The road from Mongar passes the Yadi loops. For five miles the road creates figures of eight as it descends to the valley floor. Arriving in Trashigang is momentous as it marks the end of a 547-kilometer drive from Thimphu in the west. The town, high up on a mountain, is busier than any other Bhutanese town. Its proximity to Samdrup Jongkhar the Bhutanese border town with India in the south has enabled it to grow as a center of commerce.
Gomkora and Festival
Gom Kora lies in the heart of the agrarian belt of eastern Bhutan, about 23 kilometers from Trashigang Dzong. It is a sacred site where, around 850 AD, Guru Rimpoche subdued an evil spirit, he chased all the way from Lhasa Samye,Tibet
The Gomphu Kora Tshechu is one of the biggest festivals in eastern Bhutan providing a welcome break for locals to trade, socialize, and celebrate before the start of the farming season. The festival draws people from remote villages, school children, village youths, businessmen, civil servants, and the Drakpa tribe of Tawang, neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh (India), who endure days of travel on foot amid rugged environs with entire families in tow. Some say that Drakpas have done this for more than a millennium, beginning shortly after Guru Padmasambhava sanctified the place in the 8th century AD.
Traditionally, the festival was an occasion for the people of eastern Bhutan, to choose their spouse and also to rejuvenate the degrading stock.
A few kilometers past Gom Kora is Duksum a small weaver’s town where you can find a fair amount of weavers producing some very nice work. The landmark of the town is an original iron chain suspension bridge built by Thangtong Gyalpo or Lama Chazampa (Lama Iron-bridge builder) in the 1600’s. Duksum is the main supply town for all the high mountain villages that surround it and is rich in Bhutanese arts and legend.
Rangjung, Radhi and Phongmey
Drive eastward from Gom Kora through Rangjung and Radi to Phongmey village. From Ranjung to Phongmey is dirt road and about15 km drive. Stop at the shop for textiles on the left hand side of road. This is a major source of silk and raw silk fabrics. Continue to Radi [9km], a specialist weaving village and then to Phongmey [9km] either by vehicle or on foot along dirt road with rice fields on both sides.