- Trip Duration : 10 Days
- Start - End : Kathmandu - Kathmandu
- Highest Altitude : 4110 m
- Difficulty : Moderate to Strenous
- Season : Mar-May, Sep-Nov
- Activity : Sightseeing- Trekking
- Trip Grade :
Druk Path Trek
The druk path trek is one of the most popular trekking route in Bhutan. The trial passes through thick forest and ridge before we arrive at Lake Jimilangtso which is know for their giant size trout and descend down via Phajding monastery to the capital city Thimpu.
The tour start with visit to most popular places in Paro including the most famous Tiger Nest followed by five days beautiful trek and ending up with beautiful sightseeing in Punakha and Thimpu. The trek goes to High Altitude and is moderately strenuous passing through some beautiful high altitude lakes and come across diverse flora as you pass through the ridge and great view of the Himalayas.
|Day 01:||Kathmandu - Paro (2280m)|
|Day 02:||Paro - Excursion to Taktsang Monastery (3180m)|
|Day 03:||Paro - Jele Dzong (Start of Trek) (3560m)|
|Day 04:||Jele Dzong - Jangchulakha (3770m)|
|Day 05:||Jangchulakha - Jimilangtso (3870m)|
|Day 06:||Jimilangtso - Simkota (4110m)|
|Day 07:||Simkota - Phajoding – Thimphu (2320m)|
|Day 08:||Thimphu Sightseeing (2320m)|
|Day 09:||Thimphu – Punakha – Thimphu (2320m)|
Day 01: Kathmandu - Paro 2280 meters
The flight into Paro, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of the country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world's highest peaks, give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. Your guide will greet you on arrival, and then drive you the short distance to the hotel.
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. Dinner and overnight.
Day 02: Paro - Excursion to Taktsang Monastery
A very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) monastery - After early 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 the 1684by 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 favourite consort.
After Lunch, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal 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 in Hotel.
Day 03: Paro - Jele Dzong (Start of Trek)
Today is a short trek. The trek begins above the National Museum; we climb till we reach camp. If the weather is clear the Paro valley and the snow-capped mountains can be seen. The campsite is near the old Jele Dzong. If the caretaker is there you can visit the Dzong.
Camp Altitude: 3560m; Distance 10 Km; Walking Time 4 - 5 hours. (1090 meters ascent).
Day 04: Jele Dzong - Jangchulakha
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.
Camp Altitude: 3770m; Distance 10 Km; walking time: 3 - 4 hours. (Ascent 310 meters, descent 50 meters),
Day 05: Jangchulakha - Jimilangtso
The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the views of the mountains and valleys 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.
Camp Altitude: 3870m; Distance 11 Kms; Walking time 4 hours, (330 meters ascent, 230 meters descent).
Day 06: Jimilangtso - Simkota. (4-5hours)
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees past the lake of Janetso. Overnight camp.
Camp Altitude: 4110 meters, 11 kms, Walking time: 4 hours, (820 meters ascent, 400 meters descent).
Day 07: Simkota - Phajoding – Thimphu (4-5hours)
From here we slowly descend down to Phajoding Monastery from where Thimphu town is visible at the valley floor. In the evening, visit Takin Preserve Center and Sangay Gang View Point and the Largest Statue of Buddha. Dinner and overnight in Hotel
Altitude (End of Trek: 2520 meters), Distance: 15 kms, walking time: 6 – 7 hours, (130 meters ascent, 1820 descent).
Day 08: 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). Dinner and overnight
Day 09: Thimphu – Punakha (72 Kms, 3 hours drive) – Thimphu
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".
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, drive back to Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel
Day 10: Departure
Early morning, drive to the airport and farewell.
Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary, but as this is Adventure Travel in a remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of fellow travelers can all contribute to changes. We will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but an easy going nature will be an asset.
Bhutan Visa formalities/Visa for Travel to Bhutan
Except for Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa.
We will arrange the visa for you to travel to Bhutan and are issued from Thimpu. To enable us to process your visa on time, your passport copy and visa application must reach us at least 60 days before the date of travel. We apply for visa on your behalf and get the visa clearance for you which take minimum 10 days. We will send you the visa approval letter which you need to present it to board the flight to Bhutan and also need to present it upon your arrival in paro airport and actual visa will be issued and stamped in your passport when you arrive at paro airport.
Bhutan experiences four distinct seasons, similar in their divisions to those of Western Europe: spring, monsoon, autumn, and winter. Most tourist visit Bhutan in spring and autumn.
Spring is the time when Bhutan’s rich flora is at its best as hundreds of varieties of flowers bloom. And during this time around, the skies are clear and you can see towering snow-covered mountains of the Himalayas.
Even in spring Bhutan’s fierce winter, especially in high altitudes, isn’t over. Tourists who intend to visit during this time are advised to bring along some winter clothes. Spring season starts from March and ends roughly in June.
Another good time of the year ‘autumn’ begins from September and lasts till the end of November.
Monsoon brings heavy downpours and occurs between June and August when the temperature is normally between 8° and 21°C (46°-70°F).
Winter in Bhutan is cold and dry with most high lying places snow-covered. Winter lasts from December to February.
Summer is humid and the country experiences heavy rains and frequent road blocks.
However, Bhutan’s climatic conditions are different at different places and locations because of country’s geographyCheck list:
Please check the checklist carefully for details of what you need to bring on the tour and please arrange it according season wise.
- Loose comfortable T-Shirts
- Long sleeved shirts for sun protection
- A warm jacket and a fleece pullover
- A thermal layer (shirt and pants)
- Water and wind proof jacket
- Water and wind proof trousers
- Woolen or thermal gloves
- Sun hat and sun glasses
- Woolen or fleece hat
- Normal/warm woolen socks
- Comfortable shoes
- A comfortable day pack with adjustable waist and shoulder straps
- Personal toiletries - shampoo, soap, shavers, moisturizer, and travel towel etc
- Sun block and lip balm
- Personal first aid kit and any personal medications you need to take
- Camera, music and books
- Rucksack for your cloths and other accessories
- An airtight ‘dry bag’ is great for storing your dirty laundry!
- Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping bag liner – either silk, cotton or fleece
- HEAD TORCH!
- Batteries for camera, torch etc..
- A big smile for all and your sense of humor and adventure!
THINGS TO BRING FOR A TREKKING IN BHUTAN:
- Personal clothing: strong normal clothing (according to season). Preferably cotton, even for summer, woolen clothing for the evening and winter.
- For Trekking, one must bring:
- Strong comfortable trekking boots, water-resistant for the rainy period: June-August.
- Flash light
- Rain coat (especially for rainy period –June-August)
- Head gear/hat/cap; sun and rain protection
- Water pills – for extra caution in purifying stream; (boiled water is provided at all times during the trek)
- Aspirin – incase of altitude sickness
- Lots of socks
- Warm clothes
OPTIONAL ITEMS TO BRING FOR TREKKING IN BHUTAN:
- Head gear
- Folding umbrella (only for wet months — July and August)
- One towel
- Pillow case
- Wet-packed tissue paper.
All tour participants should obtain their own personal insurance which covers medical and emergency evacuation at a minimum. Helicopter evacuation is provided in emergency cases but please make sure that you insurance cover the cost of the evacuation. You will of course also want cover for loss or damage to personal effects, flight or trip cancellation etc.
Tipping and cash requirement
Bhutan’s currency is the ngultrum (Nu.) and is on par with the Indian Rupee, also an accepted legal tender in the country. The approximate exchange rate is Nu 45 for 1 US$. It is however recommended that you carry travelers’ checks or cash, preferably American Express and US dollar instead, as the ATM facilities for foreign currency is limited to just few towns including the capital city Thimphu. Visa and American Express credit cards are also widely accepted. You may change dollars, Euros, traveler’s checks, and a few other convertible currencies at banks and bigger hotels in all major towns. A Forex is also located in the heart of Thimphu.
Tipping is now common in Bhutan but there is no strict rules about how much the tip should be. You could tip if you are satisfied with the service.
ALTITUDE AND PREVENTING ALTITUDE SICKNESS WHILE TREKKING IN BHUTAN
Being in a hurry in the mountains can be deadly. Acclimatization is the word used to describe the adjustments your body makes as it ascends to higher altitudes.
Ascending slowly, with appropriate rest days and drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways not to get Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
You should not plan to go to high altitude if you have heart disease, difficulty breathing at sea level or are pregnant. You should consult your doctor about any known medical conditions if you are considering trekking in high altitude (over 2500m).
Avoid sleeping pills, alcohol and smoking while at altitude as they tend to decrease breathing and lead to AMS. Data indicates that drinking 3-4 liters of fluids (water, soup etc) per day to avoid dehydration helps in the acclimatization process. Never try to attempt to go higher up if you have altitude sickness, stay either in the same elevation or if got worse trek to the lower elevation.
The first aid kit carried by your guide includes Diamox and he/she is trained in the identification of AMS symptoms and their treatment. You MUST take their advice.
You will be given a comprehensive briefing about what to expect and what to do to avoid AMS before embarking on your trek.