Bhutan Samtengang Winter Trek
Bhutan Samtengang Winter Trek
: 10 Days
: 4 Days
: Cultural and Trekking
: April to June & Mid September to Mid Nov
: Paro > Thimphu > Punakha > Wangdiphodrang
: Trekking, Hiking, Visit Farm House, Monastery, Museums, Weekend market, Stroll around the City etc
Bhutan Samtengang Winter Trek is worth Himalayan photo tour and it is short trek passing through some villages of Punakha valley. It is possible throughout the whole winter but the best time is March-April and October-November.
- Visit the impressive Dzong (fortresses), former palaces and Buddhist monasteries!
- Hike through the ridge top Goembas (monasteries) and meet the monks.
- Hike through the terraced farmlands and villages, visit the farmhouses and meet the villagers.
- Attend the local festivals and events.
- Visit the vibrant markets and towns.
- Visit the traditional arts and crafts workshop, meet the artisans, weavers and painters!
- And much more…
- Receive and Transfer to Airport
- Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
- 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
- Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver.
- English Speaking Guide
- All Sightseeing
- Museum Fees
- Bhutan Visa
- All Permits
- Bottled Mineral Water
- Walks and Hikes
What’s is Not Include
- Guide and Driver tip
- International Airfare
- Laundry Charges
- Internet, International calls
- Other Beverages
- Donation when photographing
- Travel Insurance
- Baggage Handlers tip
You’ll follow an itinerary which has been researched and planned by our experts, saving you all the hassle of organizing the trip. The itineraries are designed to minimize the time spent travelling and maximize the variety of experiences. From small buses to riverboats as well as on foot.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- DAY 1: Arrive Paro International Airport by Druk Air-Thimphu
- DAY 2: Thimphu-Punakha
- DAY 3: Punakha-Punakha
- DAY 4: Punakha-Limukha
- DAY 5: Limukha-Chhungsakha
- DAY 6: Chhungsakha-Samtengang
- DAY 7: Samtengang-Chhuzomsa-Punakha
- DAY 8: Punakha-Paro
- DAY 9: Paro-paro
- DAY 10: Paro International Airport See off by your guide.
ARRIVE PARO & DRIVE TO THIMPHUAs you approach Paro, on clear sunny days you can capture a spectacular view of Himalayan peaks. Just before landing, you will have unusual experience with the aircraft as it prepares to land on one of the most difficult airports in the world. On arrival you will be received by our representative who will then drive you to Thimphu, which is about 1.5 hour drive from Paro. Thimphu is at the elevation of 2500 meters / 8200ft.After checking into hotel and lunch visit King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk’s Memorial Chorten, Dupthop Lhakhang ( Monastery for the nuns), National Library, the Painting School where traditional art is kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkhas ( sacred Buddhist religious scrolls), and the Institute of Medicine where traditional medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will visit Lungtenzampa to observe the traditional silver smiths plying at their crafts and the Bhutanese traditional paper factory. Drive back to town and visit the handicraft stores and stroll around the tiny capital city.Overnight at Hotel
Drive to Punakha, the road from Thimphu to Punakha goes northeast and one of the highlights of the journey is at Dochu La Pass (3050m), the highest point between Thimphu and Punakha. From here when the sky is clear, one can enjoy a spectacular and panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks to the north that are above 7000m. The pass has 108 chortens (Stupa), honoring those who laid down their lives while flushing out insurgents from southern Bhutan in December 2003. Chortens are Buddhist reliquaries and memorials to the teachings of the Buddha. Sometimes, stupas carry relics of the Buddha or revered monks. Whether or not there are relics inside, the stupas mark the landscape with reminders of the Buddha’s teachings.We will eat lunch in one of the local restaurants. Before lunch, we will have a short hike to the 15th century temple of Divine Madman. It is about half an hour hike through the fields and farm houses. You will have good chance to take photographs especially the divine painting on the houses.
Overnight at Hotel.
This morning after the breakfast we will visit the Dzong built by Zhabdrung in 1637. The dzong is on a strategic junction at the confluence of Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). The dzong has played a sacred role in the history of Bhutan. It served as the seat of Zhabdrung’s government, and it has received several foreign delegations in 18th and 19th century. The first King was coronated in 1907 and the third King convened the first National Assembly in the dzong. The central monastic body continues to reside here in winter. The embalmed bodies of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Pema Lingpa are on the top floor of the main tower. Following four catastrophic fires, an earthquake and flood, the fourth King restored the dzong after the latest flood in 1994.Next in line after lunch is a short hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten in the northern part of the valley. It is the more elaborate version of the Memorial Chorten in Thimphu. It has an astounding work of frescoes and intricate statues.
Overnight in hotel.
Punakha – Limukha(Distance: 12km, Duration: 4 hours, Ascent: 880m, Camp altitude: 1980m)
After passing the spectacular Punakha Dzong you cross the footbridge over the Pho Chhu and walk up to Shengana. The bridge you will cross is the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan. Climbing gradually through the forest you reach Limukha. Make sure you are carrying enough water as you will not find any on the way to Limukha.
Limukha – Chhungsakha(Distance: 14km, Duration: 5 hours, Descent: 430m, Camp altitude: 1550m)
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”.
Chhungsakha – Samtengang(Distance: 13km, Duration: 5 hours, Ascent: 650m, Descent: 270m, Camp altitude: 1830m)
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.
Samtengang – Chhuzomsa-Punakha.(Distance: 15km, Duration: 5-6 hours, Descent: 730m)
The trail leads steeply downhill on a treeless slope to the road head at Chhuzomsa.
PUNAKHA-PAROAfter Breakfast, we will drive to Paro and stop at Dochula Pass to take photographs and explore the recently built stupas. On clear sunny days, you can view the Bhutan’s 200 mile snow-capped peaks in the north. From Dochula, you will drive down and stop at the oldest Simtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It now houses the institute of traditional studies for lay men and women. We will continue our drive and eat lunch in a local restaurant in Thimphu. After lunch, you will have about an hour to do the last minute shopping before you resume journey to Paro. On your way to Paro you will stop at the Tachogang Temple, built in the 15th century by Thangtong Gyalpo, who also built several iron bridges in Bhutan. We will resume our drive to Paro and check in to Hotel.Overnight at Hotel
PARO (HIKE TO TIGER’S LAIR)After breakfast, your car will drop you at the starting point of the excursion to the spectacular Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The steep trail to the monastery will take you through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. You will love to stop at the cafeteria for refreshment after a steep climb. If not tired, you will hike further until you get a clear view of Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. The history states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger. Lunch will be served at the cafeteria.Overnight at Hotel.
Depart ParoAfter breakfast, drive to the airport for your onward flight. Your escort from Bhutan Creative Tours will bid you farewell. As the aircraft gains height and proceed, you will see the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappear behind its guardian mountains
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What is the best time to visit Bhutan?
In Bhutan every season has its own charm; as such the country has variety of doings to the tourist according to their interest. But the most visited months are usually March, April and May during which the country is at its best scenery as the spring just hits off and of course in the later months of the year like August, September, October and November. These are the peak seasons as the weather during these time of the years are pleasant and warm and not to forget the festival months. However, Bhutan Creative Tours is focusing to spread out visitation over the year because, come rain or shine, there is something for all parts of the year. The winters are cold, but we have winter treks and festivals in the southern parts of Bhutan,which has warm weather through out the year. A winter in Bhutan is characterized by clear blue skies, but you need your jackets with you.
Do I need a Visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a Visa for Bhutan?
All visitors traveling to Bhutan are required to obtain a Visa prior to your arrival to Bhutan, except for Indian nationals holding a valid Indian passport. After your confirmation to visit Bhutan with us, you can just download and fill out the Visa Application form from our website and send it to us. We’ll have the visa confirmation letter processed within 7 working days and send it to you. The Visa Application System used by the national tourism office is designed by our CEO when he was working as the Chief Researcher for the Tourism Council of Bhutan. This makes it very easy for us to leverage visa processing even during the final minutes before your arrival to Bhutan.
What Documents will I require at the Airport when I come to Bhutan?
You will need your Passport which has 6 months validity for its expiry date, Druk Air e-ticket, whether you booked it through us or the Druk air’s website and your Visa confirmation letter which we will send you prior to your arrival in the country. And please to carry a copy of your tour itinerary as well.