Duration: (21 Nights and 22 Days)
Northern Eastern part of Bhutan semi-nomadic Peoples lives, they have unique culture and customs. These people have come from Tibet thousandsof years ago. This nomadic valley is compress of two beautiful valleys, Merak and Sakten. Two valleys are divided by high pass Nagchungla (4100m). It has recently opened for out side world (September 1st 2010). These tours combine cultures tours and 5 Days Treks. It is said local peoples some time encounter with mysterious creatures called Megue/Yati/Abdominal Snowman.
Day 1 Paro
Enter Bhutan amidst its breathtaking landscape from Kathmandu, Kolkata or Bagdro – and take in sights of some of the world’s tallest peaks, Everest, Kanchen Dzonga, Lhotshe and Jomalhari. You will be warmly received by our friendly, traditionally dressed representative with the offering of a white welcome scarf.
- Transfer to hotel in Paro (about 25-minute drive from airport).
- Arrival at hotel and relax with welcome tea followed by check-in at hotel.
- Stroll around Paro town, which was developed after the airport was built in 1983.
- Visit Ta Dzong (watch tower) which was built in 1649 by Paro Governor Tenzin Drugda to protect the fortress below. The Ta Dzong was almost destroyed in 1965 but was restored by the third king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk into the National Museum of Bhutan in 1968.
- Visit Paro Dzong which was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Rimpoche. It was built to protect Paro Valley from frequent Tibetan invasions. Today this Dzong serves as the administrative office of Paro district and houses 110 monks.
- Visit Kichu Lhakhang which was founded by Tibetan king Songtshen Gyambo in 659 AD. It was built to subjugate the demon occupied lands all over the Himalayas and prevented the spread of Buddhism. The king built 108 temples in a day to overcome the demon.
- Over night hotel in Paro.
Day 2 Paro
- Hike to Tiger Nest Monastery, the holiest monastery in the Buddhist World
Day 3 Thimphu
- Rest till lunch in hotel / nearby restaurant.
- After lunch, take a 10-min drive to Changangkha Temple (built in the 15th century by famous Lama Nima). Inside the temple is “God of Compassion” made out of platinum. You may witness blessing of a newborn baby in this temple.
- Drive to Mini Zoo, Bhutan’s only zoo to see the national animal Takin.
- Drive to Sangay Gang, lookout point of the Thimphu city.
- Visit nunnery founded by 16th Drubthob Tshangthong Gyalpo in 1976. More than 40 nuns study Buddhism in this nunnery.
- Visit Zorichusum (meaning 13 arts and crafts) which is popularly known as the painting school. Students in this school learn traditional arts and crafts like painting, sculpture, wood carving, weaving and embroidery.
- Visit the National Library which consists of 2 buildings. On the ground floor of the old building is the largest book in the world and religious books on the upper floor. English books are kept on the ground floor in the new building.
- Drive to Thimphu Tashicho Dzong, a fortress built in 1772 by the temporal ruler Zhidar and Younten Thaye the Chief Abbot.
Day 4 Thimphu
- After breakfast drive along the Thimphu River for 25km to the Tango monastery. Be prepared for a steep climb from the open car park and 20-minute hike through the blue pine and oak forest to reach the monastery. The Tango Monastery was founded in the 12th century by Lama Gyalwa Lhananpa. Phajo Drukgom Shipo also meditated and saw the vision of God Tandin (God with Horse Head), hence the name “Tango” which means horse head.
- Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Punakha, old capital of Bhutan (about 3-hour drive from Thimphu).
- Stopover on the way at enchanting Docula pass (3040m above sea level). On a clear day one can see panoramic view of the Eastern Himalayas Mountains ranges.
- Arrive at Punakha Valley (1300m above sea level), a fertile valley were farmers grow two crops in a year.
- Visit Punakha Dzong which played an important role in the olden days. It was Bhutan’s second monastery school after the Cheri Monastery. The first king was crowned inside this Dzong in 1907. It is residence to the Centre Monk’s Body and Chief Abbot in winter.
- Hike to Chemi Lhakhang through a nice walk along the rice field and through farm houses. The temple was built by Lama Nawang Chogyel in 1499 and is today a popular temple where barren women come to pray for a child. The temple is popularly known as the Fertility Temple.
Day 6 Trongsa
- Drive to Trongsa, it takes 6 to 7 hours.
- Stop at the Chendi Chorten, and walk around the giant Stupa, was built by uncle of first king around 200 years ago.
- In the after noon, if the time permits visit Trongsa National Museum. The museum is located inside the old Watch Tower. Tower was converted into museum in 2008.
- Over night hotel in Trongsa.
- After breakfast visit the Trongsa Dzong, Bhutan’s largest Dzong. The site was founded in the 16th Century by Lama Nagi Wangchuk but was enlarged in 1652 by first Governor of Trongsa, Chogay Minjur Tempa.
Over night hotel in Bumthang.
Day 8, Bumthang
- Start the day visiting the Jampa Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan founded by the 7th king of Tibet, Songtshen Gyampo in 659 AD. This temple was one of the 108 temples built by him throughout Tibet and Himalayas to overcome a giant demon. While Kichu Lhakhang in Paro was built on the left foot, Jampa Lhakhang was built on the left knee of demon to subjugate the frontiers.
- Twenty minutes walk to Kurji Lhakhang, the place where Guru Rimpoche meditated for 3 months to subdue the local deity who has taken the life force of the King Sindu Raji. You can see the body imprint of Guru Rimpoche in this temple.
- Walk half an hour to the 3rd temple Tamshing Lhakhang which means ‘temple of good message’. This temple was founded by Lama Pema Lingpa in 1501. The temple contains original wall painting from 1501 which it was never repainted.
- Visit Wangdicholing Dzong built by Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal in 1851. It is considered a masterpiece of architecture in the country.
- Visit Jakar Dzong, founded in 1649 by great grandfather of Zhabdrung Nawang Nangyal. It was later in 1683 by the 4th Druk Desi Gaysay Tenzin Rabgay, who added a tower water reservoir.
- Over night hotel in Bumthang.
Day 10 Monger
- It is 191 km drive from Bumthang to Monger, will take 8 to 9 hours drive. But will pass through one of the most spectacular drives in the country. Crossing Bhutan highest motor able road, Thimshingla pass at altitude of 3745m. On the clear day from the pass see Mts. Gangkarpunsum highest mountain in Bhutan.
Day 9 Trashigang.
- From Monger to Trashigang it is 92 km, will take 4 hours drive. Road from Monger start climbing toward Korila pass (2400m), road drop down to Yadi small village. Road drop down to Dramgmi Chu River. It is pleasant drive through the river valley with pleasant smell from lemon grass.
- Over night at Trash gang hotel.
Day 10 Trashgang
- It is 22 km from Trash gang town. Gomkora is one of the most famous places where Guru Rimpoche meditated in order to subdue a demon that dwelt in the big rock. The small temple was built in the 17th century under the orders from Trongsa Penlop Minjur Tempa, contains statues of Guru Rimpoche, and Chenerize.
- Chortenkora- Chortenkora: It is Nepalese style Chorten, the model was brought from Bowneath Chorten in Nepal. The chorten is believed to have been founded by the 13th Je Khenpo, Younten Thai, in 1782. The chorten was restored at the time of Second King, Jigme Wangchuk.
- National Institute for Zori Chusum (Painting School) founded in 1997, to preserve, Arts and Crafts. Currently six forms of arts are taught in the school: Thangka painting, Wood carving, wood-turning, lacquered-work, embroidery and pottery.
- Over night hotel in Trashigang.
Day 11 Trashigang to Radhi
- Drive to Radhi, it will take 2 hours drive, along the Gamri Chu river. Visit Radhi Lhakhang and famous raw silk textile weavers.
- Overnight in farm house.
Day 12 Treks
- Radhi to Cherpheling
- Trail start steady climb through rice field and villages. After one hour walk through the village you get out of village and trail start going into forest. After three hour walk reach to open area. Ten minutes walk to Cherpheling camp site.
Day 13 Treks
- Cherpheling to Merak
- After twenty minutes walk through the open meadow trail start clam to Monlabtshy La(3100m), through coniferous forest. Trail drop down to Nerama Ama Chu and walk along the river bank pass by famous old Chorten where demon was buried. Two hour later reach to first village of Merak called Gengo. After thirty minutes walk reached to main part of Merak village.
Day 14 Treks
- Merak Halt
- Explore around cluster village of Merak visiting temples and visiting herders houses. Or take four walk to Ama Jomo’s(local deities), lake where resides.
Day 15 Treks
- Merak to Mengsen Tang
- Steady climb from Merak village to Nagchung La(4200m), is one of highest peak in eastern Bhutan. From pass steep decent down hill to river side with dense coniferous forest.
Day 16 Treks
- Mengsen Tang to Sakten
- One hour walk along the river bank and start steady climb to Chorten, from here it will take 30 minutes walk to Sakten village.
Day 17 Treks
- Sakten Halt
- Explore around the Sakten cluster village and visiting temples and herders houses. Or take three hours walk to border with Bhutan and India. From here views some part of Arenchielpradesh district in India, where Himalayas Mountains ranges end.
Day 18 Treks
- Sakten to Jongkhar
- Today walk through the open pasture land, after one and half hours walk pass beautiful water fall. Finally reach to small village where we camp to night.
- Jongkhar to Trashigang via Phongmey
- Trail drop down two hours to river, and steep one hours climb to fiddle road. Driver and car will be waiting here with refreshment. Two hours drive to Trashigang.
- Over night hotel in Trashigang.
Day 20 Trashigang to Samdrupjongkhar
- It is 180 km, it takes 6 to 7 hours drives. The high way was constructed in 1960s, opening eastern Bhutan to out side world, and benefiting marketing with neighbored Assam state. On the way visit Khaling Blind school and Khaling weaving center. Samdrup Jongkhar is enter and exit point from nearest Air port from Guwahati(India) capital of Assam
- Guwahati (India) the capital city in Assam, it is 101 km from Samdrup Jongkhar takes three hours drive. Bhutan Herders Expedition’s representative will do all the exit and entry formalities in India and book the Indian travel agent’s car and see off you.