Trek in the mystical Kingdom of Bhutan and help raise funds for the Australian Himalayan Foundation’s women’s education projects.
Offered exclusively to Summit Club members, our trek takes place in the foothills of the Bhutan mountain ranges and is an introductory Himalayan trek that travels through picturesque villages and semi alpine forest underneath snow capped mountains. The main focus of this trip is to visit the Australian Himalayan Foundation projects in Bhutan and to experience the unique culture of Bhutan and its people. Working in partnership with local NGO RENEW, an organisation dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls, AHF has been supporting a Girls’ Scholarship Program in Bhutan for over five years that recognises that investing in the education of girls is fundamental to creating strong, stable families, communities and countries.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Paro – Bhutan|
|DEPARTURE DATES||5 October 2018 – 13 October 2018|
|DURATION||9 days/8 nights|
|PRICES per person|
AU$3,890 twin share rate
AU$550 single rate
|GROUP SIZE||6-16 Guests|
Tashi Delek! Welcome to Bhutan!
On arrival you will be met in the traditional Bhutanese manner with a Tashi Khaddar, and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon visit Ta Dzong, which now houses the National Museum, and Rinpung Dzong. The museum’s extensive collection includes antique Thanka paintings, textiles, weapons and armor and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. In the evening we will hold a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Paro hotel. (L,D)
Hike to Taktshang Monastery, and visit Drukgyel Dzong
After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery otherwise known as the Tiger’s Nest (approx. 4/5 hours walk): It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime.
Afternoon drive to the ruined fortress of Drukgyel Dzong, with views to the sacred peak Chomolhari “the mountain goddess”. In the evening visit Kyichu Lhkahang, one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King, Songsten Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
Overnight hotel (B,L,D)
Transfer from Paro to Thimphu
After breakfast drive to Thimphu, en-route we stop at Chuzom, the confluence of the Thimphu and Paro rivers. Also en-route we visit the Genekha Primary School, an AHF project. Upon arrival in Thimphu we check in to the hotel. In the evening we have the opportunity to participate in a cooking demonstration held at a local restaurant.
Bhutanese food is heavily seasoned with red chilies and can be quite hot. Tasty and fiery ‘Emma Datshi’ made with chilies and local Bhutanese cheese is the national dish of Bhutan.
Overnight hotel (B,L,D)
AHF supports the work of RENEW, a grass roots not for profit organisation established by the Queen Mother of Bhutan. RENEW is dedicated to the development of women and children in Bhutan and supports girls education in remote communities. This morning we meet with the Director of RENEW for morning tea, and we may also have the opportunity to meet the Queen Mother if her busy schedule allows.
Afternoon visit the Textiles Museum and wander through the markets.
Overnight hotel (B,L,D)
Commence Sinchu La trek (trek 4-5 hrs.)
The Sinchu La trek follows an ancient route that connects the Thimphu and Punakha provinces. Our trek begins at Dechenchholing (Kabjesa).
Overnight camp at Balakayba (B,L,D)
Trek Balakayba to Dupshepang via Sinchu La (3180m) (trek 6-7 hrs)
After approximately one hour of ascent we reach the Sinchula Pass (3,180 m), on a clear day, views of Phajoding Monastery and some of the Himalayan ranges can be seen. After an hour or so trek, we reach the village of Thinleygang. The trail then leads on for five to six hours of walking through mixed forests to our overnight camp at an altitude of 2,440m.
Overnight camp (B,L,D)
Trek Dupshepang to Kabji Sirigang (trek approx. 8 hrs.)
The third day of the trek starts with 4-hour descent through dense forests. A small stream must be crossed twice, then we continue for another three to four hours through villages and rice fields to the village of Chorten Nebu, an old temple. The route then descends for two hours to Kabji Sirigang, and the end of the trek, where we are transferred by road to Punakha for a well-earned hot shower.
Overnight hotel Punakha (B,L,D)
In Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong and Sangshhen Nunnery & return to Paro (4hrs).
Following breakfast we take a tour of the Punakha Dzong. Built at the confluence of two rivers. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and the Monastery still serves as the winter residence of the monk body. Later we take a short walk to Chimi Lhakhang. The Chimi Lhakhang is situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children. It is widely believed that couples who experiences difficulties with fertility will usually be blessed with a child very soon after praying here. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.
Afternoon visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang nunnery: Perched on a ridge amid pine trees and overlooking valleys of Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang, gleams the magnificent structures of Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang (Temple). The temple houses a 14-foot main bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig Chagtong Chentong). Other statues include those of Guru Padma Sambawa, Gautama Buddha, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, Tsela Namsum, the 21 Taras and Tsepamay (Buddha of longevity). The Avalokiteshvara statue, one of the biggest in the country, was the handiwork of entirely local Bhutanese artisans. The temple complex also houses a permanent higher learning and meditation centre for nuns where, apart from religious trainings, it provides life skill training such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making and Thangka painting.
Overnight Hotel (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast transfer to the airport for onward arrangements. (B)
Kerryn is the office manager & co-ordinator of the Treks and Challenges for AHF. She has more than sixteen years of travel industry experience, and loves to create great travel adventures for people. Kerryn loves any type of outdoor activities, travelling, talking and playing the ukulele. A mother of three daughters who give her little peace but great joy, views her work with AHF as an extension of her commitment to women and families around the world. Kerryn loves travelling with groups of people and takes great pride in seeing the transition from strangers to friends by the end of a journey, “especially a journey like this one”!
How to Book
To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or firstname.lastname@example.org, then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your AUD 500 per person deposit.
|Deposit required per person:||AU$500 per person|
|Balance due:||75 days prior to departure|
|If booking within 74 days of departure:||Full payment must be made.|
Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.
Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.
|More than 100 days prior to departure||Full loss of deposit per person|
|Between 74 and 31 days prior to departure||75% of tour cost per person|
|On or within 30 days prior to departure||No Refund|
If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the Land Tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.