Trip Snapshot

Name of Trip :

Jhomolhari Trek

Trip Length : 14 Nights/ 15 Days
Difficulty Level :
Rating : Popular
Destination(s) : Bhutan
Highest Altitude : 4890m/ 16137ft.
Max Elevation : 4,890m
Highest Camp : 4,080m
Group Size : 4-10 Person
Best Season : April to June, September to November
Trip Start From : Paro, Bhutan
Trip Ends : Paro, Bhutan
Accommodation : Hotels and Resorts
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Route Map

Jhomolhari Trek


Jomolhari Trek is one of most popular of Treks in Asia. This trek in Bhutan takes you to the highest of points in the Himalayas reaching as high as 5000m. Jomolhari Trek I is the longer one of the two Jomolhari routes and witnesses a drastic altitude differences taking you from 2500m to nearly 5000m.
  • Day 01: Arrive Paro
  • Day 02: Paro – Taktsang
  • Day 03: Trek Day 1: By car to Drugyel Dzong
  • Day 04: Trek Day 2: Shana (9480ft/2890m) to Soi Thangthanka
  • Day 05: Trek Day 3: Soi Thangthanka (11,730ft/3575m) to Jangothang (Jhomolhari camp)
  • Day 06: Trek Day 4: Rest day at Jhomolhari Camp (13,260ft/4044m)
  • Day 07: Trek Day 5: Jangothang (13,260ft/4044m) to Lingshi (13,150ft/4010m) via Nyile La (16,040ft/4890m)
  • Day 08: Trek Day 6: Rest day at Lingshi for exploring
  • Day 09: Trek Day 7: Lingshi (13, 150ft /4010m) to Shodu (13,380ft/4080m) via Yale La ( 16, 235ft 4950m)
  • Day 10: Trek Day 8: Shodu 13,380ft/4080m) to Barshong (12, 200ft / 3720m)
  • Day 11: Trek Day 9: Barshong (12, 220ft /3720m) to Dolam Khencho (10,790ft / 3290m)
  • Day 12: Trek Day 10: Dolam Kencho (10,790ft / 3290m) to Dodena (8577ft / 2615m) and Thimphu (45 minutes drive)
  • Day 13: Thimphu Sightseeing
  • Day 14: Thimphu – Paro
  • Day 15: Paro – Airport

Destinations :

Paro-Thimphu and Wangduephodrang

Activities :

Hiking, Visit Farm House , Monastery, Museums, Weekend market (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only) Stroll around the City etc.

Tour Highlights :

  • Visit the impressive Dzong (fortresses), former palaces, Hindu Temples and Buddhist monasteries!
  • Hike through the ridge top Goembas (monasteries) and meet the monks.
  • Hike through the terraced farmlands and villages, visit the farmhouses and meet the villagers.
  • Attend the local festivals and events.
  • Visit the vibrant markets and towns.
  • Exciting jungle safari rides.
  • Explore the cave, gorge and hike the mountain viewpoints!
  • Visit the traditional arts and crafts workshops, meet the artisans, weavers and painters!
  • And much more...

Jhomolhari Trek


Day 01

:

Arrive Paro

Fly into Bhutan on Druk Airways. If you are lucky, you will have glorious view of the snowcapped Himalayas. The remarkable and steep descent into the Paro valley is an awe-inspiring beginning to an adventure of a lifetime. After visa formalities and collection of baggage, you will meet the Bhutanese representative from Bhutan Majestic Travel, who will receive you and drive through Paro valley to your hotel. After settling down at the hotel, you will have your lunch. Afternoon visit the National Museum (Tak Dzong) (one of the fine museums in Asia that would shed further light to your adventurous trip to Bhutan and Paro Rimpong Dzong, administration center and religious institute of the valley. This Dzong may be familiar to people who watched Burtolucci's film "The Little Buddha, followed by walk through Paro town. Dinner and Overnight: Hotel.

Day 02

:

Paro – Taktsang (Tiger Nest Excursion)

After breakfast we drive to the north of Paro valley to Ramthangkha, from where we start our hike to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger's Nest). Visitors are permitted to hike up to the viewpoint from where they can see the monastery hanging on a cliff. I will obtain the special permit to visit the monastery. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche flew from Eastern Bhutan on a tigress, bringing Buddhist teachings and meditated here in this cliff. This is one of the most venerated and sacred of all Buddhist sights around the world. Lunch will be served at Taktsang cafeteria. Walk downhill to the road and enroute visit Drukgyel Dzong (now in ruins), which reveals the reminiscence of ancient architecture and followed by visit to Kyichu Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by Songtsen Gompo, which denotes the spread and emergence of Buddhism in the country. Evening at leisure: Dinner and Overnight: Hotel.

Day 03

:

Trek Day 01: By car to Drugyel Dzong (8460ft/2580m), trek to Shana (9480ft/2890m)

Time 5hrs Distance 9.3 miles/15 Km Altitude gain 1020ft/310m Altitude loss 260ft/80m At the end of the road north from Paro lie the ruins of Drugyel Dzong with Mount Jhomolhari (23,995ft/7315m) behind – a wonderful vista for the start of this trek. Bhutanese trekking staff and the first group of pack animals are met here. Walk along a dirt road for 1 hr through a wide, rich, cultivated valley, beneath forest-covered mountains, following the Paro Chhu. Beware of the sun, which can be very fierce at this altitude. The trek continues on the east side of the river. The trail climbs gently and will probably be muddy. Not far from the suspension bridge you pass a traditional stone bath, then a chorten; walk around its left side. After 2-2.5hr, just before entering a forest below a farmhouse, there is a spring with holy water that originates from Hedi Gompa further up the valley. In the forest there is another chorten (8,450ft/2577m), normally the lunch spot. There are two streams round the chorten: the smaller one, on the left, is holy water. The larger one, which has to be crossed by the bridges next to the chorten, starts from one of the glaciers on Chatarake. This mountain can be seen from tonight's camp.

Day 04

:

Trek Day 02: Shana (9480ft/2890m) to Soi Thangthanka (11,730ft/3575m)

Time 6-7hr (add 1hr if trail is muddy) Distance 13.6 miles/22Km Altitude gain 2250ft/685m Altitude loss 0ft/0m Follow the river upstream on its right side on a muddy trail. After 10min an old ruined bridge (Penji Zam or Shana Zampa, 9440ft/2878m) is reached, destroyed by major floods caused by glacial lake outbursts in 1950 and 1960. The bridge, named for a Bhutanese official called Sharna Dungpa, was used in the old days by travelers coming from or going to the north, to Phari in Tibet. It was the first administered by the Shana Dungpa (Dungpa = a chief of a sub-district). Traders returning from Tibet paid tax here in the form of salt; traders from Bhutan had to pay in different goods. There is also Lhakhang on the other side of the old bridge. To reach Soi Thangthanka camp you don't cross the second bridge but continue for 20-30min on a good trail along the west side of the river. Soi Thangthanka or Tshajeu Din Kha camp is in a big meadow. The Department of Tourism once built a tourist bungalow here, but it has collapsed and is beyond use.

Day 05

:

Trek Day 03: Soi Thangthanka (11,730ft/3575m) to Jangothang (Jhomolhari camp) (13,260ft/4044m)

Time 4-5hr Distance 10.5 miles/17Km Altitude gain 1530ft/469m Altitude loss 0ft/0m After enjoying the view to Jhomolhari and a good breakfast, walk for 1 hr through forest. Gradually the view is lost, but the mountain will be seen again in its full glory from Jangothang (Jhomolhari camp). Somewhere between Soi Thangthanka camp and the military camp the border between the Paro Dzongkhag and Thimphu Dzongkhag is crossed. A Dzongkha (district) is divided into smaller gewogs. We now enter the Soe (Soe Yutey) gewog. Today's trail again follows the river and changes direction several times. Late in spring, towards the treeline, the blue poppy (Bhutan's national flower) has been spotted. At (12,235ft/3730m a military camp with Bhutanese and Indian army personnel is reached. The camp (Soe Makhang, Heansho Jhangkha) has a helipad, and guards another pass into Tibet, 11Km away from Phari.

Day 06

:

Trek Day 04: Rest day at Jhomolhari Camp (13,260ft/4044m)

Sun reaches camp at 0800hr in fall. Most people will feel the effects of ascending 1800m in three days, so a rest day at Jhomolhari camp will help with acclimatization. There are some good day hikes from Jhomolhari camp, and it is important to hike today so that you will acclimatize. Follow the standard rule: trek high, sleep low. The area is rich in livestock, which has always been very valuable at these high valuable at these high altitude since cultivation is so difficult. Yaks are by far the most important animals here. Horses are kept for carrying loads and sometimes for riding. Only a few people try to keep sheep. Cattle have suffered from diseases such as gout, and in a couple of hard winters (1985 and 1995) some households lost half their yaks. Dogs and snow leopards kill baby yaks and sheep, and occasionally sheep die from eating poisonous plants.

Day 07

:

Trek Day 05: Jangothang (13,260ft/4044m) to Lingshi (13,150ft/4010m) via Nyile La (16,040ft/4890m)

Time 65-6hr Distance 13 miles/21 Km Altitude gain 2780ft/845m Altitude loss 2890ft/880m Mount Jitchu Drake Leave camp and walk north to the houses of Jangothang. At the first house there is a good view of Jitchu Drake (22,925ft/6989m). Continue hiking to the last of the three houses and find a log bridge crossing the river. (This is the second log bridge; the first leads to Tsho Phu lakes.) A steep switchback trail starts climbing out of the valley into another that leads to the final climb and pass. Lingshi Dzong gets closer during the steep 900m drop, and camp is located next to a tourist bungalow.

Day 08

:

Trek Day 06: Rest day at Lingshi for exploring

Wild Yaks carrying Trek Goods You will spend an extra day here to explore the Lingshi surroundings. Looking towards the east from camp are views of Takaphu (21,405ft/6526m) and its glacier. At the end of this valley (1hr walk) are two big old yak herder houses at Guilpho (Jukhuje) and a little gompa called Gyo Gompa. Gyo Gompa was built on a rockface at the beginning of the last century, and can be reached by climbing some stairs. Its setting is dramatic with Jitchu Drake in the background. Another day hike could be to visit the lake Chhokam Tso (14,225ft/4337m) near the base of Jitchu Drake. From here a pass, called Bake La – as difficult as Nyile La-leads to Jitchu Drake base camp on the Jangothang side.

Day 09

:

Trek Day 07: Lingshi (13, 150ft /4010m) to Shodu (13,380ft/4080m) via Yale La ( 16, 235ft 4950m)

Time 8-9hr Distance 13.6 miles / 22 km Altitude gain 3085ft / 940m) Altitude Loss 2855ft /870m) Today it is a long, hard day. We start early taking a trail through the rhododendron forest on the ridge above the camp in an easterly direction towards a small chorten. Turn a corner and go south into a valley with few trees. Below flows the No chu or Chabeyt Chang Chu (Blue River). The climb rises steadily to reach an altitude of about 4450m, 2.5 – 3 hrs after leaving the camp. Cross the main river to its right side and climb out to the main valley into side valley. The last part of climb is through area called Jimenameshing with large boulders and several switch backs. Finally you will reach to the big cairn on top of the Yale La, with the views towards the snowy mountains around Lingshi and Basingthang Peaks to the south. Most people travel between Lingshi and Thimphu use the Yale la, so the trail is well marked. The decent joins the Jaradingthang Chhu, which becomes the Thimphu Chhu. At around 4150m, you will come across a small chorten from where the trail takes an easterly direction following the river. The campsite is at shoudu ( 13, 380ft/ 4080ft) just after crossing a sandy slope.

Day 10

:

Trek Day 08: Shodu 13,380ft/4080m) to Barshong (12, 200ft / 3720m)

Today pass the deserted military camp ad follow the trail to the river through the lime stone valley. Monks use this caves in the rocks for mediation and Shabdrung is said to have mediated there. Cross the Main River, which offer good views of giant rock faces and waterfalls? Towards the end of the today's trek the trail gradually ascends 130m to Barshong Dzong ruins (12, 200ft/3720m). There is a muddy campsite below the Dzong or you can carry on for 1- 1.5hr to a better campsite. Barshong Village is a very small, consisting less the half a dozen of houses.

Day 11

:

Trek Day 09: Barshong (12, 220ft /3720m) to Dolam Khencho (10,790ft / 3290m)

Time 4 hr Distance 9.3 miles /15km Altitude gain 0ft 0m) Altitude loss 1410ft / 430m After crossing a side stream, Tshongjug Chhu, makes a steep descent on a rocky trail ending at the Wong Chhu or Thimphu Chhu. There are several ups and downs and crossing of smaller side stream; the main river follows a very obvious, nearly perfect 90 degree corner, changing from west – east to the south. Reach a split in the trail, the one on the right descends to the camp site for tonight. Dolamak Kencho (10,790ft/3290m).

Day 12

:

Trek Day 10: Dolam Kencho (10,790ft / 3290m) to Dodena (8577ft / 2615m) and Thimphu (45 minutes drive)

Time 3 hr Distance 4.3 miles /7km Altitude Gain 525ft / 160m Altitude Loss 2214ft/675m) Climb back from the campsite up to the main trail to the cairn at 11, 315ft / 3450m, from where the route descends to a side stream (10, 070ft/3070m). There are small ups and downs followed by a couple of short steep switchbacks to descend a vertical cliff before finally reaching the last stretch to Dodena. The Trail descends through bamboo forest, following the mule trail high above the river until finally meets it again at Dodena. A large sign marks the one of the entry and exit point of Jigme Dorji National Park, and a beautiful styled covered wooden bridge marks the path to Cheri Gompa. Drive to Thimphu for a nice hot shower at your hotel.

Day 13

:

Thimphu Sightseeing

After breakfast, you will be taken to the following places of cultural interest. The folk Heritage Museum: This museum lets you experience the Bhutanese way of life. Art and Craft Institute: This is a vocational training Institute where the art of painting, woodcraft and sculpturing are taught to students with the objective of preserving the rich and pristine heritage. The National Library: This repository houses ancient religious and historical manuscripts. Those of you interested in whetting your intellectual appetite may do so here. Lunch will be served at your Hotel. Afternoon you will visit the Drubthob Gompa Nunnnery: Nuns with sport short hair, who play a vital role in the religious affairs of the local community, are enrolled here. Thereafter you will be taken to have a "Birds Eye view of Thimphu valley. Enroute, you shall visit the mini zoo to see the National Animal " Takin. After seeing this place you will have a free time to explore the Handicraft Emporium and other local Handicrafts shops to experience the beauty of Bhutanese Textiles. Dinner and Overnight: Hotel

Day 14

:

Thimphu – Paro

This morning visits The Textile Museum: This museum displays the finest art of weaving from various regions of Bhutan. You will also be able to see the different fabrics and the intricacies of weaving. There will be a brief audiovisual program on textiles of Bhutan. Bhutan Post (Post Office): As the sole postal organization of Bhutan, Bhutan Post offers you the finest collections of stamps and post cards. You can purchase the finest stamps and cards as a souvenir. The Memorial Chorten built in the honor of the late King of Bhutan; this Chorten is centrally located for young and old people to pray. Afternoon you will depart to Paro for your overnight hotel. We will take 2 hours leisurely drive following the Thimphu River till the confluence of Thimphu and Paro River, Chunzom. At the confluences, here your will see three forms of Chorten in different styles i.e. Nepalese, Tibetan and Bhutanese. The drive then follows the Paro River upwards passing through several villages. Enroute you will view Tachogang Monastery, (the monastery of the Excellent horse) built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Iron chain builder in Bhutan) and his Iron chain bridge can be still seen. Drive though village of Shaba and then to you hotel at Paro. Evening at leisure. Farewell Dinner and Overnight: Hotel

Day 15

:

Paro – Airport

Depart for Paro airport for your onward flight having experienced the best of Bhutan. Note: This itinerary is a sample, intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule and everything that you will be able to see during your trip. Numerous factors such as weather, the physical ability of the participants, may dictate itinerary changes either before or while on the trip. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of trip participant's safety, comfort and general well being. I have included everything that is feasible for you all to see during the trip.

Jhomolhari Trek


Cost Includes:

  • Receive and Transfer to Airport
  • Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
  • 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
  • Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All Sightseeing
  • Museum Fees
  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits
  • Bottled Mineral Water
  • Walks and Hikes

Cost Does Not Include:

  • Donations to Monasteries
  • Insurance
  • Alcohol & Beverages
  • Tips for Guide, Driver & Hotel Staff
  • Gifts & Souvenirs
  • International Telephone Calls
  • Round Trip Air fare
  • Inbound Airfare

Accommodations and facilities:

There are limited choices of accommodations in Bhutan. With a few exceptions of highly over priced international chain properties, hotels in Bhutan are small with 15 to 20 rooms. The hotels have been categorized by local authorities as Star 1, 2 and 3, with 3 Star being on the top level 1Star at the bottom and naturally we have pick the 3 Star category hotels and resorts which are local architecture with Bhutanese décor, well maintained and staffed with the friendly locals. There is disparity in the rooms in most of the hotels and travelers of the same group may end up in two different types of rooms although you have paid the same amount. You will have private bathroom with 24 hour running cold and hot water. They provide some fundamental toiletry supplies but hair dryers, iron and ironing board etc may not be available. Hotels in Paro and Thimphu do have internet access in office or reception areas. There are some new deluxe properties and international chain resorts which are above the traditional classification criteria and in the higher side in terms of price and can be booked with supplemental cost. Hotel listed on the itinerary are suggestions only and during peak season and tours timed with festival, we may not get the same hotels and in that case, we will book you in the similar property or upgrade you to the higher level.

Guide and Escorts

Our Tour Guides are local individuals with college degree, government certification, experienced and with knowledge on the destination, history, culture and religion and most importantly they are easy going, detailed oriented, patient and high level of customer service skills. They will uncover the wonders of the destinations for you which you would never find on your own. They ensure that everything goes well with your tour without a hitch.

Vehicle:

We use good condition Toyota SUV and Toyota Coaches for all transfers and tours. Driver and guide is not the same person. Driver may speak little or no English but they know the road and are skillful to fix the problem in case of mechanical breakdowns. Depending on group size, we will use Japanese made Sedan cars, SUVs or minivan for entire transfers and tours.

International and Internal Flights:

All internal flights are part of travel plan and are locally booked by us. You will be emailed e-ticket receipts once the reservation is booked and tickets issued. But you have liberty to book your international airfare on your own. We can certainly help you book international flight if that originates from the city that you live in. Once you receive itinerary, it's your responsibility to verify the itinerary and reconfirm the schedules.

Visa and Permits:

Passport should be valid for 6 months or more at the time of travel. We will take care of Bhutan Visa and permits. Bhutan Visa Fees of USD 20 which will be collected with the Tour Payment in advance. You will need to provide a copy of your passport which should be sent to us by email for Bhutan Visa Processing. Bhutan visa is preprocessed by us and we will provide you a copy the Visa Approval Letter before your trip which you will need to present at Druk Air counter at the time you check in for flight to Bhutan. You will get actual visa seal on your passport upon arrival at Paro airport.

Trip Activity Level:

This trip is basically motor vehicle based sightseeing with some short hikes and village visits and suitable for all travelers with regular health conditions. When we are driving from one city to another, we will be driving from 3-6 hours with occasional stops for photography and for refreshments. Roads are narrow and some portions may be rough and damaged. The itinerary allows enough acclimatization for you and it's advisable that you should keep physically fit and start mild exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling or practice some aerobics about 2-3 months ahead of the trip. It's your responsibility to determine that you are fit for this trip and if you have any health conditions, please consult with your physician before you sign up for this trip.

Note on Itinerary:

We do our best to adhere to the itinerary but it should be taken as a generic guideline in terms of what you expect to do or see during the tour and may differ in the practical ground from exact sequence or order of the sights to the overnight places depending on the local conditions.

Booking:

When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking so that we can confirm you in preferred hotels and flights. A 100% of both the Tour and Airfare is requested along with a completed trip application form plus copy of the photo page of your passport.

Cancellation:

  • 100% Refund if tour canceled within 60 Days from the start of the tour.
  • 50% Refund if tour canceled within 45 Days from the start of the tour.
  • 25% Refund if tour canceled within 30 Days from the start of the tour.
  • No Refund if tour canceled less than 30 Days from the start of the tour.

Final Trip Dossier:

A final trip dossier with local contacts, hotel lists, check lists, travel notes and relevant information will be sent about a month ahead of the trip.

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