Eastetn Bhutan Textile Tour 8N9D
Day 1: Guwahati – Samdrup Jongkhar – Trashigang
Arrive in Guwahati airport in Assam, India. Here you will meet your Bhutanese guide and driver, who will manage all immigration formalities and drive to Samdrup Jongkhar, a frontier town in southeastern Bhutan (3hrs). Along the way, you will pass through many rural towns of Assam, tea estates and rice-fields. Enter Bhutan and stroll around small township of Samdrup Jongkhar.
Then you will start all day drive ascending to the Himalayas. After few hours drive we will stop to get blessing from Hindu hermit for safety of our journey. Soon after you will have opportunity to visit first of many charming Bhutanese Buddhist temples, called Zangto Pelri Lhakhang, with detailed mural painting. During afternoon you will stop in Khaling village to visit National Handloom Development Project, which maintains rich tradition of local weaving. Also you will pay a visit to the National Institute for the Visually Impaired. One of the accomplishment of this progressive institution is the development of Bhutanese version of Braille’s script. Along the way, you’ll also pass by Karma Thegsum Dechenling Goemba, huge monastery school and Sherubtse College, first Bhutanese university campus established in 1978. Also we visit temple in nearby Kanglung village.
Overnight in Tashigang
Day 2: In Trashigang (Excursion to Tashiyangtse)
Morning visit of Trashigang dzong which was built in 17th century and has commanding view of the valley. Inside are few interesting temples and local government offices. After that you’ll take about 2 hours drive time to Trashi Yangtse. On the way, pay a visit to the Gom Kora temple, place where 8th century magician-saint Guru Padmasambhava left his body imprints. Further drive will offer occasional views of snowy mountain in clear weather. Finally you will see impressive building of the old Trashi Yangtse dzong which is home to 300 monks. The dzong used to protect former trade route with Tibet and was established by the saint Pema Lingpa of 15th century. Near the Trashi Yangtse is the famous Chorten Kora, the largest stupa in Bhutan built in Nepali style.
This is the site of two colourful local festivals at the beginning of the year. Trashi Yangtse is also home to National Institute for Zorig Chusum, the school where the young people learns the art crafts of their forefathers to keep Bhutan’s traditional arts alive. In winter, if time permits, it’s also good idea to make detour to Bumdeling birds reserve further to the north as the rare Black Neck Cranes might be spotted here if you’re lucky. Evening return to Trashigang
Highlight* – Every spring Chorten Kora comes alive with festival. One of the prominent festival in eastern Bhutan. Although remote, but it draws large crowd from all over the country.
Day 3: Trashigang to Radhi (Home Stay)
Following breakfast, drive for 26 kms to reach Radhi. Before Radhi, visit Rangjung village – tranquil agarian village. At Radhi, visit farm houses surrounded by vast expanse of rice field, its aptly considered as the rice bowl of eastern Bhutan. Not to miss is to witness the women folk in action in traditional back strap loom using traditional dye, resulting in finest quality textile locally called “Burha”
Overnight in Home Stay
Hightlight* Especially Radi and Rungjung not only steal the limelight as top notch agarian village but also as two of Bhutan’s most renowned weaving villages specializing in natural dyed raw silk textiles.
Day 5: Radhi to Merak
Today we will use the local outback vehicle and drive along the country road. The dirt road is not tarred and as it is rarely used. The road cannot be taken during the rainy season. The road makes winds up to Chaling village, from where the locals usually trek. After Chaling the road become more rougher but we continue for next two hour or so till the road head. Construction of the road is ongoing and so we may have to trek less than expect trek of 6hrs.
Overnight in a simple Guest house
Day 6: Explore Merak
After breakfast, today the whole day will be devoted to visit in and around the Merak village. It involves visit to the local home, if possible school, interaction with people and delving deeper into their their social, cultural and religous structure of this unique community.
Overnight in simple guest house
Day 7: Merak to Trashigang
After early breakfast, retrace our step back with the trek till the road head, meet the vehicle (first into a local Bolero (MUV) and then into our modern (SUV) to Trashigang. Later in evening in Trashigang, being the principal trading town of Eastern Bhutan, bustle with hive of activties. Visit its market.
Overnight in Hotel
Day 8: Trashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar
Early morning drive to Samdrup Jongkhar, savouring the kaleidoscope of changing vegetation as we drive downhill. Also stopping at villages along the way. Free evening in Samdrup Jongkhar. You can either rest in hotel or take a stroll in market for souvenirs shopping
Overnight in hotel
Day 9: Samdrup Jongkhar to Guwahati airport.
Transfer to Guwahati on time for your flight