The Mongar Tour

The Mongar Tour

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Mongar, at (1,700m) is the headquarters of the district of the same name and is more or less a spot between Bumthang and Trashigang, two famous tourist spots in the dragon kingdom. A tourist guest house hereabouts offers basic services, with great views encircling a big area and a pretty garden. Mongar is also the first outpost on the mountains that is geographically more placed on a hillock rather than a valley. But our thrilling tour is based on the mores of this quiet little town in the dragon kingdom of Bhutan…and Tashi Delek Nepal Treks will escort you and guide you on this magical tour better than anyone else…welcome to the Mongar Tour!

 

Trashigang, at (1,150m) is said to be the largest town in the Himalayas of Bhutan, after Thimphu. The managerial and economic core of Bhutan’s most populous region, Trashigang is known for its skillful woodwork and weaving. This town is also to an amazing dzong, from which the town gets its namesake. Built on a spur in 1656 – 1659, which overlooks the Gamri River 400m below; its name rightly translates as “fortress of the auspicious mountain”.

 

Our Eastern Bhutan cultural whirlwind tour, is one of those exclusive destinations was only recently offered to curious energetic tourists to experience a special part of the dragon kingdom. This part of Bhutan includes a lot of attractive and bewildering monasteries, superb Himalayan views, lush green forests and lovely waterfalls, which make our Eastern Bhutan expedition one of a unique visit. The ancient tradition and culture of Bhutan plays very noteworthy role in safe guarding the spotless environment of this small country in Asia’s vast Himalayan network. We will move around the primary towns of Eastern Bhutan through cultivated terraced farmed lands and gorgeous riversides. Bhutan is physically a small landlocked Himalayan nation between two massive and most populated nations in the entire world, consequently, the promotion and preservation of its divergent identity is observed to be a critical base for its survival as a sovereign, self-determining democratic kingdom in the region of south east Asia…

Tashi Delek Nepal Treks is sure that you enjoyed this amazing cultural and historical tour which has given you many deep insights into this fantastic little Himalayan kingdom, you can now return back to Nepal for some other great holidays or proceed further to your destination of choice. Sayonara friends! We do hope to meet you some day again. Doing a trip to Bhutan is ideally started in kathmandu, or ends in Kathmandu…Nepal has so many programs to give you holidays that only dreams are made off…get in touch with us at Tashi Delek Nepal…we’ll give you holiday options that are not only thrilling, but also pocket friendly with our no-frills costs.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Paro by Druk Air, transfer to Thimphu (55 Km, 1:30 Hours)

Our Paro flight on a clear blue sky day is one of those fantastic mountain flights of a natural kind. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsering Ghang. The first most welcome thing about Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the aircraft. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan, the road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Paro and Thimphu rivers at Chuzom (confluence). Later in the day take an exploratory walk getting acquainted with the local environment.
Also visit National Memorial Chorten: a monument for world peace and prosperity. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu – B. L. D

Day 2: Thimphu to Trongsa – (140 km, 4 hrs approx)

In the morning after b/fast, we visit the weekend market: We can see people from all walks of Bhutanese society who come here to buy fresh products. During weekends we can also see the archery matches at the Changlimithang grounds. Archery is the national game of Bhutan. Later, we visit Memorial Chorten: Chortens are memorial structures designed to evoke the same perfect symmetry and elegance of the Buddha himself. This particular chorten was constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of Bhutan. We then drive towards Trongsa (6 hrs), we come across a pass known as Dochula from where a beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range can be seen, especially on clear winter days. The beauty of this place is further enhanced by the Druk Wangyal Chortens. Overnight at our hotel – B. L. D

Day 3: Trongsa to Mongar – Drive to the Ura Valley 2 – 3 hours

where the road begins to climb towards the highest pass in Bhutan at (Thumsing La 3,800m, 12,465 feet).
After b/fast, we leave Trongsa and drive down to Ura village and visit Ura Lakhang after which we continue our drive to Mongar through Thumsing La Pass {the highest pass on the east-west highway}. A picnic type lunch will be served en-route. We will then commence our journey to eastern Bhutan which is different from western and central Bhutan in terms of development and lifestyles; the steepness of the region lends itself to some wonderful views with gushing waterfalls and sheer drops. The drive is an exhilarating 8 hours from Thumsing La where once again you will behold stunning vistas on a clear sky day. Our drive continues on to Mongar where we wander around this interesting town for the rest of our day. Overnight at our hotel – B. L. D

Day 4: Mongar to Trashigang

The trip to Trashigang (96 kilometers) takes 3 hours approx.
After b/fast, our Morning drive to Trashigang takes approx 4 hours. Trashigang lies in the far east of Bhutan, and is the country’s largest district. Trashigang town, on the hillside above the Gamri Chu (river), was once the center for bustling trade with Tibet. Today it is the junction of the east-west highway, with road connections to Samdrup Jongkhar and then into the Indian state of Assam. This town is also the principle market place for the semi-nomadic people of Merak and Sakteng, whose way of dress is one of a kind in Bhutan.
We later visit the Trashigang Dzong and stroll around the town. Trashigang dzong, or fortress, was built in 1659 by the third Druk Desi to defend against Tibetan invaders. Because of its altitude invading armies remarked in ancient times that ‘’it is not a dzong on the ground, it is in the sky’’.

Day 5: Trashigang

This day is spent enjoying Bhutan’s festivals which are joyous expressions of its Buddhist culture.
We visit Radhi village which is famous for its raw silk and known as ‘Bura’’. We also see the Bhutanese women happily engrossed in their work of weaving the raw silk. Overnight at our hotel in Rangjung – B. L. D

Day 6: Tashi Yangtse to Mongar

Travel through a gorge filled with lush vegetation and observe/watch the monkeys and birds at play
In the Morning we do an excursion to Trashi Yangtse with picnic lunch. (1 hour 30 minutes drive) Situated in a small river valley, it is a lovely spot from which to take walks in the surrounding countryside. The Dzong overlooking the town was built in the late 1990s when the new district was created. Trashiyangtse is famous for its wooden containers and bowls, which make inexpensive, attractive and useful mementos of a visit to this remote region. The Institute for Zorig Chusum, where students study the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan, is also worth a drop in.
We also visit the Chorten Kora and Gom Kora: It is similar to the stupa of Boudhanath in Nepal and was built in 1740. The Chorten Kora festival is very different from the other festivals in Bhutan, as not only the Bhutanese, but also the people from Arunachal Pradesh in India, gathers here to enjoy the festival. Overnight at our guest house – B. L. D

Day 7: Mongar/Bumthang (JAKAR) – approx 3 hrs drive

A day excursion of sightseeing
Today we visit various religious and historical places around Bumthang. The Kurjey Lhakhang is one of them, it means body print. It dates back to 8th century when Guru Rimpoche first visited Bhutan. We also visit Tamzing Lhakhang: `Temple of good message`. It was built by Terton Pema Lingpa (Treasure Discoverer) in 1501 AD.
Kenchosum Lhakhang: is well known and its establishment dates back to the 7th century. The Chakhar (Iron Castle) Lhakhang is also very interesting. It is the site of the palace of the Indian King, the Sindhu Raja who invited Guru Rimpoche to Bumthang.
The Jakar Dzong is also a significant place to visit; The Dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549 by the great grand father of the Zhabdrung. Our visit also includes the Mebar Tsho (Lake of Burning Fire): This is a sacred lake for Bhutanese who believe that Pema Lingpa discovered religious treasures from this lake in the 12th century.
From here on, we Ura Village: Ura lies in the Tang valley, a one and a half hour drive from Bumthang town. The drive is mainly through sheep pastures and along the way one can glimpse a grand view of Mount Gangkhar Phuensum from Ura La (Pass). Later, we stroll around the town and see how locals live their daily lives before we retire to our hotel for the night. B. L. D

Day 8: Bumthang / Trongsa (146 km/ 5 hrs)


Different from all the other valleys in Bhutan, Bumthang is very spacious and open with altitude ranging from 2,600m to 4,000m.
After breakfast, we depart towards Trongsa. Enroute we will visit the Wangdue Dzong.
The drive is taken via the Pele La Pass (3300m) to reach Chendebji Chorten where we will stop for our picnic lunch. We further continue the drive to Trongsa and enjoy the beautiful views of Trongsa Dzong, while approaching Trongsa. We will also visit the beautiful Kuenga Rabten Palace located 22 km from Trongsa. This ancient palace is the palace of the second king of Bhutan. Upon arrival check in at the hotel – B. L. D

Day 9: Excursion to Gangtey & Phobjikha Valley (190 km, 7 hours drive)

Phobjikha Valley has been declared the first eco-tourism destination of Bhutan by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN).
After breakfast we drive to Gangtey / Phobjikha. In the mountains east of Wangduephodrang lies the beautiful Phobjikha valley, on the slopes of which is situated the great monastery of Gangtey, established in the 17th century. The village of Phobjikha lies a few km down from the monastery, on the green valley floor. This quiet, remote valley is the winter home of black necked cranes, which migrate from the arid plains of Tibet in the north, to pass the winter months in a milder climate. We explore Gangtey village and Phobjikha Valley and enjoy the wonderful environment down here. Overnight at the lodge in Gangtey / Phobjikha – B. L. D

Day 10: Punakha / Thimphu (70 km, 3 hours drive)


Punakha was the winter capital for over 300 years until the time of the second King of Bhutan
After B/fast, we drive down to Punakha and visit the famous Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. Punakha was Bhutan’s capital until 1955, and Punakha Dzong still serves as the winter residence of the central monk body.
Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood over the centuries. The latest flood, in October, 1994, caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared its most holy statue. Also visit Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, the newly built stupa.
In the afternoon, we cruise down to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The road runs down through the Paro valley, to Chuzom (confluence) at the entrance of the valley, where the Paro and Thimphu rivers meet. The road passes along a narrow valley with high, rocky cliffs on the left, and then the valley opens out into farmland on the approach to Thimphu. Simtokha Dzong, “the place of profound tantric teaching”, stands sentinel on a hillock a few kilometers out of town. This Dzong now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies. We check into our hotel for the night. B. L. D

Day 11: Thimphu and full day sightseeing of the old capital of Bhutan

Thimphu is geographically placed ideally in a wooded valley, which is an extension of a hillside on the West Bank of the Thimphu Chhu [Chhu means River]. Thimphu is pretty different to other world capitals. This is a Small and secluded the city which is pleasantly quiet and you won’t find traffic jams here like in other asian cities; It is often said that Thimphu is the only world capital without traffic lights. Thimphu’s primary shopping centres are wonderfully placed with its unique architecture and the bright colorful national costumes that most of the local folks wear on the streets.
Our tour begins with a visit to the National Library (closed Saturday, Sunday due to government holidays), which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion.
Our next tour is the nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (Sat afternoon, Sun & Govt holidays closed). Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school. We then drive towards city centre to visit Textile (Sat afternoon, Sun & Govt holiday closed) and Folk Heritage Museum: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide absorbing insights into Bhutanese material culture and everyday lifestyles.
The curtain falls on our sightseeing with a visit of Trashichhodzong: This remarkable fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King, and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and the central monk body. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu – B. L. D

Day 12: Thimphu / Paro – excursion and sightseeing of this well known hilly city


In the Morning after b/fast, we do an excursion to Taktsang Monastery (5 hrs walk), the most well known of Bhutanese monasteries. The myth goes that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence called “Tiger’s Nest”. The excursion to monastery takes about 5 hours for round trip. While returning to Paro, we haul up at Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress from where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, “Mountain of Goddess” looms directly over the Dzong. On the way back to hotel, visit 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo. One of the most sacred shrines in the country, it reflects the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Overnight at our hotel in Paro – B. L. D

Day 13: Departure from Paro/ Bangkok or Kathmandu


The choice of destination is yours.

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