Day 1: During the journey to Paro, one will experience breath taking
view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks,
including the sacred Chomolhari. "Mountain of the Goddess" and
Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport,
your visa is processed and you are then received by a representative.
Drive to your hotel, check-in and enjoy Bhutanese lunch. We then visit
the Rinchen Pong Dzong. This massive fortress is located on a small
hill just above the Paro River (Pachu) in the Paro valley. You have
to walk about 15 minutes by crossing an ancient wooden bridge with
shingle roof built in typical Bhutanese architect. The Dzong houses
the district administration office and the District Monk Body. It was
built in 1645 AD. We next visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). This
was actually the Watchtower of the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong and was
converted into the National Museum in 1965. Return to hotel. Tonight
we visit quaint Paro village for dinner at a local cozy restaurant.
Day 2: After breakfast we depart the hotel to visit Kyichu Lhakhang
(monastery). The monastery was built in 659 A.D. by King Songtsen Gampo
of Tibet as one of the 108 such monasteries he built in various places
to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong
and is considered one of the holiest monasteries in Bhutan as it marks
the advent of Buddhism in the country. We then drive
up to Satsam Chorten and from there hike (or ride a horse) up to Taktsang
Monastery. The name Taktsang means " Tiger's Nest ". We enjoy
lunch at the viewpoint cafeteria. The Monastery is perched on a rocky
ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000 ft. and overlooks the Paro valley
and river. Taktsang is one of the most venerated pilgrim sites of the
Himalayan world. It is believed that in the second half of the 8th
century, Guru Padmasambhava, known as the second Buddha in Bhutan,
meditated in the spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted
there on the back of a tigress. Today is good preparation for our trek
beginning tomorrow. Return to hotel for dinner and itinerary overview
with our guide. Sleep well, tomorrow we begin our trek!
Day 3: Your trek begins today at Hotel Olathang; leaving Paro for
Chonana. Mostly today your trek is a gradual climb through the pine
forests. Bhutan is the least deforested country in the world, with
over 70% virgin blue pine forest. We will walk today about 4 hours.
Along the trail, you pass beautiful farmhouses built in typical Bhutanese
rural architect. On our path we may be greeted by local farmer and
herder. Greet them in Drupka, they love it! The view of the Paro valley
from the trail is also excellent. Overnight in camp in your high quality
altitude tents, warm sleeping bags and gourmet Bhutanese campfire cookout.
Song and dance, local beverages are offered.
Day 4: After our hearty breakfast we depart Chonana for Jebkarpo,
which offers a superb trekking route, approximately 6 hours. You
trek uphill most of the day with plenty of rests on the way to the
Chilila pass, at 12,150 ft. The trail takes you through forest filled
with primula, rhododendron and many other species of plants and trees.
After crossing the pass, the trail goes along the ridge of Chilila
with clear views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. Overnight in camp,
altitude of 12,300 ft.
Day 5: Today we rise early and enjoy morning views from our camp
site, of Mount Chomolhari (Divine Mountain of the Goddess ),Tserim
Gang (Glacier of long life), and the famous mountain Jichu Drake..
absolutely breathtaking. Hearty Bhutanese breakfast and depart Jebkarpo
for Lower Mingula. The trail follows the ridge above the Ha valley;
spectacular! The days trek is about 5 to 6 hours. Overnight in camp
at altitude of 12,500 ft. You are warmed by the fire and dine on
wonderful a Bhutanese meal, perhaps tonight enjoy Mo Mos. Forklore,
dance, beverage optional.
Day 6: Buckwheat breakfast entices you from your tent. Depart lower
Mingula on a 5 hour trek today to Thong. Another day with excellent
views of mountains and valleys. On this route, you will see lots
of yaks. These burly beast, are unique to the Himalayan lifestyle.
Utilized for pack animal, as well as the hair used for woven clothes,
backpacks and tent. Yak tea is extremely popular, butter and cheese.
Watching the yaks roam and run through a meadow is a delight. Laya
yak herders migrate to the valleys in the harsh winters of the high
Himalayans with the herds. Laya people speak their own dialect and
live remotely. Overnight in camp, at altitude 12,700 ft.
Day 7: Depart Thong to return to Thimphu, the Capitol of Bhutan. A
short descend and you are in beautiful Paro valley. The trek ends at
Drugyal Dzong and from there you drive to Paro. Lunch in the quaint
village of Paro and drive on to Thimphu. Here in Thimphu you will refresh
yourself after check in at hotel. After lunch you have leisure time
to shop; perhaps the famous weekend Thimphu market; an unusual Bookstore,
incense factory, archery match, paper factory, or casual shopping for
thangkas, mask and fabric. Your Bhutanese guide will assist you in
your request. Tonight we enjoy a reception dinner at Soenams House,
your Bhutanese host.
Day 8: Today after a leisure breakfast we enjoy a full day of sightseeing
in Thimphu. A visit to the Bank of Bhutan and the post office where
you can purchase collector item Bhutanese stamps, gorgeous! We visit
the Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building where the office
of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne
Room, and the office and the living quarters of the Monk Body and
its Chief Abbot are housed. Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where
Bhutanese textiles and other arts are displayed and can be purchased.
Visit the Painting and Wood craft school where the traditional art
and painting is kept alive.The Tarkin Zoo is home to the National
animal of Bhutan, unique! Lunch at a local restaurant. Visit the
Memorial Chorten ( a huge Stupa ) built in memory of the third King
of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. The National Library
where ancient manuscripts are preserved is most interesting, and
visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest Dzong in Bhutan built in 1629 AD.
The Simtokha Dzong houses the largest monastic schools in Bhutan.
Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 9: Thimphu-Punakha-Wangdiphodrang. A full day excursion to Punakha,
the former Capital of Bhutan and
Wangdi Phodrang. Punakha dzong was built in 1637 and is situated between
two rivers, Pochu and Mochu, male and female. Today is a most impressive
photo journey. You will visit the Dzongs in both Punakha and Wangdi
as well as other interesting sites. Wandgi Dzong is strategic in its
location, a mountain top fortress. Lunch at Punakha and return to Thimphu.
Evening: Leisure evening on your own, perhaps a visit to The Health Spa, or meet with fellow travelers
Day 10: Thimphu -Paro. Take a leisurely walk in Thimphu town to do
some shopping for handcrafted Bhutanese
Items and converse with locals. After lunch tour the exceptional Royal
Textile Museum featuring masterpieces from the Royal Family of Bhutan
and splendid fabric and exquisite Thangkas. Depart Thimphu and drive
Farewell dinner at hotel in Paro.
Day 11: Depart Bhutan Paro International Airport.