Samtengang

HIGHLIGHTS

The Samtengang Trek is a moderate 4-day hike exploring some of the beautiful forests, many remote historical and religious sites and isolated villages in and above the Punakha & Wangdue Valley. This tour also visits some of the many highlights of the Paro and Thimphu Valleys.

TOUR ITINERARY

Tour itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Paro. Transfer to Thimphu 1 hour
Day 2: Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu- Punakha. 77 km, 3 hours drive
Day 4: Punakha-Limukha. 12km/ 4hrs/ascent 880m/camp alt/ 1,980m
Day 5: Limukha-Chhungsakha. 14km/ 5hrs/descent 430m/ camp alt/ 1,550m
Day 6: Chhungsakha-Samtengang. 13km/5hrs/ ascent 650m/ descent 270m/camp alt/ 1,830m
Day 7: Samtengang-Paro. 130km/drive 4.5hrs
Day 8: Paro sightseeing
Day 9: ParoTaktsang. 6 hours hiking
Day 10: Departure
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Day 1: Paro - Thimphu
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. After visa formalities you will meet the guide of White Umbrella tours at Paro airport exit doors. Transfer to Thimphu.

Day 2: Thimphu
Morning sightseeing around Thimphu. Visit the National Memorial Chorten, which was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernization, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972. Continue on to 12th century Changangkha Temple and Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha Nunnery.

After lunch continue to explore Thimphu and around. Visit the School of Arts and Crafts where students are taught the 13 types of Bhutanese art, The National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, the Traditional Paper Factory displaying the Bhutanese paper making process, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum.

Overnight: Thimphu. Altitude at Thimphu: 2400 m.

Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha
Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). The drive through the countryside affords a glimpse of everyday life in this most remote of Himalayan kingdoms. In the Dochu-La area there are vast Rhododendron forests that grow to tree size and bloom in late April/early May covering the mountains in a riot of glorious spring colour.

Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, drive to Punakha Dzong, the ‘Palace of Great Happiness'. Built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan', Punakha Dzong is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Female and Male River). It is the winter headquarters of the highest abbot of the monastic body and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location. The three story main temple of the Punakha Dzong is a breathtaking example of traditional architecture with four intricately embossed entrance pillars crafted from cypress and decorated in gold and silver. It was here in 1907 that Bhutan's first king was crowned.

Altitude at Punakha: 1300m

Day 4: Punakha - Limukha
After passing majestic Punakha Dzong you cross a footbridge over the Pho Chhu and walk up to Shengana. This is the longest bridge in Bhutan. You then climb gradually through the forest until you reach Limukha.

Day 5: Limukha - Chhungsakha
The path leads through rhododendron and oak forests to Chhungsakha. Chungsakha is a small village of about 10 houses. You'll find a holy stone and an impressive Cyprus tree here that are reminders of Drukpa Kuenley, the "divine madman".

Day 6: Chhungsakha - Samtengang
You walk downhill until you cross Pe Chhu before climbing again through the village of Sha on your way to Samtengang. Near the school in Samtengang you will see a small lake and your campsite is right next to it.

Day 7: Samtengang-Paro
We drive to Paro visiting Chazam Lhakhang on the way. We also visit Dungtse Lhakhang built in 15th century.

Day 8: Paro
Today enjoy sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the National Museum, Ta Dzong. This museum houses many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan's historical and cultural past.

Next, visit the Rinpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong's are large monasteries and district administrative center, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards walk to the beautiful Cantilever Wooden Bridge still in use.

Overnight: Paro.

Day 9: Paro Taktsang
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walkof approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you high above the Paro valley. The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 meter above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The great Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. Nearby there is a cafeteria where you can stop for lunch.

In the afternoon drive to theruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, a historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop.

On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa.

Day 10: Departure
Transfer to the airport.
 

Tour date

Only by request
10 days / 9 nights (4 days trek, 6 days cultural program)

Group size & price

from 3-12 pax:
2,290 USD per person

Grade

easy

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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