Druk Path Trek in Bhutan
A short but interesting trek in the mountains of Bhutan, Asia, which leads from Paro to Thimphu or vice versa, crossing the chain of mountains that separates the two valleys. Although the route is sparsely inhabited, there are wonderful lakes teeming with fish and the area is famous for its spectacular rhododendron forests, blooming in May. In the clear weather of late autumn and winter there are also great views of the Himalayas to enjoy.
This trek is usually possible from late February to June and from September to December.
Here are the highlights of your tour:
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by a representative, and transferred to your Paro hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Drive northwest up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Despite having been largely destroyed by fire in 1951, its towering walls are still an impressive sight.
On a clear day there is a splendid view of Mt. Chomoihari from the road to Drukgyel Dzong. Visit one of the typical village houses clustered near the dzong and Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan. In the afternoon visit Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower and now the National Museum. Then walk down the hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong).
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
8km, 3 hours
Today is a short trekking day. The journey starts with a short climb up to Jele Dzong. The trek trail ascends gradually up to the camp, and if the sky is clear Paro valley can be admired with snowcapped mountains behind. Above the camp is Jele-la pass (3,400m) and Jele Dzong, mostly in ruins. There is also a lhakhang containing a statue of Buddha Sakyamuni.
10km, 3-4 hours
You'll start today's trek with a one and a half hour climb and then ascend more gradually upwards. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and rhododendrons. You will have fine views of mount Chomoihari and other snowcapped peaks if the weather is clear, and you may even hear some monal pheasants calling during the day.
You may see yak herders around your campsite. Overnight camp.
11km, 4 hours
The trail follows the ridge, and with a clear sky the views of the mountains and valley are sensational. You will enjoy a great view of Jichu Drake (6,989m), the peak representing the protective deity of Paro. Our camp is close to the Jimilangtsho lakes, which are famous for their giant sized trout. Overnight camp.
11km, 4 hours
The trail takes you through small rhododendron trees and passes by the lake of Janetsho. Today you may encounter some yak herders' camps and get an insight on how they live. We camp overnight close to Simkota Lake, and if you are lucky you can catch a lake trout for your dinner.
10km, 4 hours
Today's trek begins with a gradual climb, and weather permitting you will enjoy majestic views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, and other peaks. The trail slowly descends through juniper trees to a campsite near Phajoding cafeteria.
Overnight in cafeteria or camp, depending on weather conditions.
Breakfast and full day excursion to the Punakha and Wangdue valleys. The drive from Thimphu crosses Dochu-la pass (3,088m) where you'll enjoy the most enchanting mountain views you can imagine.
In Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong situated at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. Built in the 17th century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, this dzong has played an important role in Bhutan's history.
Drive to Wangdi Phodrang, to visit 17th century Wangduephodrang Dzong and the local market. In the evening drive back to Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Full day of sightseeing in Thimphu.
Time permitting, your visit will include National Memorial Chorten, built as a memorial to Bhutan's third king ('the father of modern Bhutan') and as a monument to world peace; Tashichhodzong, the impressive fortress and monastery housing some ministries, His Majesty's secretariat, and the central monk body; Handicrafts Emporium, a government run outlet with a wide assortment of intricately hand-woven textiles and other craft products, National Library, established in the late 1960s primarily to conserve the literary treasures which form a significant part of Bhutan's cultural heritage, now holding an extensive collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts; Institute for Zorig Chusum, more commonly known as the Painting School, where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan; National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only), where the rich herbal medicines made up from plants abundant in the kingdom are dispensed and traditional medicine practitioners trained.
In the evening drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast transfer to the airport. End of tour.
No hotels are provided along trail during trek but guests will be put up in comfortable tents due to strict environmental reasons prohibiting hotel construction along trails.
For treks, on arrival and departure you will be put up in hotels. For trekking, the company provides sleeping tents, dining tents, toilet and shower tents with sleeping mattresses and pillow; horses and porters to transport trekking gears and grocery, chefs and a guide to cook and lead groups. Sleeping bags are recommended to be brought by individuals. The package price covers everything specified above.
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