Gangtey Trek Tour Plan

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DAY 01

Day 1: Arrive Paro - Thimphu

When you arrive at Paro International Airport, a representative from NAT will greet you, and then you will be escorted to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city. The drive will take 1 hour and 30 minutes and will take you through a river valley, past small villages and traditional farmhouses. It’s a small and charming capital city in the Himalayan foothills. We can have lunch in one of the restaurants when we arrive in Thimphu.

Memorial Chorten: After lunch, visit Memorial Chorten, built in 1974 in the memory of the third late king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. The temple inside gives good examples of tantric Buddhist and its philosophy. 

Kuensel Phodrang: The gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue under construction in the mountains of Thimphu valley. The Buddha Dordenma is sited amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, the palace of Sherab Wangchuk, the thirteenth Druk Desi. It is one of the largest statues in the world, at a height of 169 feet (51.5 meters). 

Motithang mini-zoo: To see the National Animal of Bhutan Takin (Budorcas Taxicolor). The Takin, commonly found in the Motithang mini-zoo, is the National Animal of Bhutan. It is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley. 

Zilukha Nunnery:  The Thangtong Dewachen nunnery was founded in 1976 by Rikey Jadrel and today it houses the sixty nuns engaged in Buddhist study and practices. Evening, stroll around Thimphu city, then visit Tashichho Dzong, seat of the National Government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan).

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DAY 02

Day 2: Thimphu - Punakha

After breakfast, we will drive to Punakha/Wangdue via Dochula Pass (3150m), where you can view the Eastern Himalayan Mountain ranges. The Dochula Pass is adorned with 108 small Chorten and many prayer flags. The road climbs steeply through forests of blue pine, spruce, and rhododendrons up to Dochula; the road descends through lush forests to the fertile valley of Punakha & Wangdue Phodrang. The drive will take around 3 hours.

Lunch will be served on the way to Punakha/Wangi. On reaching Lobesa, visit Chhimi Lhakhang, located on a hilltop. The temple is known as ‘the temple of fertility. Divine madman Lama Drukpa Kunley founded this place in the 15th century. 

Next visit the Punakha Dzong. The winter residence for the Central Monastic Body and head of administrative purposes, this is the best venue for the coronation of our kings in Bhutan.

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DAY 03

Day 3: Punakha - Gangtey

Today, after breakfast, drive to Phobjikha valley over Lawala Pass (3280m). The road will ascend through semi-tropical vegetation and an alpine environment, with rhododendron trees and dark green dwarf bamboo till you reach Lawala pass and descend till you reach Gangtey. The drive will take 2 hours and 30 minutes. On reaching Gangtey, visit Gangtey Goenpa/Monastery. Then, we will hike to Gangtey Nature Trail Hike, Bhutan’s most beautiful and shortest of the existing nature trails.  The hike will take 1 hour and 30 to 50 minutes. Today’s lunch will be at one of the restaurants in Phobjikha valley.

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DAY 04

Day 4: Gangtey - Gogona (Trekking)

Distance 15 km, 6-7 hours, 610 m ascent, 410 m descent, camp altitude 3,130 m. The Trek starts near the village of Tabiting. The trail winds through meadows and fields, and the climb takes you through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia, and rhododendron to Tsele La (3430m). 

From here, you descend into the Juge Kangkha Chhu valley. Further on, the path leads to Gogona, well known for its “Gogona Cheese” production. The campsite is a bit further beside a small stream in a yak pasture called Zasa.

 

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DAY 05

Day 5: Gogona - Khothakha (Trekking)

Distance 16 km, 5-7 hours, 450 m ascent, 860 m descent, camp altitude 3,330 m. A gentle climb leads to Shobe La pass (3,480m). The descent from the pass leads to a wide valley surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges. Below the route, one can see Khothokha, a village with about 60 houses. You finally reach the campsite by climbing until you see four chortens in a forest of blue pine.

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DAY 06

Day 6: Khothakha - Chazam (Trekking)

Distance 12km, 4-5 hours, 120m ascent, 1,340m descent. From the camp, you climb till you reach a forest road. From here, it’s an easy walk up to a little ridge at 2,800m. The walk back into the valley leads you through Bhutan’s best bird-watching areas. Once we reach Tikke Zampa, we will fare well with our crew members, meet with our driver, and then drive to Punakha/Wangdue Phodrang.

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DAY 07

Day 7: Punakha - Paro

After breakfast, we will drive back to Paro. The road ascends to the Dochula Pass (3150m) and descends until Semtokha. Today, the drive will take almost 5 hours, and lunch will be on the way to Paro. On reaching Paro, visit Paro Rinpung Dzong, the center of civil and religious authority in this region and drive to the village of Drukgyel and visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1649 to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invasion.

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DAY 08

Day 8: Paro, Hike to Tiger's Nest

Today after breakfast, we will hike to Paro Taktsang Monastery, the most famous and sacred monastery in Bhutan. Taktshang means “Tiger’s Nest,” named after Guru Rinpoche reportedly flew to this site riding on the back of a flying tigress in the 8th century. 

We have to walk about 2 hours and 30 minutes up steeply from the road. Lunch will be served at the Taktsang cafeteria. While returning, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the two most sacred and oldest temples in Bhutan, built in the 7th century by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Evening at leisure.

 

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DAY 09

Day 9: Departure

After breakfast, we will drive to Paro International Airport for your onward flight. Our guide and driver will bid you farewell here at the airport.

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