3 nights, 4 days trek
This 3 nights-4 days trek is wonderful varied, beautiful scenery, good views of snow –capped Himalayan peaks, a monastery high up in the mountains, and a visit to a dzong. Some campsite is near by beautiful lakes and nice views. After climb the route is not too hard and, if needed, there is access down to a road from several spots. Part of the route follows the original mule track that linked the Thimphu and Paro valleys, and eventually connected Bhutan to the Indian border.
The trek begins at high altitude. Plan some extra days in Paro or Thimphu to acclimatise.
Best Season: March, April, May, September, October, November and December.
Tour Duration: 8 nights / 9 days
Group Size & Cost: US $2000 each.( Group 3 person and above)
Government Surcharge: Single travellers and those in a group of two also pay an extra $40 and $30 per night respectively by way of a small group surcharge. This determines the basic cost of your trip.
COST INCLUDES: Twin sharing accommodation, all meals, tea & Snacks, Mineral water on all days out, visa fee, Tourism Development Fund, all transfers as per the itinerary, English speaking licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide, Special permit for restricted & old monastery, monument fees, While on a trek, full service on the trek, all internal taxes and charges (including the 35% royalty)
COST EXCLUDES: Drukair fares, drinks & Beverages, Excess baggage, laundry, phone calls, medical, insurance and any other expenses that are not mentioned above.
Day 01: Paro ( Tashi Namgay Resort)
Day 02: Paro ( Tashi Namgay Resort)
Day 03: Damchena village – jangchulakha (Camp)
Day 04: Jangchulakha—Jemelang tsho (Camp)
Day 05: Jemelang tsho – labana (Camp)
Day 06: Labana to Thimphu (Bhutan Suite)
Day 07: Thimphu Sightseeing & drive to Dochula
Day 08: Lungchotse hike & drive to Paro
Day 09: Departure
DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our Bhutan Travel Bureau representative will meet you at Paro airport. After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the National Museum, Ta Dzong. This museum houses many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical and cultural past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards walk to the beautiful cantilever wooden bridge still in use. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
DAY 02: PARO
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you high above the Paro valley. The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for lunch.
In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Day 3: Damchena village – jangchulakha
Trek Day 1: Distance 16 Kms and walking time 6-7 hrs.Starting at Damchena (2950mtrs) and camp at Jangchulakha (3780mtrs). You can visit Jele Dzong on the way of Janchulakha About jele Dzong;The Dzong is worth a visit, it is a very impressive fort, surrounded by many prayer flags, in an even more recently – it takes a battering from the elements (note the iron cables holding down the roof). The views are great, looking towards Paro far below, while in the distance stand snowy peaks on he border with Tibet, including Jhomolhari (7315m) in the centre.
The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and rhododendrons trees and most of the walking is up and down on a ridge.Mt. Jumolhari is also visable today.You may see Yak herders around your camp site.
Distance/time: 16 km/6-7 hrs
Altitude: 3780 m
Altitude gain: 830m
Day 4: Jangchulakha—Jemelang tsho
Trek Day 2 : Distance 15 Kms and walking time 5-6 hrs.Starting at Jimilangtsho (3880m) and camp at Labana (4130m) The trail follows the ridge and on clear day the views of the mountains and valley are beautiful, in particular the Jichu Drake (6989m) Camp is close to Lake of Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout’s.
Distance/time: 15 km/5-6 hrs
Altitude: 3880 m
Altitude gain: 100m
Day 5: Jemelang tsho – labana
Trek Day 3: Distance 12 Kms and walking time 4-5hrs.Starting at Janye tsho(3780m) and the camp at Labana(4130m). Today you may come across some Yak herder’s camp and you can really have a look as to how these people live. We have to cross the Simkota Lake to reach labana camp. The trail is up and down and the route is most rocky.
Distance/time: 12 km/4-5 hrs
Altitude: 4130 m
Altitude gain: 250 m
Day 6: Labana – Thimphu.
Trek Day 4: Distance 12 Kms and walking time 4-5 hrs. Starting at Labana camp (4130m) and from camp side after breakfast You begin with a gradual climb upto labana pass (4210m) the highest elevation for this trek. From camp side if weather permits you will see the same view of Mt. Gangkhar Punsum (7541m) the highest mountain in Bhutan, Mt. Kanchan jangkha third higest pic in the world (in Darjeeling) and other Himalayan peaks. Below, you can see the entire Thimphu valley and you can see the same view from labana pass. Cross from Phajoding Monastery trek end to Thimphu (2300m). In Phajoding there is 3, 4 Monastery you can visit if you like to, the trek to Thimphu is all the way down hill through a forested area of mostly Blue pine. By taking leisurely pace you can reach Thimphu in about 3 hours for a nice hot shower and lunch. Overnight at Hotel.
About Phojoding Monastery; Ogden Pajo, a Tibetan yogi looking for a place for meditation, founded the site in the 13th century. Most of the buildings were constructed by the 9th Je Khenpo, Shakya Rinchen, in the first half of the 18th century.The 16th Je Khenpo was also involved in some of the buildings, and the king’s secretary has donated money for one of the more recent temples, built in honour of Padma Sambava. There is many buildings spead out over the mountainside include lhakhangs/gompas,monk quarters, numerous meditation centers, and even a guesthouse. The meditation centers may have a branch of a juniper tree outside, indicating that they do not want to be disturbed. There is also a sacred cave, with big ice stalactites during the colder months of the year. The meditations are hangs on the side of a cliff at 3950m.
Distance/time: 12 km/4-5 hrs
Altitude: 2300 m
Altitude loss: 1910 m
Day 7: Thimphu Sightseeing
Today after breakfast you will start your Thimphu sightseeing includes; Our tour start with the visit to the National Post Office, along the Chang lam, is an institute itself where the most famous Bhutanese export is exhibited and sold: the various stamps. Stamp collectors all over the world know that Bhutan is the first country to diversify and export quality stamps. Interesting thing is that you can make your own personal stamp with your photo and then can sent to your friends and family.
After post office then walk to visit Thimphu weekend market, which is in a permanent set of stalls, vendors from throughout the region arrive on Friday afternoon and remain selling their goods until Sunday night. It’s an interesting place to visit, where village people jostle with well-heeled Thimphu residents for the best – and cheapest – vegetables and foodstuffs. This is the only time that fresh produce is easily available and the shopping is enhanced by the opportunity to catch up on the week’s gossip. After crossing the bridge is the market of collection of stalls called the indigenous goods and handicrafts section. Here you will find locally produced goods, including religious objects, baskets, fabrics and different hats from various minority groups.
We will also visit Jungshi handmade paper factory; uses traditional methods to produce the authentic Bhutanese paper known as Deh-sho. The factory uses the bark of two tree species, the Daphne tree and Dhekap tree in the manufacture of traditional paper. Visitors can observe the entire process of producing handmade paper using ancient traditional methods that have been practiced for generations. You can even try your hand at this ancient craft and make some paper of your very own as a souvenir. Deh-sho paper was originally used by monasteries for woodblock and manuscript books and also for writing prayer books. The Jungshi paper factory continues to preserve and promote this age-old Bhutanese tradition. It also produces various other products, such as stationery and greeting cards.
In the evening drive to Dochu La and we take a drive for about an hour along the east-west highway till Dochu La Pass (3050m). From here, one can have a spectacular view of the Himalayas to the north when the sky is clear. The pass is marked by 108 chortens (Stupa) which are Buddhist reliquaries, memorials to the teachings of the Buddha. Sometimes actual relics of the Buddha or revered monks are inserted into the dome of the stupa, but whether or not there are relics inside, the stupas mark the landscape with reminders of the Buddha’s teachings.
Day 8: Hike from Dochu La to Lungchotse Lhakhang – Paro
In the morning you can enjoy the view of Himalayan mountains and the sun rise from your resort clearly. After breakfast began your hike to Lungchotse. The location of the 18th century Lungchotse Lhakhang is perfect for a day hike from here. For those who do not fancy walking for hours seeking solitude and peace of mind yet would like to have that, this is the place to go. It is a perfect place to enjoy the bounties of nature. On a clear sunny day one can see the entire Bhutan Himalaya with its snow-covered peaks. The sunset from Lungchotse with different colors playing against the sky is a splendid spectacle. The view from the ridge as the sun sets over the rolling hills remains etched in mind for a long time.
The way to the Lungchotse Lhakhang is no less striking. It is a gentle 02 hour uphill walk from Dochu La. The route is well shaded with rhododendron trees growing in abundance all over the place. The path is well padded with fallen leaves. In May and June when the flowers are in bloom it is a magical trek amidst the various hues of white, red, pink and purple.
They say heaven is a place on earth; perhaps Lungchotse is one such place. Anyway it is as close as you can get to in a day!
In the late afternoon drive to Paro, which about 2 hours drive from Dochula.
Day 09: Departure
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport in time to catch up your onward flight. Your escort from white lotus tour and treks will bid you farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.