Punakha Winter Trek

Duration : 11 Nights / 12 Days

Destinations Covered : Paro - Thimphu - Khuruthang - Limukha - Chungsakha - Samtengang.

Season : January to May & September to December.

Day 01 : Arrive Paro.

On arrival you will be Received by our representative and transfer to the hotel. Evening take a stroll around Paro market.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 02 : Paro Sightseeing.

Visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong), initially the Watch Tower to defend Paro Rinpung Dzong which now offers an unique and varied collections of ancient armor, textiles, antique thangkha paintings, and natural life. Then visit the Rinpung Dzong, massive fortress located on a hilltop above the Paro Valley. Afternoon drive up the valley to the Druk- gyel Dzong, On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. Visit 7th century Kichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalay.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 03 : Paro - Thimphu.

Drive to Thimphu takes about 2 hours with a distance of 65Km. Check in at Hotel. After some rest, visit the following plac- es: 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.

Day 04 : Thimphu Sightseeing.

Visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan, which was built in 1629 A.D by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Visit the woodcraft and painting school where traditional art and crafts are still kept alive. Visit the handicrafts emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts are displayed and can be purchased. After lunch drive 14 km to north of Thimphu to visit Tango Cheri Monastery. Early evening will be left free to stroll around Thimphu valley and its town.

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 05 : Thimphu - Shong Pang (Trek starts).

Drive up to valley towards Dechencholing (the residence of the Queen Mother) Palace, following the Thimchu. The trans- port will reach you up to Pangrizam, the last motor point. From there, the trek starts towards Shong Pang, which takes about 4/5 hours through villages. The camp will be just above Chamina village.

Day 06 : 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.

Day 07 : 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

Day 08 : 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.

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 09 : 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 won- derful 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.

Day 10 : Limukha - Chungsakha/Wangdue (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 Wang- diphodrang.

Overnight at the hotel in Wangdue.

Day 11 : Wangdiphodrang - 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 Ad- ministration 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.

Day 12 : Thimphu - Paro and depart.

After breakfast transfer to airport.