|1||Arrival, drive to Thimphu||Arrival to Bhutan and drive to Thimphu. Stop at Tachog lhakhang to see traditional bridge made using ancient iron chains. Sightseeing in Thimphu subject to arrival time.|
|2||Thimphu – Paro||Drive to gigantic statue of Buddha overlooking the valley and walk to striking city viewpoint. Also visit to Memorial chorten in the capital center, which attracts hundreds of devotees for energetic prayers. Excursion to Takin enclosure, where the national animal, the mysterious takin, is kept. After that Changankha lhakhang, the oldest place of worship in the valley and School of traditional arts, where the young men and women learns the arts and craft of their forefathers. Later afternoon visit of Tashichho dzong, the castle, which serves as seat of the king and government. Evening drive to Paro.|
|3||Paro||Morning visit to Paro dzong and National Museum. Explore the calm Kyichu lhakhang, one of the two oldest Buddhist temples in Bhutan, which was built to pin down the ankle of giant demoness by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in 7th century. Climb to Taktsang gomba (Tiger’s Nest), is the highlight of the tour. You can consider to climb in the morning or early afternoon depending on weather and preferences. After visiting the temple, climb further up to Zangto Pelri lhakhang another temple, offering bird’s eye views of Tigers Nest.|
|4||Paro – Jakar by flight, Ngang||Taking domestic flight to Paro is extraordinary experience. You will see many of the seven and six thousand meters high mountains on the border with Tibet, including Gangkhar Punesum which counts as the highest mountain never summited by men. First drive to to Jakar dzong, sleepy castle overlooking the valley. After lunch in town we will visit Jampay lhakhang, 7th century temple pinning down the ankle of giant demoness. From here we will take short walk to Kurjey gompa complex, the 3 temples which were built on place where magician-saint Guru Rimpoche subdued local demon. Continue walk along the Choekhor river and finally reaching Ngang lhakhang manor house, stylish farmhouse owned by local nobility where we will spend a night today.|
|5||Ngang – Tang||Today morning we will start hike to Phephe-la pass (3.545 m). All day hike through the forested landscape will ultimately lead us to Tang valley. Here we will sleep in the old manor house Ogyen Choling, which hosts beautiful museum. Setting of the house in the middle of the small village on the hilltop, is also very beautiful.|
|6||Tang – Ura||We will follow the ancient trail from Tang valley to Ura, which is traditionally also part of Bumthang district. The path with some views of snowy peaks, notably highest mountain of Bhutan Gangkhar Punesum will take us over the Shangey-la pass (3.800 m). Finally we will descend to the picturesque village of Ura. We will walk through the authentic village and visit rich and dominant village temple. After some rest pay a visit to the village and local temple. Evening program with dance and bonfire.|
|7||Ura – Mongar||Ura is beautiful clustered village with elaborate large temple, which is worth of visit. Now we need to negotiate Thrumshing-la pass (3,580 m), the second highest motorable pass in Bhutan. It's good idea to stop at rhododendron garden just before the summit to see the number of species of this beautiful tree. After the pass, the the road continues gradually descending. There is a lot of scenic points, which will not let you get bored. Chortens on the roadside are built in memory of 300 labourers who died during roadbuilding in 1970's. You'll also come along the stunning Namling waterfall and the ruins of Sengor dzong, which burned to ash in 1899. Finally in the late afternoon or evening you will reach Mongar.|
|8||Mongar – Lhuentse||Morning drive to Lhuntse which is one of the most rural and isolated districts in Bhutan. The landscape is spectacular with stark cliffs and gorges, beautiful conifer and pine forests and remote villages with rice, millet and corn fields. Kurtoe region of Lhuntse is the ancestral home of Bhutan's royal family. On the way, we will make a detour to Takey la, the place where the gigantic statue of Guru Rimpoche was recently built. Inside the statue, you find number of richly decorated chapels, which belongs to best in Bhutan. Then we will continue to Lhuntse to see a dzong which belongs to one of the most spectacular monastery-castles in Bhutan, with total 7 chapels you can explore. Residing monks have welcoming reputation. Further you will continue to Khoma village for most elaborate traditional cloths in Bhutan. Quality of weaving is so fine that even Royal Family places their order for clothes here. There is option for interesting hike to holy palces called “nye” above the Khoma village with beautiful views of surrounding. Khoma village itself is interesting and beautiful and you will spend your current night as a guest of local villagers.|
|9||Lhuentse – Tashigang||Early morning start drive back Mongar and furhtermore to Tashigang. Just 30 minutes after the Mongar, you will reach summit of Kori-la pass (2,400 m) with beautiful Bhutanese style stupa. Start descending from pass and drive another 3 to 4 hours to Tashigang.|
|10||Tashigang – Merak||Today you will change the car for hardy Bolero jeep and start early in the morning ascending to high mountains of Merak – Sakteng, so called Migoi national park. Migoi is local name for elusive yeti and most local inhabitants will be able to remember numerous cases when they or they relatives encountered yeti in the wild. After two hours drive we will reach Mon-la pass where the welcome party of Borkpa nomads in local dress will be waiting. Experience of local hospitality and yummy nomad lunch, the tasty local spirit and milk-like chang beer. Continue drive to Merak village (3500 m) and accommodation in local farmhouse as a guest of Brokpa family. Explore village and witness the performance of Yak dance and then and Aum Yomo (local deity) dance. Sleeping in simple conditions (own sleeping bag is recommended but not necessary).|
|11||Merak – Sakteng||Start 7-8 hours hike over the 4000 meters high Nyuksang-la pass to the large Sakteng village. The trail offers great view back to Merak and lot of opportunity to see various wild animals like blood phesants and similar. After crossing pass there is long descent to river bed and another brief ascent after which the large village of Sakteng becomes visible. This village was not yet reached by motorable road and maintains quite a nice local culture.|
|12||Sakteng – Tashigang||Morning hike around the Sakteng village and then continue hiking to Tharthi. Good bye party at the small pass behind the village and then continue hiking gently downwards to the Tharthi village. Here we will again take Bolero jeep and will go till the paved road and further to the hotel.|
|13||Tashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar||This will be all day drive descend from the Himalayas southwards to Indian border. After about 45 minutes you will reach Kanglung village with interesting temple. There is also Sherubtse College, first Bhutanese university campus established in 1978 nearby. Further drive down, you can pay a visit to huge monastery school named Karma Thegsum Dechenling Goemba. After reaching Khaling village, you will have an opportunity to see the last of elaborate Bhutanese temples of your trip, the Zangto Pelri Lhakhang, with detailed mural painting. You will also visit National Handloom Development Project, which maintains rich tradition of local weaving and National Institute for the Visually Impaired. One of the accomplishment of this progressive institution is the development of Bhutanese version of Braille's script. For the rest of the day, you will keep driving down. Just before the Samdrup Jongkhar, you can stop to get blessing from the hindu hermits, who are stationed along the roadside to bless the Indian and Bhutanese drivers alike for the safety of their journey. Reaching Samdrup Jonkhar at the evening.|
|14||Samdrup – Guwahati||Leaving Bhutan at the border and 3-4 hour drive to Guwahati.|
Tour variants, extensions and combinations:
- Extend stay in Merak-Sakteng (+1 or 2 days): In both Merak and Sakteng villages, extra day might be reasonable spend to explore surrounding hills.
- Extend with Omba Nye "The Tiger's Nest of the East" hike (+2 days): Omba Nye is new popular 3 days trekking trail in Bhutan, which can be also done as 2 days / 1 night hiking excursion with overnight in Omba village homestay. The Omba Nye Monastery has stunning setting on the rocky cliff, which is similar to Paro's Taktsang.
- Undertake Bumdrak Trek in Paro (+1 day): 2 days / 1 night light trekking with luxury camping near Bumdrak monastery and finish at Tiger's Nest might be interesting optional addition. See Bumdrak Trek & Hikes program for details.