PUANAKHA WINTER TREK
This is a short and easy trek through Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Easy Trek
Group Size Large Group
This is a short and easy trek through Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan. The altitude of the trail covers almost a thousand meters in range but the slopes are mostly gradual and should not present hikers with much difficulty. This hike follows the old foot trail from Thimphu to Punakha passes through several villages, forests and rice fields. It offers incredible views of Phajoding Monastery and crosses through Sinchula Pass. Hikers will also camp near Chorten Ningpo, an ancient chorten linked to Bhutan’s favourite patron saint, The Divine Madman Lam Drukpa Kuenley. Due to the low altitude and warm climate of the area, this hike is available all winter but the best times to go are between March-May and September-November.
Highlights of Trek
- Experience Bhutanese hospitality.
- Immerse yourself in Bhutan’s rich buddhist culture.
- Hike to Amazing Tiger Nest.
- Discover sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Himalaya.
- We tailor our tours for less driving & more sightseeing!
- The price is competitive & well constructed itinerary.
- Transfer to and from the airport
- Twin sharing accommodation in 3 star hotels
- Up-gradation to 5 star luxury hotel available on request
- Camping equipment & haulage for trekking tour
- All meals(Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
- Licensed Bhutanese English speaking guided tours
- All entrance, museum & other attraction fees
- Luxurious private transportation throughout the tour
- All applicable internal taxes & service fees(only royalty)
- Mineral water per person per night
- Visa Fee
- International airfare(Round trip from home town departure gateway to destination )
- Travel Insurance
- Discretionary gratuities to guide and driver
- Single supplement room
- Other Personal expenses such drinks, laundry, telephone bills, water in hotels, internet bills, etc
The flight to Paro on a clear day is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. On can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsering gang. Received by our representative and drive to Thimphu takes about 2 hours with a distance of 65Km. Check in at Hotel. After some rest, visit the following places: Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King who reigned the Kingdom from 1952 - 1972. The National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit Tashichho Dzong. This is the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government ministries, office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and senior monks. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Thimphu - Shong Pang (Trek starts)
Drive north up the valley towards Dechencholing (the residence of the Queen Mother) Palace, following the Thimchu. The transport will reach you up to Pangrizam, the last motor point. From here, the trek starts towards Shong Pang, which takes about 4/5 hours through villages. The camp will be just above Chamina village.
Shong Pang - Dopshing Pang
The trek trail ascends gradually up till you reach the pass called Sinchula which is about 3,490m. From this point, if the weather is clear, one can see Phajodhing Monastery, which is just above Thimphu. After 2 Km walk, you can view Thinly Gang village, Talo Monastery and the motor highway towards the ancient capital of Bhutan. The trek from the pass is more or less downhill till you reach the campsite.
Dopshing Pang - Chorten Ningpo
The trek to Chorten Ningpo is rather gradual and will be walking through thick forests, villages and rice fields. The campsite is at an alt. of 2,700 m.
Chorten Ningpo - Zomlingthang
For about 2-3 hours, the trek trail will be through several villages until you reach a motor road. From the motor road, you will follow the road towards Punakha, which is the ancient capital of Bhutan.
Zomlingthang - Limukha
Follow the motor road till Punakha Dzong and then cross the Pochu River (Male River), the river that drains the remote Lunana region. You will have a steady half-day climb into a forest of scattered long needle Chir Pines. Make sure to fill your water bottle before leaving Punakha, as there is no water on the way for a couple of hours. You will have a wonderful view of Punakha valley and the Dzong. If the weather is clear, you can see some snow peaked mountains to the north. The campsite is near Limukha village, alt. 2,250m.
Limukha - punakha(Trek ends)
The trek trail ascends gradually up through the thick forest of oak species and rhododendrons till you reach a pass called Dochula. Then descend through the thick forest leading to a small monastery dedicated to a lama called Drukpa Kuenlay (popularly known as the Divine Madman). From Chungsakha you can look across the valley to Samtengang on the ridge to the south. Walk down hill till you reach the motor road and then drive for about half an hour to Wangdiphodrang. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
Punakha - Thimphu
After breakfast, drive to Punakha Dzong viewpoint at the north end of the Punakha Valley. The Punakha Dzong lies between two rivers known as Pochu and Mochu, which mean ‘Male River and Female River’. It houses the District Administration office and the winter residence of the State Monastic Body and its Chief Abbot. Drive up to Dochula pass and stop for a hot cup of tea and some snacks. Continue to drive down to Thimphu. Evening: guests can either rest in the hotel or stroll in the town.
After breakfast drive to paro about 1 hour and hike to Taktsang Monastery. The walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to cafeteria). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. Night at Paro.
Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
When is the best time to visit Bhutan?
The most favorable seasons to visit Bhutan is from March-May in spring and august to Nov in fall.In these seasons you will enjoy the scenery of Bhutan and will be more rewarding experience in your life time.See more detail about when to visit Bhutan and what you can able to see.
How is weather through out the year?
The weather may change depending on season and it depends on when you want to travel.Bhutan in summer(June-mid-September) are warm, humid and wetter and Winters (Dec-early March) cooler and dry. Winter nights are cold however the days are often clear, sunny and surprisingly mild in the valleys. The western valleys only average 2 snow falls per annum. The wettest period is August/early September.
What do i need to carry to wear?
Some of your casual cloths are fine while you visit Bhutan, but you would do well to have some set of dress up cloths such as jacket and appropriate smart pair of pants for women.Remeber Bhutan is a country with national dress code and will not be permitted to enter with inappropriate dress while visiting government offices, some of the monasteries and festivals. Even in summer it can be cool in Paro and Thimphu and the day be quite warm, especially in lower region like punakha and phuntsoling and the night time and morning will be cool. Use a layering system, starting with thermal underwear and adding a shirt, pile jacket and wind breaker or parka as necessary.If you are going for trekking you much always thrown some warm cloths and extra gears as you have to walk more than 3000 m.
Is internet available in Bhutan's hotels?
Most of the standard tourist class hotels now have WiFi and plus have a business center where you can use the hotel PCs . WiFi is free for at least a 24 hr use. All of the luxury resorts & lodges offer a wireless internet facility however not necessarily in guest rooms.Some more remote valleys, like Phobjikha, have limited power and internet supply so please you may face some inconsistency as you travel.Purchasing a local SIM card for your smart phone or iPad will give you wifi most of the way through the Kingdom for those who need more connectivity.
Is traveller's cheque accepted in Bhutan?
You can cash traveller's cheque in any Bank, hotels and foreign-exchange counter in airport but there is bank charges of 1% for cheque.You should carry only well know brand such as American Express,Visa, Thomas Cook, Citibank or Barclays..
How can i prevent altitude sickness?
Bhutan is a mountain country, most tourists will travel from 2280 meters,when landing in Paro, until 3500 meters (the passes on the lateral road) or higher when trekking. Bumthang is 3000 meters high. Consult with your doctor before you visit to Bhutan and get a prescription for Diamox.
How much does the visa cost?
International tourist visas a cost of USD $40 applies. This can be paid in advance to you tour operator or travel agent. For Indian passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and persons from the Maldives there is no cost incurred.