Magic and Mountains

THIMPHU SIGHTSEEING - WANGDUE

DAY 1: Thimphu sightseeing includes a visit the National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts. See the Traditional Painting School of Arts & Crafts where children are taught centuries old craft. Tour the traditional medicine center where centuries old medicine and acupuncture is still practiced. Visit the National folk Heritage Museum to get an insight into the typical Bhutanese way of life. See the Textile Museum to get an understanding of the beautiful hand woven Bhutanese textiles. Drive to Punakha (70Km) via the Dochula pass (3140 m). An hour's drive from Thimphu will take you to this pass (3140 m) where one can have a superb view of the Eastern Himalayas on a clear day. Drive onto Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan and presently the winter residence of the central monk body. Visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho – Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river. Visit the Dho Jha Gha Lam Temple.
Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

WANGDUE - TRONGSA - BUMTHANG

DAY 2: Today drive to Trongsa via Pele la pass at an altitude of 3,150 metres, a wonderful opportunity for photographs. Commanding the Mangde Chu at an altitude of 2,200 metres Trongsa Dzong is the most impressive dzong in Bhutan. Built in 1644 by the Shabdrung, the dzong is an architectural masterpiece. Drive to Bumthang, this is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. Here the great teachers meditated and left in their wake many sacred grounds. Visit Yatha Weaving Center a cooperative of the National Women Association of Bhutan where the women of the region sell their textiles and Yatha specialty. Check into Hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

BUMTHANG - MONGAR

DAY 3: The journey continues eastwards, winding through more rugged terrain. The drive, with spectacular views, will take about six hours. Pass through Ura village in Bumthang before climbing sharply to the highest motor road pass in the Kingdom, the Thrumshingla Pass – 12,465 ft. Gradually drop down to Sengor. Watch cascading waterfalls along the way. The descent stops at 2,130 ft on a bridge over the Kurichu. Climb again through pine forest, maize fileds and eastern hamlets to Mongar town. The Mongar Dzong, albeit built not to long age, still maintains the architectural traditions of the old dzongs.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

MONGAR - TRASHIGANG

DAY 4: The road from Mongar to Trashigang, the eastern most region, begins through lush forests and ferns passing over the Kori La at 8,000 ft. After about an hours journey you reach the village of Ngatshang, the site of one of the fiefdoms before unification of the nation. Descending rapidly through corn fields and banana groves, you reach Yadi village. Follow the Gamri river until the bifurcation to Drametsi. This temple, perched atop a steep hill, was founded by Nun Choden Zangmo in the 16th century. This is the place from where the famous Drametsi Nga Chham, mask dance with drums, originated. About 30 kilometres onwards lies Trashigang, at 3,775 ft. Trashigang is the center of the biggest and most populated district in the nation. View the dzong, built strategically on a spur going out towards the Gamri Chu. After lunch, visit Khaling, it is the weaving center under women association of Bhutan and is under the Government of Bhutan. There you can see all the process and materials involved in weaving. Drive back to Trashigang for overnight.
Meals included: Breakfast

TRASHIGANG DAY EXCURSION

DAY 5: Excursion to Gom Kora and Tashiyangtse and sightseeing around Trashigang.
Meals included: Breakfast

TRASHIGANG - BUMTHANG

DAY 6: Drive back to Bumthang. Check into hotel. Free time to relax.
Meals included: Breakfast

BUMTHANG - GANGTEY - WANGDUE

DAY 7: After early breakfast, drive to Gangtey Gompa with picnic lunch. Visit Gangtey Gompa, which now houses one of the only Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The valley is also the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes (Grus Nicorocolis), which migrate, from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia to winter in this valley. Drive to Wangdue for overnight halt. Evening stroll around Wangdue town.

WANGDUE -THIMPHU

DAY 8: Morning: Hike a hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chhorten built by the Queen of Bhutan for peace and stability in this everchanging world. This temple is built in an auspicious place, which is like a palm of the hand and has been described in the old Buddhist scriptures. Drive back to Thimphu.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

THIMPHU - PARO

DAY 9: Drive to Paro. Check into hotel. After Lunch, hike up to the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's nest). The climb up to the viewpoint will take approx. 3hours. Enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava flew on the back of a tiger and landed there in the 8th century, and meditated for three months. After tea in the café, walk back to the road point and drive to hotel for lunch. Visit Kyichu temple one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demoness lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. Visit the Dungtse Lhakhang.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

PARO - DEPARTURE

DAY 10: Morning hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger's nest). The climb up to the view point will take around three hours. Enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambava landed on the back of a tiger in the 8th century, and mediated for three months.Afternoon visit the Ta Dzong, built in the 17th century as a watch tower for the Paro Dzong. This dzong was converted into the National musuem in 1967, and is filled with antique thankha paintings, textiles, weapons and armor. Drive to the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century, to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders, the dzong is now used as an administration centre and school for monks. Overnight at Paro.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

PARO - THIMPHU

DAY 11: You will be received by the representative of Himalayan Adventures Tours & Travel Bhutan. Visit the Ta Dzong, built in the 17th century as a watchtower for the Paro Dzong. This dzong was converted into the National musuem in 1967, and is filled with antique thankha paintings, textiles, weapons and armor. Drive to the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century, to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders, the dzong is now used as an administration centre and school for monks. Drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Check into hotel. Walk around the National Memorial Chorten built in 1974 in honor of the late King. Browse through local handicrafts and free time to mingle with the people.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner



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