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Samtengang Trek

Duration: 9 nights/ 10 days

Day 1: Arrive in Paro by Druk Air

Arrive Paro by Druk air, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. Upon arriving the Paro Valley and after completing visa formalities, you will be met by Gawaling Tours & Treks’ representative at the airport.

In the afternoon, we will visit Ta Dzong (watch tower) which houses the National Museum. After visiting Museum, drive towards the north to see the Drukgyel Dzong, which is in ruins. On clear weather, we will be able to see Mt. Jomolhari from the Drukgyal Dzong and the Tiger’s Nest on our way back to Paro. En-route, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan by the King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century.

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Day 2: Tiger’s Nest hike

Paro is a valley of religion and myth. The most famous landmark, the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), stands on a granite cliff about 800m above the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, a famous Buddhist saint, flew to Paro on a tigress and meditated at Taktsang. The monastery is considered as a national treasure of Bhutan.

The hike to Taktsang would take us around two and half hours. To reach a cafeteria, a point from where one can enjoy a great view of the monastery is more than an hour walk from the road-head uphill. Those interested can walk further 45 minutes uphill to get a closer view of the monastery and return to the cafeteria for lunch. The journey downward to the road-head would take us less than one and half hours.

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Day 3: Paro to Thimphu.

Drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The journey would take us one and half hours. Before reaching Thimphu, we will pass by Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress built in 1629 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (the man who unified Bhutan). The fortress serves as an administrative center, and the center for the monk’s religious activity. The fortress now houses a language school, where scholars study both Dzongkha (the national language) and the English. Upon arrival in Thimphu, visit some of the workshops where young men are trained to continue the handicrafts tradition. Some are busy making masks for the religious dances while others learning the ancient art of thangka (scroll) painting. Overnight stay in a hotel.

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Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha

We drive to Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan over the DochuLa pass in the morning. If the weather is clear, we will be able to see around 200 miles of Himalayan summits bordering northern Bhutan through a binocular donated by the Japanese expedition, which climbed Masagang, on the Tibetan border.

As we descend from the pass, we will notice that the vegetation changes from sub-alpine to sub-tropical. At the lower elevation, we can see banana plants, cactus and other semi-tropical plants and the green terraced rice fields of Punakha. We begin our explorations of Punakha valley with a visit to Punakha Dzong, located between two rivers. It serves as the winter residence for the central monastic body of Thimphu, as the area provides with more comfortable temperatures. The Punakha Dzong contains the body remains of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is considered as one of the holiest of the dzongs in the country. Night halt at hotel.

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Day 5: Punakha to Limukha

Drive to Punakha Dzong. The trek begins with the gradual climb through Chirpine forests. A stop to visit the village of Dompo-la can be organized depending on the group’s choice. Overnight at Campsite.

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Day 6: Limukha to Chungsakha

The trail today takes you through rhododendron and oak forested areas. En route pass the famous Drukpa Kunley Lhakhang- The divine madman’s monastery. Overnight at Campsite.

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Day 7: Chungsakha to Samtengang

The trail now takes you through the village of Sha Wangdue district. Overnight stay at Samtengang lakeside.

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Day 8: Samtengang to Chhuzomsa to Wangdue.

The trail now drops down to the main road. Then drive towards Wangduephodrang for lunch. Next, visit Wangdiphodrang Dzong built in 1638 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal or take a hike to Chimi Lhakhang, the monastery dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley ” Divine Madman” knows for his outrageous behavior. Overnight stay at hotel.

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Day 9: Wangdue to Thimphu to Paro

After breakfast drive to Paro; en-route stop to visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress built in 1629 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (the man who unified Bhutan).On Reaching Paro visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries built in Bhutan by the King of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.

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Day 10: Departure

After breakfast drive to the airport for departure.

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These Minimum Daily rates are inclusive of the following services :

.  All private transfer & transportation during the tour in 4×4 deluxe vehicle.
.  Proficient English speaking guide.
.  Tours & excursions as mentioned in the program.
.  All entrance fees for museums & monuments.
.  Accommodations with full board.
.  Riding ponies & pack animals on treks.
.  Government Royalty, which is US$ 65 per night/person.
.  All our government taxes.

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