Bhutan

Druk Path Trek

Level

Moderate/Challenging

Duration

10 days

Best time to travel

March, April, May, September, October and November

Route

Paro, Jili Dzong, Jangchulakha, Jimilang Tsho, Simkotra Tsho ,Phajoding, Thimphu, Paro

Bhutan, also known as “land of the thunder dragon”, is a country of mountains, monasteries and mysteries, tucked away in the folds of the Himalayas. It is famed across for its untouched culture, its pristine ecology and wildlife, and the unparalleled scenic beauty of its majestic peaks and lush valleys. It is still, in many ways, a magical kingdom of the past.

The country’s extremely rich flora and fauna boasts hundreds of plant and animals species, including a wide list of endangered species. It’s always a heart-warming carnival for the lovers of the natural world.

Overview:
Druk Path Trek is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. It is a short and scenic trek with some great views and beautiful lakes en route. Although it leads up to altitudes above 4,000m it is not too strenuous as walking distances between the camps are not too long. Besides the lakes, it is the Phajoding monastery that is one of the highlights of this trek.

Facts

Activities: trekking, backpacking, camping, culture sightseeing, nature/bird watching

Altitude: 4200 m

Bhutan is considered to be the bio-diversity conservation hotspot of Eastern Himalayan. Over 72% of the land is still forested and 26% of the land is protected as National Parks with 9 % as biological corridors.

Jili Dzong is a small fortress built strategically on a ridge early in the 16th century to cater for the travellers who journey between Paro & Thimphu.  The route remained active late 1960’s when the road was built connecting the districts of Thimphu and Paro.

Phajoding Monastery, which is a 3-hour hike from the nearest road, is located above Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu. It was once one of the richest and most decorated monasteries in the country however due to years of neglect and the encroachment of development, it was watch listed in 2010  by the World Monuments Fund as one of five endangered cultural monuments that need most help in the world (1). It is home to many very sacred Buddhist artfacts.

Paro Taktsang is the popular name of Taktsang Palphug Monastery (also known as The Tiger’s Nest), a prominent Himalayan Budhist sacred site and temple complex, located in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley. A temple complex was first built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave.

Our operation:

All Rahhalah’s ground handlers are locally employed ensuring more authentic experience for travelers, as well as sensitivity to local customs and cultures.

Our guides are highly professional and experienced.

Our trip gives you the opportunity to explore the best of one of the world’s most extraordinary landscapes and cultures.

Sustainability:

We run a low impact operation and we leave no traces behind, contributing to the efforts of protection of the local land, its people and culture.

All our local guides and staff are properly employed and adequately equipped. In addition we emphasize on making extensive use of local products and enhance maximum economic benefits to the local communities.

As you all know 1% of our revenue go back to a local cause and Rahhalah directly takes care of that. This is our pay back promise.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival at Paro (D)

The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the scared Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. Upon arrival in Paro, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to the hotel.

In the afternoon you can visit Paro Dzong.

It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the Dzong (forts) currently. 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 can visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country, and Drukgyel Dzong. In the evening you can stroll through Paro town.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 02: Paro – Jili Dzong (B, L, D)

Distance 7 km, 4-5 hours, 1,090m ascent, camp altitude 3,480m

The first day is a long day as you have to climb more than 1,000m elevation. You start from the Ta Dzong (National Museum) in Paro. The trek follows a gravel road past a few farms for about 30 minutes and then climbs up a steep ridge before leading through blue pine and fir forests to Damche Gom. Once you reach the ridge below Jili Dzong you descend about 100m to the campsite below Jili Dzong.

Day 03: Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha (B, L, D)

Distance 10 km, 4-5hours, 310m ascent, 50m descent, camp altitude 3,770m

You begin with a climb for about an hour and a half and then ascend gradually up. The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and dwarf rhododendron tress. You may see yaks and yak herders around your campsite.

Day 04: Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho (B, L, D)

Distance 11 km, 4 hours, 230m descent, 330m ascent, camp altitude 3,870m

The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are beautiful. The campsite is close to the Jimilang Tsho Lake. The lake is known for its giant sized trout.

Day 05: Jimilang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho ( B, L, D)

Distance 11 km, 4hours, 820m ascent, 400 m descent, camp altitude 4,110m

The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder’s camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.

Day 06: Simkotra Tsho – Phajoding (B, L, D)

Distance 10 km, 3-4 hours, 130m ascent, 680m descent, camp altitude 3,750m

The trek begins with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you downhill to Phajoding for a nights halt. The camp is above Phajoding.

Day 07: Phajoding – Mothitang (B, L, D)

Distance 4-5 km, 3 hours, 1,130 m descent

After passing Phajoding monastery, the trek to Thimphu (Mothitang) is all the way downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours.

Check in at the hotel.

Overnight Thimphu.

Day 08: Thimphu sightseeing, evening drive back to Paro (65km drive, 1hrs) (B, L, D)

Morning visit to Tashichhodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress/monastery which houses most of the Government’s office and King’s Throne room, it is also the summer residence of Je Khenpo, the Chief Abbot. Then visit School of Arts and Crafts (also known as the painting school), the textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, and the National Library (which houses ancient manuscripts). The morning tour will end with an all vegetarian lunch at the Folk Heritage Restaurant, where one can taste traditional Bhutanese delicacies cooked with organically grown vegetables. After a relaxing lunch, drive to Simtokha Dzong, the first of its kind in Bhutan built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who unified Bhutan. Besides being a religious and historical monument, it also houses the premier Institute of Language and Cultural Studies for both monks and lay people. One can interact with learned Buddhist teachers (Khenpos) and students on various topics on Buddhism and what it means to be Buddhist in this world and more interesting topics. Evening visit to the Memorial Chorten built in the memory of the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. If we had time, drive to visit the world’s largest sitting Buddha Dordenma statue in KuenselPhodrang. Also, enjoy the view from the mountain top which overlooks the Thimphu Valley and evening drive toParo.

Overnight at Paro.

Day 09: Hike to Tiger Nest (Taktsang). 5 hrs hike (B, L, D)

After an early breakfast, we hike up to the famous cliff-hermitage called Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest.” This day hike is not only historically and culturally interesting, but also incredibly scenic! It takes about two hours to reach the cafeteria, which gives a breathtaking view of the Tiger’s Nest. From Cafeteria it takes 1 hour to reach the main temple.

This monastic retreat is built into a sheer cliff face high above the Paro valley. Legend has it that the Tibetan Buddhist saint Padmasambhava flew across the Himalayas on the back of a tiger and landed here, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags.
After Lunch, visit drive to Drukgyel Dzong which is built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, the towering outer walls and central keep remain an imposing sight. On clear day you can see the splendid view of Mt. Jhomolhari.

Overnight at Paro.

Day 10: Departure (B)

In the morning after breakfast transfer to the airport for departure flight.

2,600 USD

per person in a group of minimum 4. Based on Double Occupancy

Trip Dates

19th October 2018

NOTES

  • This cost is based on a group of min 4 travelers. In case there are less than 4 travelers Additional supplement applies.
  • Full payment should be made upon booking in order to proceed with the visa process.

All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change

THIS INCLUDES

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Accommodation in standard 3 * hotels
  • Camping equipment ( sleeping tent, dining tent, toilet tent, mattresses and utensil)
  • 3 meals a day
  • Government trained local guide, cook, assistants, etc
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees for museums and monuments only
  • Transportation as per the itinerary
  •  Visa fees
  • Government taxes and  Royalty

THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • International airfare
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Single supplement
  • Supplement per person for groups less than 3 pax
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, beverages, travel insurance, gratuities / tips
  • Meals not mentioned in the above itinerary
  • International departure tax
  • UAE VAT 5% on total cost

Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.

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