Haa Valley is situated in the north-west of Bhutan bordering Tibet. It was closed to tourism until 2001. The following ancient trek route will take you through some of the most scenic views of Ha and Paro valleys over alpine Kalila pass, as well as to Paro, Thimphu and Wangduephodrang for cultural touring of medieval dzongs, temples and monasteries.
Arrive Paro International Airport. During the flight one will experience breathtaking views of Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake in Bhutan. Received at airport by your representative and escorted to hotel for lunch and check-in. After lunch visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong) Once the watchtower for the Rinpung Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. The museum stands on a promontory overlooking the Paro valley in all its glory. On the way back visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. A flagstone path rises gradually from a beautiful wooden bridge with shingle roofing and abutted by two guardhouses, to the dzong. Today the Dzong is the seat of the district administration as well as the home for the monastic school. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork. Evening visit Paro town and enjoy dinner at a cozy local restaurant. Overnight Hotel Olathang or Pedling Lodge.
Drive to Thimphu (2-hour drive) capitol of Bhutan. Visit the famous Thimphu weekend market (if on a weekend). Stalls of fresh produce, jewelry, Bhutanese handicrafts and enchanting local shoppers will entice your camera to snap snap away. Ask permission to photograph. Thank You. Check into Hotel Druk and after lunch we drive to Tango Monastery for a 2-hour uphill hike up to the mountaintop it sits on. Meet with senior monks for Discussion. Tango Monastery is one of Bhutanese most important Buddhist colleges. Overnight Druk Hotel.
Drive to Wangduephodrang across Dochula pass (10,500ft). On a clear day you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayan mountain range. Hotel check in and lunch. Early afternoon visit the Punakha Dzong, the former winter capital and present administrative seat of the district. Also the winter residence of the central monastic body and its Chief Abbot. The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pochu and Mochu, male and female rivers. It was built in 1637 AD. We as well will visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong courtyard; a most impressive dzong which you can view from your room at hotel overlooking the River. Overnight at Dragons Nest Resort.
Return to Thimphu in the morning after breakfast. Tour the Textile Museum in Thimphu and spend the afternoon at your leisure to shop for Bhutanese crafts, books, collector stamps, or visit the National Library, archers match or the paper and incense house of manufacturing. Your guide will assist you. As always Bhutanese guides are extremely ready to please. Overnight Druk Hotel.
Drive to Haa valley from Thimphu through the Confluence in Chuzum . Pincic lunch en route. On arrival in the picturesque Ha Valley, stroll through quaint town and begin the first part of the trek starting from Katso village (alt. 8840 ft). This is a fairly easy trek of about one hour walk through Katso village and fields. Opposite Katso village, one can see the famous Katso Lhakhang (temple) of Guru Rimpoche built against the rocky ledge. Camp above Katso Village in an open meadow through which runs a beautiful stream. Camp altitude 9472 ft.
Katso to Kalila: A 5 hour trail walk beginning with a gradual climb crossing the stream through blue pine forest. After crossing the same stream three times, the trail leads up hill through spruce and conifer forest until you reach Kalila Pass at alt. 12497 ft. En route you will meet a few cow herders in summer and yak-herders in winter. From the Kalila Pass one can get a spectacular view of Paro and Haa valleys as well as the western Hiamlayan mountain ranges on a clear day. Camp at the pass in the open meadow.
Kalila to Ngoba is another day of 5 hour walk crossing the pass where the trail winds down hill over-looking Paro valley through thick spruce and fir forests – a great place for bird-watchers. After descending down for about 3 hour you will find stone piled stupa, which is dedicated to the deity of Ngoba village. Camping in a farm house at Ngoba village.
After a leisure breakfast we trek down from Ngoba toward Paro for about an hour to the main road head, where transportation will be waiting to receive you. Drive to the hotel for a nice hot bath and lunch. Spend this afternoon exploring Paro town with your guide. Dinner at a cozy restaurant in Paro Village.
Today we drive to “Tigers Nest Monastery” where you may hike or ride a pony, to the famous Taktsang Monastery. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4,000 feet. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava, the saint who converted Bhutan to Buddhism, alighted here upon the back of a tigress. Here we enjoy snacks and tea at the cafeteria viewpoint. Overnight in our hotel and enjoy farewell dinner with your guide.
Depart to Paro airport for your Bhutan departure. We hope you enjoyed your visit to Bhutan. Tashi Delek!..