Samtengang Winter Trek

06 Days 05 Nights
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One of the easier low altitude treks of Bhutan that passes through villages and provides views of higher mountains in distance. Because of low elevation, this trek is possible throughout winter. It is not recommended in summer.

This trek is suitable for the beginners or those enthusiasts who want to experience some trekking in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan . The trek is in low altitude, has short walking hours and covers small distance. The trail begins from Punakha, passes through pine and oak forests and rhododendron bushes and a village. Its an easy trek and best to take in Spring and fall. Do not attempt during summer because of extreme high temperature .

Highlights

- Taktsang Monastery ( Tiger’s nest)
- Mount Chomolhari
- Kyichu Lhakhang ( One of the oldest monastery built in the 7th Century)
- Ta Dzong (National Museum)
- Dochula pass (3050m)
- Punakha Dzong
- Khamsum Yueley Chorten
- Chir Pine forest

Accomodations

Paro
Metta Resort or similar standard

Thimpu
Hotel Raven Inn or similar standard

Punakha
Mei Phensun Resort or similar standard

Limukha
Camping on tent

Itinerary - Samtengang Winter Trek
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Day 1
Fly from Kathmandu to Paro - Transfer to hotel
(Dinner)

The flight into Paro on our national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your guide and then drive you the short distance to the hotel. Paro is a picturesque valley with quaint clusters of hamlets amid terraced paddy fields. Although the site of the nation’s first airport Paro still retains tradition by way of architecture and farming. Lunch will be served at your hotel. After lunch we drive to Satsam chorten to hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The hike up to the cafeteria will take around one and half hour. At the view point enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigeress in the 8th century. Tea/coffee with snacks will be served at the cafeteria and then walk back to the road point. The evening ends with a walk through Paro’s main shopping district.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 2
Paro valley sightseeing & drive to Thimphu
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

Morning drive the winding road to the Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions. Mount Chomolhari, the sacred summit, reaches skyward beyond the dzong. This can be viewed on a clear day. On your way back visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest monastery built in the 7th century and also pay a visit to Rimpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The dzong is now used as an administration centre and school for monks. A short walk below the dzong takes you across a traditional cantilevered bridge to one of the innumerable archery grounds. (Archery is the national sport of Bhutan). Before lunch drive to visit Ta Dzong, (National Museum) built in the 17th century as a watch tower for the Paro Dzong. This dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1967. The museum boasts antique thangka, textiles, weapons and armour, household objects and rich assortment of natural and historic artefacts. Lunch will be served at a restaurant in Paro. After lunch depart to Thimphu, capital city of Bhutan. The drive will take around two hours. Thimphu has a population of about 65,000. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. In the afternoon visit the Weekly Outdoor Market, where everyone goes to buy fruits and vegetables, rice, grains, chilies and other fresh foods. The crowded stalls offer many colorful local items such as yak tail dusters, butter tea cups, turquoise from Nepal and Tibet and musical instruments.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 3
Thimpu-Punakha & hike to Khamsun Yueley Chorten
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

After breakfast drive to Punakha. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. We take a stroll through the small town and view the Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and ancient capital of Bhutan, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo (Female) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu. The dzong is open to visitors only in summer when the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body are in Thimphu.Afternoon drive towards the north of Punakha valley for 02 hours hike to Khamsum Yueley Chorten which is a three storied building with beautiful paintings of the Buddhist teachings and also provides a magnificient view of Punakha valley.

Overnight at hotel Meri Puensum/Zangtopelri in Punakha.

Day 4
Punakha - Limukha. Overnight Camp
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

Breakfast served at your hotel and after breakfast drive a few kilometers to the suspension bridge believed to be the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan where your trek begins. The trail leads you into the valley of Shengana and a gradual climb through the chir pine forest takes you into the valley of Limukha and enroute visit Dompala village.

Camp overnight at Limukha village.

Altitude: 1800 m: Distance: 14 kms: Walking time: 5-6 hours.

Day 5
Limukha - Chungsakha - Paro
(Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner)

Today the trail leads you downhill through the forest of Rhododendrons sand Oak forest into the village of Chungsakha with en route visit to an old temple used by Lama Drukpa Kuenley as his winter residence in the 15th century. Overnight at camp.Altitude: 1435 m: Distance: 14 kms: Walking time: 5-6 hours.The trail leads you downhill and across the baychu (river), from the river the trails climbs you up hill into the Sha valley of Wangdue Phodrang district and trail leads you down hill into the valley of Tikizampa where you will be met transport and then drive you to Paro.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 6
Paro - Kathmandu
(Breakfast)

In the morning your Bhutanese escort from All Bhutan Connection (ABC) will bid you farewell at Paro airport. Good-bye and happy journey back home.

Additional Remarks
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Cost includes

- Kathmandu –Paro- Kathmandu flight ticket by Druk Air or Bhutan Air
- Hotel including Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast
- English speaking guide
- Monastery entry fee
- A/C car or A/C van for land transport
- Visa Fee


Cost excludes

- Travel in Insurance (must cover all risk undertaken)
- Nepal re- entry visa fee
- Liquor beverages (hard and soft drinks)
- Gratuity for staff
- Expenses of personal nature (Phone call, laundry etc.)

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