Trongsa to Chumey Valley, Bhumtang District
At 8 A.M. we leave for a three- hour drive to a two-night stay in Domkhar Cluster Village. The route crosses YotongLa pass (10,800 ft.) which is marked by a chorten and an array of prayer flags--it marks the boundary between western and central Bhutan as well as the western border of Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. Beyond Pele La is Longte Valley where people raise sheep and yaks. We will pass through the village of Rukubji Valley with its big secondary school and Gompa. The houses here are clustered amid extensive fields of mustard, potatoes, barley, and wheat.
As we descend the pass we drive down through rhododendrons and ferns and reach Chendebji village. This was a night halt for mule caravans traveling from Trongsa during the reign of the 2nd King of Bhutan. Just below Chendebji village is the Chendebji chorten, a large white structure beside a stream. This chorten is modeled after Swayambhunath in Kathmandu and was built in the 19th century.
When we reach Domkhar, after lunch at the hotel each car will visit a different farmhouse for tea and cultural exchanges with the farmer’s family. We will get the royal tour and see how farm families go about their daily lives. Then if time permits we can go to Tharpaling Temple and meet the Domkhar Lam and explore this ancient structure, a cloister of buildings that includes the temple, several small chortens and the lama’s living quarters.
Since we will be at the hotel for two nights this is a good time to turn in laundry for the next day’s delivery but only if the sun is shining because they don’t have a dryer here and your laundry will be hung on a line to dry.