- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
The Druk Path trek takes in the most varied and beautiful sections of an ancient high-level mule trail which winds its way through the mountains between Bhutan's two main towns of Paro and Thimphu.
Druk Path Trek is one of the finest short treks in Bhutan. Leading through an ancient trading route, over high mountain passes, it connects the valleys of Paro and Thimphu. The trek begins by walking up through apple orchards and pine forest past ruined Jele Dzong (fortress), which sits on a high grassy ridge with breath-taking views of Mount Jumolhari to the north. In the next 4 days, we climb above the tree line and cross several passes, including the Phume La (4210m.). En route, we come across clear mountain lakes, number of yak herder’s camps and have splendid views of Himalaya along the Bhutan – Tibet border including Mount Jumolhari, Jichu Drake and Gangkar Puensum. Our final descent through pine and juniper forests via Phadjoding monastery would lead into Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
Arrival in Paro, Bhutan - Punakha
Welcome to Bhutan. On a clear day, one will experience breathtaking views of major Himalayan peaks, Jomolhari and Jichu Darkey in Bhutan from your flight. Upon arrival Bhutan's first gift to you will be clean fresh mountain air. Obtain your Bhutan visa which will be pre-paid, and after clearing Immigration and Customs, you will be met outside at the exit point by Bhutan Sky Trails representatives and escort you around for the sightseeing, onward to your hotel.
You will embark on 3-4 hours journey by car to Punakha valley bypassing southern town of Thimphu and across Dochula pass (3,150m). Stop by Tamcho 15th century iron chain bridge and chuzom as you will be not driving via this road again.
Punakha - Punakha
This morning drive to the north of the valley around 30mins and take a hike, which is around 1 hour to Khamsum Yule Namgyel chorten, which took more than 9 years to complete it. The walk through rice fields, passing by farm houses is very scenic and beautiful.
Visit the Punakha Dzong, which house the district administration offices. It is also the winter residence of the central monastic body and the Je Khenpo head monk of Bhutan. The dzong was damaged by fire in 1986, and recently renovated using traditional building techniques. It is one of the most beautiful Dzong in the country, located at the confluence of Pho chu (male river) and Mo chu (female river). Afterward drive to sobsokha and take a short walk through the rice pounding village to take a short walk to visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility shrine, built in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, also known as the “the Divine Madman”. The cheerful flying phallus that one sees painted on homes throughout Bhutan is a tribute to this saint, whose presence distracts and thus repels evil spirits.
Punakha – Thimphu.
This morning after your breakfast, drive to Dochula Pass (3,150 m) Stop at the Dochula pass for hot cup of tea/coffee, chance to stretch your legs and use proper toilet facilities. On a clear day one can view the Himalayan ranges with 108 stupas named as “Druk Wangyel Chorten” that have been erected here by the Queen Mother.
From Dochula pass take a gentle and beautiful hike through the forest of hemlock and rhododendrons to Lungchutse Temple, located at the elevation of 3,569 meters. This hike has lots to offer to you and most importantly 360 degree view of Himalayan ranges on a clear day. Photos do not justify the beauty of the place as seen through the lens of the living eyes.
Visit Bhutan Post to make your personalize stamp if you wish or visit the local market, this is a wonderful opportunity to witness daily life of people. If locals are practicing or playing archery (the national sport) you can stop and witness the sport. Visit traditional paper making unit.
Thimphu Valley Tour
Begin the day with the visit the Memorial Chorten built in 1974, in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned the country from 1952-1972. Next visit the Buddha Dordema located at Kuenselphodrang, it is 51.5 meter bronze statue overlooking the Thimphu valley, and from here you will take a hike to Changangkha temple built in 12 century. It is beautiful hike over looking Thimphu valley through the pristine nature. Visit the Painting School (ZorigChusum if in session) where traditional art and craft is still kept alive, Takin preserve to see Bhutan’s national animal, also you may enjoy taking a short walk on Ancient Takin Trail. Visit Zilukha nunnery to grasp the role of woman in Bhutan’s spiritual realm. Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed which can be purchased. Visit Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive fortress houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body, the office and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot.
Thimphu – Phajoding
Approx: 6 km, 4 - 5 hours, 1,320m ascent, camp altitude 3,770m.
Start your trek from Mothithang with gradual and steep climb uphill until you reached camp. The trail goes through a pines forest, hemlock and rhododendrons. Phojiding is a beautiful place overlooking the Thimphu city with large monastic complex; you may visit some of them. Camp
Just above the Phajoding monastery.
Phajoding – Simkota Tsho
Approx: 11 km, 4 - 5 hours, 230m descent, 330m ascent, camp altitude – 4,100m.
The trail follows gradual uphill climb to the ridge-top and on a clear day (4,095m), after ridge-top the gradual climb along the ridge brings you with great view of Mount Gangkar Phunsum (7,546m) and rest of the other Himalayan peaks. Cross Labanala (4,235m) and make a long descend through switchback trail to camp near Simkota Tsho.
Simkota Tsho – Jigmelang Tsho
Approx: 7 km, 4 - 5 hours, 820m descent, 400 m ascent, camp altitude 3,880m.
The trek begins with the gradual walk along the side of ridge until you reach to the viewpoint of Jane Tsho, then follow the trail downhill to Jane Tsho. You may come across some yak herder’s camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. Continue your trek further to Jigmelang Tsho.
Jigmelang Tsho – Jangchulakha
Approx: 10 km, 5 - 6 hours, 370m descent, 380m ascent, camp altitude 3,770m.
The trek begins with a gradual climb, and then makes a zig zang steep climb along the side to the ridge. You will make many short ascents and descent hike with a great view of the Himalayas to your campsite.
Jangchulakha – Jela Dzong - Paro
Approx: 5 km, 3 hours, 1,130 m descent.
Today’s hike is mostly downhill with a gradual descent through forests, meadows with the great view of the Himalayas. You will also have a great view of Tsaluna and Paro valley. Make a visit to Jela Dzong and then begin your long descent through gigantic hemlock trees, dense forest and finally arrive at road point. Bid a farewell to trekking team and then drive to your hotel for overnight.
Paro - Paro
Hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. The Icon monastery of Bhutan, this monastery clings to a cliff which was built in 17th century. The monastery was burnt in 1998 and was rebuilt. The mountainside viewpoint for this dramatically situated and most sacred site is accessible by walk of about 5 hours round trip. There is also a cafeteria at mid-point, where one can enjoy refreshments and meals.
In Paro make a visit to Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the most sacred temples in Bhutan, built in 659 AD by Tibetan Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo.
After breakfast, say good bye to this lovely country and you will then be transferred to the airport for you flight.
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