Early start on bautiful day calling in at Gangtey Monastery then
via Chendepje Chorten on to Trongsa and its Dzong (impressive).
Yangkhil Resort, Trongsa. Newish group of buildings
on side of steep valley with good views. Quite busy, good room
and good food.
Kuenga Rabten and a very interesting drive on to Endu Choling
(access road impassable, declined walk up as too hot and not
really enough time to get there and do it justice especially
as we were told we might not be allowed in!). In retrospect would
have liked more time on trip as many villages worth exploring
but conscious had to be back in Trongsa for lunch in time for
drive to Jakar. After lunch Ta Dzong offered but declined as
would have been hour wait for opening causing after dark arrival
at Jakar. Brief stop at Zungney but no weaving. Bumthang Valley
very pleasant. Mepham Guest House, Jakar. Traditional
building overlooking town, room basic but OK, staff very friendly
and food good. Stove in room needed relighting in middle of cold
nights but easy here as done with fircone and candle.
Very good drive towards Ura. Spent long time exploring Shingkhar
village then further up valley for picnic. Later to Ura where
ara was being distilled at Force 10 in the Lhakang yard in an
almost medieval scene. Visited farmhouse belonging to elderly
widow. Flaming Lake not worthwhile.
Jakar Dzong (good) then Jampa Lhakhang (very good). After that
walk on to Kurje Lhakhang, picnic and over river to Tamshang
Lhakhang. Very hot and rather unsatisfying day.
Long but interesting drive to Mongar. Explored the town, mobbed
by assorted friendly kids, got adopted by local character as
self-appointed guide who was impossible to lose until a small
girl told us (in flawless English) that he was a silly man who
drank too much wine - at which point he disappeared. Hotel
Wangchuk, Mongar. Modern hotel near to and overlooking town
centre. Room fair size but poor, service lacking, dinner only
average, very poor breakfast. Only place in Bhutan we had any
Had early (bad) breakfast so plenty of time to explore town again
as it was coming to life. Mongar Dzong (dances being practised
by monks - fascinating). Dusty diversion to Dramatse Dzong which
was not really worth the effort although village at top interesting.
Arrived Trashigang, had some tea then went for wander finding
many kids who wanted to practice English. Druk Deothhjung
Hotel (annex at Kyidling), Tashigang. Traditional place with
impressive site, basic with very basic rooms but quite good fun.
Food good and staff friendly.
Long, rather uninspiring drive to Trashi Yangtse. Gom Kora good
and Trashi Yangtse itself, but on balance probably not worth
the effort although picnic by chortens and view from dzong worthwhile.
Walked down into Trashigang (dump) to be picked up there. Dzong
(girls dancing) then quite excellent drive up to Radi with lots
to see on way. Visited school and stopped at Ranjung on way back.
Very early start for long (but fairly interesting) drive to Samdrup
Jongkhar. Delayed by very long road closure for road works. Smooth
handover to Indian guide, who then failed to get us to get exit
stamps from Bhutan in passports. Indian Immigration Officer refused
us entry (not sure if he was just doing job properly or being
a jobsworth) so back to Bhutan for stamp. Indian guide more interested
in blaming Bhutanese guide than sorting it out (we didn't see
it as her fault but he did). Eventually sorted then drive to
Guwahati (one serious army inspection but not much interested
in us) which became quite scary once it got dark! Arrived hotel
very tired and with no interest in seeing town. Hotel Dynasty,
Guwahati. Good town centre hotel, nice room, service fine.
Only food we had was via room service and was good quality and