Bumthang Cultural Trek
Day 1: Arrive Paro
During the flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Chomolhari and Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Paro
Begin this day with a short drive to the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. From this fort Bhutanese repelled several invasions by Tibetan armies. Nearby visit traditional Bhutanese Farm House which offers good insight into lifestyle of local people. Then take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, the spot where Guru Rinpoche arrived on the back of a tigress and meditated. The temple is perched on a sheer rock face. The excursion to monastery’s view point takes about 5 hours for round trip. While return to Paro town visit enroute Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. In the evening visit local market and overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 3: Paro – Thimphu
In the morning, drive to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. En-route visit Semtokha Dzong. This dzong, built in 1627 is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.
After lunch in Thimphu, visit the following: the National Memorial Chorten (built as a memorial to Bhutan’s third king and as a monument to world peace); the National Institute of Traditional Medicine where the medicinal herbs abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed; the Institute for Zorig Chusum, where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan; the National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature including many ancient Buddhist texts in block-printed format; Tashichhodzong, the 17th century fortress which now houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, and is the seat of the central government. Tashichhodzong is also the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monk body.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 4: Thimphu – Trongsa
The journey to Central Bhutan begins today. The drive to Trongsa takes about 7-8 hours from Thimphu. En-route short stop at Dochu-la pass (3,088m). On a clear day there is a superb view of Bhutan’s highest peaks. Continue on to Wangduephodrang town, which is also our lunch stop. Then proceed to Trongsa over Pele-la pass (3,300m), the traditional boundary between east and west. Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.
Day 5: Trongsa – Bumthang
Morning visit to striking Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family. Then visit the Ta Dzong, built as a watchtower to guard Trongsa Dzong. After that proceed to Bumthang and in the afternoon visit the 17th century Jakar Dzong and then Kurje monastery, built in the 17th century to mark the place where Guru Padmasambhava had meditated in the 8th century, leaving his body imprint on the rock. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 6: Bumthang – Ngang Lhakhang, 14km, 6 hours
The trek begins today. The trek route follows the Chamkhar Chu (river), taking us through meadows, forests of blue pine and scrub bamboo. We will pass by many villages and temples, on this very relaxing and easy day. Camp overnight at village (2,900m).
Day 7: Ngang Lhakhang – Ogyenchhoeling, 19km, 7-8 hours
The trek starts with a gradual climb to Phephela Pass at an altitude of 3353m, the highest point of the trek route. From there, the path descends to Tang valley, finally arriving at Ogyenchhoeling village (2,850m). Camp overnight by river side near the village.
Day 8: Ogyenchhoeling – Bumthang, 11km, 4 hours
In the morning, walk up to Ogyenchhoeling Palace, a beautiful private mansion which also houses a small eco-museum, then drive to Jakar (Bumthang) following the Tang Chu until arriving at the main road. On the way visit the Mebar Tso Lake, where Terton Pema Lingpa is said to have discovered religious treasures in the 15th century. This lake is very sacred, and on auspicious days many Bhutanese people go there to offer butter lamps. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 9: Bumthang – Punakha
After breakfast, visit Jambey Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo and also visit Tamshing Lhakhang, which houses old and interesting religious paintings. Then drive to Punakha with lunch en route. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Day 10: Punakha – Paro
After breakfast visit Punakha Dzong, the 17th century fortress that is the seat of the district administration and the winter residence of the monk body, followed by a stroll of the local market. Then visit, Chimi Lhakhang. It is situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, and is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behaviour to dramatise his teachings and due to this also known as ‘Divine Madman’. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon.
Afternoon, drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 11: Paro Depart
Early breakfast in the hotel and drive to the airport for flight to onward destination. Our representative will bid you farewell.
Bumthang is Bhutan’s spiritual home. There are numerous monasteries and spiritual sites in this charming valley. This three day trek passes through several villages on its meandering route through Bumthang countryside, and provides an exceptional opportunity for contact with Bhutanese rural life. Although the trek is on the easy side, it involves a few major climbs like the one up to Pephe La with an ascent of about 3360 m.
The trek is recommended from March to May and then again from September to November.
Total cost includes:
- Standard Hotel (3 star hotel) twin sharing accommodations; camping on treks
- Full Board – All meals at local restaurants/ standard hotels/on treks (buffet system)
- All internal Transport/ Transfers in luxury vehicle
- Camping Equipment, Ponies & Assistants for treks
- Airport Transfers
- Services of Licensed English Speaking Guide
- Entrances fees to museums, monuments and cultural sites
- Evening tea/ coffee with snacks
- Mineral water in car while traveling as complementary
- All internal taxes and charges
- Government royalty (US$65 per night per person)
- FIT Surcharge of US$ 40 per night per person for single person and US$ 30 per night per person for 2 pax
- Bhutan Visa fee: US$ 40 per person (one time only)
- Tourism Development Fee: US$ 10 per person (one time only)
- Bank Transfer Charge
But Total cost does not include:
- Travel Insurance
- Laundry bill, phone bill, bar bill and other bills of personal nature
- Single room supplement (If number of pax in odd number): For, peak season = US$ 30/ per single room per night and for, other season = US$25/ per single room per night
- Single tent supplement US$ 30 per tent per night
- Use of Sleeping bag US$ 15 per night per person.
- Air Fare for both Drukair/ Bhutan Airline and International flight [Please note that the cost of any domestic airfare for the guide must be paid by the clients/agents].
- Luxury star hotels and resorts available at an additional cost
- Luxury camping/trekking can be arranged at an additional cost
- Specialized guides (Foreign Language, Photography, Bird Watching, Buddhism, Flora and Fauna) available at an additional cost.
- Extra expenses due to the unavoidable circumstance beyond our control.
Note: Night stay in tents during treks (no lodges) includes trek chef, assistant, horses/mules, tents with mattresses, all meals.
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