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Bumthang Cultural Trek (11 Days)

Published: Tuesday, 08 April 2014

The best time to trek is from Feb-May & Sept-Dec. Starting out from the splendid Bumthang valley, this three-day trek passesthrough several villages on its meandering route through the Bumthangcountryside. This trek provides on exceptional opportunity for contact withrural way of life in Bhutan.

Day 1: The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. One can see Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as the Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake and TsrimKhang. The first gift fromBhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. Youwill be traditionally received by our representative and driven to the hotel.

Day 2: Paro sightseeing: morning hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The climb up to the viewpoint will take around 3 hours. Enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century, and meditated for three months. Themonastery was later built in this holy place in 1684. After tea in the café walk back to the road point and drive to hotel for lunch. Afternoon visit the Ta-dzong built in the 17th century as a watchtower for the Paro dzong. This dzong was converted into the National museum in 1967, and is filled with antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and armour. Drive to the Rinpungdzong, built in 17th century to defend the valleyagainst Tibetan invaders. The dzong is now used as an administration centerand school for monks. Overnight at Paro.

Day 3: Paro/Thimphu. Drive to Thimphu (54 km.), the modern capital ofBhutan. The drive will take around 2 hours. Check in the hotel. After lunch, visit the Memorial stupa of the Late King, built in 1974, the Indigenous Hospital, where traditional medicine is still practiced, and the Painting School, where children still learn the ancient art of painting. O/N at hotel.

Day 4: Thimphu/Trongsa. Drive to Trongsa via Dochula pass (altitude 3050 meters). From here on a clear day one can have a superb view of the highest peaks in Bhutan, such as the GangkarPuensum, table mountain, JejeKhang,MasakhangGangcheyta. After Noon: Pack lunch en-route to Trongsa. Walk around in WangduePhodrang . After lunch drive on to Trongsa (129 km), via Pele la pass at an altitude of3,150 meters. Arrive Trongsa for overnight stay.

Day 5: Trongsa/Bumthang. Drive to Bumthang (68km), around 3 hours. After lunch visit the Jakardzong, built in the 17th century during the time ofShabdrungNgawangNamgyal, the fires religious King of Bhutan. The dzong is now used as administration centre of Bumthang valley. Then drive to Kurjey monastery, where Guru Padmasambava left his body imprint. The temple was later built in the 17th century, Overnight at the lodge. Day 6: Jakar/Naganglhakhang. The trek route follows the Chamkharchu river, coming across many villages and temples. This is a very easy and relaxing day. Arrive at the village camp at the altitude of 2900 meters. Walking time around 6 hours.

Day 7: NgangLhakhang/Ugyenchholing. The trail ascends gradually towards the Pele la pass, going through the forest of junipers, until you arrive at the pass at an altitude 3340 meters. After the pass descend to Tang valley, finally arriving at Ugyenchholing village. Camp by the side of the river at the altitude of 2850 meters.Walking time 7-8 hours.

Day 8: Morning walk up to the Ugyenchholingdzong. Visit the dzong and the surrounding village, then drive to Jakar following the Tang Chu river until you arrive at the main road junction. On the way visit the Meebartso (Burning lake), where Terton Pemalingpa, the reincarnation of GuruPadmasambava, is supposed to have discovered religious treasure in the 12thcentury. This lake is very sacred and is visited by many Bhutanese during auspicious days to offer butter lamps. Overnight at the lodge.

Day 9: Morning free to relax. Afternoon drive to Trongsa (68km). If time permits, visit the Tadzong (watchtower), which was used to defend the Trongsa dzong in the 17th century. Overnight at lodge.

Day 10: Drive to Thimphu (198 km). Drive to Thimphu via Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan, and presently the winter residence of the central body. Arrive Thimphu and stay overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: Early morning drive to Paro airport to catch Druk Air flight. Your guide will escort you to the Paro Airport and bid you farewell!

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