Drukpath Trek & Cultural Journey within Kingdom

Day 1 : Arrive Paro Airport by Drukair

Your introduction to our enchanting kingdom begins on a flight over the Himalayas into the lush green valley of Paro; truly one of the world’s most spectacular sights. Flying into Paro, Bhutan is a unique experience altogether. The flight offers views of the majestic eastern Himalayas, and the arrival into a solitary runway at the country's only airport is a mind-boggling event with the landscape and weather conditions dictating a steep descent into a narrow valley. You will be received by your guide at the Airport in a Bhutanese style with tashi khada (white scarf) and driven to hotel for refreshment and a brief discussion on your tour program.

Paro Sights & Acclimatization Day…

Visit the National Museum ( Ta-Dzong).Once the watch tower for the Rinpung Dzong (Fortress), it was converted into the national Museum in 1968 (one of the best museums of Asia). The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory. Visit the Rinpung Dzong. A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guard houses to the Dzong. Today, this massive fortress built in 1645 AD is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower( Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in the nation.

Take a leisurely drive to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong. This point offers bird eye view of the Mt. Chomolhari (7329m). On the way back visit the oldest temple of the kingdom, Kichu lhakhang. This temple was built in 629 AD by a Tibetan king to pin down a giant demon. In the evening walk around the peaceful town of Paro. Overnight Paro. (Alt; 2280m)

Day 2 : [Start of trek] Paro – Jele Dzong

Today is a short trek. The trail is gradual till the camp and if the weather is clear, Paro valley can be seen surrounded by snow capped mountains. Alt 3700m/ Distance 10 km/ Time 3-4 hours

Day 3 : Jele Dzong - Jangchulakha

The trek begins with a gradual climb and takes you through the thick forest of dwarf rhododendron, maples and junipers. You may see yaks and the yak herders around your campsite. Alt 3700m/ Distance 12 km/ Time 4-5 hours

Day 4 : Jangchulakha – Jimilangtso

This trek offers great scenic beauty to some of the most famous peaks of Bhutan. The trail follows through the ridge of alpine forest and you would see lot of wild onions as you walk. The campsite is nearby Lake Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout and if you are lucky you may enjoy a well prepared lake trout for dinner. Alt 3800m/ Distance 16km/ Time 6-7 hours

Day 5 : Jimilangtso - Simtokha

You walk through the fresh Rhododendron bushes along the shores of glacial lakes till you reach Lake Jenetso. Here you may have the opportunity to get the glimpse of a nomad's life. The campsite is close to Simtokha lake. Alt 3485m/ Distance 11km/ Time 4-5 hours

Day 6 : [Last Day of Trek] Simtokha – Phajoding - Thimphu

The trek gradually ascends to Phume la(4210m). From this point you can get a spectacular view of Mt. Gangkhar Puensum(7541m),  the highest peak of Bhutan and the highest unclimbed peak of the world. You can also get a view of Thimphu valley. From this pass you walk down hill to Phajoding. Visit the 12th century hermitage and take tea. Take a leisurely downhill stroll through the dense forest of blue pine. When you arrive Thimphu drive to the hotel for a hot shower and enjoy the evening at your leisure. Alt 2320/ Distance 14km/ Time 5-6 hours.

(Thimphu is a small, charming capital city nestled in the heart of the Himalayas. It is nothing like what a capital city is imagined to be. Most of the houses and buildings are painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese style)

Day 7 : Thimphu Cultural Sightseeing

In morning, drive to the animal sanctuary where the national animal of Bhutan, the Takin, is found in captivity. Walk around the BBS tower which is also known as the “romantic point” and lovers often come here to look at the panoramic view of the Thimphu valley. En route visit Nunnery temple. You can show your devotion here by praying with the Buddhist nuns.

Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. They also have on display the largest Picture Book on Bhutan in the world.

Visit the Traditional Medicine Centre which includes hospital and herbal medicine manufacturing unit based on the Tibetan system of medicine. The centre also trains indigenous medicine doctors known as “Dungtso”.

Visit the Zorig Chuksum “School for Thirteen Traditional Arts and Crafts” followed by a visit to Textile Museum, Handicraft Emporium and some local shops for antiques.

Visit the Tashichhoe Dzong, the main secretariat building, the office of the King and Throne room and also the house of the State Monastic Body.

Visit Simtokha Dzong, one of the oldest fortress of Bhutan built in 1629 and it houses the largest monastic schools in the country.

Witness an archery match played by the locals with lots of hue & cry. Archery is the national game of Bhutan and it is also one of the best way of expanding your public relations.

Evening, take a walking tour which includes; Hongkong Market/ Norzin Lam/ Main Traffic Area/ General Post Office/ Clock Tower and more…Overnight Thimphu. (Alt; 2320m)

Day 9 : Phobjikha Rural Expedition (142km/ 5hr)

The journey will take you across Dochu La pass ( 3150m) where you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Eastern Himalayan Mountain ranges. Take a walk around the 108 stupas which decorates the pass. Also visit the Drukwangyel lhakhang built by the four Queens as a tribute to the fourth King of Bhutan.

Lunch in Nobding village and head on to the glacial valley of Phobjikha, which is located on the periphery of the north western tip of the Black Mountain National Park. The valley is a conservatoin area and lies on the northern boundary of the Jowo Durshing range. People sometimes refer to the entire region as Gangtey after the name of the Gangtey Goenpa that is situated on a ridge overlooking the Phobjikha valley. According to legend that the Gangtey Goenpa was founded by the grandson ( the mind incarnation) of Pema Lingpa in 1613. The Phobjikha valley is also one of the roosting grounds of the Black-necked cranes that migrate each year in winter from its nothern habitats in Tibet and Siberia to these grounds.

En route visit the school in Thinley Gang village. You would be able to see a big difference between the students in urban regions and villages. The students in the villages are very humble and down to earth.

Visit Information Centre for the Blacked Necked Cranes. Evening, take a hike through the Blue Pine forest to a village farmhouse. Try traditional Bhutanese snacks made from corn and rice with a homemade wine. Overnight Phobjikha. (Alt; 2900m)

Day 10 : Discovering Wangdue & Punakha Valley (65km/ 3hr)

Early rise and take a walk out into the serene valley to enjoy the sunrise. Visit Gangtey Goenpa while the monks will be sitting for their morning prayers. This is biggest Nyingma temple of the kingdom. Drive to Pelela pass to (3,300m), which is marked by a chorten and an array of prayer flags. Stop for mountain view along the road.

En route, visit the Wangdue Dzong situated on the hilltop. This classic fortress have many sacred temples hidden within its ancient structure. Walk around the typical town of Wangdue.

Drive to Punakha, which is the former winter Capital of Bhutan and now It’s the winter residence of the central monastic body and its Chief Abbot. Visit Punakha Dzong, "Palace of Great Happiness.” It hosts the administrative seat of the district. The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, male and female river. It was built in 1637 AD It was here on 17th December 1907, Bhutan's first king was crowned. This ancient fortress is considered to be one of the most beautiful by many.

Evening, hike to Chimi Lhakhang. This temple is called the Temple of Fertility as it is believed that childless couples who come here to pray for a child is usually blessed with a child. This is the temple of one of Bhutan’s foremost saints, Lama Drukpa Kunley, also known as the “Divine Madman.” The trail take you through the Himalayan paddy fields and a small village called Lobesa. Overnight Punakha/ Wangdue. (Alt; 1240m)

Day 11 : Quest for Taktsang

After a wholesome breakfast, drive to Paro (128km/ 4.5) and check in resort to prepare for the hike. Spend the day hiking up a forested path to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan’s most famous and scenic icon. The climb is steep and takes about 4 hours round trip. An important place of pilgrimage and refuge for more than 1200 years, Taktsang Monastery clings to sheer cliffs two-thousand feet above Paro Valley, and from your closest vantage point on a rocky ledge directly across from it, you will still need 200-300 mm lenses and a steady tripod to get tight photographs.

This sacred place got its name when Guru Rinpoche rode there on the back of a flying tiger and meditated in a cave behind the present-day monastery. Sadly, in 1998, the central temple was destroyed by fire, leaving the country in mourning for their holiest of spiritual places. But religious leaders and the King quickly developed a plan to rebuild Taktsang and donations started pouring in from Buddhist centers all over the world, and today, the magnificently rebuilt exterior is complete. Tiger’s Nest is once again the subject of cloud-shrouded posters that say, “Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon.” Picnic lunch at the hillside cafeteria.

Special permit will be arranged for you to enter the Tiger’s Nest monastery but you will not be allowed to take pictures of the inside shrines.

Evening visit a typical village home for a traditional Bhutanese style dinner accompanied by the local liquor called “Ara” (tastes somewhat like the Japanese Sake). Then luxuriate in the Bhutanese equivalent of a Jacuzzi called a “Chu Tsen.” River rocks are heated and dunked into a large wooden tub with herbs. This type of bath is considered to have medicinal properties of healing. Overnight Paro. (Alt; 2280m) 17113065

Day 12 : Departure

Our representative will bid you farewell at the Airport. Tashi Delek!

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