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Bumthang is extraordinarily beautiful, even for Bhutanese. Its four high valleys are covered in forests that embrace small monasteries, chortens, traditional stone houses, and markets. Elevations on treks stay below 3,650m, and each day's walk is steadfastly unhurried. After a couple of days in Paro we drive to Thimphu's crafts centers and temples, and then over the splendid Dochu La & Chelila Passes to Tongsa and Jakar, the Bumthang Valley's main village. This is Bhutan's most sacred valley, hallowed 1,200 years ago by the visits of Padmasambhava (the great Buddhist master, called Guru Rinpoche or the Precious Teacher). Our four-day trek will take you through forests and farmlands, over trout streams to remote villages in which the rest of the world's last couple of centuries are dim and not particularly enticing rumors. Few treks offer such a deep look into Bhutan's delicate and charming daily life. (Our fall itinerary coincides with a centuries-old festival in a remote village where you will be welcomed as honored guests.)
DAY 01: Your arrival at Paro Airport by Druk Air. Sightseeing Paro and Overnight at hotel. Arrive Paro, Bhutan by Druk Air flight from Delhi / Kathmandu/Bangkok or Calcutta. During this flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga and other High Himalayan peaks including sacred Mt. Jumolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at the Paro International Airport, our Airport representative will receive you with a warm welcome. After completing disembarkation formalities at the airport, drive to hotel, which will take about 20 minutes. Overnight Paro.
DAY 2: PARO SIGHTSEEING
Full day Paro Valley sightseeing. Visit Drugyel Dzong, the ruined victorious fortress of the Drukpas, which once defended Paro fromTibetan invasion. The Dzong was built in 1649 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel to commemorate the victory of Bhutan over Tibetan Invaders in 1644. It was destroyed by fire in 1951. On a clear day you can see spectacular view of sacred Mt. Jumolhari from the vicinity of Dzong area. On the way back view Taktsang Monastery, the most famous and sacred monastery of Bhutan perched on the side of a cliff at 900m above the valley floor. The name Taktsang means Tiger's Nest. The Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhawa, believed as the second Buddha or Precious Teacher flew to the site of the monastery on the back of tigress and then meditated there in the cave for three months. The main building of the monastery was destroyed by fire on 19 April 1998 and the Bhutan Government's effort to re-construct it in its original form is underway. Visit Kychu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in the Kingdom built in 659 AD by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. Visit National Museum popularly known to the local Bhutanese as Ta Dzong or Watch Tower. Originally built in 1656 as the Watch Tower (Ta Dzong) of Paro Dzong and the Valley was renovated and converted into National Museum in 1968. Evening stroll around Paro town. O/n Paro.
DAY 03: PARO - THIMPHU
Follow the winding road beside Pa Chu river down stream to its confluence with the Wangchu river then up to Thimphu, the capital city. After lunch visit the Memorial Chorten, where the faithful circumambulate the shrine dedicated to the late third king of Bhutan chanting their prayers and turning their prayer beads as they walk round the chorten. O/n hotel.
DAY 4: THIMPHU - SIGHTSEEING
A full day sightseeing in Thimphu. Visit the Traditional Art and Crafts School National Library, Zilukha Nunnery, Handmade Paper factory, the premises of Tashichodzong and Handicraft Emporium. O/n hotel.
DAY 5: THIMPHU - TRONGSA
The journey to the Central Bhutan begins today. The drive to Trongsa takes approximately 8 hrs.. It takes you across Dochula Pass (3000 m.) to the warm fertile valley of Wangduephodrang (1250 m.). Lunch at Wangdue. After lunch continue drive to Trongsa across Pelela Pass (3300 m.). The famous Chendiji Chorten is situated at the base of the hills. O/n hotel.
DAY 6: TRONGSA - BUMTHANG
Drive to Bumthang takes 2-3 hrs. Tales of great Guru Padmasambhava dominates this holy valley. From the view point you can see the Jakar Dzong "The Castle of White Bird". Lunch at the hotel. After lunch Drive up to Lame Gompa a place built by the 1st King for his two nun Sisters. An old style of making Bhutanese Paper can be seen outside of this place. O/n hotel.
DAY 7: BUMTHANG - HALT
Walk around Bumthang valley. Visit the Swiss Cheese factory, premises of Kurje & Jambay monasteries. A trout fishing can be done in Chamkhar river. O/n hotel.
DAY 8: BUMTHANG - NGANGLHAKHANG (TREK BEGINS)
The trek route takes you around the Chamkhar river known for its riches in Trout. Lunch stop at Tangbi Lhakhang then you enter to the swan land of Ngang Yul with its centre swan temple Ngang Lhakhang . This part of valley was at first inhabited by the swans who gave their name Ngang. The lama Namkha Samdrup having dreamt a vision of how to built a gompa shot an arrow and the spot where the arrow landed Ngang Lhakhang was erected. Cultural dance can be arranged in the evening. O/n camp. Distance : 20 km. Alt. 9500 ft.
DAY 9: NGANGLHAKHANG - UGYENCHOLING
Climb gradually to Phephela Pass (11000 ft.) the highest point on the trek route. The trail you follow until the Pass takes you through one of the most beautiful Frosted area of this region. O/n camp.
DAY 10: UGYENCHOLING - BUMTHANG
The trail follows through along the Tang river another trout filled river. Along the banks of the river is Tang Rimpoche Lhakhang whose first foundation is ascribed to Guru Rimpoche and its second foundation to the "Treasure Finder" Terton Pemalingpa. On the way to Bumthang visit Mebar Tso "Burning lake". At Pangshing the transport will be provided for onward journey. Distance : 10 km. Alt. 9000 ft. O/n lodge.
DAY 11: BUMTHANG - PUNAKHA
Drive to Punakha the old capital city of Bhutan. O/n hotel.
DAY 12: PUNAKHA - THIMPHU
Morning Punakha valley sightseeing. Afternoon drive to Thimphu (3-4 hrs.). O/n hotel.
DAY 13: THIMPHU - PARO FOR DEPARTURE.
Early morning drive to Paro Airport for departure. Tashi Delek!