Day 01: Arrival at Paro
Day 02: Start of Trek
Day 03: Trek
Day 04: Trek
Day 05: Trek
Day 06: Trek
Day 07: Trek
Day 08: End of Trek, Thimphu
Day 09: Departure
Druk Path trek is one of the popular treks in Bhutan. The Druk Path Trek highlights the great diversity that the Bhutanese landscape has to offer. You will pass through thick pine forests, scattered hamlets and alpine meadows that lead to the high pastureland where yak herders graze their animals.
BANGKOK / PARO (7.400 feet) the rendezvous this morning is at 04: 30 AM at the Druk Air check in counter at the Bangkok International Airport.
The flights to Bhutan on Bhutan Airline flight B3701 are scheduled to depart Bangkok at 06: 30 AM. It generally takes about two hours to complete check-in procedures and pass through security. Please plan to arrive at the airport no later than 04:30 AM to allow sufficient time to check in. Nearing Bhutan (if the weather is clear), we see the massive peaks of the eastern Himalaya, including Kanchenchunga (the third highest mountain in the world) the Chomolhari, Bhutan’s holy mountain. On arrival, complete visa formalities and proceed through Customs and Immigration to meet our Bhutanese guides and drivers in the arrival hall.
Your first stop this morning is the Ta Dzong, a circular fortress that once protected the valley from Tibetan invasion. This impressive watchtower sits above Paro Rimpung Dzong commanding sweeping views of the valley. Dzongs originally served three purposes: as a fortress to protect the valley from invasion, an administrative center for Royal government, and as a residence for the monk body. The Ta Dzong now houses the National Museum, featuring an assortment of costumes from different regions of Bhutan as well as a wonderful collection of painted and appliquéd thangkas. The word “thangka” loosely translates as “something that can be rolled up”, and thangkas typically depict Buddha, bodhisattvas, or the Buddhist wheel of life.
After visiting the museum, you enjoy a wonderful view of Paro Dzong and the town beyond. Then after a short drive, we will go and visit the main dzong (Rimpung Dzong). After visiting the dzong, you’ll across a traditional, cantilevered, covered bridge over the Pa Chu (river). You then pass Ugyen Pelri, a small jewel- like palace that belongs to the Royal Family of Bhutan. Designed after the celestial paradise of Padasambhava, the building was completed in the late 1800s. No alterations have been made to the structure or the beautiful carvings and paintings within the palace. Archery is the national sports of Bhutan, and most men grow up learning it. If you are lucky, we may catch a match in action. Continue with a walk through Paro’s main shopping district. The local shops sell a variety of goods such as groceries, textiles, and prayer flags.
Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang (lhakhang means “temples”). Kyichu is one of the two oldest temples in Bhutan (the other being Jambey Lhakhang in Bumthang) built circa 750 by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. The King pledged to build 108 temples to the Buddha during his lifetime. Kyichu Lhakhang is believed to be holding down the left foot of an ogress whose body is so large it covers Bhutan and most of eastern Tibet.
Khangkhu Resort (D, B)
Thursday, 19 May 2016
EXPLORING PARO (4,400 feet) This morning we head out early in the morning to make a pilgrimage to one of the most important religious sites in the Himalaya, Taktsang Lhakhang, known as The Tiger’s Nest. This Magical monastery clings to a vertical granite cliff 2,000 feet above the valley floor.
The legend of Takshang dates back to 747 AD when Guru Rinpoche, in the wrathful form of Guru Dorji Droloe, is believed to have arrived at this site on the back of a flying tiger and subdued the evil spirits in the region. The Guru then meditated in the holy cave, which is the site of the Pelphug Lhakhang today. According to Tantric Buddhist mythology, the vanquished local deities became the protectors of the drama and one of them, Singye Samdrup, is recognized today as the guardian deity of Taktshang.Guru Rinpoche is also believed to have concealed among the rocks of Takshang various forms of Dharma treasures know as ters, which were destined to be discovered later by tertons (treasure discoverers) for the propagation of Dharma.
After a steep hike of approximately one hour, you’ll reach a small teahouse that enjoys a wonderful panoramic view of the temple. If you are interested in getting an even closer view of Takshang, you can hike a further half-hour (each direction) to reach the small chorten directly across from the temple (if you decide not to hike further, you can relax at the tea house and enjoy the view)
Buddhist meditation techniques have become increasingly popular in the wider world, with many non-Buddhists taking them up for a variety of reasons. Buddhist meditation encompasses a variety of meditation techniques that aim to develop mindfulness, concentration, tranquility, and insight.
It was first built in 1692 at a cave where Guru Rimpoche meditated in the 7th century A.D. Legend states that Guru Rimpoche flew to the site atop the back of a tigress and meditated in the cave for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days and 3 hours in order to subdue evil demons residing within it. The cave has been considered a sacred site ever since and many famous saints have travelled to meditate in it.
Khangkhu Resort (B, D)
Embark on the five night Druk Path trek, a moderately difficult hike that will take you from Paro to Phume La Mountain. Your itinerary for the next five days:
DAYS 03-07: Friday 20/05/16 –Tuesday 24/05/16
Paro to Jele Dzong (Trek starts)
(Distance – 07 km, 04/05 hrs, alt. 2576m)
Although today’s trekking day is short, we keep slow and steady pace as altitude gain is significant. After breakfast, you will drive to the road head at the National Museum above Paro from where you will start your trek. We will walk from the Museum heading up hill through apple orchards, small holdings of Damchena village and pine forests. Visit Jele Dzong (3,490m), perched on a whaleback ridge. Jele Dzong is mostly in ruins and there is a Lhakhang with the statute of Buddha Sakyamuni. On a lear day, the views of Paro town far below and of mount Jomolhari (7,314m) are breathtaking.
Jele Dzong – Jangchulakha
(Distance – 10 km, 03/04 hrs, alt. 2879m)
On day two, continue along the wooden ridges high above Paro Valley, making your way through
conifer and rhododendron forests, and the numerous orchids, ferns, and wildflowers that line the
trail Pass by the local flora and fauna as well as yak herders. With the help of your expert guides,
you may be able to converse with these local people and learn the specifics of their lifestyle. End
of your day by setting up camp at Jangchu Lakha, overlooking the Paro and Thimphu valleys.
Jangchu Lakha to Semkota
(Distance – 19 km, 07/08 hrs, alt –4040m
The trail follows the ridge and at times through juniper trees and dwarf rhododendrons. The views of the mountain valleys of Thimphu and Paro are sensational. After making an ascent and then a steep descent, we arrive at Jimilangtsho Lake (3,880m). The lake is famous for their giant sized trout’s. you can have great views of 6,989m Jichu Drake, the peak representing the protective deity of Paro.
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and bypasses the lake of Janetsho. You may come across some yak herder’s camp and get an idea how these people live. Trail winds and undulates with magnificent view of the Himalaya across deep valleys. Simkotatsho Lake (4,110m) can be seen below after crossing one final spur. We continue our trek until we reach the yak pasture where we camp for tonight.
Simkota to Phajodhing
(Distance – 10 km, 03/04 hrs, alt – 3853m
Today you will begin with a gradual climb to a small saddle at 4,150m from where you enjoy majestic view of Mount Gangkar Puensum and other himalayan peaks on clear weather. You will then descend to another small lake and then climb to the Phume La pass (4,210m) which is adorned with beautiful prayer flags. From here, you will enjoy great view of Thimphu city far below. The trail slowly descends through junipers trees to a community hall near Phajodhing.
Phajoding to Thimphu (TREK ENDS)
(Distance – 8 km, 03 hrs, alt – 2,439m
The trek to Thimphu is all the way down hill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours. Back to hotel for a hot shower and delicious lunch. Evening: Stroll freely in the town.
THIMPHU /PARO/ BANGKOK
Depart the Land of thunder Dragon for Bangkok after a Breakfast.
Bhutan Airline flight no. B3700 is scheduled to depart Paro at 10:35 AM and should arrive in Bangkok at 16:05 PM.
Our land arrangements end upon arrival in Bangkok. Enjoy the rest of your trip … Good luck and Tashi Delek!!
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