Bhutan has a pristine environment, almost no pollution, and a living culture where festivals and cultural events are a part of daily life and not creations for tourism. A short trek in Bhutan is three or four days in duration, an average trek is a week, but a trek of 25 days or more is possible. A Bhutan trek is physically demanding because of its length and the almost unbelievable changes in elevation. The lovely Bhumthang valley is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries.
This is a trek in the splendid Bhumthang Valley, the cultural heart of Bhutan. The trek passes through several villages on its meandering route through Bumthang countryside. Although it is a short trek, the Bhumthang trek is strenuous, featuring a 500m climb to Phephe La. It goes through the village of Ngang Lhankhang to the Ugyen Chholing Palace, the home of the descendents of Bhutan’s royal families. The start of this trek is a 3km drive up the unpaved road from Kurjey Lhakhang to Toktu Zampa at 2540m, then a short drive to Thangbi Gompa.
Important Note :
Your safety is of paramount importance to us at Alpine Club of Himalaya. We have the absolute authority to cancel the trip or change the itinerary, when deemed necessary or when we have reason to believe your safety is at stake. Weather conditions, the health condition of a group member, natural disasters, and such, can contribute to changes in the itinerary when traveling in remote mountainous regions. In these extreme situations, we kindly request that you offer your full co-operation to the trusted leader of the group appointed by Alpine Club of Himalaya. However, we assure you that we will make every effort to keep to the above itinerary.
Day 1 Arrival KATHMANDU (1300m/4265ft)
Arrive at Kathmandu International Airport where you will be warmly welcomed by our representative and check in to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore this historic and vibrant city. Meals: Welcome Dinner
Day 2 Sightseeing in KATHMANDU
We go for visiting around some of the most famous places around Kathamndu. These include: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Syambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple – Hindu Temple & Bouddha Nath – (The biggest Buddha Stupa in ancient Kathmandu). Afternoon pre-trip discussion for next day trip to Bhutan. Meals: Breakfast
Day 3 Fly to PARO
The charming small town of Paro lies in the centre of the valley on the banks of the Paro chhu, just a short distance northwest of the imposing Paro Dzong. The Paro Dzong is one of the Bhutan’s most impressive and well known Dzongs, and perhaps the finest example of Bhutanese architecture we can see.We shall visit all these important sites in Paro before we head towards a more fascinating adventure tour. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Drive to THIMPU
We leave early for Thimpu, the capital city of Bhutan, en-route visit to the ancient fortress of Simtokha Dzong. The most fascinating feature of Thimpu is that it is amongst the two national capitals of Asia that do not have Traffic lights. It’s around two hours drive from Paro to Thimpu. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Drive to TRONGSA
Early morning continue journey towards Trongsa via Dochula pass.We can enjoy the trip around Trongsa valley capturing several peaks like Masagang, Tsendegang , Terigang, Jejegangphugang, Kangphugang, Zongaphugang. It also provides an exciting view of Dzong and the town. It is an important secular and religious centre of Dzong, who dominate the region. Trongsa is a smack in the middle of the country, a seven hours drive from Thimpu and separated from both east and west by high mountain ranges. Trongsa Dzong has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Drive to BHUMTHANG
The two and half hour run between Trongsa and Bhumthang, is one of the easier and most interesting drives in Bhutan because it passes numerous villages and gompas as it winds through the Chhume valley. Bhumthang has some important festivals, of which the most important is the Jampey Lhakhang Drup, in the ninth month (October). The recently introduced three –day Bhumthang tsechu, a week earlier, and features mask dancing in the Dzong. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 Trek to NGANG LHAKHANG
Today trekking starts following the Chamkhar Chhu River along the meadows, blue pines, and dense forests. It will be a fascinating experience as we come across many villages and temples getting an opportunity to explore their way of living. Several hours’ walk up the Chokhor Chhu from Thangbi Gompa is the small region known as Ngang-yul (Swan Land). The site was visited by Guru Rinpoche, but the present Ngang Lhakhang (swan temple) was built in the 15th century by Lama Namkha Samdrup, a contemporary of Pema Lingpa. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 Trek to UGYEN CHHOLING
Ngang Lhakhang is the Swan Temple. From here, it’s a 30-minute walk to Sambitang.The trail cuts across the top of some fields, goes over a small hill and down to a stream. Finally, the stream disappears and the climb continues through a rhododendron forest in a dry gully. There is more deep forest on the opposite side; the trail leads down to a stream at 3200m, then into a side valley covered in dwarf bamboo, passing a small mani wall and a khonying chorten. The route keeps going downhill. As it approaches the bottom of the valley, there are several side trails that lead to pastures and buckwheat fields. We take the most prominent trail, which leads downhill near the village of Tahung. Crossing the Tang Chhu near Gamling, a large, wealthy village noted for its yathra weaves, about 45 minutes downstream. We walk downstream from Gamling, crossing a stream and following the trail around a farmyard. Soon, the trail starts climbing onto a ridge, reaching four chortens and several large houses at 2760m. On the top of the hill to the right is Ugyen Chholing. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,Dinner
Day 9 Trek to BHUMTHANG
The day begins with a walk to explore the Ugyen Chholing Palace, a stunning classified mansion that also houses a small eco-museum. Later we drive to Jakar (Bumthang) following the Tang Chhu River until hitting at the main road, En-route visit to the Membertsho Lake where Terton Pemalingpa, is said to have discovered religious treasures in the 12th century. This lake is very sacred and on auspicious days many Bhutanese people go there to light butter lamps. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 Drive to PUNAKHA
The day begins to wind up the journey and we shall drive towards Paro via Punakha. We will have several stops for pictures or sightseeing if we had missed any during our incoming. Punakha Dzong was the second of Bhutan’s Dzongs and until mid-1950s it served as the seat of government. It’s arguably the most beautiful dzong in the country, especially in spring when the lilac-colored jaracanda trees bring a rare sensuality to the dzong’s characteristically towering white washed walls. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 Drive to PARO
Today we drive to Paro. It will be a relaxing day, as we reach Paro afternoon. We can go for shopping. We can take a stroll around Paro market in the evening. There are numerous handicrafts shops throughout the valley and most open daily. Some of the older shops in Paro have doors at the back; a strange ladder system provides access through the front window. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12 Fly back KATHMANDU
After breakfast we are being transported to airport for the flight back to Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, this day can be utilized buying gifts and souvenirs for friends and family. In the evening you will be invited to join FAREWELL reviewing great photos and share experiences of the trip.
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