Visit Bhutan 2017

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4. GANGTEY GLACIAL VALLEY TREK (9 days/8 nights)

GANGTEY WINTER TREK

This trek is a combination of cultural and trekking tours. It is a short and relatively easy trek with beautiful villages and monasteries en route. Although the trek is possible throughout the whole winter, the best seasons for the Gangtey Trek are March to May and September to November.

Duration of Trek: 3 days

Grade of Trek: Easy

Best Season: March to May and September to November

Day 1: Arrive Paro

On arrival in Paro, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Paro for two nights. Afterwards, visit the Ta Dzong (ancient watch tower) which now houses the National Museum of Bhutan and continue to the Paro Dzong (also known as the Rinpung Dzong), built in 1644 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The evening is at leisure to relax – so why not stroll in the Paro town?

Day 2: Hike to Paro Taktshang

Today you will take a day hike to Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Taktshang. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900m above the Paro valley and takes about a 2-hour climb on a well-maintained trail through beautiful pine forest, trees festooned with Spanish Moss and fluttering prayer flags. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to Paro Taktshang cliff in the form of Guru Dorji Drolo, mounted on a flaming tigress in the 8th century. Afterwards, there may also be time to visit the ruined Drugyal Dzong (fortress), built in 1649 to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders or the Kichu Lhakhang, which is one of the oldest 7th century temples. Overnight in Paro.

Day 3: Paro – Thimphu

We depart Paro this morning and drive a distance of 65-km for about one hour journey to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Today we explore a fascinating full day tour to see the best of Thimphu city at an altitude of 2,300m. First stop is at the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Next, drive up to the Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point) offering a panoramic view over the Thimphu valley and the Mini Zoo for Takin (national animal of Bhutan). Afterwards, visit the Folk Heritage Museum, a showcase of the Bhutanese artifacts used in rural households and the Painting School to discover a glimpse of novices learning 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Continue to the Tashichhodzong, which houses some ministries, the office and throne room of His Majesty the King and the Central Monk Body and then head to the Centenary Farmer’s Market on the banks of the Wangchhu River selling farm produces, local arts and crafts, etc. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 4: Thimphu – Gangtey via Wangdue Phodrang

After breakfast, today we travel to Gangtey via Wangdue Phodrang for a distance of 135-km for about 5-6 hours journey and en route stop at Dochula pass at an altitude of 3,050m. If weather is clear, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the snow capped eastern Himalaya ranges and also a magnificent distant view of the Gasa Dzong from this spot. Continue on the journey to Gangtey in Phobjikha, which is one of the winter roosting grounds of the rare Black-necked Cranes, where they come in hundreds after spending their summer in Tibet and then migrate to the Himalayas of Bhutan to spend their winter – they arrive in the months of September and October and fly back to Tibet between February and March. Along the highway, you’ll photo stops as there are loads of breathtaking views during the journey. Overnight in Gangtey.

Day 5: Gangtey – Gogona [Start of Trek]

Today you will begin the trek distance of 16-km for about 5-6 hours passing through meadows and fields, with a gradual climb to the Tsele La Pass at 3,430m. After crossing the pass takes you through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendron. Further on, the path leads to the Gogona village, well known for its “Gogona Cheese” production. Overnight camp in Gogona.

Day 6: Gogona – Khotokha

Today’s route takes you to the distance of 16-km for about 6-7 hours with a gentle climb to the Shobju La Pass at 3,480m. The descent from the pass leads to a wide valley, surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, home to the rare Black-necked Cranes. Below the route one can see Khothokha, a village with about 60 houses. Overnight in camp.

Day 7: Khotokha – Chhuzom – Thimphu [End of Trek]

We take a short climb leading to the Tashi La Pass at an altitude of 2,805m followed by a steep descent to the road head at Chhuzom where your trek ends. A car will be waiting to pick you up and then head to Thimphu for overnight.

Day 8: Hike to Tango Monastery, Thimphu

This morning drive to the end of the road before climbing into the beautiful pine forest, where an incredible Tango Monastery/Tango Buddhist College stands to the farthest north of Thimphu, which is about 14-km away. The Buddhist College is an institution for the higher studies of Buddhist philosophy, metaphysics, poetry and mathematics. The present day monastery was built in 1689 (13th century) by Lama Gyalwa Lhanampa and was later renovated in 1977 by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Kesang Choden Wangchuck. Enjoy the spectacular views of the valleys and mountains from this spot. Afterwards drive to Paro for your last overnight in Bhutan.

Day 9: Depart Paro

Early morning drive to Paro Airport and your guide from Bhutan Green Travel will accompany you to bid farewell for your onward flight.

Services Included

  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in 3-star hotels
  • Upgrades to 5-star luxury accommodation available on request
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
  • Licensed Bhutanese English-speaking guided tours
  • All entrance fees to museums and other attractions
  • Comfortable transport within Bhutan
  • All applicable internal taxes and service fees (including royalty)
  • Mineral water
  • Visa fees

Services Not Included

  • International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
  • Travel insurance
  • Discretionary gratuities to guides and driver (we provide suggested guidelines)
  • Single room supplement
  • Other personal expenses such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls, etc.

Prices and Dates

ON REQUEST

Pricing Policy

Prices are quoted and payable only in (US$ dollars). All prices published on our websites, brochures and marketing materials are set as low as possible. The guide prices may vary at any time subject to government actions, changes in exchange rates, increase in transportation costs or fuel prices before we have accepted your booking, however, we guarantee our prices who have already signed up for your tour.

Departure Dates

March, April, May, September, October and November

[It’s always advisable to contact us 3 or 4 months in advance. You decide dates depending on your plan of travel, however, plan your trekking tour during the best months indicated above]

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