After arriving at Paro International Airport you will be picked up by your personal guide and driver from Around Bhutan and drive to your hotel for lunch. On your first day in Bhutan you will then visit the National Museum, located in the watchtower (Ta Dzong) of Paro Dzong. After the museum you proceed to Paro Rinpung Dzong, which was built by the founding father of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1646. Today, this fortress houses the Administrative seat of the district of Paro and the district Monk Body with about 200 monks. The central tower (Utse) of the fortress is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan with its superb woodwork. On the way back from the dzong(fortress) the beautiful Paro village invites for a stroll and a market visit. Dinner at the hotel.
(Distance 17km, four to five hours, 360m ascent, 80m descent, camp altitude 2,850m). Drive up to Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) where the road ends and the trek begins. With a gradual climb the trail follows the Paro Chhu passing beautiful meadows, paddy fields and impressive farm houses. After aboutfour hours you will reach the army post at Gunitsawa village. At the army checkpost your trek permit (provided by your tour operator) will be checked and endorsed. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa.
(Distance 22km, seven to eight hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent, camp altitude 3,610m). On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After goinguphill through the river valley, you enter the Jigme Dorji National Park. The valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mount Jomolhari.
(Distance 19km, five to six hours, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4,080m). If you did not see Mount Jomolhari last evening, you will have a great chance to get a great view this early morning. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest. Cross an army outpost along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. Yaks and the herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. Reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari.
The day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views on lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatisation. Trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jumolhari and it’s subsidiary mountain chains lie directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.
(Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 840m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4,010m) After 15 min. from the camp the trail climbs rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascend to the Nyilila pass at 4,870m. While on the climb enjoy the surrounding. You might see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains. From the pass you will have spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang, all of them rising above 7,000m. On the way down to the camp you will pass by some of the yak herder’s tent, made from yak wool, where the herders take shelter while on the move to various pastures for their yaks. As you come down into the Lingshi basin, you get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tserimgang and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. The campsite is next to a stone hut you reach just before Lingshi Dzong.
(Distance 22km, eight to nine hours, 940m ascent, 920m descent, camp altitude 4,080m) The trail climbs up to the Yelila pass at an altitude of 4,930m. From the pass, on a clear day you will get an excellent view of Jumolhari, Tserimgang and Masanggang. The trek from the pass to the campsite at Shodu is a steep downhill.
The trek from the Shodu to the campsite at Barshong is a steep downhill.
(Distance 15km, four to six hours, 290m ascent, 640m descent, camp altitude 3,320m). The trail descends down to the Thimphu Chhu river valley, through dense forests of rhododendron, birch, conifer, maples and bamboos and then ascends to pasture lands. The camp is in a meadow.
(Distance 8km, three to four hours, 500m ascent, 930m descent). The trail continues through forested areas winding up and down and through a small pass. Langurs (monkeys) can be seen along the way. In Dodena, you will exit the Jigme Dorji National Park and reach the road head next to a impressive cantilever bridge where your car will receive you and drop you to the hotel. Dinner at hotel.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
In the morning visit Memorial Chorten, a stupa built in memory of the third King of Bhutan. After that you have the chance to experience Bhutanese arts and crafts being taught at Zorig Chusum, the school of 13 Holy Arts. And to the Folk Heritage Museum these museums that were established in 2001 in Thimphu provide visitors and tourists with fascinating insights into the Bhutanese material culture and way of life. The Folk Heritage Museum with a three storied, 19th century traditional house provides you a glimpse of the Bhutanese lifestyle, and artifacts from the rural households. One can come across typical household objects, tools and equipments. After lunch you will visit the craft bazar where you get the geninue Bhutanes handicrafs and then dive towards Takin zoo and have the opportunity to have a glance and take pictures of an unique animal which is our National animal,Takin which has head of a goat and the body of a Yak. And we will drive towards kunselphodrang(Buddha point) where you will have the pleasure to have a look at one of the largest statue of sitting Buddha in the world and later in the evening we will take you to the impressive Trashichoe Dzong. This massive fortress houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the office and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot. Dinner at the hotel.
In the morning drive to Dochu La, a 3140m high street pass. On clear days the pass offers a panoramic view of the Bhutan Himalaya. The collection of 108 chortens were built in 2005, and the new Druk Wangyel Lhakhang was inaugurated 2009, showing marvellous paintings. From Dochu La you continue towards Mistna where you visit Chimi Lhakhang after lunch. This temple was founded by Drukpa Kinley, commonly known as "Divine Mad Man". After Drukpa Kinley subdued the feared demoness of Dochu La, he advised the local people to built a temple in 1499. After visiting the temple you drive to Punakha and check in at the hotel. Dinner at hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast you visit Punakha Dzong. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan, and the Dzong (fortress) lies between two rivers known as Pochu and Mochu which means "Male River and Female River." Built in 1637 under the reign of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the founding father of Bhutan, Punakha is today the winter residence of the central monk body and holds the famous Drukpa Kagyu relique "Rajung Khasarpani". The main assembly hall shows paintings of the life story of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha. After visiting the Dzong you drive towards Paro valley, where you will reach in the afternoon.And after lunch drive to Drugyal Dzong (a ruin of a Dzong) which is situated at the end of Paro Valley about 16 kilometers outside town. This Fortress is of great historical importance as it was here that the Bhutanese defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the snowcovered peaks of Mount Jhomolhari (7329m) can be seen on a clear day. After that visit one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the Kyichu Lhakhang. Built buy the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, Kyichu is considered to be one of 108 temples that were built to defeat an ogress (demon) that was lying over the entire Himalayas. Dinner at hotel.
Today's programme includes a hike to one of the most sacred places in entire Bhutan: after driving to the road end you start the climb to the picturesque Taktsang Monastery, also known as "Tigers Nest". Perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800 ft, Taktsang was built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup (stag tshang seng ge bsam grub) cave where Guru Rinpoche has meditated for three months in the 8th century. Padmasambhava has introduced Buddhism to Bhutan. Today, Paro Taktsang is the best known of the thirteen taktsang or "Tiger Lair" caves in which he meditated.
Drive to Paro Airport. See off by your Guide and Driver.
Mr Nredup Jamtsho
GPO- 1657, Changzamtok, Thimphu, Bhutan
Merak - Sakten Community Trek Tour - 18 D / 17 N
Paro - Thimphu - Trongsa - Mongar - Trashigang - Chaling - Donmong Chu - Merak - Miksateng - Sakteng - Mongar - Bumthang - Punakha