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Eastern Bhutan

Bhutanese prayer wheels, Eastern Bhutan
Trashigang Dzong, Eastern Bhutan
Above: Bhutanese prayer wheels, Eastern Bhutan
  • Bhutanese prayer wheels, Eastern Bhutan
  • Trashigang Dzong, Eastern Bhutan

Eastern Bhutan is the most densely populated region in Bhutan, but the least visited by tourists – unsurprising given its distance from the only air travel hub in Paro. Whilst it’s perhaps just a little over 200km as the crow flies between Paro and Trashigang, the easternmost main town, the direct road distance exceeds 600km, or 24 hours of continuous driving. The drive from the Bumthang Valleys into the far east is possibly the most spectacular in the country, with high passes and precarious roads hugging near vertical hillsides.

Tourist amenities are more limited in the far east than the rest of the country, with more basic lodges and hotels and fewer tourist restaurants. It is however a beautiful region to visit, with some of the richest and most ecologically diverse forests, and fantastic bird watching opportunities.

Trashigang itself has been a well established trade centre with Tibet and India for many generations, and weaving is a regional speciality. Trashigang Dzong overlooks two converging rivers half a kilometre outside the town.

Other important sites include Drametse Goemba, which is one of the most important monasteries in Bhutan, with deep historical roots and many relics in residence.

It is possible to exit Bhutan overland through the border with India in the far south east of the country at Samdrup Jongkhar - it is then a couple of hours' drive to Guwahati in Assam from where there are flight connections to Delhi, Calcutta and Bangkok as well as a mainline train station. This allows you to make your journey through Bhutan in just one direction, and avoid the long drive back to Paro to fly out.

For more information about Bhutan, please check our Bhutan country guide.

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