Destination: Paro, Thimphu, Wangdue Phodrang
Duration: 9 days
Max. Elevation: 3,480m
Highest Camp: 3,330m
Best Seasons: September to May
Finish: Tikke Zampa
Although the trek is possible throughout the whole winter, the best seasons for the Gangtey Trek are March to May and September to November. It is a short and relatively easy trek with beautiful villages and monasteries en route.
Your flight into Paro will be a befitting introduction to the natural beauty of our country. On a clear day, magnificent views of the world’s highest peak, give way to lush green Paro valley as you land. On arrival, your representative will receive and escort you to your hotel.
A day of acclimatization, visit National Museum (one of the best mesuem of Asia), Rinpung Dzong (fortress of the “heap of jewels”), and Kichu Lhakhan (one of the oldest temple of Bhutan built in 659 AD by a Tibetan King). Drive to Drugyel Dzong (a ruined fortress – 16 Kms. away from Paro Town). Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. On a clear day you can get a view of the Mt. Jhomolhari(Alt 7329m). On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farm house and take a leisurely stroll around the compound. Overnight at hotel.
The drive toThimphu (capitel of Bhutan) takes 2 hours. After lunch, Thimphu sightseeing; Visit Tashichho Dzong (Office of the King and Throne room, main secretariat building of the government ministries, living quarters of the monk body). Visit handicraft emporium, painting and woodcraft school. Visit Memorial Chorten(a huge stupa) built in memory of the late third King of Bhutan. Visit National Library and Simtokha Dzong (oldest Dzong of Bhutan). Simtokha Dzong has the largest monastic schools in the country.
Gangtey is 90 km from Thimphu. Stop for a tea and snacks at Dochula Pass (26km, Alt 3100m) and enjoy the spectacular view of the eastern Himalayan range. Also visit Punakha (60km) the former capitel of Bhutan. The Punakha Dzong stands between two rivers known as Pochu and Mochu which means ” Male River and Female River “. Overnight at hotel.
(Distance 15km, six to seven hours, 610m ascent, 410m descent, camp altitude 3,130m)
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 on besides a small stream in a yak pasture called Zasa.
(Distance 16km,five to seven hours, 450m ascent, 860m descent, camp altitude 3,330m)
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 gently up till you see four chortens in a forest of blue pine.
(Distance 12km, four to five 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 down back into the valley leads you through Bhutan’s best bird watching areas.
After breakfast, walk for about 45 minutes and drive to Paro (75km) via Thimphu. Lunch and shopping in Thimphu and drive on to Paro. Overnight at Hotel.
In morning, your guide will bid you farewell at Paro Airport. Tashi Delek!