Bhutan Travel Adventure Packages 

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jumolhari
$
Day 01. Arrive Paro (By Druk Air) The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world's highest peaks, give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. On arrival at Paro international airport, you will be received by our representative and will escort you to hotel. In the after noon visit is Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. A short distance further is one of the innumerable archery grounds. (Archery is the national sport of Bhutan). If we are lucky, we may catch a match in action. Day 02. Hike to Taksang (Tiger Nest) then Paro valley sightseeing Right after the breakfast drive towards the road point to Taktshang. Taktshang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries. Taktshang means "Tiger's Nest," so named because Guru Rimpoche reportedly flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a flying tiger in the late centuries of the first millennium. The monastery is perched on a cliff nearly 3,000 ft above the Paro valley floor. 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. If you still feel like hiking then you can take another hour to reach the temple. Then return back to hotel and free evening. Day 03. Drukgyel Dzong(Paro) - Shana Altitude: 2,500m/2820m (Total Alitude Gain: 320m), Duration 5 hours, Distance 15 Km. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Starting form Drukgyel Dzong, the fortress that once guarded Paro Valley against Tibetan inviders, the first day is a pleasant walk following the left side of the Pachu River. The farm road serves as the trek route and passes through a number of very small villages with traditional houses, rice and vegetable fields to left and right of the trail. After about an hour’s walk, the farm road ends at Mitsizamp. Crossing a bridge to the right side of the river, the trail climbs very gradually for another hour through the trees to Zakhapang (2,600m), where nice lunch break-spot in an open and clean space is found. After lunch the trek continues through blue pine forests, following the river closely. Gunyitsawa army outpost appears not long before the end of the first day’s trek. The campsite at Shana, just beyond, is situated at an altitude of 2,820m in a beautiful open space surrounded by blue pine forest. Two traditional houses on the other side of the wide, fast-flowing river make up Shana village. Day 04. Shana-Soi Thangthangka Altitude: 2,820m/3,580m (Total Alitude Gain: 760m), Duration 8 hours, Distance 16 Km. Level of Difficulty: Long but not difficult, Muddy and bumpy path. This is the longest trekking day, taking eight hours to reach the campsite. The trail continues to follow the river gradually ascending through a mixed forest of blue pine and oak and, later in the afternoon, tall rhododendron trees, birch, fir and maple. Though the trail is rocky and bumpy path, it is not strenuous but in rainy conditions it can be quite muddy. There are several simple wooden bridges to cross and sometimes the river reaches right up to the trail. The lunch break comes after about 4 hours of walking through an ever-narrowing valley: Shing Karap or Thombuzam are popular stopping places at around 3,305m. Several trails leads in other directions, such as the trail to Tremo la, which was the old salt-trading route to Tibet. Not long before reaching the campsite the trail leads you up a ridge with a chorten. Beyond, in the distance, at the end of the valley the Jumolhari Mountain comes into view. Finally, after an 8 hours walk, you reach the campsite. The camp site is located in spacious clearing and directly faces Mount Jumolhari. The view of early morning sun striking the tip of Jumolhari is breathtaking. Mount Jumolhari, at 7326, is among the world’s highest mountains. Day 05. Soi-Thangthangka - Janmgothang Altitude: 3,580m/4000m (Total Altitude Gain: 420m), Duration 4 hours, Distance 11 Km. Level of Difficulty: Short and easy. The third day’s trek is a short one so it is possible to set off a little later and progress at a leisurely pace. When you reach the army outpost you are required to stop and register your entry permits issued by the army headquarters in Thimphu. This matter will be taken care of by your guide. The Pachu River is again to the right and the trail passes through some very small villages. It will take less then four hours to reach Jangothang, Base Camp. The altitude at the base camp is 4,000m and is a beautiful place to spend the night. The imposing, rounded bulk of the Jumolhari Mountain fills the view to the Northeast and in the evening the profile of the ruined Jangothang Dzong, populated by huge ravens creates a mystical atmosphere. The area is rich in bird life. Birds sighted en route include the Fire-tailed Sunbird, Ibisbill, White throated Dipper, Yellow-billed Chough, Rosy Pipit, Snow Pigeon, Blue-fronted Redstart, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Blood Pheasant, Snow Partridge and many more. Day 06. Jangothang (Halt) Today is a day to rest and acclimatize to the altitude. The body also needs times to adjust to the falling temperatures, especially during the night. There is an opportunity to explore the valley and enjoy wonderful views of the mountains. A 2 hour’s leisurely hike will take you to the twin lakes of Tshophu. For those taking the Lingshi variation of the trek, this day trek hike is important. You can also enjoy the view of Cone-shape Jichu Drakey cannot fail to remind the clear blue sky. Jichu Drakey cannot fail to remind you of the Matterhorn from this perspective. It is a sight to hold! Many rank this as the most beautiful mountain in Bhutan. Day 07. Jangothang - Lingshi Altitude: 4000m/3915m (Total Altitude loss: 85m), Duration 5 hours, Distance 12 Km. Level of Difficulty: Strenuous As you climb steeply above the base camp and into an area of glacial moraine, the views of Jichu Drakey and Jomolhari change along with your perspective. As steep and steady climb, sometimes through snow, brings you to the Nylie-La pass at 4890m. From the top of the windy pass enjoy the 380 degree view. Tshering Gang (6,789) also comes into full view. A fairly tough trek over scree or snow leads down to the valley and then follows the side of a ridge towards the impressively situated Lingshi Dzong (4,370m). The camp site is some distance below the Dzong on a flat area near a community building made of stones, at an altitude of 4000m. Day 08. Lingshi - Shodu Altitude: 4000m/3,815m (Total Altitude loss: 185m), Duration 6-7 hours, Distance 19 Km. Level of Difficulty: Long and difficult. The trail to Shodu starts with a climb towards a chorten on a ridge opposite the camp and into the Mo-chu valley. After crossing the river theascent towards the Yele-La (4,950m) begins. It take 2 to 3 hours to reach the pass from where there are views of the snowy peaks of Jumolhari, Gang-Chenta, Tshering-Gang and Masang-Gang. In places the paths are sometimes quite narrow and cut into the rock face. At Jimenameshing there are many large boulders and switchbacks. Many find this route quite difficult because of the rocks, boulders and pebbles. After a tiring day’s ascent, the descent to the camp site in a meadow at Shodu (3,815m) is quite short. Since this is the mail trail to Thimphu, you many meet other Bhutanese travelers en route or at the camp. Day 09. Shodu - Barshong Altitude: 3,815m/3,685m (Total Altitude loss: 130m), Duration 5-6 hours, Distance 16 Km. Level of Difficulty: Moderate and pleasant. The River that you are now following is the Thimphu Chu and you will stick closely to the river all day, criss-crossing back and forth over log bridges and passing through an area with steep rock faces and beautiful waterfalls. After crossing to the left bank the trail then ascends towards the ruins of Barshong Dzong (3720). The campsite is here but, since it is quite muddy and steep, another campsite called Domshisa, 1 to 1 ½ hours further down, near a river, is a popular option. Day 10. Barshong- Dolam Kencho Altitude: 3,685m/3428m (Total Altitude loss: 257m), Duration 5-6 hours, Distance 15 Km. Level of Difficulty: Moderate. The trail starts with a gentle descent and passes through a dense forest of rhododendron, birch and conifer trees. It then gets quite steep and the trail is very rocky, with many steep cliffs above you. Again you are following the Thimphu-Chu and there are several ridges and streams to cross during the day. At one point the river makes a very sharp turn south. The trail to the right leads you towards the campsite, opening into pasture land as you approach Dolam Kencho (3,428m). Day 11. Dolam Kencho - Thimphu Altitude: 3,428m/2600 (Total Altitude loss: 828m), Duration 3 hours, Distance 8 Km. Level of Difficulty: Moderate and short. The final day’s trek is not all downhill but, rather it twists and turns and rises and falls, following the Thimphu-Chu most of the time. At points the river is far below you. After reaching a pass at 3510m the descent then starts towards Dodena. Again, there are some very steep cliffs and beautiful mixed forests of rhododendron, bamboo and conifer. After about 3 hours you emerge at Dodina, and the black tooped road. Then drive back to Thimphu fom Dodena now takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour, past villages and farms. Over night at the hotel. Day 12. Thimphu Sightseeing The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After Lunch, visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. In the evening, visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). Over night in the Hotel. Day 13. Thimphu/Paro/your destination Tashi Delek
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http://www.travelbhutan.com.bt/bhutan-jumolhari-trek.php
drukyul
$
Day 01. Arrive Paro (By Druk Air) Your Guide from Bhutan Travel Adventures will receive you at the Airport. After Tea, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong 16 km up the valley built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. Dinner and overnight at Lodge/Hotel. Day 02. Paro, Excursion to Taktshang Monastery A very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktshang (Tiger's Nest) monastery - After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, from there a 2 hour horse ride till the viewpoint point of the monastery. 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 Taktshang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktshang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche meditation cave in the 1684 by the Penlop of Paro Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favorite consort. After Lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. In the evening, drive to Thimphu. Dinner and over night at Hotel/Lodge. Day 03. Thimphu Sightseeing The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). We drive to Simtokha Dzong; the oldest Dzong of Bhutan built by Shabdrung in 1627 and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Over night in Hotel. Day 04. Thimphu – Punakha (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. On the way, visit Chime Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. He subdued the demons with his “ Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. 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. Over night at Hotel/Resort Wangdue. Day 05 – Punakha – Gangtey After breakfast drive to Gangtey. Enroute sightseeing in the valley of Wangdiphodrang, it includes: visit to Wangduephodrang 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 Buddhist religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers. Drive further to Gangtey. While in Gangtey, visit Gangtey Gompa. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Explore Phobjikha valley, famous for the Black Necked Cranes during winter. After lunch, explore the valley and night at Hotel. Day 06. Gangtey – Thimphu After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. After lunch, visit Folk Heritage Museum and then drive to Paro, night at Lodge/Hotel. Day 07. Departure Early morning, drive to the airport and farewell.
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http://www.travelbhutan.com.bt/drukyul-cultural-tour.php
layagasa
$
Day 1. Arrive Paro (By Druk Air) The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks, give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. On arrival at Paro international airport, you will be received by our representative and will escort you to hotel. In the afternoon visit is Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. A short distance further is one of the innumerable archery grounds. (Archery is the national sport of Bhutan). If we are lucky, we may catch a match in action. Day 02. Hike to Taksang (Tiger Nest) then Paro valley sightseeing Right after the breakfast drive towards the road point to Taktshang. Taktshang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries. Taktshang means "Tiger's Nest," so named because Guru Rimpoche reportedly flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a flying tiger in the late centuries of the first millennium. The monastery is perched on a cliff nearly 3,000 ft above the Paro valley floor. 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. If you still feel like hiking then you can take another hour to reach the temple. Then return back to hotel and free evening. Day 03. Drukgyel Dzong(Paro) – Shana Altitude: 2,500m/2820m (Total Alitude Gain: 320m), Duration 5 hours, Distance 15 Km. Level of Difficulty: Easy. Starting form Drukgyel Dzong, the fortress that once guarded Paro Valley against Tibetan inviders, the first day is a pleasant walk following the left side of the Pachu River. The farm road serves as the trek route and passes through a number of very small villages with traditional houses, rice and vegetable fields to left and right of the trail. After about an hour’s walk, the farm road ends at Mitsizamp. Crossing a bridge to the right side of the river, the trail climbs very gradually for another hour through the trees to Zakhapang (2,600m), where nice lunch break-spot in an open and clean space is found. After lunch the trek continues through blue pine forests, following the river closely. Gunyitsawa army outpost appears not long before the end of the first day’s trek. The campsite at Shana, just beyond, is situated at an altitude of 2,820m in a beautiful open space surrounded by blue pine forest. Two traditional houses on the other side of the wide, fast-flowing river make up Shana village. Day 04. Shana-Soi Thangthangka. Altitude: 2,820m/3,580m (Total Alitude Gain: 760m), Duration 8 hours, Distance 16 Km. Level of Difficulty: Long but not difficult, Muddy and bumpy path. This is the longest trekking day, taking eight hours to reach the campsite. The trail continues to follow the river gradually ascending through a mixed forest of blue pine and oak and, later in the afternoon, tall rhododendron trees, birch, fir and maple. Though the trail is rocky and bumpy path, it is not strenuous but in rainy conditions it can be quite muddy. There are several simple wooden bridges to cross and sometimes the river reaches right up to the trail. The lunch break comes after about 4 hours of walking through an ever-narrowing valley: Shing Karap or Thombuzam are popular stopping places at around 3,305m. Several trails leads in other directions, such as the trail to Tremo la, which was the old salt-trading route to Tibet. Not long before reaching the campsite the trail leads you up a ridge with a chorten. Beyond, in the distance, at the end of the valley the Jumolhari Mountain comes into view. Finally, after an 8 hours walk, you reach the campsite. The camp site is located in spacious clearing and directly faces Mount Jumolhari. The view of early morning sun striking the tip of Jumolhari is breathtaking. Mount Jumolhari, at 7326, is among the world’s highest mountains. Day 05. Soi-Thangthangka-Janmgothang Altitude: 3,580m/4000m (Total Altitude Gain: 420m), Duration 4 hours, Distance 11 Km. Level of Difficulty: Short and easy. The third day’s trek is a short one so it is possible to set off a little later and progress at a leisurely pace. When you reach the army outpost you are required to stop and register your entry permits issued by the army headquarters in Thimphu. This matter will be taken care of by your guide. The Pachu River is again to the right and the trail passes through some very small villages. It will take less then four hours to reach Jangothang, Base Camp. The altitude at the base camp is 4,000m and is a beautiful place to spend the night. The imposing, rounded bulk of the Jumolhari Mountain fills the view to the Northeast and in the evening the profile of the ruined Jangothang Dzong, populated by huge ravens creates a mystical atmosphere. The area is rich in bird life. Birds sighted en route include the Fire-tailed Sunbird, Ibisbill, White throated Dipper, Yellow-billed Chough, Rosy Pipit, Snow Pigeon, Blue-fronted Redstart, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Blood Pheasant, Snow Partridge and many more. Day 06. Jangothang (Halt) Today is a day to rest and acclimatize to the altitude. The body also needs times to adjust to the falling temperatures, especially during the night. There is an opportunity to explore the valley and enjoy wonderful views of the mountains. A 2 hour’s leisurely hike will take you to the twin lakes of Tshophu. For those taking the Lingshi variation of the trek, this day trek hike is important. You can also enjoy the view of Cone-shape Jichu Drakey cannot fail to remind the clear blue sky. Jichu Drakey cannot fail to remind you of the Matterhorn from this perspective. It is a sight to hold! Many rank this as the most beautiful mountain in Bhutan. Day 07. Jangothang - Lingshi Altitude: 4000m/3915m (Total Altitude loss: 85m), Duration 5 hours, Distance 12 Km. Level of Difficulty: Strenuous As you climb steeply above the base camp and into an area of glacial moraine, the views of Jichu Drakey and Jomolhari change along with your perspective. As steep and steady climb, sometimes through snow, brings you to the Nylie-La pass at 4890m. From the top of the windy pass enjoy the 380 degree view. Tshering Gang (6,789) also comes into full view. A fairly tough trek over scree or snow leads down to the valley and then follows the side of a ridge towards the impressively situated Lingshi Dzong (4,370m). The camp site is some distance below the Dzong on a flat area near a community building made of stones, at an altitude of 4000m. Day 08. Lingshi - Chebisa Altitude: 13,090ft/3990m (Total Altitude gain/loss: No major elevation gain or loss), Duration 3-4 hours, Distance 10 miles/ 16 Km. Walk past the Lingshi Dzong, perched on the hilltop with a commanding view of the green hills, the Winding River and magnificent peaks. This is a very easy and pleasant walk, through villages and yak herders' camps. Lunch will be served at scenic Goyuna village. After lunch, a short walk to Chebisa village and then camp by the side of a stream at an altitude of 13,090ft/3990 meters. Day 09. Chebisa - Shakapasang Altitude: 13,120ft/4000m (Total Altitude gain/loss: gain 450m), Duration 5 hours, Distance 9 miles/14.5 Km. Today begins with a stiff climb up a ridge to Gobu la pass at an altitude of 14,560ft/4440 meters, taking nearly 4 hours to the top. After the pass descend to a lunch spot, through rhododendron bushes. Afternoon continues along an undulating path, after crossing the stream, through rhododendron forests and across yak herder’s camps. You may see some flocks of Blue Sheep now and then. The Shakapasong valley is one of the most beautiful ones on the trek. Arrive at camp. Day 10. Shakapasang - Robluthang Altitude: 13,645ft/4160m (Total Altitude gain/loss:785m+160 at the end ), Duration 7 to 8 hours, Distance 16 Km. The trek starts with a climb to Jari la pass at an altitude of 4,600 meters. Then descend to Tsharijathang valley, the summer residence of the rare Himalayan Takin (national animal of Bhutan). From here we may have to cross the stream and get wet, as most of the time the footbridge is washed away. After crossing the stream towards the left the trail ascends to Robluthang camp at an altitude of 13,120ft/4000 meters. Day 11. Robluthang - Lemithang Altitude: 13,645ft/4160m (Total Altitude gain/loss:170m ), Duration 7 to 8 hours, Distance 10miles/16 Km. A long climb up to the Shiche la passes (altitude:16,400ft/5000 meters). The views of the mountains from the pass are breathtaking. After the pass descend to Lemithang. The path is quite narrow and you may have to cross the stream and get wet again. The last part of the trek is very interesting, with the view of Mount Gangchey -Ta peak. Arrive at camp with an altitude of 4160 meters. Day 12. Lemithang - Laya. 10 KM. walking time 4 – 5 hours Altitude: 12,465ft/3800m, Duration 7 to 8 hours, Distance 10miles/16 Km. In the morning you wake up with a superb view of Gangchey Ta peak in front of you. The walk to Laya is very pleasant with wonderful views. You will pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds. Arrive at Laya village, the second highest settlement in the country, at an altitude of 3,800 meter. The administrative name for the area is Laya gewog and the main villages are Toko, Pashi, Neilo, Lubcha, Tonfra and Lungo. Laya is also part of the Jigme Dorji National park. Day 13. Rest day at Laya Altitude: 12,465ft/3800m Explore the village. You can go and visit many of the houses in the village. By tradition one can go to any house without an Invitation. A cup of tea or chang (local drink) is always offered. The people in this village are very interesting with a unique dress, language and ornaments. Overnight Camp. Day 14. Laya - Koina Altitude: 10,627ft/3240m, Duration 6 hours, Distance 10 miles/16 Km. Descend to army camp and join the Mo Chu and follow the river until you cross the bridge. After the bridge it’s up and down several times through juniper and fir forests until you reach the camp at Koina at an altitude of 3,240 meters. The campsite at Koina is muddy, with no proper space to put up tents. However there is hut, which is clean and well looked after by a caretaker. There are also two good toilets in a separate solid-looking building. Bears and Takins (National Animal) have been seen here. Day 15. Koina - Gasa Tshachu Altitude: 10,627ft/3240m, Duration 6 hours, Distance 10 miles/16 Km. Walk for half an hour over flat land to the Bele la pass(Alt.12,792ft/3900m) It is downhill all the way to Gasa Tsachu (hot spring). Make a stop for Lunch at Gasa village at the altitude of 9053ft/2,760 meters. After lunch visit the village and Dzong. The Dzong was built in 17th century by the first religious king, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, to protect the valley against Tibetan invaders. Then descend to Gasa Tshachu (hot spring) for camp at an altitude of 2,200 meters. Day 16. Gasa Tshachu rest day After a long trek this is the place to relax. Enjoy a hot spring bath and explore the surrounding area. You may meet a lot of people coming to this Tshachu for treatments. Day 17. Gasa Tshachu - Damji The path continues descending and ascending, through heavily forested areas with lots of wilds orchids. In this area there are leeches so one must be careful especially in the summer. Camp will near the village at Damji an altitude of 2,200 meters. Day 18. Damji – Tashithang - Punakha The last days of trekking will continually follow the Mochu down through heavily forested area until you reach Tashithang at an altitude of 1,620 meters. Our coach will be waiting to drive you to Punakha (15km), following the river all the way. Overnight Punakha. Day 19. Punakha – Thimphu In morning visit Punakha Dzong the old capital of Bhutan. It was built in 1637. Drive to the Dochula for lunch. The Dochula Pass is an altitude of 3,050 meters. On a clear day one can have a magnificent view of the eastern Himalayan range of peaks. Overnight Thimphu. Day 20. Thimphu sightseeing Visit the Memorial Chorten, built in 1974 in memory of the late king of Bhutan; the Indigenous Hospital where traditional medicines are still practiced; the National Library where ancient texts and manuscripts are stored and the painting school where children learn the traditional technique of painting and arts. Day 21. Thimphu - Paro Morning visit the Handicraft Emporium and free time for shopping. After lunch drive to Paro.
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http://www.travelbhutan.com.bt/bhutan-layagasa-trek.php
shangrila
$
Day 1. Arrival To Paro Airport Arrive Paro by Druk Air. The flight into the Bhutan is one of the most Spectacular experience you will ever have. Flying in from the sweltering heat of the plains of India towards the north east, one can witness breathtaking views of a chain of the world's highest and majestic peaks: Mt.Everest, Lhotse, Mt.Mahakalu, Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Chomolhari and Mt.Jichu Drake in Bhutan. Arrival at Paro (alt.7500 ft) you will be met by a representative from Bhutan Travel Adventures and transferred to hotel in Paro. After an early lunch, you'll visit the national museum (Ta-dzong). Once it was the watch tower of Paro valley from 1616 A.D to 1907 and it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley. Also visit the Paro dzong which is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is called Rinpung Dzong the (Fortress of the heap of jewels) stands on a hill above Paro Township. The central tower (utse) of the dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the country. Overnight at Hotel. Day 02. Paro Sightseeing Early breakfast and drive till the feeder road end and begin walk or ride ponies to Taktsang -the famous tiger's nest. (1/2 day program). Taktsang monastery is perched on the face of a cliff 800Mts above the Paro valley. It is a memorable spiritual journey. It was here that the great tantric master Guru Padmasambhava flew in from Tibet on the back of a flying tigress to Bring Buddhist teachings to Bhutan. After lunch visit the national museum housed in the ancient watch tower built around 1651. From here you have a good panoramic view of the Paro valley. The museum is rated among one of the best natural museums in Asia. Evening drive to Thimphu the capital of Bhutan. (60km drive) Day 03. Thimphu City Tour Thimphu at an altitude of 3200 mts. is the modern day capital of Bhutan. Sightseeing, visit the Memorial Chorten commissioned and built by the Queen Grand mother in memory of the late King. Visit the National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts, visit the Traditional medicine centre where old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practiced, the painting school, where young monks learn the art of painting Buddhist thangkas. After 5 PM, visit Tashicho Dzong, "fortress of the glorious dharma" it is the center of government, religion, seat of the Kings Throne room and of the Je Khenpo or Chief abbot. It was rebuilt in the early 1960s after a fire destroyed most of the building.Overnight in Hotel. Day 04. Drive Thimphu - Punakha (77 K.m, 2.5hrs). The olden day Capital of Bhutan, via Dochula pass (3050 mts.). From here on a very clear day one can have a superb view of some of the highest peaks of Bhutan like Gangar Phunsum (7497 mts.), Jeje Khang (7158 mts), Zongaphu gang (7060 mts.), Table mountain, Masa khang (7194 mts.) and gcheyta (6794 mts.). The descent from the pass is through temperate forest colored with rhododendrons and magnolias down to the semi tropical zone of Orange, banana and cactuses. The valley is situated in a rain shadow area and is lower than most midland valleys. Visit the Punakha Dzong and bazzar. Evening drive on to Wangdue, before crossing the bridge to Wangdue, the Wangdiphodrang Dzong strategically located on a ridge greets you. Overnight in hotel. Day 05. Wangdue – Gangtay (50 kms 1.5hr) After leisure breakfast proceed towards the valley of Gangtay. Gangtay is one of the most beautiful spot in Bhutan. The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without trees is extremely rare experience. Visit the GangtayManastery perched atop a hill surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 gomchens who take care of the monastery. Gangtay monastery is the one and only biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan headed by the Gangtay Tulku (the 9th reincarnation of Pema Lingpa). Phobjikha in Gangtay is also home to rare black necked cranes (grus nigricllis) who migrate from the Central Asiatic Plateau of Tibet to escape the harsh winter. Night in same hotel. Day 06. Wangdue - Thimphu Drive to Thimphu after visit to Wangdiphodrang Dzong. After arrival to Thimphu visit the National memorial chorten which was built in 1974 in Memory of the third king; visit the Folk Heritage museum, arts and crafts, and visit Chang Gangkha Monastery. In the evening you can drive to the viewpoint from which you can view the whole Thimphu City. On the way you can also stop and visit a small zoo to see the National animal of Bhutan, the Takin. Overnight at hotel. Day 07. Thimphu - Paro Return drive to Paro. In Paro visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 Kms. up the valley. Built in 1647 by Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal, the Dzong was destroyed by fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts, village and on a clear day view the spectacular Mt. Chomolhari (7,314 meters). Drive back south and visit Kyichu Temple, which, according to Bhutanese tradition, was initially built by a Tibetan King, Songtsen Gonpo, in the seventh century. Return back to hotel for lunch. After Lunch Dungtshi Lhakhang founded by Drubthop Thongthong Gyelpo (Iron chain bridge builder) in the 12th century. Then walk in the market. Over night at hotel. Day 08. Departure from Paro international Airport Tashi Delek.
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http://www.travelbhutan.com.bt/bhutan-last-shangrila-tours.php
distinction
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Day 1. Arrive Paro (By Druk Air flight) Your Guide from Bhutan Travel Adventures will receive you at the airport and drive you the short distance to the hotel. After Tea, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 by the Great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m). On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo. This Monastery is one of the 108 monasteries built across the Himalayan region by the Tibetan King to subdue the Demons that lay across the Himalayan region. The rest of the monasteries lie in other neighboring countries. Dinner and over night in Hotel. Day 02. Paro, Excursion to Taktsang Monastery After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, 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. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort. After lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning "Heap of Jewels"), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. In the evening, drive to Thimphu. Over night in Hotel. Day 03. Paro - Thimphu Sightseeing After breakfast, visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices, and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). We finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Over night in Hotel. Day 04. Thimphu Sightseeing. After breakfast, visit Folk Heritage Museum, Textile Museum, Changangkha Lhakhang and Philatelic office. After lunch, visit Silver smith at work and Hand made paper factory. Over night in Hotel. Day 05. Thimphu - Punakha (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. On the way, stop a while to view Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. Lunch at Punakha. After lunch, 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. In the evening, hike to Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery. Overnight in Hotel. Day 06. Punakha – Gangtey After breakfast drive to the beautiful valley of Gangtey. Enroute sightseeing in the valley of Wangdiphodrang includes: visit to Wangdiphodrang Dzong 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. Drive further to Gangtey. On arrival check in to Gangtey Gompa House. Visit Gangtey Gompa Monastery, from outside. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. It is a Nyingmapa monastery and is affiliated to other Nyingmapa monasteries including Tamshing in Bumthang. Explore Phobjikha valley, famous for the Black Necked Cranes during winter. Dinner and overnight at the Guest House. Day 07. Gangtey – Trongsa - Bumthang Bumthang After breakfast, drive to Trongsa. Visit Trongsa Dzong, the most impressive dzong of Bhutan, built in its present form in 1644 by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Shabdrung to unify eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family and first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong. Then Visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower. The chapel inside the Ta Dzong is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal. After Lunch, drive to Bumthang. Over night in Hotel. Day 08. Bumthang Sightseeing After breakfast, visit Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667 and then visit Lamey Goemba, a large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi. Visit Jambay Lhakhang, built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet in the year 659 on the same day as Kichu Lhakhang in Paro. The temple was visited by Guru Rimpoche during his visit to Bumthang and was renovated by Sindhu Raja after Guru Rimpoche restored his life force. Under the temple is said to be a lake in which Guru Rimpoche hid several Terma. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here. After lunch, Visit Chakhar (Iron Castle) Lhakhang, it is the site of the palace of the Indian King, the Sindhu Raja who invited Guru Rimpoche to Bumthang. The Original palace was made of Iron and hence the name Chakhar. The saint Dorji Lingpa built the Current building in 14th century. Its correct name is Dechen Phodrang. We then visit Kurjey Lhakhang that is named after body print of Guru Rimpoche, built in 1652 by Minjur Tempa. Visit Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. In the evening, visit Membarstho which literally means, “The burning Lake”. Over night in Hotel. Day 09. Excursion to Ura valley & back to Bumthang After breakfast, Excursion to the beautiful valley of Ura. Dinner and over night in Hotel. Day 10. Bumthang –Wangdiphodrang After breakfast, drive to Wangdiphodrang. Picnic lunch will be served on the way. In the evening, visit a Farm House. Over night in Hotel. Day 11. Wangdiphodrang -Thimphu (212 kms) After breakfast , drive to Thimphu. After lunch, excursion to Tango Monastery. Over night in Hotel. Day 12. Thimphu After breakfast, excursion to Cheri Monastery. After lunch, Visit Mini Zoo and Sangay Gang view point. In the evening, the stroll in the town/visit Handicraft emporium. Over night in Hotel. Day 13. Paro After breakfast, drive to Chelila Pass to view the scenery. After lunch, visit to a Bhutanese Farm House. Dinner and over night in Hotel. Day 14. Departure Early morning, drive to Airport and Farewell.
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http://www.travelbhutan.com.bt/bhutan-journey-of-distinction.php
hidden
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Day 1. Bangkok-Paro Depart Bangkok international airport by our druk-Air (Royal Bhutan Airline). On arrival at Paro international airport, you will be received by our representative and escorted you to Hotel/Resort. After an early lunch, drive to Drugyel 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 from the approach road to Drukgyel Dzong. Then you’ll visit the national museum (Ta-dzong). Once it was the watch tower of Paro valley from 1616 A.D to 1907 and it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley. Also visit the Paro Rinpung dzong (fortress of the heap of Jewels) which is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (utse) of the dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the country. Then the dzong was built in 1645 A.D by Shebdrung Nawang Namgyel. Then walk through the Nemi Zam (Traditional covered bridge. Overnight and dinner at Lodge/Hotel. Day 02. Hike to Taksang (Tiger Nest) then in the evening drive to Thimphu Right after the breakfast drive towards the road point to Taktshang. Taktshang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries. Taktshang means "Tiger's Nest," so named because Guru Rimpoche reportedly flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a flying tiger in the late centuries of the first millennium. The monastery is perched on a cliff nearly 3,000 ft above the Paro valley floor. 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. If you still feel like hiking then you can take another hour to reach the temple. Then return back and drive to Thimphu (about 2 hours drive). Check in at the Hotel. Day 03. Thimphu to Wangdue via Punakha After breakfast, go to Bhutan National Bank for currency exchange and then you can get an opportunity to purchase exquisite collector Bhutanese stamps. Then drive to Punakha. (The ancient capital of Bhutan) is 3 hours drive from Thimphu across Dochu-La Pass. (Alt. 11,400 ft) snow-capped eastern Himalayan ranges can be seen on a clear day. Prayer flags will flutter you over the pass deeper into the essence of Bhutan. Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha valley. After lunch visit the Punakha dzong, the winter residence of the Je khempo (chief abbot). Punakha dzong is the second dzong system built in Bhutan by Shebdrung Nawang Namgyel in the year 1637. The Dzong is said to be the most beautiful of dzong in Bhutan; it is an outstanding structure with intense artwork. Then visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong, sit majestically on a steep ridge over looking the highway that forks to the east and south of Bhutan. Then drive to Resort/Hotel for the night. Day 04. Wangdue- Trongsa via Gangtey valley. Today drive early to Phobjikha valley, A broad glacial valley (10’000 ft) on the flanks of the Black Mountains, Phobjikha with it’s gently slop is a place of astonishing beauty described as” the most beautiful valley in the most beautiful country of Himalayas”. Every winter, the rare and beautiful black-necked cranes return from Tibet to the Gangtey valley where they are protected. Gangtey also has a very interesting Nyingmapa monastery, the only one of the only one of its kind west of the Black Mountain range. The monastery is renovated by 9th Gangtey Tulku Rimpoche. After lunch at Hotel Dewachen then Drive to Trongsa. On the stop Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Katmandu’s Swayambhunath stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18 century by Lama Shida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Then drive further south of Trongsa valley is Eundu Chholing, the winter palace of the first king, Sir Ugyen Wangchuck. Day 05. Trongsa - Bumthang In the morning visit Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648, it was seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings ruled the country from this ancient seat. All the five kings were invested as Trongsa Penlop(“Governor”) prior to ascending the throne. Presently the administrative seat of the district and the home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the dzong offers magical wonder. The watchtower, located directly above the dzong, has on display many interesting armors and other weapons of war used by ancient warriors. valley’s are in view amidst hundreds of prayers flags; blessings abound. Yotung La Pass is District border between Bumthang district and Trongsa district. Bumthang is general name for the four valleys of Ura, Chumey, Tang and Chokhor and is considered to be one of the most beautiful and sacred valleys of Bhutan. These four valleys of Bumthang are dotted with temples, monasteries, prayer flag and stupas. Wherever you visit, myth, legend, folktale and superstition surround you. The traditional stone houses with colorful paintings, intricately carved wooden structures and lush evergreen conifer forest add to the beauty and charm. Day 06. Bumthang Valley The valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the kingdom. It is also the religious heartland where many saints and masters meditated leaving their imprints as sacred places of worship and pilgrimage Tales of Pedmasambhava dominate these holy shrines. After breakfast, visit Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667 and is said to be the largest Dzong in Bhutan. Then drive to Jampa Lhakhang which is built by Tibetain King Songtshen Gompa in 7th century and then drive to Kurji Lhakhang were body imprints of Guru Rimpoche remains preserved upon a rock. Then short hike to Tamzhing Monastery (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. If the weather is clear, you will enjoy the view of green valley, dotted with hundreds tempals, thousand flags and beautiful chamkhar river flow through the valley. Day 07. Excursion to Ugyen Choling Drive to Ugyen Cholling, Drive 20 miles from your hotel and 13 miles of which is on the unpaved road. We will also stop at a roadside temple and a nunnery, ending in the Tang valley and the village of Kesum. From the road head we have a one-hour hike over a suspension footbridge, through farm fields and cluster villages, up a “hill” to the mystical Ugyen Choling Palace. Ugyen Choling place is a national treasure, privately owned by the same family for hundreds of years. It’s remote location makes it one of the less frequently visited historical sites in Bhutan, hosting fewer than two hundred guests per year. The best part of the Palace is the quaint museum housing permanent exhibits on three floors in the main building and the Utse, the central tower. Traditional living quarters are recreated to capxure the realistic ambiance of the ancient lifestyles and conditions of the households. Everyday kitchen and weaving utensils, war weapons--including petrified yak dung to make gunpowder--tools and farming implements are the main part of the exhibits. On the way back visit the only Buddhist Institute who provides degree in Buddhist philosophy for women. Day 08. Day Excursion to Ura valley Today Then Drive to Ura valley which lies at an altitude of 10,000 feet. There is about 40-50 closely packed houses alongside cobblestone streets that give the village a medieval atmosphere. The women in Ura village cover their head with white cloth piece to protect from the harsh cold wind and carries sheepskin (behind their back) used as cushion and as well as to protect their cloth from the loads they carry and in the evening back to Hotel in Jakar. Day 09. Bumthang To Wangdue Depart Bumthang towards the west; 8 hour drive today to Wangdue; rest in your vehicle and photo stops and Lunch at Changibe. Today is a rest day in the van. Arrive Wangdue. Overnight in Resort. Depart today to Thimphu for Bhutanese handicraft purchase and lunch. Continue onward to Paro and for overnight at Hotel. Day 10. Paro valley Today drive early to Paro, visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 Kms. up the valley. Built in 1647 by Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal, the Dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts, village and on a clear day view the spectacular Mt. Chomolhari (7,314 meters). Drive back south and visit Kyichu Temple, which, according to Bhutanese tradition, was initially built by a Tibetan King, Songtsen Gonpo, in the seventh century. Free evening, so you can explore the Paro Town and the Villages near by your hotel. Overnight at the same hotel. Day 11. Paro to Abroad Depart Paro airport
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http://www.travelbhutan.com.bt/bhutan-hidden-kingdom.php
yaksa
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Day 01. Arrive Paro (By Druk Air) The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks, give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. On arrival at Paro international airport, you will be received by our representative and will escort you to hotel. In the afternoon visit is Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. A short distance further is one of the innumerable archery grounds. (Archery is the national sport of Bhutan). If we are lucky, we may catch a match in action. Day 02. Hike to Taksang (Tiger Nest) then Paro valley sightseeing Right after the breakfast drive towards the road point to Taktshang. Taktshang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries. Taktshang means "Tiger's Nest," so named because Guru Rimpoche reportedly flew to the site of the monastery on the backof a flying tiger in the late centuries of the first millennium. The monastery is perched on a cliff nearly 3,000 ft above the Paro valley floor. This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly snnic! It takes about two hours to reach the cafeteria, which gives a breathtaking view of the Tiger’s Nest. If you still feel like hiking then you can take another hour to reach the temple. Then return back to hotel and free evening. Day 03. Drukgyel Dzong(Paro) - Shana Starting form Drukgyel Dzong, the fortress that once guarded Paro Valley against Tibetan invaders, the first day is a pleasant walk following the left side of the Pachu River. The farm road serves as the trek route and passes through a number of very small villages with traditional houses, rice and vegetable fields to left and right of the trail. After about an hour’s walk, the farm road ends at Mitsizamp. Crossing a bridge to the right side of the river, the trail climbs very gradually for another hour through the trees to Zakhapang (2,600m), where nice lunch break-spot in an open and clean space is found. After lunch the trek continues through blue pine forests, following the river closely. Gunyitsawa army outpost appears not long before the end of the first day’s trek. The campsite at Shana, just beyond, is situated at an altitude of 2,820m in a beautiful open space surrounded by blue pine forest. Two traditional houses on the other side of the wide, fast-flowing river make up Shana village. Day 04. Shana-Soi Thangthangka This is the longest trekking day, taking eight hours to reach the campsite. The trail continues to follow the river gradually ascending through a mixed forest of blue pine and oak and, later in the afternoon, tall rhododendron trees, birch, fir and maple. Though the trail is rocky and bumpy path, it is not strenuous but in rainy conditions it can be quite muddy. There are several simple wooden bridges to cross and sometimes the river reaches right up to the trail. The lunch break comes after about 4 hours of walking through an ever-narrowing valley: Shing Karap or Thombuzam are popular stopping places at around 3,305m. Several trails lead in other directions, such as the trail to Tremo la, which was the old salt-trading route to Tibet. Not long before reaching the campsite the trail leads you up a ridge with a chorten. Beyond, in the distance, at the end of the valley the Jumolhari Mountain comes into view. Finally, after an 8 hours walk, you reach the campsite. The camp site is located in spacious clearing and directly faces Mount Jumolhari. The view of early morning sun striking the tip of Jumolhari is breathtaking. Mount Jumolhari, at 7326, is among the world's highest mountains.
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http://www.travelbhutan.com.bt/bhutan-yaksa-trek.php
drukpath
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Day 01. Bangkok-Paro Depart Bangkok international airport by our druk-Air (Royal Bhutan Airline). On arrival at Paro international airport, you will be received by our representative and escorted you to hotel. After an early lunch, you'll visit the national museum (Ta-dzong). Once it was the watch tower of Paro valley from 1616 A.D to 1907 and it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley. Also visit the Paro dzong which is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (utse) of the dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the country. The dzong was built in 1645 A.D. Overnight at Hotel. Day 02. Excusrion to Tiger's Nest Right after the breakfast drive towards the road point to Taktshang. Taktshang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries is perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. Taktshang means “Tiger’s Nest,” so named because Guru Rimpoche reportedly flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a flying tiger in the late centuries of the first millennium. The monastery is perched on a cliff nearly 3,000 ft above the Paro valley floor. 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. If you still feel like hiking then you can take another hour to reach the temple. Then return back and drive to Thimphu (about 2 hours drive). Check in Hotel. Day 03. Paro- Jele Dzong (11,270ft/3436m) Time 4-5 hours Distance, 5 miles -8 Km, Altitude gain 3503 ft/106m Altitude Loss At museum you will meet your trekking staff, the horsemen and pack animals. At the start of a trek the staff always takes some time to get organized, so don’t be in rush to arrive early at camp- the luggage will undoubtedly behind you! Today’s trek climbs non-stop for over 1065m, before dropping down over 80m to camp. This is the major effort at this altitude, so take your time and drink as much as possible. The trail winds its way steeply through blue pine forest and around several farm houses and fenced apple used during the apple harvest-several times. The trail continues steeply up through the forest Just before reaching a small pass(11,540 ft/3518m) below the dzong ,the route opens up a bit, and tonight’s small campsite (11,270ft/3436m) is a little way down from the pass. You may be able to hear the monks playing instruments in the Lhakhang during one of their prayer sessions. Day 04. Jele Dzong – Tshokam Time 4-5 hours, Distance 5.5 miles/9 km, Altitude gain 1726ft/526m The trek starts with a short climb and then passes through a thick alpine forest of rhododendron and gradually climbs till we reach camp. You may see yak herders around your campsite. After 3hr pass a possible campsite (Dorjo Lakha or Jangchu Lakha (12,365 ft/3770m).After another 1 hour climb, the better campsite, Tshokam (12995 ft/3962m), is reached ,just after a small saddle. Day 05 Tshokam – Jimilang Tsho Time 6-7 hours, Distance 6 miles/10 Km, Altitude gain 700ft/213m (or 1475m/450 if opting for the higher trail at the end), Altitude loss. The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the views of the mountains and valley are beautiful. Our camp is close to Lake Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout, and if lucky, you may enjoy well-prepared trout for dinner. Day 06. Jimilangtso – Simkotra. (4-5 hours) Campsite 10,496ft/3200m) Time 3-4 hr, Distance 4.5 miles/7 km, Altitude gain/loss several small ups and downs. Walk around the lake to its far (western) end. There is a split in the trail. One branch is that used by the packed animal. The other soon starts to clime up above the lake. There is some steep climbing through bushes, but later good view will open up. An exposed cliff trail leads to trail leads to a small saddle (13450fts/4100m) from here, you can see the next lake below (Jayne tsho or Jane tsho; 12975fts/3956m; 1.5-2hrs), a nice campsite, which may be occupied by yak headers. From the lake a wide stone path between rhododendron bushes traverses a valley with a small lake below. There are lake just above, dung tsho and dung tsho Sama, regarded as male and female. The local people believe that the second (female) lake has a powerful spirit, who gets easily provoked if anything dirty gets near the lake. If this happens, bad weather will ensue, which only can be stopped by endless prayer. Climb up the ridge and look for a cairn. After 1hrs a viewing point at 13610fts/4150m reached, with a lake below, simkotra tsho (13415fts/4090 m) which some stone ruins nearby. This is tonight camp site. Day 07. Simkotra - Phajoding (4-5 hours) Time-5hrs; distance-6miles/10kms; altitude gain-755fts/230m to the viewing point; altitude loss-1330fts/405m to phajoding (or 4190fts/1277 m to radio tower) Day 9. Phajoding – Thimphu. The trail is good but there are seven minor climb to small passes before you finally look down to Phajoding monastery and Thimphu. Monks frequently passes here on their way to meditate at the scared lake Jimilang tsho. When climbing up pass number five-Thujedraj-Gangkar Punsum become visible. If you are lucky with the weather, the rest of the Bhutan Himalayas can been seen .From the pass climb 250m up to a small rocky outlook (14170fts/4320m) on the left side. It is covered with prayer flags, and there are also traces of fires on the top. This place was formerly used for sky burial, and has an incredible view over the whole of the Bhutan Himalayas. After this excursion descend a little, then climb to pass number six (13515fts/4120m).the final pass is Dochula (13,430 ft/4120m), and is very windy. There is good view over the last part of the trek: a steep decent to Phajoding monastery and finally Thimphu. Camping at Phajoding (12100fts/3690m) is definitely worthwhile. Day 08. Phajoding – Thimphu Time 2 – 3 hours, Distance 2.5 miles /4Km Altitude gain oft/0m Altitude loss 2860ft/872m or 3705ft/1130m Today the trails start with the steep descending slowly through thick forest until Chhokhortse Gompa (9870ft/3010m) in a clearing. Just before the gompa there is a model of a hot stone bath in the ground. A steep, 200mm descent leads to radio tower, past hundreds of prayer flags put up by people from Thimphu. This is the transmission tower for Bhutan’s only radio station, BBS. From here, drive down to Thimphu, passing the Thimphu Zoo, where some Takins (National Animal of Bhutan) can be seen. Then say good bye to trekking team and then drive to hotel Pedling. In the aftnoon, first thing you will visit is the Memorial Chorten which was built in memory of the third king in 1974.You can further go inside the Chorten and enjoy the most exotic statues of the gods. You can then visit the Indigenous hospital, the Painting school where the art of ancient painting is used by the students. Then you can visit the Tashichhodzong from outside which is the seat of the Royal Government and central monastic body. In the evening you can walk in the town and buy small souvenirs back to home. Day 09. Thimphu - Paro Then drive to Paro, In Paro visits the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 16 Kms. up the valley. Built in 1647 by Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal, the Dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts, village and on a clear day view the spectacular Mt. Chomolhari (7,314 meters). Drive back south and visit Kyichu Temple, which, according to Bhutanese tradition, was initially built by a Tibetan King, Songtsen Gonpo, in the seventh century. Return back to hotel for lunch. After Lunch Dungtshi Lhakhang founded by Drubthop Thongthong Gyelpo (Iron chain bridge builder) in the 12th century. Then walk in the market. Day 10. Paro-BKK Good bye and Tashi Delek
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landmark
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Day 1. Baghdogra - Phuntsholing Nearest airport for Phuntsholing, Bhutan boarder town is Bagdogra in North of Indian state of West Bengal is approximately, 3 hours drive to Phuntsholing. There are Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, and Deccan Air, etc services operating from Bagdogra linking Kolkata, Guwahati and New Delhi. Today our representative will receive you on arrival at Bagdogra Airport with Khadar(white silk cloth). After a drive of about 3 hours along a road lined with lush green tea gardens you will reach Phuntsholing, the gate way to Bhutan, which lies directly at the base of the Himalayan foothills. This small modern town in the south is the gateway of Bhutan for overland travelers. Like all other border towns, it is only a prelude. Phuntsholing is fascinating mixture of Bhutanese and Indian, a lively centre for the mingling people, languages, costumes and goods. Over night stay in Thimphu. Day 02. Phuntsholing - Paro Today right after breakfast, proceed to Paro, we will make our first stop on top of a low hill at Kharbandi, a small monastery situated in a garden of tropical plants and flowers, overlooks the town and surrounding plains of India was build by Royal Grandmother, Ashi Phuntsho Chhoden in 1967. From Phuntsholing, the road winds north, over the southern foothills, through lush forested valleys and around the rugged north- south ridges of the inner Himalaya to the central valleys of Thimphu and Paro. It is a scenic journey; forests festooned with orchids cover the mountains on either side and exciting hairpin curves greet travellers with colourful sculptures of Tashi Tagye (the eight suspicious sign of Buddhism). There is one of the largest Hydroelectricity on the way, which is the biggest export from Bhutan. There is also chapcha pass (2800 Meters high/ 9,185ft) then Paro is 2300 M high and is about 6 hours’ drive. Over night at the hotel. Day 03. Hike to Takshang (Tiger Nest) then in the evening drive to Thimphu Right after the breakfast drive towards the road point to Taktshang. Taktshang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries. Taktshang means "Tiger's Nest," so named because Guru Rimpoche reportedly flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a flying tiger in the late centuries of the first millennium. The monastery is perched on a cliff nearly 3,000 ft above the Paro valley floor. 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. If you still feel like hiking then you can take another hour to reach the temple. Then return back and drive to Thimphu (about 2 hours drive). Check in at the Hotel. Day 04. Thimphu to Wangdue view Punakha. After breakfast, go to Bhutan National Bank for currency exchange and then you can get an opportunity to purchase exquisite collector Bhutanese stamps. Then drive to Punakha. (The ancient capital of Bhutan) is 3 hours drive from Thimphu across Dochu-La Pass. (Alt. 11,400 ft) snow-capped eastern Himalayan ranges can be seen on a clear day. Prayer flags will flutter you over the pass deeper into the essence of Bhutan. Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha valley. After lunch visit the Punakha dzong, the winter residence of the Je khempo (chief abbot). Punakha dzong is the second dzong system built in Bhutan by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel in the year 1637. The Dzong is said to be the most beautiful of dzong in Bhutan; it is an outstanding structure with intense artwork. Then visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong, sit majestically on a steep ridge over looking the highway that forks to the east and south of Bhutan. Over night at the hotel. Day 05. Wangdue- Trongsa via Gangtey valley Today drive early to Phobjikha valley, A broad glacial valley (10’000 ft) on the flanks of the Black Mountains, Phobjikha with it’s gently slop is a place of astonishing beauty described as” the most beautiful valley in the most beautiful country of Himalayas”. Every winter, the rare and beautiful black-necked cranes return from Tibet to the Gangtey valley where they are protected. Gangtey also has a very interesting Nyingmapa monastery, the only one of the only one of its kind west of the Black Mountain range. The monastery is renovated by 9th Gangtey Tulku Rimpoche. After lunch Drive to Trongsa. On the stop Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Katmandu’s Swayambhunath stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18 century by Lama Shida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Then drive further south of Trongsa valley is Eundu Chholing, the winter palace of the first king, Sir Ugyen Wangchuck. We will spend one night in the place. Day 06. Eundu Chholing (Trongsa) - Zhemgang From Eundu Chholing it is fruitful to take a side trip to Zhemgang and the Tingtibi Valley. A three hours drive from Eundu Chholing to Zhemgang takes you along the valley of Mangdi Chu. En-route you can see the Baling village. Leaving the Mangdi Chu, you ascend to Zhemgang on a hillock. The quaint small town has a Dzong and spectacular views of mountains and valleys. Zhemgang Dzongkha derives its name from a 12th century monastery built by Lam Zhang Dorji Dragpa, a scholar-sage of Drukpa Kagyud School according to a Bhutanese researcher. The Dechen Yantse dzong, in 1980, stands on the site where Lam Zhang built a monastery in 12th century. The monastery was named "Zhemgang" or immeasurable mound based on the name of the founder who visited Bhutan from Zhamling in Tibet in his mission to propagate Buddhism."Zhemgang, then called as Khengrig Namsum in olden times derived its name from Zhemgang, different pronunciation changed the name into Zhemgang," the researcher at the national library said. The monastery, which was later rebuilt as a dzong in the 17thcentury had a significant role in the evolution and shaping of the history of Khengrig Namsum. It has witnessed the major events of triumphs and blunders, withstood intrigues, a sacrilegious murder and cruel jolts of nature in the history of Zhemgang. The dzong has witnessed the unsuccessful attempts to kill its founder, Lam Zhang, the final gruesome killing of Lam Zhang, civil strife amongst the various chieftains and the final consolidation under the central government. As a part of the national museum is effort to validate and verify the significance of dzongs in Bhutan, Dr Yonten Dargye, who researched on Zhemgang dzong said that the dzong had important political and religious significance in the history of Khengrig Namsum, the three regions of Zhemgang. Region was divided into multiple kingdoms with as many as nine Dungs, two Khoches, and four Ponpos, (feudal chieftains of noble descent). The polity of the region was marked with civil strife and the struggle for power amongst the local chieftains. Nyakhar dung who tried to establish hegemony in the region was notably the most powerful whose power was a threat to other local chieftains. The Tingtibi valley is reached by a descent to the Mangdi Chu which is further South of Zhemgang. Overnight at the local Guest House/Farm house to get real feelings of Khengpa. People in Zhemgang region are called Khengpa. Day 07. Drive back to Trongsa through same highway. On the way we will stop in the Beling, Taksila, Langthel and Dang Dung. The landscapes are attractive and there is the possibility of seeing flora and fauna on the way to the village. These villages are also living cultural museum of Bhutan. Over night at Trongsa. Day 08. Trongsa - Bumthang In the morning visit Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648, it was seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings ruled the country from this ancient seat. All the five kings were invested as Trongsa Penlop(Governor) prior to ascending the throne. Presently the administrative seat of the district and the home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the dzong offers magical wonder. The watchtower, located directly above the dzong, has on display many interesting armors and other weapons of war used by ancient warriors. Continue onwards to Jakar. Overnight: Lodge Rinchenling /Swiss Guest house. Bumthang valley (5 1/2 hour drive). After breakfast we depart towards Bumthang passing over Pele la (11,000 ft) And Yotungla pass. Here we get our first glimpse of the Black mountains. High Himalayan Mountains Such As Jumolhari are in view amidst hundreds of prayers flags; blessings abound. As we continue onwards we begin to get our first glimpse of the incredible massive dzong - Trongsa dzong; an architectural Wonder! Trongsa medieval watchtower and the great Mangde Chu (river) enhance Trongsa dzong in its exceptional beauty and grandeur. Presently the administrative seat of the district and the home of the monastic school. Built at split-levels on a narrow spur, the dzong offers magical wonder. The watchtower, located directly above the dzong, has on display many interesting armors and other weapons of war used by ancient warriors. Continue onwards to Jakar. Overnight at Hotel/Lodge. Day 09. Bumthang Valley (Drive to Ugyen Choling Palace) The valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the kingdom. It is also the religious heartland where many saints and masters meditated leaving their imprints as sacred places of worship and pilgrimage Tales of Pedmasambhava dominate these holy shrines. In the morning visit, Jampa Lhakhang which is built by Tibetain King Songtshen Gompa in 7th century and then drive to Kurji Lhakhang were body imprints of Guru Rimpoche remain s preserved upon a rock. Then short hike to Tamzhing Monastery. If the weather is clear, you will enjoy the view of green valley, dotted with hundreds tempals, thousand flags and beautiful chamkhar river flow through the valley. The valley is also called mini Switzerland of Bhutan. Then Drive to Swiss Guest House for pure westerner lunch which is cooked by the proprietor himself. Then drive to Ugyen Cholling, by noon we should all be traveling further into the remote eastern side of Bhutan to the Tang valley. Our journey finds us driving 20 miles, 13 miles of which is on an unpaved road. We stop at a roadside temple and a nunnery, ending in the Tang valley and the village of Kesum. From the roadhead we have a one-hour hike over a suspension footbridge, through farm fields and cluster villages, up a “hill” to the mystical Ugyen Choling Palace where we will spend nights in the owner’s guesthouse or in the Dzong. Ugyen Choling Palace built 17 th century by Deb Tsokey Dorji, a descendant of Buddhist Saint Dorje Lingpa. Ugyen Choling is a national treasure, privately owned by the same family for hundreds of years. Its remote location makes it one of the less frequently visited historical sites in Bhutan, hosting fewer than two hundred guests per year. One of the owners wrote a book on Bhutanese folk tales of the Yeti and her brother is the property’s caretaker.The best part of the Palace is the quaint museum housing permanent exhibits on three floors in the main building and the Utse, the central tower. Traditional living quarters are recreated to capture the realistic ambiance of the ancient lifestyles and conditions of the households. Everyday kitchen and weaving utensils, war weapons--including petrified yak dung to make gunpowder--tools and farming implements are the main part of the exhibits. Day 10. Bumthang - Mongar Today on the way visit the only Buddhist Institute who provides degree in Buddhist philosophy for women. It is founded by 9th Gangtey Tulku Rinpoche. Then Drive towards eastern Bhutan. On then pass through Ura valley which lies at an altitude of 10,000 feet. There is about 40-50 closely packed houses alongside cobblestone streets that give the village a medieval atmosphere. The women in Ura village cover their head with white cloth piece to protect from the harsh cold wind and carries sheepskin (behind their back) used as cushion and as well as to protect their cloth from the loads they carry. The differences between Eastern and Western Bhutan are far greater than the high pass that separates them. Perhaps like the Scots and the English, there are subtle but marked differences. History has played a significant role with the kingdom only being unified with the east at the end of the last century and prior to that many wars separated each side. Thrumshing La pass and a seven-hour drive separate Ura from Mongar in the East. The journey is one of the most beautiful in all the Himalayas. The descent from Thrumshing La to Lingmithang is astonishing for several reasons. The road drops from 3,800 meters to 650 meters in only a few hours passing from pine forest through semi-tropical forest to orange groves. Carved out of the side of the mountain, in parts the road's edge borders a sheer cliff which drops thousands feet. Arriving at Mongar marks the beginning of your eastern Bhutan experience. Eastern Bhutan is famous for its fine weaving. Weavers using backstrap looms produce cotton and silk cloth in incredible colors and patterns. Often natural colors are made from bark, leaves and flowers.The predominant ethnic group in Eastern Bhutan are Sharchops, who are generally followers of the Nyingma tradition of Buddhism and tend to be shorter and stockier than people in other parts of the country. Another characteristic of Eastern Bhutan is that the cities and towns are generally built on mountain slopes, a notable exception being Samdrup Jongkhar which is located in a valley on the Indian border. Sharchopkha is the predominant language of the region, though there are local variations. Some of the finest weaving villages in Bhutan are found in the Mongar area Over night at Hotel Wangchuk which is one of best hotel in the eastern Region of Bhutan. Day 11. Lhuntshe and back to Mongar Lhuentse is one of Bhutan's remotest and least developed districts, and the landscape in the north is dominated by the Himalayas. The district is famous for its beautiful and intricate woven cloth. Lhuntshe is famous for its fine weaving. Weavers using blackstrap looms produce cotton and silk cloth in incredible colors and patterns. Often natural colors are made from bark, leaves and flowers.There are no shops selling it, but no doubt pieces can be bought by visiting the houses of weavers - the village of Khoma is an especially good place to look. Shangrila, on the main street - a very simple guest house offering very basic amenities. Khoma - an hour walk from the main road to Lhuentse Dzong - famous for its intricate woven cloth called Kishu Tharas. Then drive back to Mongar and over night same hotel. Day 12. Mongar - Trashigang After Breakfast drive to Trashigang, today the rides take us over Kori la pass 3000 meters. After the pass the road is very beautiful as it has lots of soft turns called Yadi loops through beautiful pine trees. The pretty, lively town of Trashigang is a good jumping-off point to visit the kingdom's wild east. Few travellers make it here but, as long as you're happy to leave behind the relative comforts of Thimphu and Paro, exploring this neck of the woods can have its rewards. This is the most densely populated part of Bhutan but also most definitely the hinterland. Locals are fond of a tipple, and bodies sleeping off their excesses at the side of the road aren't an unusual sight. This is a good place to sample the local arra and soak up the atmosphere (in that order). Villagers come to town on holy days, which occur on the first, 10th and 15th of the Bhutanese month. After selling their produce they get stuck into the arra and paint the town an unforgettable Bhutanese shade of red. Trashigang Dzong sits on a jagged piece of land jutting out from the town and is the first landmark that can be seen from the road winding up to Trashigang. The Dzong was built in 1659 and commands a spectacular view over the valley for which it is the administrative center. The Dzong is significant for the fact that it only has one courtyard. Day 13. Trashigang to Trashi Yangtse Chorten Kora - an impressive stupa similar to the famous Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu. Hand made wooden bowls (dappa) are a wonderful and practical souvenir. The halves of the bowl fit tighly together, so they can be used to carry cooked food, which is their function in Bhutan. However, they also make excellent salad or cookie bowls. Dappa are a speciality of the Trashi Yagtse region, and it is possible to purchase them directly from the workshops of dappa makers. In the Afternoon we will drive to Bomdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1995 in order to protect large areas of virtually untouched Eastern Himalayan ecosystems ranging from warm broadleaved forest to alpine scree slopes. It partly overlaps with the earlier Kulong Chhu National Park which mainly covered alpine and subalpine habitats. Altitudes in the sanctuary range from 1500 m in the south to over 6400m in the north. The northern parts include glaciers, snow peaks scree slopes, alpine pastures and scrub and glacial lakes and valleys. The central parts include ridges and valleys covered in scrubland, conifer forest and broadleaved forest. The southern and lower part consist more ridges, valleys and river gorges. Most are covered in broadleaved forest. Flatter areas have often been cleared for agricultural land and villages. Covering much of Trashi Yangtse district, this 1,550 sq km reserve provides sanctuary to rare animals such as blue sheep, snow leopards, red panda, musk deer and Himalayan black bear. Today we will stay in the farm house and you will have nice feeling of eastern Bhutan (people and the customs). Day 14. Trashigang-Samdrup Jongkhar (180 Km) Today we have to start very early; today we will pass through Sherabtse University in Bhutan. Then to Khaling weaving center then finally to Samdrup Jongkhar the exit/enter point of Bhutan. Samdrup Jongkhar is boarder town to Assam boarder. Check in the hotel. Day 15. Samdrup Jongkhar-Guwahati (101 Km) and our representative will bid you Bon Voyage. Today we will drive to Gawahati which is 101 Km from Bhutan Boarder. The entire drive is in the plains. Time to explore Gawahati and fare well dinner before we depart tomorrow. Day 16. Guwahati-Bangkok (Every Wednesday there is direct flight to Bangkok) Today you can fly to kolkata and visit the place around. Overnight at Hotel.
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samtengang
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Day 01. Paro Arrive Paro by Druk Air flight. During this flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mt. Everest, Kanchen junga and other Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Chomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drakey in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro our representative will receive you. The drive to the hotel through the Paro valley is enchanting. After lunch you will be taken to Ta-Dzong (museum). Visit to Paro Dzong and walk over the bridge crossing the (Pa- Chu) River of Paro. Overnight hotel. Day 02. Paro sightseeing Drive up to Ramthangkha (10 Km from Paro Town) and walk to Taktsang Goemba. The name Taktsang means “ Tiger’s Nest’’ The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000 ft. And overlooks the Paro valley. Taktsang is one of the most venerated pilgrimage sites in the Himalayan world. However, most people can only visit the main site called Taktsang Pel-phu. According to legend Padmasambhava founded Taktsang Monastery in the eighth century. It is believed that the Guru came to this place on the back of a tigress from Khengpajong in the Kurtoe region and meditated here for three months in a cave at Taktsang and converted the Paro valley to Buddhism. Day 03. Paro - Thimphu. Distance: 65 KM. Driving: 2 Hours This morning follow the winding road beside the Pa-Chu (Chu means water) downstream to its confluence and then up the Wangchu River to Thimphu, the capital. Afternoon. Visit the Memorial Chorten. Built in 1974 by the Royal Grand Mother. The shrine is dedicated to the late king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk You will see a lot people circumambulating to atone their present sins and receive merit for the next life. Overnight hotel. Day 04. Thimphu - Punakha Distance: 77 Km. Driving: 3 Hours.(Punakha Altitude 4200ft/1280m) Early rise and drive to the Dochula (3150m pass) for breakfast. If the weather is clear, the Dochu- la offers the most spectacular views of the eastern Himalayan mountain ranges. We then drive to Punakha for lunch at the hotel. After lunch we visit Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful in Bhutan. Built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The Dzong is located at the confluence of two rivers, the Pho-Chu & Mo-Chu. We then drive to Nyzergang to visit the Khamsum Yuelly Namgyal Temple. Night Punakha. Day 05. Punakha - Limukha Distance 12 km, about 4 - 5 hours. Limukha altitude: 7280/2220m) Drive to Punakha Dzong. The trek begins with the gradual climb through Chirpine forests. A stop to visit the village of Dompo-la can be organized depending on the group's choice. Overnight Camp. Day 06. Limukha - Chungsakha Distance - 14 km, about 5 - 6 hours. Chungsakha alt:6070ft/1850m) The trail today takes you through rhododendron and oak forested areas. En route pass the famous Drukpa Kunley Lhakhang. Overnight Camp. Day 07. Chungsakha - Samtengang Distance - 13 km, about 4 - 5 hours. Samtengang alt.:6725ft/2050m The trail now takes you through the village of Sha Wangdue district. Camping at Samtengang lakeside. Day 08. Samtengang- Chhuzomsa - Wangdue. 10Km. about 1-2 hours The trail now drops down to the main road. Drive to Wangduephodrang. Lunch at the hotel. Rest day or you can visit Wangdue Dzong or take a hike to the Divine Mad Man Monastery (Chimi Lhakhang). Overnight hotel. Day 09. Wangdue - Thimphu - Paro Early morning drive to Thimphu for lunch. Some last day shopping and sightseeing if you have some part of Thimphu you would like to see. Late evening drive to Paro. Day 10. Departure In morning drive to Airport for your departure back home.
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gangtey
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Day 01. Bangkok/Delhi/Kathmandu-Paro Depart from International airport by our druk-Air (Royal Bhutan Airline). On arrival at Paro international airport, you will be received by our representative and escorted you to hotel. After an early lunch, you'll visit the national museum (Ta-dzong). Once it was the watch tower of Paro valley from 1616 A.D to 1907 and it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley. Also visit the Paro dzong and watch festival. Today, the dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (utse) of the dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the country. The dzong was built in 1645 A.D. Overnight at the Lodge/Hotel. Day 02. Excursion to Tiger’s Nest Taktshang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries. Taktshang means "Tiger's Nest," so named because Guru Rimpoche reportedly flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a flying tiger in the late centuries of the first millennium. The monastery is perched on a cliff nearly 3,000 ft above the Paro valley floor. 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. If you still feel like hiking then you can take another hour to reach the temple. In the late afternoon, drive to Thimphu. Over night at the Hotel. Day 03. Thimphu- Phobjikha(9380ft/2860m) After breakfast, leave for Gangtey Gompa. The drive goes over Dochula Pass (10,000ft / 3080m) on a clear day, 200 miles of the Himalayan ranges can be seen from the pass. Drive to Wandue Phodarang town and on to Gangtey Gompa. Gangtey is in Phobjikha valley (9840ft) and is one of the Winter homes of the endangered Black Necked Cranes who fly down from Central Asia every Winter. The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful valley in Bhutan.(Hotel/ Camp). Day 04. Phobjikha (Alt. 9380ft/2860m) –Gogona (Alt 10,300ft/3140m) (Time 5-6 hours, Distance 8.7 miles/14 km, Altitude gain 1895ft/578m, Altitude loss 985ft/300m) The trek begins and the trail passes through meadows and fields and then ascends over the Tselela Pass (11,277ft/3438ft) and then through mixed forest of Juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendrons. The People who live in this area known as the Bjopkha ( normadic People) and they speak a different dialect from Dzongkha- the official language . Over night in the camp. Day 05. Gogona – Khotokha Chorten Karpo(Alt. 8920ft/2720m) (Time 5-6 hours, Distance 9.3 miles/15 km, Altitude gain 1060ft/323m, Altitude loss 2437ft/7437m) A gentle climb leads to Shobju La (Alt.11,360ft/3463m) and then descends to a wide valley, which is another home for the Black necked Cranes. Above Khotokha, at the opposite side, is the large monastery of Rinchenling, (and a little higher) is the old Daley Gompa (9495ft/2895m). Both monasteries are worth a visit. A campsite(Chorten Karpo (8775ft/2675m) is an idyllic spot for camping. Day 06. Khotokha- Chunzom-Thimphu Chunzom (5068ft/1545m) TA short climb to Tashila pass (Alt.9, 200ft/2805m). After crossing the pass the path is steep downhill. The tough descent starts through a wonderful forest, full of birdlife. At a junction at 7413ft/2260m the left track drops to the beautiful village of Ba-Lhakhang and Themakha. Then continue 1 hour walk from these village then your transport will be waiting near the chunzom bridge. the transport will be waiting for you on the motor road. After lunch drive to Punakha Dzong to see the ancient capital of Bhutan. Then back to Thimphu. Over Night at the Hotel/Resort. Day 07. Thimphu - Paro Visit the National Library, which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts; visit also the school of Thanka painting and the Institute of Traditional Medicine, Where centuries old healing arts are still practiced. After lunch drive to Paro, on the way visit Botanical Garden and Tamchok Lhakhang which is founded by the Drubthop Thongtong Gyelpo ( Iron Chain builder) of Tibet in the 12th Century. Day 08. Paro – Bangkok/Delhi Thank you for visiting Bhutan and safe journey.
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http://www.travelbhutan.com.bt/bhutan-gangtey-trek.php
heritage
$
Day 1 Bangkok-Paro/Delhi/Kolkata/Katmandu Depart Bangkok international airport by our druk-Air (Royal Bhutan Airline). On arrival at Paro international airport, you will be received by our representative and escorted you to Hotel/Resort. After an early lunch, drive to Drugyel 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. Chomolhari from the approach road to Drukgyel Dzong. After lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. A short distance further is one of the innumerable archery grounds. (Archery is the national sport of Bhutan). If we are lucky, we may catch a match in action. The evening ends with a walk through Paro’s main shopping district. Hike to Taksang (Tiger Nest) then in the evening drive to Thimphu Right after the breakfast drive towards the road point to Taktshang. Taktshang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries is perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. Taktshang means “Tiger’s Nest,” so named because Guru Rimpoche reportedly flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a flying tiger in the late centuries of the first millennium. The monastery is perched on a cliff nearly 3,000 ft above the Paro valley floor. 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. If you still feel like hiking then you can take another hour to reach the temple. Then return back and drive to Thimphu (about 2 hours drive). Check into the Hotel. Day 03. Thimphu to Wangdue view Punakha After breakfast, go to Bhutan National Bank for currency exchange and then you can get an opportunity to purchase exquisite collector Bhutanese stamps. Then drive to Punakha. (The ancient capital of Bhutan) is 3 hours drive from Thimphu across Dochu-La Pass. (Alt. 11,400 ft) snow-capped eastern Himalayan ranges can be seen on a clear day. Prayer flags will flutter you over the pass deeper into the essence of Bhutan. Once you cross the pass, you wind down into a warm fertile valley and meander along a gently flowing aquamarine river that leads you to the Punakha valley. After lunch visit the Punakha dzong, the winter residence of the Je khempo (chief abbot). Punakha dzong is the second dzong system built in Bhutan by Shebdrung Nawang Namgyel in the year 1637. The Dzong is said to be the most beautiful of dzong in Bhutan; it is an outstanding structure with intense artwork. Then visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong, sit majestically on a steep ridge overlooking the highway that forks to the east and south of Bhutan. Overnight at hotel in Wangdue. Day 04. Wangdue- Trongsa via Gangtey valley. Today drive early to Phobjikha valley, A broad glacial valley (10’000 ft) on the flanks of the Black Mountains, Phobjikha with it’s gently slop is a place of astonishing beauty described as” the most beautiful valley in the most beautiful country of Himalayas”. Every winter, the rare and beautiful black-necked cranes return from Tibet to the Gangtey valley where they are protected. Gangtey also has a very interesting Nyingmapa monastery, the only one of the only one of its kind west of the Black Mountain range. The monastery is renovated by 9th Gangtey Tulku Rimpoche. On the way to Trongsa, stop Chendebji Chorten, patterned on Katmandu’s Swayambhunath stupa, with eyes painted at the four cardinal points. It was built in the 18 century by Lama Shida, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. Then drive further south of Trongsa valley is Eundu Chholing, the winter palace of the first king, Sir Ugyen Wangchuck. The palace was built by the first king’s grandfather-in-law Trongsa Penlop Ugyen Phuntsho. Presently the place is used as a residence by the Penlop’s great grand daughter, Ashi Kelsang. It also houses about 50 monks who are sponsored by them. Day 05 Place tours and then drive to Bumthang In the morning drive to Samchholing Palace which is 30 minutes drive from the Eundu Chholing palace. The Palace was built by the second king; it was later handed over to Ashi Pem Dechen, his junior consort and mother of HRH Prince Namgyal Wangchu. It is 15 minutes walk away from the road head below; the palace is located on a strategic point. From there, the vista over the region is very breathtaking. From there, the vista of the conventional hamlets strewn over the region is very breathtaking. The Palace has beautiful architectural designs and presently it is undergoing renovation. Then walk back to the motor road point and drive to Kuenga Rabten Palace. The Palace is under the Trongsa District formerly served as the winter residence for the second king, Jigme Wangchuk and his junior consort, Ashi Pem Dechen. It was built in 1928 and it has been well preserved on account of its royal connections. After palace you will see water falls on the way to Trongsa and will stop for lunch in the town. Right after Lunch, visit Trongsa Chekortse Dzong which holds a special place in the history of Bhutan as it was from there that the tradition of placing the Crown Prince as the Penlop before being enthroned as the king started. The title Chhoeste Penlop was derived from the Dzong. The first king’s Father Jigme Namgyal was the Trongsa Penlop and he was the one who paved the way for monarchy in Bhutan. Then Ugyen Wangchuk became the Trongsa Penlop and unified the country. He was the most powerful Penlop. With the birth of Bhutanese monarchy in 1907, the position of the Trongsa Penlop assumed a special significance. The institution of the Trongsa Penlop, therefore, came to signify the true heritage to the Bhutanese Throne and the investiture ceremony of the Trongsa Penlop became the formal declaration of the status of the Crown prince. Then visit watchtower, located directly above the dzong, has on display many interesting armors and other weapons of war used by ancient warriors. Finally, drive to Bumthang valley. Day 06. Bumthang Valley Sightseeing The valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the kingdom. It is also the religious heartland where many saints and masters meditated leaving their imprints as sacred places of worship and pilgrimage Tales of Pedmasambhava dominate these holy shrines. After breakfast, visit Jakar Dzong, which literally means “The Castle of White Bird”. The current structure was built in 1667 and is said to be the largest Dzong in Bhutan. Then drive to Jampa Lhakhang which is built by Tibetain King Songtshen Gompa in 7th century and then drive to Kurji Lhakhang were body imprints of Guru Rimpoche remains preserved upon a rock. Then short hike to Tamzhing Monastery (Temple of the good message), established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingmapa temple in the kingdom. In the afternoon, visit Wangdichholing Palace which was built in 1857 by Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyel and was later restored by his son, Ugyen Wangchuk. It was the first palace to be built in Bhutan. Day 07. Day Excrussion to UgyenCholling Palace Drive to Ugyen Cholling palace, which lies in the remote eastern side of Jakar to the Tang valley. The journey is 20 miles driving, 13 miles of which is on an unpaved road till Kezum village. From the road head we have a one-hour hike over a suspension footbridge, through farm fields and cluster villages, up a “hill” to the mystical Ugyen Choling Palace. Ugyen Choling is a national treasure, privately owned by the same family for hundreds of years. Its remote location makes it one of the less frequently visited historical sites in Bhutan, hosting fewer than two hundred guests per year. The best part of the Palace is the quaint museum housing permanent exhibits on three floors in the main building and the Utse, the central tower. Traditional living quarters are recreated to capxure the realistic ambiance of the ancient lifestyles and conditions of the households. Everyday kitchen and weaving utensils, war weapons--including petrified yak dung to make gunpowder--tools and farming implements are the main part of the exhibits. On the way back visit the only Buddhist Institute who provides degree in Buddhist philosophy for women. It is founded by 9th Gangtey Tulku Rinpoche who is the chief Abbot of Gangtey Monastery. Then visit Burning Lakes from where Saint Pemalingpa discovered countless hidden treasures. Then back to the Hotel. Day 08. Heritage historical Walk Today you can go for historical walk which begins from Wangdichholing Palace and end in Domkhar palace. These Heritage Trail is used in the past by the Penlop, Desi and Kings with remnants and stories of historical use. The Domkhar Tashichholing Palace was formerly the summer residence of the second king Jigme Wangchuk beside the Wangdichholing Palace. It was built in 1937 by the second king. Then drive back to your hotel in Jakar and on the way visit Chumey Yatra Loom. Day 09. Bumthang to Wangdue Drive back to Wangduephodrang, on the way visit Trongsa Thruepang place. It was built by the 2nd king Jigme Wangchuk as his palace most likely in 1930’s. The palace was occupied by the senior queen Ashi Phuntsho Chhoden. The third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk was born in this palace and he spent most of his childhood traveling between the Thruepan, Kuenga Rabten and Wangdichholing palace. Then you can also visit Rukujee Vallage and can see the rural life of Bhutanese people. Finally drive to hotel in Wangdue. Day 10. Wangdue to Thimphu After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. In Thimphu, visit the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. Then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices, and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). Then finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Over night in the Hotel. Day 11. Thimphu/Paro Airport then to your destination Tashi Delek and safe Journeys back to your country.
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http://www.travelbhutan.com.bt/bhutan-royal-heritage.php
dagala
$
Day 1. Bangkok/Delhi/Kathmandu-Paro Depart from International airport by our druk-Air (Royal Bhutan Airline). On arrival at Paro international airport, you will be received by our representative and escorted you to hotel. After an early lunch, you'll visit the national museum (Ta-dzong). Once it was the watch tower of Paro valley from 1616 A.D to 1907 and it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley/y. Also visit the Paro dzong and watch festival. Today, the dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (utse) of the dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the country. The dzong was built in 1645 A.D. Overnight at Hotel/Resort. Day 02. Excursion to Tiger’s Nest Taktshang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutan's monasteries. Taktshang means "Tiger's Nest," so named because Guru Rimpoche reportedly flew to the site of the monastery on the back of a flying tiger in the late centuries of the first millennium. The monastery is perched on a cliff nearly 3,000 ft above the Paro valley floor. 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. If you still feel like hiking then you can take another hour to reach the temple. In the late afternoon, drive to Thimphu. Over night at Hotel/Resort. Day 03. Drive from Thimphu to Talekha The trek starts from Simtokha Dzong where the ponies, camp gear and our cook will be waiting. Pack up the horses. Your trek includes the finest of high altitude tents and warm sleeping bags. You only have to carry a small pack for your daily needs. Water of course is provided. The Talekha village consists of five houses and a huge temple called Tale-Lhakhang. Overnight at Talekha campsite. Day 04. Talekha to Japhuna. The trek leads you through thick forests of blue pine and evergreen oak trees into soft pine and spruce forests for about two and one-half hours. For lunch we halt at a yak camp site. Here the tree line ends. After lunch you cross a pass called Jelezela, Altitude at 13,000 ft. From the pass, one can enjoy a breathtaking view of Thimphu valley and its surrounding mountain ridges. After crossing two ridges, you arrive at the second campsite, Japhuna. Day 05. Japhuna to Jaduna The trail from Japhuna takes you up and down over several ridges for about four hours till you come across a small stream where you will find two trails which will lead you to the same destination. Along the route, there are many small lakes. After another hour and a half climb through rhododendron shrubs, you reach the third campsite which is also a yak camp. Altitude 13, 200 ft. Day 06. Jaduna to Labatama There are two trails, one going on the left side of Aum Jomo ( highest peak in the Dagala range ), and the other onto the right side of Aum Jomo over the Jomigue pass and Setso Yumtso lakes. We follow the trail that goes on the right side of Aum Jomo and climb up to the Jomigue pass after passing the Dungka Tso lake. From the pass, you can see beautiful views of the high mountains towards the northern Bhutan. After the pass, you descend for about 2 hours to reach Labatama yak camp by the side of the Yumtso lake, where you camp for the night. Day 07. Labatama (halt) You can visit several lakes and enjoy a good fishing day in the lakes or go back to Jomigue pass and climb Aum Jomo to the summit, at 16,500 ft. This trek will take about 5-6 hrs. Overnight and relax at campfire. Bhutanese song, gourmet food, and local brew - ARA anyone! Day 08. Labatama to Genekha Today, you leave the lovely pasture of Labana and move out of Dagala range. The trail ascends gradually through beautiful landscape until you reach Pagalaptsa pass at 13,600 ft. This is the highest point of the day. From the pass, you have beautiful views of the Genekha village and a portion of the Paro valley. After the pass, you gradually climb down through thick Rhododendron shrubs and thick oak forest till you reach Genekha. Overnight camp in Genekha. Day 09. Genekha to Paro A short walk will bring you to the motor road where your transport will be waiting. Drive about one hour to Paro. Enjoy hot stone bath at local farmhouse and sumptous dinner at hotel. Refresh yourself. Day 10. Breakfast and depart for Paro International Airport We hope you have enjoyed your DAGALA THOUSAND LAKES TREK
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http://www.travelbhutan.com.bt/bhutan-dagala-trek.php


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