It is a 6-days trek near Thimphu, to a large number of lovely high altitude lakes. The Trek is easy and most trekking days are short but there are some long steep climbs. It starts from Khoma (near Thimphu) and ends in Simtokha, Thimphu. The highest point is 4300 Meters.
Day 01 ARRIVE PARO:
During the journey, the traveler will experience from the left side of the plane a spectacular view of Mt. Everest, and other famous Himalayan Mountains including the sacred Mt. Jumolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by your Bhutanese friend from Mythical Bhutan Travels. Lunch at the Hotel. Discuss the Tour Programme with the Tour Guide. Overnight: Hotel in Paro.
DAY 02 PARO – A EXCURSION TO TAKTSHANG MONASTERY:
A day excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery:
Drive up to Satsam Chorten (10 km from Paro town) and from there walk up to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest “. The Monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff drop of nearly 4000 ft. and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava known as the second Buddha in Bhutan meditated on this spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger.
Picnic lunch at the foothill of Taktsang monastery. The round hike takes about 4 Hr.
After lunch, drive to the ruins of Drukgyel dzong, now in ruins was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders in1644; the Dzong name’s means indeed “ victorious Druk “. The Dzong was used as an administrative center until 1951 when a fire caused by butter lamp destroyed it. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century and then visit Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong presently houses administrative offices. After lunch visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, which has been, since 1967, the national museum of Bhutan and walk down to town on the way you can see the traditional wood bridge of ancient style. Over night: Hotel in Paro.
Day 03 PARO – THIMPHU:
After breakfast drive to Thimphu, the capital city of the country and visit Simtokha Dzong on the way. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 AD. It houses the largest monastic schools in the country. Visit the Memorial Chorten (a great stupa) built in memory of the Third King of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Lunch hotel in Thimphu.
Afternoon: Visit the Wood Craft and Painting school where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive through the instructions of painting and curving. Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit the mini Zoo where the national animals were kept and drive to Sangeygang where you can have a spectacular view of Thimphu valley. Visit nunnery in Zulikha. Visit Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the Central Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks.Over night: Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 04. THIMPHU – KHOMA – GEYNIKHA: (14 Km, 4hrs):
Walk through terraced Paddy fields and coniferous forests to the settlement of Geynikha (2950 meters). The route then descends to a chorten that marks a camping place along side a stream at 2800 meters.Over night: Camping in tent. Day 05 GEYNIKHA – GUR: (5Km, 4hrs.)
Crossing a suspension bridge, the trail heads west for a while, then climbs steeply towards the south to a rock platform and a crest at 3200 meters. A further walk of about two hours leads to a camp in a forest clearing at 3350 meters.Over night: Camping in tent.
Day 06 GUR – LABATAMBA:(12 Km, 5hrs.):
Cross the pass at 4240 meters for a view of Spectacular Dagala village. Pass though several herders camps enroute to the foot of the broad Labatamba valley at 4300 meters near Utso Lake, where plenty of Golden Trout flourish. There are so many lakes in the vicinity. Over night: Camp near the lake.
Day 07 LABATAMBA – PANKA:(8 Km, 4 hrs.)
The trail climbs along the western side of the lake to saddle at 4500 meters, where there are good mountain views. From the pass there is a steep descent to another lake at 4350 meters. A short distance beyond the lake leads to the valley and then to Panka at 4000 meters.Over night: Camping in tent.
Day 08 PANKA – TALAKHA: (8 km, 4 hrs):
The route leads north crossing a pass at 4000 meters, then climbs along the side of the ridge to a crest at 4270 meters. From here there is a view of the Dagala range and a view of Thimphu, far to the North. It is then a long descent through forests to the Goemba and village of Talakha (3083 meters). Over night: Camping in tent.
Day 09 TALAKHA – SIMTOKHA: (3 Km, 3 Hrs)
Walk downhill on a steep trail to Simtokha from where the Vehicle will pick you up and drive to Thimphu. After lunch, sightseeing in Thimphu includes: the National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts followed by visit to Painting School, famous for carving and free hand art and National Institute of Traditional medicine. After lunch visit the Simtokha Dzong, the oldest Dzong in Bhutan built in 1627 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, which now houses a School and then visit National Memorial Chorten, a monument dedicated to the Third King of Bhutan. His Late Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The inside paintings and statues provide a very rare insight into Buddhist Philosophy. Then visit Handicrafts Emporium to see the exquisite artistry of traditional crafts and textiles. Visit to c (Fortress of the Glorious Religion), built in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and reconstructed in 1961 by the Late King, His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wang chuck, who is regarded as Father of Modern Bhutan. Evening free for shopping and leisure. Over night:Hotel in Thimphu.
DAY 10 THIMPHU – PUNAKHA WANGDUE:(72 Kms, 3 hours drive)
After breakfast, Drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. While in Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “…a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping, the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche.
From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952. After Lunch, drive to Wangdi Phodrang. Enroute stop a while to view Chimi Lhakhang also called the “Temple of Fertility” built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley also popularly known as “Devine Mad man” in 15th century. Enroute sightseeing in the valley of Wangdiphodrang, it includes: visit to Wangdiphodrang Dzong (from outside) built in 1638. Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong, four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered auspicious sign, representing the spread of religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers. Over night: Hotel in Wangdue.
Day 11 WANGDUE PHODRANG – THIMPHU – PARO:
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. Lunch in Thimphu. After lunch, drive to Paro. Overnight:Hotel in Paro.Day 12 PARO – PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT for Departure.
Day 12 PARO – PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT for Departure
Early morning drive to Paro International Airport and your Bhutanese friends from Mythical Bhutan Travels will accompany you to bid farewell as you embark on your onward journey to back home.