This is a three days trek. This trek starts from the Phobjikha valley, one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in the Himalayas and the home for the rare black–necked cranes which migrate here in winter from the Tibetan Plateau. This Trek passes through the village of Gogona and Khotokha. The route comes across beautiful meadows and fields, then forest of juniper, magnolia and rhododendrons. This trek is a fine low level trek.
Day 1. Arrive Paro:
On your journey to Paro, the panoramic views of the Himalayas are sensational, including the Everest and other famous Himalayan Peaks. The approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steep turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro becomes more exciting as you enter Bhutan.
On arrival you will be received by your Bhutanese guide from Bhutan Greenland Expeditions and escorted to Hotel. After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan. Then visit the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646. Over night in Hotel.
Day 2. Paro:
After breakfast, excursion to Taktshang Monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built surrounding Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in the 1684 by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava flew here on the back of a tigress.
After lunch, visit the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Jumolhari ‘Mountain of the Goddess’ can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329 m /24,029 ft.). Then visit the Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and the most sacred shrine of Bhutan built in 8th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. Over night in Hotel.
Day 3. Paro – Thimphu: (1 Hour)
After breakfast, drive to Thimphu (Capital). Visit the Sangaygang view point, from where the bird’s eye view of the Thimphu Valley can be seen. Visit the Takin Preserve Centre. Takin is the National animal of Bhutan. Then visit the Drupthob Lhakhang, one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan followed by the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
After lunch, visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Zorig Chusum (The School of Thirteen Arts). Then visit the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices and the Folk Heritage Museum. In the evening, visit 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).Over night in Hotel.
Day 4. Thimphu – Punakha: (2 – 3 Hours)
After breakfast, drive to Punakha. Stop at Dochula pass to view the higher Himalayas, if the weather is clear. Visit the Chhimi Lhakhang on the way to Punakha. The Temple, also known as “The Temple of Fertility” was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, “The Devine Mad Man”.
After lunch, visit the Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck convened the first National Assembly here in 1952. Then explore the Punakha valley and town. Over night in Hotel.
Day 5. Wangduephodrang – Gangtey 🙁 2 Hours)
After breakfast, visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong. Drive to Gangtey. After lunch, visit the Gangtey Gompa. Gyaltse Pema Thinley, the grandson and mind reincarnation of Pema Lingpa founded the Temple in 1613, and Tenzin Legpai Dhendup, the second re-incarnation, built the temple. The present Abbot, Kunzang Pema Namgyal is the ninth re-incarnation. Explore the Phobjikha Valley, one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in the Himalayas and the winter place for the endangered Black Necked Cranes. Over night in Hotel.
Day 6. Gangtey Gompa – Gogona:
The trail winds up on a slow climb through field and then ascends the Tselela Pass for your lunch stop. Then the trail descends gradually for some time trough forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendron. After the last short climb you will reach Gogona village. The people of Gogona were originally nomads and they speak a language, “Jopkha” (language of the nomads). Distance 15 km, about 6 – 7 hours.
Day 7. Gogona – Khotokha:
In the morning you will climb up a gentle slope to Shobjula (11,155 ft.) for your lunch stop. Then the path leads down to a wide valley of Khotokha, a summer place of the people of Sha (under district of Wangduephodrang) Distance 15 – 16 km. Time about 6 – 7 hours.
Day 8. Khotokha – Chazam – Wangdue:
A short ascend leads to Mulaila pass (9200ft.) then the path descends through ever-changing vegetation till the bridge in Wangdi Phodrang. Fill your water bottles, as water is scarce. Your trek ends here at. Overnight at the guesthouse.
Day 9. Chazam – Thimphu:
Farewell to your trek and start driving towardsThimphu. Driving via Dochula, stop for coffee or tea at the cafeteria and have another breathtaking panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks. Before lunch visit the weekly market where the farmers display their cottage industry goods. After lunch visit some of the left over sights and handicraft stores. In the evening visit Tashichhodzong. The seat of the spiritual and temporal administration, (built 1641 A.D). Over night in Hotel
Day 10. Thimphu – Paro:
After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu. After Lunch, drive to Paro. Over night in Hotel.
Day 11. Departure:
Early morning, drive to the airport and farewell.