BHUTAN… also known as DRUKYUL or “Land of the Drukpa’s” is perhaps one of the least traveled to places in the world but in recent years becoming one of the must travel to destinations. Maintaining it’s tourism policy of “low volume, high value” and a King’s concept of “Gross National Happiness”, this little land-locked country that’s sandwiched between India in the south, east and west and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China in the north, offers to the world a “Shangri-la” that has it’s environment intact (boasting a 62% forest coverage),a peaceful and fun loving people that has protected it’s ethnic culture & heritage and can lay claim to being perhaps the last remaining Buddhist Kingdom in the world.
What more can be said about this Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom that hasn’t already been said? It’s now time to come see for yourself as to what’s so special about this country and to come face to face with the beauty and splendor of the Hidden Kingdom.. BHUTAN.. As whitewater paddlers, we will share a unique view of this wonderful country, one rarely seen even by the Bhutanese. Join us in further challenging journeys in the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” let us guide you and offer you a trip of a lifetime.
Day 01 : Fly from Bangkok to Paro. Flying into Paro; Bhutan is a whole different experience altogether. The flight offers view of the majestic eastern Himalayas and the arrival into a solitary runway at the country’s only airport is a mind-boggling event with the landscape and weather conditions dictating a steep descent into a narrow valley. The flight normally arrives by about 10 AM local time. Upon arrival and clearance of immigration and custom formalities, your local guide will take you over to Thimphu; the capital of Bhutan. It’s a 1 hour drive from the airport. After check in at the local hotel in Thimphu, lunch and some sightseeing of Thimphu is the order of the day. Dinner at a local restaurant and a good nights rest for the activities to come in the days to follow.
Day 02 : A reasonably early morning to do a little more sightseeing of Thimphu before the drive over to Punakha. The drive takes us over the Dochu La Pass ( 10000 ft) where weather permitting one gets a picturesque view of the Eastern Himalayas. After lunch at the Dochu La Cafeteria the drive descends down towards the valley’s of Punakha and Wangdue. Enroute, we do a short 15 minute hike to The Chhimi Lhakang popularly know as the “Temple of the Divine Madman”. After the hike a short drive to our base camp for the next couple of days. Night at camp
Day 03 : The taste of Bhutanese whitewater begins today. After a fairly early breakfast we head up the Mo Chhu valley to a point referred to as “Sonam’s Put-in”. Rafting the Mo Chhu is loads of class III/IV excitement . Take out is at the Khamsum Yulley Bridge. After a late lunch a visit to the Punakha Dzong is a must. The Punakha Dzong is a fortress built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637-38 and is the winter abode of the Je Khenpo (the religious head of Bhutan) and the central monastic body of Bhutan. It is perhaps one of Bhutan’s most attractive landmarks ad has survived 6 fires, 2 glacial lake outbursts, and 1 massive earthquake. It is located at the confluence of the Mo Chhu (The Female River) and The Pho Chhu (The Male River). In 1907, the Punakha Dzong was the site of the coronation of Sir Ugen Wangchuck as the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan and on October 31st 2008 the coronation of His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck as the 5th King of Bhutan was also held there. Night at Base Camp
Day 04 : After breakfast a short drive and then a short hike to the put in of the of the Upper Pho Chhu. This stretch of river is class III/IV with emerald green water fed from the glacial lakes at the source of the Pho Chhu. We can end the rafting at Samdenkha or carry on down a class II stretch to finish off at the confluence of the Mo Chhu and the Pho Chhu just past the Punkha Dzong… a perfect photo opportunity. From the take out we drive to a local lodge for a nice shower and rest before we head out towards central Bhutan. Night at local lodge
Day 05 : After an early breakfast drive past some of the most impressive Class VI big water in the world for about 2 ½ hr drive to the put-in of the Puna Tsang Chhu at the Waklaytar Bridge. Raft the Grand Canyon style class III/IV section of the Puna Tsang Chhu river. Night at camp at the take out.
Day 06 : The option here is to re-run the Puna Tsang Chhu and then drive to Thimphu or after a casual breakfast drive straight back to Paro…. Night will be at a hotel in Thimphu or Paro depending on what option you opt for.
Day 07 : Sightseeing of Paro Valley. Hike to Taktsang aka “Tiger’s Lair”. Taktsang is perched on the face of a cliff 3000 ft high and overlooks the Paro valley. Mythology has it that this was where Guru Rimpoche landed when he first arrived in Bhutan on the back of one of his consorts in the guise of a flying tigress in the 8th century. It was here that he meditated and subdued the demons and introduce Buddhism to Bhutan. The hike up take about 45 minutes to the view point and another 40 minutes to the monastery itself. Once can either hike all the way to the top or just sit back and take in the view from the view point. A farewell dinner in the hotel in the evening. Night at hotel in Paro
Day 08 : Morning departure for Bangkok… advise clients not to have an immediate connection flight home… sometime’s flights do get delayed… a night in Bangkok.. a good spa before heading on home and back to the hustle and bustle is always good.
Costing for 8 to 12 pax for Nov 2016
US $ 3965 per client based on twin/double room occupancy and flights KTM-PBH-KTM ( Economy)
Single Supplement for those requesting single rooms : US $ 450
For different flight sector
Accommodation in Bhutan in standard hotels/lodges/camps on a twin/double occupancy basis
Meals ( B,L & D)
Transportation in mini vans or buses depending on group size
Bike rentals for biking in and around the Punakha valley.
Trek: guide, sleeping tents, pads, trek crew, porters/pack ponies, Clients are advised to bring their own sleeping bags. If required we can provide it from here.
Rafting: Gear for rafting (wetsuits, PFD’s, splash jackets), guides and safety boaters
Cultural site visits to monasteries, museums etc.
Cultural show including mask dances if trip does not coincide with a local festival
Cost does not include :
Flights, any personal expenses like bar bills for alcohol and sodas, tips and gratuities, personal phone calls