The path takes you through forests of rhododendron and oak, through the villages of Sha and Chungsakha and across the longest foot bridge in Bhutan. While this trek is available throughout the winter the best times to embark on it are between March-April and September and October. The trail is approximately 54 km in length.
Day 01: Arrive Paro, Paro – Thimphu (54 km, 1hour)
After the immigration formalities, Pinehill Bhutan Travels representative will meet you at Paro airport. Post lunch, visit Paro town, National Museum (Ta Dzong) and Rimpong Dzong (fortress). Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centers, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards, transfer for Thimphu for overnight halt (1 hour).
DAY 02: Thimphu
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing beginning with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, 12th Century Changangkha Temple, Drubthob Monastery housing the Zilukha nunnery, the School for Arts and Crafts, the National Library and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. If time permits, you may also visit Takin zoo and Tashichhodzong. Overnight in Thimphu.
DAY 03: Thimphu- Punakha (74 km, 2 hrs. 45 mins)
Drive over the Dochula pass (3,100 meters), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into pleasant Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). Arrive Punakha and after lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang (temple) considered as a symbol of fertility. Overnight in Punakha.
DAY 04: Punakha- Limbukha (9km, 4 hours, 940 m ascent) (Trek starts)
The trek starts upstream from the Punakha Dzong, over the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan (180m) across the Pho Chhu (river). Climb gently on the left side of the Po Chhu through terraced field of mustard and winter wheat.
After about a 2.5 hours hike through pine forest, there is a nice clearing for lunch with a big prayer flag and a beautiful view over the valley. In the far distance, the huge chorten, Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal, can be seen. Looking to the west the road to Dochula can be partly traced, and if lucky some snowy peaks maybe visible: Jumolhari, kang Bum and Tiger mountain. A chorten and some prayer flags on the skyline at 2200m indicate the end of today’s climb. From the chorten you can see towards Wangdi and Limbukha where our campsite (2220m) is located just behind the village on a beautiful green area (1.5hr).
DAY 05: Limbukha- Chungsakha (10km, 4 hours. 375 m ascent, 745 m decent)
The day begins with a steep climb (150m) up to a small ridge (2370m) through a cold dense forest, from which today’s climb is visible. Cross this ridge, and descend steeply into a small side valley where a small stream (2235m) is crossed. Surrounded by beautiful birdsong and oak and rhododendrons forest, follow an unclear trail covered by slippery leaves.
After about 2 hours of climbing, we reach a small pass, Dochen La (82645m) littered with prayer flags and possibly a good view towards Dochu La, Jumolhari, Kang Bum, Tiger Mountain, as well as Talo Lhakhang and Nobgang Lhakhang down in the valley. After the pass a steep steady descent follows along a forest trail. The forest opens up after reaching Dagegon with a beautiful big old farmhouse. In the distance a ridge with Samtengang village and Chhuni Gompa can be seen. Walk alongside Dargyel Gompa, an old monastery of Drukpa Kinley, the Divine Mad Madman. On the hillside above the monastery are several small meditations cells. At 1850 m Chungsakha (Chhungsekha) lhakhang (temple) is reached. The campsite is in front of the Lhakhang.
DAY 06: Chungsakha- Samtengang (4km, 2.5-3 hours. 550 m ascent, 350 m decent)
Descend to the road (45 min) and find a suspension bridge crossing the Bae Chhu (1500m). The trail from here is clear and moderately steep passing through several villages. The trail goes through small deeply eroded gorges, which will be very slippery in the rain.
The climb completes the hike for the day when you pass Samtengang High School. We walk through a narrow gorge to the other side at 2000 m and look down towards a holy lake, Lutshokha (Tsho Shokha). Afterwards, continue to the campsite, located on the other side of the lake and another 20 minutes walk. It is a beautiful flat campsite (2050m) in the forest below the village of Samtengang. After lunch there will be plenty of time either to visit Samtengang or stay in camp and enjoy the fresh wind blowing through the pines. There is a wonderful trail climbing up to Samtengang village. Samtengang is mentioned again and again in old literature regarding travelling/exploring/plant hunting in Bhutan.
DAY 07: Samtengang – Bridge at Tika zam/Chhuzomsa (1.5-2 km, 3 hours, 495 m decent)
You will see farming system by smallholder farmers in the endless agricultural fields. Starting near camp, the trail today is steep and challenging. It passes through the valley of the Dang Chhu. The road is next to the bridge at Tika Zam (5100 ft/1555 m). Overnight at a hotel in Wangdue.
DAY 08: Wangdue – Paro
We begin yet another exciting day with a morning visit to Wangduephodrang Dzong.
Drive back to Thimphu where you will enjoy lunch and have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. On the way visit Tachogang monastery. Overnight in Paro.
DAY 09: Paro
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest. The hike is 5 hours uphill climb and return. In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, a historic monument. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang. Overnight in Paro.
DAY 10: Depart Paro
Drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. We hope to serve you again with our other exciting tour packages in the future.