Day 1: Arrive in Paro from Bangkok. During the flight, on a clear day, you can see breathtaking views of the Himalaya Mountains, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon you can visit the Paro Dzong. It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the dzongs (forts) currently. You'll cross a traditional wooden bridge on the way to the dzong. You can then tour the National Museum, formerly the watchtower for the dzong. It now houses a collection of fine arts, paintings, thankas, statues, and antiques. Afterward you will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. In the evening you can explore Paro town. Overnight in Paro.
Day 2: Paro - Acclimating day (hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery). After breakfast you'll hike to Taktsang Monastery, which is perched on a cliff 900 meters above Paro valley. It is one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan. It is said that Guru Rinpoche flew to the site of this monastery on the back of a tigress and meditated there for three months. In the afternoon you and explore the Paro town. Overnight in Paro
Day 3: Trek Begins. Paro - Shana (distance 17km, time 5-6 hours). You'll begin the day by driving up to Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), where the road ends. You'll visit the dzong, which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. The trek begins, following the Paro river gently uphill through rice paddy terraces, apple orchards, and forest, passing the village houses. Overnight at camp. Altitude 2,800m.
Day 4: Shana - Soi Thangthangkha (distance 22km, time 6-7 hours). The trail continues to gradually climb along the side of the Paro river. The valley narrows and closes, and the path then winds along the stream. This day's trek is not difficult, but it is long, and there are many short ups and downs. Nearby where you will stop for lunch you can see the route to Tremo La, which is paved in stone and served as the main trade route to the Phari Dzong in Tibet. It was also the main invasion route of the Tibetans ages ago. The camp is in a meadow with a stone shelter. On a clear day you will see Jumolhari Mountain. Overnight at camp. Altitude 3,630m.
Day 5: Soi Thangthangkha - Jangothang (distance 19km, time 5-6 hours). This day's trek is not long, but there is an altitude gain of 450m. The path continues up the Paro river, past a small army post, where the valley begins to widen again. Here you will have a view of the high ridges and snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas. You may see the winter homes of the yak herders, as well as some yaks. Along the way there is a village, where you can visit the yak herders and share a cup of yak butter tea with them. You can also buy yak cheese--"chugo"--which is a dried cheese. The camp is below a ruined fortress at the base of Jumolhari, and it is one of the most beautiful camps in Bhutan. Altitude 4,090m.
Day 6: Jangothang halt. Today is a day of acclimatization. You may choose from four day hikes: a 3- to 4-hour hike up to a ridge that gives a good view of Jichu Drake; a hike up to the head of the valley, toward Jumolhari; a trek up the main valley toward Jichu Drake; or a hike to Tsophu for fishing. Or you can relax at the camp. Altitude 4,090m.
Day 7: Jangothang - Lingshi (distance 18km, time 5-6 hours). This day's trek will take you over Nyile La (pass), which is at 4,890m. It tends to be windy at the pass. You can see yak pastures on the way. Depending on the time of year, you may encounter some nomads. You will have a great view of Lingshi Dzong further along the trail. It's also possible to see blue sheep and musk deer. Tserim Gang Mountain and glaciers are at the north end of the Lingshi valley. Overnight at camp. Altitude 4,010m.
Day 8: Lingshi halt. Explore Lingshi valley and relax after the previous day's vigorous trek.
Day 9: Lingshi - Shodu (distance 22km, time 8-9 hours). The trail ascends up to Yeli La (pass) at 4,820m, where, on a clear day, you will see Jumolhari, Tserim Gang, and Masagang mountains. The trail descends, following a stream. Overnight at camp. Altitude 4,110m.
Day 10: Shodu - Barshong (distance 16km, time 5-6 hours). The trail crosses the Thimphu River several times and winds gently up and down alongside the river. At one section of the trail you will notice a massive steep canyon on one side and a cypress forest on the other. You will then ascend up to the ruins of the Barshong Dzong. The camp is just below the ruins. Overnight at camp. Altitude 3,680m.
Day 11: Barshong - Dolam Kencho (distance 15km, time 5-6 hours). The trail descends gradually through a forest of conifers and rhododendron and then begins a steep descent to the Thimphu River. You will ascend again into a meadow, where the camp is located. Altitude 3,430m.
Day 12: Trek Ends. Dolam Kencho - Thimphu (distance 8km, time 3 hours). The trail winds in and out of valleys above the Thimphu river and then makes a long climb through a forest of conifers and high-altitude broadleaf species up to a 3,510m pass. The trail then begins a steep descent to the river, following it southward to the road in the town of Dodina. At Dodina, you will be met by your transportation for the drive to your hotel in Thimphu. In the late afternoon you can stroll through the town. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 13: Thimphu- Paro (morning sightseeing). After breakfast you will visit the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts), the School of Arts and Crafts, the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Simtokha Dzong (the oldest fortress in the kingdom), Changgangkha Monastery, a traditional paper factory, and the zoo. In the afternoon you will visit the King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972) and the majestic Tashichodzong, tour the Textile Museum and the Folk Heritage Museum, and explore the interesting handicraft shops. In the late afternoon you will drive to Paro. Overnight in Paro.
Day 14: Depart Paro for Bangkok.
Except airfare and personal expenses all cost included!
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