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Chasing the Thunder Dragon from Western to Eastern Bhutan. Led by Karchung Senior Bhutanese Guide of Distinction.

Chasing the Thunder Dragon from Western to Eastern Bhutan is available to select travelers who yearn for more than a superficial look at the country. Join Karchung a renowned Bhutanese scholar, photographer, and guide, who will share his deep knowledge of folklore, art, architecture, geology, flora and fauna, and religious traditions of the Bhutan.

Renowned lecturers provide provocative talks on Mahayana Buddhism, gross national happiness, and Bhutanese music with a private performance on traditional instruments. You will get a sense of the past with visits to 17th century monasteries and temples, but also discover the rhythms of everyday life through personal encounters with villagers in their homes or farmhouses.


The Journey

Only a small percentage of visitors travel to eastern Bhutan, and fewer still have access to isolated villages where we meet master craftsmen in their home environments and observe them making appliqué, embroidery, pottery, paintings, festival masks (our master is considered a national treasure), or wood turning crafts, including dapa bowls carved from the burls of maple, hibiscus, and avocado. We will learn about lacquer made from the leaves of the rhus tree, then watch an artisan applying this gloss to his wooden bowls. In an isolated farmhouse in eastern Bhutan, we will observe a craftsman engaged in the art of papermaking.

The trip is well balanced between discovering these treasures with opportunities to experience "the great outdoors" as we journey from western to eastern Bhutan. Our road journey from west to east is complemented with walks and easy hikes to secret places off the beaten path, to villages where you will see a way of life unchanged for centuries. In every way this active trip is truly a unique and special program. Trip Advisor® Far Fung Places Bhutan site.

In the fall, the pièce de résistance is the Mongar Tshechu, a festival where sacred masked dances bring blessings for those in attendance. Witnessing the unfurling of the 1000-pound thongdrel (sacred appliquéd banner) from the tower of the dzong at dawn on the last day releases all devout Buddhists from the cycle of reincarnation. It is a cultural and religious experience you will never forget! See our video at


We have selected lovely hotels: Zhiwaling, Bhutan's first wholly owned five star Bhutanese hotel in Paro, the Kunzangzhing, our most popular deluxe hotel in Punakha, and at a luxury resort hotel in Trashigang. Elsewhere, we have selected best-available local hotels.

The Bhutanese call their country Druk Yul, which means "Thunder Dragon" in the main language of the country.

Total of five (5 rooms); minimum of six to operate, maximum 10 people.


Please inquire about our day-to-day itinerary for more details.


Land/Air Cost

Land price: $6150 per person, double occupancy. Single supplement $1300. Plus regional fares: $650 from Bangkok international fares: $1000 plus taxes.


Return to Bhutan Travel Programs 2016


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