The Druk path is famous for once keeping apart unwanted visitors, Tibetan troops in particular it was established by the Bhutanese government.Nowadays a select few are invited to explore this fascinating region with all its unique culture and the peculiar high ridges that remain windy most times during the year, classic mountain views with colourful bushes of rhododendron along with historically preserved forts, are just some of the highlights.
A. Itinerary in Detail (10 Days)
Day 01 : Arrival at Paro (by Druk Air – Transfer to hotel
The flight into Paro on national carrier Druk Air is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of this country. In clear weather there are some magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks that give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Afternoon visit the Ta Dzong, an ancient watch tower which now houses the National Museum. This dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum boasts antique thangkas, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. We also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The dzong is now used as an administration centre and a school for monks.
Evening ends with a walk through the main shopping district of Paro. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 02 : Paro – hike to Taktsang
Morning drive along the winding road to the Drukgyal Dzong / a ruined fort which once defended the valley from Tibetan invasions. Mount Jhomolhari, the sacred summit, reaches skyward beyond the dzong / we stop at Satsam Chorten to hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest) for around one and half hours / at the viewpoint there is a stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigeress in the 8th century / after lunch at the café / walk back to the road point where your car will pick you up / drive to visit Drukgyal Dzong / a ruined fort which once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions / Mount Chomolhari / the sacred summit cna be seen clearly from the view pont / on the way back visit Kyichu Lhakhang / one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in 7th century / dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 03 : Paro – Jeledzong (start of trek)
After an early breakfast you are picked up by our representatives from the hotel for the drive to Paro / then drive to TaDzong or alternatively the National Muesum .
Start of Trek Day 1: Distance 08 Kms walking time 4-5 hours / starting at Ta Dzong, (2300m) and camping at Jele Dzong (3436m, 11,270 ft). The trail is a gradual climb to the camp and if the weather is clear the Paro valley can be seen with the Mt. Jumolhari (7314m) and other snowcapped mountains towering behind the valley / overnight camp
Day 04 : Jele Dzong – Tshokam
Trek Day 2: Distance 09 Kms walking time 4-5 hrs / starting at Jele Dzong (3436mtrs) and camping at Tshokam (3962mtrs; 12,995 ft). The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and rhododendron trees / most of the walking is up and down along a ridge / Mt. Jumolhari is also visible today / pass Jangchulakha / this area was used as a campsite earlier but due to lack to of water we have moved the campsite to Tshokam. There is an opportunity to meet Yak herders around Jangchulakha and if you are interested you can visit their tents before reaching the camp site.
Day 05 : Tshokam – Jimilangtso
Trek Day 3: Distance 10 Kms walking time 6-7 hrs / starting at Jangchulakha (3780mtrs) and camping at Jimilangtsho(3880mtrs) / the trail follows the ridge / some beautiful views of the mountains and the valley in particular Jichu Drake(6989m) / camp is close to lake Jimilangtso / known for its giant sized trout.
Day 06 : Jimilangtso – Simkota
Trek Day 4: Distance 11 Kms walking time 4-5 hrs / starting at Jimilangtsho (3880m) and camping at Simkota (4040m) / the trail wjnds through dwarf Rhododendrons trees / then pass the lake of Janye Tsho / stop at Yak herder’s camps along the way / camp is close to Simkota Lake.
Day 07 : Simkota – Phajoding
Trek Day 5 : Distance 10 Kms walking time 3-4 hrs / starting at Simkota (4040m) and camping at Phajoding (3870m) / today begins with a gradual climb upto Phume la (4210m) / the highest point of the trek / somebeautiful views of Mt. Gangkhar Punsum (7541m) the highest mountain in Bhutan and other Himalayan peaks. Below the entire Thimphu valley is clearly visable.
Trek Day 6 – End of Trek: Distance 4-5 Kms walking time 3 hrs / starting at Phajoding (3870m) ending at Thimphu (2300m) / the trek to Thimphu is down hill through a forested area of mostly blue pine / Thimphu is reached in about 3 hours at a leisurely pace / hot shower and lunch / evening at leisure / overnight hotel.
Day 09 : Thimphu valley sightseeing – Paro
In the morning visit the National Memorial Chorten / built in honour of late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk / visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine / the Art & Craft School, where children learn the ancient art of Buddhist painting / visit the Folk Heritage Museum which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition items and artifacts used in rural households / Textile Museum, where the art of traditional weaving is still kept alive and preserved / good collection of old textiles rich in color and design / lunch is served at a restaurant in Thimphu / after lunch depart to Paro / dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 10 : Paro – Phuntsholing or fly back to Kathmandu
Transfer to the Paro airport / fly back to Kathmandu.