The Bumthang Cultural Trek. Bumthang is well known as one of the main cultural centres of Bhutan and there are many opportunities to visit temples and small Bhutanese villages along the trek route. Although the trek is on the easy side, it involves a few major climbs like the one up to Pephe La with an ascent of about 500 m.
Day 1 : Arrival in Paro
Arrive Paro. Afternoon visit National Museum & Paro Dzong. Evening stroll around the Paro town. Welcome dinner and overnight at hotel
Day 2 : Paro – Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu. Hike to Wangditshe. (1hr.30minutes), then visit Mothithang mini zoo, to see the Takin, the National animal of Bhutan, Drupthop Lhakhang – the nunnery and Folk Heritage museum. Luch at hotel Thimphu. After lunch visit painting school, National Library and weaving center. Evening visit Tashichho dzong, emporium and stroll around the Thimphu town.
Overnight stay at hotel
Day 3 : Thimphu – Bumthang
Drive to Bumthang. The drive will take about 8hours. You will be surprised by the change of vegetation quite often. En route visit 108 Druk Wangyel Chhorten. We will be passing by three pass, Dochula pass (3150m), Pelela pass (3420) and Yotongla pass (3425m). Dinner and Overnight stay at hotel .
Day 4 : Bumthang Halt
Sightseeing in Bumthang – Visit Jambay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang,Jakar Dzong in the morning. In the afternoon visit Tamshing Lhakhang, Konchosum Lhakhang and Bumthang town.Bumthang is comprised of four valleys, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in the religious legend.
Day 5 : Bumthang – Ngang lhakhang (Start of the trek)
(Distance 12km, four to five hours, 170m ascent, camp altitude 2,800m). The route follows the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for trout. Stop for lunch at Thangbi Lhakhang. From here the trek enters the Ngang Yul (Land of the Swan) at the centre of which lies the Ngang Lhakhang (Swan Temple). In by-gone days, the valley was populated by swans, and hence the name Ngang Yul.
Day 6 : Ngang lhakhang – Tahung
(Distance 16km, six hours, 750m ascent, 670m descent, camp altitude 2,720m). The day starts out across meadows and with the view of the valley below. Then you climb gradually to Phephe La (3,360m), the highest point of the trek route. The trail passes through beautiful forested areas where many stops can be made to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. The path leads you downhill into a broad valley. Amongst several possible camping places the most likely one is uphill behind the village of Tahung.
Day 7 : Tahung – Mesithang (end of the trek)
(Distance 16km, four to five hours, 230m descent). The trail follows the Tang Chu, another trout-filled river. On the bank of the river is the Tang Rimpoche’s Lhakhang. The trek will pass the Mebar Tsho (Flaming Lake) and lead you to Tang Ugyen Choling. Ugyen Choling Palace houses one of the most interesting museums of Bhutan. From here you will soon reach the road head.
Day 8 : Bumthang – Punakha
Early in the morning drive to Punakha. On reaching visit Punakha Dzong. Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel .
Day 9 : Punakha – Paro
Drive to Paro. En route visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest dzong built by Zhabdrung Rinpoche and Tachogang lhakhang. Evening visit farmer’s house at Paro for dinner, Suja (Butter Tea) and Ara (Local Alchol), and overnight stay if you wish to or overnight stay at hotel..
Day 10 : Paro halt
Hike to Taktshang Goenpa. Afternoon visit Drukgyel dzong and Kyichu Lhakhang. Evening cultural show by the group of singers for about 1hour. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 11 : Paro- Departure
Morning drive to Paro International airport for your onward flight to your next destination.
Duration: Eleven days, Max. Elevation: 3,360m
Highest Camp: 2,800m
Standard: Easy to medium
Best Seasons: March to May & September to November
Start: Toktu Zampa (Bumthang)
Finish: Mesithang (Bumthang)