View of Paro Valley
Upper Punakha Valley
Prayer Flayer View
Mountain and Clouds
This is a community based trekking and supports the park management in their efforts to conserve nature by creating more awareness on natural and environmental issues, through tourism awareness programmes and by introducing socio-economic benefits. This trek covers six villages give a lot of opportunity to see a lot of bird species, and other flora and fauna. This is a 6 days, low-altitude trek (below 5,000 feet) in the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park.
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.
In the comfort and convenience of the travelers and the idea of travel differs among every individual. In this regards we are flexible with the itineraries and are happy to do sightseeing as per the convenience and interests of the travelers. It is not necessary the itinerary has to be followed, except for the change of overnight destination, as this might invite cancellation charges by the hotels during tour and might brings inconveniences for camping and in the arrangements while on Trek. The guests may choose to visit places that may not be in the itinerary, if it is of interest to them. No extra cost shall be applicable for the same except for the entry fees or cost for activities, if not included in the cost.
In case of unforeseen contingencies (natural/man made) or unavailability of hotels, Ideal Travel Creations reserves the right to change the itinerary anytime as may be required to.
Some of the sightseeing places may be closed on government holidays or during breaks. In this regards we shall do other sightseeing in its place.
DAY 1 – Arrive Paro/ Drive to Thimphu
DAY 2 – Thimphu Sightseeing
DAY 3 – Thimphu – Punakha
DAY 4 – Punakha – Gangtey – Trongsa
DAY 5 – Trongsa – Tongtongphey – Jangbi village
DAY 6 – Jangbi village- Kudra village
DAY 7 – Kudra village- Nabji village
DAY 8 – Nabji village – Korphu village
DAY 9 – Korphu village – Nimshong village
DAY 10 – Nimshong village – Riotala – Trongsa town
DAY 11 – Trongsa – Bumthang
DAY 12 – Bumthang
DAY 13 – Bumthang – Punakha
DAY 14 – Punakha – Paro
DAY 15 – Paro
DAY 16 – Departure
Driving Distance: 65 Km, Driving Time: 1.5 – 2 Hr, Altitude of Paro: 2280 m, Altitude of Thimphu: 2350 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.
On arrival, you will be received with a warm welcome by your Bhutanese Guide with Tashi khadar and a small gift and drive to Thimphu.
While in Thimphu, free time to relax or to explore the Thimphu Town and valley.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Altitude of Thimphu: 2350 m
After a leisure breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu, includes;
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.
Kuenselphodrang: A place for refreshing with a huge statue of Buddha on the top of the Kuenselphodrang. The area also gives a very good view of the Thimphu valley from the west.
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 folk Heritage Restaurant would be a great experience.
After lunch, visit;
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.
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 Reserve Centre; The takin, the national animal of Bhutan can be seen here. This particular animal is found only in the Himalayan region.
In the evening, visit;
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 in Thimphu.
Driving Distance: 76 km, Driving Time: 2.5 – 3 hr, Altitude of Punakha: 1310 m.
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.
Overnight in Hotel in Punakha.
Driving Distance (Punakha – Phobjika/Gangtey): 78 km, Driving Time: 2- 3 hr, Driving Distance (Phobjika/Gangtey – Trongsa) : 59 km, Driving Time: 2- 3 hr, Altitude of Phobjikha: 2900 m, Altitude of Trongsa: 2300 m
After breakfast, drive to Gangtey.
While in Gangtey, visit the Gangtey Goempa.
Gangtey Goemba- This Monastery overlooks the large green expanse of the Phobjikha Valley. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation.
Then explore the Phobjikha Valley.
The Phobjikha Valley- The Phobjikha is of immense beauty. Exploring the valley is always a great source of joy. Time is never enough to go around. This valley is one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in the Himalayas and the winter place for the endangered Black Necked Cranes.
After lunch, drive to Trongsa.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Driving Distance: 70 Km, Driving Time: 2 Hr, Walking Distance: 6 km, Walking time: 2 – 3 Hr, Altitude of Jangbi: 1350 m
After breakfast, a 2 hours drive from the town along the Zhemgang highway brings you to the start of the Trek, Tongtongphey.
On the way visit the Kuenga Rabten palace, an important heritage in Bhutanese history.
After furnishing yourself with ample information about the trek from the information booth, the village guide steers you down to the Mangdi river where you cross a suspension bridge. Unless you have a strong proclivity for ants and other ground creatures, it is almost impossible to miss out on Golden Langurs that are bountiful on this stretch.
The first day brings you in contact with the Monpas who are believed to be the first inhabitants of Bhutan. A glimpse on their lifestyle further validates their ethnicity, coupled by mythical legends about their origins. The campsite in Jangbi stands on the valley sill, which offers a resplendent view of the Mangdi valley. If you still have some energy for locomotion, you could audience yourself to a local cultural program, or better, partake in it.
Distance: 12 km, Time: 6 hour, Altitude of campsite: 1,500 m
The morning allows you to further interact with the Monpas. Before you proceed, you could also pay a visit to the orchid garden that fences about 75 different kinds of orchids till your thirst for botanical photography gets satiated.
The hike to Kudra provides a nuance of jovial atmosphere because this part of the trail meanders along stone imprints of Guru Rinpoche’s footprints, dagger and phallus, festooned by stories that espouse Guru’s praxis.
Lunch is served just before you arrive at Phrumzur, one of the villages of the Monpa communities, off the trail. You could also visit the village Lhakhang in Phrumzur and then proceed to the campsite in Kudra.
En route, you traverse another small Monpa village called Lekpogang, after which, the campsite in Kudra is just an hour’s walk.
The campsite offers a bird’s-eye-view of Nyimshong village and also the Zhemgang town.
Distance: 13 km, Time: 7 hour, Altitude of campsite: 1,300 m
You wake up with the distant call of the Rufous-necked hornbill. This part of the trek is a collage of streams, waterfalls and thick forests that will give you an invigorating feeling of being out in the wild.
The Great Himalayan Squirrel, Rhesus Mecaques, and small snakes are often spotted along the trail. Unseen but present, are Himalayan black bear, Red pandas, tigers, Clouded leopards et cetera.
Upon arrival at the holy tree in Nabji, the people will give you a heartwarming reception.
Nabji is a beautiful village where paddy fields seem to circumambulate the clustered houses. You could also hike to the community school and indulge yourself in game of football or volleyball, where children rejoice the presence of outsider athletes.
Distance: 3 km, Time: 2 hour, Altitude of campsite: 1500 m.
En route to Korphu, the Nabji temple is located in the middle of the paddy fields. Inside, there remains a stone pillar on which Guru Rinpoche, while traveling through Bhutan in the 8th century, brought consensus between the warring kings: King Sindha Gyelp of Bumthang, and King Noeche, by imprinting their thumbs on each side of the stone.
A unique festival is celebrated sometime in early January at the temple grounds.
Korphu is situated on a mountaintop at an altitude of 1,500m. The most striking thing about Korphu is that the people exemplify hospitality almost treating you like ‘A King on accession to throne’.
You have the option of being welcomed with a traditional ‘Chipdrel’ procession and a ‘Marchang’ ceremony, singing traditional songs of praise and wellbeing for new visitors. They also perform the traditional ‘Tashi Labey’ dance to bid you farewell. If you are interested, the villagers can explain and demonstrate and even allow you to participate in the quintessential Bhutanese games of ‘Khuru’, ‘Dego’, ‘Sok-sum’, and ‘Gee-dum’, all on the brink of disappearance.
You could also pay a visit to the village temple that houses the sacred relics of Pema Lingpa, the famous ‘Treasure revealer’ of Bhutan.
A local lunch could be provided in the village campsite which also provides a spectacular bird’s-eye view of Nabji and other surrounding areas.
Distance: 8 km, Time: 4 hours, Altitude of campsite: 1,300 m.
The hike from Korphu to Nyimshong is the pleasant and arguably the best birding spot which can boast a bird list of more than 395 species. The elusive Rufous Necked Hornbill has its nesting holes adjacent to the trail.
The walk is mixed with waterfalls and, streams and cantilever bridges.
The evening brings you to Nyimshong, a village with its reticent architecture and lifestyle.
The campsite is equipped with an amphitheatre. The women of Nyimshong have a penchant for singing and dancing and a cultural show would be ideal to express certain euphoria to end your trek.
Walking distance: 5 km, Walking time: 3 hours, Altitude of Riotala :1000 m.
If you are lucky the golden langurs will lead you to the exit.
You descend down to Mangdue River to see dome herons and river lapwings. An Hour’s steep ascend to the road and your vehicle will be waiting for you. Drive to Trongsa.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Driving Distance: 68 Km, Driving Hrs: 2 – 3 Hr, Altitude of Bumthang: 2600 m
After breakfast, visit;
Trongsa Dzong; The most impressive Dzong in Bhutan. The Dzong was built by Chogyal Minjur Tempa, the official who was sent by Zhabdrung to unify Eastern Bhutan and enlarged at the end of the 17th century by Desi Tenzin Rabgay. Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral home of the present Royal Family. The first two hereditary kings ruled Bhutan from this Dzong.
Ta Dzong; An ancient watch tower. The chapel inside is said to be dedicated to the Trongsa Penlop Jigme Namgyal.
Then drive to Bumthang. While in Chumey valley in Bumthang, visit the Yathra weaving factory.
Yathra: It is the most famous textile product of Bumthang. The Chumey Valley is known for the beautiful yathra woven by the locals. Yathra is a hand woven fabric made from the wool of sheep or Yak. The wool is first spun into threads and then dyed before they are woven into Yathra with beautiful flower patterns and colours. The Yathra cloth is made into scarves, jackets, table cloths, bags, etc. Most of the women in this valley, especially in Zungye village earn their lively hood by weaving yathra which is supplied to various towns in Bhutan.
Overnight in Hotel in Bumthang.
Altitude of Bumthang: 2600 m.
After breakfast, sightseeing includes;
Jakar Dzong: Literally meaning the Castle of White Bird. The current structure was built in 1667.
Lamey Goemba: A large palace and monastery built in 18th century by Dasho Phuntsho Wangdi.
Jambay Lhakhang: built by King Srongsen Gampo of Tibet. In October one of the most spectacular festival, “Jambay Lhakhang Drup” is staged here.
Chakhar Lhakhang: Literally meaning the Iron Castle, the original palace was made of Iron and hence the name “Chakhar”.
Kurjey Lhakhang: Named after body print of Guru Rimpoche.
After lunch, sightseeing includes:
Tamshing Lhakhang: Literally meaning the Temple of the good message, established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa.
Membarstho: Literally meaning, “The burning Lake”.
The evening ends visit a local handloom weaving house and interact with the weavers.
Overnight in Hotel in Bumthang.
Driving Distance: 197 Km, Driving time; 7 – 8 Hr, Altitude of Punakha: 1310 m
After breakfast, drive to Bumthang. In the evening free time to relax.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Driving Distance: 135 km, Driving Time: 4 – 5 Hr, Altitude of Paro: 2280 m.
After breakfast, drive to Paro. On the way spend sometime in the Royal Botanical Park. You also have the option for cycling here.
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;
Rinpung Dzong: Meaning “fortress of the heap of jewels”. The dzong now serves as the administrative and judicial seat of Paro district and residence for around 200 monks of Paro and was built at the same time of Drukgyel Dzong.The famous Paro tshechhu ( festival) is held here in spring.
Ta Dzong: It overlooks the Rimpung Dzong and was built in 1951 as a watch tower. This dzong is Round, more like parts of an European castle. The Dzong was established as the National Museum of Bhutan since 1967 and holds fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious thangkha,etc.
Dinner and over night in hotel.
Altitude of Paro: 2280 m.
After breakfast, excursion to Taktshang Monastery.
Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest): Paro Taktshang is one of the country’s most famous tourist attractions. The trail to the monastery climbs through beautiful pine forest, and an occasional grove prayer flags. It is said that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantrum mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, came in the form of form of Dorje Droloe riding a flying tigress to subdue the evil and demon that were obstructing the spread of Buddhism in the Himalayas.
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.
Then, visit a village and a village house and learn about the rural Bhutanese way of life. Relax in a traditional hot stone bath in the village house. The hot stone bath helps relaxing and is said to have medicinal values.
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.
After breakfast, drive to Airport and farewell.