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Phubjikha – Rubesa Cultural Trek

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Day 1

Arrive to Paro

The flight to Paro is breathtaking views of the Great Himalayas. As you enter Paro valley you will see the silvery Pa Chhu (Paro river) meandering down the valley, the Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watch tower). On arrival at Paro airport you will be welcome by the Local Travel Agency representative and check-in   the hotel. After lunch visit Paro Dzong built in 17th century and if time permits visit Ta Dzong built in the same time, both these monuments were built to defend the valley from Tibetan invaders. Leisure time in the evening, overnight at the hotel

Day 2

 Hike to Taktshang (tiger nest) monastery.

Earlier the better for this hike. Tiger nest hike is almost a day hike which takes around 5 hours for the round trip.  The hike offers spectacular views of the sacred monastery perched on a cliff face 900m above the valley. Taktshang is the most sacred site founded by an Indian saint called Guru Rimpoche, which means ‘precious teacher’ in the 8th century. He was the one who spread Buddhism widely in Bhutan. It is must for the Himalayan world to visit once in their lifetime.  In the evening visit Drugyal Dzong built to commemorate the victory of Bhutanese army over Tibetan invaders. In a clear day there’s a good view of Jhomolhari (7314m) the second highest mountain of Bhutan. Later visit Kyichu Lhakhang (temple) one of the oldest temples in Bhutan built in 7th century by Tibetan Buddhist King Tsongtsen Gampo. Over night at the hotel in Paro.

Day 3

Paro to Thimphu 1 hour 20mins drive

Drive to Thimphu, visit General Post Office for beautiful stamps ,Textile Museum which housed a good collections of old textiles presented by the Royal Family other noble families in Bhutan, Institute of arts and crafts with a  fine Bhutanese arts and crafts tradition preserved by the young artisans, National Library housed the old collection of Buddhist scriptures and the biggest book in the world. After lunch visit National Memorial Stupa built in memory of Third King the father of modern Bhutan, and after office hours in the evening visit a massive Tashichhodzong which housed the King’s throne room. It is a summer residence for the Central Monk Body.

Day 4

Thimphu to Punakha/Wangdue   2 ½ hours drive

Drive to Punakha over Dochula pass (3100m). From the pass one can see the panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas and enticing view. Hike to Devine Mad Monk temple founded by him in 15th century takes around half an hour one way. A childless women visit this temple to pray for child, and some family bring their child to take refuge for the well being of their child after the birth. After lunch visit Punakha Dzong the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan located in the middle of two rivers known as Pho Chhu (Male River) and Mo Chhu (Female River) It is the winter residence for the Central Monk Body. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5

Punakha/Wangdue to Phobjikha Valley   2 ½  hours drive

Drive to Phobjikha valley over Lawala pass (3350m). Phobjikha valley is a bowl-shape glacial valley on the western slopes of the Black Mountains. It is a winter roosting place for the endanger species of bird called Black-Necked Crane. There are two groups of inhabitant in this valley, the Phobjibs are the native people and the other group are people from the lower valley of Wangdue migrating to Phobjikha valley with their cattle in the summer time. The people in Phobjikha cultivate wheat, barley, buckwheat, potatoes, radish and turnips. Potatoes are their main cash crop, which they export to India. Visit Gangtey monastery founded in early 17th century by Gyalse Pema Thinley, the grandson and reincarnation of Nyingmapa Saint Pema Lingpa, and visit Crane Information Centre. Leisure time in the evening. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6

Trek Starts, Phobjikha to Zasa   7-8 hours

The trek starts near the village of Tabiting, the trail climbs uphill beside a stream through a sparse forest of blue pine to a large meadow of scrub bamboo. The climb becomes steeper as it switchbacks up a ridge to a few prayer flags. It’s then gentle ascent through pines and rhododendrons to Tsele La pass at 3430m. Then the trail leads to Zasa through conifers and rhododendron forests. Overnight at camp.

Day 7

Zasa to Khotakha   6-7 hours

The trail climbs into the forest of fir, oak, spruce, dwarf rhododendron, cypress and juniper, and then the trail ascends to Shobe La pass at 3480m. The trail leads through similar vegetation to a clearing area for lunch stop. Futhers the trail descends join a rough forest logging road, eventually arriving at Dolangdo an isolated sawmill and few wooden houses, and gradually it enter into Khotakha valley at 2600m.The people of Khotakha are from the warmer valley of Wangdue, they migrate to Khotakha in summer time with their cattles. They cultivate potatoes beside other crops. Overnight at camp.

Day 8,     6-7 hours

This is the final day of your trek and it’s rewarding. The trail past through the settlements of Goensa and ascends for 1 ½ hours to MoLey La pass at 3200m. Once you descend from the pass you will have a stunning view of the Punatsang Chhu valley, passing through the bamboo and semi-tropical forest of rhododendron, oak and chestnuts. Camp at Nalakha (Rubesa).


Day 9

Short drive to Nyzergang Monastery for Nyzer Dromchoe (Festival). Nyzergang monastery was founded by a renounce Buddhist scholar known as Tertoen Wogpa Lingpa and it’s a winter residence of every Nyzer Trulku (reincarnation of Nyzer Trulku Lineage). Enjoy picnic lunch near by the festival area. In the evening drive to Thimphu for 2 ½ hours. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10

Today the day is more relaxed. Start your day with a drive to view point of Thimphu city and visit Government Handicraft Emporium stocked with the finest Bhutanese arts and crafts mostly from rural communities, traditional handmade paper factory, weaving centre. Lunch at Bhutan Kitchen where typical Bhutanese dished is served. After lunch drive to Paro, in the evening, leisure time in Paro town.

Day 11

Drive to Paro Airport for depature. Your journey in the kingdom of sky ends here.