START OF TREK: Gangtey Gompa
END OF TREK: Chusomsa (Wangdue)
DURATION: 8 nights/ 9 days
SEASON : March, April, May, June, September, October, November
GRADE : SSS
Arrive Paro (Druk Air)
Paro - Thimphu
Thimphu - Gangtey Gompa
Gangtey Gompa - Gogona
Gogona - Khotoka
Khotoka - Chuzomsa (Wangdue via Nizergang)
Wangdue - Paro
Paro - Airport
DETAILED DAY TO DAY INTINERARY
DAY 01 ARRIVE PARO (DRUK AIR)
The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the worlds highest peaks, give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. A tour guide from Sambara Tours & Travels, who will be your personal host throughout your stay in Bhutan, will be waiting to assist you with customs and immigration formalities, and then drive you the short distance to the Hotel.
DAY 02 PARO sightseeing
A very special day, with an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang monastery a labour of devotion and faith! After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten from where we walk up to the Taktsang viewpoint. The trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshment at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. Built in the 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 m into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. Looking at the monastery flying tigers donąt seem so impossible after all. Lunch at Taktsang Jakhang and then back to Satsam Chorten. In the afternoon we drive to the Ta Dzong, an ancient watch-tower, which now houses the National Museum.
DAY 03 PARO - THIMPHU
After breakfast a two hour drive will take you to the capital, Thimphu. After checking into the hotel we visit the Dupthop Lakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan and then the National Memorial Chorten built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. After lunch, we leave for the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). The Tashichho Dzong is open to visitors only in winter when the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body move to Punakha, the ancient winter capital of Bhutan.
DAY 04 THIMPHU - GANGTEY GOMPA
In the morning we visit the Library, stocked with ancient manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch we drive towards the valley of Gantey / Phobjikha. The road winds through the forest to Dochula pass (3,050 m), where in good weather the entire Bhutan mountain ranges can be viewed.
From the pass we descend to the valley of Punakha / Wangdue and after four and half hours we reach the beautiful glacial valley of Gangtey (3,000 m) described as łthe most beautiful spot in the most beautiful county in the Himalayas˛. The valley is dominated by an important Nyimgmapa monastery. In winter this beautiful valley is host to the rare endangered Siberian black-necked crane who migrate here from Tibet. Overnight at camp.
DAY 05 GANGTEY GOMPA - GOGONA
The trial winds through meadows and fields, and then climbs through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendron to the Tselela pass (3,320 m). Overnight in camp. Altitude 3,000 m; Distance 14 Km; Time 5-6 hours.
DAY 06 GOGONA - KHOTOKHA
A gentle climb leads to Shobjula pass (3, 390 m). The descend leads to a wide valley, reminiscent of the big sky views of mountain. Overnight in camp. Distance 16 Km; Time 6 7 hours.
DAY 07 KHOTOKHA - CHUZOMSA OR WANGDUE VIA NIZERGANG
A short ascent bring us to the Tashila pass (2,788 m). Be sure to fill your water bottle shortly after crossing the pass, as the descent is dry. We walk down through an ever- changing landscape into the drainage of the Dhang Chu. Overnight in Wangdue Guest house or camp.
DAY 08 WANGDUE - PARO
After breakfast we leave for Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and ancient capital of Bhutan, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo Chu and the Pho Chu. The dzong is open to visitors only in summer when the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body are in Thimphu. We return to Thimphu over the Dochula pass, and if the weather is clear, stop to view the beautiful Himalayan ranges in the distance. After lunch at Thimphu we drive to Paro. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 09 PARO - AIRPORT
In the morning STT representative will bid farewell at Paro airport. Good-bye and happy journey back home. Tashi Delek.