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/Bhutan Jomolhari
Bhutan Jomolhari 2018-01-11T18:04:16+00:00

Project Description

JOMOLHARI TREK, BHUTAN

JOMOLHARI TREK, BHUTAN

The Jomolhari – Bhutan’s premier trekking route

Highlights

  • Two high alpine passes to cross in remote terrain
  • Lightly trekked route
  • Experience Bhutan’s unique culture
  • Fly straight past Mt Everest from Kathmandu

Reputed to be the last traditional Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom, Bhutan is a fascinating country well worth exploring. There can be few better ways of experiencing Bhutan than combining the country’s Premier trek (the Jomolhari) with some added sightseeing.

Having arrived in Bhutan, first up is the iconic Tigers Nest. It’s a stiff 2 hrs trek up and as it stands at an altitude of 3100m, it also acts as an acclimatisation day.

The Jomolhari trek begins the next day, a 2hr drive to Shana before setting off on foot. You soon link up with and follow the clear glacial Paro river. Having ascended above the tree line and acclimatised at Jangothang (4000m) for a day you trek over the first of the two high 4800m+ Passes in successive days. This is wonderful isolated part of Bhutan, roaming yak and blue sheep are common here. The remaining trek days are primarily descending towards Dodina before being transferred to Thimphu by road.

Thimphu is an excellent place to spend relaxing post trek and just exploring the town at a leisurely pace. The huge Dzong, Library, paper factory, Nunnery, numerous craft shops, the Takin Reserve (the Takin is Bhutan’s National animal) and the Radio Tower (great views down onto Thimphu) plus just strolling around the streets and markets are just some of the possibilities.

This is a great experience in Bhutan. Traditionally dressed locals, isolated vertical fluttering prayer flags, archery and roaming yaks are all normal sights on this 15 day trip.

At A Glance   

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £3595
Land Only, from £2330
Trip Duration 15 Days
Trek Length 8 Days
Max Altitude 4930m
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, Tents
All meals in Bhutan, hotel b'fasts in Kathmandu

The Jomolhari – Bhutan’s premier trekking route

Highlights

  • Two high alpine passes to cross in remote terrain
  • Lightly trekked route
  • Experience Bhutan’s unique culture
  • Fly straight past Mt Everest from Kathmandu

Reputed to be the last traditional Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom, Bhutan is a fascinating country well worth exploring. There can be few better ways of experiencing Bhutan than combining the country’s Premier trek (the Jomolhari) with some added sightseeing.

Having arrived in Bhutan, and trekked up to the iconic Tigers Nest (acclimatisation day), the Jomolhari trek begins the next day. You soon link up with and follow the clear glacial Paro river to Jangothang (4000m, acclimatise) before trekking over two 4800m+ Passes on successive days. The remaining trek days are primarily descending towards Dodina before being transferred to Thimphu by road.

Relax in Thimphu and explore at your own pace. This is a great experience in Bhutan. Traditionally dressed locals, isolated vertical fluttering prayer flags, archery and roaming yaks are all normal sights on this 15 day trip.

At A Glance

Flight Inclusive Cost, from £3595
Land Only, from £2330
Trip Duration 15 Days
Trek Length 8 Days
Max Altitude 4930m
Grading
Accommodation Hotels, Tents
All meals in Bhutan, hotel b'fasts 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

Day 4. Acclimatisation – Tigers Nest

Day 5. Shana (2800m) – Thangthangka (3600m)

Day 6. Thangthangka – Jangothang (4000m)

Day 7. Jangothang (acclimatisation)

Day 8. Jangothang – Lingzhi (4020m), via the Nyile La (4870m)

Day 9. Lingzhi – Shodu (4080m), via the Yeli La (4930m)

Day 10. Shodu – Barshong (3710m)

Day 11. Barshong – Dolam Kencho (3300m)

Day 12. Dolam Kencho, trek out to transport, transfer to Thimphu

Day 13. Thimphu (morning), drive back to Paro

Day 14. Fly Paro to Kathmandu, overnight

Day 15. Depart Kathmandu for London

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
We will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Paro, Bhutan. This amazing 1hr flight goes straight by Mt Everest (try to sit on the left side). On arrival in Bhutan, you will be met by your Guide and driver at the airport. Transfer to your hotel in Paro and potentially sightsee some of Paro, which will include the imposing Rinpung Dzong. Your Guide will brief you on the coming days. Overnight Paro, BLD

Day 4. Acclimatisation – Tigers Nest
Some rest in the morning if need after the travels of previous days. Today is geared to trekking up to the iconic ‘Tiger’s Nest’ (locally known as Taktshang). Make sure that you are adequately prepared footwear wise as it is a stiff 90 mins – 2hrs up and quite steep in places. The Monastery is perched 900 metres above the valley floor and Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress. He meditated here for three months. A ‘must see’. BLD

Day 5. Shana (2800m) – Thangthangka (3600m)
Today is a relatively long day and starts with a 2hr drive out to the start point, Shana. The route is primarily through forest with a fair amount of short ascents/descents. It follows the Paro Chu (River) for most of the way and has an ascent of about 800m. The camp site is in a deep valley so expect it to be quite cold when the sun can’t be seen. About 8hrs, BLD

Day 6. Thangthangka – Jangothang (4000m)
A great day as you clear the forest environment and into open land with an altitude gain of 1400m. It is an interesting day as many grazing yak and blue sheep should be seen. You will also pass a Bhutanese Army post. The campsite is beside the river with glorious views of the surrounding mountains that still tower above you. About 6 hrs, BLD

Day 7. Jangothang (acclimatisation)
A good day to rest and enjoy the scenery but you will also be encouraged to get up high to allow your body to acclimatise. Your Guide will have some options for you to consider. About 6 hrs, BLD

Day 8. Jangothang – Lingzhi (4020m), via the Nyile La (4870m)
Assuming that you feel fine and acclimatised, you will push on to Lingzhi over the Nyile La. It is a classic ascent and descent day taking approx 4 hrs to reach the Pass, moving quickly off of it (due to traditional high and cold winds!) and descend down to a warmer and less windy place. Needless to say that you will experience some spectacular views. About 7 hrs, BLD

Day 9. Lingzhi – Shodu (4080m), via the Yeli La (4930m)
After yesterday, today is a tough day with a similar ascent and crossing the second of the two passes; the Yeli La. It is about 4 hrs to reach the Pass but today has a few ups and downs as opposed to a straight ascent. About 9 hrs, BLD

Day 10. Shodu – Barshong (3710m)
For those who have struggled with the altitude, it will be nice to descend into easier territory and also gain the forest terrain back. It is primarily descending although there is still some work to be done. You will re-join the river. About 6 hrs, BLD

Day 11. Barshong – Dolam Kencho (3300m)
A nice easy day through forests (blooming rhododendrons in spring; beautiful) down to Dolam Kencho. About 6 hrs, BLD

Day 12. Dolam Kencho, trek out to transport, transfer to Thimphu
An easy few hours down through forest and onto the track to meet your transport back to Thimphu. You’ll then be transferred straight to Thimphu for a good clean up in the hotel. You will have time to enjoy Thimphu in the evening. 3-4 hrs, BLD

Day 13. Thimphu (morning), drive back to Paro
You have the morning in Thimphu to explore anything you wish to or just stroll around one of the smallest capital cities in the world before driving back to Paro in the afternoon. BLD

Day 14. Fly Paro to Kathmandu, overnight
Your Guide and driver will escort you to the airport for your morning flight to Kathmandu. On arrival, you will transfer to your hotel for the night*. B

* Note, that you can elect to remove this overnight stop and connect to an evening departure flight straight back to London. Be aware that if you do this, there will be a significant time gap between arriving in Kathmandu and the departure time.

Day 15. Depart Kathmandu for London
You will be transferred to the airport for your day flight back to london, arriving same day. B

Note – B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner

Dates & Prices

Dates With Flights Without Flights
5 - 19 May 2018 £3595 £2250
13 - 27 Oct 2018 £3595 £2250

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, occasionally longer if necessary. Distances in mountainous terrain is measured in hours, not distance.

The two high Passes are what makes this trek challenging. The sleeping altitude prior to, during and post both Passes is around 4000m so the climbs are about 800m on each occasion. Apart from those Passes, the terrain is relatively undulating but extremely pleasant.

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