This is a 5-days trek. This leads to a large number of beautiful high altitude lakes. This trek is easy though there are some long steep climbs. The highest point is 4300 Meters. This trek starts from Khoma (near Thimphu) and ends in Simtokha, Thimphu.
During the trek an entire day will be dedicated to visiting some of the more picturesque lakes and resting. The trail also takes you through several Bhutanese villages so you can get a good idea of traditional Bhutanese village life as you make your way back from the lakes.
While this is a somewhat strenuous trek, it is well worth the effort because of the tranquility and beauty of natural landscape that you will enjoy during the journey. The best time to embark on this trek is between April-June or September –October.
This trek may be experienced with extensions to other places with the increase in number of nights. Or may be combined with any other activities or interests as per the convenience, comfort and requirements of the travelers traveling to Bhutan.
DAY 1 – Arrive Paro
DAY 2 – Paro Sightseeing
DAY 3 – Paro – Thimphu
DAY 4 – Thimphu – Geynikha (Trek Start)
DAY 5 – Geynikha – Gur
DAY 6 – Gur – Labatamba
DAY 7 – Labatama (halt)
DAY 8 – Labatamba – Panka
DAY 9 – Panka – Talakha
DAY 10 – Talakha – Simtokha
DAY 11 – Thimphu
DAY 12 – Thimphu – Punakha
DAY 13 – Punakha – Paro
DAY 14 – Departure
Altitude of Paro: 2250 m.
On your journey to Paro, the panoramic views of the Himalayas are sensational, including the Everest and other famous Himalayan Peaks. The approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro becomes more exciting as you enter Bhutan. Many travelers have termed the landing very much adventurous.
On arrival you will be welcomed by your Bhutanese guide from Find Bhutan with “Tashi Khadar”, and a small welcome note by your Bhutanese host.
Drive to Hotel. After lunch, free time to explore the Paro Valley and town.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Altitude of Paro: 2250 M
Start your day with a hike to the abode of gods and monks would be a pretty good start. It shall be taken care of that the time shall be yours for the hike, no hurries and no worries. Reaching the top shall be worth the climb; the touch of the Himalayan breeze and views of the valley below and temple on the rocky cliff shall be fascinating and shall let you feel the real freedom of mind and happiness.
After breakfast, excursion to Taktshang Monastery.
Taktshang Monastery; The primary lhakhang was built surrounding Guru Rimpoche’s Meditation cave in the 1684 by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer Rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava flew here on the back of a tigress. It is a two to three hours excursion uphill; however, one feels truly blessed reaching the monastery.
After lunch, visit,
Drukgyel Dzong: This dzong is in ruins now. The Dzong was destroyed by fire in 1951 and is now preserved as heritage site. The Dzong is situated in Drukgyal, overlooking the beautiful village with Mount Chomolhari in the background. The dzong was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyal to commemorate victory over the Tibetan invaders led by Mongolion warlord, Gushri Khan.
Kyichu Lhakhang: This temple is one of the oldest buddhist temple in Bhutan. The Tibetan King, Songtsen Gompo, to consecrate the entire region of Himalaya, in the 7th century miraculously built 108 temples. Kyichu Lhakhang is considered to be one of them.
After the visit to the Drukgyal Dzong, drive to a Bhutanese farm house and relax in traditional hot stone bath.
Hot stone bath: The traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath, known as Dotsho in local language has been practiced in Bhutan for centuries as a medicinal soak. Many Bhutanese believe that the bath helps in curing joint pains, helps in relaxing and other medical problems. River stones are heated and then put in water to heat the water; sometime medicinal herbs are added to the water before it is ready for the soak.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Driving Distance: 65 Km, Driving Hrs: 1.5 – 2 Hr, Altitude of Thimphu: 2350 m
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu. On the way, visit Tamchog Lhakhang.
You shall enjoy one of the oldest iron bridge built by Tangtong Gyalpo to reach the temple. The cool breeze of the river is enchanting.
Tamchog lhakhang (between Paro and Thimphu) ; built in the 13th century by Thangthong Gyalpo. He is also known as the Iron bridge builder. Situated on a hill top, we have to cross an ancient style bridge to reach the temple. It is owned by the descendants of Thangthong Gyalpo
Lunch at Thimphu.
After lunch is a time to refresh in the cool breeze of the Himalayas with the perfect views of the Thimphu valley. Visit the following:
Sangaygang view point (2685 meters): to have view of whole Thimphu valley and walk through hundreds of colorful prayer flags that dot the hill overlooking the Thimphu valley.
Takin Preserve Centre; The takin, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen here. This particular animal is found only in the Himalayan region.
Kuenselphodrang: A place for refreshing with a huge statue of Buddha on the top of Kuenselphodrang. The area also gives a very good view of the Thimphu valley from the west.
National Memorial Chorten: This Chorten was built in the honour of the Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, also known as “The Father of Modern Bhutan”. This Chorten was built in 1974 in a typical Tibetan style. This Chorten is also a center of worship for the people living in Thimphu and contains many religious paintings and tantric statues.
Then, walk around the Thimphu town visiting different textile and handicraft shops.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Distance: 14 Km, Time: 4 hr, Altitude of campsite: 2800 m
Drive for 45 minutes to reach the starting point of the trek. The first day walk, over mule path, will end after four hours at the sign board o Genekha School. All through the trail, terraced fields and coniferous vegetation are abundant.
Overnight in camp at genekha alongside a stream.
Distance: 15 Km, Time: 4 hr, Altitude of campsite: 3350 m
Crossing a suspension bridge, the trail heads west for a while, then climbs steeply towards the south to a rock platform and a crest at 3200 meters. A further walk of about two hours leads to camp in a forest clearing.
Distance: 12 Km, Time: 5 hr, Altitude of campsite: 4300 m
Cross the pass at 4240 meters for a view of Spectacular Dagala village. Pass though several herders camps enroute to the foot of the broad Labatamba valley at 4300 meters near Utso Lake, where plenty of Golden Trout flourish. There are so many lakes in the vicinity.
Camp near the lake.
This day is for an excursion to any three lakes: Relitsho, Hentsho and Jamatsho.
Excursion to Setsho and other nearby lakes. Hike to Setsho lake is easy and interesting. Afterwards walk over a small ridge and the down to Jagetsho Lake. You can also attempt to climb the Jomo, at 5050 m peak. Lunch at the summit with a spectacular view aroud, can be memorable experience. Return to camp by dusk and prepare for the next day.
Over night in camp.
Distance: 8 Km, Time: 4 hrs, Altitude of campsite: 4000 m.
The trail climbs along the western side of the lake to saddle at 4500 meters, where there are good mountain views. From the pass there is a steep descent to another lake at 4350 meters. A short distance beyond the lake leads to the valley and then to Panka.
Distance: 8 km, Time: 4 hrs, Altitude of campsite: 3083 m.
The route leads north crossing a pass at 4000 meters, then climbs along the side of the ridge to a crest at 4270 meters. From here there is a view of the Dagala range and a view of Thimphu, far to the North. It is then a long descent through forests to the Goemba and village of Talakha.
Distance: 3 Km, Time: 3 Hrs.
Walk downhill on a steep trail to Simtokha from where the Vehicle will pick you up and drive to Thimphu.
Rest of the free time to rest or stroll over Thimphu town and valley.
Overnight in hotel.
Altitude of Thimphu: 2320 m.
The Institute for Zorig Chusum: Students are taught the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan in this institute.
The Institute of Traditional medicine: Here Medicines are prepared according to the Tradition practices.
Folk Heritage Museum: Founded by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck. The museum is one of a kind that portrays the lifestyle of a family in the Thimphu valley in the olden days. This is a three storied, 19th century traditional house giving an insight to the Bhutanese lifestyle, and artifacts from the rural households. The museum contains typical Bhutanese household objects, tools and equipments.
Typical Bhutanese lunch at the Folk Heritage Restaurant.
After lunch, visit:
Textile Museum: This Textile Museum is operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs of Bhutan. The Museum was established in the year 2001 and has a good collection of exclusive and antique Bhutanese textile artifacts. The museum was set up with an objective to promote and encourage weavers to continue weaving of traditional Bhutanese textile, Promote Bhutan in the field of textile art and to preserve and promote the history and tradition of Bhutan.
Jungshi handmade paper factory: It is a 1 km drive from main city of Thimphu to the factory. The factory Manufactures the traditional Bhutanese paper using the bark of two tree species in the manufacture of traditional paper the Daphne tree and Dhekap. The entire process of traditional manufacturing of the Handmade paper can be observed. It was previously operated by the government. Now it is run by a private entrepreneur.
Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the Glorious Religion): A Doom (Blue Stone) Dzong was built on the hill above Thimphu in 1216 the lama Gyalwa Lhanampa. A few years later Lama Phajo Drugom Shigpo, who brought the Drukpa Kagyu lineage to Bhutan, took over Dohon Dzong. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (The one who unified the country) acquired the Dzong in 1641 from the descendants of lama Phajo and renamed it as Trashi Chhoe Dzong. The Dzong is the seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) at present.
Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Driving Distance: 76 km, Driving Time: 2.5 – 3 hr, Altitude of Punakha: 1310m.
After breakfast, drive to Punakha, On the way, visit
Dochula pass: The most known pass in Bhutan, about 30 km drive from the Capital City Thimphu on the way to Wangduephodrang. It is at around 3150 mt height. On a clear day, spectacular view of the mighty Himalayas mountain ranges can be seen. The pass also has 108 Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chhortens which is believed brings multi fold merit to all sentient beings and which make the pass a must visit place.
Chhimi Lhakhang: This temple is located on the way to Punakha. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility and was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in the 15 century. Lama drukpa Kuenley is also known as the Devine Madman.
After Lunch, visit
Punakha Dzong: This Dzong was built by the Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637. It is built at the junction the Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers. The annual Punakha Tsechhu( Festival ) is held here. The monk body resides in this dzong in winter.
In the evening, walk around Punakha town and valley.
Over night in Hotel in Punakha.
Driving Distance: 135 km, Driving Time: 4 – 5 hr, Altitude of Paro: 2250m.
After breakfast, drive to Paro. On the way, visit the Royal Botanical Park.
Royal Botanical Park – Situated at an altitude range of 2100 meters – 3800 meters, the park covers an area of 47 square kilometers and is located between Thimphu and Punakha. The park contains a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and features a huge species of plants and animals including endangered species such as Himalayan yew, native Rhododendron, Royal Bengal Tiger, Musk Deer, Red Panda, Blood pheasants and Himalayan Monal. You can also find Tetracentron (an ancient relict angiosperm with no vessel in its trunk) in the park. The park has 14.5 km of trails for eco trek for cycling and walking and one of the main attractions is the rhododendron garden including a picnic spot with children’s play ground.
Drive further to Paro. After lunch visit;
Ta Dzong: An ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan.
Paro Rinpung Dzong: Literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646. Some of the scenes in the film Little Buddha (1993) were filmed in this Dzong.
After lunch, drive to Thimphu.
Overnight in Hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Paro Airport and farewell.