1 612 869 8502 

Eastern Bhutan Wilderness

12 days 11 nights


Category Bhutan Classic Tours

  • Group Size 1-16 Persons
  • Difficulty Level 3
  • Rating Non-Touristic
  • Highest Altitude 12, 497 ft.
  • Trip Starts From Paro, Bhutan
  • Trip Ends At Guwahati, India
  • Accommodation Hotels and resorts
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Thimphu Paro Jakar (Bumthang) Mongar Khoma Village Trashigang Trashiyangtse Samdrup Jongkhar Guwahati
Dates & Prices
Please, contact us for the price and the dates for this trip


Most of the travelers to Bhutan focus their explorations in the western and central part of the country, as the eastern part is remote and requires a minimum of two weeks for travel and also perhaps due to budget constraint. So, eastern Bhutan is largely unexplored.

Now, you are able to fly to central Bhutan that reduces the travel time. Recently, the government also waived the royalty for travel to the eastern districts Bhutan that gives you a significant saving.

Tourism infrastructure is still underway and road conditions vary but what you are rewarded with is the pristine nature, wilderness and decades old culture that you will not experience elsewhere. Eastern Bhutan boasts hillside towns, spectacular landscape with stark cliffs, dense forests and deep gorges, magnificent Dzong fortresses and temples, terraced farmlands, picturesque villages of weavers and authentic culture. As you travel through the unspoiled natural beauty, towering cliffs, and pristine forests and arrive in the towns to see the wandering ethnics from remote villages in their traditional sheepskin jackets, you will certainly agree that time has stopped here. We will also experience some of the country’s most ancient spiritual practices that includes animistic and Bon rituals.   

After exploring Thimphu and Paro in west Bhutan, you will fly into Bumthang in the central part of the country, and then you start your road trip to the east. The tour concludes in the eastern frontier town of Samdrup Jongkhar from where you exit to Indian town of Guwahati. Guwahati is the gateway to north-east India and also well served by flights to major cities in India. You can extend your trip to north-east India or take a flight back to Kolkata or Delhi and connect with your international flight back home.

Highlights of the trip

  • Lekshey Jungey primary school visit and interaction.
  • Meet a local family and visit their homes over a cup of hot tea for a better understanding of lifestyle.
  • Traverse beautiful landscapes of lush valleys, dense forests and rushing streams.
  • Khoma village is a small village known throughout the country for its production of Kishuthara, an extremely intricately patterned silk textile.
  • Visit many cultural attractions including medieval fortresses (Dzongs), Colorful Centenary Farmers markets and museums.
  • Butter lamp offerings at Taktsang Monastery.
  • Prayer flag hoisting for world peace.
  • Traverse beautiful landscapes from lush valleys to dense forests.
  • Private ceremony for good fortune and to prolong life (Optional).
  • A unique opportunity to get a glimpse of the life at Tang Ogyencholing with Aum Kuzang choden, the founder of the museum.
  • Astrology reading for good fortunes in individual lives. (Optional).
  • Archery shootings and practice wearing traditional costumes (Optional).
  • Radi village, the rice basket of the east.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Paro, Bhutan

Upon arrival, complete immigration and customs formalities and meet your guide and driver at the arrival gate. Following introductions, your guide and driver will take you to a local restaurant for lunch followed by an introductory tour of Paro.

We first visit the National Museum- that gives an excellent introduction to the country's history, arts and craft. Nearby is the impressive Rinpung Dzong- the administrative headquarter of Paro that also houses the seat of district's monk body.

Now, we enjoy a scenic one hour drive to Thimphu-the capital city of Bhutan. Settled into your room and well rested,take a stroll through the township. Thimphu is the smallest of all the Himalayan capitals and the only capital in the world without a single traffic light! We’ll visit the King’s Memorial Chorten-dedicated to the third king of Bhutan. This is an impressive shrine, with shining gold spires, and tinkling bells, surrounded by an endless procession of devotees.

Tonight, enjoy an organic dinner in a local restaurant. On the way back, we will stop for the night view of Trashichoe Dzong which looks spectacular when all the colorful lights are illuminated.

Overnight: Khang Residency or similar 3* hotel.
Meals : Lunch, Dinner
Day 02~Sightseeing and hiking in Thimphu

After breakfast, with your guide and driver, proceed for the exploration of Thimphu. If you are in Thimphu during the weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), it's worth visiting the colorful Centenary Farmers Market- the largest weekend market in the country. Farmers from the neighboring areas come to sell their fresh produces, dried peppers and vegetables, meat cheese and arts and crafts.

Nearby is the Changlimithang Stadium where we take a chance to watch the archery matches. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan.

Now, we drive up to the Takin Preserve Center (closed on Monday). Takin is a goat-antelope-found only in the eastern Himalaya, and it is the national animal of Bhutan.

Next, we stop at Royal Textile Academy (formerly National Textile Museum)- a center for Bhutan's textile studies and research, that preserves and promotes Bhutan's century-old traditional textile arts. Now, we continue to National Institute of Zorig Chusum (commonly known as School of Painting and Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts) that offers four and six years intensive course on traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan that includes painting, sculpture, woodworks, metal works, embroidery, etc. Next destination of the day is 61 m or 150 ft tall statue of Buddha Dordenma which is the tallest Buddha statue in the country. It dominates Thimphu's sky and also is a vantage point for the view over the valley.

The afternoon is for hiking to Cheri Gompa Monastery. We drive less than 30 minutes out of the city to the north, and we arrive in rural a looking village called Kabisa. The road ends at Dodina, and from here, the monastery is 1½ hours hiking. We first cross a wooden cantilever bridge over the Wang Chu River and a steep trail leads us to the monastery. Established by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel- the founder of the country, this monastery is vital because of all would-be Je Khenpo-the spiritual head of the state meditates here for three years, three months and three days, right after graduating a six years course in Tango Goemba Monastery, as a required qualification. 

We follow a different route down via Pangri Zampa Temple that serves as an astrology school for the state clergy and is home to more than a hundred monks studying astrology. If you are interested in consulting Buddhist astrology, you can request an appointment with one of the astrologers for consultation. Fee $50 for two people.

Overnight: Khang Residency or similar 3* hotel.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 03~Travel back to Paro

After breakfast, we check out the hotel. Before we leave the city, we will have time to visit the sights that we might have missed the previous day. One crucial stop not-to-miss is Thimphu's post office where you can print a postal stamp with your picture on it and send postcards to your friends and families back home! You will also find Simply Bhutan Living Museum which is worth visiting. You can try traditional Bhutanese dress here and pose for photographs!

About half the way between Thimphu and Paro, we stop for a photo shoot at the 15th century Iron Bridge, which is among the 58 iron bridges of Tibet and Bhutan built by Saint Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo. He was a great Buddhist scholar, yogi, architect, engineer, physician and what not! Nearby is Tamchog Lakhang Temple, also built by him and the temple is inherited and owned by his decedents.

Once in Paro, visit the Kyichu Temple which is one of the 108 temples that King Songsten Gampo of Tibet built miraculously overnight in the 7th century and subdued a demoness!

Optional: If you are interested, you can participate in archery matches. Wear traditional Bhutanese attire and join the local archers to hit the target 50 or 60 yards away! Archery equipment rental costs $20.

Overnight: Khangkhu Resort or similar 3*
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 04~Hike Taktsang Monastery

An early start for a big day today! Today, we hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery a.k.a. Tiger's Nest. A two-hour steep uphill hiking brings us to a cafeteria located on a ridge across from the Monastery. It provides us the first welcome view of the monastery and an opportunity to take a rest and purchase refreshments and snacks. You may take a pony ride up to this point with prior arrangement but, for the rest of the trail (further 45 or 60 minutes) and return trip down, pony ride is not recommended. Total trip up and down should take anywhere between 5 to 7 hours, but it depends on your fitness condition, pace and interest.

Depending on your interest, there is an opportunity to go off the beaten track further up to the Zangtopelri temple (Paradise Monastery) that is on the hill above the Tiger's Nest. It is about a one hour steep hike from the Taktsang Monastery. To go back down, you will follow a different path that takes you through the pristine thick forest of oaks and rhododendrons festooned with Spanish mosses to join the main trail near the Taktsang Cafeteria.

Once down, meet your transport and transfer to the hotel or time permitting and if you are interested, your guide and driver will take you on exploration of few other cultural attractions. You may visit the historic Drukgyel Dzong which was built in the 16th century to mark the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetan invaders. 

This afternoon, visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. Bhutanese Farm Houses are colorful, attractive, and built in a traditional architectural style without the use of any nail. All houses follow more or less the same architectural plan.  

Optional: Experience the traditional hot stone bath.

With advance notice, you can experience a traditional hot stone bath in the farmhouse. Hot stone bath is purely a Bhutanese traditional method of curing arthritis, skin ailments, joint pains, hypertension, stomach disorders, arthritis, and many other minor diseases. Even you don’t have any of these issues, after a laborious hike of the day, you will feel relaxation from the hot stone bath. It costs around US$ 30 per person and an advance notice is required.


Overnight: Khangkhu Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 05~Flight from Paro to Bumthang

A scenic 35 minutes long flight whisks us to Bumthang in central Bhutan. On a clear weather day, we will enjoy spectacular views of snowcapped mountains! 

Upon arrival, meet your transport and transfer to the hotel for check-in. After wash up and change, we proceed for sightseeing of the valley. We start from the Jambay Lhakhang Temple which was the first Buddhist temple built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, even before the arrival of Guru Padmasambhava. A little further is an interesting Chakar temple (iron castle) at the site of the palace of the Indian King Sindhu Raja whom first invited Guru Rinpoche to Bumthang. Next, you will visit Kurjey Lhakhang which is built around the cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated and left the imprint of his body on a rock. Kurjey Lhakhang is among the holiest places in Bhutan.

Now, we take a gentle leveled walk across the suspension bridge over the Chamkhar Chu River to Tamshing Lhakhang. It is one of the most venerated Nyingma Goemba and is a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. Just 400 m below Tamshing is a small but rural looking temple called Kunchoksum Temple that has some interesting stories. You will continue walking through the farmlands to a Swiss Cheese Farm area where you meet your transport and transfer to the hotel for lunch.'

In the afternoon, you visit the new monastery of Namhai Nyingpo, the traditional hospital, Jakar Dzong, Lamay Gompa and other sights as per available time.

Late afternoon, take a relaxed stroll in the town. The town of Jakar is a bustling one-street town with a goldsmith, tailors, butchers, cafes, restaurants, and handicraft stores. It's worth taking a stroll around town in the evening.

Overnight: Rinchenling Lodge or similar 3*
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 06~Excursion of Tang Valley

Tang Valley is the most remote of the four valleys of Bumthang and perhaps the least visited. We first drive about 7 miles on West-East Highway and then the road branches north up to the Tang Valley. Right after the turnoff, we stop to visit Membartso Lake which is a short walk from the parking lot. A scenic one hour ride or little more on the mostly unpaved road will bring us to Tang valley.

The main attraction here is the Ogyen Choling Palace-a private property and now converted to a museum by its owners with a hope of sharing this heritage with as many people as possible and preserving the structure as a religious and social center. The artifacts depicts the way of life are recreated in the original rooms of the central tower. Granaries, agricultural implements, kitchen, room for making alcohol, reception rooms, bedroom, caravan and trade room, textiles, bamboo and ratan rooms, religious dances costumes and masks room, library and printing-room are recreated in a didactic and authentic way, enriched by comprehensive captions. The whole visit gives the intimate feeling of stepping into a bygone way of life and touching the social, religious, and economic facets of a manor. 

We also learn about the activities and the programs of Ogyen Choling Foundation- a non-profit run by the owners of the palace- Aum Kuzang and her husband. The foundation aims to contribute, preserve and promote Bhutan's historical and cultural heritage and support the social and economic well-being of the local community. The activities of the foundation are focused to create employment opportunities for the local people and market for local agricultural produce and handicraft product. They also hope to provide grants to disadvantaged families and individuals within the community in times of need, and to deserving children to pursue education or training at all levels.

We will enjoy lunch in the museum's restaurant and retrace our drive back to Jakar. 

Overnight: Rinchenling Lodge or similar 3*
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 07~ Ura Valley and Mongar

(6-7 hrs. drive, 193km/129miles, Altitude 1,600m/5,200 ft.)

It's going to be a long day drive today, and so you will need to get an early start. Along the way, enjoy the scenery, the beauty of snowcapped mountains, flowers, grazing yaks, and the dense forest. We will stop in Ura valley where we visit the village and its temple. Ura Village has a medieval look with houses compactly lined up alongside the cobblestone streets and is known for the women's typical sheepskin shawls.

As we leave the Ura Village behind, the road climbs to the Trumshing La pass (3,750m/12,300 ft.) that officially divides central Bhutan with Eastern Bhutan. The road now gradually descends to Sengor, and we will see some cascading waterfalls along the way. Once we cross the bridge over the Kurichu, then the road begins to climb again and goes through pines, maize fields, and eastern hamlets to Mongar town.

Arriving in Mongar marks the beginning of our eastern Bhutan experience. Mongar was the first town built on a mountainside instead of in a valley. Enjoy an evening by taking a stroll through quaint Mongar village.

Overnight: Wangchuk Hotel
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 08~Excursion of Lhuentse and Khoma Village

(2-3 hrs. drive, 75km/50miles, Altitude 1700m/10048 ft.)

Today you will set out on the mountainous road alongside cliffs, above the river valley to Lhuentse which is the original home of Bhutan’s royal family in the remote and ancient region of Kurtoe. You stop briefly to visit the Lhuentse Dzong, built in the 1600s and then continue further on to the Khurbazam Village from where you begin a hike to the Khoma Village. Almost all 30 houses in the village have blackstrap looms for “kushutara” or brocaded dress. Four supplementary wefts create motifs interworked around the warp elements so that they appear to ride the surface of the cloth like embroidery.

The landscape of Khoma is spectacular, with stark cliffs towering above river gorges and dense coniferous forests.> We also travel to Takilia to visit the 154 ft tall statue of Guru Nangsa Zelnan, situated 15km or 9.4 miles from Tagmochhu Chazam (bridge) on a hill above Tangmachhu village. Late afternoon, we retrace our drive to Mongar. 

Overnight: Wangchuk Hotel
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 09~Trashigang, Ramjung and Radi Villages

(2-3 hrs. drive, 91km/61miles, Altitude 1,100m/3,250 ft.)

The road crosses the Korila pass (2,450m/8,036 ft.) and follows a river valley and then climbs to Trashigang town. Upon arrival, check into your accommodation and soon we leave for exploration of some picturesque weaver's villages. Our first stop will be at Rangjung Village where you visit Yeozerchholing, a large Nyingma Monastery. Continue further east on a gravel road absorbing the rich culture of eastern Bhutan, to Radi village- the rice basket of the east. It also is famous for beautiful supplementary warp patterned fabrics or aikapur (textile patterns) and raw silk bura the most popular and prestigious textiles made in eastern Bhutan. Woven of cotton, wild silk, or cultivated silk in five color combinations these textiles were in high demand in the past and the noble households once retained the weaver who knew this art.  Prized for generations aikapur cloth has been saved for special occasions. You will have opportunity to experiment with vegetable dyes with the help of weavers.

Afternoon, you drive back to the hotel in Trashigang. After wash and change, you may take a stroll through the town and visit its Dzong.

Overnight: Druk Deothjung Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10~Gomphu Kora and Trashiyangtse

(2-3 hrs. drive, 55km/37miles, Altitude 1550m/4960 ft.)

We back-track about 6 miles on Trashigang-Mongar Highway and then the road forks out to the north, leading us to Trashiyangtse. We stop on the way to visit Gomphu Kora, an extraordinarily picturesque temple, surrounded by terraced rice fields, where the Guru Rinpoche meditated and left a body impression on the rock. A few miles past Gomphu Kora is Duksum, a small weaver's town where you will find a fair amount of weavers producing some lovely work. At Trashiyangtse, you will visit the Dzong and Chorten Kora; a large white stupa patterned after Boudhanath Stupa of Kathmandu.

If you missed the National Institute for Zorig Chusum in Thimphu, you could visit its branch in Trashiyangtse.

Late afternoon, retrace our drive back to our hotel in Trashigang.

Overnight: Druk Deothjung Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11~Travel to Samdrup Jongkhar

(6-7 hrs. drive, 180km/120miles, Altitude 450m/1440 ft.)

The road winds down to the Samdrup Jongkhar which is the southeastern border town of India. At Kanglung (13 miles from Trashigang, 45 minutes), you may want to stop to visit the Sherubtse College which was the only college in Bhutan in the 70s. The road then climbs through fields of corn, potatoes, it crosses Yongphula pass (2190m/7184ft.) offering the last glimpse of the Himalayas, and then enters the broad valley of Khaling. Here you will stop to visit the National Institute for the Disabled. 

Further, 2 miles down is the National Handloom Development Project which is one of several government initiatives to stimulate weaving as a national art and a source of livelihood for women. Wild silk yarn imported from Assam is dyed with vegetable colors and synthetic dyes. Khaling silk is sought after by Thimphu women for their weavings. From here, it's a further 3-4 hrs drive, and there are a few small temples and villages but mostly insignificant.

Upon arrival in the town, check into the hotel and take rest for the day. Samdrup Jongkhar is largely a frontier town and has very little cultural importance.

Overnight: TLT Guest House
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12~Exit Bhutan

Bid farewell to the Bhutanese guide and driver as you do this portion of the trip by Indian taxi. Your guide will help to book you a taxi and expect to pay about US$ 50 or so. It will take almost two hours to get to the airport. From Guwahati, you can fly to Kolkata or New Delhi and then on to your next destination.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Three-star hotel accommodation in the cities and best available guesthouses where choices are limited.
  • English speaking certified guide.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by a private vehicle.
  • Three meals a day.
  • Bhutan visa.
  • Sightseeing admission tickets.
  • Domestic airfare within Bhutan (Paro-Bumthang).

Trip Does Not Include

  • All international airfares arrival and return to the gateway city.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Drinks, tipping, laundry, phone, internet, and other personal expenses.
  • Extra expenses or loss due to nature or unforeseen events such as flight cancellation, road blockade, no show, emergency evacuation, etc.
  • Taxi from Bhutan border to Guwahati ( Budget $ 60 or 70)

Trip Difficulty Level, Road, and Transport

Travelers with an average health condition can join this trip. The trip involves no strenuous activities but a few long days of the drive. The road condition deteriorates as you enter the eastern part of the country. Due to damages by the monsoon rain, repairs works are a continuously ongoing process that may cause some travel delays.

We use good conditioned Japanese or Korean SUVs, minivan, or minibusses depending on the group size. The trip involves the crossing of a few high altitude passes, and the highest one is the Chelela (3810m, 12,497 ft.). We stop in these passes momentarily and all the towns where we overnight in much lower elevations and hence, altitude issues are minimum or non-existent.

The trip also has a few optional day hikes that you can do at your own pace.


The suggested hotels in the itinerary are three-star properties by local standard. You will have an en-suite bathroom with running hot and cold water. The hotels are usually small properties, built in a local architectural style with traditional decor and ensure essential amenities, and facilities. However, hotel standard deteriorates as you advance to the east. There is often a disparity in rooms and sometimes, members of the same group may get different types. While the hotels promise essential amenities and facilities, hair dryers, iron and ironing tables may not be available in some hotels. You will have to be prepared to adjust your normal routine and mentally be okay with things that may not work or be available when you want them to.

As there are limited hotels in Bhutan, the hotels listed in the itinerary are suggestions only. There will be massive demand for accommodations during the fall and spring, and in particular around the festival dates. We will send you a finalized itinerary and trip notes that include the list of your confirmed accommodations.  


The trip features three meals a day, and you will eat most of the meals at your hotel. Meals are either a set menu or served in a buffet. A typical set or buffest include rice dishes, stir-fried or curried vegetables, noodles, bread, and one or two meat dishes. While in Paro and Thimphu, your guide can arrange few dinners in a la carte restaurants in the town, but there are no a la carte restaurants in the central and western part.  Beware: traditional Bhutanese food always features chilies, and the most popular dish is ema datshi made with large, green hot chilies in a cheese sauce.


The guides are college educated locals, proficient in English and trained and licensed by the local tourism authorities. Most importantly they are friendly and committed to deliver the best services. They are always willing to show you the wonders that you may never have been able to find on your own. Your guide will bring the necessary permit and vouchers for the suppliers and deal with the checkpoints and local bureaucracies. 

Passport and Visa

Your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of travel and make sure you are not running out of blank visa pages. You will need one dedicated blank visa page for each Bhutan and India.

We will apply for your Bhutan visa and will email you the clearance document about three weeks before the trip date. You need to produce this document when you check in for the flight and again at Paro airport immigration upon arrival.Y our passport gets the actual visa seal at the Paro airport.  

You need to obtain Indian visa on your own before the travel begins. But nowadays, you can apply Indian visa online. 

Best time for this trip:

You can take this throughout the year, but undoubtedly, the fall ( October and November) is the best season when you have mild weather, clear skies, and clean air. The second preferred season is spring ( March, April, and May) when the weather is pleasant, and the plus point is the rhododendron and other wildflowers that come in bloom during this time of the year.  You can also travel during winter which has dry weather. The day time temperature is okay but night time temperature could fall below freezing point. The summer months of June, July and August are rainy months in Bhutan that can cause mudslides and road wash-ups, causing road blockades. 

Note on Itinerary

Although Far & High will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed; it is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control such as weather, road conditions, flight delays, etc. The sights and activities listed in the itinerary indicate the scope of activities and opportunities during the trip, rather than an inflexible schedule of events. Itinerary order might change depending on the local conditions, time availability, your pace, and interests. Every evening, the guide advises of the following day's schedule and explains what your expectations and preparations should be like for the day. 

Booking, deposit and payment

There are limited hotels and flights to Bhutan, and so early planning is essential. We request an initial deposit of US$ 300 along with a completed trip booking form and a passport scan.

The second payment will be for the in-tour airfare. 

The balance and final payment is due 90 days prior departure. The payment schedule may vary with customized and private trips on a case to case basis. Balance payment by credit card payment attracts an additional 3.5% fee. 

Cancellation and refund

If you need to withdraw from the trip, please send us written notice by email or fax. Far & High's cancellation policy is as following. 

  • Ninety days before departure: US$ 150 (Administrative Fee).
  • 60-89 day's before departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Forty-five days to 59 days before departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Thirty days to 44 days before departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days: 100%.

Travel Protection Plan

While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, flight cancellation or missed connection, or loss of baggage, etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High’s tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses, and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against any unfavorable conditions.


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