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East to West: A Journey Through Bhutan

18 days from £6,400 per person

This pioneering itinerary is the perfect journey for those who want to explore Bhutan’s remote countryside in depth. This adventurous tour has only just become possible with the opening of the entry point at Samdrup Jongkhar, a sub-tropical region which borders India.

Completely off the beaten path you will be able to visit the heartlands of Bhutan including the eastern provinces and town of Trashigang and Mongar where the indigenous people are semi-nomadic. Journey on to the more frequently visited valleys of the Bumthang ValleyTrongsaGangteyPunakhaThimphu and Paro, staying in local guesthouses and traditional farm houses. Each of these destinations is home to its own unique and distinctive attractions including dzongs, markets and beautiful, sweeping vistas. The infrastructure and accommodation for the first few days in Bhutan will be a far cry from a luxury holiday but with each passing day this will change and you will certainly feel that you have earned your luxuries by the end of the trip. 

This is purely a suggested itinerary, so it can be booked as it is, or used as a starting point for creating your own luxury tailor-made tour of Bhutan. If you'd like to see similar trips, take a look at our Epic Journey and Active Holiday collections; as well as our favourite Mountains & Trekking itineraries.

Itinerary details

18 days from £6,400 per person

  • Day 1 - In transit
    Fly to Delhi from London Heathrow.
  • Day 2 - The Imperial Hotel - Delhi
    Transfer to your hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 3 - Tashi Gasel Lodge - Samdrup Jongkhar
    Fly to Guwahati and drive to Samdrup Jongkhar. Afternoon sightseeing Samdrup Jongkhar.
  • Day 4 - Lingkhar Lodge - Trashigang
    Drive to Trashigang (approx. 7-8 hours) stopping to take in the stunning scenery along the way.
  • Day 5 - Lingkhar Lodge - Trashigang
    Full day sightseeing of Trashigang Valley.
  • Day 6 - Wangchuk Hotel - Mongar
    Morning drive to Mongar (approx. 3 hours). Afternoon sightseeing in Mongar.
  • Day 7 - Swiss Guest House - Bumthang
    Drive to Bumthang (approx. 6-7 hours). The roads are lined with pristine forests and dotted with quaint rural settlements.
  • Day 8 - Swiss Guest House - Bumthang
    Full day sightseeing in Bumthang valley with your guide.
  • Day 9 - Dewachen Hotel - Gangtey
    Drive to Gangtey (approx. 6 hours) stopping at interesting points along the beautiful mountain roads.
  • Day 10 - Dewachen Hotel - Gangtey
    Day at leisure to explore Gangtey valley, including the Black-Necked Crane Centre and the Gangtey Gompa.
  • Day 11 - Dhensa Boutique Resort - Punakha
    Drive to Punakha (approx. 3 hours) via Wangdue Phodrang and Wangduephodrang Dzong at the confluence of the two rivers.
  • Day 12 - Dhensa Boutique Resort - Punakha
    Full day sightseeing in Punakha visiting the famed Punakha Dzong and Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten stupa.
  • Day 13 - Zhiwa Ling Ascent - Thimphu
    Drive to Thimpu (apporx. 2 1/2 hours) via the Dochu La pass.
  • Day 14 - Soednam Zingkha Heritage Lodge - Haa Valley
    Spend the morning exploring Thimphu. Afternoon drive to the Haa Valley (approx. 3 1/2 hours).
  • Day 15 - Soednam Zingkha Heritage Lodge - Haa Valley
    Spend the day at leisure for local activities in the Haa Valley.
  • Day 16 - Uma Paro - Paro
    Drive to Paro (approx. 2 1/2 hours) and spend the afternoon at leisure to explore Paro.
  • Day 17 - Uma Paro - Paro
    Take a day hike in the valley ending at the Tiger's Nest.
  • Day 18 - In transit.
    Transfer to Paro airport and fly to Delhi. Transfer to international airport for onward flight to London Heathrow.
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When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
Susan Heller

So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India

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