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adventure travel trip to Bhutan
You will see many monasteries nestled into the mountainside.
  • Nov 1-12, 2014
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 12 days
    Group Size 2-12
    Land Cost $3,950 Details
    Single Supplement $350
    Lodging 1 star-2 stars
    Grade II
    Best Time

    Black Mountain Trek

    Spectacular scenery, ancient trails and visits in our guides' villages

    Day 1      Arrive in Paro, Bhutan

    Fly to Paro from Bangkok, Delhi, Singapore, or Kathmandu (arrival dates and times into Paro may vary according to city of origin). This is a spectacular flight with beautiful views of the Himalayan range, including Mt. Chomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake inside Bhutan. The elevation in Paro is at 7,780’. Check into your local hotel and perhaps take a stroll through the town before dinner.

    Meals: Dinner
    Lodging: Bhutanese style hotel

    Secure a window seat on Druk Air for dramatic views
    Day 2      Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery/Wangdue

    After an early breakfast, drive to Satsam Chorten where you’ll hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery as a warm-up walk for your trek. This is perhaps the most scenic monastery in all of the Himalayas. Look for silver langurs in the forest below the monastery. After lunch, drive to Wangdue (approx. 3 hours). En route, enjoy beautiful views of the Himalayan ranges from Dochu Pass, weather permitting of course.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Bhutanese style hotel

    Make the hike up to Tatksang Monastery
    Day 3      Wangdue/Trongsa

    The drive from Wangdue to Trongsa takes about six hours. En route, visit Chendenbji Chorten. You’ll have spectacular views of Trongsa Dzong and Jo Dungshing from your hotel. Trongsa was once the seat of power and Jo Dungshing is a sacred mountain for some people of Shemgang and the Monpas. Deep in the heart of Bhutan, you can feel the sanctity of the place and the grasp of ancient traditions still in place.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Bhutanese style hotel

    Soak up amazing vistas on your hike
    Day 4      Trek Begins, Riotala to Nimshong

    Drive via Shemgang to Riotala. At this point you have arrived at a place in Bhutan where few foreigners have traveled and about which very little is written. Numerous waterfalls are visible from the road. Here, you begin the trek to Nabji-Korphu. From the motor road, descend very steeply along a dusty trail for about 1,000' to the Mangdichu River. You then climb up for about 2,000' to Nimshong, which is at an elevation of 3,800’ and is a small farming village with about 58 households. This is probably the hardest hiking of the trip. Keep an eye out for the golden langur, which is endemic to Bhutan. This is also a location to look for the threatened rufous-necked hornbill. During the winter, you can see carpets of yellow flowers all around the village, surrounding the community school. Nimshong is within the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park. In the evening, the local community members may perform a cultural program as this is the customary way of entertaining visitors. Overnight in a tented camp. Enjoy your first of many delicious camp dinners alfresco or in the dining tent.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Relax at your campsite
    Day 5      Trekking to Nabji

    Today’s trek to Nabji will take about eight hours. The walk is very pleasant along lush green forest and there are no steep climbs or drops. There is no human settlement until you reach the village of Nabji. This is also the habitat for leopard, himalayan bear, golden langur, sambar deer, and most notably, horn bills, pheasants, sunbirds, and many other species of birds. There are several plants of ethnobotanical interest that are used as vegetables and medicine by the local people. As you enter the village of Nabji, you are greeted by the villagers with tea and arak, the local brew. The village is located on an alluvial flood plain. Rice is the main agricultural crop, and the landscape should be beautiful if you arrive just before the harvest of paddy.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Nabji's landscape is captivating
    Day 6      Nabji/Korphu

    There are many interesting places to visit while in Nabji. You can start with a visit to the local community school and/or the Park Ranger Office. You will learn about conservation programs within Nabji and Korphu and the park ranger may join you for a meal. Visit the Nabji Lakhang, an ancient temple. The name Nabji derives from the word “Ngaa” or oath that was taken by the two warring kings in the presence of Guru Rimpoche to stop fighting. The caretaker of the Lakhang will explain the legend. After lunch you start for Korphu village, perched on a small plateau above Nabji. The name of the village derives from the word “Gorphu” which in Khengkha means “slanted rock”. There is a community in Lakhang that you will be permitted to enter. The village has a unique setting resembling a scene from a wild west movie. The view of Nabji from Korphu is spectacular, with scallops of paddy fields stacking along the river valley. There is excellent birding in this area. Camp overnight, with possible villagers welcoming you with dance.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Admire the curves of terraced crops
    Day 7      Trekking to Kudra

    Today you will enter the world of the Monpa people. It is believed that there are only 42 households consisting of just over 250 Monpas left in the region. The Monpa have a distinct culture, tradition, and language. This seven-hour walk from Nabji to Kudra is all within pristine forest, and you should be alert for bird and wildlife sightings. The tropical vegetation around you feels like a different world. As you enter the village of Kudra, you see several "Nges" of the great Guru Rimpoche, who supposedly spent one night in this place, and who is believed to have created the trail you walk in the 8th century. Local people may perform a cultural program for you this evening.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Meet the Monpa people (photo by Ahinsajain)
    Day 8      Trekking to Phumzor

    Enjoy an easy walk of about four hours. There is little human evidence en route, and you can hear the calls of rufus-necked hornbills and barking deer calling their mates. The view of the Mangdichu River along the narrow gorge is breathtaking. Your campsite at a monastery offers a spectacular view.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Camp at a monastery with great views
    Day 9      Phumzor/Shangbi

    After visiting the Guru “Nge” at Phumzor, you start for Shangbi. The descent from Phumzor to Shangbi is quite steep as you walk down through lush green forests. Halfway down the path, you can see Guru Rimpoche's phurba (ceremonial dagger) embedded into a rock, meant to subdue evil. As you approach Shangbi, climb up among Chir pine forests and through fields of lemon grass. Here, pass by is a community school, an orchid garden, and a camping site. This is the last Monpa village on this route.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Share the day's stories around the fire on your last night of camping
    Day 10      Trek Ends/Drive to Punakha

    Today is the easiest walk on the route as your trek sadly comes to an end. It takes about three hours to reach the road head passing through chir pine forests. You may be greeted by a troop of golden langurs and pairs of hornbills. Your drive to Trongsa will take just two hours, arriving in time for a hot lunch. After lunch, continue driving to Punakha, the ancient capital of Bhutan. Or, drive to the Phobjika Valley to witness the Black-necked Crane Festival if traveling in November (additional costs).

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Bhutanese style hotel

    Keep an eye out for primates as your trek ends
    Day 11      Punakha/Thimpu/Paro

    Enjoy the morning sightseeing in and around Punakha including visits to the Punakha Dzong, Khamsum Yosercholing Monastery, and Chimi Lakhang. After lunch, drive to Thimphu (3 hours) and then onto Paro (another 1 1/2 hours). Overnight in Paro at local hotel.

    **There is much to see in Thimphu which first-time visitors will want to experience. To enjoy a thorough visit to Paro and Thimphu, select the optional Thimphu-Paro Cultural Extension**

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Bhutanese style hotel

    Punakha Monastery
    Day 12      Paro/Onward

    After an early breakfast, transfer to the Paro Airport for your onward flight.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: None

    Bid farewell to this enchanting land

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