Punakha Winter Trek

This is an easy 6 days trek staring from Dechencholing in Upper Thimphu valley and end in Wangdiphodrang.

Day 1 Arrive Paro: The flight to Paro on a clear day is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tseringgang. Received by representative and transfer to the hotel. Evening take a stroll around Paro market. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 2 Paro Sightseeing: In the morning, you will visit the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan in 1600s. On a clear day you can see the captivating view Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314meters. Then you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery. It is perched precariously on the edge of a steep cliff 900m above Paro Valley floor. Visit the Monastery and hike back to Paro. In the evening visit a traditional farm house which offers opportunity to mingle with local people and their life style. If you wish, you can have a traditional Bhutanese dinner with “ara”, a local wine produced by a brewery of wheat or rice. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 3 Paro – Thimphu: Drive to Thimphu takes about 2 hours with a distance of 56 Kms. Check in at Hotel. After lunch, visit the following places: Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third King who reigned the Kingdom from 1952 - 1972. The National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit Tashichho Dzong. This is the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government ministries, office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and senior monks. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 4 Thimphu Sightseeing: (Altitude 2320 m). The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 5 Thimphu - Shong Pang (Trek starts): Drive north towards Dechencholing (the residence of the Queen Mother) Palace, following the Thimphu. The transport will reach you up to Pangrizam, the last motor point. From here, the trek starts towards Shong Pang, which takes about 4/5 hours through villages. The camp will be just above Chamina village.
Day 6 Shong Pang - Dopshing Pang: The trek trail ascends gradually up till you reach the pass called Sinchula which is about 3,490m. From this point, if the weather is clear, one can see Phajodhing Monastery, which is just above Thimphu. After 2 Km walk, you can view Thinly Gang village, Talo Monastery and the motor highway towards the ancient capital of Bhutan. The trek from the pass is more or less downhill till you reach the campsite.
Day 7 Dopshing Pang - Chorten Ningpo: The trek to Chorten Ningpo is rather gradual and will be walking through thick forests, villages and rice fields. The campsite is at an alt. of 2,700 m.
Day 8 Chorten Ningpo – Zomlingthang: For about 2-3 hours, the trek trail will be through several villages until you reach a motor road. From the motor road, you will follow the road towards Punakha, which is the ancient capital of Bhutan.
Day 9 Zomlingthang – Limukha: We follow the motor road till Punakha Dzong and then cross the Pochu River (Male River), the river that drains the remote Lunana region. You will have a steady half-day climb into a forest of scattered long needle Chir Pines. Make sure to fill your water bottle before leaving Punakha, as there is no water on the way for a couple of hours. You will have a wonderful view of Punakha valley and the Dzong. If the weather is clear, you can see some snow peaked mountains to the north. The campsite is near Limukha village, alt. 2,250m.
Day 10 Limukha - Chungsakha/Wangdue (Trek ends): The trek trail ascends gradually up through the thick forest of oak species and rhododendrons till you reach a pass called Dochula. Then descend through the thick forest leading to a small monastery dedicated to a lama called Drukpa Kuenlay (popularly known as the Divine Madman). From Chungsakha you can look across the valley to Samtengang on the ridge to the south. Walk down hill till you reach the motor road and then drive for about half an hour to Wangdiphodrang. Overnight at the hotel in Wangdue.
Day 11 Wangdiphodrang – Thimphu: After breakfast, drive to Punakha Dzong viewpoint at the north end of the Punakha Valley. The Punakha Dzong lies between two rivers known as Pochu and Mochu, which mean ‘Male River and Female River’. It houses the District Administration office and the winter residence of the State Monastic Body and its Chief Abbot. Drive up to Dochula pass and stop for a hot cup of tea and some snacks. Continue to drive down to Thimphu. Evening: guests can either rest in the hotel or stroll in the town.
Day 12 Thimphu - Paro and depart: Be seen off by the representative of Yak Holidays

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