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Bumthang Cultural Trek (12 Days)

DAY 01: ARRIVE AT PARO - HALT
The flight into Bhutan is a breathtaking one with views of Mt. Everest. Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks including sacred Jomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro Airport you will be received by a representative of Bhutan Taktsang Tours & Travels. Check in at Hotel. After lunch you will be taken for a visit to Ta-Dzong Museum.

DAY 02 : PARO - SIGHTSEEING
Drive the winding road northwest up the Pa Chu to the ruins of Drugyel Dzong, now a burned shell was once strategic in Bhutan defense against Tibetan invasion. On a clear day you can view the sacred summit of Mt. Chomolhari, which reaches skyward beyond the Dzong. On the way back visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouses.

DAY 03 : PARO - THIMPHU
This morning follow the winding road beside the Pa Chu (chu means water or river) downstream to it’s confluence with the Wangchu then up valley to Thimpu the capital. Lunch at hotel Taktsang. Afternoon visit the Memorial Chorten (stupa), here the faithful circumabulate the shrine dedicated to the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, telling their prayer beads as they walk.

DAY 04 : THIMPHU - SIGHTSEEING
A full day of sightseeing and shopping in Thimphu. Wander in town; visit shops and the handicrafts emporium. You may return to the hotel for lunch with your guide and transport. Afternoon drive north up the valley to Dechenchholing (residence of the Queen Mother) to get a wonderful down valley view of Thimphu and Tashichhodzong. Visit the silversmiths at the north end of the valley.

DAY 05 : THIMPHU - TONGSA
The journey to Central Bhutan begins today. The drive to Tongsa takes approximately 7 to 8 hrs. Packed lunch will be provided. Lunch stop at Chendebji Chorten.

DAY 06 : TONGSA - BUMTHANG
Drive to Jakar takes approx. 2 ½ hrs. Tales of the great teacher Guru Padma Sambhava dominates this holy valley. From the viewpoint you can see Jakar Dzong “Castle of the White Bird”. Lunch at Tourist lodge. Afternoon hike up to Lame Gompa, a place built by the 1st King for his two nun sisters, outside of Lame Gompa one can see old style of Bhutanese paper making.

DAY 07 : BUMTHANG - HALT
Walk in and around Bumthang valley or visit the dairy farm. Swiss cheese factory and apple juice factory. Try to get some of each - they are the best in Bhutan. Also fishing on Chamkhar Chu (chu means water) can be arranged.

DAY 08 : BUMTHANG - NGANGLAHAKHANG
The trek takes you along Chamkhar Chu, a river known for its richness in trout. Lunch stop at Tangbi Lhakhang - then you enter the “Swan Land” (Ngang Yul) with its center at Temple (Ngang lhakhang). This valley was first inhabited only by swans and thus the name “Ngang”. The lama Namkha Samdrup, having dreamt a vision of a Gompa, shot an arrow and at the spot where the arrow landed the Ngang Lhakhang was erected. Overnight at camp. Alt. 9500ft. Dist. 20kms about 5/6 hrs.

DAY 09 : NGANGLHAKHANG - UGYENCHHOLING
Climb gradually to Phephela pass alt. 3353m/11000ft, the highest point on the trek route. Follow the trail until the pass takes you through one of the most beautiful forested areas of this region. Allowing for many stops to enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding, we can also view Ugyenchholing Palace on the way. Built by the great saint Longchen Rabjampa in the 14th century. This palace Tongsa Penlop Tshokye Dorji in the 19th century. This palace now shelters the descendants of the saint Dorji Lingpa (1346-1405). After that you reach camp. Alt. 9300ft. Dist. 23kms. about 7/8hrs.

DAY 10 : UGYENCHHOLING - JAKAR
The trail you follow takes you along the Tang Chu, another trout filled river. Along the banks of this river is Tang Rimpochen Lhakhang whose first foundation is ascribed to Guru Rimpoche and its second foundation to the “Treasure Finder” Terton Pemalingpa. On the way to Jakar you visit Member Tsho “Flaming Lake”. At Mesithang the transport is provided for the onward journey. Alt. 9000ft. Dist 10kms about 2/3hrs.

DAY 11 : JAKAR - TONGSA
Drive to Tongsa, on the way you may fish for trout if you wish. Lunch at Tongsa tourist lodge. After lunch at leisure.

DAY 12 : TONGSA - THIMPHU
Drive to Thimphu takes approximately 7/8 hrs. Picnic lunch will be provided at the lodge. Lunch stop.

DAY 13 : THIMPHU - PARO/EXIT
Drive to Paro Airport for onward flight