Druk Path Trek – 12 Days

Trip Facts

  • Total Days - 12
  • Trekking Days - 6
  • Trek Grade - moderate
  • Type of the trek - Camping
  • Walking Time - 4 - 6 hours
  • Best season - Spring / Autumn
  • Highlights - Landscape / Mountain view

Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the India and to the north by the People Republic of China. Bhutan is separated from the nearby country of Nepal to the west by the Indian state of Sikkim, and from Bangladesh to the south by the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal.

Day 01: Arrival in Paro
Day 02: Visit Paro
Day 03: Visit Taktsang
Day 04: Trek Paro to Jele Dzong
Day 05: Trek Jele Dzong to Jangchulakha
Day 06: Trek Jangchulakha to Jimilangtsho
Day 07: Trek Jimilangtsho to Simkota
Day 08: Trek Simkota to Phajoding
Day 09: Trek Phajoding to Thimphu
Day 10: Visit Thimphu
Day 11: Drive Thimphu to Paro
Day 12: Departure

Day 01: Arrive in Paro Arrive in Paro by flight. Upon arrival, you will be met by one of our representatives and transfer you to the hotel. After lunch visit the Rinphung Dzong and stroll around the town.

Paro: originally Paro is one of the most beautiful valleys in the country with Bhutan's only airport located here, among the terraced fields, and elegant farm houses. Willow trees line many of the roads, contrasting with bright colors of the fields and the most popular and important sites are also found within Paro district. Paro town (2,280m), locally called 'Tshongdu' is still a small with just two main street and less than two hundred small family-run shops. The weekend market in Paro is held on Sundays in a small area near the town.

Paro Rinpung Dzong: Rinphung Dzong was consecrated in 1645 by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal on the site of smaller fort. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries; it served as a bastion against invasion from the north. It is regarded as one of the finest Bhutanese architecture with intricate wood work, large beams slotted into each other and held together without nails. In it houses the giant 30m X 45m Thangka (Thongdrol), commissioned in mid 18th century, displayed on the last day of Paro Tsechu festival. Rinphung Dzong is the districts headquarter of Paro and residence of state monks under Paro rabdey.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 02: Paro Valley Sightseeing: visit the National Museum, Kichu and Dungtshe temple, Drugyal Dzong and a Farm House.
Dungtse Lhakhang: was constructed by the great bridge-builder Thangtong Gyelpo in 1433. It is said to have been built on the head of demons, which was causing illness to the inhabitants. The building was restored in 1841 and is a unique repository of Kagyu lineage arts. You may or may not be permitted inside but can walk around this three-storey Chorten-type building. National Museum of Bhutan: Established in 1967, the museum is housed inside a circular Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower. It has fascinating collection of arts, relics, and religious thangkha paintings, households' stuff, arms, handicrafts, stuffed animals and Bhutan's famous Stamps among others.

Kichu Lhakhang: Kyichu is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in the 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. The story goes that a giant demon lay across Tibet and the Himalayas, which was preventing the spread of Buddhism. To overcome her, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples in a single day to pin the ogress to the earth forever in 659AD. Of these 108 temples, 12 were built in accordance with precise plans at key points. The temple of Jokhang in Lhasa was built over the very heart of demon and Kichu is said to have been built on the left foot.

Drukgyel Dzong: Drukgyal Dzong ruins is located 14kms north of Paro town, near the end of the paved road. Drukgyal Dzong (victories fortress) was built around 1644-49 to commemorate the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetan-Mongol forces. It was later burnt in fire accident in 1951. On a clear day, Mt. Jumolhari, Bhutan's holy peak is seen against its backdrop.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 03: Hike to Taktsang: Spend the day hiking to the famous Taktsang monastery. Lunch at the tea house near Taktsang. Depending on your interest and abilities, you may explore other sites around Taktsang, which includes Zangdopelri and Ugyen Tshemo. Trek to Taktsang is a steep uphill and takes from 2 hours to 4 hours depending how high you want to get and want to see. The return trek is downhill and takes about half the time. Return to Paro in the evening.

Ugyen Tsemo: From the view point overlooking Taktsang, another trail leads upwards to the summit. Here, there are three other temples highly venerated as well but not on the usual tourist route. Zangdopelri (named after Guru Rinpoche's heavenly abode), built in 1853 sits of the summit of opposite ridge - across the deep chasm from Takstang Pelphung. The small shrine and its balcony overlook and provide view of Takstang. Ozegang is nearby hermitage constructed in 1646. Higher still and on the summit of ridge directly above Takstang Pelphung, sits Ugyen Tsemo. Ugyen refers to Takstang and Tsemo means 'the top' or 'the head'. The temple was originally built in 1508 and restored recently in 1958. It contains some beautiful frescoes of Guru Padmakara and his followers. The view Ugyen Tsemo is astoundingly beautiful. A day excursion to higher ridge of Bumdra can be done from here. In Bumdra there are several retreat families. Taktshang - Tiger's Nest: Tiger's Lair or Tiger's Nest as it often referred to for Takshang Pelphung monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a sheer 900m cliff above the floor of Paro valley. It is an impressive and un-miss-able sight but accessible only by walk or to ride mules/pony. The trek back is all downhill and always on foot as it is not suitable for riding pony/horse. Further, if you have more time and ready for more challenging day, there are several monasteries, temples, retreat houses in the surrounding area of Takshang. The most notable among them are Zangdopelri and Ugyen Tsemo as described seperately. According to the legend, Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, who spread the Buddhism across the entire Himalayas is said to have flown here in the 8th century on the back of a Tigress, in order to subdue negative spiritual forces that were hostile to spread of Buddhism. In 853, one of his students, Pelgyi Senge mediated here in the main cave. A Stupa inside one of the temples contains his mortal remains and therefore the cave is known as 'Pelphung 'or 'Pelgi's cave'. Subsequently many great spiritual masters such as Milarepa, Thangthong Gyalpo, Phajo Dugom Zhigpo, Shadrung and many others passed periods here in profound meditation. Takshang and several temples in the area were burnt down in 1951 by fire accident but much of them remained intact and most of the relics were saved. Soon after, it was rebuilt by entire population of Tsento village.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 04: Trek Paro to Jele Dzong: Your pack ponies arrive at the starting point of trek, near the museum area. The trek begins around 10am after the horsemen and trekking crews have packed your luggage and trekking supplies in order. To begin, the trail passes through some villages, houses, apple orchards, cultivated fields, steadily uphill. Then trek through the blue pine and fir forests, with some nice meadows and great view of Paro valley as you climb to the camping grounds near Jele Dzong at an altitude of approximately 3500m.
Overnight: Camping

Day 05: Trek Jele Dzong to Jangchulakha: Jele Dzong is atop a promontory at an altitude of 3560m, which is a short accent from your camp. On a clear day, the great views of Paro town and upper valley far below and Mt. Chomolhari, Mt Jitchu Drake and adjoining peaks can be seen in the distance. Visit this remote temple/fortress. From the Dzong, the trek is a long gradual ridge walk in a rhododendron forest. You descend and climb through forests of spruce, cedars and other trees mostly ravaged by bark beetles. You may pass the nomadic yak herders camps; see some beautiful flora and fauna including monal pheasants. Camp at a pasture land at an altitude of approximately 3750m
Overnight: Camping

Day 06: Trek  Jangchulakha to Jimilangtsho: The trail follows the ridge; ascending and descending as you get the view of the mountains and valley are beautiful. The campsite is close to the lake Jimilangtso at an altitude of 3870m. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout and if lucky you may enjoy a freshly prepared lake trout for dinner
Overnight: Camping

Day 07: Trek Jimilangtsho to Simkota: The trek makes gradual climbs and descends with the highest point being 4150m.The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and lake of Janetso. You may come across some yak herders' camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of nomads' life. The campsite is close to Simkota lake, and if you are lucky, you can do some trout fishing!
Overnight: Camping

Day 08: Trek Simkota to Phajoding: The trek makes several short ascents, to seemingly summits, traverses broad rocky valley, some sky burial sites, and crosses the final ridge at Phume la pass (4100m). From the pass, on a clear day, you will have a spectacular view of Mount "Gangkhar Punsum", the highest mountain in Bhutan, as well other peaks and the view below of entire Thimphu valley. From the pass, descend and visit the Thujidra Gompa, a meditation site that hangs on the side of precipitous rock face at 3950m. Short but steep descent from here is your camp site near the stone shelter at an altitude of 3750m.
Overnight: Camping

Day  09: Trek Phajoding to Thimphu: Phajoding has several meditation residences and some ancient temples. In the morning, explore the monastery nearby and trek to Thimphu. The last day of your trek is all the way downhill through the forested area of mostly blue pine. At a leisurely pace, it takes about three hours. While you are waiting for the Wind Horse trekking crew and mules to arrive, explore the mini zoo nearby for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Transfer from trek end point to the hotel. Afternoon is free to explore Thimphu on your own or to relax in the comforts of the hotel. You could walk to the Weekend Market.

Thimphu: (at 2300m) is Bhutan's capital city and center of government, religion and commerce. About two hours drive east from Paro is this a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. Home to civil servants, expatriates and monk body, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style. It was a wooded farming valley until 1961, when it became Bhutan's official national capital. The massive Tashicho Dzong, about 700 years old, was carefully revamped in the 1960s by the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk to house the royal and main government offices. Even today, it still only has a few streets and no traffic lights with estimated population of 70,000 people. Thimphu has many places and sights to visit, in addition to several day excursion possibilities. It has relatively more choice in terms of the accommodations.

Takin Sanctuary: A short distance of the road to the telecom tower is a tail leading to a large fenced area that was originally established as a mini-zoo. The king decided that such a facility was not in keeping with Bhutan’s environmental and religious convictions and it was disbanded sometime ago. The animals were released into the wild but the takins were so tame that they wandered around the streets of Thimphu looking for food, and the only solution was to put them back into captivity.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 10: Thimphu Valley Sightseeing: Visit Weekend Market, Zangdopelri temple, Tashicho Dzong, Zilukha Nunnery and Memorial Chorten.
Tashichho Dzong: This fortress serves as the office of the King, ministers and various government organizations. It also is the headquarters for central monastic body of Bhutan. Bhutan's spiritual leader Je-Khenpo and the monks of both Thimphu and Punakha reside here during summer. It is also the venue for Thimphu Festival in the fall season.

Memorial Chorten: This white and tall landmark of Thimphu was built in 1974 in the memory of third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as' Father of Modern Bhutan'. It is a four-storey tall white building, containing statues and iconography of deities from complex tantric teachings and serves as an important place of worship for Thimphu residents, as well as from other parts of the country.

Zilukha Nunnery: is housed in Drubthob Goemba (monastery). There are about 70 nuns who live and pray everyday in the monastery. There are good views of Tashicho Dzong, Golf course and upper Thimphu.

Weekend Market of Thimphu: starts around noon on Friday and ends on Sunday afternoon. It resembles the farmers market in the west. However since there are no big super markets, Thimphu's weekend market is the main source of fresh produce. It is an interesting place to visit, where village people jostle with well heeled Thimphu residents for best and cheapest vegetables and other food products.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 11: Drive Thimphu to Paro: visit the Traditional Art School, Indegenious Hospital and textile musuem. In the afternoon drive to Paro.
Painting School: The National Institute for Zorig Chusum Pedzoe (School of Arts and Crafts) is commonly known as "the painting school". It operates under the National Technical Training Institute and offers a six-year course that provides instruction in Bhutan's traditional arts and crafts called Zorig Chuksum - meaning 13 crafts.

Textile Museum: The National Textile Museum which opened in June 2001 is worth a leisurely visit to get to know the living national art of weaving. Changing exhibitions introduce the major weaving techniques, styles of local dress and textiles made by women and men. The small shop features work from the renowned weaving centres in Lhuntshe Dzongkhag, in north-eastern Bhutan. Each item is leveled with the name of the weaver and price. The textile museum's exhibition are centered around six major themes - warp pattern weaves, weft pattern weaves, role of textiles in religion, achievements in textile arts, textiles from indigenous fibres and the royal collection.

Paper Factory: Traditional papers were made from the daphne plant, using simple methods. Like rice papers, these papers are said to last longer.

Thimphu to Paro Road: The drive to Paro from Thimphu takes about 1hr. covering distance of 55 km. The road has been recently broadened. The western branch of lateral highway from Thimphu, runs close to the Wangchu river in the valley floor, through the suburbs and villages of Thimphu to arrive at the river confluence of Chuzom, which is also the hub of road network going to Paro, Haa, Thimphu and Phuntsholing. From Chuzom, it is north-west for about 20 minutes, following Pa Chu river upstream, passing Tachogang temple on the other side of the river, then through relatively straight road, into the villages and farm houses of Paro valley.
Overnight: Hotel

Day 12: Transfer to the airport for your onwards journey.

The tour price includes:

  • Bhutan Royalties, Tourist Visa & TDF Fees
  • Accommodation in Twin Sharing basis at tourist standard Hotels / tents
  • Trekking guide / Cook / Porters
  • All Meals in Bhutan (Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner)
  • All Transfers (Private vehicles) & Sightseeing with Entrance Fee
  • English Speaking Local Tour Guide
  • Bottled Water in Vehicle

The tour price does not include:

  • International Flights
  • Travel / Medical Insurance – recommended
  • Use of Bar & Beverages in the Hotels / restaurants
  • Tips & Gratuities to the Guides & Drivers
  • All Personal Gears
  • Personal Expenses such as phone / internet / laundry etc.


Average Temperature of Bhutan in different cities

Paro :

Mths Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. 9.4 13.4 14.5 17.6 23.5 25.4 26.8 25.3 23.4 18.7 13.9 11.2
Min. -5.8 1.5 0.6 4.6 10.6 13.1 14.9 14.7 11.7 7.4 1.4 -1.7

Thimphu :

Mths Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. 12.3 14.4 16.4 20.0 22.5 24.4 18.9 25.0 23.1 21.9 17.9 14.5
Min. -2.6 0.6 3.9 7.1 13.1 15.2 13.4 15.8 15.0 10.4 5.0 -1.1

Punakha :

Mths Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. 16.1 19.6 21.2 24.4 27.2 31.2 32.0 31.4 29.9 27.8 22.3 15.0
Min. 4.2 5.3 9.2 11.9 14.8 19.5 21.6 19.8 20.0 18.9 13.0 7.9

Bhumthang :

Mths Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. 10.8 10.0 16.2 18.7 21.3 22.5 14.1 23.0 21.6 19.5 16.1 12.3
Min. -5.1 -1.4 3.5 3.9 9.5 13.5 10.9 13.7 12.1 5.9 -0.5 -2.3

Trekking Gear

Srl.

Description

Qty.

Remarks

01 Day back-pack

1

02 Gore-Tex Jacket

1

03 Down Jacket

1

04 Fleece Jacket

1

05 Micro Fleece

1

06 Trekking Trousers

2

At least
07 Hiking shoes (Boots)

1 pair

08 Runners (sport shoes)

1 pair

Optional
09 Trekking Socks

3 pair

At least
10 Rain poncho

1

11 Sun-glasses

1

12 Water bottles

2

13 Thermal underwear(long)

1-2

14 T- shirts

2-3

15 Sunscreen/lotion

1

16 Flip flop (sandal)

1

17 Towel

1

18 Hat(Baseball cap)

1

19 Pristine drops (Water purifier)

1

20 Head light/flash light

1

21 Sleeping Bag

1

Should be negative (-) 20, at least -15
22 Gloves

1

23 Wind Proof Trouser (s)

1

24 Personal medical kid

1

25 Toiletries

1

 

Package Gallery