Trekking in Bhutan
Trekking in Bhutan is unlike anywhere else in the Himalayas. The kingdom is home to some of the most challenging high-altitude treks in the world. Perched on the eastern edge of the Himalayas — make excellent terrain for trekking enthusiasts. There is no shortage of treks in Bhutan, ranging from the relatively easy and scenic Druk Path, to one of the world’s hardest treks, the Snowman Trek.
So whether you’re going on a short hike in the lowlands or challenging yourself to an epic high-altitude trek, you need to prepare yourself for the raw wilderness and harsh conditions that any traveller to Bhutan faces.
This trek goes through the most remote part of Bhutan – across the top of eastern Bhutan. It is challenging and involves a very long and steep descent. Rodang La was an important trade route that connected the eastern and western regions of the country before a national highway was built in the 1960s. Highlights also include remote villages and ancient dzongs.
Day 01 : Arrive at Paro. 2250M.
During this flight, one will experience the breathtaking views of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks including Bhutan’s high Himalayas too.
On arrival at Paro our representative will receive you. The drive to hotel through Paro valley is enchanting. After lunch you will be taken to Ta-Dzong (museum). Overnight hotel.
Day 02 : Hike to Tiger’s Nest.
Perched on the mirror- like cliff at a height of 800 meters above the lush valley of Paro is one of the most sacred places in Bhutan. Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha, flew here on a flaming Tigress for the second visit to Bhutan and meditated here in the 8th century. Here he propagated Vajrayana- Mahayana Buddhism (Bigger Wheel) that was prophesied by the Buddha at the time of attaining Nirvana. In April 1998, a fire destroyed the main structure of the buildings and its religious contents. A complete restoration was done which has resulted in a carbon copy of the original. This place beholds the history of The Hidden Land. The walking time is approximately five hours to and fro. If you have permission to go in. otherwise, around 3- 4 hours is enough to make the round trip to the viewpoint.
Day 03 : Paro – Thimphu. Distance –65KM. Driving – 2Hours. Altitude: 2350 Meters.
This morning follow the winding road beside the Pa- Chu (Chu means river or water) down stream to its confluence with the Wangchu, then up-valley to Thimphu, the capital. After lunch visit the Memorial Chorten, visit the National Memorial Chorten built in memory of late 3rd King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk in 1974, here the faithful circumambulate the shrine dedicated to the Late King. Overnight hotel.
Day 04 : Thimphu sightseeing.
Visit the 15th century Changangkha Temple, Takin (National Animal) sanctuary and the view point of Thimphu city. On the way back visit the Zilukha Nunnery and Dechenphodrang monistic school. Lunch in town. Visit National library, School of Arts and Crafts, Government Handicrafts Emporium then the Traditional Handmade paper factory and Goldsmith & Silversmith unit. In evening visit Trashi Chhodzong the national parliament building and after explore the various handicraft stores in the town.
Day 05 : Thimphu -Trongsa. Distance – 205KM.Driving – 8 Hours. Altitude: 2200.Meters.
The drive to Trongsa will take about 8 hours. The drive begins with ascent to the Dochula pass at an altitude of 3150 meters. On a clear day, you can see the whole Bhutanese Himalayan range from here. The pass has 108 Druk Wangyel Chortens. Then descend to Wangdu Phodrang at 1350 meters and from here the road again ascends gradually to Nobding and then steeply to the Pele-la pass at an altitude of 3300 meters. The road then descends through Rukubji village further down to Chendebji village with its 18th century Nepalese style stupa built by saint Shida. The drive to Trongsa from here is about an hour and half with great views of the historical Dzong and the valley southwards.
Day 06 : Trongsa -Bumthang. Distance – 68KM. Driving – 3 Hours. Altitude: 2600 – + M.
The drive to Bumthang takes about 3 hours and begins with an ascent to the Yotong -la pass 3400 meters. The drive offers views of the black Mountains, forests and incredible the landscape of Bhutan. From this pass the road will descends through pine forest to the Chhumey valley of Bumthang. In Chummey, visit the Yathra weaving center and from here the road ascends gradually to the Kikila pass at 2900m. We then descend to the Chokor valley at an altitude 2670 m.
Day 07 : Bumthang – Bumthang.
After breakfast hike to Tangbi Mani. It’s a very easy trail to the beautiful village of Tangbi (Thankabi) where the old monastery with its Gomchens (laymen), local community school and the longest Mani -wall in Bhutan are. We return to Jakar for lunch. After lunch visit to Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Guru Lhakhang, Swiss cheese processing unit. Here they produce cheese, apple juice and herbal brandies etc. Visit Jakar Dzong.
Day 08 : Bumthang – Nganglhakhang. 20KM. 5-6 Hours. 9,500 ft.
The trek route takes you around the Chamkhar Chu, a river rich in trout. Lunch stop at Tangbi lhakhang, then you enter the swan land “Ngang Yul” with its central swan temple, Nganglhakhang. This part of the valley was at first inhabited by the swans that gave their name Nagang. Lam Namkha Samdrup, having had a vision of how to build a gompa, shot an arrow to find the exact spot for the temple. A Cultural program can be arranged in the evening. Overnight camp.
Day 09 : Ngang Lhakhang – Ugyenchholing. Walking time 7-8 hours.
Climb gradually to Phe-phe-la pass alt. 3353m/ 11000 ft. the highest point on the route. Then you follow the trail until the pass takes you through one of the most beautiful forested areas of this region. Allowing for many stops to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings, we can also view Ugyenchholing palace on the way. Overnight Camp.
Day 10 : Ugyenchholing – Phokpey. 17KM. 5-6 Hours. 11,500 ft.
Ascending through bamboo’s, hemlock and finally up to the alpine forests. Overnight camp.
Day 11 : Phokpey -Ungaar. 20KM. 7-8 Hours.
In the morning the walk will take half an hour up to Phokpey la pass of 12,300 ft. Then continue downhill through the gorge, which is about 10,000 ft. below, overlooking some mountain valleys and the plains. We continue through the pine trees to the campsite. Overnight Camp.
Day 12 : Ungaar -Taskila. 21KM. 7-8 Hours. 6000 ft.
This trail, like a wave, winds up and down en route to Drula village, and Khaine Lhakhang, one of the oldest in existence. It was built in the mid 7th century by the king of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo to subdue demons. Overnight Camp.
Day 13 : Taskila – Lhuntshi. 6000ft.
Drive to Lhuntshi guesthouse for lunch and relax. Overnight camp/ Guesthouse.
Day 14 : Lhuntshi – Menji. 16KM. 4-5 Hours. 6,000ft.
Drive down to Kuri zam where the trek starts gradually up through the paddy fields and villages. Overnight camp.
Day 15 : Menji – Pemi. 20KM. 6-7 Hours. 8,000ft.
Continue uphill through the thick forest that overlook some of the mountains.
Set up camp under the shelter of the forest. Overnight Camp.
Day 16 : Pemi – Taupang. 21KM. 6-7 Hours. 3000ft.
Continue up to Dongla where you can see all the high mountains views. Descend through thicker evergreen forests to our campsite. Overnight Camp.
Day 17 : Taupang – Yangtsi. 24KM. 8-9 Hours.
Today is the longest trek day. Gradually downhill till Yangtsi through chirpiness and hard wood forests similar to oak of the subtropical zone. Overnight camp.
Day 18 : Yangtsi – Trashigang.
The drive takes about 2-3 hours. Overnight camp /guest house.
Day 19 : Trashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar.
Picnic lunch is provided. Begin a breathtaking drive unlike any other you’ve experienced through eastern villages and satellite towns, alongside sheer drops and scenic views. En route to Deothang is the Polytechnic College. Now you are in the sub-tropical zone. The drive actually takes about 6-7 hours. Overnight hotel.
Day 20 : Samdrup Jongkhar – Guwahati (India).
The drive takes you about 3-4 hours to reach Guwahati to catch the flight for your onward journey or overnight in Guwahati hotel