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Bumthang Cultural Trek - Bhutan

11 Days / 10 Nights (Tour Code: PI-0182)
The lovely Bumthang valley is the religious heartland of the nation and home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. This three day trek passes through several villages on its meandering route through Bumthang countryside and provides an exceptional opportunity for contact with Bhutanese rural life.

Day 1: Paro

Druk Airways flight to Bhutan is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkatta, each flight is a mesmerizing aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the Kingdom.

Day 2: Paro

Full day Paro sightseeing in Paro. In the morning, visit Ta Dzong, built in 1651 as watch tower for Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) and in 1968 inaugurated as the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons, coins, stamps and small natural history collection. Also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 1646 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. It is now uhouses district administration and Paro monastic community.

Day 3: Paro - Thimphu

Drive to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. About 7 km before Thimphu, pause briefly to admire Bhutan-s most ancient fortress Simtokha Dzong (built in 1627), rising up from a small hilltop on the right side of the road.

Day 4: Thimphu

Drive to Trongsa via Dochula pass (3,088m). On a clear day there is a superb view from here of Bhutan-s highest peaks. On a clear day following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendegang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7158m), Kangphugang (7,170m), Zongaphugang (7,060m), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana, and finally, Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.

Day 5: Thimphu - Trongsa

Morning visit to striking Trongsa Dzong, ancestral abode of Bhutan-s royal family. Then visit the Ta Dzong, built as watchtower to guard Trongsa Dzong. Proceed to Bumthang and in the afternoon visit the 17th century Jakar Dzong and then Kurje monastery, built in the 17th century to mark the place where Guru Padsambhava had meditated in the 8th century, leaving his body imprint on the rock. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.

Day 6: Trongsa

The trek begins today. The trek route follows the Chamkhar Chhu river, taking us through meadows, forests of blue pine and scrub bamboo. WE will pass by many villages and temples on this very relaxing and easy day. Camp overnight at village (2,900m).

Day 7: Trongsa - Bumthang

The trail ascends gradually through juniper forest towards Phephe-la pass (3,340m). From there, the path descends to Tang valley, finally arriving at Ugyenchholing village (2,850m). Camp overnight by the side of the river near the village.

Day 8: Bumthang

In the morning, walk up to the Ugyenchholing Palace, a beautiful private mansion which also houses a small eco-museum. Then drive to Jakar (Bumthang) following the Tang Chhu river until arriving at main road. On the way visit the Membertsho Lake where Terton Pemalingpa, is said to have discovered religious treasures in the 12th century. This lake is very sacred and on auspicious days many Bhutanese people go there to offer butter lamps. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.

Day 9: Bumthang - Nganglahkhang

Morning visit to Jambey Lakhang, built in 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo, who is believed to be the reincarnation of Jambey (Avalokitesvara), the Bodhisattva of Compassion.. Tamshing Lhakhang, across the river, is also an important place to visit, as it houses old and interesting religious paintings. Drive to Punakha with lunch en route. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

Day 10: Nganglahkhang

Today we drive to Paro. It will be a relaxing day, as we reach Paro by lunch time. Free time for leisure or last minute shopping in the afternoon. Take a stroll around Paro market in the evening. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 11: Nganglahkhang

After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.

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