Bumthang & Gangtey trek

HIGHLIGHTS

Bumthang is the cultural heart of Bhutan and is considered the most beautiful valley in the country, a haven for hikers and religious pilgrims. Membartsho Lake (which we will visit on an optional walk). While in Bumthang, we will visit the many temples and monuments of this picturesque valley. Next is Gangtey Trek Gangtey Gompa (monastery) situated in the Phobjikha valley, one of the most beautiful open valleys in Bhutan? Gangtey is winter home to the rare and endangered black-necked Cranes, which migrate to Bhutan around mid November from Tibet and the Qinghai Plateau in China. Highlights include the Ta Dzong Museum, Rimpong Dzong, the infamous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest), and The National Memorial Chorten, 12th century Changangkha Temple, the National Library exhibiting ancient scriptures and Punakha Dzong.

TREK ITINERARY

Day 1: Paro
Day 2: Paro. 8km/hike 4hr round trip
Day 3: Paro-Punakha. 124km/drive 4hrs
Day 4: Punakha-Trongsa. 146km/drive 5.5hrs
Day 5: Trongsa-Bumthang. 75km/drive 3hrs
Day 6: Bumthang
Day 7: Bumthang. 46km/drive 1.5hrs
Day 8: Bumthang-Gangtey. 197km/drive 5.5hrs
Day 9: Gangtey - Phobjikha - Zasa.15 km/ 6-7 hrs, ascent 610m/ descent 410m/camp alt/3,130m)
Day 10: Zasa - Chorten Karpo.16 km/5-7 hrs/ascent 450m/ descent 860m/camp alt/ 3,330m
Day 11: Chorten Karpo - Tikke Zampa-Thimphu.12km/4-5 hrs/ ascent 120m/ descent 1,340m. 92km/drive 4.hrs
Day 12: Thimphu
Day 13: Thimphu-Paro.54km/ 1hr drive
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Day 1:Paro
Arrival in Paro. After short refreshment, excursion to The National Museum (Ta-Dzong) which was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro Rimpong Dzong. It was converted to the National Museum in l968. Visit the Rimpong Dzong which was built in 1645 AD.

Day 2: Paro
We start to hike to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means " Tiger's Nest ". The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000 ft. and offers an excellent view of Paro valley. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava meditated in the spot where the Monastery is situated, having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress. Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria.

Day 3: Paro-Punakha
We drive to Punakha where we visit Punakha Dzong which was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative seat of the region. It was here that the dual system of government was introduced in the 17th century and in 1907, enthroned the first King Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck. Chimi lhakhang was founded by the divine madman also known, as Drukpa Kinley who was a famous teacher with the phallic symbol is associated.

Day 4: Punakha-Trongsa
Drive to Trongsa visiting Wangdi Dzong. We also visit Trogsa Dzong which is one of the biggest Dzong in Bhutan. Evening we take an excursion around small town and nearby village.

Day 5: Trongsa-Bumthang
Drive to Bumthang en route to Tharpaling monastery which was established in 14th century by one great Tibetan Yogi Longchen Rabjampa. lunch with a local family in chumey village. Walking excursion around the city in the evening.

Day 6: Bumthang
We visit the following monasteries;
Jambey lhakhang, this monastery was built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of 108 monasteries which he built to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. Kurje Lhakhnag (monastery) was built in 1652 against the rock face where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century. Thangbi Monastery which was founded in 1470 by Shamar Rinpoche of the Karma Kagyupa religious school. Tamshing monastery was founded in 1501 by Terton Pema Lingpa. There are very old religious paintings around the inner walls of the temple, which was restored at the end of the 19th century.

Day 7: Bumthang
Drive to Mebhar Tso (butter lamp Lake). The Mebar Tsho is considered one of the most sacred sites in the region as it relates to the renowned treasure reveler, Terton Pema Lingpa-incarnated disciple of Padmasambhava who discovered treasure from the lake somewhere around late 15th century. Short walking excursion through the Ura village and lunch with some local family.

Day 8: Bumthang-Gangtey
Drive to Gangtey and visit Gangtey monastery which was built in 14th Century. We take a walking excursion to Phojekha village. Sometimes we see a black neck crane around the village in the winter.

Day 9: Gangtey - Phobjikha - Zasa
The Trek starts near the village of Tabiting. The trail winds through meadows and fields and the climb takes you through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendron to Tsele La (3430 m). From here you descend into the Juge Kangkha Chhu valley. Further on, the path leads to Gogona, well known for its "Gogona Cheese" production. The campsite is a bit further on besides a small stream in a yak pasture called Zasa.

Day 10: Zasa - Chorten Karpo
A gentle climb leads to Shobe La pass (3,480m). The descent from the pass leads to a wide valley, surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges. Below the route one can see Khothokha, a village with about 60 houses. You finally reach the campsite by climbing gently up till you see four chortens in a forest of blue pine.

Day 11: Chorten Karpo - Tikke Zampa-Thimphu
From the camp you climb till you reach a forest road. From here it's an easy walk up to a little ridge at 2,800 m. The walk down back into the valley leads you through Bhutan's best bird watching areas . We drive to Thimphu when we finish the trek. All evening is at leisure or shopping. Before dinner, you will have hot stone bath for relax your body after tiring trekking.

Day 12: Thimphu
After breakfast, visit Simtokha Dzong which is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 A.D. It houses the largest monastic schools in the country. We visit library, art school. Buddha point where is the biggest sitting Buddha. After that we visit We visit Changgangkha Lhakhang, Pangri Zampa a monastery where monks study astrology and Tashichoe Dzong. We also visit main Bazaar. Walking excursion to the memorial stupa in the evening.

Day 13: Thimphu-Paro
Early morning drive to Paro international airport and see you off.
 

Tour date

by request
(13 days / 12 nights)

Group size & price

from 3-12 pax:
2,440 USD (low season) per person
3040 USD (high season) per person

Price includes

  • accommodation in standard hotels and campings (certified by TCB). DBL occupancy.
  • 3 meals per day
  • transfers and transportation
  • road permit fees
  • all taxes
  • entrance fees to all monuments
  • English speaking Bhutanese guide (other languages upon request)
  • visa fee

Not included

  • airfares (as listed separately)
  • personal expenses such as beverages, spa or message
  • travel & medical Insurance
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