- Trip Duration : 14 Days
- Start - End : Kathmandu - Kathmandu
- Highest Altitude : 5200 m
- Difficulty : Moderate to Strenous
- Season : Apr-May, Sep-Nov
- Activity : Sightseeing- Trekking
- Trip Grade :
The Jumolhari trek offers the great diversity of Bhutanese landscape. You will pass through thick forest, hamlets and pasture field and offcouse the spectacular himalayan views.
This trip is combination of smooth sightseeing to strenous climb in the high altitude. The Trek starting from (Drukgyal Dzong) Paro and end at Dodena near Thimphu. The route passes through high passes but will be rewarded with spectacular view of Jumolhari mountain (7314 M).
|Day 01:||Arrival at Paro (2280m)|
|Day 02:||Paro sightseeing – Hike to Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger's Nest)|
|Day 03:||Paro – Shana (Start of Trek) (2,850m)|
|Day 04:||Shana – Thangthangka (3,610m)|
|Day 05:||Thangthangka – Jangothang (3,080m)|
|Day 06:||Rest day or day hike|
|Day 07:||Jangothang – Lingshi (4,010m)|
|Day 08:||Lingshi – Shodu (4,080m)|
|Day 09:||Shodu – Barshong (3,710m)|
|Day 10:||Barshong – Dolamkencho (3,320m)|
|Day 11:||Dolamkencho – Dodena – Thimphu (2320m)|
|Day 12:||Thimphu sightseeing|
|Day 13:||Thimphu- Punakha - Thimphu|
|Day 14:||Thimphu – Paro Airport (Departure)|
Day 01: Arrival at Paro 2280 meters
Upon arrival at Paro airport, we receive you and transfer to the hotel. After lunch, drive to the ruins of Drukgyel dzong, now in ruins was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders in1644; the dzong name's means indeed "The Victorious Druk". The Dzong was used as an administrative center until 1951 when a fire caused by butter lamp destroyed it. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan's oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 02: Paro sightseeing – Hike to Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger's Nest)
After breakfast, excursion to Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger's Nest). After lunch, visit Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong presently houses administrative offices. After lunch visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, which has been since 1967, the National Museum of Bhutan. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 03: Paro – Shana (Start of Trek)
Our trek to Shana starts at Drukgyal Dzong at 2580 meters following the Paro river and we pass cultivated fields and tiny picturesque villages. The forests are alive with numerous birds and brightly coloured butterflies. Overnight at camp Shana.
Altitude 2,850 m; Distance 17 Km; Time 5 - 6 hours (Ascent 360 meters, Descent 80 meters)
Day 04: Shana – Thangthangka
The trail follows the river through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. It narrows and closes in and the trail winds up and down along the drainage. We pass a junction enroute, where another path leads north over the Tremo La to Tibet. Camp is in a meadow with a stone shelter.
Altitude: 3610 m; Distance 22 Km; Time 7 - 8 hours. (Ascent 770 meters, Descent 10 meters)
Day 05: Thangthangka – Jangothang
In the morning after passing a small army post, the trail slowly leaves the forest line and gradually climbs into a beautiful valley, passing Tegethang, a winter home of yak herdsmen. Lunch will be served in one of these huts. Lots of yaks will be seen today before we arrive at the Jhomolhari base camp (4,115 m). High mountains overlook the camp and visible nearby are the ruins of an old fortress used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasions.
Altitude: 4080 m; Distance 19 Kms; Time 5 - 6 hours. (Ascent 480 meters)
Day 06: Jangothang
Rest day at Jangothang, enjoy the superb view all around.
For Day hikes, you have 3 options on this day at Jangothang.
1. Hike to Jumolhari Glacier which is around 4 ½ hours (Back and forth)
2. Hike to Jichu Drake Glacier which is around 3 hours (Back and Forth).
3. Walk up the mountain between Jumolhari and Jichu Drake, the summit is at 5200 meters with a great view of both the mountains. This is 8 hours (Back and forth).
Day 07: Jangothang – Lingshi
The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Jumolhari, JichuDrakey and Tsrim Ghang. Then walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Nyeley la pass at an altitude of 4,700 meters. After the pass it's a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panorama view of the peaks and Lingshi dzong.
Camp altitude is 4010 meters. 18 kms, Walking time: 6-7 hours, Ascent 840 meters, Descent: 870 meters.
Day 08: Lingshi – Shodu
The trail today climbs to Yalila Pass (4930 m), from where on a clear day, impressive views of Mount Jumolhari, Tserim Kang and Masagang can be seen. Dinner and over night in Camp.
Camp at Shodu: 4080 meters. Distance: 22 kms, 8-9 hours walk. (Ascent 940 meters, Descent 920 meters).
Day 09: Shodu – Barshong
This is the place where one comes back to the tree line. The path follows the Thimphu River, descending through rhododendron, juniper and other alpine forest. The view of the cliff facing rocks and waterfalls are stunning. Hot lunch will be served by the riverside. After lunch the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of the Barshong dzong, reaching the camp. Dinner and over night in camp
Camp at Altitude: 3710 meters. 16 kms. Walking time 5-6 hours, Ascent 250 meters, Descent: 670 meters.
Day 10: Barshong – Dolamkencho
The road descends through alpine forest and we once again join Thimphu river for a while. After lunch climb up to Dolamkencho camp
Camp at the altitude 3320 meters. 15 kms. Walking time 4-6 hours, Ascent 290 meters, Descent 640 meters.
Day 11: Dolamkencho – Dodena – Thimphu
The path descends through bamboo forests finally joining Thimphu River again. Arrive at Dodena where you will be picked up for the drive to Thimphu. Overnight at the Hotel.
Distance 8 km, 4 hours walk. Ascent 500 meters, Descent 930 meters.
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 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). The Tashichho Dzong is open to visitors only in winter when the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body move to Punakha the ancient winter capital of Bhutan and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Over night in Hotel.
Day 13: Thimphu- Punakha - 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. 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 First National Assembly here in 1952. In the evening, drive back to Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 14: Thimphu – Paro Airport (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.