Asia 2009 - Facts and Information
Day by Day 2: East Bhutan
The less visited part of Bhutan and back into Assam
ASIA 2009

WEST BHUTAN

 To Paro
 Paro 1
 Paro 2
 Paro 3
 To Thimphu
 Thimphu 1
 Thimphu 2
 Thimphu 3
 Thimphu 4
 To Punakha
 Punakha
 To Phobjika
 Phobjika


EAST BHUTAN
 To Trongsa
 To Jakar
 Around Ura
 Jakar
 To Mongar
 To Tashigang
 Tashigang 1
 Tashigang 2
 Tashigang 3


DELHI
 Delhi 1
 Delhi 2
 Delhi 3
 Delhi 4
 Delhi 5


RAJASTHAN
 Mount Abu
 To Narlai
 Narlai 1
 Narlai 2
 Narlai 3
 Narlai 4
 Ranakpur
 To Udaipur
 Train across India


FACTS/INFO INDEX

29 October
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.

30 October
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.

31 October
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.

1 November
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.

2 November
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 dissatisfaction with.

3 November
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.

4 November
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.

5 November
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.

6 November
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 value.

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