Lateral highway Bird-watching Tour

Trip Facts

Lateral highway Bird-watching Tour
Length :  14 Day - 13 Night
Start : Paro
Finish : Paro
Trip Style : Cultural Tour
Discounts : Applicable on this trip
Group Size : Maximum 12, Avg 5
Group Leader : Certified Tour Leader from The DBT.
Transport : New Model Toyota Hiace /Coaster bus/Land Cruiser not more than 3 years old.
Trip Rating by Popularity :
Physical Demand Rating :
Can it be Tailored? : Yes

Trip Overview

Outline Iteinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paro
  • A presentation on birds of Bhutan and birding destinations will be made in the evening at a convenient location, The presentation will include slide shows, a talk, and questions and answers session.
Day 2: Paro
  • Visit some bird watching spotsLocated between 2,150 metres and 2,950 metres above sea level, Paro also presents some of the exciting birding spots in Bhutan. The birding spots include farmland, lower and upper broad-leaved forests, riversides, and sub-alpine forests. Some bird species in Paro are: Aberrant Bush Warbler (Cettia flavoivacea), Blyth's Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus dumetorum), Himalayan Whistling Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus), Common Teal (Ana crecca), Grey-headed Flycatcher Warbler (Seicercus xanthoschistos), Green-backed Tit (Parus monticolus), Hodgson's Redstart (Phoenicurus hodgsoni), Jungle Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos), Himalayan Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasi), Crestee Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus), Himalayan Treecreeper (Certhia himalayana), Hill Pigeon (Columba rupestris), Rufous-breasted Accentor (Prunella strophiata), Rufous Turtle Dove (Streptoppelia orientalis), Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii), Stripe-throated Yuhina (Yuhina gularis), Long-tailed Minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus).
Day 3: Paro to Thimphu
  • Drive from Paro to Thimphu. Thimphu valley is surrounded by blue pine and temperate evergreen forests. However, the growing human settlement, vehicle number, and disappearing green spaces has pushed birds further away from the valley. The nearest birding spots are least 10 km from the valley around the stream near Motithang and Begana and Cheri areas.The recorded bird species in Thimphu include: Common Sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucos), Red-rumped Swallow (Hirunda daurica), Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus melaschistos), Grackle or Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa), Grey Wagtail (Motacilla caspica), White-bellied Yuhina (Yuhina xanthoteuca), Upland Pipit (Anthus sylvanus), Plumbeous Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosus).
Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha & Wangduephodrang
  • Drive from Thimphu to Dochula pass at 3,050metres. From the pass, the road descends some 1,800 metres to Punakha and Wangduephodrang valleys through a temperate forest and then through semi-tropical forests Common birds species found in the two valleys are: Black-chinned Yuhina (Yuhina nigrimenta), Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis), Black-chinned Babbler (Stachyrispyrrhops), Black-breasted Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata), Red-breasted Rosefinch (Carpodacuspu niceus), Fulvous-breasted Pied Woodpecker (Picoides macei), Large Grey Babbler (Turdoides malcolmi), Himalaya Tree Pie (Dendrocitravagabunda), Little Bunting (Emberizastriolata). Slaty-backed Forktail (Enicurus schistaceus), White-breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), Yellow-billed Blue Magpie (Cissaflavirostris), Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), Steppe Eagle (Aquila rapax nipalensis), Small Niltava (Muscicapa macgrigoriae), Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis), Speckled Wood Pigeon (Columbia hodgsonii), Grey Tit (Parus major) and Red-crowned Jay (Garrulusglandarius).
Day 5: Punakha & Wangduephodrang to Gangtey/Phobjikha
  • Drive from Wangduephodrang to Phobjikha, the famous wintering valley of the black-necked crane. In Phobjikha valley, we pass through forests of oaks and rhododendrons. Regular stops for birding-watching and photography along the way. The wide Phobjikha valley with a silvery stream meandering through is not only the wintering ground for the black-necked crane, but also home to a number of bird species which feed and live on the valley floor.The bird species thriving in this part of Wangduephodrang District are: Amur Falcon (Falco vesertinus), Red-mantled Rosefinch (Carpodacus rhodochlamys), Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus), Red-headed Bullfinch (Pyrrhula erythrocephala), Scarlet Finch (Haemmatospiza sipahi), White-tailed Nuthatch (Sitta himalayensis), Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis), Goldcrest (Regulus regulus), Great Pied Hornbill (Bucerosbi cornis), Common Hill Partridge (Arborophila torqueola), Snow Pigeon (Columba leuconota), Rufous-breasted Accenter (Prunella strophiata), White-backed Munia (Lonchura striata).
Day 6: Gangtey to Trongsa
  • Drive back to Wangdue-Trongsa highway and cross Pelela Pass., covering a wide range of habitats including dense moss/lichen-laden evergreen scrubland to oak and rhododendron forests containing broad-leaved trees such as horse-chestnuts, laurels, maples and alders.At higher elevations, the vegetation is dominated by coniferous trees like fir, spruce, larch, hemlock, and juniper. The bamboo habitat in this region is home to a number of special, but elusive, species.This region is not a popular birding area. However, a few important species such as the following can be found here: Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis), Himalayan Swiftlet (Collocalia brevirostris), Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus), Snow Partridge (Lerwa lerwa), Purple Cochoa (Cochoa purpurea), Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler (Pnoepyga albiventer), Long-tained Minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus), Himalayan Monal Pheasant (Lophophorus impejanus), Speckled Wood Pigeon (Columba hodgsonii) and Rufous-bellied Bulbul (Hypsipetesmcclellandi).
Day 7: Trongsa to Chamkhar (Bumthang)
  • On this leg of our tour, we climb from 2,100 metres in Trongsa to Yotongla Pass at 3,400 metres before we descend to Chamkhar valley at 2,600 metres.The vegetation changes from temperate forests of Trongsa to coniferous and mixed alpine forests of Bumthang. The best birding spots in region are the area before we reach Yotongla Pass, the farmland in the valley, and by the banks of Chamkharchhu River.Some birds of this area include: Goldcrest (Regulus regulus), Blyth's Pipit (Anthus godlewskii), Common Sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucos), Little Bunting (Emberizafucata), Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhoco raxgraculus) and Cormorant (Phalacro coraxcarbo).
Day 8: Chamkhar to Ura
  • Ura is the highest valley of Bumthang, with the road reaching its highest point at Ura La Pass at 3,600 metres. Ura village is among the characteristically clustered villages of Bhutan.
  • Explore Ura valley and village and spend the night in tents pitched in the open fields.
Day 9: Ura to Lingmithang in Mongar
  • Climb through forests of firs with undergrowth of rhododendron, cutting across sheer cliffs and rocky hills until the road reaches Thrumsengla at 3,750 m, the highest pass in the country. From there, the road descends to the village of Sengor, a roadside hamlet. This area is home to Thrumsengla region’s most special bird, Monal Lophophorus Impejanus.The important species thriving in this area are: Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus), Blyth's Pipit (Anthus godlewskii), Bronzed Drongo (Dicrurus aeneus), Gould's Shortwing (Brachypteryx stellata), Red-headed Bullfinch (Pyrrhula erythrocephala), Speckled Piculet (Picumnus innominatus), Grey Wagtail (Motacilla caspica), White-throated Munia (Lonchura malabarica), White-browed Blue Flycatcher (Muscicapaleucomelanura), Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum melanoxanthuon), Blue-beaed Bee-Eater (Nyctyornis athertoni), Parrotbill (Paradoxornisnipalensis), Honeyguide (Indicator xanthonotus), Red-vented Bulbul (Pyconotus cafer), Lesser Racket-Tailed Drongo (Dicrurus remifer), Fantail Warbler (Cisticolaexilis) and Rufous-throated Hill Partridge (Arborophila rufogularis).
  • A short distance from Lingmithang, we reach Kuri Zampa, the bridge over the Kurichhu River, at 650 m. The choeten or stupa here was built in 1800 in the style of Nepal’s Boudhanath stupa to hold the precious religious objects of Zhongar Dzong when the dzong was abandoned.
Day 10: Mongar to Trashigang
  • The eastern districts of Mongar and Trashigang are not interesting for birding. So, the last two days of the tour are spent for cultural experience.
  • Visit Mongar Dzong built in 1953, both an administrative and monastic centre of the district. From Mongar, climb to Korila Pass at 2,450m and reach the village of Ngatshang which was the centre of a principality before the whole country was consolidated under Drukpa rule in the 17th century. The road descends further through Yadi village to Sherichhu Stream.
  •  Visit Dramitse Monastery, the ancestral home of Dramitse religious aristocrats who were descendants of the great 15th century treasure discoverer, Pema Lingpa.
  • The town of Trashigang lies 20 km from the point the Dramitse road branches off from the highway. As we approach the bridge over Drangmechhu River, one of the principal rivers of Bhutan, we can see Trashigang Dzong precariously standing on a spur overlooking the Drangmechhu gorge. We spend the night at the lodge in Trashigang town.
Day 11: Trashigang to Mongar
  • Return to Mongar and spend the afternoon exploring the town of Mongar and its surroundings.
Day 12: Mongar to Bumthang
  • Drive to Bumthang.  After lunch, visit the Yathra (woolen cloth) weaving centre and local market.
Day 13: Bumthang to Thimphu
  • On the way to Thimphu, visit village houses and interact with the local people.
  • Halt for lunch in Wangduephodrang town and drive to Thimphu for overnight stay.
Day 14: Thimphu to Paro Airport
  • See off at Paro airport by our representative.

Date and Departure Information

Fix Departure Dates are yet to be announced. If you are interested for this trip, please click the button below for the further inquiry

Price Details

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), Tourism Business regulating agency of the Royal Government of Bhutan, fixes the Tourist Tariff rate. This rate is valid for all the inclusive tour packages. The tariffs for tourists visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:

Peak Season Rate: (March, April, May, September, October and November) Cultural Tour /Trekking – US$ 250/per person per night halt.

Low Season Rate:(January, February, June, July, August and December) Cultural Tour /Trekking- US$ 200/per person per night halt.

Price Inclusions

  • Bhutan Royalty ($65 per person per day).
  • Visa Fees ($40 per person).
  • All necessary permit fees.
  • All transfers and sightseeing with entrance fees.
  • All meals including evening tea.
  • All accommodation in our partner hotels, which are some of the best in the country on twin sharing basis.
  • All trekking equipments and logistics including cooks, camp personnel, horsemen and ponies.
  • English-speaking tour leader, guide and driver.
  • Trekking Insurance (Our value-added service).
  • Cultural Performance (our value-added service).

Price Exclusion

  • Airfare for flights into and out of Bhutan.
  • All personal expenses like laundry, telephone, tips, shopping expenses.
  • Meals and Beverages other than the ones mentioned above (see inclusions).
  • Spa Charges.
  • Travel and Medical insurance.

Route map

Lateral highway Bird-watching Tour
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