Cross country Bhutan tour touches most of the religions in the country. This holiday package takes you to the rice bowl of west to the cultural core of central Bhutan and to the undomesticated east passing the highway in the country. The Thrimshing La pass 3700 m is also abode to about 15 species of rhododendrons. The walk down from the pass till 650m will supply us some of the most spectacular scenery and birds survive in the country.
Few tourists decide to visit the eastern part of the country. But the cross country Bhutan tour takes you to this remote part as well which provides you an absolute experience of Bhutan. The experience of the remote and most inaccessible villages in the east will make you feel as if you had back in the past life. The main attraction of this holiday package also comprises exploring rural houses, ancient temples and monasteries, the abodes of the great performers of textiles and wooden products.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
Welcome to Bhutan, the land of the Thunder Dragon. We will be greeted by the Actual Adventure representative upon exiting the arrival hall at Paro International Airport. We will take an easy walk to acclimatize to the elevation. Today we will visit the striking valley Paro which is abode of many Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only airport is in Paro. The valley is also famous for mount Chomolhari (7,300m) is positioned at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water appearances the Pachu running through the valley. Next attraction of the Paro valley is Paro Dzong which is also recognized as Rinpung Dzong, this 15
century huge monastery, is also the executive center of the Dzonkhag.
Day 2: Paro to Trashigang
Today we will fly to Yonphula from Paro International Airport from where we will drive to Trashigang. We will visit University City of Kanlung on the way, located 25 km south of Trashigang. Sherubtse College was established in 1978 and if time allows we will also visit the sanctified Zangtokpelri Monastery. We will go through the small village of Khaling which is the spot of historic battlefield.
Day 3: Trashigang to Trashi Yangtse
Today our alternatives include an explore Trashi Yangtse (1.45 hours) through Gom Kora to visit Chorten Kora. Trashi Yangtse margins Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian state. The ancient trade itinerary from east and west Bhutan used to take a trip through Trashi Yangtse. We will observe the shops selling the colorful patterned clothes at village of Duksum which is woven by the village women using back strap-looms. We will then explore Trashigang.
Day 4: Trashigang- Mongar
In the early morning we will forwards west to Mongar. When we walk down into the valley of the KuriChug, we will cross the wide fertile field and tropical fruits such as mango and pineapples. The dominant language is Sharchop which is very different from Dzongkha. The eastern and western Bhutanese normally has to communicate in English or Nepali language.
Day 5: Mongar – Bhumthang
We will leave Mongar early in the morning. The drive along Mongar and Jakar is one of the most striking drives in the country. When passing through the Thrumsing La pass (Bhutan’s highest pass at 3,800m) we are now formally leaving eastern Bhutan. The drive crossways the Thrumshing La pass and the consequent down walk from the high elevation pine forest to green meadows is lengthy and laborious, the steady natural diversity makes our drive worth in the country. We will see a Ura valley on the way, the highest valley in Bhumthang.
Day 6: Explore Bhumthang
Bhumtang is one of the most striking valleys and also the hub of Buddhism in Bhutan. This area has a great diversity of plants and animals. The Guru Ringpoche making Bhumthang his abode have guided to about 40 temples being built. We then visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sanctified monasteries in Bhutan constructed in 1652 by Rinpoche. Then we will move towards Jambay Lhakhang which was built in 1659 by Tibetan king Sontsen Gampo. In October, there is one of the most colorful festivals in this Lhakhang in Bhutan.
Day 7: One day more at Bhumthang
Today we will visit another holy site of Bhumthang that is Me-Bar Tsho (Me-Bar=burning, Tsho=lake). The blessing lake is said to be on the holiest lake in the Bhutan. Terton Pema Lingpa (Buddhist saint and treasure founder) dived into the lake holding a burning butter lamp in one hand many years ago. When he came out of the lake he held some remains one hand and the butter lamp still burning on the other hand. So the lake was called Me-Bar Tsho.
Day 8: Move to Gangtey
Trongsa is the place from where the current kingdom had its source in Bhutan. Before putting on the Raven Crown, every king in the row of the sequence had held the post of Trongsa Penlop or governor. Today we will step to Trongsa Dzong which was raised in the 16th century by Pema Lingpa and prospered during the 17th century. The attractive castle is an enormous structure, its wall emerging high over the winding Mangde Chu valley imposing the east west road.
This afternoon we keep on going up to the Phojikha Valley. All around this valley solar power is used as electricity or mini hydro plants. We can observe striking Black mountains on the western slope of the valley which is the important wildlife conserves in the country and winter home for unusual black necked cranes.
Day 9: Gantey to Punkha
This morning we continue our walk towards west through Wangdue Phodrang to Punakha valley. We will not miss the opportunity to ramble the traditional shopping village of Wangdue. When the amazing Wangdue Dzong start to visible, see the huge cacti that cover the hillside which were planted to dispirit attacker from ascent the slope to the Dzong. We will also see the Bhutan’s oldest village, Rinchengang.
Day 10: visit Punakha
Today we will visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 which is the winter residence of clergy, started by the chief Abbott, the Je Khenpo. This Dzong represents the striking example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at diverge of two rivers, describing the illustration of a medieval city from a distance. Then we will cross Punakha River using the longest and highest suspension bridge which will be an exciting experience.
Day 11: Drive to Thimpu
Today we will first drive to a small hill, Sangaygang where the Bhutan Broad Casting tower is stationed. It takes around 15 minutes from the main city. We can enjoy the beautiful view of Thimpu city. On the way to hillock, we can also see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Then we will move to Buddha point at Kuensel Phodrang which is one of the tourist sites. The 169 feet Buddha’s bronze statues attracts many visitors. At night, the scene of Thimpu valley from here is fantastic and beautiful. After that we will be witnessing the art of traditional weaving at textile Museum. We will not miss visiting the largest Thimpu Dzong which is also the place of the office of the king of Bhutan.
Day 12: Thimpu (Tango day hike)
Today we will do a day trekking to a Tango Goemba site which held religious significance since the 12
century. At that time this Goemba was the habit at home of lamas who established the Drukpa Kagyupa school of Buddhism in Bhutan. Tango is the largest center of Buddhist learning in the country. Almost religious chief of Bhutan (Je Khenpo) completed the 9 year program there.
Day 13: Thimphu to Haa via Chele La
The Thimpu valley is a place to mount Chomolhari (7,300 m) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the pace flowing through the valley. We will drive to Haa through Chele la (3,988m). We can see the Paro valley from the pass on the side and then he valley on the other. After visiting Katso Lhakhang at Katso village, we will head to Paro.
Day 14: Explore Paro
Today we will visit Texan Monastery which is a famous Himalaya Buddhist holy site and shrine located on the edge of Paro valley. Myths said that Guru Rinpochhe had flown to this place from Tibet on the back of the Tigress and deliberate in a cave. So the place is also famous as Tiger nest. Then we will move towards Drukgyal Dzong which is at the north of Paro valley. The Dzong was built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. We will return to our hotel.
Day 15: Departure
After breakfast, our Actual Adventure representative will take you to the Paro international airport. We have a great hope that you are happy with our service and you will join us in coming years.