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a magnificent adventure to Bhutan’s highest mountains Jomolhari,
a country of fascination with unique Buddhism religion and ancient animistic culture,
interesting tour of famous Tigers Nest, tour around Paro and Thimphu city,
trekking north east Bhutan Himalaya to Laya & Jomolhari mountain range.
A fabulous journey around Bhutan’s highest mountainous area on the trail to Laya and Jomolhari Trekking, an impressive trip combination of leisure cultural tours with adventure trekking north east of Bhutan Himalaya.
Starting this marvelous journey from former Himalayan kingdom Kathmandu to one and only Buddhist Kingdom at Bhutan after taking a scenic sweeping flight to Paro. Adventure begins with a tour of historical interesting areas at Paro including the famous landmark of Bhutan Takshing Monastery or widely known as Tigers Nest and then heading North East to start he trek to Laya & Jhomolhari.
A fascinating adventurous trekking through high hills and passes over Shing-La with amazing panorama of mountain range, as the walk leads to pristine rhododendron and pine tree forest around remote isolated areas. This fine and wonderful trek ends at Gasa for the drive to Bhutan capital city in Thimphu after riding through nice areas Punakha and over Dochu La pass.
With peaceful time at Thimpu stay and you will drive to Paro and last overnights in Bhutan, this overwhelming adventure Laya & Jhomolhari Trekking finally concludes with flight back to Kathmandu with full of experience of Bhutanese culture, tradition and beautiful scenery or to next other respective countries.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.
Day 02: In Kathmandu with sightseeing tour and trip preparations.
Day 03: Fly to Paro 2,280 / 7,524 ft via Druk Air and transfer to hotel.
Day 04: In Paro visit Taktsang Monastery 3,120 m drive to Shana 2,790 m.
Day 05: Trek to Soi Thankthangka 3,510 m – 08 hrs.
Day 06: Trek to Jangothang base camp of Jhomolhari 4,080 m – 06 hrs
Day 07: At Jangothang for day hike and acclimatization.
Day 08: Trek and camp near Lingshi Dzong 4,150m via Nyile La 4,890m – 06 hrs.
Day 09: Trek to Chebisa 3,850m- 4 hours.
Day 10: Trek to Somothang 3,950 m via Gombu La 4,400 m – 06 hrs.
Day 11: Trek to Robulathang 4,410 m via Jhare La 4,780 m – 05 hrs.
Day 12: Trek to Limithang 4,160 m via Shinge La 4,900 m – 06 hrs.
Day 13: Trek to Laya 3,700 m – 05 hrs.
Day 14: Trek to Koena 3,240 m – 05 hrs.
Day 15: Trek to Gasa via Bale-la 3,800 m – 06 hrs.
Day 16: Drive to Thimphu via Punakha and Dochu La 3,050 m – 05 hrs.
Day 17: At Thimphu tour and sightseeing.
Day 18: Morning drive to Paro airport for respective destinations.
Day 19: International departure for home ward bound.
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, received by View Nepal staff and then transfer to your hotels in the hub of Kathmandu city. After rest orientation / briefing regarding your trip to Bhutan and in Nepal with welcome dinner.
In Kathmandu after breakfast join in our interesting tour at places of interest, as Kathmandu is full of historical and cultural places, with many World Heritage Sites which includes ancient temples, monasteries, royal palace and courtyards, afternoon free for individual activities and preparations for Bhutan.
As per Bhutan flight time informed on briefing, transfer to Kathmandu international airport for an hour flight to Paro in Bhutan, in Paro airport after immigration and visa formalities received by our Bhutanese guide for the drive to hotel in Paro, with afternoon free for leisure walks around streets and market of Paro.
Tour begins after breakfast where our guide will take you for an hour climb to Bhutan’s famous old Taksang Monastery “The Tiger's Nest”. Actually a place for meditation and retreats of monks and priests, located in a overhanging rock cliff with views of Paro and mountains, from here short drive to 17th centaury Ta-Dzong, later converted into the National Museum in 1967.
After lunch in Paro, then drive uphill to Shana reaching Drugyel Dzong at the end of the where road, from here a short walk following Pa Chu River and then up the hill into narrow valley to overnight camp.
Today a long day walk following a river valley where it narrows and closes in as the trial winds up and down along the waterway to reach Soi Thankthangka for overnight camp in a meadow with a stone shelter hut built for travelers and trekkers.
Morning walk starts up past Pa Chu River and a small Army post where valley widens again with views of peaks as the walk leads through yak herders’ camp and grazing areas at Jangothang to set our overnight camp, which is also a base camp of Jhomolhari the highest mountains around Bhutan Himalaya range.
After a tough long walks a rest and free day today where one can take an optional hike on the route of three directions junctions.
Jhumolhari and its subsidiary is directly west, Jichu Drake to the north, unclimbed summits and ridges to the east after a great day hike with tremendous views head back to camp.
From this lovely camp morning walk leads on wide yak pastures with down and up to high ridges, encountering Nomads with Tents made from Yaks hair at Tserim Gang and then descend on glacial path to reach north end of the valley. Finally ending the day walk at overnight stop in a stone shelter built for trekkers; inside the cabin has fire pit where you can sleep on wooden floor or in tents.
Morning visit Lingshi Dzong and then leaving this small farm village where trail contours high above the valley through hillsides covered with medicinal plants and flowers.
After walking past a ridge with prayer flags, another hour of nice walks leads further to Chebisa village for overnight stop, this small settlement located in a valley with a beautiful waterfall.
Today walk to Somothang least over Gombu La a moderate high pass of above 4,400 meters high offering fabulous panorama of mountains and then descend through beautiful rhododendron forest to reach Shomuthang for overnight camping.
An early start this morning with a climb to Jhare La pass offering super view of Tiger Mountain, Mt Jitchu Drake, Takaphu and Kang Bum. Enjoying the views then downhill walk to Tsharijathang for overnight stop, here herds of Takin (national animal of Bhutan) can be seen at certain times of the year.
From this isolated area morning walk with a long climb over Shinge La at 4,900m with eye catching views of mountains including grand Tiger Mountain, from the top descend towards overnight camp.
Today walk leads into pristine forested area along the river to reach a large village of this trekking at Laya, where women wear distinctive conical bamboo hats with turquoise and jade jewelers here with overnight camp and time to visit this nice village.
After a wonderful time at Laya village morning walk leads to near Bhutan army post at Taksaka, not very far from here trail turns off towards Lunana, while our route leads towards Punakha. Walking into deep nice forest along Mo Chu and then ascend over numerous spurs as our walk leads downhill to a valley. A long walk to camp at Koena located ahead from Bale La pass.
Last day walk of this adventure, morning leads from Koena with a climb for 3 hours to reach the top of Bale La pass at 3,800 meters high, after the pass with views of Gasa Dzong perched on a hill. Walk continues to our camp at the road head for the last night camp of this adventurous trek. Here visit and enjoy the natural hot springs which takes an hour walk below Gasa village.
After ten days of fabulous walks ending the trek with a drive to Thimphu capital city of Bhutan, morning 2 hours drive down the valley along Mo Chu River through Damji and onto Punakha, on route visit of impressive Punakha Dzong, this is an interesting building located at the confluence of Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in Punakha valley.
This dzong is the second largest in Bhutan constructed by Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, in 1637-38 AD, so it is also the second oldest. Our journey continues to Thimphu driving over Dochu La pass at an altitude of 3,050m known as one of the finest viewpoints of Eastern Himalaya. On a clear day views of Masangang, Tsendagang, Terigang and Gangkar Punsum (the highest unclimbed mountain in the world).
On reaching at Dochu La enjoy the views and walk around 108 chortens which marks the top of the pass.
From here descend through beautiful forest and then reaching Bhutan’s capital at Thimphu, afternoon relax after a long trekking worth walking around Thimphu and watch archery competition, a national sport of Bhutan.
A full day sightseeing and shopping in Thimphu, wander around the town, visit the Handicraft Development Center, afternoon visit Memorial Chorten, Zilukha Nunnery.
Dzong, thangka painting school or Bhutanese paper factory.
Depending upon flight time to Kathmandu or connecting with other Indian cities, our guide transfer you to Paro international airport for the flight back to Kathmandu, or flight to Delhi and respective destinations. For those flying back to Nepal on reaching Kathmandu airport View Nepal Treks staff transfer you back to hotel.
As per the flight for international departure to your home countries after great experience of “Laya & Jhomolhari Trekking”, our staff transfers you to Kathmandu international airport for your final departure homeward bound or to next port of call.
Information on Bhutan Tours:
Traveling in Bhutan controlled and restricted by the Government of Bhutan, visitors can enter only in group wise through proper Government registered travel agencies of Bhutan.
View Nepal Treks have strong and good connection with our reliable Bhutan counterpart agents for your safe and secure travel with us. Bhutan Government allows foreign travelers to spend minimum of US$ 200 per day / per person to make the country sustainable form eco and friendly tourism by minimizing mass flow of tourist.
What is Bhutan famous for?
Bhutan, the land of Thunder Dragon a Buddhist religion with Tantric Buddhism country and the only Buddhist kingdom in this world, the
peaceful environment and panorama of mountains with different monasteries are main attraction of Bhutan including its colorful festivals.
Bhutanese meal consists of Vegetables, hot chilies, rice, maize and wheat. National dish is chili and cheese (Ema-Datse), other foods are; cheese or meat / veg dumpling (momo), salad of cucumber, tomato, onion and cheese. Bhutanese food is normally spicy so be careful while you are ordering foods.
Bhutanese Drink for travelers:
Use bottled water for drinking during Bhutan tour. Local alcohol is ARA which is distilled after fermentation of rice or wheat or corn, modern drinks are also available such as coke, sprite, Pepsi, Miranda, mountain dews....
Depending upon the season of travel and trip chosen as per altitude, Bhutan a small country with varied temperature range from subtropical, alpine to arctic climates in the higher Himalaya Mountains above 4,000 meters.
In addition on booking with Destination Holidays provide you with much information as per the season of travel in Bhutan.
From October till March, warm clothes such as thermal underwear are required. April till September, light clothes for the day and a warm jacket or a sweater is must for the evenings.
Due to varied temperature and climate conditions it is advisable to dress warmly, layered clothing is better than one or two thick garments in order to keep warm. Clothing should preferably be made from natural materials in order for the body to be comfortable.
As Bhutan is in its developing stage people think differently therefore it would be advisable for you to avoid walking around in skimpy or tight fitting clothes. For visits to monasteries, dzongs and other religious institutions dress modestly and respectfully, and refrain from smoking while on the premises. Hats, caps, shoes etc. should be removed before entering the premises.
You need to pack clothes as per season and trip chosen involving trekking, sunglasses/spare glasses, pair of casual shoes, knife, hat, umbrella, camera, films and accessories (including spare camera batteries), insect repellent, hand cream, small sewing kit & safety pins, torch or flash light with spare batteries, mirror, scissors, sun cream, lip salve, soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream, anti-diarrhea pills, a preparation for the relief of sunburn, and any medication you take regularly, or might need to take for a periodically recurring condition, such as asthma.
The other recommended items are: personal medical first aid kit, water purification tablets (though mineral water can be bought), toilet & tissue papers, flashlight, comfortable walking shoes, sleeping bag, dust mask, sun hat, sun glasses and sun block cream.
Food and drinks:
Bhutan due to its culture, religion and customs similar to Tibetan, so much of the main foods and cuisine are almost the same with few varied types of meals. It is always handy to carry dry food and biscuits or anything that can be brewed with hot water such as coffee and drinking chocolate.
No prohibition on still and video cameras, tape recorders or radios as long as they are registered with custom officials and are of personal use. Printed matters considered unsuitable by the Bhutanese Government are prohibited.
It is most advisable that clients should have full insurance against medical and personal accidents.
Booking formalities and visa:
Minimum two weeks required booking trip from Kathmandu to travel in Bhutan with advance payments to View Nepal Treks, along with deposit of your passport for visa process and full payment of the tour.
From overseas, minimum of two weeks with all your personal, passport details are required with payment required as per the company's rules and regulations.
The main necessary and important that one needs to prepare with seasonal clothing and the trip selected with Bhutan varied climate as per seasons.
Woolen tops, baseball caps or sunhats.
Body wear (this all required on your duration of Holiday):
Please bring all your necessary daily wear as per the duration of the holidays in Bhutan / Nepal and as per the season regarding clothing and other wear.
For normal tours and sightseeing a runners and sports shoes is the best, as this involves short walks and climbing on steps also.
For trekking it obvious that you need a good comfortable walking boots if possible water proof (wax polish to be carried on other leather boots and shoes against wet areas and snow) with warm woolen shocks and for leisure walk soft cotton socks.
Daypack: A small rucksack as day to carry your necessary and valuable items; camera, water bottle, money, passport, towel, toiletries items, water proof for the walk and Sleeping Bags and walking poles as options.
Camera and batteries, spare passport photos, water bottle, money belt, Torch / Flash Lights, Sewing kit, Sunhat/ Sunglasses, Ipods, Books, Wet Ones, Detergents to wash clothes, Writing materials, Swiss Army knife, Calculator, Personal toiletries, including tampons, Contraceptives, Insect Repellent, Sunscreen.
If you are wearing glasses, it is advisable to bring a spare pair since opticians are few on route trekking traveling remote areas. If you wear contact lenses you may find that climatic changes and dust can create visual irritation, therefore, it is advisable to bring a pair of glasses.
Please don’t forget to check up with your Doctor & get advice whether your health permit or not to go into the region.
We also recommend:
A dental check-up prior to traveling, you know your blood group in case of emergency and to send your medical / dietary lists.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour, you make these known to your Travel Agent at the time of your booking
In every trip we do provide with essential comprehensive medical kits however you may carry your own medical kits as per your doctor’s recommendations.
List of some recommended items:
Band Aids / Bandages, laxatives, upset stomach remedy, anti-diarrhea remedy, Panadol /Aspirin, rehydration remedy, antiseptic cream/powder, sterile.
The national currency of Bhutan is the Ngultrum (Nu) and it currently trades at approximately Nu 43 to US $1.00. The three currencies accepted within Bhutan are the Ngultrum, the Indian Rupee and the US Dollar. There are two Banks in Bhutan.
Bhutan National Bank Limited (BNB) Bank of Bhutan Limited (BOBL) Currencies accepted as foreign exchange within the banks are:
US Dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro, Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, HK Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Danish, Swedish & Norwegian Kroner
The Bhutanese currency pegged to the Indian rupee and thus trades with the currency. There are no coins, and you can expect to be handed wads of cash. The smallest note is for 1-ngultrum, and its worth only about $0.02 USD. As of April 2013, USD1 is equivalent to about 53 ngultrum if you are using USD50 or USD100 notes. Please take note that USD50 and USD100 notes are given a better exchange rate than USD20 notes or lesser. The smaller USD notes fetch about 5% less.
Bhutan is a cash economy! Visa and MasterCard are not accepted at smaller shops, but bigger shops and some hotels accept MasterCard. There is an American Express office in the capital, and Amex is accepted in a few rare instances. More important, an Amex office means you can get your travelers' checks replaced if necessary.
If you bring in cash, best option is to change dollars or whatever you bring into ngultrums at the airport. The exchange rate is the same as in the banks in town. Keep in mind that banks get much harder to find outside the capital. You can also change your money at the hotels in Thimphu, but the rate is not as good.
For a stay of two weeks 100-150$ will cover your expenses, inclusive drinks with meals, and some souvenirs. However, this will certainly not be enough to cover tips.
Because Indian money trades at par with the ngultrum, rupees are generally accepted in Bhutan and may be occasionally given as change. But since 2012 there have been shortages of Rupee notes due to Bhutan’s high import economy so if you can, bring and spend Rupees--you will be doing your guide and driver a big favor.
In Bhutan most places have tourist standard facilities depending upon the choices, as we have put a lot of effort into locating the most appropriate type of accommodation for each tour.
It will always be clean and hygienic, comfortable and of a very high standard. Accommodation for Bhutan trips is in a combination of good standard tourist class hotels and Guest Houses in the Treks operated by the local people, which offer Twin Sharing accommodations, please be prepared for the common Bathrooms.
If you wish to spend a few additional days in your start city before the departure of your tour, then we can arrange accommodation for you. On last day of the tour usually arrives at our final destination in the late afternoon, when the tour ends. If you would like to book accommodation for the night or even stay additional nights, we will be more than happy to arrange this for you as well. All our accommodation is carefully chosen, conveniently located, clean and comfortable.
Travel / Medical Insurance:
Travel / Medical insurance a compulsory in all our trips, all clients MUST be insured to cover personal accident, medical expenses, cancellation, curtailment and repatriation. Please Note you should check that your insurance policy is adequate for Trekking & Tours in Bhutan.
Tipping & Bargaining:
Tipping in Bhutan is not compulsory but it is a way of traditions handed by earlier visitors this might be expected by the guides, porters and Tour Driver, any gratuities for good service will be gratefully accepted at the end of the tour.
Bargaining is kind of culture, especially in markets when hiring the Local Vehicles, Buying the Jewelries and Local Clothing.
Arriving in Bhutan & Transfers:
Before you depart for Bhutan please send us your flight details so that we can arrange a complementary transport from the airport to the hotel in Kathmandu, where our staff and representative will receives you please look for your name on board or with VIEW NEPAL TREKS on reaching outside the main terminal, please note our phone numbers if incase of flight delay and change in time & Schedule or if you don’t see our Sign Board on your arrival in case of emergency:
Please notify on these + 977 or Cell: 980-1129 611 / 985 1029611
Standard commercial airline baggage restrictions apply. Usually this is 20 kg for economy passengers and one piece of carry-on luggage. It is advisable to check with your airline before traveling.
You might be tempted to buy a few souvenirs here and there, so leave a little room for those extra purchases!
Your passport is a valuable document and you should exercise extreme care in keeping it safe. We recommend that you keep your passport on you at all times, preferably in a money belt that is worn under your clothing. We advise that you take copies of relevant pages in your passport and any visas that you may purchase in case of loss or damage. Your tour leader will require your passport details at the pre-departure meeting. Again, we recommend that you have a photocopy of your passport details, kept separate. Your passport must be valid for six months after the END of your tour, and must have one blank page for each country to be visited.
VISA AND OTHER FORMALITIES:
Getting into Bhutan is easy for travelers if you plan in advance with professional travel company.
View Nepal Treks arranges visas and all formalities few weeks before the travel date.
Passport must be at least 6 months valid at the end of travel date. if passport has minimum 2 pages empty space that will be great because one page for Bhutan visa stamp and another page you may use for another country's visa if you are travelling more places after Bhutan.
Visa is issued by foreign affairs, for tourist visa we as a tour operator apply and get it for you.
We send your visa copy on your e-mail, which you need to print and carry.
For every foreigner who wishes to travel Bhutan have to get Bhutan Visa. For visa, a passport is required which must be valid for at least 6 months after leaving Bhutan. The Druk Air allows boarding to people with visa clearance from Bhutan Government only.
All Travelers except Indian residents requires visa, to obtain the visa at 20 days prior to date of entry into Bhutan with PP details and photo’s.
Visa only service is not entertained in Bhutan one should have to join for full tour package services from local tour operator which includes guide, accommodations, food, tours and transportation. Visa fee of US$ 40 (increased from Jan 2013 AD) which is mostly included in the trip package. Guests require multiple entry visas for India, Nepal if they are traveling to Bhutan and back to India or Nepal.
Traveling into Bhutan must be obtained from Nepal through Bhutan counterpart agents. Please note that; Once the visa is issued, it will not be amended, revalidated and visa fees will not be refunded.
Tourism Council of Bhutan issues visa clearance which will be e-mailed or Fax to your local travel agents to Bhutan and View Nepal Treks. Travelers are required to produce visa clearance copy at the time of check in for Druk Air flight, entering by overland must produce Visa clearance letter at the entry point.
Actual Visa is stamped at passport on arrival in Bhutan.
To enter Bhutan, foreigners are issued with Entry Permit valid for Thimphu and Paro only. Rest of the Bhutan considered as restricted area, and foreign travelers requires special permits to enter immigration checkpoints located at main / major junction around the country.
Do not take unnecessary valuables with you, a money belt, or similar, worn close to your body is the best way to carry passports, airline tickets, money and other Valuables.
Do not leave any valuables in hotel rooms, please use SAFETY DEPOSIT BOXES in the Hotel. Items are left at the individual’s risk.
Pickpockets are not common in Bhutan but it can happen, especially in tourist areas and in crowded markets; you must always exercise care.
Be aware that anything left lying around will also be liable to theft.
Departure Tax: International Flight departure taxes are included in your flight ticket from Nepal. However If you are flying with in the country, there are some departure tax inclusive with air tickets.
Time Zone: Bhutan Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 5:30 Hours).
The year is divided into 4 different seasons in Bhutan - winter, spring, summer and autumn. The best period to visit the country for plant lovers is during spring when the flowers are in full bloom. The mountain slopes are covered with beautiful and colorful flowers. Spring season commences from early March and continues until late May. Even though the days are clear haze disturbs the mountain views. Late May, and the downpour begins. It continues till late August. Come September and the autumn season begins. It continues till late November. With temperate climate, clear blue skies and extraordinary mountain views it is the best season to visit the country. Winter begins in late November and continues till late February.
The spring from March and May, fall / autumn season September to November has good weather. December to February is winter and cold outside in morning and evening time but nice and sunny during day time. July and august is rainy season so expect rain but weather is unpredictable like other places in the world. If you go higher altitude is cooler and lower altitude is warmer in Bhutan. Due to mountains can enjoy nice breeze too. Most of the days are clear except monsoon and good for hiking.
Incase of any cancellation of the tour prior to departure, a cancellation policy as per the company's rules and regulation shall be applied.
Risk and Liability: Bhutan tours are run strictly under BHUTAN TOURISM BUREAU, we or our agents shall not be responsible for any changes or cancellation of the programs due to road blockade, cancellation of flight, sickness or accident, political unrest etc. Any extras cost thereof shall be borne by the clients.
Package cost includes:
Flight fare Kathmandu-Bhutan -Kathmandu, hotel/guest house accommodation on full board basis, sightseeing tour as per the itinerary, An English speaking guide, transportation by private vehicle during the tour and monastery entrance fee.
Nepal / Bhutan visa and entry fees, International airfare beside flight to Bhutan and back to Kathmandu, personal medical / travel insurance, emergency evacuation or any charges in case, if required, expenses of personal nature etc.
Bhutan has generated own hydro and supplied all over country, there is no problem of power cut in cities. The supply is 220 voltages, 50 cycles AC with 3 prong plugs like many Asian countries. Hotels provide converter for your electric devices if needed.
Electricity in Bhutan is 230 volts AC, 50 cycles. We do have two pins & 3 pins power sockets, you better to have two Pin travel plug adepter which will be useful to charge your batteries.
Under no circumstances are any illegal drugs allowed on any part of the trip. Anyone discovered in possession of any such drugs, will be asked to leave the tour immediately without question or refund.
You should not drink the water from the tap in Bhutan because of bacteria.
You can either use water purification or buy the bottle of water. Now a day, some people are bringing their own water filter which is very impressive & useful.
Photography is important part of the holiday that carries the memory of holiday in the photos. Please remember, that you are guests in the country of travel and sometimes inadvertently cause offence by taking photographs without asking permission. It is absolutely forbidden by law to take photos at any borders, as they are all active military installation.