Hotel / Lodge
The Kingdom of Bhutan, nestled high in the tranquil Himalayas is a haven to rich bio-diversity, vibrant religion, unique arts, rich history, cultural splendor, heritage and scenic grandeur. It is a fascinating land where time had stood still and preserved the exquisite beauty of this mystical country.
The vegetation varies over very short distances ranging from tropical broadleaf forests to alpine shrubs and lush meadows. Bhutan is home to such exotic mammals as Takin (a large, musk-ox-like animal), Black necked Crane, Golden Langur, Royal Bengal tiger, clouded leopards and red pandas. Bird species range from the Himalayan black Eagle, and boreal owl to the Tiny black-throated parrot bill.
This Bhutan trip provides one of the best opportunities to experience most if not all of the Bhutanese life style in all its glory.
During the flight, on a clear day, you can see breathtaking views of the Himalaya Mountains, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. Thimphu (2,320m), the capital city of Bhutan. On the way to Thimphu, on the opposite side of the river, you will see a temple owned by the descendants of Dubthob Thangtong Gyalpo (iron bridge builder). He was responsible for building numerous iron bridges throughout Bhutan. After lunch visit some of the capital's attractions, according to the group's interests or have your own time to explore the town. Check in hotel & local sightseeing: Afternoon: Half day Sightseeing of Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu.
King's Memorial Chorten (Monument)
Chang Gangkha Monastery (one of the oldest monastery in the valley)
National Zoo (contains national animal takin)
Folk Heritage Museum and the Textile Museum
School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school)
Traditional Paper Factory (made from Daphne plant) Thimphu week end market.
Overnight in Thimphu
After breakfast, travel to the base camp of Tango Monastery and hike up to the Monastery. Tango is the center for higher studies for monks. The hike up will take approximately 45 minutes. The view from Tango Monastery is breathtaking. Drive back to Thimphu and evening free to relax / stroll around Thimphu town. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast you will drive to Wangduephodrang, with a stop en route for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. After lunch you will drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan, and visit Punakha Dzong, which is noteworthy both for being one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan and also for having been built by the first Shabdrung in 1637. On the way back from Punakha, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lakhang, which is a fertility temple. Overnight in Punakha .
After breakfast you will drive to drive to Trongsa via Pele la pass at an altitude of 3,150 metres, a wonderful opportunity for photographs. Commanding the Mangde Chu at an altitude of 2,200 metres Trongsa Dzong is the most impressive dzong in Bhutan. Built in 1644 by the Shabdrung, the dzong is an architectural masterpiece. After lunch, travel to Bumthang, the religious heartland of the nation, with lush valleys and hilly forests. Bumthang consists of four valleys--Chumey, Choekhar, Tang, and Ura--with altitudes varying from 2,600 to 4,000 meters. Overnight at hotel in Bumthang Jakar.
Jambay Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the King Songtsen Goempo of Tibet. In his effort to propagate Buddhism he had a plan to build a total of 108 temples in Tibet and neighboring kingdoms.
Chakhar Lhakhang. Besides the main road, a short distance beyond Jambay Temple is Chakhar (Iron Castle) Lhakhang. Although it is easy to mistake it for a house and drive right by, this is an interesting temple and is worth a short visit. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region.
Kujey Lhakhang (Kujey means, "Body imprint"). The temple to the right is the oldest and was built by Minjur Tempa in 1652. It was built around the cave in which Guru Rimpoche meditated and left his body imprint.
Tamshing Lhakhang. This temple is also known as Tamshing Lhendrup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message).
Jakar Dzong, "castle of the white bird". According to legend, when the lamas assembled in about 1549 to select a site for a monastery, a big white bird rose suddenly in the air and settled on a spur of a hill. This was interpreted as an important omen, and the hill was chosen as the site for a monastery and for Jakar Dzong. The fortress is now used as an administrative center of the valley and summer residence of Trongsa monks.
In the evening stroll around the beautiful landscape of the Bumthang Jakar valley. Dinner and overnight in Bumthang.
After breakfast, travel to Gangtey Gompa. Visit Gangtey Gompa, which now houses one of the only Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The valley is also the winter home to the rare black-necked cranes (Grus Nicorocolis), which migrate, from remote parts of Tibet, China and Siberia during winter to this valley. Drive Overnight at Gangtey.
After breakfast, walk to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten (50 Mins) temple built by the Queen Of Bhutan for peace and stability in this ever-changing world. Travel back to Thimphu, visiting Simtokha Dzong en route. This dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies. In the evening,drive to see the Takin Zoo, which houses the national animal the Takin that is only found in Bhutan. Drive further upto Sangaygang to get a bird’s eye view of the Thimphu valley in the evening. Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast, we will drive towards Paro (approx 1.20 hours drive). On arrival at Paro (should reach latest by 8.30 am), visit the Ta Dzong, a circular fortress that once protected this valley from the Tibetan invasion. It is now the National Museum with an excellent collection of Bhutanese antiquities. A short drive back to the Paro Rinpung Dzong which was built and consecrated in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. This Dzong is also the administrative seat of the district of Paro and it also contains a state monastic community of about 200 members.After lunch, will drive up to visit Drugyel Dzong which is located upstream to the end of the paved road. This Dzong was also built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1647 to commemorate his victory over the Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the Mount Jumolhari, 7314 meters or 24000 feet high, appears as a back drop. This mountain which marks the frontier with Tibet, is sacred ,as are all the mountains in Bhutan and it is the dwelling place for Goddess Jhomo. This mountain was never climbed till the submit and it is now a protected peak. In 1951 the Dzong was caught in a terrible fire started by a butter lamp which fell over the altar and Drugyel Dzong became no more than a dramatic silhouette falling into ruins. While coming back from Drugyel Dzong & Kitchu monastery. The evening ends with a walk through the Paro's main shopping district. The local shops sell a variety of goods-groceries, textiles as well as prayer flags. We will then return to the hotel. Overnight at Paro.
After early breakfast, take a ride to road end at the base of Taktshang (Tiger Nest) and start gradual ascent towards Taktshang about 2 hrs of hike to Temple. Tiger nest is one of the most sacred temple for Buddhist which was founded by a Great Indian Buddhist master known under the name of Guru Padmashambhava, who was born as a eight year old boy from the blue lotus in a lake at Danakosha, During eight century this great master arrived here in Takshang riding on the flying tigress in the form of Drojidroley (fierce thunderbolt) subsequently meditate here for about three month and subdued many evil spirits.This temple hang on the face of sheer cliff about 900 m above the PARO valley, the view from the temple courtyard is spectacular. Walk back to road point and take a ride to town . Evening Stroll in Paro Town. O/N in Paro.
Enjoy the drive and the scenic vistas from Chelela Pass (3,988 mts.), among the highest motor able roads in Bhutan. After coming back from Chelela lunch and after you will be taken for most important places like the one of the oldest Dzong, Drugyel Dzong & Kitchu monastery. Over night in Paro.
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Whilst on the trek, the Nepali guides and porters will ensure that you are well looked after. Every trek has an English speaking guide, known as the Sirdar, who is in overall charge. It is his responsibility to organize the trek en route and manage the guides and porters and deal with the local peoples and they are experts in trek organization, as well as being able to discuss the local culture, religion, and landscape. In addition there will be other guides, sometimes referred to by the generic term Sherpa, who will be your walking companions on the trek and will assist the Sirdar in organizing the logistic of the trek. On camping treks there will be full kitchen crew who are responsible for all aspects of catering. And finally there will be porters who are the transportation system of the Nepali mountains. They will carry the duffle bags and other equipment as necessary.
On camping treks, all food is prepared by the trek cook - an expert in preparing delicious camp food. And most importantly, special care is taken to provide well - boiled, purified drinking water. On lodge treks, food is provided in the lodge and this ranges from delicious local specialties to common western dishes. If necessary, bottled water can be purchased from the lodges for a small fee, although many trekkers prefer to use fresh water with the added precaution of a purifying agent. You could bring some Chocolate or special energy drinks for yourself as these are hard to get in the Himalayas.
A typical trekking day
A typical day revolves around the Nepal sunrise and sunset. The day starts with an early wake up call. You then pack up your gear and enjoy a rousing breakfast before starting your morning's walk. The Sirdar will already be organized loads to porters and or animals, and your group will then set off on the trail at a leisurely pace, enjoying the view and stopping to take photographs. After 2-3 hours walk you stop for lunch. This lasts for about 90 minutes which gives you time to relax, or explore the local village. The afternoon's walk is usually shorter and we arrive at the campsite or tea-house in plenty of time to relax and savour the surroundings. Later in the evening dinner is served, giving you an opportunity to sample the delicious food, talk over the day's events, and look forward to another special day on the trails of Nepal.
Health and safety on the trek General
Anyone can be affected by Altitude Sickness. However, our itineraries are specifically designed to minimize the risks associated with trekking to high altitudes by building in acclimatization and rest days. In the event of any symptoms we will ensure that the individual descends to a lower altitude to gain a quick recovery.
And finally……….. It must be stressed that whilst trekking in the Nepal Himalaya is challenging and rewarding, you must be prepared for he occasional inconvenience or discomfort. The correct mental attitude to trekking is as important as being physically prepared.
All equipment and food, and your own personal backpacks are carried by the porters or pack animals. It is only necessary to carry a camera or small daypack ! On camping treks all necessary camp equipment is provided - this includes dining tent, dining table and chairs, toilet tent, foam mattresses, and all cooking equipment. The only kit that you will need to bring is your own personal equipment and clothing.
Recommended Trekking Kit
The following is a list of clothing and accessories that we recommend that you take with you. This is not intended to be a comprehensive clothing and equipment list, rather it is intended to act as a reminder of those items that we feel are essential for your comfort and convenience. However we recognize that you may have your own personal preferences for clothing which may be equally as suitable.
Recommended Mountaineering Kit
In additional to the items mentioned above for trekking the following is a list of the additional specialist items which are required for the trekking peaks.