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  • Jhomolhari Trek

    Jhomolhari Mountain Festival & Trek combines the Jhomolhari Trek with an exquisitely themed two-day event celebrated at the base of Mt. Jhomolhari by communities located along one of the most scenic trekking routes in Bhutan. The festival celebrates the unique culture of the communities living together with the natural wonders that surround them: one in particular, the elusive, yet elegant, snow leopard!

     

    The festival includes snow leopard themed folk songs and dances performed by the local people, Jigme Dorji National Park staff and the school children, traditional sports such as Khuru (darts), shot put, horse and yak riding, sampling of local delicacies and boutique handicrafts.

     

    This is the ultimate Jhomolhari Mountain experience of trekking through inspiring mountainous landscapes and gaining an insight into the unique communities that inhabit these beautiful locations.


    HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUDE

    The Jhomolhari Trek highlights the great diversity that the Bhutanese landscape has to offer, whilst the mountain festival provides an insight into the unique culture of the communities that live together in harmony with the incredible wildlife and natural wonders that surround them. You will pass through thick pine forests, scattered hamlets and alpine meadows that lead to the high pastureland where yak herders graze their animals.

    • Spend 2 days attending the Mountain Festival, witnessing performances of folk songs and dances, participating in traditional sports as well as sampling local delicacies and boutique handicrafts.
    • Experience fabulous views of snow-capped mountains such as Mt. Jhomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake.
    • Traverse beautiful landscapes from lush valleys to dense forests.
    • Discover Bhutan’s unique culture up-close with farmhouse visits and village excursions.
    • Camp overnight at the base of Mt Jumolhari.
    • Spend time Marvelling at the ancient wall paintings and carvings in Dzongs and temples.
    • Discover some of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries and temples in the Himalaya.
    • Visit many cultural attractions including medieval fortresses (Dzongs), markets and museums.
    • Hike up to the famous Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff 900m above the valley floor.
    • Incorporate a Value-Added Option such as a cooking lesson or meditation session with a monk.


    DETAILED PROGRAM

    Day 1

    The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our Bhutan Senses Travel representative will meet you at Paro airport. After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the National Museum, Ta Dzong. This museum houses many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical and cultural past. Next, visit the Rinpung Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centres, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards walk to the beautiful cantilever wooden bridge still in use. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

     Bhutan National Museum, Rinpung Dzong

    Recommended Hotels in Paro:

    - Naksel Paro Hotel
    - Haven Paro Resort


    Day 2

    After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you high above the Paro valley. The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. 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. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop 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. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

     Taktsang Monastery, Drukgyel Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang


    Day 3

    17Km, 5-6 hours

    The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong (2580m) with a short downhill walk on a wide track. The trail then climbs gently through well maintained rice terraces and field of millet. Later on we come to apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens, and we reach the army post of Gunitsawa (2810m). This is the last stop before Tibet. We continue upwards to just beyond Sharma Zampa (2870m), where there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees. Overnight at campsite.

     Trekking from Drukgyel Dzong to Shana campsite


    Day 4

    20 km, 7-8 hours

    The trail again follows the Pa Chu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forest .After crossing a bridge to the left bank of the river, we stop for lunch. Then continue along the river, climbing upwards through Rhododendron forest, and crossing the river once more before reaching the campsite (3750m). Overnight at campsite.

     Trekking along Paro river to Thangthangkha campsite


    Day 5

    19km, 7-8 hours

    The path ascends for a while until we reach the army camp. We then follow the river above the tree line, enjoying stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch is served at a yak herder’s camp. A short walk from here into the valley takes us to our campsite at Jangothang (4040m). From here the views of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake are Superb. Overnight at campsite.

     We will trek to Jangothang campsite today


    Day 6

    (30-40 mins)

    Today we hike back to witness the 1st day of mountain festival. Marchang ceremony before the festival commences. Followed by welcome dance and local song by Soe community. Opening of the stalls by the chief guest followed by yak and horse show. After lunch open competions for entertainment like Khuru, shotput and horse riding/yak riding. In the evening hike back to Jangothang at the base camp.

     02 day attending the Mountain Festival, witnessing performances of folk songs and dances at Dangojang village


    Day 7

    (30-40 mins)

    Optional 2nd day festival. Trekking activities to the finest sights in Soe guided by the natives. After lunch visitors would also witness the cultural performances including folk dances and traditional handicraft exhibition by the local communities to entertain the large congregation of spectators. In addition, the communities will also host the visitors in the home stays and cook local food from their own kitchen. The food options depend on what is growing in the kitchen gardens. Hike back to Jangothang at base camp.


    Day 8

    18 km, 7-8 hours

    The trail follows a gentle stream for half an hour and crosses a bridge to the right bank. We now start our climb up the first ridge, enjoying breathtaking views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang. The trail then takes us across a fairly level valley floor until the climb up to Nyele-la Pass (4700m). We descend gradually enjoying a panoramic view of the mountainous peaks and Lingshi Dzong from the pass until we reach our campsite at Lingshi (4000m). Overnight at campsite.

     Trekking to Lingshi campsite (4000m), enjoying breathtaking views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang


    Day 9

    22 km, 8-9 hours

    Our trail climbs up towards a small white chorten on a ridge above the camp, then turns south up the deep Mo Chu valley. The trail stays on the West side of this largely treeless valley, climbing steadily a short distance above the Mo Chu. It then crosses the river, and climbs steeply for two hours to Yeli-La (4820m). On clear day you can see Chomolhari, Gangchenta, Tserimgang and Masagang from this pass. The trail then descends alongside a stream to a rock shelter in a cliff face. It then continues on downstream until reaching Shodu (4100m), where we will camp in a meadow with a chorten in it. Overnight at campsite.

     Trekking from Lingshi to Shodu campsite (4100m)


    Day 10

    16 km, 6-7 hours

    Our path follows the course of the Thimphu Chu, descending through Rhododendron, Juniper and mixed alpine forests. There are stunning views along the way. We stop at the riverside for a hot lunch. Then the trail takes us gradually upwards to the ruins of Barshong Dzong (3600m), near which we camp for the night. Overnight at campsite.

     Today, we trek to the ruins of Barshong Dzong


    Day 11

    15 km, 5-6 hours

    The trail descends gently through a dense forest of Rhododendron, Birch and conifers, then drops steeply to meet the Thimphu Chu. The trail runs along the left bank of the river, climbing over ridges and descending into gullies where side streams run down into the river. The final stage of the trail climbs around a cliff face high above the Thimphu Chu, coming out onto Pastureland where we camp for the night at 3600m. Overnight at campsite.

     Enjoying dense forest of Rhododendron, Birch and conifers while trekking to Dolam Kencho campsite


    Day 12

    8 km, 3 hours

    The trail winds in and out of a side valley above the Thimphu chu, making a long ascent through a forest of conifers and high altitude broadleaf species to a pass at 3510m. The trail then drops steeply down to the river, following it southward to the road head at Dodena (2600m). Bhutan Senses Travel transport meets us here, and we drive to Thimphu. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

     Trekking to Thimphu, relaxing at hotel

    Recommended Thimphu Hotels:

    - Terma Linca Resort & Spa
    - Druk Thimphu Hotel


    Day 13

    Enjoy sightseeing in Thimphu beginning with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernization. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the third King who passed away in the year 1972. Other highlights include the 12th Century Changangkha Temple, Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha nunnery, the School for Arts and Crafts where the students are taught to master the 13 types of Bhutanese art, the National Library housing a collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. In the early evening depart for Paro. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.

     National Memorial Chorten, School for Arts and Crafts...


    Day 14

    Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.

     

     

    WHEN TO GO?

      MORE TOURS HERE


    Notes:

    • Prices are in USD, per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. At Bhutan Senses Travel, we carefully select all hotels to ensure that your accommodations match our standards of trip and service excellence.
    • Prices include the following:
      . All hotel accommodation including all taxes and breakfast
      . Internal economy flights as stated with airport taxes
      . All transfers & sightseeing transportation in private vehicle
      . Private services of local guides
      . All special events & private tours, guest experts
      . All entrance fees into historical sights & museums
      . Drinking water and refreshing towels for touring
      . 24/7 support from the Bhutan Senses Travel Team

     

    Location
    Accommodation

    PARO
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    Naksel Paro Hotel

    • Boasting a spa and wellness centre, a sauna and garden, NakSel Boutique Hotel & Spa offers rooms in Paro, 5 km from the Taktsang Monastery. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout.
    • Each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a safety deposit box. The private bathroom comes with a bath and free toiletries.
    • The Olive Restaurant serves International and typical cuisine. The Chabchu Bar offers snacks and drinks.
    • Paro International Airport is 11 km from Naksel Boutique Hotel & Spa .

    THIMPHU
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    Terma Linca Resort & Spa

    • Featuring a spa and wellness centre and a massage parlour, Terma Linca Resort & Spa features a fitness centre and an archery field, giving guests an experience in Bhutan’s national sport, Archery. It operates a 24-hour front desk and offers free Wi-Fi in hotel rooms.
    • The fan-cooled rooms include a TV with cable channels, wardrobe and a minibar. The attached bathrooms are equipped with a basic amenities, hairdryer and free toiletries.
    • Terma Linca Resort & Spa is 8 km from the Royal Textile Museum and 10 km from the Buddha Point Statue. The Thimpu Bus Station is 5 km away while the Paro Airport is 65 km away.