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/Bhutan Druk Path
Bhutan Druk Path 2018-01-11T18:05:16+00:00

Project Description

DRUK PATH TREK, BHUTAN

DRUK PATH TREK, BHUTAN

Excellent 5 day trek between Paro and Thimphu

Highlights

  • Excellent 5 day trek high above Paro and Thimphu
  • Tour western Bhutan, including Thimphu
  • Experience Bhutan’s unique culture
  • Fly straight past Mt Everest from Kathmandu

This 12 day trip combines the beautiful 5-day Druk Path trek with touring Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. It can be extended.

Having arrived and explored some of Paro, you depart on trek the following morning. The trek climbs above 3000m straight away affording wonderful views of Paro as it follows a ridge before dropping down to some remote mountain lakes. You will see isolated Monasteries, classic vertical fluttering prayer flags, roaming yak and blue sheep and traditional mountain burial sites. This horseshoe shaped route brings you high above Thimphu before you descend.

Thimphu is an excellent place to spend relaxing post trek and just exploring the town and markets at a leisurely pace; so much to see (huge Dzong, Library, numerous craft shops and the Takin Reserve (Bhutan’s National animal). Allowing the vehicle to take the strain, we visit Punakha and Wangdue (very lush valley) before returning over the Doche La Pass (3000m) and back towards Paro to visit the iconic Tigers Nest.

Bhutan is reputed to be the last traditional Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom and there can be fewer ways of exploring this unique country than combining a short trek with some sightseeing.

At A Glance   

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £2965
Land Only, from £1690
Trip Duration 12 Days UK - UK
Trek Length 5 Days
Max Altitude 4235m
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, Tents
All meals in Bhutan, b'fasts hotels in Kathmandu

Excellent 5 day trek between Paro and Thimphu

This 12 day trip combines the beautiful 5-day Druk Path trek with touring Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. It can be extended.

Highlights

  • Druk Path – excellent 5 day trek high above Paro and Thimphu
  • Tour western Bhutan, including Thimphu
  • Experience Bhutan’s unique culture
  • Fly straight past Mt Everest from Kathmandu

Having arrived in Bhutan, the Druk Path trek begins the next day and follows a horseshoe shaped route all the way to Thimphu. The views are superb and you will see isolated Monasteries, classic vertical fluttering prayer flags, roaming yak, blue sheep and traditional mountain burial sites.

On reaching Thimphu, we explore the capital as well as the lush valley of Punakha as the vehicle takes the strain!  You return to Paro and of course the iconic Tigers Nest.

Bhutan is reputed to be the last traditional Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom and there can be fewer ways of exploring this unique country than combining a short trek with some sightseeing.

At A Glance

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £2965
Land Only, from £1690
Trip Duration 12 Days UK - UK
Trek Length 5 Days
Max Altitude 4235m
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, Tents
All meals in Bhutan, b'fasts hotels in Kathmandu

Fly Next To Everest!

All Meals In Bhutan

FREE 90l holdall

Hotels/Camping

ATOL Protected

Trip Information

Trip Information

This itinerary uses Kathmandu as the access point into Paro, Bhutan. It is possible to adjust this, OR you can choose Land Only.
For Land Only, we meet you on arrival at the airport in Bhutan; you organise your own flights.

Day 1 – Depart UK, fly to Kathmandu

Day 2 – Arrive Kathmandu (Nepal), Transfer to hotel

Day 3 – Fly Kathmandu to Paro, transfer to hotel

Days 4 – Begin Trekking – Paro – Jili Dzong (3500m)

Day 5 – Jili Dzong – Rabana (3890m)

Day 6 – Rabana – Jimilang Tsho (3900m)

Day 7 – Jimilang Tsho – Phadjoding (3600m)

Day 8 – Phadjoding – Motithang – Thimphu

Day 9 – Thimphu – Punakha

Day 10 – Thimphu – Paro (Tigers Nest)

Day 11 – Fly Paro to Kathmandu

Day 12 – Depart Kathmandu for London

Note – B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner

This itinerary uses Kathmandu as the access point into Paro, Bhutan. It is possible to adjust this, OR you can choose Land Only.
For Land Only, we meet you on arrival at the airport in Bhutan; you organise your own flights.

Day 1 – Depart UK, fly to Kathmandu

Day 2 – Arrive Kathmandu (Nepal), Transfer to hotel
On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay at the comfortable Manang Hotel (3*).

Day 3 – Fly Kathmandu to Paro, transfer to hotel
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Paro, Bhutan. This amazing 1 hr flight goes straight past Mt Everest (sit on the left hand side of the aircraft).
Your Guide and driver will meet you on arrival and will escort you throughout your time in Bhutan.Transfer to your hotel in Paro and potentially sightsee Paro, which will include the imposing Rinpung Dzong, a huge Monastery that overlooks Paro and is typical of Bhutan.
Your Guide will brief you on the coming days. Overnight Paro, BLD

Days 4 – Begin Trekking – Paro – Jili Dzong (3500m)
The start of the trek is conveniently located by the National Museum in Paro itself.
A great first day slowly ascending up through the Juniper forest to reach the wonderfully isolated 15th century Jili Dzong Monastery (held down by steel cables due to the wind!). Monks do live here. It is a 1000m climb but doesn’t feel like it. Continue on to a more shltered campsite.
About 5 hrs, BLD

Day 5 – Jili Dzong – Rabana (3890m)
A shortish day along a delightful ridge. There is plenty of time to visit the Monastery before you head off for the day and also for lunch en route with good views over Paro. The campsite is great in spring as it is surrounded by blooming rhododendrons.
About 4hrs. BLD

Day 6 – Rabana – Jimilang Tsho (3900m)
More excellent views today as you clear 4000m for the first time (over a ridge). Good views of the lakes too as you descend towards them through the rhododendrons.
About 4 hrs. BLD

Day 7 – Jimilang Tsho – Phadjoding (3600m)
A much longer day, passing some more mountain lakes and also some high Passes to cross, notably the Labana La (4235m) with some ‘sky burial’ sites close by. Ask your Guide about these.
Towards the end of the day, Thimphu will come into sight. There are also some meditation centres built into all sorts of places!
A vey rewarding day; about 8hrs, BLD

Day 8 – Phadjoding – Motithang – Thimphu
This final descent will take about 2 – 3 hrs depending on your knees!
There are some great views of Thimphu as you descend through varying terrain from open morland, to Bamboo to forest.
Your vehicle will be waiting for you and it is here that you say goodbye to your trek crew (less your Guide). You will be whisked away to your hotel in Thimphu although maybe via the Radio Tower or Takin Reserve (national animal). Depending on how you feel, you can use the rest of the day to explore Thimphu.
2 – 3 hrs, overnight Thimphu. BLD

Day 9 – Thimphu – Punakha
It’s time for the wheels to take the strain! This is a nice drive over the Doche La (3000m) and down into the warmer Punahka Valley. The Dzong is very impressive. You will have time to see Wangdue too, just 30 mins away.
Overnight Punahka or Wangdue, BLD

Day 10 – Thimphu – Paro (Tigers Nest)
Finish off anything in Thimphu this morning but be sure to be in Paro for lunch to enable you to get up to the Tigers Nest in the afternoon. It is a stiff 90min – 2 hrs ascent to the Monastery but well worth it.
If you have any time left, use it to explore any parts of Paro that you missed on your way in. Overnight Paro, BLD

Day 11 – Fly Paro to Kathmandu
Your Guide and driver will escort you to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel for your overnight stay. It is possible to fly to London this evening but please read the warning box (bottom left). B

Day 12 – Depart Kathmandu for London
A morning flight, arriving London same day. B

Note – B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner

Dates & Prices

Dates With Flights Without Flights
16 - 28 Apr 2018 £2995 £1690
30 Apr - 12 May 2018 £2995 £1690
15 - 27 Oct 2018 £2995 £1690

Deposit – £250
Group Size – 1 – 12 (see below).

Sole Occupation – see tab below.

The above prices are the based on the relevant travel months and an overall min group size of 3. If the overall group size is less than 3, the price will be adjusted; ask for a quote.

Low Season months: Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec
High Season months: Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct, Nov

What the Price Includes

  • International flights London to Bhutan, via Kathmandu
  • 2 x overnight hotel stays in Kathmandu (twin share, B&B basis), including airport transfers
  • Guide, dedicated vehicle and driver in Bhutan
  • All hotel accommodation in Bhutan
  • All meals in Bhutan
  • All camping services: sleeping tents, sleeping mats, kitchen, dining tent, toilet tent, ponies to carry supplies (own sleeping bag required)
  • All entrance fees to local sights, Monasteries
  • Tourist visa for Bhutan

What the Price Does Not Include

  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese visa
  • Tips for Guide and driver
  • Personal spending

What the Price Includes

  • Guide, dedicated vehicle and driver in Bhutan, from airport collection to return
  • All hotel accommodation in Bhutan
  • All meals in Bhutan
  • All camping services: sleeping tents, sleeping mats, kitchen, dining tent, toilet tent, ponies to carry supplies (own sleeping bag required)
  • All entrance fees to local sights and Monasteries
  • Tourist visa for Bhutan

What the Price Does Not Include

  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese visa
  • Tips for Guide and driver
  • Personal spending

The sole occupation charge is only payable if you request the service. If requested – £140.

The fee covers sole occupation for:
2 hotel nights in Kathmandu
4 nights hotel in Bhutan
Tent whilst camping on trek

If you a lone traveller, you will be not be charged any form of ‘single supplement’ by default but placed into a twin room (same sex). If there happens to be an odd one out, someone gets sole occupation at no cost.

If the above group dates do not suit, you can request alternative dates to suit you. Read more>>

brochure
book
key information

It’s All In The Detail

Passport – Must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you enter Bhutan. Information source is the FCO Travel Advice Bhutan.

Visa – A tourist visa is required for Bhutan and it is the Tour Operator (us) that is responsible for doing it. It is included as part of the trip. Our confirmation to you will explain the process further but in short, we apply for it and we will provide you with it when the time comes.

Flight Tickets – paper tickets are rare these days; all e-tickets. All you need to check in is your passport and PNR Reference No (which we provide you with). From that your boarding passes are provided. We either provide your boarding passes (by email) or you check in on line yourself (or at the airport).

Travel Insurance – Mandatory on our trips. We will ask for proof of cover. We do not sell travel insurance. Go to our Information webpage for our unbias advice and tips.

You will be walking between 5 – 7 hours per day. Distances in mountainous terrain is measured in hours, not distance.

The first day on the Druk Path is the most difficult as it is almost all ascending from Paro (approx 2200m) to get up onto the ridge (just over 3000m). Once up there, any ascents are not big. There is a big descent on the final day.

The max altitude is just over 4000m. It is therefore low enough to stay under the serious altitude level when problems may begin to surface. You need a reasonable level of fitness to complete this trek comfortably.

Temperatures during the day (sun up) will vary between 15°C and 25°C. As soon as the sun drops, the temperatures will fall and the night temperatures will drop to below zero most of the time. You need a sleeping bag that will take you comfortably down to -5°C – -10°C.

After booking, you will be asked to complete an Emergency Details Form which will include your medical history. If we have any doubts about your ability to take part in the challenge, we may ask you to provide a letter of fitness from your GP, therefore we would recommend that if you have any concerns, you speak to your GP prior to booking.

In the UK, if you can walk for 5 – 6 hrs per day, on consecutive days, over undulating terrain (with normal rest stops), carrying a daysack weighing approx 6kg, then you should be perfectly capable of completing this trek.

High Altitude Trekkingmore information >>

Fitness Concerns? – Call us on 01529 488159 or 07725 943108

Food

  • All meals are supplied in Bhutan, b’fasts in hotels in Kathmandu.
  • Bhutan Hotels – all meals tend to be served buffet style so you can vary what you eat throughout.
  • On trek – Breakfasts are a choice of cereals, porridge, toast, eggs, etc.. plus a hot drink.
  • On trek – Lunch is prepared at b’fast and carried by the Guide or helper. They can be hot or cold.
  • On trek – Evening meal is at least two courses; they eat a lot of rice and vegetables. Hot drink.

Note – Bhutan is primarily a Buddhist country so they have no slaughterhouses and therefore meat is not in abundance.

Accommodation

  • Hotels – twin share basis, same sex.
  • On trek – tents, twin share basis, same sex.
  • Declared couples (ie married) will be paired together.
  • If there is an odd number, someone gets lucky with sole occupation at no additional cost.

International Flights – Our default flights are:

  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Kathmandu (KTM). We use a variety of high quality airlines using one stop (there are no direct flights to KTM from London). Included luggage allowance in the aircraft hold is a min of 20kg but more commonly 23 – 30kg.
  • KTM to Paro, Bhutan (PBH). Drukair is Bhutan’s National carrier and the only scheduled airline to fly into Bhutan.

There are good reasons why we use KTM as the access point, but there are alternatives such as Delhi. Please ask for details.

London not convenient? – Other UK regional airport options are possible, such as Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff. We appreciate the potential inconvenience of London if you live far away. Whilst using regional airports may attract supplements due to higher flight costs, that cost may be offset by the cost and time of travelling to London. Please ask for advice on 01529 488159.

The advice here is given in good faith from trusted sources; we are not medical professionals. Check with your Medical Practice if you are up to date with the primary courses.

Vaccinations:

  • Usually advised: Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid
  • Consider: Cholera; Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis; Rabies
  • Yellow Fever – consult the website below
  • Information source – http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-(east)/bhutan.aspx#immunisations
  • Malaria – there is a low to no risk to Paro, Thimphu. It very much depends on where else you go on your travels. Consult the fitfortravel website link above for a malaria map coverage. If required, please consult your GP or Medical Practice for advice.

FREE Vaccinations – the following are usually FREE on the NHS as they are considered the greatest risk if brought into the country:
Cholera, Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus and Hep A (be aware some of those are combined vaccinations).
Information source – http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1071.aspx?CategoryID=67

The others you are likely to have to pay for.

We recommend budgeting approx £300 – £400 for miscellaneous expenses during your trip but bear in mind, everything you need in Bhutan is paid for.

Miscellaneous expenses may include alcoholic drinks, supplementary snacks and tips etc. but this amount does depend on your personal spending habits and your wish to buy souvenirs. It will also include meals in Kathmandu (other than b’fasts).

We recommend either carrying additional spare cash OR a debit/credit card as a back up. The latter (credit card) should always be carried for emergencies.

Bhutan’s currency is the Nulgrum. The currency is not on the open market and therefore you will not be able to obtain any prior to arrival. Its value is linked to the Indian Ruppee. Indian Rupees are accepted in Bhutan but not the other way around. US$ are widely accepted in Bhutan but any change given is likely to be in Nulgrums and the exchange rate certainly in their favour. Your Guide will take you to a bank to exchange currency.

Nepal’s currency is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). The currency is not on the open market and therefore you will not be able to obtain any prior to arrival. You can change all major currencies for NPR at the airport, the hotel or on the streets of Thamel (official money changers). Traveller’s Cheques are not accepted in Nepal.

Note that in both cases, it is possible to withdraw money from ATM’s but do not rely on them.

Further generic information on subjects such as travel insurance and high altitude trekking can be found on our Information webpage.

Anything missing? – Ask A Question