Bhutan

Druk Path Trek

Level

Moderate/Challenging

Duration

10 days/ 9 nights

Best time to travel

March, April, May, September , October and November

Route

Paro, Jili Dzong, Jangchulakha, Jimilang Tsho, Simkotra Tsho ,Phajoding, Thimphu, Paro

Bhutan is known as the “land of the thunder dragon”, it is a beautiful country home to many mountains and monasteries tucked away in the Himalayas. This is a place of untouched culture, ecology and wildlife, you will be in awe of the scenic beauty around you, from majestic mountains to lush valleys. Visiting Bhutan is like visiting a magical kingdom of the past.

Druk Path Trek is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. It is a short and scenic trek with some great views and beautiful lakes en route. Although it leads up to altitudes above 4,000m, it is not too strenuous as walking distances between the camps are not too long. Besides the lakes, we will visit the Phajoding monastery, a site that is one of the highlights of this trek.

Facts

  • Bhutan is considered to be the bio-diversity conservation hotspot of Eastern Himalayan. Over 72% of the land is still forested and 26% of the land is protected as National Parks with 9 % as biological corridors.
  • Before the 16th century, Bhutan was ruled by numerous clans and Nobel families throughout different valleys. This changed in 1616 with the arrival of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal from Tibet. He spread Buddhism throughout region and soon established himself as the religious ruler of Bhutan.  He repelled many attacks that came from different rival lams and also from Tibet and transform the different region into unified country called Druk-Yul (land of thunder dragon).
  • The great fortresses known as “Dzong” are the most prominent Bhutanese architecture, they symbolize the history and long independence of Bhutan. Simtokha, which dates from 1629, is the oldest- it was built back in the 12th century. Today, most of the Dzongs plays an important role in the religious life of the people, and act a landmark of different states (Dzongkags) in Bhutan.

Brief Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival at Paro (D)

The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains will give you spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the scared Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. Upon arrival in Paro, you will be greeted by a Rahhalah guide and dropped to your hotel.

In the afternoon, we will visit Paro Dzong. It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the Dzong (forts). We will then take a tour of the National Museum, formerly the watchtower for the Dzong. It now houses a collection of fine arts, paintings, thankas, statues, and antiques. Afterwards, we can visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country, and Drukgyel Dzong. In the evening, you can relax and take a stroll through Paro town.

Day 02: Paro – Jili Dzong (B, L, D)

Distance 7 km, 4-5 hours, 1,090m ascent, camp altitude 3,480m

The first day is going to be a long one, we have to climb more than a 1,000m elevation. We will start from Ta Dzong (National Museum) in Paro, following  a gravel road past a few farms and then climb up a steep ridge before leading through blue pine and fir forests to Damche Gom. Once we reach the ridge below Jili Dzong, we will head down to the campsite below Jili Dzong.

Day 03: Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha (B, L, D)

B22Distance 10 km, 4-5hours, 310m ascent, 50m descent, camp altitude 3,770m

We will start our day with a climb for about an hour and a half and then ascend gradually up. The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and dwarf rhododendron trees. Some of the sights around us will include yaks and yak herders around the campsite.

Day 04: Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho (B, L, D)

Distance 11 km, 4 hours, 230m descent, 330m ascent, camp altitude 3,870m

We will continue with our hike, enjoying the feeling of being one with nature in a place that is untouched and beautiful. The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day, the view of the mountains and valley are absolutely stunning!

The campsite is close to the Jimilang Tsho Lake, a lake known for its giant sized trout.

Day 05: Jimilang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho ( B, L, D)

Distance 11 km, 4hours, 820m ascent, 400 m descent, camp altitude 4,110m

The trail continues through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetso Lake. We will spot some yak herder’s camps, a great chance to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.

Day 06: Simkotra Tsho – Phajoding (B, L, D)

Distance 10 km, 3-4 hours, 130m ascent, 680m descent, camp altitude 3,750m

The trek begins with a gradual climb. If the weather is clear, we can enjoy spectacular views of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes us downhill to Phajoding for a nights halt. The camp is above Phajoding.

Day 07: Phajoding – Mothitang (B, L, D)

b23

After passing Phajoding monastery, the trek to Thimphu (Mothitang) is all the way downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours.

Check in at the hotel.

Overnight Thimphu.

 

Day 08: Thimphu sightseeing, evening drive back to Paro (65km drive, 1hrs) (B, L, D)

Morning visit to Tashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government’s office and King’s Throne room, it is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Then visit School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school), the textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, and the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts). The morning tour will end with an all vegetarian lunch at the Folk Heritage Restaurant, where one can taste traditional Bhutanese delicacies cooked with organically grown vegetables. After a relaxing lunch, drive to Simtokha Dzong, the first of its kind in Bhutan built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who unified Bhutan. Besides being a religious and historical monument, it also houses the premier Institute of Language and Cultural Studies for both monks and lay people. One can interact with learned Buddhist teachers (Khenpos) and students on various topics on Buddhism and what it means to be Buddhist in this world and more interesting topics. Evening visit to the Memorial Chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. If we had time, drive to visit the world’s largest sitting Buddha Dordenma statue in KuenselPhodrang. Also, enjoy the view from the mountain top which overlooks the Thimphu Valley and evening drive toParo.

Overnight at Paro.

Day 09: Hike to Tiger Nest (Taktsang). 5 hrs hike (B, L, D)

After an early breakfast, we hike up to the famous cliff-hermitage called Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest.” This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly scenic! It takes about two hours to reach the cafeteria, which gives a breathtaking view of the Tiger’s Nest. From Cafeteria it takes 1 hour to reach the main temple.

This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.
After Lunch, visit drive to Drukgyel Dzong which is built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, the towering outer walls and central keep remain an imposing sight. On clear day you can see the splendid view of Mt. Jhomolhari.

Overnight at Paro.

Day 10: departure (B)

After a quick breakfast we will transfer to the airport for departure flight.

2515 USD

per person in a group of minimum 3. Based on Double Occupancy

Trip Dates

5 May / 13th October 2017

NOTES

  • This cost is based on a group of min 4 travelers. In case there are less than 4 travelers Additional supplement applies.
  • Full payment should be made upon booking in order to proceed with the visa process.

All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change

THIS INCLUDES

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Accommodation in standard 3 * hotels
  • Camping equipment ( sleeping tent, dining tent, toilet tent, mattresses and utensil)
  • 3 meals a day
  • Government trained local guide, cook, assistants, etc
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees for museums and monuments only
  • Transpiration as per the itinerary
  •  Visa fees
  • Government taxes and  Royalty

THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • International airfare
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Single supplement
  • Supplement per person for groups less than 3 pax
  •  Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, beverages, travel insurance, gratuities / tips
  •  Meals not mentioned in the above itinerary
  •  International departure tax

Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.

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