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We Take Real People To Amazing Places!

Bhutan Druk Path
April 2 – 15, 2012
From Bangkok, Thailand¹




 Overview: Join us on this wonderful adventure to Bhutan. The mountain views are magnificent, however, it is the Bhutanese people that make this truly a once in a lifetime experience. They are determined to preserve not only their land but also its inspiring and dynamic culture.

Our short and moderate trek gives us a chance to experience the scenery of the high Himalaya from a foreground of mountain lakes and deep rhododendron forests. We'll also explore the local culture, museums and monasteries found in villages where our guides and staff were born. We travel through Bhutan as close–knit group. Our small size (limited to eight) gives us an opportunity to experience local culture more intimately. Facilities in Bhutan are good and this will be a comfortable and rewarding adventure.

Leadership: Our Trek Leader is Marin Johannsson. Our Leader is Marin Johannsson. She holds a B.S. in Recreation with a special emphasis in Outdoor Leadership. Marin has taught rock climbing, snow camping, rafting and canoeing. Trained in first aid, she has led many treks for us since 1990. When not on the trail, Marin also is a rafting guide and collects Tibetan Thangka paintings. Marin works closely with our local guide and dedicated staff members (cook, porters and assistants) to make this special trip a complete success. Ask us for references if you would like to talk to people who have traveled with them.

In the event that this trip is undersubscribed with four or less participants, the group will travel in the care of our local, English–speaking, Bhutanese guide.

¹Bhutan Itinerary Note: The itinerary below is based upon arriving to Bhutan via Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok is usually the best–served and least–expensive flight hub for many travelers and is often a preference. The only air carrier into or out of Bhutan is Druk Air, Bhutan's flagship airline. Druk Air is a small carrier with limited availability and offers service from several Asian cities — but operates to each city only certain days each week (except for daily service from Bangkok)! There can be options to fly Druk Air via New Delhi, Calcutta (Kolkata) and Bagdogra, India as well as Dhaka, Bangledesh and Kathmandu, Nepal. Should these alternate hub cities be desired, we can help accommodate you. This will cause you to forego any services mentioned in Bangkok and alter your arrival dates — which may incur different applicable Visas, InTrip Air and Land costs, all depending on the specifics involved. Ask us for any details and we are happy to work with you for the best options on your trip plans.

Druk Path Day-To-Day Itinerary Detail:

Pre Trip Days: Fly from your home country to meet together in Bangkok, Thailand¹. Remember, people in the Americas 'lose' one day when crossing the international date line. Please check your air itinerary carefully to ensure you arrive on time for this trek. Strict government guidelines limit our entry and travel in Bhutan. Note: You must arrive in Bangkok no later than April 2, 2012.¹ If you arrive early or to an alternate city¹, we can arrange a transfer and extra hotel nights for you on request. Strict government guidelines limit our entry and travel in Bhutan.

Day 1: Participants arrive from around the world to join in Bangkok¹.Our local agents will meet you upon arrival outside the Customs Hall at the Bangkok airport once you have completed customs and immigration formalities. You will transfer to your nearby hotel for a restful afternoon or evening and a good night's sleep. Tomorrow, we make an early airport return to depart and begin our adventure in magical Bhutan! With scattered arrival times for everyone, meals not included today.

Day 2: We check in at the Bangkok¹ airport for the early morning Druk Air flight to Bhutan. Your Bhutanese guide will meet you at the airport after our short and spectacular flight. Your Group Leader (if there is one) meets the participants in Paro. An enchanting drive through the beautiful Paro valley awaits us. There is free time to explore along with our guide in his home town! Check in at our lodge, located in the former 19th century residence of the governor of Paro and close to town. This small hotel has comfortable rooms and a traditional stone bath. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3: Additional Paro sightseeing might include a visit north to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong (an impressive monastery fortress). This site was once a strategic post built to repel Tibetan forces invading from the north. It is also the site of the famous Kyichu lhakhang (temple) — one of 108 sacred lhakhangs built by the Buddhist King, Srongtsen Gampo of Tibet. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4: Start Trekking. This exciting day begins simply, with a visit to the small National Museum at Ta Dzong. Soon enough, we begin our amble starting at 8,500 feet as we commence our trekking days by hiking to Jili Dzong at 11,400 feet. We'll walk six miles in four to five hours. If the weather is clear, you can see a panorama of Chomolhari and other majestic, snow–covered peaks in the distance. The isolated fortress has a statue of Shakyamuni (the historical Buddha) and has been recently restored. Our first camp is tonight — friends, tents, stars and peace in the wilderness of Bhutan. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Today we trek from Jili Dzong to Jangchulakha. Our hiking distance today is about six miles. We begin with an hour and half of steep climbing until the trail moderates to an easier slope. Our path carries us through an alpine forest of dwarf rhododendron tress. You may spy yaks and yak herders scattered around our camp site. Total hiking time today is about four hours. We camp at 9,443 feet. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6: Todays trek takes us from Jangchulakha to Jimilangtso. We cover seven miles in about four hours of hiking, leaving us plenty of time to relax or explore later in the day. The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are beautiful. The campsite is close to the Lake Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7: Jimilangtso to Simkota. Todays seven mile hike will take about four hours. Our trail takes us to the lake of Janetso. You again may see yak herder camps — icons of a nomads life in Bhutan. Our campsite is close to Simkota Lake at an altitude of 11,500 feet. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8: Today's four mile trek to Phajoding begins with a gradual climb. If weather permits, you'll have a spectacular view of Mount "Gangkhar Punsum", the highest mountain in Bhutan. You'll also see other Himalayan mountain ranges from Dochula Pass. From here, the trekking descends to Phajoding for the nights rest. Camp at 9,500 feet. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9: Today we'll make a five mile hike to Thimphu in about three hours. The route is down hill through a forested area of mostly Blue Pine. We'll have lunch and dinner in the village, where the wonderful sights and smells will delight us after trekking. Thimphu sightseeing includes the local market, a painting school, a handicraft emporium, or the Folk Heritage Museum. We overnight at our Thimphu hotel — our creature comforts return! End Trekking. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10: Today we will travel from Thimphu to Punakha. Our early morning scenic drive (three hours) follows the mountain route towards the former capital of Bhutan. We cross Dochu La Pass (10,000 feet) to enjoy stunning Himalayan scenery before descending to Punakha. We spend the night at a comfortable resort in Panakha. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11: Today we visit beautiful Punakha Dzong the winter home of the Je Khenpo, the head Abbot. We walk across a 250 meter suspension bridge reach the Dzong, located at the confluence of the Pho-chu and Mo-chu ("Male" and "Female") Rivers. In the afternoon we visit Chhmi Lhakhang, the temple of the "Divine Mad Man," Lama Drukpa Kuenley. The temple was founded by his brother Ngawang Chogyel in the 15th century. It is a one–to–two hour hike to the Khamsum Monastery on the hill north of the valley. Our night is spent in comfort at our Punakha lodge. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12: Punakha to Paro. Today we depart from the Wangdi Valley and continue onward to Wangdiphodrang Dzong, the most picturesque in Bhutan. We make a return drive over Dochu La Pass and stop for lunch in Thimpu. Our group continues our return to Paro (and our awaiting hotel) in about five hours. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13: Paro, Sightseeing. We hike up to the Tiger's Nest, known locally as Taktsang, one of the most spectacular and sacred pilgrimage sites of Tibetan Buddhism. A fine vista is laid before us. Guru Padmasambhava, one of the great founders of Tantric Buddhism, is said to have flown on a tigress to meditate on the cliffs. The tigress being his consort, the divine Yeshe Tsogyel. We return to our hotel in Paro, just in time for a traditional stone bath. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 14: Transfer to the international airport at Paro for a 7:30 a.m. scheduled return flight to Bangkok¹. Due to dynamic airline schedules, we cannot guarantee the Bangkok arrival time today and same–day connections may be unlikely. You can spend tonight in Bangkok at your own expense for your departure home tomorrow. (Breakfast)

Post Trip: Departing Bangkok¹ in the morning, it's a same day return for Americans crossing the international date line. A dreamy day filled with wonderful memories — vignettes of new faces, places and friends you'll never forget!

Important Note: This is meant only as a general guide to the schedule of our days. Changes can be made as we go along, based on local conditions, acclimatization, health and fitness levels, etc. Ascents and descents listed in this itinerary are approximate totals of daily ups and downs. The exact amount will vary considerably and is impossible to measure accurately. The times and elevations given here are rounded off. This is a moderate trek and fully–supported. It should be enjoyable for people who are active and enjoy the outdoors.

Travel Details: If you make your own flight arrangements to the trip meeting point, please note that you must arrive in Bangkok, Thailand¹ by the early evening of April 2, 2012 and depart from the trip in Bangkok¹ no earlier than April 15, 2012. You are welcome to travel early or stay for extra days at the end. Additional days in Bhutan can be arranged upon request and include transportation, accommodation, all meals and an English–speaking guide. Advance notice is necessary.

Please see our Policy section for complete information on our trip cancellation policies. Payment for additional services may be required at the time the service is received. All prices mentioned in this document are in U. S. Dollars ($USD). Please refer to the booking information section of our application form for more information.

¹Bhutan Itinerary Note: The itinerary above and trip costs are based upon arriving to Bhutan via Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok is usually the best–served and least–expensive flight hub for many travelers and is often a preference. The only air carrier into or out of Bhutan is Druk Air, Bhutan's flagship airline. Druk Air is a small carrier with limited availability and offers service from several Asian cities — but operates to each city only certain days each week (except for daily service from Bangkok)! There can be options to fly Druk Air via New Delhi, Calcutta (Kolkata) and Bagdogra, India as well as Dhaka, Bangledesh and Kathmandu, Nepal. Should these alternate hub cities be desired, we can help accommodate you. This will cause you to forego any services mentioned in Bangkok and alter your arrival dates — which may incur different applicable Visas, InTrip Air and Land costs, all depending on the specifics involved. Ask us for any details and we are happy to work with you for the best options on your trip plans.

Here are typical sample fares and days of operation from some alternate cities on Druk Air. This information can be changed by the airline at any time and is provided here for general information and comparison only. Always consult with us before purchasing your ticket to the meeting point so we can ensure current information, availability and to coordinate your connection!


Druk Air Typical Fares and Flight Day Comparisons Between These Cities & Paro:

Hub City

Day Of Operation

Round Trip Fare

New Delhi, India

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

$730USD

Calcutta, India

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

$460USD

Kathmandu, Nepal

Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday

$500USD

Bangkok, Thailand

Daily Operation With One Stop

$880USD

Bangkok, Thailand

Direct Flight Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

$880USD




Druk Path, Bhutan Trek • Administrative Details:

(+) Land Cost (land cost as itinerary has described):

$4840USD

(+) In-Trip Airfare Estimate (air during itinerary program):

+  $900USD

(=) Total Program Cost (Land & In-Trip Air costs combined):

$5740USD

Trip Deposit (submit with application):

$250USD

Single Supplement (optional single accommodation):

$525USD (optional)

Maximum Group Size:

Eight Participants

Other Cost & Need Considerations:

Passport, Visa(s), Physicians Visit, Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance, Travel to/from Bangkok¹, Meals Beyond Above Itinerary, Beverages, Spending/Personal Money.

Trip Activity–Level:

Moderate: Usually involves hiking an average of four to six hours each day — with some trekking time being spent at high altitude. Accommodations consist of evenings spent at tea or guest houses and tent camping along the trail.

Registration Deadline:

February 2, 2012 ($100USD late fee thereafter)

The Bhutan Druk Path Trek Printable Itinerary:

The Bhutan Druk Path Trek (Available Soon)

Trip Application:

Himalayan High Treks Application

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