Maximum Elevation: 4,720
Day 01 Arrive Paro
Kuzuzangpola-Welcome to Bhutan!
The flight into Bhutan takes you the great Himalayas, offering you the most scintillating scenery of the world’s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will see the silvery Pa-chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley with lush green paddy fields, pristine forest, incredulous fortress-like monasteries known as Dzongs and majestically flowing rivers. On arrival at the Paro International Airport, Away Smile Travels representative will welcome you.
Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom up to Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley.Accentuating the natural beauty are the elegant, traditional-style houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills. One of the distinctive features of Paro town is that it is situated in a flat valley bottom and follows a grid-like pattern.
Visit Ta-Dzong, the National Museum which was originally the watch tower of the Paro Dzong and stands imposingly on a hillock overlooking the Paro valley. A short visit here will give you an idea of the cultural and ecological richness of Bhutan.
Visit Rinpung Dzong. The dzong’s correct name is Rinchen Phug Dzong but has been shortened to Rinpung Dzong. The name means ‘fortress of the heap of jewels.’ The dzong was built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel on the foundation of a monastery built by Guru Rinpoche. Some of the scenes from the film ‘Little Buddha’ by Bernardo Bertolucci in 1995 was filmed at the Paro Rinpung Dzong. From the Paro Dzong, walk downhill to the wooden bridge, which is known nayamai zampa.
Explore Paro Town. Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Day 02 Paro Sightseeing
After breakfast hike to Taktshang Goemba. Taktshang meaning the ‘Tiger’s Nest’ is one of Bhutan’s most venerated pilgrimage sites and a very popular site for all tourists visiting Bhutan. According to legend, Guru Rinpoche miraculously flew here on the back of a tigress, meditated in a cave here for three months and converted the whole of Paro valley to Buddhism. Resting at an altitude of 900 meters above the valley, Taktshang is an architectural wonder and the spectacular four-hour walk will be your most overwhelming experience ever. (Round trip hike 5 hrs). This trip is to warm up / acclimatize before the trek.
Visit Kyichu Lhakhang. Built in the 7th century by the famous Buddhist Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo, Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. As the name suggests, the temple is a reservoir of peace, where you will really feel at peace.
Evening: Briefing our trek program Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Day 03 Paro- Geynikha Dagala Tousand Lakes. (Drive 1 hour)
Geynikha to Gur -7 kms, 5 hours walk. Alt. 3290m. (550m ascent & 210 m descent)
After breakfast drive till Geynikha and start the trek. Leave the road and follow the trail that leads straight and level for about 500m to a chorten overlooking the fields of Geynikha (2950m). Make your way through this picturesque village and head for the ruins of a house on the ridge to the northeast. The route descends to a small stream, the chokosen Chhu, and follows it down to a chorten. Crossing a suspension bridge, the trail turns south along the east side of Geynitsang Chhu to a side stream on a log bridge and starts uphill on eroded trails through an oak forest. The trail is used only by Yak herders, wood cutters and a handful of trekkers, but it was once a major trading route between Thimphu and Dagana. A long climb leads to an outstanding lookout point at 3220m. The climb becomes gentler as it ascends towards the top of the ridge where it makes a hairpin turn at 3350m. Be careful here; the trail to the camp site is an inconspicuous path that leads south through the forest to GUR, some yak pastures in the trees at 3290m. Overnight camp
Day 04 Gur to Labatamba – 12 kms, 5 hours walk. Alt. 4300m (1040m ascent and 110m descent)
After climbing back from the camp to the main trail, the route continues gently up the ridge on a wide track. A long, stiff climb through blue pines leads to a rocky outcrop where the vegetation changes to spruce, dead firs and larches. The trail traverses into a side valley, crossing a stream at 3,870m and begins a long, gentle climb towards the pass, weaving in and out of side valleys and crossing several tiny streams. At Pangalabtsa, a pass marked by cairns at 4250m, there is a spectacular view of the whole Dagala range. This is now a Yak country and there are numerous herders’ camps scattered across the broad Labatama valley. Descend from the Pass to the first herder’s hut at 4170m and traverse around the head of a small valley to the main valley floor. Climb beside a stream to Labatama and camp at 4300m near Utsho Tso ( Lake ) where there are said to be plenty of golden trout fish. The high-altitude area near the lake is a mass of alpine wildflowers in September. Overnight camp
Day 05 Halt at Labatamba to explore the numerous lakes and to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place. Overnight camp
Day 06 Labatama to Panka. – 8 Kms – 5-6 hours walk – 4000m (260m ascent, 520m descent)
There are two possible routes and the pack animals will take the lower one. The trekking route is not well marked and is more of a cross country traverse. It climbs along the western side of the lake Dajatsho to a saddle at 4520m, where there are good mountain views. If you want a better view, you could scramble to the top of a 4720m peak to the east. From the pass, the trail descends past several herders’ camps, then drops to the Dochha Chhu, rejoining the trail at about 4200m. Follow the trail as it climbs over three ridges and descends to Panka at 4000m.
Because of water problem at this camp, especially for groups of more than 2 people, it may be necessary to descend to an alternative camp about 40-50 minutes below. Overnight camp
Day 07 Panka to Tsheregang – 8 kms – 5-6 hours walk. Alt. 3080m
This day entails the crossing of several passes, none of them affording a major climb, and often with an abundance of mountain birds. After crossing the last pass, Tale La (4180m) you start a long descent to Talikha Goempa. You will camp at Tsheregang (3080m) One also has a great view of Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu from here. Overnight camp
Day 08 Tsheregang to Chamgang – 6 kms – 3-4 hours walk. Alt. 2640m (440m descent)
It is a 3-4 hours hike down from the monastery to the feeder road at the village of Chamgang. Your vehicle will be waiting at Chamgang and you will be driven to your hotel in Thimphu.
Thimphu-The Kingdom’s capital city is home to approximately 130,000 inhabitants including the Royal family. This bustling little city is the main centre of commerce, religion and government in the country. The juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity make Thimphu the ideal location for visitors to break away from their tour itinerary to immerse themselves in the contemporary Bhutanese lifestyle.
Visit Tashichhodzong. Tashichhodzong means ‘the fortress of the glorious religion.’ It is a majestic fortress in all its grandeur and serves as the seat of Bhutan’s government. The Dzong houses the secretariat, the throne room, the offices of His Majesty the King and the ministries of home affairs and finance. The fortress was initially erected in 1641 and later rebuilt in the 1960s by the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Overnight Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 09 Thimphu Sightseeing
After breakfast drive begin Thimphu City Tour. Visit Buddha Point (Golden Buddha) drive up to Buddha Point. It has the largest statue of Buddha in the whole kingdom. You can get a very good view of Thimphu valley from here.
Visit National Memorial Chorten: The National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 in memory of the late Third Druk Gyalpo (King) of Bhutan. At the chorten, you will find an extraordinary depiction of Buddhist teachings in the form of paintings and sculptures.
Visit Weaving Center. You can watch weavers at work at the private weaving centre at Changzamtog. The centre produces hand woven textiles and has a selection of cloth and readymade Bhutanese garments for sale.
Visit Authentic Bhutanese Craft Bazzar/shop. A one stop shop place to witness Bhutanese rich Culture and buy Bhutan made art and craft products. The shop in its 80 small stall covers all aspect of traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. The shops linked with the rural artisans aims to promote Bhutan’s craft industry by creating a viable market, which turn’s acts to preserve and promote Bhutan’s unique culture and bring about equitable socio-economic development in the country.
Visit Takin sanctuary dedicated to the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan.
Visit Cordyceps Tasting House. Unique to the world, the Cordyceps Tasting Room offer a cosy tearoom to taste a range of Cordyceps-infused soups and drinks. Our hostess will also perform a Cordyceps Tea Ceremoney. You can learn more about the so-called ‘caterpillar mushroom’’, a traditional medicine valued more than gold.
Later evening drive to Paro. (Drive 1 hour). Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Day 10 Departure:
After breakfast drive to the Paro International Airport where our representatives will bid you goodbye!
Thank you (Kardrienchhey) for visiting Bhutan with Away Smile Travels “Smiles for Miles “