Duration: Six days,Max.Elevation: 4,200m
Highest Camp: 4,110m
Standard: Easy to medium
Best Seasons: March to June & September to November
Start: National Museum in Paro
Finish: Mothitang (Thimphu)
Druk Path Trek is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. It is a short and scenic trek with some great views and beautiful lakes en route. Although it leads up to altitudes above 4,000m it is not too strenuous as walking distances between the camps are not too long. Besides the lakes, it is the Phadjoding monastery that is one of the highlights of this trek.
Day 01 Bangkok/ Delhi /Katmandu – Paro Transfer for the flight by Druk Air, Bhutan’s national airline, to Paro, the country’s only air strip. The flight often gives fantastic views of the Himalaya, including Everest, and particularly exciting is the section through the Bhutanese foothills and the thrilling landing. When you arrive at Paro international Airport you will meet your Bhutanese guide who will escort you to the hotel.
After lunch drive for sightseeing including Ta Dzong, the National Museum of the Kingdom. Originally built as a Watch Tower, since 1967 it is the National Museum of the country holding fascinating collection of art, artifacts, thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. Then drive to the massive Rinpung Dzong, a hub for spiritual life and community events, which has a long and fascinating history. There will also be a chance to wander around the small township of Paro. Overnight at Hotel
Day 02 – Full day Taktsang hike: After breakfast drive for half an hour and start the hike. It takes about 5 hour round trip. Follow an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels to the site of the famous Tiger’s nest, the Taksang Monastery, tragically wrecked in a fire early in 1998, rebuilt, it is perched some 1000m/3,000ft up on a cliff overlooking the valley. It is believed that the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to defeat five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan.
On the way visit the Drugyel Dzong, located 16 Km. away from the Paro town. Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Jomolhari “Mountain of the Goddess” can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). Also visit Kichu Monastery one of the oldest monastery in paro valley. Overnight at Hotel
Day 03: Paro – Jili Dzong(Distance 5 km, 1,090m ascent, camp altitude 3,480m). – Jangchulakha (Distance 10 km, 3hours, 310m ascent, 50m descent, camp altitude 3,770m).
The first day is a long day as you have to climb more than 1,000m elevation. In the morning drive for 45minutes and then climb up a steep ridge before leading through blue pine and fir forests to Damche Gom. Once you reach the ridge at Jili Dzong, enjoy picnic lunch.
After lunch at Jili Dzong, move to Jangchulakha (Distance 10 km, four hours, 310m ascent, 50m descent, camp altitude 3,770m). You begin with a climb for about an hour and a half and then ascend gradually.The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and dwarf rhododendron tress. You may see yaks and yak herders around your campsite.
Day 04: Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho (Distance 11 km, four hours, 230m descent, 330m ascent, camp altitude – 3,870m). The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are beautiful. The campsite is close to the Jimilang Tsho Lake. The lake is known for its giant sized trout.
Day 05: Jimilang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho (Distance 11 km, four hours, 820m ascent, 400 m descent, camp altitude 4,110m). The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder’s camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.
Day 06: Simkotra Tsho – Phajoding (Distance 10 km, three to four hours, 130m ascent, 680m descent, camp altitude 3,750m). The trek begins with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you downhill to Phajodhing for a nights halt. The camp is above Phadjoding.
Day 07: Phajodhing – Mothitang (Distance four to five km, three hours, 1,130 m descent). After passing Phadjoding monastery, the trek to Thimphu (Mothitang) is all the way downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours. Overnight at Hotel
Day 08: Thimphu sightseeing
Morning visit Budda point, Changangkha monastery built in 12 century, Takin zoo, view point of Thimphu valley, Nunnery monastery, lunch at local restaurant. After lunch visit the Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks, visit Archery around. Evening stroll around the market in the capital. Overnight at hotel
Day 09: Thimphu – Punakha/ Wangdi
About 3 to 4 hrs drive through beautiful forests of rhododendron and fields of dwarf bamboo breathtaking scenery of the landscape, green meadows, beautiful wildflowers, gushing waterfalls and constantly changing vegetation. About 45 min from Thimphu, lies Dochula pass (3,100m), offering visitors their first glimpse of the eastern Himalayan range. There you will see spectacular view 108 stupa or chorten at the Dochula pass. From the pass have panoramic view of the eastern Himalayan peaks over 6000m to 7554m snow Cap Mountains. After pass descent down to low lying sub tropical valley, Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and still it is home of Chief Abbot in winter months. Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal has played prominent role in civil and religious life of the Kingdom. Destroyed four times by fire and an earthquake in 1897, the Dzong has been now fully restored in its original splendour. On the way to Punakha hike about 1 hour 40 minutes round trip to (Drupa Kuenly) Divine monastery it was built in 15 century. Lunch at local restaurant. Afternoon visit Punakha Dzong and drive half an hour and hike to the Khamsumyuly chorten. Overnight at hotel
Day 10: Punakha/ Wangdi – Paro
This morning visit the Wanduephodrang dzong ruins, which was razed to the ground in 2012. It was built in 1638 by the Zhabdrung. Also visit Wangdue town. Then drive 4 hours which is 125 km to Paro and lunch in the local restaurant in Paro town. After lunch stroll through town and visit the Paro Rimpong Dzong, built in 1646, Kyichu Monastery the oldest in Paro valley, built in 659 A.D. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 11 Paro – Bangkok/Delhi/Katmandu
After breakfast drive to Paro international Airport and fly out