Jhomolhari Trek and the West

Difficulty Level :

Duration : 14 Days

Maximum Elevation : 4,930m

This tour combines nine trekking days with a five-day cultural tour and gives you a beautiful insight and experience of Bhutanese religion, culture, traditions and its unique nature. Before and after the trek you will visit some of the most prominent sights of western Bhutan, and mingle with the friendly people of Bhutan.

Even as the Jhomolhari Trek is the most frequented trek in Bhutan, we will barely come across another trekking group. The nine-day trek will lead you through fascinating mountain scenery with a unique flora and fauna. We will camp at the foot of Jhomolhari (7315 m) and pass by Jitchu Drake (6989 m). First, we include two days for acclimatization in Paro, which lies already at 2500 m.

This tour can be arranged coinciding with one or more Buddhist Festivals.

Day 1

Paro to Thimphu

After arrival in Paro, your guide will receive you and you will start the one-hour drive to Thimphu Town. On the way you will visit Tachogang Lhakhang. Tachogang means “temple on the hill of the excellent horse”, build by the great master architect and yogi Thangtong Gyalpo. Thimphu still has no traffic lights but is a vibrant town with many attractions. After refreshing and lunch at your hotel, we will show you Trashi Chhoe Dzong. This magnificent Dzong, located on the north of the city on the west bank of the Wang Chhu River, housed the original National Assembly and now houses the secretariat, the throne room and offices of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. The National Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 to honour and in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. We visit the Buddha Point at Kuensel Phodrang. The 169 feet bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma (Vajra Throne) is symbolising indestructibility. This is a wonderful place to end the day with great views of Thimphu valley next to Buddha Dordenma.

Day 2

Thimphu

You will start the day with a visit to the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, which means the “13 traditional arts” of Bhutan and which is commonly known as the Painting School. The National Institute of Traditional Medicine, established in 1978, has a day care facility and clinic where traditional doctors diagnose patients and prescribe appropriate medicines or treatments. The traditional herbal medicines, ointments and medicinal teas consist of plants, minerals and animal parts, are manufactured in the production facility and distributed to regional health-care units within the country. The Royal Textile Academy is worth a visit to experience Bhutan’s living national art of weaving. Techniques and styles of the local costumes and textiles made by man and women across Bhutan are on display. The National Library collection ranges from traditional books and manuscripts, modern books about any kind of topic, an old printing press and wooden blocks for printing books and prayer flags to the largest published book in the world, entitled “Bhutan”. Changangkha Lhakhang is located in Motithang above Thimphu. It was established in the 12th century and the central statue is Chenresig in an 11-headed, thousand-armed manifestation. For the remaining day you can explore Thimphu town, shop some souvenirs and mingle with the people. You will enjoy the evening with a visit and traditional dinner at the Folk Heritage Museum. The museum replicates a traditional farmhouse and is designed and furnished how many rural Bhutanese still live today.

Day 3

Thimphu to Drukyel Dzong

Today you will travel from Thimphu to Punakha via Dochula Pass. We will stop to see the 108 Druk Wangyel Chorten on the pass, which were built by the present Queen Mother of Bhutan, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Assamese militants and to liberate the souls lost during the fighting. Enjoy the superb view of the snow-capped peaks.

Day 4

Shana to Soi Thangthanka (3575 m)

Trekking for six to seven hours along the clear Paro River through beautiful forests and mountaineous scenery.

Day 5

Soi Thangthanka to Jangothang, Jhomolhari Base Camp (4040 m)

Four to five hours of trekking finally above the tree line over yak pastures, passing the last settlements of herders.

Day 6

Rest day at Jhomolhari Base Camp

Enjoy the superb view of Mt Jhomolhari.

Jambay Lhakhang built in 659 by the Tibetan King Sontsen Gampo to pin down a demoness who was obstructing the spread of Buddhism. The Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival is one of the most colourful festivals in Bhutan, takes place in October.

Day 7

Jhomolhari Base Camp to Tso Phu Lakes (4350 m)

Easy walk (two to three hours) to crystal clear mountain lakes.

Day 8

Tso Phu Lakes to Dhumzo Chhu or Chorapang (3800 m)

Trekking via Bonte La (4890 m) for about six hours.

Day 9

Dhomzo Chhu to Thangbue (4120 m)

Trekking via Tagulun La (4540 m) for about five hours.

Day 10

Thangbue to Shana (2890 m)

Trekking via Thombu La (4270 m) for about five hours.

Day 11

Shana to Drukgyel Dzong (2580 m)

Trekking for four hours.

Day 12

Paro

Today you will have an easy day in Paro and visit Paro Dzong, also known as Rinchen Pung or Rinpung Dzong, which means ‘fortress on a heap of jewels’. It is one of the most impressive and well-known Dzongs in Bhutan. Ta Dzong was built as a watchtower to Paro Dzong. It was renovated in 1968 and converted into the National Museum.

Day 13

Paro

An early start is necessary today to climb to Taktsang Monastery, known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’, which is one of the most famous and venerated places of pilgrimage in the country. It is perched on the side of a steep cliff about 900 metres above the floor of Paro valley.

Day 14

Paro

Departure from Paro to your onward destination.