Bhutan’s eastern region comprises of Samdrupjongkhar, Pemagtshel, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Mongar and Lhuentse. On this scenic journey, you will explore some of the stunning sights of beautiful countryside, unspoilt cultural treasures and famous landmarks. You will be rewarded as this captivating region has much to offer as we travel along the flat plains and famous Assam tea garden, crossing the mighty Brahmaputra River to the rugged east of Bhutan. This region is relatively untouched by modern developments and the traditional way of life is well preserved, offering you an opportunity to experience the real Bhutan and a true wilderness. Tourism facilities can be modest and simple, attesting to the region's remoteness. This journey has an option either to start or end in Guwahati in the Indian state of Assam or fly to Paro International Airport in western Bhutan from Yonphula Domestic Airport in Trashigang.
This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.
Fly to Guwahati, the largest city of Assam in northeastern state of India. On arrival in Guwahati our local representative will pick you up and transfer to Samdrup Jongkhar (110-km) for about 3 hours through the flat plains and famous Assam tea garden, crossing the mighty Brahmaputra River. Samdrup Jongkhar is the entry point for tourists entering Eastern Bhutan overland, which is situated in the southeastern region of the country and shares borders with the Indian state of Assam. It is by far the largest urban centre in eastern Bhutan at an elevation of 215m. In the past, many British Political Officers stationed in Sikkim took the route from Samdrup Jongkhar to enter into Bhutan. The rest of the day is free to explore this fantastic town and all of the fun attractions, sightseeing and shopping. Tonight enjoy a welcome drink and dinner with BGT. Overnight in Samdrup Jongkhar.
After breakfast, travel to Trashigang (180-km) for about 6-7 hours at an altitude of 1,150m. Admire the diverse flora and fauna along the highway and often see Langur monkeys, kingfishers, eagles and other birds by the roadside. Within 30-minutes uphill drive (18-km) will take you to Deothang. En route you can see the Mithun Breeding Farm (the best breed of cattle in Bhutan). Afterwards, you’ll encounter a stretch of road called Melong Bra, where the highway is cut through sheer cliffs after crossing Narphung. You may like to stop here to see some local products including the famous homemade butter tea. Lunchtime is at Wamrong.
Continue to Khaling (27-km) via Kharungla pass at 2,350m, home to the only institute serving the blind and low vision of Bhutan (Khaling Muenselling Institute) located below the road. We will visit the Khaling National Handloom supported by the National Women’s Association of Bhutan, where you will witness the traditional style of weaving in the eastern region of Bhutan. Finally, our journey passes through the Bhutan’s first and premier Sherubtse College at Kanglung, founded in 1978. Continuing down the road will reach you Trashigang, which is the largest and most populated district in Bhutan. Trashigang was once the hub of the region’s busy trade with Tibet. If you’re lucky, you may encounter the nomadic people from Merak and Sakteng, who come to Trashigang on shopping trips periodically. Overnight in Trashigang.
Leaving Trashigang early, you’ll head to Trashiyangtse (55-km) for about 2 hours at 1,850m, a fairly new district that was bifurcated from Trashigang. On the way you visit the little temple of Gomkora Lhakhang by the side of the river, a sacred meditation site of Guru Rinpoche. A circumambulation path with hundreds of prayer wheels surrounds the temple complex. Elderly pilgrims circle the temple with prayers and others sit quietly in the shade of Bodhi trees spinning hand held prayer wheels. Continue your journey to Trashiyangtse where you visit the old dzong, situated above the road a couple of kilometres before you reach the town. Next, stop off at the dazzling white Chorten Kora (a stupa modelled like that of the famous Boudhanath stupa in Nepal) on the Kholongchhu riverbank below the town. Then, discover the new Trashiyangtse Dzong (the current administrative centre) and the College of Rigney in Trashiyangtse where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. In the evening, enjoy some leisure time exploring a small Trashiyangtse town. Overnight in Trashiyangtse.
An unforgettable day of countryside sightseeing is in store for you traversing through breathtaking Ramjar and Bartsham villages. Bartsham geographically shares its boundaries with Ramjar and Bidung blocks, which is 24-km north of Trashigang Dzong. There are three rural roads connecting Ramjar–Bartsham, Riju–Bartsham and Rangjung–Bidung via Bartsham. Enjoy walking through the idyllic villages of pure air surrounded by the forested hills. A special stop is made along the way to observe a local farm work where you learn about the farmer’s way of life.
Your countryside tour ends at Chador Lhakhang (also known as Gonpa Ringbu in the local dialect), built in the 12th century. The sacred monastery is located atop a ridge commanding a spectacular view of villages in north Trashigang. The main relic, statue Chana Dorji, is the protecting deity in the locality and people from all walks of life across the country come for blessings. The monastery also runs a Buddhist College (Shedra) offering 12-year courses in liturgical studies, rigney (grammar), Buddhist philosophy, astrology, rituals, other Buddhist practices plus 3 years of retreat.
Later, Travel north towards Rangjung, a small commercial hub under Trashigang district. Visit the renowned Rangjung Woesel Choeling Monastery, located on a small hillock overlooking Rangjung town. The monastery built in the Tibetan-style architectural has a monastic school (Dudjom Tersar Lineage Education Centre) for monks and nuns to study the Buddha dharma, founded by His Holiness Dungse Garab Dorji Rimpoche in 1989. You can also opt to visit the Thegchog Kunzang Chodon Nunnery in Pakaling village under Radhi Gewog. Overnight in Trashigang.
After breakfast, leave Trashigang behind after a visit to the Tashigang Dzong, which serves as the civil administrative centre and the local monastic body, situated on a steep hillside overlooking the Gamri River. We then drive to Mongar (91-km) for about 3-4 hours at an altitude of 1,600m. Upon arrival in Chazam downhill (20-minutes drive), there is a road junction that forks out to Trashiyangtse and Mongar. Take the road to the left for Mongar.
En route you will see the monastery of Dramtse, perched on top of a steep hill above the village, which is the largest and most important Nyingma monastery (Peling tradition) in eastern Bhutan. This is also the place of origin of the famous Drametse Nga Chham, a masked dance with drums. The dance is ubiquitous feature of many festivals and is included to the UNESCO list of oral and intangible heritage. Stop at places to view scenery, observe local people, villages, and farm for photography.
After reaching the Sherichhu valley, the road ascends and rides through the famous zigzag turns of Yadi, followed by Korila Pass (2,450m). Mongar town is situated on the valley floor that marks the gateway to eastern Bhutan. The evening is at leisure - why not take a chance to wander around Mongar town? Overnight in Mongar.
Leave Mongar behind and drive to the northeastern corner of Bhutan to Kurtoe or Lhuentse (77-km) for 3 hours at 1,700m. The region is one of the most rural and isolated districts, the ancestral home of our Kings. En route we will travel to Takila, the place where the 154ft tall Guru Padma Sambhava statue (Guru Nangsa Zelnen built in 2008-2015), sits atop a hill in Takila under Menbi Gewog. Further heading into Khoma village we explore the countryside of Khoma, famous for intricate patterns and expensive hand woven Bhutanese textile called ‘kishuthara’ (silk textile kira) worn by ladies in Bhutan during special occasions. The kishuthara is highly regarded and most expensive textiles in Bhutan, even the Royal Family of Bhutan places their order for clothes here.
Enjoy and observe the women folks weaving different types of textiles, and if you like you can also buy textiles at a reasonable price here. Even you can try weaving with the weavers. Kishuthara weaving is the main source of income for the people in this place. Walk through the village and explore some of the interesting small villages and ancient temples. Later, we visit Lhuentse Dzong (also known as Lhuentse Rinchentse Dzong), situated on a hilltop overlooking the Kurichhu River below. Monks residing in the dzong are friendly and welcoming to tourists. We drive back to Autsho/Mongar for overnight.
After an early breakfast, we head back full day drive to Samdrup Jongkhar via Trashigang. The journey passes through the awe-inspiring mountains, stunning flora and fauna, interesting villages and people. Along the way we’ll make a numerous stops so have your camera ready for photographs. Arrive in the late afternoon or evening in Samdrup Jongkhar, The rest of the day is free to explore this fantastic border town and all of the fun attractions, sightseeing and shopping. Overnight in Samdrup Jongkhar.
Your tour ends today. Our Indian representative will transfer you to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, Assam in the northeastern state of India to connect with your onward flight. The travelling distance is 110-km for about 3 hours. Goodbye and Good luck!
The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.
|2 Pax||3 to 10 Pax|
|Price per person in Peak Season (Mar, Apr, May, Sept, Oct and Nov) - 3 Stars Hotel||$1,680||$1,450|
|Price per person in Low Season (Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug and Dec) - 3 Stars Hotel||$1,300||$1,100|