Arrival, drive to Thimphu
|Arrival by plane to Paro airport and drive to Thimphu or in case of arrival by land, crossing border from India in Phuntsholing/Jaigon and full day drive to Thimphu. Stop at Tachog lhakhang to see traditional bridge made using ancient iron chains. Depending on arrival time visit of Tashicho dzong, the castle, which serves as seat of the king and government. If time permits, visit of the other sights.
|Early morning drive to Kuensel Phodrang, the gigantic statue of Buddha and short hike to stunning city viewpoint. Visit to Memorial chorten, the place always busy with devotees. Walk the Norzin Lam street to see the police signaling on traffic junction. Thimphu is the only capital without traffic lights. Finish walk at central post office with the exhibition and sale of the Bhutanese stamps, which are popular among the collectors. After lunch you will stretch your legs by the short 2 hours hike from Motithang to Dechencholing palace with great birds eye views of the Thimphu dzong. Evening in leisure.
|Thimphu – Wangdue
|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. Visit to rustic Rinchengang village and lively Bajo town.
Wangdue – Trongsa
|Early morning start drive to Pele-la pass (3450m) which is the border between western and central part of the country. Long descend from pass to Trongsa. On the way we will stop at Chendebji chorten, the stupa modeled after the Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu. Continue drive to Trongsa. Visit to museum in castle watchtower and vast Trongsa dzong, from where the Bhutan royal family had risen.
|Trongsa – Jangbi (drive), trek to Kubra
|Trek 4-5 hours, 11 km, ➚1000m, ➘700m. Very early morning drive south to Nabji-Korphu area. This Is dangerous road with many landslide places. Continue drive to Tongtongphe and start ascending to Jangbi (1350m) by feeder road. After reaching Jangbi we will have lunch and will start hike to Kubra (1700m). Fist steep descend followed by steep ascend. The trail is flanked with stunning views of the valley and many “neys” or holy places associated with 8th century magician saint Guru Rimpoche who made his way to Bhutan through this trails. Finally, we will reach Kubra village. Visit of local farmhouse and tasting their delicacies and Monpa people hospitality is the must. Monpas are considered as original and oldest inhabitants of Bhutan, retaining distinctive culture and language.
|Trek Kubra – Nabji
|Trek 4-5 hours, 13 km, ➚100m, ➘350m. This will be a longer day trekking from small Kubra village to large valley settlement of Nabji. We will continue traversing the hills, travelling through dense forest with occasional clearing. After 4-5 hours we should reach to large village of Nabji with beautiful paddy fields. There is also number holy places called to visit here, including the holy tree, stone bell and other thing. Also visit local temple.
|Halt, Excursion to Korphu
Today we can start later. Climb some 200 meters above Nabji to sister village of Korphu. This is another beautiful place located on the hill top with great views. Local temple also contains important relics related to famous treasure discoverer Pema Lingpa. Nabji and Korphu having big festival in winter months. It’s advisable to come in that time and enjoy that. Rest day exploring the surroundings and leisure.
|Trek Nabji – Nabji chhu beginning
|Trek 7-8 hours. Walk from Nabji following the Nabji chhu river. Walk will be through the forest with some up and down, gradually ascending. Camp at the beginning of Nabjichhu river.
Trek Nabji chhu beginning – Chapkhala
|Trek 7-8 hours. Today is going to be difficult day. For first half of the day you will be descending to Deurali (also called as Reeti La by locals). Pass is about 3 thousand meters high. Have a lunch here with great views of the Black Montains in clear weather. After this you will need to endure steep descend to Chapkhala.
|Trek Chapkhala – Reeti
|Trek 5 hours. Today will be bit easier day, spent by walk from Chapkhala to Monpa village of Reeti.
|Trek Reeti – Gong or Kharkhola, drive to Gelephu
|Trek 2 or 5 hours. Today you can decide if you go to Gong or Kharkhola village. The first one is just 2 hours away and it will take you another 4-5 hours to drive to Gelephu by rough road. The Kharkhola options will require 5 hours of walking but then just 2 hours 4WD drive to Gelephu. On both ways, you will see changing of culture as you will be descending to places inhabited by Bhutanese of Nepali origin. House style and people will immediately change. In the destination village, you will be waited by hardy Bolero jeep which will drive you to Gelephu, tha largest town in the district. Accommodation in hotel and rest.
|Gelephu – Paro
Full day drive from Gelephu to Paro via Tsirang and Wangdue. Optionally domestic flight might be available instead.
|Visit of the National Museum and Paro dzong (Rinpung dzong), the castle-monastery where Bernardo Bertolucci’s Little Buddha film was shot. The pristine Kyichu lhakhang is one of the two oldest temples built in Bhutan. Climb to Taktsang gomba (Tiger’s Nest), is the highlight of the tour. While the hike seems to be hard, it’s very rewarding. If you don’t feel so strong, you can climb just halfway to cafeteria with nice view of the place. You can consider hiking in the morning or early afternoon depending on weather, your fitness and preferences.
|Departure from Bhutan by flight or by land.
Tour variants, extensions and combinations:
- Extra time for cultural sightseeing (+1 to +3 days): Have some additional time for sightseeing and hiking in Trongsa, Gelephu, Tsirang and other places which you just passes around.
- Go shorter version just covering Jangbi–Kubra–Nabji–Korphu part (-3 days): There is shorter option which will not cover crossing pass to Sarpang but you will cover just Nabji Korphu part. This will take total 11 days with just 3 days of trekking.
- Come for Nabji Korphu Festival: Come in winter to attend festival held simultaneously both in Nabji and Korphu villages! Festival goes for 3 days and is definitely worth of exploring.