While the Rodung La Trek does not ascend to very high altitudes, it is still fairly challenging as the trail covers some fairly steep climbs and descents. The trail takes you from Bumthang in Central Bhutan to Trashiyangtse in the far eastern reaches of the kingdom.
The route was once an important trade road in the past but has fallen into disuse now and is chiefly used as a hiking trail. The trail passes through alpine and bamboo forests, meadows and mountain passes, through villages and temples offering hikers an incredible array of biodiversity to appreciate. The Hike typically takes 10 days to complete and is best carried out in winter between October-Early November or in spring between April-Early May.
Day 01 : Arrival in Paro to Thimphu
On arrival, warm welcome by our representatives and proceed for an hour ride to Thimphu. After lunch proceed to visit Memorial Chorten (temple) built in memory of the late 3rd King. Visit Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the valley offering a nice view of the valley. Also visit the enclosure where Bhutan’s national animal, Takins are kept. Thereafter, drive to visit the largest and newly built statue of Buddha offering magnificent view of entire Thimphu valley. After 5 pm, visit the fortress of Thimphu, Tashichho Dzong which houses the throne of the king.
Overnight at Thimphu | Altitude: 2300m
Day 02 : Thimphu to Punakha
After breakfast, visit the School of Arts and crafts where students learn 13 different arts used predominantly in Bhutan, Folk Heritage Museum and the National Library. Drive to the Zilukha nunnery to meet the nuns and interact with them. Lunch in the town and thereafter, proceed to drive two and a half hour for Punakha crossing Dochula pass (3200 mts). If the weather permits one can enjoy a spectacular snowcap view of the Eastern Himalayan as well as the the highest mountains of Bhutan that stretches almost 180 degrees. Walk around the 108 stupas and continue to sub tropical valley of Punakha.
Overnight at Punakha | Altitude: 1350m
Day 03 : Punakha to Trongsa
Morning visit Punakha Dzong (fortress), which houses the most elaborated temple in the country. This is a fine example of Bhutanese rich Art and Architecture. Start your drive for Trongsa for approximately 5 hours passing through Wangdi province and view the Wangdi Dzong (Fortress), which happens to be the only fortress with the original roof. Continue to Trongsa over Pelela Pass at 3300m which forms the part of Black mountain range that divides the country into east and west. Enroute one could take a short break and go for a hike to the remote village of Rujubji. The drive is long but the landscape is picturesque and worth the drive.
Overnight: Trongsa | Altitude: 2200m
Day 04 : Trongsa to Jakar
Morning visit Trongsa town and visit the majestic Trongsa Dzong (Fortress), the home of the royals and the watchtower which houses a newly converted museum. Drive pass by Yotong La pass at 3425m. En route stop over the weaving place, beside the road where “Yatha” (wool weaving) is done which the Valley of Bumthang is famous for. We’ll continue to Jakar for approximately 3 hours drive.
Overnight at Jakar | Altitude: 2650m
Day 05 : Jakar Sightseeing
After breakfast, visit Jampay Lakhang, the one of the first two Buddhist temples built in the country. Next, visit Kurjey lakhang Temple, the site where royals are cremated where one can either walk cross the suspension bridge and visit the village of Parar and Tamshing or drive there. End your day with a walk passing by the Swiss farm. Most of the activities can be done on foot. Evening stroll in Jakar town and try some local pancake and noodles.
Overnight at Jakar
Day 06 : Bumthang – Ngang Lhakhang: (Trek starts)
Trek begins today. The route takes you around Chamkhar Chhu, a river rich in trout. Lunch at the Thangbi Lhakhang, a temple built by the first Karma Shamar in 13th century. Further ahead you enter Ngang Yul, ‘Swan Land” and at its center is Ngang Lhakhang, the “Swan Temple”. This part of the valley was at first inhabitated by swans who gave their name (Ngang) to the place. The Lama Namkha Samdrup, having dreamt a vision of how to build a temple, shot an arrow at the spot where the arrow landed, the Ngang Lhakhang was erected. Overnight at the camp at an altitude of 2,800m. Distance is 20 km, walking time 6/7 hours.
Over night: Camping
Day 07 : Ngang Lhakhang – Ugyenchholing
Climb gradually to Phephe La pass (3,353m), altitude of 2,850m Follow the trail until the pass takes you through one of the most beautiful forested areas of this region. Allow for stops to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Over night: Camping
Day 08 : Ugyenchholing – Phokphey
Today’s walk is through bamboos, hemlock and finally up to alpine forest. Overnight camp at an altitude of 3,600m. Distance 17 km, walking time 5/6 hours.
Day 09 : Phokphey – Ungaar
Continue ascending for half an hour until you reach Rodungla (3,800m), and then continue downhill through the gorge, overlooking some of the mountain valleys. Towards the camp you see pine trees.
Overnight camp. Distance 20 km, time 6/7 hours.
Day 10 : Ungaar – Taskila
This trail winds up and down till you reach Drula village and Khaine Lhakhang en route. It is one of the oldest temples in existence today, built in mid 7th century by the King Songtshen Gampo of Tibet to subdue demons.
Overnight camp. Distance 21 km, time 7/8 hours.
Day 11 : Taskila – Lhuntse
Proceed to Lhuntse guesthouse for lunch. After lunch it is leisure time. Overnight camp.
Day 12 : Lhuntse – Menji
Arrive firstly to Kuri Zampa and the trek from here is gradually up through the paddy fields and villages.
Overnight camp. Distance 12 km, time 4/5 hours.
Day 13 : Menji – Pemi
Continue uphill through thick forests overlooking mountain views. The camp is under forest shelter at an altitude of 2,400m. Distance 20 km, time 6/7 hours.
Day 14 : Pemi – Taupang
Continue up to Dongla where you will have the fascinating mountain views. Descend through thick evergreen forests till you reach campsite.
Overnight campsite. Distance 21 km, time 6/7 hours.
Day 15 : Taupang – Tashiyangtse
Today is the longest trek. It is a gradually downhill till Yangtse through Chir pine and hardwood forests like oak of sub tropical forest zone. Overnight camp. Distance 24 km, time 8/9 hours.
Over night: Hotel or camping.
Day 16 : Trashi Yangtse – Trashigang (3 Hrs)
Visit the School of Arts crafts and the Drive to Trashigang. Afternoon visit Trashigang Dzong (fortress) which is perched majestically on the tip that overlooks the deep gorge and Ranjung Monastic School. Evening stroll in town.
Overnight at Trashigang | Altitude: 2100m
Day 17 : Trashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar (6 ½ Hrs)
Drive pass by the first Bhutanese college. En route, stop to visit the government handloom factory. The drive is very picturesque over the Himalayan balcony. Evening- relax in your hotel. Farewell dinner.
Overnight at Samdrup Jongkhar | Altitude 180m
Day 18 : Samdrup Jongkar – Guwhati (India) (2 Hrs)
Transfer to the Guhauti Airport for your departure flight. Our tour staff will bid you farewell at the airport.