The intact nature and pristine environment of Bhutan offer relaxing experience through exploration of unique flora and fauna found in Bhutan. The migrating bird like black-necked cranes which flies in from Tibet is a rare glimpse found in wonderland plains of Phojikha valley. Bird watching is another colorful experience that the tourists will find after seeing some of the rare species of birds in Bhutan that includes white-bellied heron, blood pheasants, wren-babblers, Himalayan monal, yellow-throated fulvetta, rufous-necked hornbill, and fire-tailed Myzornis. The rich biodiversity of Bhutan is habitat to some of the rare wild animals too. Bhutan has many national parks which expands across the country and are open to tourists’s visits.
Day 1: Gunitsawa Village – Sharna Zampa
40mins, 80m descent, camp altitude 2,850 m. This trek begins at Gunitsawa Village were you pass the army post. At the army checkpost your trek permit (provided by your tour operator) will be checked and endorsed. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa.
Day 2: Sharna Zampa - Thangthangkha
Distance 22 km, 7-8 hours, 770 m ascent, 10 m descent, camp altitude 3,610 m. On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After going uphill through the river valley the valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mt. Jomolhari.
Day 3: Thangthangkha – Jangothang
Distance 19 km, 5-6 hours, 480 m ascent, camp altitude 4,080 m. If you did not see Mt. Jomolhari the previous evening, you will still have a chance to get a great view early this morning. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest. You will cross an army checkpoint along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. In this area yaks and their herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. After reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari.
Day 4: Jangothang Halt
The rest day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatization. You can also trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lie directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and there are a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.
Day 5: Jangothang – Lingshi
Distance 16km, six to seven hours, 810m ascent, 1,090m descent, camp altitude 3,800m. The trail leads to a last settlement in the valley and drops to the Paro Chhu. Passing the lake of Tshophu (4,380m) you will climb up steeply to Bhonte La pass at 4,890 m, the highest point of this trek route. Reaching the Dhumzo Chhu river, you trek downstream passing the few houses of Soi Yaktsa (Dhumzo) to arrive at your camp soon after.
Day 6: Lingshi – Shodu
Distance 22km, eight to nine hours, 940m ascent, 920m descent, camp altitude 4,080m. The trail climbs up to the Yelila pass at an altitude of 4,930m. From the pass, on a clear day you will get an excellent view of Jumolhari, Tserimgang and Masanggang. The trek from the pass to the campsite at Shodu is a steep downhill.
Day 7 – Bumthang
Distance 16km, five to six hours, 250m ascent, 670m descent, camp altitude 3,710m. The trail follows the Thimphu Chhu through rhododendron forests, past beautiful waterfalls along the way. The valley narrows till the path takes to the slopes and gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong.
Day 8: Barshong – Dolam Kencho
Distance 15km, four to six hours, 290m ascent, 640m descent, camp altitude 3,320m. The trail descends down to the Thimphu Chhu river valley, through dense forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples and bamboos and then ascends to pasture lands. The camp is in a meadow.
Day 9: Dolam Kencho – Dodena
Distance 8km, three to four hours, 500m ascent, 930m descent. The trail continues through forested areas winding up and down and through a small pass. Langurs (monkeys) can be seen along the way. In Dodena, you will exit the Jigme Dorji National Park and reach the road head next to a impressive cantilever bridge. The trek finishes at the beautiful Cherri Monastery, while it is a 40 min hike to the monastery it is well worth it.
Your excursion will start after we receive you at the Paro International Airport. We shall make visits to so many places of interest within short distances. You will get to see the magnificent fortress, the Paro Dzong. You will be taken to Drugyel Dzong which is in ruins perched on a hilltop. This dzong was built a symbol of victory of Bhutanese forces against Tibetan armies in 1649. You will also witness breathtaking beauty of Jhomolhari Mountain which is one of the highest peaks in Bhutan. You will then visit temples and culture sites where you will see the people deeply absorbed into spirituality and Buddhism.
Day 2 – Paro
On the second day we shall climb up to visit a monastery built on a high rocky cliff. It was built to honour the place where a great Buddhist saint, Guru Padmasambhava, flew on a back of a tigress to subdue demons rising here and meditate thereafter. That’s why the monastery is called Taktshang meaning Tiger’s Nest. Guests who can’t walk uphill can hire horses. After we return from the cliff, we shall head to the National Museum at Paro. It houses some of the most sacred, precious, and exquisite art and artifacts of Bhutan.
Day 3 – Thimphu
On the third day we travel to capital city – Thimphu. It the city where you will witness the touch of modernization and changing lifestyles. In the midst of such events, we will take you around to see some of the old monuments and wonders that the city embraces. You will also get to see the national animal of Bhutan along with various other wildlife in the zoo above the city. The great fortress of Tashichodzong which is the office our King can also be visited on this day.
Day 4 – Punakha
Punakha is two hours away from the capital city. On the way you will enjoy natural scenic beauty traveling through the highest pass between Thimphu and Punakha. On this pass are built 108 temples as a tribute to brave King and his armies who drive away the foreign militants residing in within our borders. In Punakha you will see the magnificent Dzong with a male and female rivers flowing on either sides of dzong. Other attractions include the famous temple of Chimi Lhakhang where a Buddhist saint nicknamed ‘The Divine Madman’ subdued the demon who was in the form of a dog. This temple can bless you with special powers especially women who suffer from infertility and needs a child. Talo is another place to visit were you will see traditional farm houses with villagers leading a rustic and undisturbed lives.
Day 5 – Trongsa
This day will take you to see the longest dzong in Bhutan: Trongsa Dzong. This dzong was used as the central administrative building before formal monarchy was instituted in the country. The governor of the dzong called Trongsa Penlop was considered most powerful authority in the country then. Today every crown prince should assume the post of Trongsa Penlop before he is crowned the king. Above the dzong is Ta Dzong which is museum housing the old treasures and artifacts. We can also visit the Thruepang Palace which was residence to first and the second kings.
Day 6 –Bumthang
The next stop is at Bumthang, the most beautiful and flat valley in Bhutan. It is said to be the land of beautiful girls since the name ‘Bum’ means ‘girl’ and ‘thang’ means ‘flat land’. But more than this myth, the land bear numerous religious legends with so many ancient monuments and places to see. On the first day tourists will visit nearby places like Jambay Lhakhang, the old monastery built by the Tibetan king in 7th century. Near this monastery are three monasteries that make Kurje Lhakhang built on sacred places where Guru is said to have meditated and left his imprints. Jakar dzong is nice treat for visitors which is built in 16th century.
Day 7 – Bumthang
The second day in Bumthang will take the tourists on short excursions around the valley. The first trip will be to visit The Burning Lake at a place called Tang. This is the lake from where the great Buddhist saint, Pema Lingpa, discovered treasures hidden under the water. Around Tang, we can also see Ugyenchioling Palace that once belonged to Trongsa Penlop (governor) Tshokey Dorji. Tourists can see amenities and provisions of the powerful people back then. The next trip will be to go and see Ura valley which is 48 kms away from Bumthang. On the way tourists will get the view of the highest peak in Bhutan, Gangkar Puensum. Tourists can witness the evolving community of Ura and the highland lifestyles of the people there.
Day 8 –Gangtey
Tourists will go drive back from Bumthang to Phobjikha valley. Known for its tranquility and welcoming ambience, the place is habitat for the black-necked cranes that fly in from Tibet during the winter season. People in this valley live in harmony with nature by carefully developing their community. The cranes spend the winter here and go back flying with elaborate patterns of dance showing gratitude to the place. Gangtey Goemba is breathtaking monastery which is a central view at Phobjikha valley. It is the seat of Gangtey Trulku, the reincarnation of Pema Lingpa.
Day 9 – Paro
The final day of the excursion will be journeying back to Paro valley. In the evening tourists can get a relaxing traditional hot stone bath. Tourists can also scan through Paro town to buy some nice souvenirs to your loved ones back at home.
Day 10 – Departure
Tourists will be seen off at Paro airport. We shall offer you traditional scarves as good wishes and to be kept as mark of memories of Bhutan tours to be cherished in your life.