Package #4: – Dur Hot-spring Trek – 15 days
Dur Tshachu (Hotspring) trek is popularly known for its hot spring which is located on an en-route trail in Wangchuck Centennial Park. There are total seven hot-spring in this region and the average temperature of the hot springs varies from 38 to 52 degrees Celsius. The Dur Tshachu trek is usually known as moderate to the strenuous level of the trek and the trekkers should have the good physical capabilities along with the enthusiasm to walk for at least 6 to 7 hours a day in 8days/7nights. For those who are not as super fit, we would suggest extending this trek by one night making it a 9 day/8 night trek.
The trek is an exhilarating trek through Bumthang crossing through several hot springs and following the old expedition route of Gangkhar Puensum mountain 7,497m meters which is the 40th highest peak in the world, and surprisingly its still remains unclimbed. This trek is particularly famous for its hot springs which are said to be the most beautiful natural springs in the Himalayas. You will come across several hot springs where one can relax and shower in the mineral-rich water.
Dur Hot Springs trek certainly is for any nature enthusiast and enjoying the cultural, religious and historical aspects of the Dragon Kingdom. The starting point of the trek is Dur village which is one hour, 5kms, a rough drive from Toktu Zampa. The trail has numerous steep ascents and descents and ranges from altitudes between 3000 – 4700m. However, despite the difficulty, this trek is well worth the effort as it will take you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Bhutan. The trail leads you through forests of Cyprus, juniper, spruce, hemlock and maple, the route also offers the opportunity to view interesting fauna such as Snow leopard, Bhutan Takin, Musk deer, Blue sheep, Tibetan wolf and Himalayan black bear. Spectacular mountain scenery, remote and dramatic monasteries and pristine Himalayan culture can explore throughout the trip. The main highlight of the trek is a visit to these hot springs which is believed the best for healing skin and skin related disease and at the same time enjoying the natural wonders of Bhutan.
Season: The best season for this trek is March to April and September to early November
- Day 01: Arrive Paro International Airport, Paro sightseeing and transfer to Thimphu
- Day 02. Thimphu sightseeing
- Day 03. Travel to Punakha, (125Km, 4-5hrs), & Punakha sightseeing
- Day 04. Travel to Bumthang 220Km, 7-8hrs
- Day 05. Bumthang Sightseeing
- Day 06. Trek Bumthang – Gorsum (18 km, 6-7 hrs.) (Trekking Strat day)
- Day 07. Gorsum – Lungsum (12 km, 5 hrs.)
- Day 08. Lungsum – Tshochenchen (6-7 hrs.)
- Day 09. Tshochenchen – Dur Tshachu (17 km, 6-7 hrs.)
- Day 10. Dur Tsachu (Halt)
- Day 11. Dur Tsachu – Tshochenchen (17 km 6-7hrs.)
- Day 12. Tshochenchen – Gorsum (9 hrs.)
- Day 13. Gorsum – Bumthang (18 km, 6-7 hrs)
- Day 14 Travel to Thimphu (291Km, 8-9hrs)
- Day 15. Travel to Paro international airport for departure
Day 01: Arrive at Paro International airport and Transfer to Thimphu (Capital city of Bhutan)
The only two international flight (Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines) to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Soon after you leave the Indian low lying plains and the great view of The Mount Everest from your window, you will be flying over densely forested areas and will see the far-flung Bhutanese Temples and Monasteries built on the steep terrain-mountains and cliffs. Before you cease your imagination and wondering how people are going to get there on foot, you will be informed by flight attendant to fasten your seat belt to prepare for landing at Paro International Airport, the airport which has only one strip runway lying between a local community of Traditional Bhutanese Houses on one side and a high way motor road on the other side. Then as you descend towards the Paro Valley, you will be flying very close overhead the Paro Villages. The valley of Paro contains a wealth of attractions, with cover of green paddy fields, crystal clear Pa Chu river, the Paro Dzong (Fortress) and then slowly but spine chillingly (for the First timer into Bhutan), you will land at the airstrip and on landing, you are sure to wonder, “wow!!! the Pilot is really good…Thank God we have landed”. And usually, the First Timers flying into Bhutan, clap in unison and then there is a guffaw of laughter and giggles….Truly an instant awakening of happiness from the moment you land. Bhutan’s first gift, as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air.
On arrival at Paro international airport, You will be then ushered to immigration counter and baggage claim areas by very astonishing and helpful airport staffs. After then, your tour guide will be waiting for you at the exit door with full of excitement expression on his/her face with Khadhar (a white scarf on his/her hand to offer you as tradition culture). The reason for offering a white Khadar is; traditionally we believe white colour symbolising a purity, hence to show you, you are now encircled by pure-hearted people, you are welcome and be loved as our guest and you will be taken full care. The good-humoured drivers and his cheerful assistant will be happy to gently pack your luggage in SUV cars. Now depending on your flight landing time, if your flight landed lately, we’ll directly transfer to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan however if your flight landed early, we’ll head towards Paro main town for tea and coffees break and later end the remaining days by doing following sightseeing in Paro.
Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong: One of the main attractions in Paro is the Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress), which was built in 1646. The Dzong now houses for the office of the district Administration and district monastic body of Bhutan. On the way to Dzong, you can able to see Bhutanese traditional wooden bridge built in ancient style. Along the wooden galleries lining the courtyard of the Rinpung Dzong are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala.
Visit The National Museum (Ta-Dzong) is located just above the Paro Rinpung Dzong, which was built to be used as the watchtower for the Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century. The Ta Dzong is now serving as National Museum. The Museum has got a collection of all kinds of traditional Masks, extinct wildlife animals skin cover, Stamps, Photos, Statues, Pottery, Arms and Ammunition, ancient costumes, relics, religious paintings, handicrafts, and hangs the Biggest mask in Bhutan. The collection at the National Museum preserves a snap-shot of the rich cultural traditions of the country.
Visit Drugyal Dzong (Victorious Fortress), Another site worth visiting in Paro is Drugyel Dzong or The Fortress of the Victorious Bhutanese. It was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over marauding Tibetan armies. On a clear day, one can get a spectacular view of Mountain Jhomolhari, the third -highest mountain in Bhutan at 7,326 meters. The fortress was destroyed by fire in 1951 but the ruins remain an impressive and imposing sight.
Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, (Lhakhang means temple) en-route to Drugyal Dzong, The Kyichu Lhakhang is the oldest temple in the country, built in the 659 AD, by the King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. It is believed that king had built 108 temples in the various place he visited on earth to spread Buddhism and Kyichu Lhakhang is included as one. The Lhakhang is located in between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong. In Bhutan, people believe that the place where Lhakhang is built is considered one of the holiest place in the country, as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country.
Travel to Thimphu: Visit Tamchog Lhakhang: On the way to Thimphu, we will take an opportunity to visit Tamchog Lhakhang. This temple en route to Thimphu capital city of Bhutan, so anyone can visit this temple which is situated on a small hill overlooking the Paro river. One has to cross an ancient bridge and this bridge is the main attraction as the irons on this bridge are ancient and legend has it that these irons were pounded into Chain links by the Treasure Hunter of Bhutan in the 16th Century. The pounding was done by beating the iron on his thighs.
After then we will continue our journey towards Thimphu, the next remarkable spot comes is Chhuzom (Confluence), is the juncture of Thimphu river (Wang Chu) and Paro river (Pa Chhu). Chuzom is also a major road junction, with southwest
road leading to Haa (79km), south road to Phuntsholing (141km) and northeast to Thimphu (30km). Three different styles of stupas; Tibetan, Nepalese and Bhutanese adorn this confluence. From Chuzom, the road follows Wangchu River upstream as you pass through villages and suburbs to the capital, Thimphu. The notable villages you will see along the way are Kharbije, Ramtogto and on the opposite side of the river is Sisina, where you can stop to see the small nunnery institutions, Khasadrapchhu with Hydro plant and shops, Namseling with extensive rice paddies, apple orchards and several old houses. As you approach Thimphu, the suburbs are Simtokha and Lungtenphu.
By the time we arrive in Thimphu, it will be already late evening, so we will take you to the hotel, serve you dinner and usher you to your room for complete relaxation.
Day 02. Thimphu sightseeing
After breakfast, sightseeing of Thimphu valley includes the following;
Visit Tashichho Dzong; the Dzong has been the seat for Bhutan’s government since 1968. It presently houses the throne room and offices for the king, the cabinet secretariat and the Ministry for home & cultural affairs. It also houses the Central Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks.
Visit Textile Museum (http://www.rtabhutan.org), you will see the Royal Collection, of Bhutanese antique textile artefacts, warp pattern weaves, and weft pattern weaves including crowns of Bhutan’s kings, Namzas (dresses) and other accessories are worn by the Royal Family, The ground floor of the Textile Museum has displays demonstrating the skills of spinning, colouring fibres, preparing a loom, and manipulating two sets of yarns. Decorative fabrics and textile arts and crafts are categorically displayed in the galleries situated on the first floor of the Textile Museum. There are displays showing the traditional regional garments produced by women and men in Bhutan, and those garments used for special religious occasions.
Visit Folk Heritage Museum https://www.bhutan.travel/attractions/folk-heritage-museum. This museum lets you experience the traditional way of lifestyle at Bhutanese home. The museum also displays an impressive collection of typical household objects, tools and equipment. The Folk Heritage Museum is set inside a three-storied, 19th-century traditional house. The museum also organizes regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits and customs as well as hosting educational programs for children.
Visit The National Library; was established in 1967 for the purpose of preservation and promotion of the rich cultural and religious heritage of Bhutan. It holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts and contains arguably the best collection of religious and historical literature in the Himalayas.
Visit National Institute for Zorig Chusum. Zorig Chusum refers to the thirteen traditional visual arts and crafts that Bhutanese have practised for generations. The thirteen arts and crafts include; painting, carving, sculpture, calligraphy, carpentry, gold- silversmithing, bamboo work, wood turning, weaving and embroidery, pottery, blacksmithing, masonry and incense-stick making. You can have an interview or conversations with the students and instructors to know more. The showroom sells good-value pieces made by students.
Visit Centenary Farmer Market is a must, The Centenary Farmer’s Market in Thimphu is an explosion of colours and scents. Thimphu residents throng the market on the weekends, to buy the freshest local produce (pure organic) from across the country, as well as a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and other products imported from India. You’ll see the variety of food in the country, including basket fiery chillies, fresh cheese, and fruits and the seasonal vegetables are eaten by the Bhutanese, including various types of Orchids and Ferns. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It’s fun to meander the aisles, taking in the lively atmosphere of the market.
Visit The TAKIN Preserve: Located in Motithang about 3km away from the heart of Thimphu city is a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. The reason for declaring takin as a national animal of Bhutan on 25 November 2005 is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. When a small number of Takin were confined in a “mini-zoo” in Thimphu, the Fourth King of Bhutan felt that it was improper for a Buddhist country to confine animals for religious and environmental reasons. He, therefore, ordered the release of the animals and the closure of the mini-zoo. To everyone’s surprise, the takin, known for their docile behaviour, refused to leave the immediate area and stayed in the streets of Thimphu in search of food for weeks.
Visit National Memorial Chorten (Stupa): This stupa one of the most visible religious structures in heart of Thimphu city, The building of this landmark was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Visitors will find elderly
Bhutanese people circumambulating the Chorten throughout the day. Chorten literally means ‘Seat of Faith’ and Buddhists often call such monuments, the ‘Mind of Buddha’.
Visit Buddha Dordenma Statue: This massive statue of Shakyamuni measures at a height of 51.5m, making it one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha Dordenma statue; 100,000 statues of which are 8-inches-tall and 25,000 statues of which are 12 inches tall. Each of these thousands of Buddhas has also been cast in bronze and gilded. The throne that the Buddha Dordenma sits upon is a large meditation hall.
Visit Tarayana Rural Products
Bhutan’s Queen Mother Dorje Wangmo (the fourth king’s wife) established this NGO to support rural communities across Bhutan through the marketing and sale of traditional crafts. Crafts here include paper products from Samtse, handwoven scarves, bags and nettle place mats, and the quality is generally high.
Visit Changlimithang Archery Ground
On weekends it’s worth checking to see if there’s an archery tournament going on at this ground near the Changlimithang Stadium: whether it’s traditional bamboo or high-tech carbon-fibre bows, the skill, camaraderie and good-humoured ribbing are always entertaining. Traditional songs and victory dances are all part of the fun. Archers often practise here in the mornings.
Visit BBS Tower
There’s a wonderful view of Thimphu valley from the hillside below the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) tower (2685m), high above the town at the end of a road that branches off from the approach to the youth centre. Don’t photograph the telecommunications installation, but the valley is worth a few snaps particularly in the afternoon. The area is known as Sangaygang and the access road attracts fitness fanatics after work and becomes a lover’s lane after dark.
Visit National Institute of Traditional Medicine where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practised. Established in 1978, this institute collects medicinal plants from remote corners of the Bhutanese Himalaya, such as Lingzhi, Laya and Lunana, and then distributes pills, tablets, ointments and medicinal teas to regional health-care units around the country. The small museum details some of the 300 herbs, minerals and animal parts that Bhutanese doctors have to choose from.Of particular interest is yartsa goenbub (cordyceps) – the high-altitude cure-all ‘Himalayan Viagra’, which is actually a caterpillar that has been mummified by a fungus. The curious ‘worm-root’ sells for up to US$25,000 per kilogram in China.
Visit Royal Botanical Garden
A road leads uphill from Babesa to the Royal Botanical Garden, which might be of interest to horticultural enthusiasts. The centre was inaugurated in 1999 and has a weedy collection of 500 species of plants. It’s a favourite weekend picnic spot of Thimphu residents.
There are many other attractions in and around Thimphu Valley, including, archery fields, restaurants, handicraft shops, Local farmer market, a radio tower (which will give you a spectacular bird’s eye view of Thimphu valley) and the National Institute of Traditional Medicine where centuries old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practised. Also visit mask maker workshop and workshop for fine metal craft, weaving, ceramics and a traditional paper factory.
In the evening before we conclude today’s program, we will stroll through Thimphu main town.
Day 03. Travel to Punakha, & Punakha sightseeing
After early breakfast, drive to Dochula pass (3,050m) which is en route to Punakha. We’ll have a chance to stop for a photo shooting and taking fresh air at Dochula Pass. Dochula pass is a popular location among tourists as it offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. The view is especially scenic on clear, winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquillity of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass. Bhutanese families enjoy visiting the pass during holidays and weekends to picnic and simply enjoy the scenery. It is common to see families and groups of friends seated amongst the chortens, enjoying a packed lunch and hot tea. For tourists, this is an ideal location to capture beautiful pictures of the Himalayan mountain range during clear, warm days. If the weather permits, you can see a range of high Himalayan peaks towards the northeast. Following peaks can be seen from this pass, on a clear day ; Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana – finally Gangkar puensum 7,497m, which is the 40th highest peak in the world, and surprisingly its still remains unclimbed.
The drive from Thimphu to Punakha, along with the National Hwy and over the Dochu La, leads from the cool heights of Thimphu to the balmy, lush landscapes of the Punakha valley. After passing through the junction at Lobesa towards the north of Punakha overcoming beautiful village and farmlands. It will be still early at the time of our arrival in Punakha, hence we will take a chance to do following sightseeing in Punakha.
Visit Chime Lhakhang; en-route to Punakha, we’ll visit Chimi Lhakhang which is located on a hillock among the green and lush paddy field stands a pilgrimage site for a childless couple. Chimi Lhakhang is known as the “Temple Of Fertility”. The temple was built over half a millennium ago by Ngawang Choegyel, the 14th Drukpa hierarch. The monastery is renowned throughout Bhutan as a fertility inducing magnet, pledging that all who wish to conceive will find guidance at the temple. Thousands of pilgrimage within and across the country visit the Fertility Temple in the hopes of having a child, as well as receiving a wang, blessing, from the saint with the ‘magic thunderbolt of wisdom. Couples with new-borns often visit the temple so that a local lama, Buddhist teacher, can bestow a resounding forename on the child, whilst eager travellers can approach lamas for their unique Bhutanese name and special meaning. Myth and folklore cloak Chimi Lhakhang and its maverick saint, Drukpa Kunley. He preached Buddhism is an unconventional manner, by way of song, comedy, and shocking sensual connotations. Legend has it that the Yogi buried a dog-like demoness under the rotund earth, shaped in the female form, that now stands under the Stupa floor. He actively encouraged phallus symbols to be used throughout the design of the temple in paintings and carvings. To this day, the monastery safeguards the original wooden phallus symbol, embedded with a silver handle, from Tibet, that is used to bless visitors and pilgrims. You will be also given a wooden phallus symbol locket or wristband.
Visit Punakha Dzong: The journey continues through varying scenes of greenery all the way to Punakha Dzong. The Punakha Dzong lies between two great rivers with their local names as the Phochu (Male River) and the Mochu (Female River). Presently, this Dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the District Administration. Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 by the founder of Bhutan, Shabdrung Rimpoche. Shabdrung Rimpoche went into meditation in 1651 at the age of 58, for 12 long years in the Punakha Dzong, after he had established the DUAL system of Governance in Bhutan. Shabdrung Rimpoche’s death was announced only 25 years after his death, as it was believed that even after his physical death, he remained in a meditational form which all the great Buddhist Lamas can only perform. The Dzong houses many sacred, holy ancient relics, the most sacred being the RANGJUNG KHARSAPANI. This relic is a self-created image of Avalokiteswara that miraculously emerged from the vertebrae of Tsangpa Gyarey, the founder of the Drukpa School when he was cremated. The first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. Punakha Dzong is not only the second oldest and second largest dzong but it also has one of the most majestic structures in the country.
Visit Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten: The magnificent chorine sits high above Punakha Valley, affording panoramic views of the verdant hillsides below. The four-storey temple remains a worthy example of the country’s traditional architecture and artistic techniques. This chorten, however, is unique. It is not designed for community worship or for a monastic retreat or education like other Buddhist Institute and Colleges. It is designed as a magical tool. This is a temple situated on a hilltop and built by the Queen Mother of Bhutan for the fifth and reigning King of Bhutan. The temple is a mark of Bhutanese architecture and paintings. Its a half day hike round trip.
Experience river rafting in Phochu and Mochu: This river facing experience will surely offer you the best opportunity to briefly break away from the tour itinerary. The Pho Chu, with its approx 16 km course with about 15 rapids of class 2-4 is the most popular for rafting in Bhutan followed by Mo Chu river with 10 Km course comprising around 10 rapids with 2 – 2+ rapids. you are not only enjoying the rafting but can also watch world’s rarest bird, the white belled Heron in its natural habitat and Kingfishers frolicking on the riverbank – all these topped off with the spectacular sight of serene lush green alpine valleys, are the most amazing experience you would love to treasure. Rafting in Bhutan is a superb experience in its own right. No special experience is required as long as you do not mind doing a bit of paddling and getting a bit wet – or quite possibly very wet! – then you will have an exciting time riding the white waters of the Himalayan rivers. Rivers in Bhutan also offer great potential for Kayaking. If you are looking for more adventure, we will be happy to customize a suitable Kayaking adventure in Bhutan.
In the evening before we conclude today’s program, we will stroll through Khuruthang main town in Punakha.
Day 04. Travel to Bumthang 220Km, 7-8hrs
One of the most picturesque drives, cutting past charming hamlets, serene farmlands, hours and hours of deep forests and valleys, hills filled with Rhododendrons of every hue, the drive to Bumthang is long but you wouldn’t want it to end.
Enroute Bumthang, you need to pass to 2 famous Passes – the Pele La and the Yutong La — and the beautiful Trongsa Valley that has the longest Dzong in all of Bhutan, the Trongsa Dzong. We could take a chance to visit the dzong should the time is permissible.
Stop by Pele La: Pele La stands grandly at 3420 meters with the customary Chorten (Stupa) and long colourful flags covering the hilltops. From the Pele La, you drive down the hills covered with red, pink, yellow Rhododendrons for about 30 minutes, admiring the beautiful landscape around you, the little hamlets dotting the valleys, the crystal clear rivers, to reach Chendbji Chorten, a famous Stupa. The Stupa appears almost from nowhere, one turn in the valley and you are there.
Stop by Chendebji Chorten for lunch: which was built in the 18th century by a Lama named Shida, from Tibet, to cover the remains of an evil spirit that was subdued at this spot. The Chorten is patterned on Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu. It is common to see Bhutanese travellers in families and group stop by the chortens, enjoying a packed lunch and hot tea, while kids were seen playing on freshly pure green grass. Trongsa is not far from here.
After passing Trongsa, you will cross another pass which is 29 km away from Trongsa towards Bumthang, its called Yutong La pass situated at 11,000 ft altitude and it is the highest pass. Top of the pass is fully covered by mist most of the time, prayer flags hang on top of the pass adds furthermore beautification on the site. This pass marks the border area between Trongsa and Bumthang. Further 13 km ahead, the road enters into a wide open cultivated valley known as Chumey valley under Bumthang district. Your tour guide will tease you while entering Chumey valley, saying ‘Guys welcome to Switzerland’, its because the wide plain valley exactly resembles Switzerland.
By the time we arrive in Bumthang it will be late evening, so we’ll take you directly to the hotel, serve you dinner, and usher to your room for rest.
Day 05. Bumthang Sightseeing
After breakfast, sightseeing of Bumthang region includes the following;
Short Hiking: We will go for short hiking to explore the true beauties of Bumthang valley. You could choose to ride on horseback or just walk. Bumthang is known as heaven for hikers and trekkers and you will come across many beautiful monasteries, also important Buddhist monasteries and pilgrimage sites.
Visit Jakar Dzong: The Jakar Dzong or the “Castle of the White Bird” dominates the Chamkhar valley and overlooks the town. Constructed in 1549, by the Tibetan Lam Nagi Wangchuk, the Dzong played an important role as the fortress of defence of the whole eastern Dzongkhags. It also became the seat of the first king of Bhutan. A special feature of the Dzong is the approximately fifty meters high Use or the Central tower, which is distinct from most other Dzongs in Bhutan. The other unique feature of the Dzong is a sheltered passage, with two parallel walls, interconnected by fortified towers, which gave the population of the fortress access to water in the case of a siege. The protected water supply is still intact to this day.
Visit The Kurjey Lhakhang (Temple): where the kings of Bhutan are taken for their cremation rites. This large, active and important temple complex is named after the body (kur) print (jey) of Guru Rinpoche, which is preserved in a cave inside the oldest of the three buildings that make up the temple complex. The big cypress tree beside the Lhakhang is believed to be the walking stick of Guru Rimpoche. The great Guru also created a holy waterhole beside the temple which people frequent either for religious or medical purposes.
Visit Wangdicholing Palace – Wangdichholing was built in 1857, on the site of the battle camp of the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyel, father of the first King of Bhutan, who was also born here. It was the first palace in Bhutan that was not designed as a fortress. Both the first and second king adopted Wangdicholing as their main summer residence. There is five giant water driven prayer wheels, to the north which is quite interesting to see.
Take a Drive around Bumthang valley: If you are a cheese and honey lover you could try the pure organic produced by Bumthang community. We will drive to Beautiful Ura valley which is located on the way to eastern Bhutan with the incredible community and amazing valley. It is also the most beautiful valley within Bumthang district with traditional and well-preserved cultures and traditions.
Visit Mebartsho: Enroute to Ura Valley, visit Mebartsho (The Burning Lake), it’s believed to be one of most sacred religious sites in Bhutan. During the time of tertoen (Treasure Discoverer) Pema Lingpa it’s said that he discovered the hidden treasure of Guru Padmashambava from that lake with a lamp burning on his hand.
Visit Ura valley: The Ura valley is one of spectacular valley amongst other in Bumthang. Ura valley is situated at 3100 meters above sea level which makes Ura the highest among the valleys in Bumthang. Hiking in Ura Valley will let you see and experience for yourself the spectacular landscape that the region is known for and you will also have the opportunity to explore and learn the culture of its charming village. The valley of Ura is believed to be the home of the earliest inhabitants of Bhutan. The village of Ura has about 50 or so clusters of traditional homes with cobbled walkways, that gives somewhat a medieval atmosphere. The people of this region are primarily sheep and yak herders. Women here traditionally cover their head with white scarf against the cold wind and wear sheepskin behind their back, which is used as a cushion and as well as to protect their cloth from the loads they carry. In the centre of the village, there is an interesting Ura temple.
Visit Mebartsho: Enroute to Ura Valley, visit Mebartsho (The Burning Lake), it’s believed to be one of most sacred religious sites in Bhutan. During the time of Tertoen (Treasure Discoverer) Pema Lingpa it’s said that he discovered the hidden treasure of Guru Padmashambava from that lake with a lamp burning on his hand.
In the evening before we conclude today’s program, we will stroll through Bumthang’s main town and get back to the hotel, serve dinner and take complete rest to prepare for the actual trek which will commence from tomorrow.
Day 06. Trek Bumthang – Gorsum (18 km, 6-7 hrs.) (Trekking Strat day)
Right after early breakfast; your tour guide may give you a briefing and he/she will ask you to participate in short pray and Trek opening ceremony. We pray and make a wish for successive Trek. Our office transport will reach you up to the trek point just below Kurje Lhakhang, one of the most renowned temples. The Trek route leads you along the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for its richness in Trout. The Trek trail for Bumthang to Gorsum is rather gradual.
Overnight Camp in Gorsum 3120m.
Day 07. Gorsum – Lungsum (12 km, 5 hrs.):
Today’s route passes through the dense forests of spruce, hemlock, cypress, juniper and maples. The trail is more or less muddy and ascends gradually till you reach to the campsite at altitude 3,160m.
Overnight Camp in Lungsum.
Day 08. Lungsum – Tshochenchen (6-7 hrs.)
The vegetation is dense from Tshochenchen all the way uphill to the Julila Pass, which is about 4700 m. The vegetation from Lungsun to Tshochenchen is more or less the same until you reach near to your campsite. When you reach close to the campsite the vegetation thins out making the perfect spot to camp. your camp is just above the tree line at an altitude of 3,780m.
Overnight camp in Tshochenchen.
Day 09. Tshochenchen – Dur Tshachu (17 km, 6-7 hrs.)
The day’s walk is uphill, passing a small lake until you reach at Juli La (4,700m). If the day is clear, you will have a great view of the surrounding mountains from the pass. Ater crossing the pass the trail, the trail descends to a lake at 4,220m, then climbs again to Gokthong La pass (4,640m). The trail then traverses through the jungle to a camp near Duer hot spring at 3,550m. Musk deer, Blue sheep and Himalayan bear may be seen on this part of the trek.
Day 10. Dur Tsachu (Halt)
Halt at Dur Tsachu. This the good time for you to take relax after four days continuous long trek. Your tour guide will not wake you up, letting you take a good sleep. After a late breakfast, you may want to join other Bhutanese pilgrimages in dipping your full body in the hot spring pool to further relax and let the hot spring water purify your inner body disease. The Bhutanese people strongly believe that hot spring will cure various ailments ranging from arthritis to body aches and even sinuses, and the Dur Tsahchu is popular for curing skin related disease. Medicinal properties of these hot springs have been used by the Bhutanese people for centuries. You may also want to hike to explore Dur valley.
Overnight in Camp.
Day 11. Dur Tsachu – Tshochenchen (17 km 6-7hrs.)
Right after your breakfast, commence your trekking back to Bumthang crossing again Juli La pass en route. After this pass, it is gradual descent till the campsite.
Overnight Camping in Tshochenchen.
Day 12. Tshochenchen – Gorsum (9 hrs.)
Right after your early breakfast, we commence to trek immediately. Today we will begin the trek early because we gonna skip a camping site in Lungsum and directly transfer to Gorsum, so which will make the trail quite long. The trail drops gradually down for about 2 hrs till you reach the campsite.
Overnight in Camp.
Day 13. Gorsum – Bumthang (18 km, 6-7 hrs)
After late breakfast, our trail will descend from Gorsum and walk downhill till you reach the Duer village, where you will soon see the road point. You will be met and transferred by road to your overnight accommodation, but before that, your tour guide will still ask you to join him/her in the short prayer to thank God for this mission accomplishment along with little traditional celebration. Our office staff will be at the trail junction to receive you, serve you tea/coffee and snack while you enjoy sharing your trip experience and challenges with us. We will then transfer to Bumthang lodging Hotel for complete relaxation. If you prefer to relax your mood by other way round by going into the local clubs and Pubs, taste the Bumthang local made beer & cider, you can visit some of the most famous restaurant, club and pubs for relaxation and jam-session. There are good numbers of both international and local fine restaurant in the town to suit your expectation. Remember it is your last night in Mini Switzerland.
Day 14 Travel to Thimphu (291Km, 8hrs)
After breakfast drive back to Thimphu. The journey is quite long but you wouldn’t feel its long because you would be busy enjoy viewing breathtaking sceneries with crossing over magnificent passes like; Yotongla Pass, Pelela pass and Dochula Pass between Bumthang and Thimphu. We will take a chance to stop at each pass for short break with serving you tea/coffee & snacks. Bhutanese families enjoy visiting these passes during holidays and weekends for a picnic and simply enjoy the scenery. It is common to see families and groups of friends seated amongst on the beautiful green grassy area, enjoying a packed lunch and hot tea. For you, this is an ideal location to capture beautiful pictures of the Himalayan mountain range during clear, warm days.
By the time we reach Thimphu, it will be already late evening, we will directly head to Hotel where our office staffs will be waiting for you at the farewell dinner. If it is in winter we will organise a bond fire outside the hotel where we will together celebrate the farewell with Bhutanese traditional dance, karaoke, and jam session. This is your last night in Bhutan for this trekking package, so enjoy to the fullest.
Day 15. Travel to Paro international airport for departure
After breakfast drive to the airport for flight to onward destination. Our sincere service doesn’t end here. While you and tour guide exchange thanksgiving and bids farewell, our good-humoured drivers and his cheerful assistant gently stack your valuable luggage on the trolley, helps you to push till check-in counter and waits until you get through to board gate.
We only part to meet again. ~John Gay
THINGS TO BRING FOR A TREK IN BHUTAN
Personal clothing: strong normal clothing (according to season), preferably cotton and woollen even for summer, because evening and early morning are always chill.
For Trekking, one must bring:
- Strong comfortable trekking boots – water-resistant for the rainy period-June-August.
- Raincoat (especially for the rainy period –June-August)
- Headgear/hat/cap; sun and rain protection
- Water pills – for extra caution in purifying stream; (boiled water is provided at all times during the trek)
- Aspirin – in case of altitude sickness
- Lots of socks
- Warm clothes
OPTIONAL ITEMS TO BRING FOR TREKKING IN BHUTAN
- Folding umbrella (only for wet months — July and August)
- One towel
- Wet-packed tissue paper.
Click here to Book this package
- Airport Transfers
- Stay in hotels as indicated in the itinerary
- All three meals, tea and coffee
- Dedicated SUV vehicle with a driver and
- English Speaking Guide throughout the Trip
- Short hikes, Packed lunches and snacks wherever required
- Monumental Fees
- Bhutan Tourism Development Fee
- VISA processing Fee
Package Does Not Include:
- International Airfare
- Refreshments and bottled drinks and alcoholics/gratuities
- Cost arising out of Flight Cancellation/road blockades/ landslides and events beyond our control
- Expenses of personal nature and any other expenses not mentioned in the above cost