“Haa Valley” was only recently opened to tourism and has remained beautifully quaint and untainted by the influences of modern development. Experience Bhutanese hospitality at the beautifully restored Lechuna Heritage Lodge, engage in a variety of hikes that range from easy to moderate, or bike around the valley or riverside in this quiet location. Our experienced guides lead guests through the Haa and Paro Valleys on day walks, incorporating Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery, and a wild hike to Kila Nunnery, between the two valleys.
This feature ‘Haa Valley Jaunt’ explores one of the least visited areas of Bhutan, the unspoilt Haa Valley. This tour also visits significant historical and sacred sites in the western valleys of Paro and Thimphu.
Bhutan Senses Travel’s representative will receive you at Paro airport exit doors following customs formalities. Your first activity begins a visit to Kyichu temple, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan (7th C) with a purification ceremony to bring you good luck. Afterwards, drive to the capital, Thimphu (1.5 h). Before dinner at the hotel there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
- Hotel Thimphu Towers
- Namgay Heritage Hotel
Begin your day with a drive to the viewpoint at the Big Buddha Statue. The park here has several walking trails which range from leisurely to moderate. Other places of interest are the National Memorial Chorten, Changangkha Temple (12C), Folk Heritage Museum, School of Arts & Crafts.
Afternoon visit weekend market (open Friday to Sunday). Additionally, visit the Motithang Takin Preserve and Tashichho Dzong. Free time in the evening to stroll through Thimphu town.
If time permits, we can drive up to Dochu La pass (3,100m) where we can circumambulate the 108 stupas and, if the weather is clear, enjoy an incredible view of Himalayan peaks. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Folk Heritage Museum, Tashichho Dzong, Motithang Takin Preserve
Depart for Haa, the westernmost valley in Bhutan. This is a beautiful drive (3.5h) that is relatively free of traffic. The road takes us back to Chuzom (river conﬂuence) where we catch a glimpse of the three shrines in Nepali, Tibetan and Bhutanese style which were built to ward off evil spirits, and then traverses left past Dobje Dzong, an ancient prison which now houses a monastery. Picturesque and quaint villages dot the hillsides for the rest of our drive to Haa. Overnight in Haa.
Visit Haa Valley
- Risum Resort
- Lechuna Heritage Lodge
Haa remains one of the least visited areas in the country and retains the air of an unspoiled, primeval forest. This valley only opened to foreigners in 2002due to its proximity to the border with Sikkim and Tibet. This unspoilt valley harks back to a simpler, more traditional time, and its wooded hills give us an ideal setting for hiking and mountain biking. There are several pleasant walking trails in Haa and biking on the virtually traffic free valley to visit local areas of interest and village homes is an enjoyable way to spend the day. Overnight in Haa.
Walking or biking trails in Haa valley.
Chele La Pass and hike to Kila Nunnery (optional bike descents). Start early for the drive to Chele La Pass which (3,988m) from which on a clear day the view sweeps away to Bhutan’s second highest peak, Mt Jhomolhari(7314m). Striding out along the Edelweiss covered ridge, we pass a sky burial site. We then descend for the two-hour hike through dense rhodendron forest, possibly sighting shaggy yaks, to Kila Goemba, an ancient nunnery nestled in a craggy patch on the mountainside below. Kila Goemba is a serene retreat for 32 Anims (Buddhist nuns) who lead an undisturbed life of religious studies, prayer and meditation. An hour’s descent from the monastery and we are back at the road where we can saddle up on a mountain bike and freewheel down to Paro Valley.
Chele La Pass, Kila Goemba (monastery)
- Metta Resort & Spa
- Bhutan Mandala Resort
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor (for those who cannot hike we will arrange a horse for transfer up to cafeteria). The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The Monastery is also an important pilgrim site for the Buddhists. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. He then mediated in a cave there for three months where the monastery was later built. The cave is said to be the origin of Buddhism in Bhutan. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for refreshments before returning to Paro for lunch.
In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Inside there is a great golden image of Buddha Shakyamuni.
Taktsang Lhakhang, Drukgyel Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang
Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.
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