Day 01 Paro arrival, transfer to Thimphu : The flight into Paro brings breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountains. If the weather permits you will be able to see Mt Everest and other Himalayan mountains. The landing, flying through the Paro valley between the 4000m high mountains, starts your day in an unforgettable way! Your Bhutanese representative from Himalayan Rock will greet you on arrival and drive you through the beautiful valley of Paro to the capital city Thimphu where you will be staying. (2 hrs. drive)
Thimphu is a bustling town on the banks of the Thimphu Chu and set gloriously in the hills of the Thimphu valley. It is home to the Bhutanese Royal Family, the Royal Government to several foreign missions and development projects. Bhutan`s only golf course, a nine-hole circuit, is situated next to the magnificent Tashicho Dzong. The following are some of the prominent places you will visit in Thimphu.
Zorig Chusum Institute (Thirteen Crafts): It was established in 1971 by the Royal Government in order to preserve the invaluable heritage and promote the arts of Bhutan.
Tashichho Dzong: Means Fortress of Glorious Religion. It was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and was reconstructed into present structure by the late King.
Memorial Chorten: This particular chorten was constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of the country, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is wiy regarded as the father of modern Bhutan.
Evening: Includes Night in `downtown` Thimphu, evening meal with music and dancing.
Overnight at Hotel Dragon Roots, Thimphu. Dragon Roots is located in the middle of the town, nice room, comfortable, very good service and good meal.
Day 02 Thimphu : Morning visit the weekend market. Market days are absolutely central to the lives of the Bhutanese, but there are many reasons to visit other than the icious fresh food on offer every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Take a hike to Cheri Monastery: Hike about 2hrs leds to Cheri Goemba (Cheri Dorji Dhen.
Later you can stroll around the city and if you wish you can do some shopping too.
Overnight at Hotel Dragon Roots, Thimphu.
Day 03 Thimpu to Phajoding: Before commencing for a trek visit:
Mini zoo: Here we can see Bhutan's national animal known as Takin. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family.
Sangaygang view point: Needless to say, this is THE place to take your camera and capture the essence of a remarkable country. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is also known as the Lover`s Point!
Thimphu to Phajoding. The first day`s trail begins from Thimphu. You ascend through blue pine forests to reach Phajoding Gompa, where a monastery and retreat centers for meditation are located. Overnight camp near the Phajoding Monastery and enjoy the scenic view of Thimphu. Altitude: 3,690m, 12,103ft (2.5 miles or 4 km, 2-3 hrs walk).
Day 04 Phajoding - Semkotha: The day begins with a gradual climb. If weather permits there will be a beautiful view of Mount Gangkhar Puensum, Bhutan`s highest mountain. You can also see the Black Mountain and Dochu La Pass. You will then camp by the Semkotha Lake. Altitude: 4,090m or 13,415ft (6 miles or 10 km, 5 hrs walk).
Day 05 Semkotha - Jimilangtso: The path continues past dwarf rhododendron trees, the Janetsho Lake and through yak herders camps. Camp by the Jimilangtso Lake. Altitude: 3,880m or 12,726ft (4.5 miles, 7 km, 3-4 hrs walk).
Day 06 Jimilangtso - Jele Dzong: Todays trek follows mountain ridges with spectacular views of distant valleys and mountain ranges. The path continues past dwarf rhododendron trees, the Janetsho Lake and through yak herders camps. Camp below Jele Dzong. Altitude: 3,436m or 11,270ft (6 miles or 10 km, 6-7 hrs walk).
Day 07 Jele Dzong - Paro: Todays trail descends gradually towards Paro valley. A clear day offers a bird's eye view of Paro valley from Jele Dzong. Altitude: 2,280m or 7,524ft (5 miles or 8 km, 4-5 hrs walk)
This beautiful valley is home to many Bhutan`s oldest monasteries and temples. The country's only airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to Mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley.
Ta Dzong: This means - watch tower, which it served as during the 17th century to guard the region from the Tibetan invasion. It was converted to the National Museum in 1968.
Rimpung Dzong: Means fortress of the heap of jewels. It was built during the time of Zhabdrung (deeply revered to this day as dynamic political and spiritual leader) in 1644.
Overnight at Hotel Olathang, Paro. This hotel is located away from the town overlooking Paro valley. Peaceful surrounding, warm and comfortable room, good service and good meals.
Day 08 Paro: Morning take a hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger`s nest).
Taktsang Monastery (Tiger`s nest):This is Bhutan`s most recognizable cultural icon perched 800m or 2,640ft up a seemingly sheer cliff. Although it was tragically and mysteriously consumed by fire in April 1998 it has now been restored to its former glory.
Later visit Farm House: Bhutan is justly NOT famous for its cuisine, which is somewhat predictable. Eating at a local farmhouse at least gives a slightly different variation.
Later stroll around the town and see how locals live.
Overnight at Hotel Olathang, Paro.
Day 09 Departure from Paro: Early breakfast at the hotel and then drive to the Paro airport to board the flight. Your escort from Himalayan Rock will assist you with exit formalities and bid you farewell.
ACCOMMODATION: The hotels used in this holiday are the best government appointed hotels in the country and equate roughly to 3 star standards. All have private bathrooms and are comfortable and well-appointed. There are a few independent luxury hotels, which can be used on request. Tents for the trek are imported from Nepal and are of a high standard.