The Snowman Trek

Trek Duration: 23 Nights / 24 Days
Trek Route: Paro - Punakha - Tashithang – Damji - Gasa - Chamsa - Laya - Rhodophu - Tarina - Woche - Lhedi - Thanza – Tshochena - Jichu Dramo – Chukarpo - Thampe Tsho – Maurothang - Sephu – Wangdue - Thimpu - Paro

Day 01: Arrive Paro (By Druk Air)
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. greet you on arrival, and then drive you the short distance to the Hotel.

Day 2: Paro Sightseeing (Altitude: 2250 Meters)
Early morning start from the hotel and drive to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong to see the view of Mt. Chomolhari (7315m). Drive back to Sartsam Chorten and walk up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger nest) viewpoint. It is believed that Guru Rimpoche, who brought Tantric Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century, meditated here. The monastery was built later in the 17th century on the same site.
In April 1998, a fire destroyed the main structure of the buildings and the religious contents. A complete restoration was done and was built exactly the same as the original one. This place beholds the history of the hidden land. The walking time is approximately five hours. But depend on one’s pace.
When we return to main road we turn to the right and drive further to Drukgyel Dzong. It was built in1649 by Shabdung Ngawang Namgyel. The Dzong was destroyed by fire in 1951 & the ruined remains are now preserved as a historical site. On the way back we will visit one of the oldest monasteries that we have in Bhutan.
The first King of Tibet Songtsen Gambo built Kyichu Lhakhang in the 7th century to introduce Buddhism into our country.

Day 3: Paro - Punakha
Drive to Punakha via the Dochula pass (3050 m), through magnificent forests of rhododendron and magnolia. From the pass one can see the panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas. From here you will travel down hill to reach Punakha for lunch. Visit Punakha Dzong. It was old capital of Bhutan before moved to Thimphu. Enjoy visiting the Dzong (built in 1637 during the time of Shabdrung). The Dzong is now used as the winter residence for the Central Monk body and head quarters of Punakha district. Camp Tashithang. Altitude: 1,600m.

Day 4: Punakha -Tashithang – Damji (Walking times. 5-6 hours)
The trek starts by the side of the river, following a well-made path through semitropical forests. This part of the area is quite wet and one has to watch out for leeches. There are also lots of wild orchids around for those who love flowers. The day walk is fairly gentle, climbing up to Damji village. Overnight Camp. Damji. Altitude: 2250m.

Day 5: Damji - Gasa (Altitude: 2,900m Walking time 6-7 hours)
The path continues through subtropical forests and villages up to Gasa Tsachu (Hot spring) The Tsachu is a famous place where many people from all over Bhutan come to bath for its curative powers. There are four pools, ranging from mild to hot. A Hot lunch will be served here. After lunch, 2 hours stiff climb to Gasa Dzong and camp below the Dzong.

Day 6: Gasa - Chamsa (Altitude: 3650m Walking time 6-7 hours)
After breakfast visit the Dzong which was built in the 17th century to protect the valley against Tibetan invaders. The path starts with a stiff climb up to Bele la pass (3,700m) through bamboo, rhododendron, juniper and fir forests. The climb up to the pass will take around 5 hours. The descent will be about half - hour to camp at Chamsa. Overnight Camp.

Day 7: Chamsa - Laya (Altitude: 3,800 m. Walking time: 8-9 hours)
The path starts by descending to the bank of the Mo - Chu River. It goes up and down again to detour back up the hillside, to avoid the steep spur. Lunch will be served near the side of the bridge crossing the river. After lunch climb up gradually to Laya crossing the army camp. Overnight Camp. Laya village.

Day 8: Rest day at Laya for acclimatization
One can go around the village visiting the houses and people. The Laya people are very fascinating and friendly and will happily pose for photographs. The women in Laya wear a very special dress. In the evening there will be a cultural dance if the local people are around. Overnight Camp.

Day 9: Laya - Rhodophu (Altitude: 4350 m. Walking time: 8-9 hours)
From Laya descend to the army camp and continue following the river until the turn off point to Rhodophu. After lunch continue the climb through rhododendron bushes until the camp. Overnight Camp.

Day 10: Rhodophu - Tarina (Altitude: 3980 m. walking time: 10-11 hours)
This is the longest day of the trip and therefore it is essential to start very early. We start at 5 am by climbing to Tsimola (4,700 m). After crossing the first pass and at the little summit one can have a superb view of Lunana, Chomolhari and Jichu Drake. The path is flat for another four hours till the climb to Gangla Karchung la pass (5,080 m). The view from the pass is breath taking. The whole range of mountains, including Masagang, Tsendegang, and Teri Gang can be seen. After the pass there is a very long descent to Tarina valley. Overnight Camp.

Day 11: Tarina -Wache (Altitude: 3800 m. walking time: 6-7 hrs)
This day is much easier as the path follows the river down the valley. Lunch will be served at the lowest Point of today’s trek, (3500 m). After lunch climb up about 300 meters to the village of Woche. Overnight Camp.

Day 12: Woche - Lhedi (Altitude: 3650 meters)
The trek starts through juniper and fir forests and then through rhododendron bushes. We climb up to Keche la pass (4,480 m) where one can have a great view of the mountains. After the pass, descend to the riverside, walking through the village with stunning views of Table Mountain and others. Follow the river (one of the main sources of the Pho- Chu), until we reach Lhedi village.

Day 13: Lhedi - Thanza (Walking time: 7-8 hours)
The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choejong village. After lunch visit the Choejong Dzong and then continue towards the wide valley, crossing the bridge to reach Thanza. Overnight Camp. 4000 m.

Day 14: Rest day at Thanza
One can walk around or climb up the ridge to see the view of the lakes and mountains.

Day 15: Thanza – Tshochena (20KM. 7-8 Hours. 4900M)
Today is a long trekking day. We should start early as possible. The climb of three false summits will take you to Jaze La 5050M, after this pass it will be less than an hours walk downhill to the camp near the lake of Tshochena. Overnight Camp.

Day 16: Tshochena - Jichu Dramo (14 KM. 4-5 Hours. 4880M)
The trail is gradual with ups and downs between the snow- capped peaks and across the Loju La Pass 4940M. Overnight Camp.

Day 17: Jichu Dramo – Chukarpo (18 KM. 5-6 Hours. 4950M)
Today the trek will climb up to Rinchen Zoe La Pass 5140M, and this will be the highest point on the trek. It is then a long downhill walk to Chukarpo. Overnight Camp.

Day 18: Chukarpo – Thampe Tsho (18 km 5-6 Hours)
It is a long trek mostly downhill, walk along the Riverside and then climb back to the Um Tso at 4230M. The legend believed that Saint Pema Lingpa the reincarnation of Guru Rimpoche had discovered a number of religious treasures from this Lake. A bit further you will reach to the camp near by the Thampe Tso. Overnight Camp.

Day 19: Thampe Tsho – Maurothang (14 km 5 Hours. 4000 Meters)
It is around two hours walk to the base of Thampe Tso and then a steep climb to the pass at 4230M. Then the trek route will take you downhill through rhododendron to the Yak pasture of Maurothang. This is as far as the Yaks go. The back- up will come from Sephu.

Day 20: Mauraothang – Sephu (18 km 5-6 Hours.2500 Meters)
The trail follows the Nikka Chu through bamboo thickets and fields to the road at the village of Sephu. Here you will meet your coach or car.

Day 21: Sephu – Wangdue
Visit Wangdue Dzong. Hike to the Divine Madman monastery.

Day 22: Wangdue – Thimphu
After breakfast we will drive you to Thimphu valley. It is a residence of Desi Tenzin Rabgay who is a reincarnation of 16th century monk and the monastery is one of the most important Buddhist colleges in the country.

Day 23: Thimphu – Paro
After breakfast, sightseeing of Thimphu valley includes, visit National Library, a treasure trove of priceless Buddhist manuscripts.
The Arts & Crafts School, where young students learn the art of thirteen crafts of Bhutan. Also visit mask maker workshop and workshop for fine metal craft, weaving, ceramics and paper making. Then visit, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.

Afternoon, visit Trashichhoedzong, 'fortress of the glorious dharma'.
It is the centre of government and religion, site of King's throne room, National assembly hall, and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1961 in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.

Also visit King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumbulated by His Majesty's subjects, spinning prayer wheels and murmuring mantras.

Then, visit Handicrafts Emporium and local shops if you like to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery, interesting items made from local materials, and all manner of unique objects.

Day 24: Departure
Early breakfast, drive to Airport and farewell for your connecting flight to onwards destination.

Note: This itinerary is customizable as per guest requirement.

Cost Includes:
· Necessary airport, hotel and airport transfers
· Hotel Accommodation on twin sharing basis
· Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan.
· Entrance fees and permit
· Overland transportation within Bhutan
· Sightseeing as per itinerary
· English speaking local guide
· Trekking and Tour arrangement
· Drinking water
· Government royalty, tax and Fees
· Service Charge
Cost does not Include:
· Travel Insurance
· Airfares & Visa fees.
· Beverages
· Airport taxes
· Expenses of personal nature
· Excess baggage
· Tips to guides and drivers
· Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.