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The Classic Bhutan Tour with Jomolhari Trek is 14 wonderful days that combines both trekking through rugged mountain terrains and a journey into the mystical Buddhist cultural towns of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha.
Bhutan, Land of the thunder Dragon is a small buddhist kingdom on the himalayas estern edge which is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. The ‘Classic Bhutan Tour with Jumolhari Trek’ starts from Paro and ends at Paro also where you will get an wonderful opportunity to experience Bhutanese culture, Nature, Spiritual and Adventure.
Jumolhari trek is strenuous but it is very popular. During the trek we follow the Pachu upstream passing through scattered hamlets and farmland, into a deep and richly forested valley, which further leads to a high alpine pasture land where yak herders graze their animals. The route passes through two high passes from Jangothang and the view of Jumolhari Mountain (7314 M) from Jangothang is spectacular. The highest point of the trek, Bonte La at 4890m offers you great mountain views of Basingthang (5500m) and Chatarake (5570m).
The Classic Bhutan Tour with Jumolhari Trek is the perfect way to experience the unique spiritual energy of Bhutan. It is 14 incredible days filled within the positive energy of the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Let Asia Buddhist Tours & Treks make the Classic Bhutan Tour with Jumolhari Trek a reality.
● Hike the trails of Jumolhari trail through rugged mountain terrains
● Relax at a Yak herder’s Camp with hot butter tea
● Travel across the trails of wild blossoms
● Earn a reward of breathtaking landscapes
● Challenge yourself on Snowman Trek
● Visit the popular Buddhist Landmarks
● Experience the cultural towns of Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha
● All accommodation in 3 star hotel in city and tea houses during the trek in twin sharing basis
● A licensed english speaking Bhutanese tour guide and supporting staff
● All ground transportation as per itinerary
● Full Board meal in Bhutan(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
● Farewell dinner.
● Travel permit and all entrance fees where applicable
● All government and local taxes
● International airfare to and from Bhutan
● Visa for Bhutan
● Extra accommodation in case early arrival and late departure.
● Travel insurance
● Any kind of refreshment beverages and alcohol.
● Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, bottle, water etc.)
● Any extra costs resulting from cancellation, landslide, weather, political unrest or illness
● Tips for guide, drivers and supporting staff.
● Luxury Hotel (4 & 5 star additional premium may apply)
● Language guide other than English
● Duffel/Rucksack bag/Suitcase
● Day bag.( Small handbag)
● Trekking shoes
● Sports shoes or sandals.
● Sun Hat/cap
● Warm woolen cap
● Trekking jacket Gore tex/ fleece jacket
● Pullover or warm sweeter
● 4/5 pairs of good qualities shock
● Hand gloves
● 2/3 pairs of Trekking trousers
● 3/4 pairs of trekking shirts
● 3/4 pairs of Underwear
● Eye glass
● Water bottle
● 4 seasons Sleeping bag
● Flash or Torch light
● Camera and batteries.
Upon your arrival in Paro at Paro International Airport, we will come to receive you and help you transfer luggage. We will directly drive you to your booked hotel where you can relax and unwind. There will be a tour of Kichu Monastery which dates back to the 8th century. It was constructed to subdue the demon that was harming the Himalayan region. After dinner will be an orientation on Bhutan as well as explaining about the excursion here in the land of the Thunder Dragon.
High above the city, perched on the side of a cliff is the famous Taktsang Monastery. It rises nearly 1000 meters above the Paro Valley floor. Buddhism came to Bhutan through the efforts of Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th century. He was challenged by the demons of the region in his efforts to spread the teachings of Buddhism. He escaped from their grasp and flew on the back of a female tiger to a cave where Taktsang Monastery is located. (The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest”). There are 13 holy places at this monastery as you absorb its unique spirituality. We hike up to Taktsang and take our lunch there. We return to our hotel in the afternoon, and you can enjoy exploring Paro on your own in the evening before bed.
Yesterday we got into the spirit of trekking with our day hike to Taktsang Monastery. Today we start our full trek. We are trekking upwards of 690 meters today to reach our camping spot. Treks in Bhutan are camping treks, and Asia Buddhist Tours & Treks has assembled a wonderful staff to assist you to make this a most perfect trek. We pass through incredible forests of pine and rhododendron as we cross rivers to reach our first camp. Our chef prepares a hot meal as we sit around the campfire enjoying our dinner. Above us the stars come out in the Himalayan skies like you’ve never seen before. A beautiful night as you lie down for a great night of sleep. Trekking time is 7 – 8 hours.
Today is a shorter day as we make our way to higher elevation at Jangothang Base Camp. We cross above the tree line where we are treated to incredible views of the snow capped peaks of the eastern Himalayas. This is yak country and we see herds of yaks grazing. We stop for lunch at a kharka (summer gazing site) to have a hot lunch. We pass more yak herder’s camps at places like Soe and Takethang. There is some limited farming up here, where the local people can only grow barley, potatoes and turnips. Our campsite will be reached in around 5 – 6 hours where we will spend the night in the high alpine air. Enjoy the evening as the sun goes down in a magnificent sunset over the mountains.
We have ascended to some really high elevation, and it becomes necessary to allow our bodies to adjust to the thinner mountain air. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a real condition and can be life threatening if not properly dealt with. The best way to deal with the thinner mountain air is to allow your body 24 hours to adjust to the high elevation.
We just don’t sit around today; instead do some short hikes. We climb upwards to see some amazing views of Mt. Jumolhari. We can spot Himalayan blue sheep today along with golden eagles flying overhead. Our maximum elevation today is 4,895 meters (16,060 ft.) as we gape at the natural beauty of the snow capped peaks that contrast so superbly with the bright blue Himalayan skies.
We return back to our camp for another wonderful night here under the Himalayan night sky.
We return to our high altitude trek as we make our way up and down the hills, across the Paro Chhu (river) and finally reaching the beautiful alpine lake of Tshophu Lake (elev. 4380 m/14,370 ft.) There are two mountain lakes up here which creates twin beauty. We climb upwards to cross Bonte La Pass at 4890 m/16,043 ft.)
There are hidden valleys we will explore along the way until we reach our campsite at Dhumza.
We are crossing more cold, mountain streams today as we make our way up and down the hillsides. We come to a small place called Takhung La (elev. 4,520 m/14,829 ft.) where there are a few small stone huts for the herders. Thombu Shong is our destination where we find a few yak herder’s huts. It has great views of the snow capped peaks. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
It’s our final day of trekking as we make our way downhill to reach Thombu Shong. It takes us around 4 – 5 hours, and we descend quite a distance. Before we can even begin the descent, we have to climb up to Thombu La Pass at 4,380 meters (14,370 ft.) and then drop down to meet our car in Sharna Zampa. We arrive ready for our ride back to our hotel in Paro where we have a good dinner, a hot shower and a good night’s sleep.
We rise early and take breakfast before our car takes us to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. We have to cross over one pass out of the Paro Valley and make our way into the picturesque Thimphu Valley with its lush rivers and modern city. We check into our hotel and then it’s a day of sightseeing. Sites we will see include:
National Library: Home to priceless Buddhist manuscripts.
Painting School: That’s the common name where they teach all 13 of Bhutan’s traditional arts and crafts.
King’s Memorial Chorten: A memorial stupa to the beloved third king of modern Bhutan who ruled from 1952 to 1972. He is known as the “Father of Modern Bhutan”.
Handicrafts Emporium: The country’s outlet for Bhutanese crafts and cloth. Purchases here helps to the local people financially.
Trashi Chhoe Dzong: Its name means “Fortress of the Glorious Religion”’ it is the seat of government as well as the headquarters of the Chief Abbot of the Mahayana Buddhist religion. This is home of the King’s throne room which you will see.
Return to your hotel for dinner and an opportunity to explore on your own before dinner.
No trip to Bhutan is complete without a journey to the ancient city of Punakha by way of Dochu-La Pass. This high pass rises to an elevation of 3,088 m/10,130 ft. Here we stop and you can take tea while gazing at the beautiful eastern Himalayas. There are wonderful Buddhist chhortens here along with mani walls (stone wall with Buddhist carvings) and colorful prayer flags that flutter continuously in the Himalaya breeze.
Once we pass Dochu-La Pass, ascend downhill into the valley to reach Punakha. The ancient city sits at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu Rivers. The fortress (dzong) was built here in 1637 to protect the region from invaders from Tibet. This place served as the religious and administrative center for Bhutan for many years. We will take a hike to Khamsum Yulley Chorten which is dedicated to the 5th king of Bhutan. We will spend the night here in Punakha.
Yesterday was an invigorating day here in Punakha, and as we rise, we find it is time for a new journey. Today we cross over the pass to reach our next destination which is Gangtey. It’s a day of passing through pastoral scenes as we go journey through small villages and past picturesque farms. The scenery varies between subtropical vegetation to high alpine shrubbery at Pelela Pass (elev. 11,000 ft.) and finally we enter the Phobjikha Valley. This valley is famous for being the winter home of the Black Necked Cranes that come from Tibet in November, departing in mid-March. Gangtey Gompa features a school for Buddhist monks that follow the Nyingmapa sect that is found in Bhutan. We spend the night here in Gangtey, enjoying a fine meal before going to bed.
We return to the capital city today. We stop today at Chimi Lhakhang which sits like a beacon on a high hill in the valley. Dedicated to La Drukpa Kuenley, he was known as “The Divine Madman” as he challenged the status quo of Buddhist practices in his time centuries ago. Today his temple is known as the Temple of Fertility” as couples who are unable to have children come to pray before the giant phallus. Childless couples travel from afar to make their poojas before this sacred phallus.
We return to Thimphu to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens which are beautiful any time of year. These gardens feature the unique flora of Bhutan. In the evening, enjoy dinner at our hotel.
The beautiful Haa Valley is the westernmost valley in Bhutan. It takes us 3 ½ hours to reach this magnificent place. We see Chuzom at the confluence of two rivers where there are three unique shrines that we built to ward off the presence of evil. The shrines reflect Nepali, Tibetan and Bhutanese architecture. We pass Dobji Dzong, an ancient prison that is now a monastery. We enjoy the valley, passing over Chele La Pass (elev. 3,988 m/13,084 ft.) which on clear days offers us panoramic views of the region around us as well as Mt. Jhomolhari, the second highest peak in Bhutan (elev. 7,314 m/23,406 ft.)
This is our last night in Bhutan as we return to our hotel in Paro. Enjoy the farewell dinner.
Today we find ourselves having to head to the airport for departure from this spiritual land of the Himalayas. Depending on the timing of your international flight, our staff will drop you at the Paro International Airport.