TRIP LENGTH: 21 Days
SEASONS: October, early November and late spring.
The trek across the top of eastern Bhutan is tough and involves a tremendous long, steep descent; it used to be an important trade route before completion of National Highway.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
Arrive Paro and received by the representative of Adventure Geo Treks. Transfer to the hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Paro - Thimphu
After breakfast in the hotel drive to Drukgyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), a ruined fortress built to commemorate victory of Bhutanese warrior over Tibetan invaders centuries ago. Witness the snowy dome of sacred Jumolhari, “mountain of goddess” that looms directly over the Dzong.
Along the way see the 7th century Kichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in Himalayas by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. This temple reflects the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
After lunch visit to Ta Dzong, originally as watchtower, now houses national museum of the kingdom. It boasts antique thangka, textiles, weapons, amours, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning “fortress of heap of jewels” which has a long and fascinating history.
Drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers at Chuzomsa (confluence). Three different styles of chortens adorn the confluence. A short way beyond, on the left is Tacho Lhakhang, the Temple of the Hill of Excellent horse. Witness Simtokha Dzong en route to Thimphu. On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. Go for an evening walk before dinner.
Day 3: Thimphu
Full day of sight seeing includes visit to: National Library; it holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts, manuscripts, modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags. Art School: famous for traditional crafts. Traditional Medicine Institute: the rich herbal medicines abundant in Kingdom are prepared here. The institute also imparts the art of herbal medicine to would be practitioners. Memorial Chorten: the beautiful stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s third King. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
Tashichodzong: this impressive fortress/monastery houses the Secretariat building, King’s Throne room and other government’s offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot. Textile and Folk Heritage Museum: Opened in 2001, they are living testimonies of the Bhutanese traditions. Handicraft emporium: it displays wide assortment of beautifully hand woven and crafted products. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 4: Thimphu- Trongsa
After early breakfast, drive to Dochula pass (alt. 3,100m). If weather permits, you can see a range of high mountains of high Himalayan peaks towards the northeast. Following peaks can be seen from this pass on a clear day; Masanggang (7,158m), Tsendegang (6,960m), Teri gang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158m), Kangphugang (1,170m), Zongpaphugang (7,060m), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana and finally Gangkar Puensum (7,497m), the highest mountain peak in Bhutan.
Further drive onwards to Wangdiphodrang town for lunch. The descent from Dochula into Wangdiphodrang valley is quite long as the difference is 1700 meters. Proceed to Trongsa across Pelela pass (alt. 3,300m), the traditional boundary between east and west. A large prayer flag marks the pass and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop en route at Chendebji Chorten, which was built in 18th century by lama named Shida. It is Nepalese in style with eyes painted at four cardinal points.
Arrive Trongsa and check into hotel the lodge in Trongsa.
Day 5: Trongsa –Bumthang
After break fast walk by Trongsa Dzong, built by Shabdrung in 1647 and visit to the epic Ta Dzong (watch tower), dedicated to the epic hero, King Geser of Ling.
Then drive to Bumthang, which is about 3 hours, through the Yutong La pass (alt.3, 400m 29 km from Trongsa).
Further 13 km ahead, the road enters into a wide, open cultivated valley known as Chumey.
On arrival in Bumthang, check into the lodge. After lunch visit to Kurjey Lhakhang (where the saint body imprint on a rock), he Jambay Lhakhang (7th century), Tamshing Monastery (containing one of the oldest painting in Bhutan), the Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Later, take a stroll in the village.
Dinner and overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 6: Bumthang-Ngang Lhakhang
Trek begins today. The route takes you around Chamkhar Chhu, a river rich in trout. Lunch at the Thangbi Lhakhang, a temple built by the first Karma Shamar in 13th century. Further ahead you enter Ngang Yul, ‘Swan Land” and at its center is Ngang Lhakhang, the “Swan Temple”. This part of the valley was at first inhabitated by swans who gave their name (Ngang) to the place. The Lama Namkha Samdrup, having dreamt a vision of how to build a temple, shot an arrow at the spot where the arrow landed, the Ngang Lhakhang was erected. Overnight at the camp at an altitude of 2,800m. Distance is 20 km, walking time 6/7 hours.
Day 7: Ngang Lhakhang –Ugyenchholing
Climb gradually to Phephe La pass (3,353m). Follow the trail until the pass takes you through one of the most beautiful forested areas of this region. Allow for stops to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. Overnight camp at an altitude of 2,850m.
Day 8: Ugyenchholing- Phokphey
Today’s walk is through bamboos, hemlock and finally up to alpine forest. Overnight camp at an altitude of 3,600m. Distance 17 km, walking time 5/6 hours.
Day 9: Phokphey-Ungaar
Continue ascending for half an hour until you reach Rodungla (3,800m), and then continue downhill through the gorge, overlooking some of the mountain valleys. Towards the camp you see pine trees. Overnight camp. Distance 20 km, time 6/7 hours.
Day 10: Ungaar-Taskila
This trail winds up and down till you reach Drula village and Khaine Lhakhang en route. It is one of the oldest temples in existence today, built in mid 7th century by the King Songtshen Gampo of Tibet to subdue demons. Overnight camp. Distance 21 km, time 7/8 hours.
Day 11: Taskila-Lhuntse
Proceed to Lhuntse guesthouse for lunch. After lunch it is leisure time. Overnight camp.
Day 12: Lhuntse-Menji
Arrive firstly to Kuri Zampa and the trek from here is gradually up through the paddy fields and villages. Overnight camp. Distance 12 km, time 4/5 hours.
Day 13: Menji-Pemi
Continue uphill through thick forests overlooking mountain views. The camp is under forest shelter at an altitude of 2,400m. Distance 20 km, time 6/7 hours.
Day 14: Pemi-Taupang
Continue up to Dongla where you will have the fascinating mountain views. Descend through thick evergreen forests till you reach campsite. Overnight campsite. Distance 21 km, time 6/7 hours.
Day 15: Taupang-Tashiyangtse
Today is the longest trek. It is a gradually downhill till Yangtse through Chir pine and hardwood forests like oak of sub tropical forest zone. Overnight camp. Distance 24 km, time 8/9 hours.
Day 16: Tashiyangtse-Trashigang
End of the trek and drive to Trashigang. Overnight at the lodge in Trashigang.
Day 17: Trashigang - Mongar
In the morning you can visit the weaving center in Khaling (which is operated by the National Women's Association of Bhutan), Sherubtse College in Kanglung (Bhutan's first college), and Zangdo Pelri Monastery. From there you will head back to Mongar. Overnight in Mongar.
Day 18: Mongar - Bumthang
Drive the spectacular 8-hour route back to Bumthang, with stops for lunch and tea in nearby villages. Overnight in Bumthang.
Day 19: Bumthang - Wangdiphodrang
You'll begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Wangdiphodrang, where you can stroll through the town and visit the shops. The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings and bamboo work. Overnight in Wangdiphodrang.
Day 20: Wangdiphodrang – Paro
After break fast you will drive to Paro via Thimphu. If it's the weekend, 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 aisles, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market.
After lunch you will drive to Paro. At Paro visit a traditional farmhouse and, if you wish, enjoy a hot-stone bath and a typical Bhutanese dinner. Overnight in Paro.
Day 21: Depart Paro
After early breakfast drive to Paro Airport for departure. Our representative will bid you farewell.