Day 01:Arrive Paro
Arrive Paro by Drukair. After immigration, collection of baggage and customs formalities, you will be received by Bhutan tour guide of Follow Bhutan Tours & Treks.
After lunch/refreshment depending on your flight arrival timing, you will visit the following:
- a Farm house in Paro valley .A visit to a farm house offers a good glimpse into the lifestyle of a farmer.
- Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress), built in 1645 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now being used as an administration center and school for monks. From the Dzong you will walk down to Rimpung Bridge (Traditonal Cantilever Bridge), oldest bridge in Bhutan.
- Kyichu temple,one of the 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across the whole area of Tibet and the Himalayas and was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples, which would be placed on all the points of her body. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans. Thus, it happened that in about the year AD 638 the temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of the demon.
In the evening walk around Paro town and you may visit local handicraft shops.
Dinner and overnight at Tashi Namgay Resort or similar at Paro.
Day 02:A Day Hike to Taktsang Ghoempa(Tiger’s Nest Monastery)
After breakfast, hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The walk up to the viewpoint will take about 1 – 1 ½ hrs depending on your fitness and from View Point you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria.
Then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former glory.
After visiting the monastery, walk downhill back to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria ( this cafeteria serves only pure vegetarian meals) and then walk further downhill to the road point.
Then drive further up the valley to visit ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, 18 km. from Paro town on the north side of the valley. It was from here that the Bhutanese repelled several invading Tibetan armies during the 17th century. I
n the evening you can relax in the traditional hotstone bath a farmhouse in Paro ( if interested) and authentic traditional Bhutanese dinner at Farmhouse .
Overnight at Tashi Namgay Resort or similar in Paro.
Drukpath Trek Begins from here
Day 03: Paro – Jeledzong
Distance:8km, estimated Trekking time:3 hours
Today is a short trekking day. The journey starts with a short climb up to Jele Dzong. The trek trail ascends gradually up to the camp, and if the weather is clear Paro valley can be seen with snow-capped mountains behind. Above the camp is Jele-la pass (3,400m) and Jele Dzong (mostly in ruins). There is also a lhakhang containing a statue of Buddha Sakyamuni. Overnight camp.
Day 04: Jeledzong – Jangchu Lhakhang
Distance:10km, estimated trekking time: 3-4 hours
Begin with a one and a half hour climb and then ascend more gradually upwards. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and rhododendrons. You will have fine views of Chomolhari and other snow capped peaks if the weather is right, and you may hear some monal pheasants calling during the day. You may see yak herders around your campsite. Overnight camp.
Day 05:Jangchu Lhakhang – Jimilangtso
Distance:11km, estimated trekking time: 4 hours
The trail follows the ridge, and on a clear day the views of the mountains and valley are sensational. You will enjoy a great view of Jichu Drake (6,989m), the peak representing the protective deity of Paro. Our camp is close to the Jimilangtsho lakes, which are famous for their giant sized trout. Overnight camp.
Day 06: Jimilangtso –Simkota
Distance:11km, estimated trekking time: 4 hours
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and passes by the lake of Janetsho. Today you may come across some yak herders’ camps and get an idea of how these people live. We camp overnight close to Simkota Lake, and if you are lucky you can catch a lake trout for your dinner.
Day 07: Simkota-Phajoding
Distance:10km, estimated trekking time:4 hours
Today begins with a gradual climb, and if the weather permits you will enjoy majestic views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, and a host of other peaks. The trail slowly descends through juniper trees to a campsite beside a community hall near Phajoding cafeteria. Overnight in cafeteria or camp, depending on weather conditions.
Day 08: Phajoding – Thimphu
distance:5km,estimated trekking time: 3 hours
The trek to Thimphu is downhill all the way, passing through a forested area of mostly blue pine. Taking a leisurely pace, you reach Thimphu in about 3 hours.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
On arrival at Thimphu, relax in your hotel.
After lunch visit the following:
- School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
- Takin Preserve, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family. Found in herds in the very high altitudes (13,125ft and over). They live on a diet of grass and bamboo. It can weigh as much as 550 pounds.
- Kuenselphodrang where largest Buddha statue in the country is perched on the hillock overlooking the Thimphu valley.
- Tashichhodzong, “the fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of the monarch’s throne room and seat of the Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in the 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans. In the evening stroll through Thimphu downtown.
Dinner and Overnight at Hotel Namgay Heritage or similar in Thimphu.
Day 09: Thimphu-Punakha-Thimphu
Distance: 71 km & estimated driving time: 2½ hours for one way
After breakfast, you will travel to Punakha through Dochula Pass (3,088m). In the clear spring sky, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan Mountain ranges. At Dochula Pass you will see the beautiful 108 chortens (stupa) built on the hill by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (the Queen Mother of Bhutan) for the security and well being of His Majesty, the King of Bhutan. You will also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang (temple) .The temple was built to honor His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck (the 4th King of Bhutan). The past and future appear to merge in the details of the temple that tells the story of a supreme warrior figure whose vision pierces the distant future.
After refreshment at Dochula Pass Resort you will continue your journey to Punakha.
You will stop at Lobesa Village to visit the Devine Madman’s Monastery-Chhimi Lhakhang, famously known for its fertility shrine, where one can receive a special fertility blessing.
After lunch at Lobesa Village you will visit the Punakha Dzong, located on the island of the Pho – Chu (male river) and the Mochu (female river). The dzong was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (high Drupa Kagyu lama who unified the warring valley kingdoms under a single rule in 16th century) to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck. Damaged over the centuries by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the dzong has been fully restored in the recent years by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. At the dzong, you can see the highest standards in woodwork. Also visit the massive Kuenray, the Coronation Hall of all Bhutanese kings, the Dzongchung at the entrance to the dzong and the cantilever bridge over the Mochu that has been recently renovated.
Then travel back to Thimphu.
Dinner and overnight at Namgay Heritage Hotel or similar Bhutan hotels in Thimphu.
Day 10: Thimphu-Paro Airport & Departure from Paro
After breakfast, drive to Paro International airport for about an hour and Follow Bhutan Tours & Treks will see you off at the Paro airport for your Drukair or Bhutan Airlines flight to your onward destinations.
End of the Bhutan Trekking Tour