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EXTREME TREK - This journey across the top of eastern Bhutan follows what used to be an important trade route before completion of the national highway. The trek is tough, and involves a tremendously long, steep descent. Few groups take up the challenge which this long and demanding journey presents. The account below is incomplete as Etho Metho guides are still researching alternative routes/night halts, etc. for some sections of the trek, which we hope to be able to offer on a regular basis within 2-3 years. Best time to travel: April, May, September, October & early November.
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel after completion of arrival formalities. Evening visit to Paro market and town. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Morning take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest). Legends says that Guru Padma sambhava came here flying on the back of a tigress and landed at the spot where monastery was later built. The monastery was severely damaged by fire in year 1998 and now has been fully restored in its original grandeur. Afternoon visit to Ta Dzong, built in 17th century, as watch tower to defend Paro Dzong and valey. This fortress was later converted into the National Museum in 1967 and is filled with antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons and Bhutan's renowned postage stamps. Below the Ta Dzong, is fascinating Rinpung Dzong meaning 'fortress of the heap of jewels', which has a long and interesting history. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Morning drive to Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined fortress from where Bhutanese repelled several invasion by Tibetan armies. Also visit en route Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom. Then drive to Thimphu visiting en route Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom built in 1627 which now houses the School for Buddhist Studies. Evening visit to Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in the memory of Bhutan's Third King followed by visit to Trasichhodzong, beautiful medieval fortress/monastery. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Morning visit in Thimphu, National Library, Arts & Carfts School, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum. Then drive to Trongsa, across Dochula pass (3,050m) and Pele la pass (3,300m). Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.
Morning visit to striking Trongsa Dzong, ancestral abode of Bhutan's Royal family. Then visit Ta Dzong, built as watch tower to guard Trongsa Dzong. After that proceed to Bumthang and in the afternoon, visit here ; the Jakar Dzong built in 17th century during the time of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first religious and temporal ruler of Bhutan. Then visit the Kurjey monastery where Guru Padsambhava left his body imprint in the 8thcentury. The temple was later built in 17th century. Later visit Jambay Lhakhang. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
The trek begins today. Trek route follows the Chamkhar Chhu river, coming across many villages and temples, meadows, forests of blue pine and scrub bamboo. Today is very relaxing and easy day. Arrive at the village camp at the altitude of 2,900m. Walking time about 6 hours.
The trail ascends gradually towards the Phephe la pass, walking through the forests of junipers, until you arrive at the pass at an altitude of 3,340m. After the path descend to Tang valley, finally arriving at Ugyenchholing village. Camp by the side of the river at the altitude of 2,850m. Walking time 7 / 8 hours.
The beginning of trek is muddy and slippery. At about 3,000m it become a small footpath through muddy fields and dwarf bamboo. At about 3,400m the route crosses a meadow with more dwarf bamboo. Climb through the meadow and traverse through forest to another steep, high meadow. The trail leads to a summer pasture surrounded by forests and the ground is dotted with tiny blue alpine flowers.
Continue ascending for half an hour until you reach Rodungla (4,100m). Then it is a steep descent to the valley floor. There are few small meadows en route. After a short wander through dwarf bamboo you meet pine trees near campsite.
This trail like a wave, wins up and down till Drula village and Khaine Lhakhang en route. It is one of the oldest temple in existence today, built in mid 7th century by the King Songtsen of Tibet to subdue demons.
Proceed to Lhuntse guest house for lunch, followed by leisure time.
Arrive to Kuri Zam and the trek from here is gradually up through the paddy fields and villages. Camp is at 1,850m near Menji village, besides the Darchu Pang Lhakhang situated amidst garden full of flowers of marigold, geraniums, dahlias and nasturtiums.
Continue uphill through the thick, humid forest packed with dense foliage of ferns and creepers and a constant whistle of cicadas. The trail is narrow and steep. Climb steadily for two ours to a ridge top meadow, then plunge back into the forest to reach the camp at Pemi (2,400m) on a narrow ridge top clearing with a view out to a forested gorge and mountains.
Continue upwards till Dong la (3,900m) which present enchanting mountain views. On the opposite side of the pass the trail traverses nine passes, called as nine sisters of Dong la. Finally descend steeply through thick evergreen forests on a trail strewn with rocks, logs to a ridge top meadow. The camp is at Taupang (2,460m), a clearing in the forest with a cowherds wooden shelter.
Today en route you will encounter huge ferns, red-berried palms and occasional leeches. Two hours of trek brings you to the village of Shukshing, a cluster of bamboo huts on the hillside, surrounded by corn fields, banana trees and grazing cows. The trek ends at Trashi Yangtse Dzong.
Morning drive to Trashigang. Vist Trashigang Dzong and local market. Overnight at the lodge.
After breakfast drive back to Bumthang en route visit Mongar Dzong and town. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Morning after visiting Bumthang market, drive to Punakha . Lunch would be served en route at one of the famous restaurant in Trongsa town. En route at Wangduephodrang take a short break for tea / coffee and then proceed to Punakha hotel for overnight stay.
Morning free time in Punakha. After lunch drive to Paro for overnight stay.
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.
Visa fee (One Time)
USD $ per person for entire tour in Bhutan.
Passport: A valid passport is required for travel to Bhutan and the validity of the passport should be minimum 6 months.
Your contract is with Mountain Adventure Tours & Travels. A contract exists between us when we have confirmed you on our tour / hotel booking / or any other travel related services of your choice and we have received your booking request and deposits. All correspondence/s in respect of Tours / Travel Service bookings should be addressed to Mountain Adventure Tours & Travels.
For the services contracted, 40 % advance payment should be made to hold the booking on a confirmed basis and the balance amount should be paid before commencement of your tour. We hold the right to decide upon the amount to be paid as an advance payment, based on the nature of services and the time left for the commencement of the services.
Payment can be made by Bank Transfer, Cash payment to our office or by Demand Draft / Cheque. All payments should be free and clear of any withholding tax and deduction. Bank charges, if any, for remittance (by remitting bank or by intermediary bank) would be strictly borne by payer.
Tour once commenced will strictly go as per the itinerary finalised. In case of events and circumstances beyond our control, we reserve the right to change all or parts of the contents of the itinerary for safety and well being of our esteemed passengers.
In case of cancellation of tour/travel services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reason/s we must be informed in writing. Cancellation charges would be effective from the date we receive letter in writing and cancellation charges would be as follows:
Please note – Irrespective of above mentioned cancellations slabs – in case of cancellation of tour services after the booking is made with us – a minimum 10% service charges would be applicable.
In case you cancel the trip after commencement refund would be restricted to a limited amount that too would depend on the amount that we would be able to recover from the hoteliers we patronize. For unused hotel accommodation, chartered transportation and missed meals etc. we do not bear any responsibility to refund.
Where as in case of Cancellation before the commencement, it will take atleast two weeks time to refund the said amount.
Please note that after the finalization of the tour/service cost, if there are any hikes in entrance fees of monuments/museums, taxes, fuel cost or guide charges by the Govt. of India, the same would be charged as extra.
Mountain Adventure Tours & Travels act only in the capacity of agent for the hotels, airlines, transporters, railways & contractors providing other services & all exchange orders, receipts, contracts & tickets issued by us are issued subject to terms & conditions under which these services are provided by them.
All itineraries are sample itineraries, intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors such as weather, road conditions, the physical ability of the participants etc. may dictate itinerary changes either before the tour or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change any schedule in the interest of the trip participants’ safety, comfort & general well being.
Our rates are based on the prevailing rates as negotiated by us with the hotels, airlines etc. Hotels and Airlines retain the right to modify the rates without notice. In case of such changes the rates quoted before the modification, can be changed by us according to the modifications by hotels or airlines. All hotel bookings are based on usual check in and checkout time of the hotels until unless indicated in the itinerary.
We shall not be responsible for any delays & alterations in the programme or expenses incurred – directly or indirectly – due to natural hazards, flight cancellations, accident, breakdown of machinery or equipments, breakdown of transport, weather, sickness, landslides, political closures or any untoward incidents.
We shall not be responsible for any loss, injury or damage to person, property, or otherwise in connection with any accommodation, transportation or other services, resulting – directly or indirectly – from any act of GOD, dangers, fire, accident, breakdown in machinery or equipment, breakdown of transport, wars, civil disturbances, strikes, riots, thefts, pilferages, epidemics, medical or custom department regulations, defaults, or any other causes beyond our control.
We do not have any insurance policy covering the expenses for accident, sickness, loss due to theft, or any other reasons. Visitors are advised to seek such insurance arrangements in their home country. All baggage & personal property/s at all times are at the client’s risk.
To travel to India from overseas countries except for the citizen of Nepal & Bhutan, one needs a 06 months valid passport and a valid Visa. And processing of Passport and Visa are not included in the tour cost.
Any person who has a contagious disease is forbidden to travel, any person found during the tour with such a disease will be asked to leave the tour and will have to make their own arrangements to return home.