Western Nepal is iconized by the Annapurna massif and the popular tourist destination, Pokhara. The Annapurna region encapsulates the world’s best trekking routes. The major and popular trekking routes lead to Jomsom, Mustang, Manang, Annapurna Sanctuary and around the Annapurna range. Most of the treks, in Annapurna Region, including the &ld
--JAMES (USA) --
Mount Chomolhari (also spelt as Jhomolhari), ( 23, 996ft/ 7, 316 m) means the Goddess of Mountain that reigns in glory and its five sister peaks are the sources of Paro Chu (River), that nourishes the lush rice fields, apple and peach orchards of Paro Valley. The sacred mountain is a great object of respect and veneration to Bhutanese people and has most beautiful and unspoiled trekking areas in the entire Himalayas.
The trail begins at the Drugyel Dzong and follows the ancient caravan route, heading towards the base camp of Mount Chomolhari, passing through scattered hamlets and farmland, into deep and richly forested valleys, which leads to a high alpine pastureland where yak herders graze their animals. Trout fishing in the sky blue lake with magnificent view of three majestic peaks is the activity which you can enjoy on a rest day. You will also encounter rare species of blue sheep & snow leopard.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our Bhutanese representative and transferred to your hotel after completion of arrival formalities. Evening visit to Paro market and town. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 2: Paro - Sightseeing
Morning visit to Ta Dzong, built in 1651 as a watchtower and in 1968 inaugurated as Bhutan’s National Museum. The collection includes art, relics, religious thangkha paintings, postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, as well as a small natural history collection. Below Ta Dzong is Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), “the fortress of the heap of jewels”, built in 1646, and now housing the offices of the district administration and Paro’s monk body. In the afternoon, visit Kyichu Lhakhang. Built by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, it is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 3: Paro-Shana (17 km, 5/6 hours) Trek starts
The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) with a short downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail then climbs gently through well maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. Later on we come to apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens, and we reach the army post of Gunitsawa (2,810m). This is the last stop before Tibet. We continue upwards to just beyond Sharma Zampa (2,870m), where there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.
Day 4: Shana- Sio Thangkha (20 km, 7/8 hours)
The trail again follows the Pa Chu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. After crossing a bridge to the left bank of the river, we stop for a hot lunch. Then we continue along the river, climbing upwards through rhododendron forests, and crossing the river once more before reaching our campsite (3,750m).
Day 5: Sio Thangkha- Jangothang (19 km, 7/8 hours)
The path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder’s camp. A short walk into the valley will take you to the camp at Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the view of Mt. Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.
Day 6: Rest day at Jangothang
Acclimatization. Explore near by mountains and lakes.
Day 7: Jangothang - Lingshi (18 km, 7/8 hours)
The trail goes the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right bank. We now start our climb up to 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 (4,700m). We descend gradually from the pass to our campsite at Lingshi (4,000m), enjoying a panoramic view of the mountain peaks and Lingshi Dzong as we walk.
Day 8: Lingshi- Shodu (22 km, 8/9 hours)
The Laya-Gasa route leaves the Chomolhari trek route here. 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 (4,820m). On a clear day you can see Chomolhari, Gangchenta, Tserimgang and Masagang from this pass. Descend alongside a stream to a rock shelter in the cliff face, and then continue on downstream till reaching Shodu (4,100m), where we will camp in a meadow with a chorten in it.
Day 9: Shodu-Barshong (16 km, 6/7 hours)
We are now back at the tree line, and our path follows the course of the Thimphu Chu, descending through rhododendron, juniper and mixed alpine forests. There are stunning views of rocky cliff faces and waterfalls 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 (3,600m), near which we camp for the night.
Day 10: Barshong-Dolam Kencho (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 3,600m.
Day 11: Dolam Kencho-Dodena-Thimphu (8 km,3 hours) Trek ends
The trail winds in and out of side valleys above the Thimphu Chu, making a long ascent through a forest of conifers and high altitude broadleaf species to a pass at 3,510m. The trail then drops steeply down to the river, following it southward to the road head at Dodena (2,600m). Etho Metho transport meets us here, and we drive to Thimphu. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 12: Thimphu
Full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley visiting the following, as time permits: National Memorial Chorten; Tashichhodzong (“the fortress of the glorious religion”); National Library; Institute for Zorig Chusum (Bhutanese arts and crafts school); National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only); Handicrafts Emporium. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 13: A free day in Paro/Shopping
Basically you can do some sightseeing in the morning and afternoon, you can enjoy shopping.
Day 14: Depart Paro
After breakfast, drive to Paro airport for flight to onward destination.