Destination: Paro, Punakha, Thimphu, Wangdue Phodrang
Duration: 10 days
Max. Elevation: 2,000m
Highest Camp: 1,980m
Best Seasons: April and September to October
The best time for Samtengang Winter Trek might be March to April and October to November, but as the name suggests, it is possible throughout the whole winter. This is a short trek passing through some villages of Punakha valley.
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.
Punakha is 77km from Thimphu and takes about 3 hours. Drive early to Dochula Pass (3150m) for breakfast. On a clear day this pass offers a spectacular views of the eastern Himalayan mountain ranges. Lunch will be served at the hotel. In evening, visit Punakha Dzong (one of the most beautiful Dzongs of Bhutan) located at the confluence of two rivers, the Phochu & Mochu.
(Distance 12km, four hours, 880m ascent, camp altitude 1,980m)
After passing the spectacular Punakha Dzong you cross the footbridge over the Pho Chhu and walk up to Shengana. The bridge to cross is the longest bridge in Bhutan. Climbing gradually through the forest you reach Limukha. Make sure you are carrying enough water as you won’t find any on the way to Limukha.
(Distance 14km, five hours, 430m descent, camp altitude 1,550m). The path leads through rhododendron and oak forests to Chhungsakha. Chungsakha is a small village with about 10 houses. A holy stone and an impressive Cyprus tree are reminders of Drukpa Kuenley, the “divine madman”.
Distance 13km, five hours, 650m ascent, 270m descent, camp altitude 1,830m. You walk downhill till you cross Pe Chhu. Climbing again you will pass the village of Sha on your way to Samtengang. Near the school in Samtengang you will see a small lake and your campsite is right next to it.
(Distance 15km, five to six hours, 730m descent). The trail leads steeply downhill on a treeless slope to the road head at Chhuzomsa.
Early rise and drive to Thimphu. Visit the National Library where ancient texts and manuscripts are preserved; The Indigenious Hospital where traditional medicines are still practiced; Woodcraft and Painting school where traditional art and crafts are still kept alive; Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles are displayed and can be purchased; Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building, the office of the King and Throne room and also the house of the State Monastic Body. Take a leisurely stroll and do some shopping from the local stores. Overnight at hotel.
Drive to Paro early morning. Our representative will bid you farewell at the Airport. Tashi Delek!