16 night tour (Bhutan from west to east)

Days 1 to 3

Arrive Paro International Airport. Your tour guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. Later take a stroll around town and start to take in the atmosphere and culture of this beautiful country. Next day you have a full day of sightseeing in and around Paro including Paro Rinpung Dzong and the National Museum. After lunch visit Drukgyel Dzong (‘fortress of victory’), and the sacred Kyichu Lhakhang (temple). You can end your stay in Paro with a hike to Tiger’s Nest’, the sacred Taktshang monastery, and have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria.

Days 4 to 6

Sightseeing in Thimphu, where you can visit the National Memorial Chorten, the National Library, the National Painting School and Changangkha Temple. Browse the striking collection of intricate textiles at the National Textile Museum and visit the Folk Museum. Then drive to Punakha via Dochu La pass. Visit Punakha Dzong and take a short hike to an interesting temple of fertility. Drive a couple of hours to Gangtey in the remote Phobjikha valley where black-necked cranes visit in their hundreds in November each year after spending the summer in Tibet.

Days 7 to 9

Continue your journey east to Bumthang, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan with its many temples and monasteries. Stop in Trongsa to visit the Dzong and the museum in the Watchtower. Take a couple of days to explore the sights of Bumthang including an excursion to the remote Tang valley where you can also visit an interesting museum in an old aristocratic palace.

Days 10 to 13

Drive east via Mongar to Tashi Yangtse, a remote town in the north eastern corner of Bhutan. Here you can spend a relaxing day wandering round the town after the long drives of recent days and visit the sacred Chorten Kora and the Institute of Traditional Arts and Crafts. Take a day excursion to the remote valley of Bumdeling, home to another flock of the endangered black-necked cranes who winter here from Tibet.

Days 14 to 17

Drive south to Tashigang where you can visit the Dzong and next day take an excursion to the remote weaving villages of Radi and Phongme. Then you continue south to the border town of Samdrup Jongkhar. Stop on the way to visit the weaving school at Khaling or Sherubtse college the seat of Bhutan’s first university. You will spend the night in Samdrup Jongkhar and then next day you can take a taxi three hours over the border to Guwahati in Assam, India from where there are regular flights to Delhi and Calcutta and other nearby destinations.