10 DAYS FROM USD4,000  |  TRIP GRADING: MODERATE  |  SERVICE LEVEL: DELUXE

10 APR 2020 TO 19 APR 2020

BHUTAN | TRONGSA VILLAGE TREK   SMALL GROUP EXPEDITION

FARMING & DANCING WITH THE LOCALS OF CENTRAL BHUTAN

This is a small-group itinerary which combines a 4-day cultural immersion glamping trek in Trongsa, a district in Central Bhutan, with the iconic highlights of Paro and Punakha valleys.

 

The trek will take you to the heart of the country – Trongsa Valley. Here, we will travel deep into the Mangde Chhu River Basin, staying in villages nestled high above the banks of the river. Experience life in the agricultural community and learn about their way of life through interaction with the villagers over a warm cup of homemade suja (butter tea) or ara (home-brewed alcohol made from grains). Leaving Trongsa Valley, this itinerary will continue to the subtropical valleys of Punakha and the pine forests of Paro, and our local guide will fill your imagination of stories of Buddhist saints, heroes and demons as you visit iconic highlights of Bhutan.

ITINERARY

This expedition is for the trekker who is looking to explore the spectacular villages of Bhutan off the beaten path, without great physical exertion.

DAY 1: THIMPHU

Upon arrival in Paro, you will be transferred by private car to Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital. The good thing about arriving by the late morning means that you will have most of the day to relax and acclimatise to the altitude (2,300m) and visit some sights. One of our personal favourites is the Textile Museum; weaving is a very important part of Bhutanese culture and every region has its unique patterns and materials. You could even try your hand at archery!

 

Accommodation: Zhiwa Ling Ascent, Thimphu

Meals Included: lunch, dinner 

DAY 2: TRONGSA

On the long drive to Trongsa, you will pass Dochu La, a high mountain pass at 3,100m above sea level. Here you can enjoy the view of the Greater Himalayas on a clear day! To stretch your legs, we’ll make a visit to Chimmi Lakhang, the infamous fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman, one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most important saints. The hike to the temple will take you on a very gradual path through a village surrounded by rice terraces, and will take approximately an hour.

Accommodation: Yangkhil Resort, Trongsa

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner

 

DAY 3: KARZHONG

After breakfast, we will drive to the trailhead, which will take less than an hour. The trail will take us to a Buddhist retreat centre where monks spend more than 3 years at a time in silent contemplation. We will continue on highland trails surrounded by rhododendron trees and views of the Black Mountain Range before descending to our lunch spot.

 

Distance: 10.5km / 6.5 miles

Accommodation: deluxe tent, Karzhong

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner 

DAY 4: JONGTHANG

We continue deeper into the Mangde Chhu River Basin, following the river upstream. The surrounding forest is full of birdlife, and our local guides will help identify the different residents during your hike. If you are lucky, you might come across deer and martens. Arriving at our next campsite, you will enjoy lunch next to the fields with views of the river valley and surrounding mountains. The afternoon can be spent with a visit to one of the local farmhouses, while each member of the group takes turns to enjoy a private traditional hot stone bath in camp! 

 

Distance: 10.6km / 6.6 miles

Accommodation: deluxe tent, Jongthang

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner 

DAY 5: MANGDE PHUG

Mangde Phug is the only village in this river basin located within the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. There are only three houses here, all belonging to the family of our local friend. Here, we will enjoy a hearty lunch prepared by the family after experiencing milking their cow, tilling the land and churning fresh butter! Most of the vegetables you will enjoy is grown in their garden. Leisurely hike back to Jongthang Village. 

 

Distance: 13.8km / 8.6 miles

Accommodation: deluxe tent, Jongthang

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner 

DAY 6: BEMJI

After a lazy start to the morning, we will cross the Mangde Chhu River to the other side of the valley, making our way uphill through the forest before arriving at Bemji, the main village of the valley. For those with a lot of energy to spare, there is an option to hike further uphill to some temples.

 

Distance: 10.0km / 6.2 miles

Accommodation: The Manor House, Bemji (or deluxe tent for a group larger than 4 guests)

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner 

DAY 7: PUNAKHA

Leaving Trongsa behind, we head towards the subtropical valleys of Punakha, the ancient Bhutanese capital. We will visit Punakha Dzong, the valley’s imposing fortress, which sits at the confluences of two important rivers in Bhutan – Mo Chhu (the mother river) and Po Chhu (the father river). This was once the seat of the government.

 

Accommodation: Meri Puensum Resort, Punakha

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner 

DAY 8: PARO

Today we'll drive westwards from Punakha to Paro. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the Bhutan National Museum. The museum showcases traditional masks from the religious dances, local traditional art, as well as flora and fauna of the country.You can then relax for the rest of the afternoon, exploring the hotel’s extensive grounds, enjoy the spa or the teahouse.

 

Accommodation: Zhiwa Ling Heritage, Paro (a NatGeo Unique Lodge of the World)

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch and dinner 

DAY 9: PARO

The pilgrimage to Taktsang Monastery is one of the highlights of Bhutan, and rightfully so, because any monastery built into the face of a mountain should be awe inspiring! The uphill hike to the monastery should take approximately 3 to 4 hours, but there is no need to rush! There are different places along the trail where you can stop to catch your breath and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Afternoon in Paro Town for some last-minute souvenir shopping.

 

Accommodation: Zhiwa Ling Heritage, Paro (a NatGeo Unique Lodge of the World)

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner 

DAY 10: DEPART FROM PARO

This is the end of your Bhutanese adventure! If you would like to extend your trip and see more of the country, please let us know.

 

Meals Included: breakfast 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • This is a trail exclusive to Pudu Puda Travel, with insider access to the villages in the Mangde Chhu River Basin with guides who were born here,

  • As part of your glamping experience, we will arrange for a private traditional hot stone bath while on the trek,

  • You will stay at one of National Geographic's Unique Lodges of the World for two nights while in Paro, and

  • At least 10% of our profits are donated to community projects in Bhutan, with a focus on children's education.

MORE INFORMATION

  • Download the complete trip dossier here

  • If you would like to travel on this itinerary as a private expedition, please get in touch with us!

 

FIND OUT MORE

We specialise in curating adventures in the mountains, as well as complementary outdoor activities to ensure you will leave each destination telling a story representative of the destination, its people and their culture. Let us help you plan your next epic journey!