Gangtey Trekking commence fly Kathmandu to Paro enjoying magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks. Give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. After lunch, you will visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower that is now known as the National Museum. Explore around the Thimpu and Bhutanese handicrafts. In Thimphu valley sightseeing you will be able to get the glimpses of Dechhenchholing palace amid the forest of pine trees. Visit the Tango Monastery which was founded in the 13th century and today it houses around 150 monks who are mastering their Buddhist philosophy in meditation and higher studies. You will closely observe the ancient capital of Bhutan. Visit historical place of Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body. The drive to Bumthang via Trongsa is about 7 hours crossing over Pele La Pass (3300m) and Yotongla Pass (3400m). In Bumthang valley sightseeing you will visit Tamshing Monastery, (one of the oldest monastic schools built by Terton Pema Lingpa). Drive Bumthang to Gangtey. Gangtey lies towards the east of Punakha and Wangdue on the flanks of the Black Mountains. Enjoy the moderate hike through from Gangtey Valley to the Gogona Valley.
Arrival at Paro (by Druk Air) – Transfer to Thimphu
Thimphu valley sightseeing
Thimphu – Punakha
Punakha – Trongsa – Bumthang
Bumthang valley sightseeing
Bumthang – Ura – Bumthang
Bumthang – Gangtey
Gangtey – Gogona (start of trek)
Gogona - Khotokha
Khotokha – Wangdue
Wangdue - Paro: Drive to Paro.
Paro – Haa valley
Haa Valley / Paro
Paro – Departure (by Druk Air)
The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. First gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you will be brief by our guide and transferred to Paro town for lunch. After lunch, we will visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower that is now known as the National Museum (converted in 1968). The museum boasts antique thangka, textiles, weapons and armor, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
We will also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in the 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now used as and administration centre and school for monks.
We then depart for Thimpu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The drive will take around 1.5hours. Thimpu has a population of about 98,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. In the evening, we will visit the Handicrafts Emporium, where all types of Bhutanese handicrafts are made and sold. Dinner and overnight at hotel Druk.
After breakfast drive towards the north of Thimphu valley and you will be able to get the glimpses of Dechhenchholing palace amid the forest of pine trees. We continue our drive further on till we reach at the base of Tango Monastery. From here we hike for 1.5 hours to reach the top and visit the Tango Monastery which was founded in the 13th century and today it houses around 150 monks who are mastering their Buddhist philosophy in meditation and higher studies. After visiting the monastery we walk back at the ground floor where you will be picked up by your car and the drive to Thimphu for lunch. After lunch drive to visit the local village of Kabjisa which is 25 minutes drive form your lunch place and explore the valley on your own. Late afternoon visit Weekly Outdoor Market, where everyone goes to buy fruits and vegetables, rice, grains, chillis and other fresh foods. The crowded stalls offer many colorful local items such as yak tail dusters, butter tea cups, turquoise from Nepal and Tibet and musical instruments. Dinner and overnight at hotel Druk.
After breakfast depart to Punakha, an ancient capital of Bhutan. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha and drive to visit Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo (Female) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu. Afternoon take a hike up to Nyizergang Chorten (Kham Yueley Chorten) which sets majestically on a hilltop promontory across the river. The hike is around forty minutes one way through the terraced rice fields. Overnight at hotel Meri Puensum.
Today we start early for the fabulous drive to the central valleys of Bhutan. The drive to Bumthang via Trongsa is about 7hours crossing over Pele La Pass (3300m) and Yotongla Pass (3400m). The Central Road, across the Black Mountains was completed 30years ago, and it bough about great changes to the people in central Bhutan.
We pass Wangdue, one of the major towns and district headquarters of Western Bhutan where we make a short stop to view the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. We then climb steadily passing through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pelela Pass (3300m) with an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between west and east Bhutan. If the weather is clear, the Himalayan range can be seen, particularly the peak of Jhomulhari (7314m) to the west. En route we cross Chendebji Chorten built many centuries ago to suppress a demon. After lunch, we go out to view the impressive Trongsa Dzong, ancestral home of the ruling dynasty. In olden days the Dzong commanded the passage between East and West Bhutan. We then drive to Bumthang valley (described as “one of the most beautiful spot in the Himalayas” across the Yotongla Pass (3400m), overnight at Rinchenling Lodge.
This is one of the most spectacular valleys in Bhutan and also the heartland of Buddhism. The Guru and his lineage of Tertons (treasure finders), have led to the sprouting of many temples in the valley.
In the morning we hike to visit the Tamshing Monastery (one of the oldest monastic schools built by Terton Pema Lingpa) and Kurjey Lhakhang (where the Guru Rinpoche subdued a local demon and left his body imprint on a rock). We also visit Jambay Lhakhang (one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in 7th century) and Jakar Dzong (seat of the district administration).
In the afternoon, hike to Thangbi valley across the suspension bridge and visit the Thangbi Lhakhang built in the 14th century, overnight at Rinchenling Lodge.
Following breakfast, we take an excursion to the Ura Valley. At a distance of 42 kilometres from Bumthang, the road reaches the Ura Shelthangla, where there is a magnificent view in clear weather of Bhutan’s highest peak, Gangkar Puensum (7,500m). The road then descends into the Ura Valley by long loops across fields and pastures. Ura’s main occupation is raising sheep and yaks, and the introduction of potato farming has brought a certain degree of prosperity to the people. We visit Ura Lhakhang and then return to Bumthang. In the afternoon we visit Tamshing Monastery, (one of the oldest monastic schools built by Terton Pema Lingpa) and Kurjey Lhakhang (where the Guru Rinpoche subdued a local demon and left his bodily imprint on a rock). We also visit Jambay Lhakhang (one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in the 7th century ) and Jakar Dzong (seat of the district administration). Dinner and overnight at Rinchenling lodge.
Today after breakfast we drive back to Wangdue via Trongsa and Gangtey. Gangtey lies towards the east of Punakha and Wangdue on the flanks of the Black Mountains. There is an old monastery of Gangtey Gompa dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometres past the Gompa on the valley floor is the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gently sloping hill sides of Phobjikha is described as “the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas”. This is the winter home of black-necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climates. Afternoon visit the community school and observe the teaching methods of Bhutan and also you can take a class if you like o playing with the school children. Dinner and overnight at hotel Dewachen.
Start trek. Altitude 3,000m; Distance 14 km; Time 5-6 hrs.
Today we begin our Bhutan trek with a moderate hike through from Gangtey Valley to the Gogona Valley. Our trail winds through meadows and fields then climbs through mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendron to the Tsele La (3,320m/ 10,956ft). Gogona Valley is very popular with Bhutanese laymen (who are religious but at the same time lead a family life independent of the Gompas). Overnight at Camp Gogona Valley [BLD]
Trek Day Gogona-Khotokha. Distance 16 km; Time: 6 – 7 hrs
A gentle climb leads to Shobju La (3,390m/11,187ft). The descent leads down into the sweeping Khotokha Valley. Today’s trek offers ‘big sky’ views of the mountains. Overnight at Camp [BLD].
Distance km; Time hrs (end of trek).
A short ascent brings us to the Tashi La (2,788m/9,200ft). Be sure to fill your water bottle shortly after crossing the pass, as the descent is dry. We walk down through an ever-changing landscape into the drainage region of the Dhang Chu River. Overnight at hotel Dragon Nest. [BLD].
Morning drive back to Chhuzomsa where a diversion leads you into the valley of Samtengang. Samtengang is considered a nice village on the spur surrounded by pine forests and amazingly a beautiful big lake. Explore the village of Samtengang. From Samtengang village to Gyelekha valley and the walk is around 45 minutes. Explore the valley of Geylekha and also visit the oldest monastery, Seygang in the village. After Geylekha walk through the rice terraced fields in descending order and cross a suspension bridge and climb 20 minutes onto the motorable road where you will be picked up by your transport and drive you to Paro. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive the winding road to the Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fortress, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions. We then drive beyond Satsam Chorten to hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The hike up to the cafeteria will take around one and half hour. At the view point enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigeress in the 8th century. If you desire then you can hike up to the monastery and visit the monastery which contains thirteen holy places. After the visit to the temples walk back to the cafeteria for your lunch. After lunch walk back to the motorable road where you will be picked by the car and then transfer to hotel.
After breakfast drive over the Chelila pass (3,780 m). Haa valley lies at an elevation of 2,700 m and on the way able to view the high mountains such as Jhomolhari (7,314 m). The drive is through the dense forest of pine trees, oak and Rhododendrons and finally to Haa valley. Afternoon visit the Haa Dzong, Nagpo and Karpo Lhakhang. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
After breakfast drive towards the confluence and the drive is through the thick forest of pine forest and rhododendrons. The drive offers you the scenic beauty of the nature and passes through the villages of Jankana, Sombekha and finally on to the confluence. From the confluence drive back to Paro for overnight. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
In the morning your Bhutanese escort from our representative will bid you farewell at Paro airport. Good-bye and happy journey back home.
Himalayan Smile Treks and Adventures Pvt. Ltd. is a locally owned and managed trekking company established by
a team of professionals who have long years of experience in travel, trekking, tour and adventure activities
in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.