in to the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression. Your guide who is going to be with you throughout your trip from Bhutan Wilderness Travels will meet you at the airport. A fifteen minute drive follows the narrow winding road to our hotel which is a traditional Bhutanese building with attractive gardens and an exceptionally peaceful atmosphere. In the afternoon, we will visit the Ta-Dzong which was built in 1651 as a watch tower for the Rinpung Dzong. Since 1967, the watch tower has served as the home of the National Museum and holds a fascinating collection of art, ancient relics and religious artifacts. Next in line is Rinpung Dzong built in 1646 by Shabdrung, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro and its district administration. If there is time, we will walk along the small main street of Paro in the evening with its typically Bhutanese shops and small lodges. Altitude at Paro – 2250 meters.
Overnight: hotel in Paro

Day 02: A Day of fishing along upper Paro River.

Day 03: Paro / Jili Dzong (4-5 hours) To start our trek, we will have to take a short drive of about 15 minutes to the trail head. Today, we will have to make our way up gradually along the ancient trade route till Jili La Pass (3490m). It’s then just a short gentle walk down to our camp in a yak pasture (3450m). If we have time and if you are not tired with day’s walk, we can walk along the ridge that is just above our camp for the stunning view of mountains and the valleys. Overnight: Camp at Jili Dzong (3450m)

Day 04: Jili Dzong /Jangchu Lakha (4-5 hours)
After making a short climb, the trail gets level in the meadow along the ridge for sometime before you walk downhill for a while to climb through thick alpine forest to a saddle at 3,590m. The trail then follows the ridge, making many ups and downs, along the one side of the ridge to the other, heading towards north east to our camp at Jangchup Lakha (3,780m) yet another yak pasture. En route you are likely to see or hear some monal pheasants, and if the weather is clear, you will be rewarded with the breathtaking views of the mount Jhomolhari and its associates.
Overnight: Camp at Jangchuplakha (3780m)

Day 05: Jangchu Lakha/Jimilangtsho (4-5 hours)
This morning, we have a short steep climb through the forest of junipers that starts right from the camp. Once the steep climb is done, the trail gets level for a while and then it goes gradually up and down through the thicket of dwarf rhododendrons leading ultimately to Jangchu La (4180m) before you make a big drop to the camp at Jimilangtsho Lake (3,880m). The name of this lake means Sand Ox Lake, named for a bull that emerged from the lake and joined the cattle of a family that uses the area as a summer grazing ground. This lake is known for its giant sized trout, and if we get to the camp early, you may have a bit of fishing.
Overnight: Camp at Jimilangtsho (3880m).

Day 06: A day of fishing at Jimilangtsho Lake.

Day 07: Jimilangtsho/Simkota (4-5 hours)
Today to start our climb, we will have to walk down to the southern end of the lake and then climb through dwarf rhododendrons till the trail becomes a little flat to get to another lake known as Jahnye Tsho. It is so rare to get fish from this lake but if you catch one, it’s going to be a big one. Perhaps we will give a try for the trophy for about an hour or two before we continue our climb to the next camp. From here, the path gets much wider as it meanders uphill through the dwarf rhododendrons till the summit near by the camp. As we climb up, if we take a look back to the lake when the rhododendrons are in blossom, this place with the lake gets so beautiful and special that it takes a long time to forget. Also on a clear day from here, we can see the most part of the trail that we trekked on along the ridge on the other side on day two and three of our trek.
Overnight: Camp at Simkota(4040m)

Day 08: A day of fishing at Simkota Lake

Day 09: Simkota /Thimphu (5-6 hours)
The day begins with a short gradual climb along the rocky trail till it gets level for a while and then there is a short descent before you climb up to Phume La (4210m) the highest point on this trek. From here, it’s just under an hour’s walk to the edge of the ridge which is marked by the Chorten and a grove of fluttering prayer flags. On a clear day, one can have the views of long chain of snow covered mountains, and Thimphu valley underneath. From here, we have a long downhill walk to Thimphu passing Thujidrag temple, a retreat center that hangs on the side of a precipitous rock face and some temples at Phajoding (3870m).
Overnight: hotel in Thimphu

Day 10: Thimphu/Paro (2 hours)
Today, we will take a short drive towards north to Dodena for your last fishing in Bhutan. This is one of the most beautiful fishing spot along Thimphu River. In the afternoon, proceed to Paro which takes about 2 hours along the national highway.
Overnight: hotel in Paro

Day 11: Departure
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport in time to catch up your onward flight. Your escort from Bhutan Wilderness travels will bid you farewell, and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.

DAY 1: Paro (2250 m)
Paro Cultural Tour should always start with a casual browse through the National Museum, housed in the Ta Dzong (Watch Tower) of the Rinpung Dzong, where an intriguing collection of artifacts serves as a great introduction to the rich culture and heritage of the Kingdom. Just a short stroll below lies the dominating Paro Dzong, a premier example of Bhutan?s architecture. From the Dzong, a leisurely walk back into town crosses the scenic Nyamai Azmpa, a unique model of Bhutan?s traditional cantilever bridge. Continue to the town temples, Tshongdue Lhakhang and Drukchholing Lhakhang, with its fascinating altar and paintings. The wall paintings and unique design of Dungtse Lhakhang plus a visit to the revered Kyichu Lhakhang, which pins down the left foot of a treacherous Ogress, are a great finish to this day of cultural immersion. Book this experience
The National Museum
The National Museum boasts a rich variety of exhibits collected from all over the country and belonging to different eras, some as early as 2000 B.C. A visit through the galleries shows the country?s transition from the later Stone Age to a modern Mahayanist Buddhist kingdom.
Paro Dzong
Paro Dzong, built to defend Paro from the Tibetan invasion, is also known as Rinpung Dzong, which means ‘the fortress of a heap of jewels’. This fine example of Bhutanese architecture now serves as a central monastic and administrative seat of the Paro district.
Kyichu Lhakhang
Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest and most sacred temples in the Kingdom, dating back to the 7th century when the seed of Buddhism was won in Bhutan. The Tibetan King, Songsten Gampo ordered the establishment of monasteries in the Himalayan region to subdue evil spirits and to spread Buddhism. Of the 108 monasteries which were to be built, two major ones were built in Bhutan namely the Kyichu Lhakhang and the Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang. Paro offers several attractive opportunities for shopping and experiencing the local fare. Among them, Cane and Jewels should be the first stop if you are interested in some genuine antiques and the Vajrayana Art Gallery offers an interesting collection of contemporary Bhutanese paintings. On the way you could stop at Sonam Trophel for tea and momos. The Glass House Bar at the Gangtey Palace offers the best views of the Punakha Dzong over an evening drink.
Overnight at a hotel/resort in paro

Day 2: PARO (2250 m) - THIMPHU (2300 m) Approx 1hr drive 65 KM
Visit to Cheri Monastery – Hiking
A 20-minute drive from Thimphu, takes you to the starting point for the walk to Cheri Monastery, which is believed to have been visited by Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century. After crossing a bridge, the main trail to Cheri zigzags upwards to a chorten. Remember to pass the Chorten in clock-wise direction as a sign of respect. Shortly after passing a few buildings, you will see the temple on your left. Sometimes you might spot goral (wild goat) jumping around the cliffs nearby. Cheri is considered very sacred as it contains the remains of Tempi Nima, the father of the first Zhabdrung of Bhutan, and beautiful frescoes of Buddhist saints. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built it in 1620 in memory of his father. Parts were later converted to a nunnery and still today a few nuns live here.
Time: Hike to Cheri – 1 - 2 hours round trip (2.7 km return, 330 m climb), Difficulty level – Moderate

Along this hike to Cheri Monastery we may spot the following birds:
1. Spotted Laughing Trush
2. Fire Capped Tit
3. Golden Breasted Fulvetta.
4. Yellow Backed Flower Packer
5. Maroon Backed Accentor
overnight at a hotel/resort in thimphu

DAY 3: THIMPHU (2300 m)- punakha (1310M) Approx 3hr drive 65 KM
Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley. The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.
Birding on the way to PUNAKHA
En-route to Punakha – Dochula and Lampari Botanical Park): The pristine forests of hemlock, fir, oak, magnolia, and rhododendrons offer a wealth of birds. Birding is along the highway and on forest trails. A full day en route to Punakha is required for birding in this area. Along with others highlight could include:
Endemic Wards Trogon and Wood Snipe if lucky.
Fire Capped Tit
Fire- tailed Myzornis
Rufous woodpecker
Striated laughing thrush.
Eurasian Jay
Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon.
Tashithang area
Yellow Vented Warbler
Pallas fish Eagle
White bellied Heron
Kalij pheasant
Crested kingfisher
Slaty-backed Forktail
Spangled Drongo
Spotted wren Babbler
Slender-billed scimitar Babbler
Nepal Fulvetta

DAY 4: punakha (1310M) – Pelela (3400M)- Trongsa (2200M) Approx 5hr drive 142 KM
On the way to Trongsa valley, you travel through exquisite, mixed broad-leafed forests, evergreen forests of mixed conifers, rhododendrons and magnolias till you reach the Pelela Pass (3400m.) mak6 several stops and do birding.Descending Pelela Pass, you enter the temperate alpine forests and meadows. In this environment amongst others you can chance upon:
Great Parrot Bill
Spotted laughing trush
Brown Parrot Bill
Common Buzzard
Accentors
Trongsa (2200M)
Bhutan Laughing Thush (endemic to Bhutan, recently discovered)
SpottedForktail
Bush chats
Bush warblers
Crested serpent Eagle
Overnight at a hotel/resort in Trongsa

Day 5: Trongsa (2200M) – Yotongla (3520m) Bumthang (2700M) Approx 3hr drive 68 KM
Yotongla Area 3520m

The scenic drive crosses over the 3520m high Yotong la, and is studded with Gompas and villages. The habitat at Yotungla Pass consists of Hemlock and Blue Pines with dense impenetrable dwarf bamboo thickets. Aside from:
White-winged Grosbeaks
White-browed Rose finch
Fire-tailed Sunbird
White-browed Scimitabr Babbler
Mrs. Gould Sunbird, Red-tailed and Chestnut-tailed Minlas
Ibis bill.
Hot breakfast and lunch will be served by the camping crew on the way.
Overnight at a hotel/resort in bumthang

Day 6: Bumthang (2700M)
Bumthang experiences
We will then visit the auspecious Jampa Lhakhang.The monastery is believed to have been built in the year 659 by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, on the same day as Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro, in order to subdue a Tibetan demoness. It was here that Guru Rinpoche conducted the first sermon on Tantric Buddhism for his host King Sindhu Raja, the local ruler and his family. The place where Guru Rinpoche sat during the sermon can still be seen. Every year in October, the temple hosts a spectacular festival, the Jampa Lhakhang Drup. Two of the main attractions are the fire dance and the treasure dance or ‘naked dance’, and the fertility blessings for women.
And later we will visit Kurjey Lhakhang. The monastery is named after the body (kur) print (jey) of Guru Rinpoche who was invited to meditate here in 746 AD to subdue evil spirits and demons. There are three temples; the oldest temple was built in 1652 on the rock face where Guru Rinpoche meditated. The body imprint of the great master can be seen distinctly in the rock cave enshrined in the temple. The second was built in 1900 by the first King when he was still the Governor of Trongsa. The third temple was built in 1990 with the support of the Queen Mother Ashi Kesang. A wall of 108 chortens surrounds the temple grounds and symbolizes Buddha’s victory over the evil spirits. The Cypress tree which is seen near the temple is believed to have grown from the Guru’s walking stick. After the visit we will take a short walk to the Kurjey Drupchhu (holy water). During the 8th century Sindhu Raja, the King of Chakhar invited Guru Padhma Sambawa from Yangleyshey in Nepal (meditation cave of Guru Rinpoche) to cure his prolonged illness. The Guru meditated at the present Guru Lhakhang and subdued the Demon of Dragmar Dorji Tsegpa, known as Shelging Karpo, responsible for the sickness of the Raja. Drupchhu was made available at the end of Guru’s meditation with his spiritual power to celebrate the victory over the Demon and to cure the illness of the King. Therefore it is believed that this water is holy and cures all our sins and illnesses. In the afternoon, we will visit Tamshing Lhakhang (temple of good message) The monastery is located in a village across the river from Kurjey. It was built by Pema Lingpa in 1501 and is the most important Nyingma Lhakhang in the Kingdom. Being a skilled tantric master and an artist, Pema Lingpa sculpted the main statues and painted the frescoes, which can be seen even today, mostly in original state. He also created a 25 kg suit of chain-mail armour and it is believed that you will be freed from your sins if you carry it around the lhakhang three times.
Bumthang Farmhouse Lunch
If you wish to experience not just traditional Bhutanese food in authentic surroundings, but also Bumthang specialties made from local products such as buckwheat, we would like to take you for a very different lunch experience. The family you will visit has cooked for the Royal family for generations, and their idyllic farmhouse is located in Dorjibi village nearby the river further into Choekhor Valley. By the time you arrive at their house, the lady of the house, will have spent the entire morning preparing a range of local dishes, including some of the Royal family’s favorites for you to enjoy along with a taste of their home made local wine, ara.
Time: 20 minute drive to the farmhouse in Dorjibi (or 50 minute bike ride)
Candle-lit Bhutanese Farmhouse Dinner
If you are celebrating a special occasion and wish to experience a more authentic way to explore Bhutanese cuisine, then let us arrange an out of the ordinary evening for you out. Whereas lunch in a farmhouse is served in the kitchen, the dining room is used on special evenings. Sit back in the majestic wooden chairs, and enjoy each other’s company in the flickering candlelight. On arrival you will be served freshly brewed ngaja accompanied with homemade tsho, zowh and sip. The meal will be made up of a symphony of local dishes, all prepared with fresh ingredients and each with a distinct character. To extend the evening further, a pot of heated ara with butter will be served at the end of the meal to be enjoyed in the peaceful surroundings.
We will be happy to discuss the drink menu to accompany your farmhouse meal.
OVERNIGHT AT a hotel/resort in bumthang

Day 7: Bumthang (2700M) – Wangduephodrang (1300m) Approx 8hr drive 210KM
The way back towards Wangduephodrang brings you through the same road, we will continue birding where ever we sopt the birds.
Overnight in a hotel/resort in wangduephodrang
Day 8: Wangduephodrang (1300m) – Paro (2250 m)
Birding along the way to Paro.
Paro Dzong
Paro Dzong, built to defend Paro from the Tibetan invasion, is also known as Rinpung Dzong, which means ‘the fortress of a heap of jewels’. This fine example of Bhutanese architecture now serves as a central monastic and administrative seat of the Paro district.
Kyichu Lhakhang
Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest and most sacred temples in the Kingdom, dating back to the 7th century when the seed of Buddhism was won in Bhutan. The Tibetan King, Songsten Gampo ordered the establishment of monasteries in the Himalayan region to subdue evil spirits and to spread Buddhism. Of the 108 monasteries which were to be built, two major ones were built in Bhutan namely the Kyichu Lhakhang and the Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang. Paro offers several attractive opportunities for shopping and experiencing the local fare. Among them, Cane and Jewels should be the first stop if you are interested in some genuine antiques and the Vajrayana Art Gallery offers an interesting collection of contemporary Bhutanese paintings. On the way you could stop at Sonam Trophel for tea and momos. The Glass House Bar at the Gangtey Palace offers the best views of the Punakha Dzong over an evening drink.
Overnight at the hotel/resort in paro

Day 9: Departure Paro

Introduction
A unique experience to see Bhutan in 10 days with fully trained Mountain biking guide makes unforgettable and once in a lifetime mountain bike holiday in the fascinating Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.
Moreover this trip is combined with one of the most colorful religious festival in Bhutan “Wangdue Tsechu” and half day whitewater rafting in Punakha.
This is our second year running mountain biking trips in Bhutan with Kona Bikes (www.konaworld.com)The itinerary is a pioneering and exciting mountain bike adventure which will have you riding a huge range of spectacular trails in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
One of the most exciting aspects is the complete absence of mountain bikers in the country. In Bhutan you will have the opportunity to ride genuinely untouched trails including some of the most thrilling and dramatic single-track we have seen anywhere in the world.
This is an extraordinary land where tourists are the exception rather than the rule. Remote villages, ancient temples, fascinating culture and the exceptionally friendly locals are all part of the Bhutanese way of life.

Day 01: Arrive Paro
Flying in to the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression. Your guide who is going to be with you throughout your trip from Bhutan Wilderness Travel will welcome you at the airport. A fifteen minute drive follows the narrow winding road to our hotel which is a traditional Bhutanese building with attractive gardens and an exceptionally peaceful atmosphere. We have some time before dinner to put our bikes together, in preparation for the start of our journey.
Overnight: Uma Resort

Day 02: Hike to Taktsang
After breakfast, we finish off the bikes and gear up for the first day’s riding. Bike for about an hour to the trail head to hike up to the Taktsang Monastery. This is one of the Buddhist world’s most venerated pilgrimage sites and is known as the Tiger’s Nest. It is said that the Guru Rinpoche came to Taktsang on the back of a tigress and, whilst meditating in a cave, converted the Paro valley to Buddhism. A number of temples have now been built on the site, and these occupy precarious positions, clinging to a black cliff high above the Paro valley. The visit involves a two-hour climb on a steep foot path through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. The views are well worth the effort. After spending some time at the monastery, we descend back to the road and bike to our hotel along the dirt farm road.
Duration: 5-6 hours
Overnight: Uma Resort

Day 03: Ha Valley across the Chele La
Biking easily down to the Paro valley from our hotel, we pass through farmland and scattered hamlets to reach the start of our climb to the Chele La. Setting off on our first big climb, we gain height gradually and at some of the turns have glimpses to the north of the snowcapped peaks of the Bhutan Himalaya. Chomolhari and Jichudrake are the biggest peaks at the western end of the country. After approximately 36 kilometres, which may take as long as 5 hours, we reach the prayer flagged summit of the pass at the lofty altitude of 3822 metres. This is pretty high so early in the trip and anyone not feeling up to this challenge can opt to hitch a ride on the support vehicle at any time. At the pass, we will have a snack lunch and plenty to drink and brace ourselves for a breath- taking 20 kilometers descent. After an initial cruise between the trees, we head down into the valley by way of a series of 10 extravagant hairpin turns. Thankfully, there is almost no traffic on this road.
Duration: 5 – 6 hours
Overnight: Rigsum Hotel

Day 04: Bike to Thimphu
Our destination today is the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu, which is 110ks from Ha. Thankfully, this is all on a good and fairly level road-with very little traffic. We start out very easily for 40ks we follow the Ha river gently downhill. We head towards the southeast and then northwards to a junction with Bhutan’s main east-west highway at Chuzom (2068m). Incidentally, the road from Paro also meets main highway here. From here, we follow the Thim Chu upstream through a mixture of rice fields and coniferous forest. We find a suitable wayside spot for a lunch stop and then continue, via a narrow gorge section and a widening of the valley at Namseling. Finally, the quaint suburbs of Thimphu begin to appear. Thimphu is the largest settlement in Bhutan and is spread out across a wide valley. Thimphu has a special charm and it is fascinating to sit and watch a gathering of local people in the town square, wearing their traditional dress and going about their business in a typically unhurried Bhutanese way.
Duration: 6 -7 hours
Overnight: Hotel Jomolhari

Day 05: Across the Dochu La to Punakha
Our stay in Thimphu is only a short one and we breakfast in anticipation of the bike ride that lies ahead of us. The road up to the Dochu La (3050m) involves a 22ks ride and a height gain of 670m. The hillsides on either side of road are covered in a luxuriant temperate forest, with an abundance of rhododendron and magnolia. The lower slopes are even lusher, with orange trees, bananas and bamboo. Several species of deer and monkeys make their home in this forest. We will meet our support vehicle at the pass and have a stop for rest and refreshment. The pass is marked by many prayer flags and chortens and it offers a magnificent panorama of the Eastern Himalaya, including the all of the giant 7000 meter peaks of Lunana in northeastern Bhutan. The downhill from the Dochu La into the Punakha valley will leave you speechless ¬ 1700 meters of descent, through lush forest and jungle and spread over a distance of 50 kilometers. After a quick shower and change in the hotel, we take the bus for a side trip to Punakha, Bhutan’s old capital. Lying at the junction of the Mo (Mother) Chu and the Pho (Father) Chu, Punakha Dzong is the winter home for over 1000 monks. Every year the Punakha festival celebrates the famous victory over the Tibetans, who were repulsed whilst trying to recapture the sacred statue of the God of long life, brought to Bhutan by Shabdrung. We have a sightseeing tour of the magnificent Dzong which was built in 1637 and partly restored following a flood 10 years ago.
Duration: 4 – 5 hours
Overnight: Hotel YT

Day 06: Bike to Talo
Challenging climb to the Royal villages of Talo through chirpine forests in the morning is followed by an amazing single-track descent to the ancient temples at Norbugang through beautiful forests of oaks and rhododendrons. Continue biking down the trail along the ridge to Punakha.
Duration: 4-5 Hours
Overnight: Hotel YT

Day 07: Day at Wangdi Phodrang Festival
Today, we will spend our day at the festival in Wangdi Phodrang Dzong, another district that is not so far down stream towards the south of Punakha. This festival is celebrated annually in the fall in honor of Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rinpoche to commemorate his great deeds. Both lay people and monks perform the dances of the Tsechu. The dancers take on the aspects of wrathful and compassionate deities. The dances known as Cham bring blessings upon onlookers, to instruct them in the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma, to protect them from misfortune, and to exorcise evil influences. Deities are invoked during the dances; through their power and benediction, misfortunes may be annihilated, luck increased and wishes realized. It is also a social gathering where the people rejoice together, dressed in their finest clothing and jewelry.
Overnight: Hotel YT

Day 08: Around Punakha ride and rafting
This day combines great sightseeing with the first ever designed mountain biking trail in Bhutan and a white water rafting descent. Riding down the valley, the massive artchitechural building of 17th century Punakha Dzong (fortress) soon looms into view> Built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyel in a commanding position at the confluence of Pho Chu And Mochu ( Male and female rivers) it is the second oldest Dzong. It served as the seat of the kingdoms’s government until 1955 and today functions as the winter home of je khenpo, the head abbot of Bhutan, along with the retinue of 1000 monks. After a look around we head out on an exiting single- track trail along the Po Chu to Samdingkha and picnic lunch will be serve at the put- in for the rafting. This wonderful class three river is a great introduction to whitewater with some fun intermediate rapids. It ends up passing under Punakha Dzong back at the confluence. This exhilarating ride will take you through a series of fast and calm waters allowing you to experience both the thrill of conquering whitewater and the landscape up close.
Duration: 4 – 5 hours
Overnight: Hotel YT

Day 09: Back to Paro
This morning, we will take a drive back to Paro via Thimphu. We will have lunch and spend some time in Thimphu shopping or just walking along the street before we proceed to Paro. Thimphu has a special charm and it is fascinating to sit and watch a gathering of local people in the town square, wearing their traditional dress and going about their business in a typically unhurried Bhutanese way.
Duration: 6 – 7 hours
Overnight: Uma Resort

Day 10: Departure
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport in time to catch up your onward flight. Your escort from Bhutan wilderness travels will bid you farewell, and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.

This is one of the rarest and most unique local festivals in Bumthang. This three days festival offers the experience of the Buddhist tradition in a setting of unique architecture, and breathtaking Himalayan landscape. The friendly Bhutanese people share with you their traditional lifestyle untouched by outside influence. A trip gives you unique opportunity to experience Himalayan Buddhist culture.

11th June: Arrival/Paro
flying into the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression. Your guide who is going to be with you throughout your trip from Bhutan Wilderness Travels will meet you at the airport. A fifteen minute drive follows the narrow winding road to our hotel which is a traditional Bhutanese building with attractive gardens and an exceptionally peaceful atmosphere. We have some time before dinner to put our bikes together, in preparation for the start of our journey.
Overnight: Uma

12th June: Hike to Taktsang
After breakfast, we finish off the bikes and gear up for the first day’s riding. Bike for about an hour to the trail head to hike up to the Taktsang Monastery. This is one of the Buddhist world’s most venerated pilgrimage sites and is known as the Tiger’s Nest. It is said that the Guru Rinpoche came to Taktsang on the back of a tigress and, whilst meditating in a cave, converted the Paro valley to Buddhism. A number of temples have now been built on the site, and these occupy precarious positions, clinging to a black cliff high above the Paro valley. The visit involves a two-hour climb on a steep foot path through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. The views are well worth the effort. After spending some time at the monastery, we descend back to the road and bike to our hotel along the dirt farm road.
Overnight: Uma

13th June: Haa Valley across the Chele La
Biking easily down to the Paro valley from our hotel, we pass through farmland and scattered hamlets to reach the start of our climb to the Chele La. Setting off on our first big climb, we gain height gradually and at some of the turns have glimpses to the north of the snowcapped peaks of the Bhutan Himalaya. Chomolhari and Jichudrake are the biggest peaks at the western end of the country. After approximately 36 kilometres, which may take as long as 5 hours, we reach the prayer flagged summit of the pass at the lofty altitude of 3822 metres. This is pretty high so early in the trip and anyone not feeling up to this challenge can opt to hitch a ride on the support vehicle at any time. At the pass, we will have a snack lunch and plenty to drink and brace ourselves for a breath- taking 20 kilometers descent. After an initial cruise between the trees, we head down into the valley by way of a series of 10 extravagant hairpin turns. Thankfully, there is almost no traffic on this road.
Overnight: Rigsum Resort

14th June: Bike to Thimphu (7-8hours)
Our destination today is the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu, which is 110ks from Haa. Thankfully, this is all on a good and fairly level road-with very little traffic. We start out very easily for 40ks we follow the Ha river gently downhill. We head towards the southeast and then northwards to a junction with Bhutan’s main east-west highway at Chuzom (2068m). Incidentally, the road from Paro also meets main highway here. From here, we follow the Thim Chu upstream through a mixture of rice fields and coniferous forest. We find a suitable wayside spot for a lunch stop and then continue, via a narrow gorge section and a widening of the valley at Namseling. Finally, the quaint suburbs of Thimphu begin to appear. Thimphu is the largest settlement in Bhutan and is spread out across a wide valley. Thimphu has a special charm and it is fascinating to sit and watch a gathering of local people in the town square, wearing their traditional dress and going about their business in a typically unhurried Bhutanese way.
Overnight: hotel Jomulhari

15th June: Across the Dochu La to Punakha (4-5hours)
Our stay in Thimphu is only a short one and we breakfast in anticipation of the bike ride that lies ahead of us. The road up to the Dochu La (3050m) involves a 22ks ride and a height gain of 670m. The hillsides on either side of road are covered in a luxuriant temperate forest, with an abundance of rhododendron and magnolia. The lower slopes are even lusher, with orange trees, bananas and bamboo. Several species of deer and monkeys make their home in this forest. We will meet our support vehicle at the pass and have a stop for rest and refreshment. The pass is marked by many prayer flags and chortens and it offers a magnificent panorama of the Eastern Himalaya, including the all of the giant 7000 meter peaks of Lunana in northeastern Bhutan. The downhill from the Dochu La into the Punakha valley will leave you speechless ¬ 1700 meters of descent, through lush forest and jungle and spread over a distance of 50 kilometers.
Overnight: hotel YT

16th June: Rest day in Punakha
If you like, you may take the bus for a side trip to Punakha Dzong, Bhutan’s old capital. Lying at the junction of the Mo (Mother) Chu and the Pho (Father) Chu, Punakha Dzong is the winter home for over 1000 monks. Every year the Punakha festival celebrates the famous victory over the Tibetans, who were repulsed whilst trying to recapture the sacred statue of the God of long life, brought to Bhutan by Shabdrung. We have a sightseeing tour of the magnificent Dzong which was built in 1637 and partly restored following a flood 10 years ago.
Overnight: hotel YT

17th June: Bike to Gangtey
The Central Road across the Black Mountains was completed only 20 years ago and its completion brought about great changes to the people of central Bhutan. We leave our hotel and cycle down to the river and the valley bottom, one of the lowest points of the trip at 600 meters above sea level. Crossing the bridge, we have a short climb to the village of Wangdi and then a relatively flat road for 20 kilometers to a bridge across the river just past the village of Tikke. We stop for a tea break and then begin a long climb over the Black Mountains. This is a deceptively long climb, gaining almost 2000 meters, to a junction with the side road to Gangtey, a few kilometers beyond Nobding. Crossing the pass, we descend into the Phobjikha valley, which is one of the few winter homes of the black-necked crane, which migrates here from the Central Asiatic Plateau in November. A short descent leads into the valley and to our hotel a few kilometers beyond the small village of Gangtey, whose houses are clustered around the monastery. Altitude at Gangtey: 3000 meters. Ride time: 8 to 9 hours.
Overnight: Dewachen

18th June: Cross the Pele La to Tongsa
Moving on from this fascinating spectacle, we head eastwards once again, continuing our climb to Pele La (3300m). There is a good chance that we will see langur monkeys in the forest on this section of our ride. At the pass, the forest opens out a little and we should find yaks grazing by the side of the road. Looking back from the pass, it is possible to see Jhomolhari (7219m). The Pele La is the third of our big passes and by now we should be getting used to the climbs. This pass is traditionally known as the boundary Western and Eastern Bhutan and the landscape which spreads out on the far side of the pass is different to that on the western side. Another amazing descent follows (1530m). It is downhill almost all the way for 60 kilometers to Tongsa.

We take our lunch at Chendebji, a magnificent Stupa built to ward off the demons of the valley. After crossing a bridge at Nika Chhu, we enter Tongsa district and follow a dramatic section of the road, carved into the side of a cliff, high above the Mangde Chhu. The scenery is beautiful – forest as far as the eye can see and with Tongsa Dzong visible from 30 kilometers away, at the end of the valley. Tongsa means “new village” – was founded in the 16th century, which is relatively recent for Bhutan! After so much downhill riding, beware of the final 300m climb up to Tongsa Village – it can catch you out! If we have time in the afternoon we will take a look around the Dzong, which is situated on a spur over the Mangde Chhu, with a commanding view in every direction. Altitude at Tongsa: 2200m. Ride time: 5 to 6 hours.
Overnight: hotel Yangkhil

19th June: Bike to Jakar
The road climbs rapidly through a series of hairpins out of Tongsa and there are great views back to the Dzong and out across the valley. After passing through cultivated fields for a while, we re-enter the forest and at a distance of 30 kilometers from Tongsa we reach the Yutung La (3400m).

Descending to a low point of 2650m at a village called Chumey; the scenery is once again totally different as we enter the wide-open Bumthang valleys. If you like, you may bike downhill from the pass along the historical old trade route which had been abandoned ever since the accessibility of road to this part of the country which is about thirty years ago, and the path is back into its complete wilderness form as nobody uses it now. We will take about an hour to get to the roadside at Chumey, the first of the four valleys in Bumthang, and find out a nice spot to have picnic lunch. After a short climb to Kiki La, we turn a corner for a great descent to Jakar. From almost 20 kilometers away we can see Jakar Dzong, high above the village. Altitude at Jakar: 2600m. Ride time: 7 to 8 hours.
Overnight: hotel Yoeserling

20th June: Day at the festival
This festival is celebrated annually in the fall in honor of Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rinpoche to commemorate his great deeds. Both lay people and monks perform the dances of the Tsechu. The dancers take on the aspects of wrathful and compassionate deities. The dances known as Cham bring blessings upon onlookers, to instruct them in the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma, to protect them from misfortune, and to exorcise evil influences. Deities are invoked during the dances; through their power and benediction, misfortunes may be annihilated, luck increased and wishes realized. It is also a social gathering where the people rejoice together, dressed in their finest clothing and jewelry.
Overnight: hotel Yoeserling

21st June: Jakar
Today, we will hike up to Tharpaling Monastery perched way up on the ridge above Jakar. The path goes up through beautiful and virgin conifer forest with occasional view of snowcapped mountains in the north. It’s a treat, to be on top of the ridge after the long climb. A perfect place of contemplation!
Overnight – Hotel Yoeserling

22nd June: Across the Shertang La
The height gain of 900 metres to our fifth pass, the Shertang La, is achieved after almost 40 kilometres of biking. The Ura Valley, on the far side, is the highest of the Bumthang Valleys. Extensive sheep pastures line the road and just before the pass there is a panorama of the mountains of Lunana to north. We descend from the pass by long loops, through pastureland and fields to Ura village. Here, we camp on one of the few flat places in the valley. Altitude: 3000m. Ride time: 6 to 7 hours.
Overnight: Roadside Camp

23rd June: Cross the Thrumsing La to Mongar
Bhutan’s highest road pass! Today is a long day and if we wish to cycle the whole way, we need to set off at first light. After a short descent to a bridge, we start climbing immediately to the Thrumshing La (3800m). The ascent, over 30 kilometers, is quite gradual and the scenery is stunning, as we pass through dense forest of conifer and rhododendron. The climb is actually split into two parts as there is a minor pass on the way to the Thrumshing La, followed by a short descent to a bridge across a river. The pass marks the last of our high altitude climbs. We have lunch (and a celebratory toast!) on the pass before setting off on what must rank as one of the most enjoyable and breath-takingly beautiful descents in the biking world. From the pass, the road plunges 3200m to the valley floor at 600m. The whole descent, over 85 kilometers, passes through dark conifers, then a mixture of deciduous and conifer woodland, before entering the semi-tropical zone at an altitude of around 1800m. Bamboo and an array of rare plant life lines the sides of the road, but no doubt everyone will be too involved in the dizzying descent to notice! The 20 kilometres between Sengor and Namling has the reputation for being the most hair-raising section of the road across Bhutan, but is just perfect for mountain bikes. Hewn out of the side of a cliff, and above a vertiginous drop for most of the way, this is the most exhilarating part of the trip. By the time we reach Lingmithang, the temperature will have risen considerably and we will feel as if we have arrived in the tropics. After 5 hours and 85 kilometers of solid “fun downhill”, most people will be simply speechless. The sting in the tail is a final 20 kilometers climb to the village of Mongar. Altitude: 1600m Ride time: 12 hours.
Overnight: Druk Shongar

24th June: Bike to Tashigang
Another great descent in store for us today, but first we have a further 20 kilometers of our climb to finish, en route to the Kori La (2400m), the first of two relatively minor passes. The road then descends rapidly through cornfields and banana groves and after 10 kilometers reaches the start of the famous hairpins at Yadi (1500m). Thirty kilometers of interminable bends later we arrive at a bridge across the Sheri River at 600m. This has been the second longest descent of the trip, a sparkling 1850m! Back in the hot tropical climate, we can enjoy a very pleasant ride along the side of the Gamri River to the bridge and check post below Tashigang. A steep 10 kilometers climb finishes off quite a hard day’s biking. Tashigang sees very few tourists and facilities are limited, but we stay in the best place in the town which is in reality a very basic lodge. Altitude: 1100m Ride Time: 7 to 8 hours.
Overnight: hotel Doejong

25th June: Drive to Samdrup Jongkhar (08 hours)
We have now reached the most easterly point of our journey as the road now heads south for 200 kilometers to Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan’s eastern road border with Assam.
A small celebration will certainly be in order as you will be one of only a tiny handful of people who have completed what is arguably the most beautiful and challenging bike ride in the world.
Overnight: hotel TLT

26th June: Drive to Gauhati Airport
This morning, we drive for three hours to Gauhati, the capital of Assam, where we go straight to the airport to check in for the flight to Delhi.

For the discerning travelers who wish to venture to the beyond, this is a complete itinerary that brings one from Eastern Bhutan all the way the West! Eastern Bhutan is the least traveled area of the country and is where many of the Kingdom’s most ancient spiritual sights are found. It is the Kingdom’s hinterland, remote and isolated! This is the land of the Sharchops, who speak their own language and nurture their own culture and weave beautiful textiles.

DAY 01: ARRIVAL-PARO
Flying into the country’s only international airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression.
On arrival at Paro airport, after immigration and custom formalities, your guide from Bhutan Wilderness Travel for the trip will receive you and transfer you to the hotel. After lunch we will visit the Paro Dzong, which means “the fortress of the heap of jewels.” This complex houses the administrative and religious headquarters for the Paro district. A part of Bernardo Bertolucci’s movie, “Little Buddha”, was filmed inside this Dzong. From the Dzong, we will enjoy a short and easy walk to the Pachu river and cross to the other side over a traditional cantilever (wooden covered) bridge.
Overnight: Hotel Drukchen/similar

DAY 02: TRANSFER TO BUMTHANG BY DOMESTIC FLIGHT
Bumthang is the general name given to a group of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura, with altitudes varying from 2,600 to 4,000m. In the morning we will visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom as Bhutan’s “patron saint”, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. From Kurje monastery, a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang. This temple, erected by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, is one of the two oldest in Bhutan (the other being Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro). After lunch, we will visit Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa. It contains interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later, we will visit Jakar Dzong, “the castle of the white bird”, and then take a stroll through Bumthang’s market area before returning to the lodge.

Overnight: Gongkar Lodge/similar

DAY 03: BUMTHANG-MONGAR
The drive from Bumthang to Mongar will surely enchant you as it offers one of the most spectacular views of the country. Evergreen junipers and colorful rhododendrons cover the hillsides, as fresh new scenery unfolds with every twist and turn of the winding road. Sound of the rushing streams and cascading waterfalls greets you as you look down at the valley looming in the distance below the precipitous rock face. You will be so captivated by its beauty that the eight hours journey will hardly be noticed.
Overnight: Hotel Wangchuk/similar

DAY 04: LHUENTSE EXCURSION
Lhuntse is one of the most isolated districts in Bhutan. The landscape is spectacular, with stark cliffs towering above river gorges and dense coniferous forests. The region is famous for its weavers, and their distinctive textiles are generally considered to be the best in the country. The Kurtoe region of Lhuentse is the ancestral home of the monarchy. Lhuntse Dzong is one of the most picturesque in Bhutan as it sits high on a rocky outcrop overlooking the valley.

Overnight: Hotel Wangchuk/similar

DAY 05: MONGAR-TASHIGANG
We will make a visit to Mongar Dzong in the morning and then proceed to Trashigang. The road crosses one low pass known as Kori La (2400m), before the long windy descent to a river valley to make a final climb to Trashigang. In the afternoon, we will visit the Dzong and the rest of the day at leisure to stroll around the downtown.

Overnight: Hotel Doejung/similar

DAY 06: TASHI YANGTSE EXCURSION
Today we take a drive to Tashi Yangtse where the famous festival takes place every year. The legend goes that the stupa was built to overcome the local spirit, which has been harming the locals. Today people believed that the main relic of the stupas has one of the princesses from state of Tawang.
Overnight: Hotel Doejung/similar

DAY 07: TASHIGANG-BUMTHANG
Today we retrace our journey to Bumthang. Occasional photo stop will be arrange in order to break the journey. Drive 8 hours to Bumthang along some of the most enchanting views in the country! Evergreen junipers and colorful rhododendrons cover the hillsides along with the sound of the rushing streams and cascading waterfalls.
Overnight: Gongkar Guest House/similar

DAY 08:BUMTHANG-PARO-THIMPHU
Transfer to Bathpalathang domestic airport. After arrival at Paro take 1-hour drive to Thimphu following the Pachu. Visit 15th century Tagchogang Lhakhang (Excellent horse) by walking over famous iron chain bridge. After lunch drive on to the BBS Tower Viewpoint for a stunning view of the valley. From here, take a visit to Takin Preserve to see Takin, Bhutan’s national animal - a strange looking beast which some say resembles a beestung moose!
Take a view of the majestic Tashichoe Dzong, the seat of the government before circumventing the Memorial Chorten – a monument erected in memory of Bhutan’s third king H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.

Brush shoulders with the everyday Bhutanese grocery shopping for local produce at the Centenary Farmers Market (Open Fri – Sun) Also see the new authentic craft bazaar (Close on Tue) of 80 stalls showcasing works by artisans from rural areas will showcase.
Take a fascinating tour of the working facility of the National Institute of Traditional Medicine that still dispenses traditional herbal medicines to the locals. Visit the Folk Heritage Museum – a 300-year-old traditional house converted into a museum. (Both open Mon-Fri).
Overnight: Hotel Riverview/similar

DAY 09: TAKTSHANG EXCURSION
After breakfast we’ll drive 1 hour 3 minute to the starting point of a hike to view the spectacular Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forests, passing trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. After a refreshment stop at a cafeteria on the way, you will continue for a short distance until you see, across a deep chasm but clearly and seemingly within reach, the Taktsang Monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. History states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. In the afternoon before returning to your hotel, you will visit the 7th century Kyichu Monastery, one of the oldest in the kingdom. Duration: 5 -7 hours

Overnight: Hotel Drukchen/similar

DAY 10: DEPARTURE
After early breakfast, transfer to airport to catch onwards flight. Your escort from Bhutan Wilderness Travel will bid you farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.
Thank you & Tashi Delek La!

MANAS NATIONAL PARK
Bhutan’s Crown Jewel, the Manas National Park represents the largest example of tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems in Bhutan.
This park has only recently been opened to the public and offers thousands of animal and plant species, many of which are globally endangered, it is not only the most diverse protected area in the Kingdom but also noted as one of the world’s biologically outstanding parks.
Lying in south central Bhutan, Manas is connected at the southern border with India’s Manas Tiger Reserve, a World Heritage Site. To the north it borders the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. Royal Manas was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1966 making it Bhutan’s oldest protected area. The area was upgraded to a National Park in 1993.
There are wide climate variations in Royal Manas. The May-September monsoons bring up to 5,000mm of rain. Rainfall is negligible in winter and the climate is extremely pleasant from November till March.
Manas is also extremely rich in wildlife species, including the highly endangered Royal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, greater one-horned rhinoceros, clouded leopard, Himalayan black bear, gangetic dolphin and pangolin. Found virtually nowhere else in the world is the especially rare golden langur, a primate of extraordinary grace and beauty with its long, silky blond fur.
More than 365 species of birds have been officially recorded in Royal Manas National Park with an additional 200 believed to be in residence. Species found here include the globally threatened rufous-necked hornbill, Pallas fishing eagle, and great white-bellied heron, spotted wren-babbler, blue-headed rock thrush and emerald cuckoo. Many of the park’s more than 900 types of plants have commercial, medicinal, traditional and religious significance.
WWF and Bhutan’s Nature Conservation Division jointly developed a five-year conservation management plan, which includes training and equipping park staff, improving park infrastructure, and supporting biological and socio-economic surveys and park monitoring programs.

History: The history of Bhutanese textile becomes more evident in the last century. As textile production moved beyond the confines of clothing to artistic expression of individuals and communities, patronage from the royal household was vital. Although the founders of the Wangchuck dynasty are from Bumthang, their ancestral home is in Lhuentse district, which was historically recognized as the home of most celebrated weavers in the country. The role and the influence of royal women in sustaining and furthering the weaving tradition must be acknowledge. Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal built the Wangdichholing Palace in 1857 the loom houses (thagchem) accommodating 30-40 weavers, were built around the same time near the palace, and existed until the mid 1900s.
An assortment of textile from Bhutan: The sister of the second king, Ashi Wangmo, is credited to have introduced the horizontal loom from Tibet in the 1930s. Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Sangay Choedon Wangchuck continues to extend royal patronage to the textile industry. Her Majesty’s interest and intervention have revitalized Bhutanese textile, given the industry and impetus within the country and brought world attention to Bhutanese textiles.
Today Bhutanese textiles have reached new height of dynamism and respect; that are valued not only for their economic viability, but also as symbol of Bhutan’s artistic heritage that commands world attention and appreciation.
Women weavers: Ordinary weavers produced fabrics for general use that were of standard quality. The farming wove only when they were free from agricultural work. It was the royal weavers, Thama, in the royal loom houses who were professionals. Some of the aristocratic and landed household also professional weavers. The all-encompassing use of textiles took it beyond the realm of clothing to the realms of ritual and symbolism, as an form of wealth and commodities for trade and taxation. A well-established system of production, use and exchange linked the communities, extended the thread of interdependence, and wove the very fabric of Bhutanese society.
DAY 01: ARRIVE-GUWAHATI, INDIA
Drive to Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan 3hours/108 kilometers. Depart Guwahati international airport, drive through plains of India and enter Bhutan gateway at Samdrup Jongkhar.
Overnight: Hotel in Samdrup Jongkhar.
Meals: Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 02: SAMDRUPJONGKHAR-TASHIGANG 5/6hours/180 kilometers
After breakfast your journey to Bhutan begins with short climb to Deothang which houses technical engineering collage. Continue our drive to small town of Wamrong, sub district headed by Drungpa. Soon we will reach khaling national handloom development project, which is of the several royal government initiatives to support weavers as a national art and a source of livelihood for women. Raw silk yarn imported from Assam is dyed with vegetable colors and synthetic dyes. Silk from Khaling is sought after by women around the country for their own weaving. After visit we continue our drive to Yonphu la and Kanglung, which is home to Sherubtse, collage the only university in the country. On to small eastern town of Tashigang.
Overnight: Hotel in Tashigang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 03: TASHIGANG-MONGAR
Today we visit Tashigang Dzong, a beautiful monastic fortress built in 1667 overlooking Drangme and Gamri Chu. Afterwards we continue our drive though Chir pines forest to “Yadi loops” which is one of Bhutan’s most beautiful road works. A series of switchbacks takes us to Korila pass, altitude 7865ft where will stop to catch fresh air and hear flutter of prayer flags. The road descent though rhododendron and blue pines.
Overnight: Hotel in Mongar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 04: MONGAR-LHUENTSE
2/30 hrs drive and hike to Khoma village 2hrs.Home stay or tented camp. Drive to Lhuentse, the original home of Bhutan’s royal family in the remote and ancient region of Kurtoe. The drive takes alongside cliff above a river valley. Visit Lhuentse Dzong built in the 1654. Our 2hour hike starts from kurizampa to khoma village where “kushuthara” or brocaded dress weavers practice their intricate art. Every family in 33 houses in the village has backstrap looms. Pattern are created by four supplementary wefts interworked and the warp elements so that they appears to ride the surface of the cloth like embroidery. Enjoy Home-stay with weaver’s family and experience the tradition of kind Bhutanese hospitality.
Overnight: Hotel in Mongar
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 05: MONGAR TSHECHU
A highlight of the trip will be to attending the annual Mongar Tshechu. Mingle with eastern Bhutanese people (Sharchops) to share and appreciate their culture and sacred ceremonies. Bhutanese people love to socialize, Joke, play and consume alcohol that helps them join the spirit of the celebration. Family picnics cover the festival ground. The festival is celebrated annually in honor of Guru Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rinpoche to commemorate his great deeds. Both lay people and monks perform the dances of the Tsechu. The dancers take on the aspects of wrathful and compassionate deities. The dances known as Cham bring blessings upon onlookers, to instruct them in the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma, to protect them from misfortune, and to exorcise evil influences. Deities are invoked during the dances; through their power and benediction, misfortunes may be annihilated, luck increased and wishes realized. It is also a social gathering where the people rejoice together, dressed in their finest clothing and jewelry.
Overnight: Hotel in Mongar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 06: MONGAR TSHECHU
Today we attend the second of the Mongar Tshechu. After lunch visit Yagang Ngayabling Sheldra and interact with young monks. Rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight: Hotel in Mongar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 07: MONGAR-BUMTHANG
The drive from Mongar to Bumthang will surely enchant you as it offers one of the most spectacular views of the country. Evergreen junipers and colorful rhododendrons cover the hillsides, as fresh new scenery unfolds with every twist and turn of the winding road. Sound of the rushing streams and cascading waterfalls greets you as you look down at the valley looming in the distance below the precipitous rock face. You will be so captivated by its beauty that the eight hours journey will hardly be noticed.
Overnight: Hotel in Jakar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 08: AROUND BUMTHANG
Bumthang is the general name given to a group of four valleys – Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura, with altitudes varying from 2,600 to 4,000m. In the morning we will visit Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places in the kingdom as Bhutan’s “patron saint”, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. From Kurje monastery, a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang. This temple, erected by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gompo in the 7th century, is one of the two oldest in Bhutan (the other being Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro). After lunch, we will visit Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa.
It contains interesting and ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later, we will visit Jakar Dzong, “the castle of the white bird”, and then take a stroll through Bumthang’s market area before returning to the lodge
Overnight: Hotel in Phobjikha
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 09: BUMTHANG-PHOBJIKHA
In the morning, we drive 6 hours to Phobjikha. This valley is well known as one of the last winter grounds of the black-necked cranes that migrate from the Tibetan plateau. Arrive at Gangtey Gompo where you can see the small Gangtey village and the Gangtey monastery, one of the oldest and wealthiest private monasteries in Bhutan. Afternoon lunch hike through rural villages and visit the traditional home of a local family.
Overnight: Hotel in Gangtey
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 10: PHOBJIKHA-THIMPHU-PARO
Drive in the morning for 6 hours back to Paro. In the afternoon, we will visit the Paro Dzong, which means “the fortress of the heap of jewels.” This complex houses the administrative and religious headquarters for the Paro district. A part of Bernardo Bertolucci’s movie, “Little Buddha”, was filmed inside this dzong. From the dzong, we will enjoy a short and easy walk to the Pachu River and cross to the other side over a traditional cantilever (wooden covered) bridge.
Overnight: Hotel in Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 11: HIKE TI TAKTSHANG MONASTERY
Today we hike up to the famous cliff-hermitage called Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest”. This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.
Overnight: Hotel in Paro
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

DAY 12: DEPARTURE
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to airport in time to catch up your onward flight to Delhi. Your escort from Bhutan Wilderness Travel will bid you farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.
Meals: Breakfast included

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