TREKKING AND WALKING
Bhutan is ideal for both day and short duration walks and for longer much more adventurous treks. Don’t be put off by the term ‘trekking’ as it does not necessarily mean arduous, high altitude or difficult. There are many walks to suit all levels of fitness, from those wishing a few hours exercise to the most intrepid of travellers.
Bhutan has wonderful landscapes, pristine forests and genuinely friendly people who are very proud of their life-style and happy to interact with visitors. Bhutan’s incredible beauty, clean unspoiled trails and bracing mountain air offer the trekker an exhilarating and memorable experience!
Thimphu valley walk: You can walk up to the Sangaygang (Tower) and view the entire valley of Thimphu. The summit is covered with prayer flags, white flags for the dead and multi coloured flags with their printed messages fluttering to the heavens. After a picnic breakfast, walk back to Thimphu through the beautiful pine forest and stop to visit the mini Zoo at Motithang.
Phajoding Monastery: One of the most enjoyable hikes goes to Phajoding Monastery to the west of Thimphu. The walk takes about 3 – 4 hours and it is situated at an altitude of 3, 700 meters (12, 140 ft). Once at the top you can visit the monastery built in the 13th century.
Tala Monastery: If you are energetic, a walk of one and half hours from Simtokha Dzong will take you through the deep forests of blue pine to top of the mountain where you will find the Tala Monastery (situated at 3,050 meters or 10, 000 ft), built in the 1860’s.
Taktsang Monastery (more famously known as Tigerï¿½s Nest). Drive to the Satsam Chorten and then hike to Taktsang Monastery through pine forests and groves of rhododendren. Lunch is available at the Taktsang cafe with a splendid view of the monastery which is closed to the public. After lunch walk back to the access road.
Jeledzong: The hike begins at the National Museum and takes around 4-5 hours. Walking is through the forests of blue pine and rhododendrons. Once at the top you will be able to view the whole Paro valley spread out below.
Chelila: An early morning drive to the Chelila pass and then a walk to the Nunnery through a blue pine forest. You can visit the nuns and study their daily life.
Jhomolhari Trek: (6 days) into north western Bhutan passes through scattered hamlets, forested valleys and high alpine meadows where yak herders live in solitude. This is a popular trek but can be quite arduous and muddy. There is a shorter and easier version which returns via an alternative route.
Druk Path Trek: (4 days) A hike between Thimphu and Paro, with its fabulous views of the Himalayas on a clear day. Mountain lakes teem with fish, and abundant rhododendron forests make this a popular trail for those visiting Paro and Thimphu.
Laya-Gasa Trek: (14 days) An extension of the Jhomolhari trek it offers spectacular mountain views of Mt Masang Gang, with rest stops at the village of Laya and the Gasa hot springs. A lower altitude trek through pine forests, with many varieties of rhododendron, numerous birds and butterfly species. Visits to farm houses and temples offer a delightful experience of the Bhutanese countryside and culture and you may even see blue sheep.
The Bumthang Trek: (3 days) in the gentle valleys of Bumthang is especially recommended for lovers of nature. This walk passes through several villages and over two passes and makes use of an existing path still used by locals to access their villages from the main town of Jakar.
Gantey Trek: (3 days) An enchanting walk through the Probjikha Valley, one of the most beautiful valleys of Bhutan, which in spring (March-May), is brilliantly coloured with rhododendrons and magnolias. Also home to the migratory crane in October.
Samentang Trek: ( 4 Days). Accessed from the Haa Valley west of Paro. This walk offers spectacular views of the Himalayan range at its highest point.
The best months for trekking are March, April, May and September, October, November.
All treks and walks are fully supported with a guide, porters, a cook and a cook’s assistant, ponies and comprehensive camping equipment.