Amongst the shortest trek route in Bhutan, Bumdra trek (2 days trek) is the perfect for someone looking to mix it up alongside with their cultural tour or for someone looking to visit Taktsang monastery and extend their trekking for one extra day. The trek starts from Sangchoekor monastery, goes to Bumdra and then to Paro via Taktsang monastery.
This tour can be customized into 4 days and 3 nights, if you do not wish to visit Thimphu due to time constraint.
Places covered : Paro and Thimphu
Number of days : 5 days and 4 nights (2 days & 1 night trekking)
Difficulty grading : Easy
Best Season : February, March, April, May, September, October, November and December (Doable year round)
Departs : Everyday
Nature of Tour : Trekking and cultural sightseeing.
Entry : Paro
Exit : Paro
Base Price : $800
Welcome to Bhutan. Meet your guide and driver at Paro international airport and transfer to Thimphu. At Thimphu visit National Memorial Chorten.
National Memorial Chorten: Located in the heart of Thimphu city, it was built in 1974 by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Phuntsho Choden in memory of her son, Third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The three-storey choeten houses several relics such as Phurba Lhatshog, Kagay, Khrowo Nampur Gyalwa, Guru Tshengye, and Khenlop Chesum. The choeten is today the spiritual nerve centre of the city.
Overnight: At hotel in Thimphu
Today set out for sightseeing around Thimphu valley and towards evening drive back to Paro. At Thimphu we will be visiting following places:
1. Buddha Dordenma Statue: Located at Kuenselphodrang, facing Thimphu valley down bellow is the worlds’ largest and tallest Buddha statue standing at the height of 169 feet (52m). The statue houses one hundred thousand of smaller Buddha statues, the exact replica of the outer Buddha statue. From here one can have a 360ᶿ view of Thimphu valley.
2. Simthokha Dzong: Located around 5 km south of Thimphu town, Simtokha Dzong is the oldest Dzong in Bhutan built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1629, it is believed to have been built over a stone onto which Zhabdrung Rinpoche pinned down a demon and subdued it. The Dzong contains the bed chambers of Zhabdrung and Desi Jigme Namgyal, the father of the first King of Bhutan. Formally known as Sanga Zabdon Phodrang (Palace of the Profound Meaning of Secret Mantras), the Dzong contains many sacred relics.
3. Changangkha Lhakhang: Overlooking the heart of Thimphu city, the temple was built by Nyima in the 12th century at the site chosen by his father, Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, the founder of Drukpa-Kagyud Buddhist tradition in Bhutan, which today is the state religion of Bhutan. The temple houses, among others, a copper statue of Tandin (Hayagriva), Phajo Drugom Zhigpo and his consort Khandro Sonam Pelden. This temple is considered the guardian of all children born in the Thimphu valley.
4. Royal Textile Museum: Located near National library at Chubachu, it was established in the year 2001. The museum contains Bhutanese textiles, arts, crafts and more importantly the royal collections which includes first version of the Raven crown worn by first and second King of Bhutan, dresses and accessories worn by royal family and the bedding of his holiness Zhabdrung Jigme Dorji.
After visiting to the above mentioned places, we will head back towards Paro, our next stop. If time permits pay visit to Paro Rinpung Dzong
Paro Rinpung Dzong: Located on the bank of Pachu River, Paro Dzong, formally known as Rinchen Pung Dzong (shortened to Rinpung Dzong), was built in 1644 under the command of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is one of the most beautiful and historically important dzongs in the country. Today, it houses both district administration and monastic body.
Overnight: At hotel in Paro
After breakfast drive from Paro to Sang Choekor from where your trek begins. We will cover a total distance of 7 km. Our campsite will be below Bumdra Monastery at an altitude of 3500m (11482 feet) above sea level.
Campsite altitude: 3500m
Walking distance: 7 km (2 hours)
Walking distance: 15 km (5 hours)
Today we will trek back down towards Paro via Taktsang Monastery. On the way visit to Taktsang and follow the trail down till Ramthangkha where your driver and car will be waiting for you. We will cover a total distance of 15 km on trekking today.
Taktsang Monastery: Located 900 m above Paro valley on the face of a rocky cliff, about two and a half hours’ trek from the road point, Taktsang is perhaps the most famous monastery in the country. The monastery was named Taktsang after Guru Rinpoche flew there from Kurtoe Singay Dzong (Eastern Bhutan) riding on a tigress to subdue a demon. Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay, the secular head of the country (1680-1694) has begun the construction of the monastery at this site in 1692 and completed it in 1694. The monastery houses many temples that contain sacred statues of eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche, Tshepame Yabyum and Bone relic of Pelgi Singay.
After reaching Paro if you have enough time, then pay visit to Kichu Lhakhang.
Kichu Lhakhang: Located about 10 minutes’ drive from Paro town, the temple is one of the two among 108 temples built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century to subdue a demon that lay supine across Tibet and Bhutan. The temple contains sacred relics dating back to the 7th century like a statue of Lord Buddha and four statues of Chagtong Chentong. It also contains the statues of Guru Nangsi Zilnon, Dolma Kukuli (a manifestation of Tara), Zhabdrung, the bone relic of his Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
Overnight: At hotel in Paro.
Your wonderful journey to Bhutan comes to an end today. After your breakfast, your guide and driver will see you off at Paro International Airport.
When visiting Bhutan, one should be aware of Peak and Lean tourist season. March, April, May, September, October and November is considered as peak tourist season and December, January, February, June, July and August is considered as lean tourist season in Bhutan.
There is a difference in cost to visit Bhutan during peak and lean tourist season. The reason behind this is; all the tourists visiting Bhutan have to pay a minimum mandatory fee (daily tariff) of US dollar 250 per person per night stay in Bhutan during Peak tourist season and $200 during Lean tourist season.
On top of minimum daily tariff, by virtue of smaller group; solo travelers have to bear a surcharge of $40 per night stay in Bhutan and Dual travelers (two) have to bear a surcharges of $30 per person per night stay in Bhutan (both peak and lean tourist season).Surcharges are not applicable if the traveling group consists of 3 or more travelers.
All the tourists visiting Bhutan have to bear a onetime payment of $40 as Bhutan Visa fee on top of mandatory minimum daily tariff and surcharges.
The total tour cost, inclusive of our company’s promotional rates, minimum daily tariff, surcharges and Bhutan visa fees for booking “Bumdra Trek: 5 days & 4 nights” are as follows:
(March, April, May, September, October &November)Single Traveller: USD $ 290 per night stay in Bhutan
(December, January, February, June, July & August)Single Traveller: USD $ 290 per night stay in Bhutan
With the likes of trail that takes you right at the foot of worlds’ tallest unconquered mountain (Gangkar Puensum 7550m), trekking in Bhutan will give you a new experience never like before. With more than 70 percent of the country covered by undisturbed wilderness, trekking in Bhutan will take you ever closer to the nature. These trekking trails once used by famous Buddhist saints like Guru Rinpoche (who introduced Buddhism in Bhutan) in 746 AD while visiting Bhutan from Nepal and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (the unifier of modern Bhutan) in 1616 while fleeing Tibet for a political dispute, this routes are the genuine routes where Bhutanese people still use it today. What makes trekking in Bhutan unique is its calmness and natural feeling; credit to less numbers of trekkers visiting Bhutan and its natural unpaved trails unlike other countries around the world. With more than 20 trekking trials to choose from, Bhutan offers trekking services to both beginners and pros.
No specific trekking permits are required to trek in Bhutan. You can trek in Bhutan with normal tourist visa for international tourist and normal entry permit for regional tourist (Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivians).
The best season to trek in Bhutan depends on which trekking trail you choose to but in general, March, April, May, September, October and November are the best months to trek in Bhutan. In the month of June, July and August Bhutan receives heavy rainfall and in December, January and February, the high mountain passes along the trekking trails are covered with snow, making it difficult for trekkers.The details regarding the best season to trek on different trails in Bhutan are mentioned below:
Trekking in Bhutan can be of 2 days or a month long. Depending on the number of days taken to trek, gain in altitude and nature of terrains, trekking routes in Bhutan can be graded into four categories; easy, moderate, difficult and very difficult.A. Easy
At 10,760 feet above sea level, Bhutan is ranked highest country in the world, in terms of average land elevations. As a result most of its trekking trails are located on higher altitude, averaging over 12,000 feet above sea level, requiring certain level of physical fitness and trekking experience.
However with varieties of trails to choose from, both beginners and pro can enjoy trekking in Bhutan. Be it 2 days or grueling 25 days trekking, Bhutan has it all for you to choose from.
For those who are attempting to go for Snowmen trek (25 days trek), it will be asset if you have certain level of trekking experience and physically fit enough, since snowmen trek is referred to as amongst the world’s most toughest trekking route involving climbs over 5000 m.
Do not ignore any kind of symptoms related to altitude sickness; difficulty in breathing, headache, giddiness and numbness in limbs. If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms, inform your guide immediately.
Though portable oxygen supplies and first aid kits are always carried along with by the crew members but if possible carry some diamox (acetazolamide) pills, which can be bought from pharmacies across Bhutan.
The best tactics, if you suffer from altitude sickness is to stop ascending and if the symptoms do not go away or get worse, then descend down. It is advisable that you drink large amount of water every day while you are trekking.
Meals while trekking in Bhutan are prepared every day by cooking crews and no left over foods are served. Lunch are prepared in the morning along with breakfast and carried as a packed lunch. Dinners are prepared at campsite at the end of every trekking day. Hence chances of getting food contaminated while trekking in Bhutan are very slim.
Bottled water is carried by trekking crew members but however it is not sufficient for longer duration treks and hence the crew member boils water in the morning for you to carry for the day.
It is advisable that you bring your own water bottle and if possible carry some water purifier solutions as well. Refrain yourself from drinking directly from the streams nearby.
No trekking trails in Bhutan will meet you with any kind of criminal activities. In fact if you are in need, everyone you encounter will be very much happy to help you whatever way they can.
Consult with your guide in regards to dos and don’ts and stick together with your group (if trekking on group). Carry essential items such as head torch, portable cell phone chargers and your mobile phone along with you.
With no hotels or home stays along the trekking trails, all the trekkers must spend their nights in the tent (camping). Camping crew member arranges your tents. They travel ahead of you and put everything on place before you reach your campsite.
All the meals are prepared by trekking cooks who will trek alongside you throughout the entire tour. Lunch are prepared in the morning and carried by trekking staffs. Breakfast and dinners are prepared and served at the campsite.
Since there are no grocery stores or shops along the trekking trails, all the food items are bought and carried along by the crew members, their horses and yaks. As and when available, our crew members will try to buy fresh vegetables from local communities and include in your menu.
Since trekking in Bhutan is a guided tour by the law of country, lone trekkers should not worry because he or she will be followed by trekking guide and crew members for the entire trekking tour.
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