Trekking experience in Bhutan Himalaya
In Bhutan, the Chomolhari trek is where the trekkers go to the base camp of Mt. Johomolhari. Bhutan’s most deeply venerated peak on the borders of Bhutan and the Tibetan region of China. Trekkers often come back with a sense of the majesty of high altitudes where life ticks to a different time. The Chomolhari trek also known as Jhomolhari starts at DrukgyelDzong Paro.
This amazing trek in Bhutan passes through scattered hamlets and farmland into a deep and richly forested valley, which leads to a high alpine pastureland where yak herders graze their animals. The Chomolhari trek offers a taste of the great variety of Bhutanese landscapes. It is an incredible way to experience the last Shangri-la on earth! The ideal time for Mt. Chomolhari trek in Bhutan is the end of March to June and September to November.
Our representative of Earthbound Expeditions will receive you at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu and he will be displaying an Earthbound Expeditions signboard. You will then be transferred to your hotel and the remaining day shall be a rest day. Overnight at hotel
After breakfast in the morning we go for the Kathmandu sightseeing tour. We are going to do the UNESCO CULTURAL HERITAGE TOUR today which includes: Swoyambhunath - The oldest Buddhist Stupa in Kathmandu Valley, a beautiful abode for lots of monkeys thus also known as Monkey Temple, is also a perfect vantage point to see Kathmandu valley. Pashupatinath- A holy pilgrimage for Hindus and Hindu Crematorium, watch as the Hindu dead bodies are cremated in the most unique way in the world; we come across men with ash rubbed body, matted locks and dreaded look which is typical look of a Hindu Holy Men known as Sadhus. Boudhanath- the biggest Buddhist temple in the world; a site for Tibetan Buddhism where we can visit monasteries, watch the Holy Monks busy in their chanting ritual going around the temple. Patan Durbar Square- A Medieval Royal Palace area which is also known as the city of fine arts, we can see the finest example of metal and stone carving back to 14th century and also the amazing Nepali Architecture. Later on, we drive to Nagarkot for about 1.5 hrs and stay overnight there. Nagarkot is a beautiful hill station 32 Kilometers east of Kathmandu and famous for sunrise and Mountain View. We can enjoy the breathtaking view of Langtang range in the Himalaya and other magnificent mountains including Sisa Pangma, Dorje Lakpa, Gaurishankar and also a tiny glimpse of Mt. Everest on a very clear day. Sunrise from here is as fascinating as it can be. The cool weather there makes us wish for more days there but so sad, we are checking out tomorrow. Overnight stay at a hotel.
Early morning wake up for the sunrise. We will check out the hotel after breakfast and drive for about 40 minutes to Bhaktapur for a sightseeing tour of the world heritage town. After about 2 hours’ sightseeing of Bhaktapur, we come back to Kathmandu, check into hotel and free time. Prepare for the Bhutan Trip to start tomorrow.
Fly to Paro Airport, on a clear day the panoramic views of the Himalayas are sensational including the Everest, but particularly exciting is the approach through the Bhutanese foothills and the landing, including a few steeps turns to land at the tiny airstrip of Paro International Airport. Upon arrival and completing your immigration formalities, your guide will receive you at the exit gate. We drive to our hotel, in the afternoon visit to the National Museum, housed in an old watchtower above Paro Dzong (a dzong is a fortress-monastery). The museum’s collections include displays of spectacular thangkas (religious scroll paintings). Visit the Paro Dzong built in 1644.
You may hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery, one of the most sacred places for Buddhist. Your 3-4 hour walk through the oaken and the pine forest is rewarding with an unforgettable view of the 1000 meters below and a chance to see the unusual temple clinging to the side of the cliff.Overnight: at hotel
The day begins with hour and half drive past the DrugyelDzong and the valley. Drugyeldzong was built to commemorate the victory of Bhutan over the Tibetan armies and to guard the Paro valley against further aggression. Continue drive to a military checkpoint past the Shana Village, where our pack ponies will be loaded up with all the gears for our trek. After lunch we’ll set off on our trek for about 2 and half hours to reach our first campsite by the river.
We continue up through the valley of the Paro River, which gradually narrows as the trail leads higher, winding up and down through a thick, lush forest of oak, pine, and juniper. The trail becomes very rocky and strenuous, climbing up and down while slowly gaining altitude. As we get closer to our camp for the night, we begin to see the snowcapped summit of Jhomolhari (if the weather is clear), a mountain that is sacred to the Bhutanese. This is a long, hard day with lots of ups and downs and rock hopping. We camp at SoiThangthangkha.
We continue following the Paro River on a demanding, rocky trail, and then the valley widens again, opening to a spectacular area surrounded by high snowcapped ridges. A few yak-herding families are based in this area, and we may be lucky to try some of their dried yak cheese.
Today is a day of rest. You can walk to the glaciers of Jhomolhari or walk up the ridge between Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake up to about 16,500Ft.Then you can see both the mountains so near that you feel if you reach out you can touch them.
Today you have an option to either walk over Bonte La (16000Ft) or walk back down little and up another river to the camp. It is about 8 hrs walk over the pass. It is also steep uphill climb and down about 3 hrs to camp. If one takes the valley option, it is small ups and downs for about 6/7 hrs to camp.
Camp Alt 12450ft. A free day at this campsite gives us a chance to relax and possibly visit a yak herder’s home or take a hike in the surrounding remote mountain areas where large herds of blue sheep have been sighted.
Our hike today starts with a very gentle uphill to the top of the eastern ridge of the SoiYaksa valley. From here we can enjoy an incredible view of the amphitheater of mountains to the north. Little by little the very top of Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake reappear on the distant horizon as we approach our lunch spot. After lunch we cross Thombu La, the 15,000’ foot pass with panoramic views of the eastern Himalayas (on a clear day you can even see Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world), before descending to our camp at Thombu (13,700’) by the mid afternoon. This area is rich pastureland for yaks, and we’ll probably see nomadic yak-herders camped in their traditional woolen tents.
We leave the remote mountain area by following a ridge. From this vantage point we get a glimpse of Paro valley to the south before we start a steep decent (4500’ of elevation drop) for most of the afternoon and return to Shana where webid farewell to our staff and ponies before we board our van for the two and half hour drive to Thimphu, Bhutan’s Capital, set at 2330m in the Wang Chu valley. Later in the evening visit the TashichoDzong. “The fortress of the glorious religion” houses the throne room of His Majesty the King.
Morning, visit the Memorial Chorten (Stupa) built in memory of the late 3rd king, followed with a visit to Kuenselphodrang where the tallest statue of Buddha is built. The view of the Thimphu Valley is magnificent from this point. Afternoon drive to Punakha(around 3 hour), the road climbs a series of zigzags over the Dochula Pass (3050 meters) with its (weather permitting) spectacular views of the snowcapped Eastern Himalayas, continue driving to Punakhagradually descending through varied forest finally emerging into the highly cultivated valley of Punakha. Overnight: at hotel
This morning, visit ChimiLhakhang(Temple) dedicated to DrukpaKuenley, popularly known to the west as the divine mad man. You will have to walk through the paddy fields and few local farmhouses for about 20 minutes to get to the temple. Visit the PunakhaDzong; this is one of the most impressive Dzong in the Country located at the confluence of the two rivers, Pho-chu and Mo-chu. Literally meaning male and Female River. Punakha was also the former Capital of Bhutan.Afternoon, drive to Paro over the Dochula Pass, the drive may take about 4 to 5 hours.
Drive to the airport for your flight back to Kathmandu. You will be received and checked into Hotel (Breakfast and Dinner Included) in Kathmandu. You will have the option of going sightseeing in Kathmandu Durbar Square or Thamel area. In the evening we will invite you for a Nepali cultural show and dinner.
You will be transferred to airport for the final departure of our Nepal and Bhutan tour.
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