This is a classic 9-day Trek starting from (Drugyal Dzong) Paro and end at Dodena near Thimphu. The route passes through two high passes from Jangothang. The view ofJumolhariMountain(7314 M) from Jangothang is spectacular. The Trek is strenuous and is very popular. The highest point is 4115 M.
Duration: 13 nights / 14 days.
Accommodation: Hotels, Resorts and Tents.
Activity Type: Walking, Trekking & Tour.
Difficulty Level: Strenuous.
Group size: Minimum 2 pax.
Best Months to do this Trek: March – June, September – 2nd Week of December.
Arrival at Paro 2280 meters: Upon arrival at Paro airport, received by the Representative from Yak Holidays 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.
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.
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.
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 toTibet. 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)
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 guardBhutan against Tibetan invasions.
Altitude: 4080 m; Distance 19 Kms; Time 5 - 6 hours. (Ascent 480 meters)
Jangothang: Rest day at Jangothang, enjoy the superb view all around.For Day hikes, you have 3 options on this day at Jangothang.
- Hike to Jumolhari Glacier which is around 4 ½ hours (Back and forth)
- Hike to Jichu Drake Glacier which is around 3 hours (Back and Forth).
- 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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
Dolamkencho – Dodena – Thimphu: The path descends through bamboo forests finally joiningThimphuRiver again. Arrive at Dodena where you will be picked up for the drive toThimphu. Overnight at the Hotel.
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 thePaintingSchool 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 ofBhutan). 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 ofBhutan and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops ofThimphu. Over night in Hotel.
Thimphu- Punakha - Thimphu: (72 Kms, 2 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. 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.
Thimphu – Paro Airport (Departure): Early morning, drive to the airport and farewell.
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