Hiking Western Bhutan II, 8 days

Phobjika valley
Hiking Tours
  • Hiking oriented tour to Bhutan
  • Hike to Lungchusey gompa with great panoramic views
  • Dodedra shedra hike with great views of Thimphu
  • Essential sights of Paro, Thimphu, Wangdue and Punakha
  • Reaching till beautiful Phobjika valley
  • Accommodation in hotels, optionally in farmhouse
  • Stunning mountain panoramas
From: 
US$ 1300 / person ?
Dates: 
Flexible
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# Itinerary Program
1 Arrival, drive to Thimphu Arrival by plane to Paro airport and 1½ hour drive to Thimphu or in case of arrival by land from India in Phuntsholing/Jaigon and drive to Thimphu. Visit of Tashicho dzong, the castle, which serves as seat of the king and government. If time permits, visit of the other sights.
2 Thimphu Early morning hike to Dodedra shedra. Start at Dechencholing part of Thimphu and gently climb some 500 meters up, with beautiful views of Thimphu town. Dodedra is monastery school set in pristine environment away from the hustle and bustle of the town. Visit main temple with original mural paintings and small museum. Descend back to Thimphu for lunch. Then drive to Buddha Dordenma, the gigantic statue of Buddha overlooking the valley and short walk to striking city viewpoint. See Memorial Chorten, always busy with devotees. Walk in Norzin lam street and see the traffic police signalling in junctions. Thimphu is only capital in the world without the traffic lights. Finish walk at central post office with the exhibition and sale of the Bhutanese stamps, which are popular among the collectors. Evening in leisure or additional program as per your interest.
3 Thimphu – Gangtey Morning drive to Dochu-la pass with beautiful 108 stupas. We have good chance to glimpse some snowy peaks to the north, including Gangkhar Punesum (7540m), highest mountain of Bhutan and highest peak never summited by man. Visit to royal chapel Druk Wangyel lhakhang with depictions of 4th king. Form pass we will start 4-5 hours round hike to the Lungchusey gompa with 360° mountains panorama viewpoint. Descend to Tashigang gompa and reaching back to road in Hontsho. Continue drive to Wangdue and reach Gangtey in Phobjika valley in the evening. You might optionally like to spend overnight in welcoming local farmhouse or even try the hot stone bath, traditional Bhutanese treat.
4 Gangtey – Wangdue In the morning will start hike through the beautiful glacial valley with marshland on the bottom. Here the venerated black neck cranes do spend winter. Birds usually stays from November to February. After some 2 hours walk through forest and fields we will reach to Gangtey monastery early in the morning and visit the main chapel. After visiting the temple and early lunch, we will start beautiful 4 hours hike through meadows and forest and crossing the mountain pass will take us to Longtey village where the car will be waiting. Here we will be turning back westward, crossing the Pele-la pass with interesting curio shops run by the local herders and descending to subtropical Wangdue valley.
5 Wangdue – Paro Early morning drive north of the valley and start hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. The hike start at the riverbank. Walk through the paddy fields and then start steep ascent to the temple. After reaching there, climb up to the temple highest floor to get wonderful views of the valley. After some rest continue hike up to Giligang. Scenic trail offers a lot of beautiful views. Enjoy the picnic lunch after reaching Giligang temple, the 300 hundred year old privately owned monastery. From here start descending down to Changyul bridge. After the hike finish, pay a visti to the Punakha, dzong, one of the most beautiful castles in Bhutan. Continue with short walk to Chhimmy lhakhang temple, devoted to 15th century saint Drukpa Kunley, know as “Divine madman”, who did taught Buddhism by singing, drinking and rampant sexual behavior. Afternoon drive back to Paro over Dochu-la pass.
6 Paro Drive to castle-ruins of Drukyel dzong, from where you can see the top of holy Jomolhari mountain. Explore the calm Kyichu lhakhang which also pins down giant demoness body. Climb to Taktsang gomba (Tiger’s Nest), is the highlight of the tour. You can consider to climb in the morning or early afternoon depending on weather and preferences. After visiting the temple, climb further up to Zangto Pelri lhakhang another temple, offering bird’s eye views of Tigers Nest.
7 Paro Drive to Chele-la pass (3890m) which is the highest motorable pass in Bhutan. To the north you can see the holy peak of Jomolhari (7326m) and to the west even Kanchenjunga (8586m) in clear weather. Hike to 4000 meters high viewpoint will give you interesting high altitude experience. Before people did bring bodies of the deceased for sky funerals. Then descend down to Kila Gompa, the oldest nunnery in Bhutan, hiking through the ancient forest. You can actually hiking down all the way down to Paro or take a car and visit quite interesting Dzongdrakha monastery which is often equated to Tiger's Nest in it's beauty. Enjoy evening in leisure or make another last one stroll up to the Zuri Dzong for nice views of Paro airport and town. Enjoy the last evening in Bhutan!
8 Departure Departure from Bhutan by flight or by land to Phuntsholing.
Tour variants, extensions and combinations: 
  • Consider the shorter variant (-1 day): If you are in hurry, you make tour shorter by avoiding the day 7.
  • Extend to Haa valley for Saga-la hike (+1 day): In case, you have extra time, you can spend one more day in Bhutan and extend your visit to Haa valley, where you will once again stay in remote village in local people's house and in 6 hours hike we will cross Saga-la pass (3705m) back to Paro.
  • Undertake Bumdrak Trek in Paro (+1 day): 2 days / 1 night light trekking with luxury camping near Bumdrak monastery and finish at Tiger's Nest might be interesting optional addition. See Bumdrak Trek & Hikes program for details.