Trip Highlights: Trekking/cultural tours
Trip duration: 12 Days/11Nights
On trek duration: 6 days
Max. Elevation: 3,480m
Highest Camp: 1,500m
Physical grade: easy
Best time: October- April
Start: Tongtongphey, Trongsa
Finish: Reotala, Trongsa
Day 1 Arrival Paro
You local escort will receive you at the Paro airport and take you to the Hotel. After freshening up, you will be taken for a tour of Paro town including the ruins of Drukgyel dzong and Kycihu Lhakang.
Day 2 Paro/Thimphu
You will enjoy the gentle ride to Thimphu. Once in the capital, you will be taken around for sightseeing. You will visit the Folk heritage museum, Painting School, National Memorial Chorten, Tashichhodzong, and Changangkha Lhakhang. You will also be taken to Sangaygang and Buddha point from where you can have a bird’s eye view of Thimphu.
Day 3 Thimphu/Trongsa
After early breakfast, you will be driven to Trongsa. There will be a stopover at Dochula from where you will be able to view the majestic mountain ranges and peaks on a clear day. Lunch will be served in Wangduephodrang. After lunch, you will continue the journey to Trongsa across Pelela, the mountain pass that divides east and west. Along the way, you will stop at Chendebji Chorten. You will halt for the night in Trongsa.
Day 4 Tongtongphey/Jangbi village
Distance: 7-9.5 kms
Time: 3-4 hours
Altitude range: 1,000m – 1,350m
After early breakfast, you will visit the historical Trongsa dzong followed by the Ta-dzong, a museum. You will then drive along the Trongsa – Zhemgang national highway till you reach Tongtongphey, from where you will start the trek. Along the way, you could also visit the Kuenga Rabten palace. From Tongtongphey, you will walk downhill till you reach a suspension bridge over the Mangdechhu. There is every possibility that on this trail, you will sight golden langurs. You will come across an indigenous community of Monpas, said to be the first inhabitants of the country. You will also be able to experience their unique ethnic lifestyle and culture. The campsite is at Jangbi overlooking the beautiful Mangde valley. You could also treat yourself to local cultural program.
Day 5 Jangbi village/ Kudra village
Distance: 13-14.5 km
Time: 6 hours
Altitude range: 1,350m – 1,500m
Before you start the second day of trekking, you can have the time to visit the orchid garden that is home to about 75 different species of orchids. The trail leading to Kudra village is a fascinating one as you will come across numerous religious sites. The trail is filled with stone imprints of Guru Rinpoche’s footprints, dagger and phallus.
Just before you reach Phumzor, lunch will be served. If there is time, you can also visit the village Lhakhang and then continue to the campsite in Kudra. An hour before you reach Kudra, you will pass through another Monpa village, Lekpogang. The campsite offers a bird’s-eye-view of Nyimshong village and also the Zhemgang town.
Day 6 Kudra village/ Nabji village
Distance: 11-14 kms
Time: 5-7 hours
Altitude range – 1,500m – 1,300m
This trail is truly a walk through the wild. The sights and sounds of Rufous-necked hornbill, streams, waterfalls and thick forests – all add to the experience. The Great Himalayan Squirrel, Rhesus Mecaques, and small snakes are often spotted along the trail. After five to seven hours walk, you will reach the idyllic village of Nambji, surrounded by terraced paddy field from all around. Here you can indulge in local culture, or also play a game of football or volleyball with students at the community school.
Day 7 Nabji village/Korphu village
Total distance: 9.5-13km
Time: 2-3 hours
Altitude range: 1300m – 1500m
Before you head to Korphu, you will visit the historical Nabji temple. In the 8th century Guru Rinpoche is said to have mediated between the warring kings – king Sindhu Gyalp of Bumthang and King Noeche of South – by imprinting their thumb prints on the stone pillar. The trail to Korphu is an uphill climb of about two to three hours. The hospitality of the people of Korphu will sweep you off your feet. Here you can also partake in the traditional game of ‘Khuru’, ‘Dego’, ‘Sok-sum’, and ‘Gee-dum’. You could also pay a visit to the village temple that houses the sacred relics of Pema Lingpa, the famous ‘Treasure revealer’ of Bhutan. Korphu also offers a spectacular bird’s eye view of Nabji.
Day 8 Korphu village – Nimshong village
Distance: 11-12 km,
Time: 4-6 hours
Altitude range: 1,500m – 1,300m
The trek to Nimshong is a pleasant one and along the trail, you will able to spot numerous species of bird species. The forest here boasts of being home to more than 395 species. People of this village will entertain you through the night with offerings of ara (locally brewed alcohol).
Day 9 Nimshong village/Trongsa
Total distance: 5-6km
Time: 2 hours
Altitude range: 1,300m – 1,000m
The trek from Nimshong to Reutala involves descend and a sharp uphill climb till the road point. Along the trail, you can sight the Golden Langurs. You will be picked up by your driver and driven to Trongsa.
Day 10 Trongsa/Punakha
On the way back, you will visit the historical Wangduephodrang dzong, the Chimi Lhakhang known as the Mecca of fertility, and the beautiful Punakha dzong that is located just before the confluence of Phochhu and Mochhu. You will spend the night in Punakha.
Day 11 Punakha/Thimphu
You will be driven back to Paro. After lunch, you will be visiting Paro Rinpung dzong and Ta-dzong that houses the National Museum. Evening is a right time to shop in Paro town.
Day 12 Exit
Your tour escort will see you off at the airport.