Punakha Winter Trekking - 13 Days
Punakha Winter Trekking is a short and easy trek through Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan. Bhutan is also known as the Dragon Kingdom. We will visit Thimphu valley, the capital of Bhutan. There is also a visit to Changankha Lakhang (the Handicraft Center) and the National Museum. The tour also includes visits to many monasteries and dzongs (fortresses), all having their own unique historical and cultural significance. Your senses will awake upon entering the impressive courtyard of the Punakha Dzong; " Palace of Great Happiness ". The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, male and female rivers.
Here we can truly appreciate the essence of Bhutanese people and a preserved steadfast culture. Arrays of colorful brocades whirl through the air as the dancers spin and dance the "thunderbolt step". Masks of glorious demonic demons and animals arouse your senses as you watch the purification take place. If you have ever wanted to go to Bhutan this is as a good a deal you will ever find. Treat yourself to a deal
Trek Level: Easy
Season : January to March and November to December
Day 1 Arrive Paro
Arrive Paro by Druk Air flight. During this flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mountain Everest, Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks including, the sacred Mountain Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake in Bhutan. The first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the aircraft. You welcome by our tour guides and transfer to the hotel. Evening visit Paro market or town. Overnight Paro Hotel
Day 2 In Paro:
After breakfast drive to Drukgyel Dzong, although now in ruins, this Dzong is of historical importance. From here the peak of Mountain Jhomolhari "Mountain of Goddess" can be seen, on a clear day. On the way back, visit one of the holiest Lhakhang of Bhutan, the Kyichu, built in 7th century A.D. and it dates back to the time of Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. Afternoon, visit Ta Dzong, round tower built in 1775 as watch tower and refuge fortress for the Rinpung Dzong. The National Museum was opened within its walls in 1967. A visit here is really made worthwhile by the carefully selected and exhibited collections of utensils, folk arts, weapons, thangkhas, statues and postage stamps. Later visit Rinpung Dzong, the renowned fortress which has a long and fascinating history. Overnight Paro Hotel
Day 3 Paro to Thimphu:
After breakfast drive to Thimphu with a short stop at Chuzom (confluence) where Paro river joins Thimphu river. Three different styles of chortens adorn the confluence. Before arriving Thimphu, visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom, built in 1627. The complex has survived in its original form and serves today, as religious college, in which, amongst other subjects, Dzongkha is taught. Afternoon Thimphu city tour; visit gigantic Tashichhodzong, the seat of government and home to Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot), and memorial Chorten, the beautiful stupa is other interesting monument to see, which is built in the memory of Bhutan's Third King, His Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Evening take a stroll in Thimphu market. Overnight Thimphu Hotel
Day 4 In Thimphu
Full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley. Visit, National Library; which holds interesting collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, Painting School ; known for its thangkha paintings and the Traditional Medicine Institute where indigenous healing arts still practiced. Also visit Handicrafts Emporium. Exotic weaves in wool, silk and cotton, basket ware, silver jewelry, thangkhas and other traditional crafts of the Kingdom are available here. Overenight Thimphu Hotel
Day 5 Trek start Thimphu to Shong Pang:
Drive north of valley towards Dechenchholing palace, following Thimphu river. The transport will drop at Pangrizam. From here the trek starts towards Shong Pang which takes about 5 to 6 hours, passing through villages en-route. The vegetation is mainly blue pines, oak species, and rhododendrons. Overnight camp
Day 6 Shong Pang to Dopshing Pang:
The trek trail ascends gradually up till you reach the Sinchula pass. From this point, if the weather is clear, one can see Phajoding monastery. After 2 kilometers, you can view Thinleygang village, the Talo monastery and the motor highway towards the ancient capital of Bhutan. The trek drops gradually from the pass till you reach the campsite.
Day 7 Dopshing Pang to Chorten Ningpo:
The trek to Chorten Ningpo is rather gradual and you will be walking into thick forests. Before reaching camp, you will pass through villages and rice fields. Camp at altitude 2,700 meters.
Day 8 Chorten Ningpo to Zomlingthang:
For about 2 to 3 hours the trek trail will be through villages until the motor road. Later follow the road towards Punakha, the ancient capital town of Bhutan. Evening at leisure and if interested, can do fishing in Mo Chu river. Overnight camp.
Day 9 Zomlingthang to Limuka:
Follow the road till Punakha Dzong and then across the Pho Chu river, the river that drains the remote Lunana region. It's a steady half day climb into a forest of scattered long needle chip pines. Further you will have a wonderful view of Punakha valley and Dzong. Also, if the weather is clear, you can see some of the snow capped mountain peaks to the north. The camp site is near Limukha village at altitude 2,250 meters.
Day 10 Trek End Limukha to Wangdiphodrang via Chungsakha:
The trek trail rises gradually up through the forests of oak species and rhododendrons and then descends gradually through the thick forests till you reach a small monastery dedicated to Lam Drukpa Kuenley. From Chungsakha, you can look across the valley to Samtengang. Walk downhill till you reach the motorable road and then drive for half an hour to Wangdi. Overnight Wangdue Hotel
Day 11 Wangdiphodrang to Paro with Punakha day excursion:
After breakfast, visit to Wangdi Dzong, standing at the confluence of Punakha Chu and Tang Chu river. This fortress was built in 17th century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It holds attractive festival which is celebrated in autumn. Later drive to Punakha, the old capital town of Bhutan. Visit sacred Punakha Dzong, the superb example of Bhutanese architecture. Fire, earthquake and floods have inflicted their devastating influence on this Dzong which under the direction of the present King has been restored completely. The remains of the Shabdrung are extomed here in the Chapel of Machin Lhakhang. After lunch, drive to Paro. Overnight Paro Hotel
Day 13 Depart from Paro:
Early breakfast at the hotel and then Drive to Paro International airport to fly your onward destination
Note: Designed itinerary is a sample itinerary intended to give you a general idea of trip to Bhutan. We can create an itinerary to suit as your needs and interest one you give your interest and travel timeframe.