Day 1: Arrival Paro to Thimphu
Arrive in Paro by druk air, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. Upon arriving the Paro Valley and after completing visa formalities, you will be met by Gawaling Tours & Treks’ representative at the airport. We will then drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The journey would take us one and half hours.
Upon arriving Thimphu, we will visit the National Painting school to see the young men and women at work in the production of handicraft items. Some specialize in mask making, some in wood curving, some in slate curving, and others in embroidery & scroll painting. Overnight stay in a hotel.
Day 2: Thimphu to Trongsa
After Breakfast Drive towards Trongsa. Drive over the DochuLa pass in the morning. On clear weather, we can see around 200 miles of Himalayan summits bordering northern Bhutan.
As we descend from the pass, we will notice that the vegetation changes from sub-alpine to sub-tropical. Overnight stay in Hotel in Trongsa.
Day 3: Trongsa to Mongar
After breakfast drive towards Mongar to witness Mongar Festival
Day 4: Mongar
Witness Mongar festival
Day 5: Mongar to Tashigang
Our journey will take us about three hours passing through Kori La pass (2,450m), marked by a pretty chorten and a stone wall. The first part of the journey is through leafy forest filled with ferns. Later road descends rapidly through cornfields and banana groves and passes through the famous turns of Yadi. We then follow Gamri river until the road bifurcates to Dametsi village, where famous Naga Chham, mask dance with drums originated.
Trashigang located about 30 km away at an elevation of 1,000m. Trashigang is the center of the biggest and most populated district in the country. We will visit the Trashigang Dzong, which stands at the extreme end of the spur, overhanging the Dangmechhu river, the biggest river in Bhutan. The fortress serves as the seat of the administration and the monk body. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 6: Tashigang
Morning witness Tashigang Festival. And in Afternoon drive to Trashiyangtse, Trashiyangtse is located around 76 km from Trashigang. About 24 km from Trashigang, is located the temple of Gom Kora, set on a small alluvial plateau, overlooking the river. Gom Kora is a famous place where Guru Rinpoche is believed to have subdued a demon. Further north at Doksum village we can see women busy in weaving traditional Bhutanese fabric.
Trashiyangtse Dzong, is situated at an altitude of 1,850m. In the past, Trashiyangtse was an important caravan route between the western and the central Bhutan. The Dzong was newly built. The Art School and Chorten Kora are located just a few minutes drive by car. Late afternoon we travel back to Trashigang. Overnight in a lodge.
Day 7: Tashigang to Bumthang
We will have early breakfast and then drive to Bumthang. Our lunch will be served en-route. Overnight at a lodge in Bumthang.
Day 8: Bumthang
Bumthang is known for its four spectacular valleys and is the seat of the government till the second king. The place is known for its historical sites. Next, we visit Jambay lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan by a Tibetan king in the 7th century. Next, proceed to see Kurji Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Kenchog-sum Lhakhang, and Swiss Farm, only farm in Bhutan which makes Bhutanese assorted wines, beer and cheese.
Day 9: Bumthang to Punakha
We drive early morning and drive to Punakha . Lunch would be served en-route at one of the hotels in Trongsa. En-route at Wangdiphodrang take a short break for tea or coffee and then proceed to Punakha. We will stay in a hotel.
Day 10: Punakha to Paro
After breakfast drive to Paro; en-route via Thimphu. Afternoon, visit Ta Dzong (watch tower) that houses the National Museum. The museum has an interesting collections of different costumes and thangkas from various parts of Bhutan. After Museum visit, we drive towards the north to see the Drukgyel Dzong, which is in ruins. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel built it in 1649 to commemorate a victory over the Tibetan forces. Unfortunately the fortress was destroyed by fire and was never rebuilt. On clear weather, we will be able to see Mt. chomolhari from the Drukgyal Dzong. En-route visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan by the King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Day 11: Departure