Bhumthang Cultural Tour with 3 days trek

Tour Highlights

             •   Best Cultural trek that takes you through the villages, temples, monasteries and farmlands

             •   Explore Paro Valley and Thimpu in Bhutan

             •   Tigers Nest Monastery, Jakar Dzong, Punakha Dzong, Ugyen Choling Palace, Chimi Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang

             •   Trongsa Dzong, Ngang Lhakhang, Druk Wangyal Monastery

             •   King's Memorial Chorten, National Library, School of Arts & Crafts and Traditional Medicine Institute

             •   Trekking for 3 days in day 6, day 7 and day 8  crossing high passes with maximum elevation at 3360m


 

Trip Cost Includes:

              •   All ground transportation in private vehicles.
              •   10 Nights in twin sharing government approved accommodation

              •   2 Nights in tented camps during trekking days

              •   12 Breakfast, 12 Lunch and 12 Dinner.

              •   Bhutan Visa and Visa Processing assistance

              •   Drinking water for the duration of the tour

              •   Equipment during the camping trek. (We provide fully water proof two men tents, dining tents,

                  kitchen gear, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, shower tent etc.)

              •   Government Royalty (35% of 200USD), that goes to health and education project of the country
              •   Guided city tour with all entrance fees in sightseeing places.
              •   Licensed English speaking Bhutanese tour guide 
              •   Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine for all staff.
              •   City Map and T Shirt

Day 1 Arrive Paro
On arrival at Paro airport you will be received by our representative and escorted to your pre booked hotel after immigration formalities After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now the National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong (fortress of the heap of jewels). Visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country and from there you will be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314meters.

Overnight: Hotel in Paro

Meals: Lunch, Dinner


Day 2 Drive from Paro to Thimpu
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters.  Spiritual leader Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands.  Lunch will be served in the restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. After having explored the monastery, you will hike down to Paro valley. In the evening drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.

Overnight: Hotel in Thimpu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 3 Drive from Thimpu to Punakha
After breakfast, enjoy the scenic drive to Punakha with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3,100 meters), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas.  From the pass, drive downhill through the forests of rhododendron, fir and hemlock.  You will arrive at Punakha after traversing through rice field and along the bank of Punakha River.  On the way, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama’s wooden phallus! After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship.

Overnight: Hotel in Punakha

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 4 Drive from Punakha to Bhumthang
After early breakfast you will drive to Bhumthang, the cultural heartland of the country.  The route is along a spectacular winding road, crossing 3,300-meter-high Pele La pass, and at certain times of year it's possible to see yaks.  You will stop in Trongsa for lunch.  After lunch you'll visit Trongsa Dzong, the masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture.  Then you'll proceed to Bumthang with lush valleys and hilly forests.  Along the way you will stop at a yathra (textile weaving) factory, where the yathras are designed with patterns unique to Bumthang, and you can even watch some of the weavers at their looms.

Overnight: Hotel in Bhumthang

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 5 Bhumthang
Today's sightseeing in Bhumthang includes Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan, dating from the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan; and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places, because Guru Rinpoche, a great 8th century spiritual master left his body imprint on the cave when he was meditating.  You will also have a chance to tour Tamshing Lhakhang, a treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. In the evening you can visit local shops.

Overnight: Hotel in Bhumthang

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 6: Trek to Ngang Lhakhang
10KM / 2-3 HOURS / 170M ASCENT
You will begin trek today with a walk that covers about 12 miles in five to six hours.  Your trial follows the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for trout.  Stop for lunch at Thangbi Lhakhang.  From here the trek enters the Ngang Yul (Land of the Swan), at the centre of which lies the Ngang Lhakhang (Swan Temple).  In past days, the valley was populated by swans, and hence the name Ngang Yul.  You will camp tonight at an altitude of 9500 feet.

Overnight: Tented Camp at 9500ft

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 7: Trek to Ugyen Choling
18KM / 6-7 HOURS / 750M ASCENT 670M DESCENT
Your walk today covers 14 miles in seven to eight hours.  You will begin with a gradual climb to Phephe La Pass at an altitude of 11,000 feet, the highest point of the trek route.  The trial passes through beautiful forested areas where many stops can be made to enjoy the natural beauty of the place.  Along the way, you will visit the Ugyen Choling Palace, which a repository of artifacts of ancient nobility. Your camp tonight is at an altitude of 9500 feet.

Overnight: Tented Camp at 9500 ft

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 8 Conclusion of Trek at Jakar
1.6KM / 1 HOUR / 130M DESCENT
Your trek today covers about 6 miles in two or three hours.  The trial follows the Tang Chu, another trout-filled river.  On the bank of the river is the Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, marking a sacred place where Guru Rimpoche meditated.  The trek continues past the Mebar Tsho (Flaming Lake) to Pangshing, where you are picked up and driven the rest of the way to Jakar where you celebrate your return to civilization with a refreshing shower in hotel accommodations.

Overnight: Hotel in Jakar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 9 Drive from Bumthang to Punakha
You'll begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Punakha. Along the way visit the typical Bhutanese town of Wangdue with its dramatic Dzong perched on a ridge at the bend of a river.  The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings.

Overnight: Hotel in Punakha

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 10 Drive from Punakha to Thimphu
After breakfast, you will drive to Thimphu with stop at Dochula for tea. Here you will visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country, with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works.

Overnight: Hotel in Thimpu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 11 Thimphu
After breakfast you will visit the King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery, the radio tower (for a great view of Thimphu Valley and the Thimphu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan: the takin. From there you will visit the nunnery temple, the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts), and the School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school). After a relaxing lunch, you will visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory and the majestic Tashichhodzong. In the evening you can explore Thimphu city and absorb the lifestyle of the people. You can also visit some interesting handicraft shops.

Overnight: Hotel in Thimpu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 12 Drive from Thimphu to Paro
In the morning, you will catch a busy weekend market at the bank of Thimphu River where people from nearby villages come here to sell their farm products. You can stroll through the market to see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It's fun to wander the aisle, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market.  Perhaps this market scene offers wonderful opportunity for photographs and to mingle with local people. Later in the evening, you will drive to Paro.

Overnight: Hotel in Paro

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 13: Depart Paro

Spring (March to April) and autumn (September to November) are the best times for trekking in Bhutan. So please contact us for your desired dates.

Maximum Altitude: 3360m


 

Best Time
Spring (March to April) and autumn (September to November) are the best times for trekking in Bhutan. The day temperature is warm while the night temperature can go between 20 degree celsius to minus 10 degree celsius in high altitude areas


 

Trekking in Bhutan
Trekking in Bhutan is different than in Nepal. In Nepal, most of the trekking trails run through spaced villages, encountering diversified ethic groups. On the way, you can find lodges or small tea house for your shelter for the night. While trekking in Bhutan is a complete wilderness experience. You will be on a trek sleeping at tents on designated place where there is water supply for your camp meals. Your equipment and supplies will be carried by horses and by yaks on higher altitudes.


 

What to pack for Bhutan trek
You must bring all your personal equipment with you as trekking gear is not widely available in Bhutan. While packing for the trek, limit your baggage to 15kg. Each pack animal carries 30kg, and it’s expected that one animal will carry the luggage of two trekkers.
We provide 2-men tents, foam mattresses, eating utensils, kitchen equipment, a kitchen tent, dinning tent and a toilet tent. Sleeping bags are not provided. So bring your own because it is difficult to find sleeping bags of your specification in Bhutan.


 

Unforeseen events
Despite all the preparations, sometimes itineraries can be disrupted due to unforeseen factors such as blockage of route due to heavy snow or breakage of bridges due to unexpected heavy showers or sometimes trails become too icy for the horses due to rapid temperature fall.


 

Trekking trail conditions in Bhutan
Trekking in Bhutan is physically demanding as it involves a vigorous long walk up hillside and through mountains with harsh terrain with drastic changes in elevation. The average daily gains is about 500m spread over 8km to 12km, with an odd 1000m ascent.
Campsites are sometime spaced out over long distance, requiring you to walk seven to nine hours in a day. However sometimes, it may be just three or four hours of brisk walking. You will often come across rocky terrain and long stretches of round river rocks, which is hard on your feet. Trails could also be muddy, and diversions are quite common. On high passes, it’s always possible to encounter snow.


 

Trekking Crew for Bhutan trek
A trekking party typically will consist of a guide, a trek chef, a helper and a horse man with his animals. The guide plays an important role in arranging and coordinating the trek by teaming up with trek chef and other members.


 

Accommodation in Bhutan trek
Standard government approved accommodation in cities like Paro, Thimpu and Punakha. But during tented camp stay trekkers will sleep in tents with foam pads placed on rubber mats acting as an insulator. We provide best quality Nepal made A-shaped or North Face dome tents. Your guides and helpers have their own tents as well. Your campsites will be at a designated place where there is water to cook your meals.
In some places, there is a stone building where staff can use for cooking and trekkers can also use it for dinning and shelter in emergency.


 

Food supplies in Bhutan trek
During hotel stay in cities such as Paro, Thimpu and Punakha, you will be eating in restaurants and during tented camp stay you will be supplied with large assortment of food items and our trek chef can cook pampering meals at any height and weather. All our trekking chefs are trained and certified by Bhutan tourism bureau and they can prepare variety of western and Asian dishes, and they often add interesting local touches. All food supplies are carried from the start of the trek, and food is cooked over stoves fuelled by LPG.


 

Transportation used
We use comfortable and reliable vehicles for sightseeing, city tours and pickups; whereas we use the best 4WD SUVs as our support vehicle. These vehicles are extremely sturdy, spacious and reliable assuring comfortable journey. You will have a vehicle, an English speaking Bhutanese guide and a licensed driver at your disposal at all times during drive


 

Pack animals for Bhutan trek
You will not find porters in Bhutan. Instead of porters, horses and yaks (at higher elevations) are used in while trekking in Bhutan. They are used for carrying all food supplies, trekking gears and equipment leaving you only with a day pack. Your day pack will consists of items you require daily such as cameras and batteries, toiletries, energy bars, and water bottles.


 

Preparing for trek in Bhutan
Trekking in Bhutan is challenging. So, you must train intensively before coming for a trek in Bhutan. Walk up and down hills or inclines as much as possible with a backpack weighing 4-5kg to increase the strength. If you do not have time take walks over weekends, try riding a bicycle, jogging or training intensively with exercise machine.


 

Health and safety
People wishing to do a trek in Bhutan should not worry about altitude and potential heart problems. There is no evidence that altitude is likely to bring on previously undiagnosed heart diseases. If you can exercise and train maximum at home, you should not have an increase risk while trekking. However if you already have a known heart disease and your exercise is already limited by symptoms at low altitude, you must consult your doctor before coming for a trek.


 

Rescue
In Bhutan, there were only few incidences (once in a year or so) where people had to be rescued because of altitude. There are horses and men to carry back to the lower place but on higher passes, evacuation has to be done by helicopter as land evacuation will not be possible. Rescue helicopter come from Indian Air Force bases in Hasimara or Bagdogra airport, after a request sent out by guide to the tour operator reaches the Indian forces through TBC and the Royal Bhutan Army. Fortunately communication between the trekkers and base office has been made quicker due to introduction of mobile networks.


 

Bhutan Visa
We handle the visa procedures for you. The Bhutanese government sanction visa only after the receipt of full payment in advance. The visa fee is included in our tour price. You need to email us the copy of your passport for visa procedures. Actual Bhutan VISA is stamped in your passport on arrival to Paro airport. Without visa clearance number, tourists cannot board the flight or enter the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs forwards a copy of this visa clearance to the concerned Druk Air stations and other entry points; we also fax a copy of the visa clearance document to our clients for their reference. While the actual visa is stamped on arrival, the initial visa clearance is also required at the time of issuing Druk Air Tickets.2 copies of original passport-sized photographs are required on arrival in the country.


 

Vaccination
No vaccinations are compulsory in Bhutan, but we do recommend you are covered for Diphtheria, TB, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Malaria, Typhoid, Polio and Tetanus. We also do recommend for a dental check-up prior to travelling and you should know your blood group in case of emergency in your travel
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on your tour, you need to inform to us


 

Credit Cards in Bhutan
Only few establishments in Bhutan accept credit card payments . In Bhutan there are only few ATM's for credit card (Master card / Maestro) . US Dollars (cash or Amex travelers cheques) or Euro Cash is suggested and convenient to cover any personal expenses. 1US$ is equivalent to Nu. 55 and 1 Euro is equivalent to Nu.69 as of today NU= Ngultrum, the Bhutanese currency


 

Insurance Coverage
A travel insurance policy that covers medical expenses, evacuation, theft and loss is recommended.


 

Departure Dates
The tour will be arranged for you according to your needs. So, please contact us for your required date. Best Months: March to May & September to November. You can have a look at our fixed departure dates to see if that suits your plans.


 

Contact Us
Information required for this trip is provided here. If you want to consult us regarding any aspect of the trip, please feel free to email us or give us a call at 977 1 6915029

Trekking in Bhutan