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Bhutan West to East Tour 15Days

  • Paro International Airport
  • 15-day Bhutan Tour Map
  • Buddha Dordenma
  • Taktsang Monastery
  • Dochula Pass
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  • Travel from west to east Bhutan to see all the highlights in the kingdom
  • Visit libraries and schools to learn about Bhutanese people's study
  • Drive along the postcard-worthy mountain and valley roads
  • Relax yourself via a traditional hot stone bath
  • Drink traditional red rice beer with unique local taste
  • Dress in traditional National Attire to take a photo
  • Get 1 Bhutan sim card of 5GB internet access 
  • Culture dance show with dinner
  • Try local archery, which is not only Bhutan's national sports, but also art
14 Nights 15 Days
Tour Code:BTP010
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Day1  Arrive Paro-Thimphu (airport pick-up, Paro Dzong, National Museum of Bhutan)

Create your first impression of Bhutan from Paro International Airport. After a short rest, take a sightseeing tour to Paro Dzong, a fine example of Bhutanese historic architecture, and National Museum of Bhutan, where collects intriguing local artifacts with insightful instruction. Transfer to Thimphu after the short sightseeing.

Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzon), the "fortress of the heap of jewels", is built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is located near the crystalline Paro Chu (Paro River). Through a traditional wooden cantilever bridge, we can reach it to get panoramic views of the Paro Valley. As the office of the district administration and monastic body of Bhutan, the annual religious festival Paro Tsechu also takes place in its courtyard.

National Museum of Bhutan (Ta Dzong) is famed as Bhutan's tallest building (a cylindrical structure), which is 22 meters (72 feet) high and has 6 floors. It was completed in 1649 as a watchtower on the hill above the Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong). It was converted into the National Museum of Bhutan in 1968 with a rich collection of ancient artifacts like pottery, armor, thangkas, masks, stamps, photos, statues, costumes, relics, stone axes, and religious paintings...

Meals:    Dinner


  • Paro Dzong
    Paro Dzong
  • Paro Dzong
    Paro Dzong
Day2  Thimphu (National Library of Bhutan, Folk Heritage Museum, School of Arts and Crafts, National Memorial Chorten, Trashichho Dzong)

Today you will visit the National Library, the Folk Heritage Museum, the School of Thangka Painting, the Institute of Traditional Medicine, the Memorial Chorten and the Tashichho Dzong. Your knowledgeable tour guide will help learn more about the culture and history of Bhutan during today’s tour.

National Library of Bhutan (NLB) was established in 1967 with the primary objective of collecting and preserving mainly ancient Bhutanese written and printed resources. It accommodates a large and steadily growing collection of manuscripts, books, scriptures and written documents as well as a large number of hand carved wooden blocks for printing traditional religious books. The library houses national archives of Bhutan along with Tibetan and Bhutanese texts and manuscripts. There are photo frames of historical incidents hanging on the wall, which are also quite fascinating. The place is tranquil, and you can find yourself engrossed in reading about Bhutanese history here.

Folk Heritage Museum (Phelchey Toenkhyim) was established on July 28th, 2001 with the initiative of Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (the Queen Mother of Bhutan). It is set inside a three-storied, 19th-century traditional house and provides visitors with a glimpse of the traditional Bhutanese lifestyle, artifacts from rural households, collection of typical household objects, tools, and equipment. The museum also organizes regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits, and customs as well as hosts educational programs for children.

School of Arts and Crafts (Thimphu National Institute for Zorig Chusum), established by the Government of Bhutan in 1971, is an institute that nurtures exemplary craftsmanship in Zorig Chusum (13 Arts and Crafts). In the Institute, thirteen skills are taught to students. These thirteen art forms are Traditional Painting (Lhazo), Sculpturing (Jinzo), Wood Carving (Shagzo), Calligraphy (Yigzo), Papermaking (Dezo), Bronze Casting (Lugzo), Embroidery (Tshemazo), Weaving (Thagzo), Carpentry (Parzo), Masonry (Dozo), Bamboo and cane weaving (Tshazo), Gold/Silver Smithy (Trozo), Black smithy (Garzo).

National Memorial Chorten is the most visited landmark of Thimphu which was built in 1974 in memory of the Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk(the Father of Modern Bhutan) by his mother. Due to the idea of Jigme Dorji, this stupa is dedicated to world peace and prosperity. It is a Tibetan-style chorten with amazing paintings and brilliant sculptures, you can see the classical stupa pattern like the pyramidal pillar crowned by a crescent moon and sun. It is also a good place to meet local Bhutanese people circumambulating the Chorten throughout the day in a clockwise direction for praying.

Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong) is located on the right side of the Wangchu River in the northern part of Thimphu city. As the "Fortress of the glorious religion", it houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, government offices, and the central monk body. Thimphu Dzong was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. There are two main entrances in the Tashichho Dzong. One leads to the administrative section to the south and the other one (at the north) leads to the monastic quarter where festivals and dances are performed.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • National Memorial Chorten
    National Memorial Chorten
  • National Memorial Chorten
    National Memorial Chorten
Day3  Thimphu (Tango Monastery Trek)

After breakfast, drive to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike up to the Monastery. Tango is the center for higher studies for monks. The hike up will take approximately 45 minutes. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtaking. Drive back to Thimphu and evening free to relax /stroll around Thimphu town.

Tango Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located 14 kilometres to the north of the capital city of Thimphu in Bhutan. It was founded by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo in the 13th century and built in its present form by Tenzin Rabgye, the 4th Temporal Ruler in 1688. With its teaching and amazing hiking route, Tango Monastery has been a must visit place in Bhutan and a favored sightseeing place in Thimphu for both pilgrim and travelers.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Tango Monastery
    Tango Monastery
  • Tango Monastery
    Tango Monastery
Day4  Punakha-Wangdue (Dochula Pass, Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang, Wangdue Dzong

In the morning, you will take a 2.5 hours’ drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan. When pass through the Dochula Pass, do not forget to admire the 108 chortens and Himalaya Mountain ranges. Your first tourist destination in Punakha is Punakha Dzong, renowned for its highest-standard woodworks in Bhutan. Continue your Punakha tour to the Devine Madman’s Monastery - Chimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing. And then, drive to Wangdue to stay overnight and visit Wangdue Dzong, where offers you a chance to overlook a river junction.

Dochula Pass (108 memorial chortens) is a place in honor of 108 Bhutanese Soldiers, there are 108 stupas called the "Druk Wangyal Chortens" representing each soldier's life that was lost in the war of December 2003. The pass is decorated with colorful prayer flags which are symbols of veneration and the best wishes for peace and prosperity for Bhutan. If the weather is good, the Dochula Pass will become the best platform to get breathtaking views of the snow-covered Himalayas.

Chimi Lhakhang (Fertility Temple, Chime Lhakhang) is located on a hillock among the rice field and is a pilgrimage for a childless couple to seek blessings. The monk there blesses the couple with a wooden phallus that is believed to have the power to help the childless couple conceive a child. This temple is associated with the famous Drukpa Kunley (1455-1529, Divine Madman, Tibetan saint), who is famed for using his phallus to guide people to enlightenment and subdue demons. That is why you can see the symbol of phalluses scattered everywhere. You can buy handicraft souvenirs here with the phallic symbol in various colors, shapes, and sizes.

Wangdue Phodrang Dzong (Wangdi) was founded in 1638 by Ngawang Namgyal (1594-1651), the national unifier of Bhutan, who was later dubbed the first Zhabdrung Rinpoche. The dzong is ideally placed for defense which atop a high ridge between the Punak Tsang Chhu and the Dang Chhu, clearly chosen for its commanding view of the Punakha river valley. The prominent position of the dzong and its imposing demeanor underscored the authority of the Zhabdrung in both civil and religious affairs.

Punakha Dzong stands at the junction of two great rivers called the Pho Chu river (father river) and Mo Chu river (mother river). As the palace of great happiness or bliss, it is also known as the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. It was first built in 1637 by the founder of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, and was played as the administrative center and the seat of the Bhutanese official till the capital city was moved from Punakha to Thimphu in 1955. Now, this Dzong is served as the winter residence for Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body. In 2011, the Dzong witnessed the royal wedding ceremony of the 5th Bhutan's King, His Majesty Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck to Queen Jetsun Pema. If you visit Bhutan in May, you will be amazed by the breathtaking purple-blue jacaranda blooms outside the fortress.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Punakha Dzong
    Punakha Dzong
  • Wangdue Dzong
    Wangdue Dzong
Day5  Wangdue-Trongsa-Bumthang (Trongsa Dzong, Yotongla Pass, Yathra Weaving Center)

Today, you will drive to Bumthang with a stopover at Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive dzong in Bhutan. On the way, we will have a photo stop on Yotongla Pass. After arrival in Bumthang, you will pay a visit to Yathra Weaving Center, a cooperative of the National Women Association of Bhutan where the women of the region sell their textiles and Yathra specialty.

Trongsa Dzong (1920m), built in 1648, is the ancient fort where the first and the second King of Bhutan ruled the kingdom due to its strategic position. All successive Kings of Bhutan hold the post of Trongsa Penlop (governor) before being crowned as the Prince and the King. This Dzong is considered one of the longest and the largest fortresses in Bhutan. It also provides an extraordinary view of the Mangde River. There is a Ta Dzong (built in 1652) that served as the watchtower for Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellion and it is now a heritage museum focused on Buddhist art and Royal memorabilia which is worth a visit.

Yotongla Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3,436m above sea level, located in the Bumthang District of Bhutan. It falls within the Black Mountain range and connects Trongsa and Bumthang. Trongsa and Bumthang served as the summer and the winter capitals respectively and the pass was thus used frequently by the King and his traveling entourage. The road to Yotongla Pass is one of the highest mountain roads in the country. It's called Bumthang-Ura Highway and was built in the 1990s. The pass is covered with mist and prayer flags most of the time. It is worth a stop for a photo break.

Yathra Weaving Centre is a sales outlet showcasing textiles woven from sheep and yak wool. You will see women weaving intricate designs on their backstrap loom, wool dyeing in a natural way, and other processes there. Yathra is traditional wool weaving with intricate patterns native to Chumey Valley in Bumthang of central Bhutan. Almost every family in Chumey owns a backstrap loom. Girls around 8 years old are learning to weave. Yathra products are unique souvenirs, they are the main income for the people of Bumthang.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Trongsa Dzong
    Trongsa Dzong
  • Trongsa Dzong
    Trongsa Dzong
Day6  Bumthang (Kurje Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakhang, Jakar Dzong)

After breakfast, you will visit 3 historical monasteries, Jambay and Kurje Lhakhangs and Jakar Dzong. They were all built around 1200 years ago. Your insightful tour guide will tell you the anecdotes of them.

Kurjey Lhakhang consists of three buildings facing south namely: Guru Lhakhang (built-in 1652), Sampa Lhundrup Lhakhang (built-in 1900), and Ka Gon Phor Sum Lhakhang (built-in 1900). It is said that, in the 8th century, the Saint Guru Padmasambhava(Rinpoche) meditated here for three months. The upper floor of the Kurjey Lhakhang houses 1000 small statues of Guru Rinpoche. There is also a huge cypress tree near the entrance of the temple which is believed to have sprouted from Guru Rinpoche's walking stick. It is a must-visit Lhakhang in Bumthang.

Jambay Lhakhang is one of the 108 monasteries built on a single day by Tibetan King Songtsen Goenpo in 659 AD to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region while spreading Buddhism over the Himalayas. It was believed that Jambay Lhakhang was built to pin down the left knee of the ogress. There is an annual festival called Jambay Lhakhang Drup held here to honor Guru Rinpoche who consecrated the Jambay Lhakhang. Visitors can enjoy watching the mask dance of Bhutan. It is worth seeing the beautiful statues, fascinating relics, and preserved murals in this Lhakhang.

Jakar Dzong (Jakar Yugyal Dzong), literally meaning "Castle of the White Bird", was initially built as a monastery in 1549 by Lam Ngagi Wangchuck (1517-1554), a Tibetan who came to Bhutan to spread the Drukpa Kagyupa Buddhist order. It was also the seat of the first King of Bhutan. As the dzong or fortress of the Bumthang district, it is located on a ridge above Jakar town that can give a spectacular view of the Chamkhar (Chokhor) Valley. Jakar Dzong is now the administrative center for Bumthang valley and houses the regional monk body.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Kurje Lhakhang
    Kurje Lhakhang
  • Jakar Dzong
    Jakar Dzong
Day7  Bumthang-Mongar (Mongar Dzong)

Today, you will take 6 hours’ drive to Mongar from Bumthang. Watching the cascading waterfalls along the way is a wonderful experience. Visit the Mongar Dzong when you arrive in Mongar Town. The Mongar Dzong, built in 1930, is a young dzong in Bhutan. It is interesting to find the differences between the Mongar Dzong and other ancient dzongs.

Monger Dzong was established in 1930 by his majesty, the third King Jigme Dorje Wangchuck. It was to replace the original Zhongar Dzong but was demolished by a fire and a subsequent earthquake. The present dzong was rebuilt in the year 1953. According to oral legend, a king named Karpo Dung invited an architect from Paro, Zochhen Bala to build a fortress in the region. During his land survey, the architect came across a white stone shaped like a bowl on a mound just above Kurichhu. He named the place Zhongkhar, which means white bowl and the name was later changed to Mongar. Today, the week-long Mongar tsechu is held here in November or December (from the seventh to the 10th day of the 10th lunar month).

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Mongar Dzong
    Mongar Dzong
  • Farmhouse, Bumthang
    Farmhouse, Bumthang
Day8  Mongar-Trashigang (Khaling Academy)

After breakfast, you will drive to Trashigang, the eastern most region in Bhutan. Fantastic forest and mountain views are available along the road. You can also view the local dzong in Trashigang, the center of the biggest and most populated district in the nation. After lunch, visit Khaling Academy, where you can see all the process and materials involved in weaving.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Trashigang
  • Bhutan Handcrafts
    Bhutan Handcrafts
Day9  Trashigang (Gom Kora, Trashiyangtse)

Excursion to Gom Kora, an extraordinarily picturesque temple and Trashiyangtse, well-known for its natural, cultural and historical tourist attractions.

Gomphu Kora (Gom Kora) is one of Bhutan's most revered monasteries. It can be found 24 km from Trashigang on the western side of Kulong Chuu. Both Gomphu and Kora are Tibetan terms for circumambulation. "Go around Gomphu Kora today for tomorrow may be too late", advises a local song that entices devotees to visit Gomphu Kora. The Guru is attributed to have said that devotees will flock to Gomphu Kora for eons to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. The two-story Gomphu Kora with its golden roof has caught the attention of many pilgrims and tourists traveling to Bhutan for being a sacred site.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Gomphu Kora
    Gomphu Kora
  • Bhutan Locals
    Bhutan Locals
Day10  Trashigang-Mongar (Trashigang Valley)

This is the beginning of the return journey. After sightseeing Trashigang valley, travel back to Mongar.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Hike in Trashigang valley
    Hike in Trashigang valley
  • Rice field in Bhutan
    Rice field in Bhutan
Day11  Mongar-Bumthang

Travel back to Bumthang.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Meet local people
    Meet local people
  • Jakar Dzong, Bumthang
    Jakar Dzong, Bumthang
Day12  Bumthang-Gangtey-Wangdue (Gangtey Gompa, Black Necked Cranes Observation)

After early breakfast, drive to Gangtey Gompa with picnic lunch. Visit Gangtey Gompa, which now houses one of the only Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. And then, Continue the tour in the Black Necked Crane Information Center, where you can observe the cranes with high-power telescope and spotting scopes. At the end of today’s tour, you will drive to Wangdue for overnight halt.

Gangtey Monastery (Gangtey Goemba, Gangtey Gonpa) was first built in 1613 by Pema Thinley, the grandson, and re-embodiment of Pema Lingpa (the reincarnation of Guru Rinpoche, 1450-1521). It is a beautiful temple architecture that stands on the hilltop and is a great spot to view the picturesque Phobjikha Valley. It is said that the Black-necked cranes circle the monastery three times when they arrive and three times when they leave. Each year on Nov. 11, the Black-necked Crane Festival with local songs, dramas, and masked dances is held at the courtyard of Gangtey Goemba to celebrate the arrival of the endangered bird migrating from the Tibetan Plateau.

In Black Necked Crane Information Centre, you can enter the observation room and use the telescope and spotting scopes to watch the Black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis). Every year (Oct. to Feb.), over 300 cranes migrate from Tibet to Bhutan for their winter months in Phobjikha Valley. As an indigenous Himalayan species, the black-necked cranes are the holy bird in the eyes of local people as it is a symbol of longevity. It was helpful for the center to protect and conserve the Black-necked crane and its species since 2003. It is a nice place to know more about the cranes and study their behavior.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Gangtey Gompa
    Gangtey Gompa
  • Black Necked Crane in Gangtey Valley
    Black Necked Crane in Gangtey Valley
Day13  Wangdue-Punakha-Paro (Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, Kyichu Temple)

After breakfast, walk to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (50 Minutes) temple built by the Queen Of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world. Travel back to paro and visit Kyichu Temple, one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo.

Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten is on the west bank of the Mo Chhu river. After across a suspension bridge, it is about 45mins' walk from the main road to the Chorten(stupa). The stupa was built in 1990 by Ashi Tsering Yangdon Wangchuck(the mother of the 5th King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck) to drive off evil forces and bring peace to Bhutan and the world. This Chorten was a typical combination of the art, architecture, and traditions of Bhutan. It took Bhutanese carpenters, painters, and sculptors 9 years to finish this Bhutan-style pagoda. Also, you will get an excellent view of the Punakha Valley and Punakha Dzong there.

Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest monasteries that marks the beginning of Buddhism in Bhutan. It was built in 659AD by King Songtsen Gompo (Tibetan Emperor) as one of the 108 monasteries he made. In 1971 a Guru Temple was added by Her Majesty Azhi Keshang Choden Wangchuck, the wife of the Third King of Bhutan. You can see the original 7th-century Jowo Sakyamuni Statue (the same era as the one in Lhasa's Jokhang Temple) and Chenrezig with 11 heads and 1000 arms there. There is also a magical orange tree outside the courtyard that is said to bear fruits all year round.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten
    Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten
  • Kyichu Temple
    Kyichu Temple
Day14  Paro (Tiger's Nest Monastery, Chelela Pass, Chela Nunnery)

Drive to Satsam Chorten and then hike to viewpoint of Taktshang, the Tiger's Nest. This monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 3,000 ft above the valley floor. Or drive to Chelela Pass where one can see beautiful mountain ranges and rhododendron flowers in bloom. On the way back walk to Chela Nunnery.

Tiger's Nest Monastery (Taktsang Goemba, Takhtsang Lakhang, Paro Taktshang), first built in 1692, is the iconic landmark of Bhutan. As a world cultural heritage, it is sited on the side of a cliff at a height of 900m above the Paro valley. It is said that Guru Rinpoche (a Buddhist saint) rode a tigress to the current site of the monastery and meditated in a cave for 3 years 3 months and 3 days. Now it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bhutan and a sacred religious site for Bhutanese to pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime.

Chele La Pass (3988m) is the highest motorable road pass in Bhutan and can be reached by a two hours drive from Paro. As the spot with incredible views of the high Himalayan Mountains, you may get the chance to see Mount Jomolhari(6706m), the most sacred peak of Bhutan, Jichu Drake, as well as the majestic sights of the Tsherimgang Mountains. Also, Chele La Pass is the best site to discover the rare White Poppy native to this region.

Chele la Gompa(Chela Nunnery, Kila Gompa,Kila Nunnery, Kila Goempa nunnery) is located below Chele La at about 3,500m, on the road to Haa (27km from Paro). Established as a meditation site in the 9th century by Drupthob Chhoeje Norbu, Kila Gompa is reputed to be the oldest nunnery in Bhutan. It is also fondly referred to as the ‘second Tiger’s Nest.’ The nunnery has around seven small temples and several retreat huts built into a dizzying sheer cliffside, with 30 to 70 nuns living in self-imposed isolation. You will be surprised to see that their life is so simple and live in serenity and harmony with Mother Nature. It has great views of Paro valley and Jele Dzong.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


  • Tiger's Nest
    Tiger's Nest
  • Tiger's Nest
    Tiger's Nest
Day15  Paro Departure(Depart Bhutan, airport see-off)

Time to say goodbye to Bhutan, the beautiful Himalayan country. Our local representative will meet you at your hotel and send you to the international airport. Happiness is a place, wish you get happiness and great memories from the Bhutantrip with us. We look forward to seeing you again, Tashi Delek!

Note: Please note that some of the sites in the itinerary may change due to season, weather, national holidays, and special events. We maintain the right to alter the itinerary. The changes in itinerary will mainly base on improving your tour experience in Bhutan.



  • Bhutan in fall
    Bhutan in fall
  • Thank you for choosing AOT
    Thank you for choosing AOT

Price Includes

    • 1.English-speaking local guide
    • 2.Meals listed in the itinerary [Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner]
    • 3.Accommodation in 3-star hotel under twin/dbl bed sharing basis
    • 4.All transportation within the country including airport transfers
    • 5.Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments
    • 6.Bhutan SDF fee
    • 7.Bhutan visa fee: USD 40 per person

Price Excludes

    • 1.Single room supplement charges
    • 2.Personal expense and Travel Insurance
    • 3.Cost for any services not mentioned in the "PRICE INCLUDES"

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