DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO TRANSFER TO THIMPHU
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, providing a spectacular panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Drive to the capital, Thimphu along the Pachu River.
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing at the bustling capital of Bhutan.
Visit Folk Heritage Museum is a great place for those who want to learn about the traditional lifestyle of the Bhutanese people. The museum houses a rich collection of equipment, tools, household objects and artefacts from rural households, all of which offer a glimpse of the traditional Bhutanese lifestyle. Apart from showcasing these objects, the museum is also involved in organizing regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, customs and habits of the local people. Educational programs for children are also held in the museum.
Later visit the Zorig Chusum refers to the thirteen traditional arts of Bhutan. At the National Institute for Zorig Chusum in Thimphu, students learn these arts, which include clay sculpting, traditional painting, tailoring, wood carving, gold and silver smiting, and mask carving. Some of the other arts taught here are wood turning and lacquering, embroidery, and traditional boot making. Aspiring artists attend the courses from one to four years. In the institute, one can visit the classrooms and watch students fine-tuning their crafts.
Jungshi Handmade paper factory, rough natural fibers are extracted from the bark of two species of highland shrubs and slowly transformed into beautiful translucent sheets of paper. The factory uses the bark of two tree species, the Daphne tree and Dhekap tree in the manufacture of traditional paper. Visitors can observe the entire process of producing handmade paper using ancient traditional methods that have been practiced for generations. You can even try your hand at this ancient craft and make some paper of your very own as a souvenir. Deh-sho paper was originally used by monasteries for woodblock and manuscript books and also for writing prayer books.
Weaving center Located in the south end of Thimphu, the Weaving Centre is a privately owned centre which produces traditional hand-woven textiles of the region. Apart from producing items for sale, the centre is also famous for producing ceremonial textiles for the for Bhutanese royals, including the gho and kushturara for the king and queen. The place is known for its huge collection of a wide range of clothing and readymade garments, including carves, belts, and jackets among other things. What attracts travellers to this place is the fact that one can see the weavers at work, and photographs are allowed too.
Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu
DAY 02: GENEKHA TO GUR (TREK BEGINS) 7KM 5 HOURS
You will begin the day by driving for about 45 min to the beautiful Genekha Village from where your trek starts. The villages is famous for producing matsutake and chanterelle mushrooms. You will walk over mule path, through terraced fields and coniferous forests rich with alpine flora and plenty of birds. You will then descend down to the river and after two hours of gradual uphill climb you reach the huge rock platform at 3350m, which offers a picturesque view of the valley. After another two hours of trekking you will reach your campsite at Gur (3290m), amidst abundance of wild flowers.
DAY 03: GUR TO LABATAMA 12 KM 7 HOURS
While trekking across the ridges, one enjoys the beauty of the rugged mountain vegetation. Today’s trek is amidst flowers, wild asparagus (in spring) and large meadows, which freshens your mind. Weaving through tiny streams, you will climb gently through scattered birches and rhododendrons to arrive at Pagalabtsa pass (4250m) marked by huge cairns. From the pass, you will have spectacular views of Kanchenjunga (Sikkim) and most of the Bhutanese Himalayan peaks. Descending from the pass one will view whole Dagala range meadows and yak herders camp. Lunch at nearby yak herder’s camp. You will descend into the Labatama valley and then ascend gradually through the valley passing some yak herder huts till you reach Utsho Lake (4300m) where golden trouts are in abundance. Overnight at campsite.
DAY 04: LABATAMA TO PANKA 8 KM 6 HOURS
The day begins with a 20-minute climb, after which we descend with majestic views of Himalayan peaks (including Everest, Kanchenjunga, Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tshering Gang, Khangbum, Masang Gang, Tsendegang and Gangche Ta) overnight at campsite.
DAY 05: PANKA TO TALAKHA MOANSTERY 8 KM 6 HOURS
Panka to Talekha. We traverse several passes, each more impressive than the last. This is a place to search for different varieties of blue poppy, especially in June and July, and spot mountain birds. After lunch, an hour’s gradual climb leads to the tip of the last Daga La range above the Thimphu valley. Another hour of walking brings us to the last camp above the Talekha monastery.
It’s only an hour’s walk down to the road head and soon we are driving through apple orchards to reach Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. After checking into your hotel and enjoy some time to unwind and eat lunch, enjoy sightseeing around Thimphu, once a rustic village sitting in a broad river valley and today the nation’s capital. Visit the National Memorial Chorten, completed by the Royal Queen Mother as a memorial stupa for the Third King. Continue on to 12th century Changangkha Temple and the Zilukha Nunnery. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
DAY 07: HIKE TO TIGERS NEST
After early breakfast we start the Tiger’s nest hike, the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometer above the Paro valley floor. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, founding father of the Bhutanese form of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. The main structure was severely damaged by fire in 1998, but after many years of painstaking restoration work, the complex has now been fully restored to its former glory.
Later in the evening we highly recommend you to take a relaxing hot stone bath at a traditional Bhutanese home stay to relax your sore muscles after the hike. (Extra charges applicable).
DAY 08: DEPARTURE
Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
WHAT WE INCLUDE IN OUR TAILOR MADE BHUTAN TOURS:
• Passport (with at least 6 months’ validity from the date of your exit from Bhutan)
• Print out copy of the visa & International air tickets.
• Temperatures will fluctuate greatly depending on elevation and time of day. You should be prepared for a minimum temperature of 04 degrees and a maximum of 30 degrees. You have to plan for layered clothing to be prepared for such a wide-ranging temperature fluctuations.
• Drink only bottled water, sodas, beer, etc.
• Stay away from any cold salad! These are normally rinsed in tap water before or after being sliced and are a major cause of traveler’s gastro-intestinal distress.
• All tipping is optional and by no means mandatory, however if you feel that your staff and drivers have performed at a good or excellent level, it is a great way to let them know you appreciate their efforts.
A few reminders:
• Accept or offer items with the right hand or, more politely, with both hands. Using both hands to give or receive signifies that you honor the offering and the recipient or giver.
• When you visit Buddhist shrines or temples, it is appropriate and a sign of respect to walk around the building in a clockwise direction (so that the structure is to your right side). This is also true for mani walls (walls built of stone tablets with Buddhist mantras carved on them) and Chorten (small Buddhist shrines.)
• Your guide will give you additional tips along the way, when in doubt, check in with them. You will be travelling into areas that have had relatively few foreign visitors. Your positive attitude and interaction is needed and welcomed to maximize this adventure.
What should I bring with me for the trip?
• Good walking shoes
• Sunscreen (highest possible)
• Headgear for sunny days
• Bug/Insect repellent
• Cotton clothing for summer days, light woolen clothes for evenings. Heavy woolens for winter.
• Shorts for hiking and walking around town are fine. Out of respect, please don’t wear shorts in public buildings or monasteries. Have a pair of long pants or longer skirt for these locations.