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Jhomolhari-The Mother Goddess Mountain Trek and tour 2018

JOMOLHARI MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL

The festival celebrates the culture of the communities living in close proximity to endangered snow leopards. "A community based initiative for the conservation of snow leopards"

TRIP LENGTH:12 Days
LEVEL: Easy
SEASONS: March to May & September to December.

Jomolhari Mountain Festival is an exquisitely themed two-day event celebrated at the base of Mt. Jomolhari, by communities located along one of the most scenic trekking routes in Bhutan.

The festival celebrates the culture of the communities living together with the natural wonders that surround them: one in particular, the elusive, yet elegant, snow leopard! This endangered cat thrives in the region; several camera trap photos and definite signs have established the region as one of the best snow leopard habitats in Bhutan.

The Jomolhari trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in Bhutan and passes through prime snow leopard and blue sheep habitat. Numerous camera trap photos, signs, and DNA sampling from the region has established the region as one of the best snow leopard habitats in Bhutan. The two communities of Soe Yutoed and Soe Yaksa lie along the Jomolhari trek. Yutoed has 28 households and Yaksa 18. The residents are primarily yak herders as the area is mostly above tree line. While yak predation is prevalent in the area, herders have generally been tolerant of some level of predation all along. However, public attitudes and perception towards snow leopards are fast changing.

Day 01 | Arrive in Paro
Day 02 | Paro Valley Tour ( B/L/D)
Day 03 | Tiger Nest (Takstang Monastery) Hiking in Paro ( B/L/D)
Day 04 | Paro – Shana (Start of Chomolhari Trek). Camp. (B, L, D)
Day 05 | Shana - Thangthanka. Camp. (B, L, D)
Day 06 | Thangthanka - Jangothang. Camp. (B, L, D)
Day 07 | Jangothang. Camp. (B, L, D)
Day 08 | Jangothang - Thangthangka. Camp. (B, L, D)
Day 09 | Thangthangka – Shana. Camp. (B, L, D)
Day 10 | Shana - Paro – Thimphu (End of Chomolhari Basecamp Trek). Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 11 | Sightseeing in Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 12 | Thimphu - Paro International Airport

Your Journey Day by Day:

Day 1: Arrive Paro
During the journey to Paro, one will experience breath-taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, our representative will receive you and escort to the Hotel. Overnight in Hotel

Day 2: Paro Sightseeing
Drive to Drukgyal Dzong (a ruined fortress - 16 km away from Paro Town). Although now in ruins this Dzong is of historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the Tibetans and drove them back. From here too the Peak of Jumolhari (Alt. 7,329m/24029ft) can be viewed on a clear day. On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. After lunch, at the hotel, take a leisurely stroll around the compound. Overnight in Hotel

Day 3: Tiger Nest (Takstang Monastery) Hiking - Paro Sightseeing
Drive to to trail-head and begin your trekking / hiking to Takstang (Tiger’s Lair) monastery, Bhuitan’s most famous sight. Your guide can arrange pony/horse for ride uphill till the Cafeteria, but one must be able to walk after that. A proper trekking boot or good walking shoes is necessary for this hike those who choose not to hike can stay back with the driver and tour around Paro.Overnight in Hotel

Taktshang - Tiger's Nest: Taktshang or 'Tiger's Nest' as it is often referred to for Taktshang Pelphung monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a 900m sheer cliff. An impressive and un-miss able site, but accessible only by walk or to ride mules/pony. Taktshang was rebuilt by population of Tsento village. Again in April of 1998, a major fire destroyed the main structure of the building and its contents (some believe it to be arson). Reconstruction began in 2000 and was completed and consecrated after extensive efforts and financial support of Governments as well as donors.

Day 4: Paro – Shana (Start of Chomolhari Trek). Camp. (B, L, D)
Visit After breakfast, you will leave hotel with your trekking crews and drive to the trail head at Drugyal Dzong. The Dzong today exists only in ruins and has the glorious history of having fought the war against Tibetan Invaders in the 1600s. The trek begins, following the Paro River gently uphill through rice paddy terraces, apple orchards, and forest, passing the village houses.Overnight in Camp

Day 5: Shana - Thangthanka
The trail continues to gradually climb along the side of the Paro, River. The valley narrows and closes, and the path then winds along the stream. This day's trek is not so hard, but it is long, and there are many short but frequent ups and downs. From the lunch stopping point, you can see the route to Tremo La which is paved in stone and served as the main trade route to the Phari Dzong in Tibet. It was also the main invasion route of the Tibetans ages ago. You camp in a meadow with a stone shelter. On a clear day, you will see the Jumolhari Mountain. Overnight in Camp 

Day 6: Thangthanka - Jangothang
It’s a not so long day but you will have an altitude gain of 450m. The trail continues to follow the Paro River up, past a small army post, where the valley begins to widen again and you are also rewarded with the view of high ridges and snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas. You may see some yaks grazing and also the winter homes of the yak herders. You will get the chance to visit the Yak herders and share a cup of yak butter tea with them. Also, you possibly will get to buy dried yak cheese-"chugo" from them. You will set up camp below the ruined fortress at the base of Jumolhari. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful camps in Bhutan. Overnight in Camp

Day 7: An Additional Day in Jangothang for Acclimatization.
You will take an additional day in Jangothang which is necessary for acclimatization. You will have several hiking options today: 3 to 4 hours up to a ridge that will give you a good view of Jichu Drake, or to the head of the valley toward Jumolhari, or trekking up the main valley toward Jichu Drake, or to Tsophu for fishing. If you do not wish to hike today you can relax at the camp, read novels or write journals, as you wish. Overnight in Camp

Day 8: Jangothang - Thangthangka. Camp. (B, L, D)
The trek trail will be through several villages, see some yaks grazing and winter homes of the yak herders. Return to Thangthanka. Overnight in Camp

Day 9: Thangthangka – Shana. Camp. (B, L, D)
This day trek trail is easy, valley narrows and closes, and the path then winds along the stream. Return to Shana. Overnight in Camp

Day 10: Shana - Paro – Thimphu (End of Chomolhari Basecamp Trek). Hotel. (B, L, D)
The trek trail following the Paro River gently uphill through rice paddy terraces, apple orchards, and forest, passing the village houses. At the end, you arrive in capital city of bhutan, Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel

Day 11: Thimphu Sightseeing
Thimphu sightseeing includes - visit to National Library, the priceless collection of Buddhist manuscripts and few English version books; Folk and Heritage Museum, which displays day to day livelihood of typical Bhutanese farmers in medieval period and their accessories; Late King’s Memorial Stupa, built for the world peace and Traditional Handmade Paper Factory; Painting School, which preserves our traditional paintings, sculpturing and wood curving; Majestic Tashichhodzong, which houses office for the king and the ministers and National Handicraft Emporium, the best place to look for souvenir from Bhutan. Evening free walk in Thimphu City. Overnight in Hotel

Day 12: Drive from Thimphu to Paro International Airport - Final Departure
Good Bye from Bhutan with lifetime experience.

CHECK LISTS

  • Valid passport (valid for six months from the date of your trip)
  • One other picture ID, such as driver’s license (in case of emergency and for use as a substitute of passport or incase of loss of your passport) Photocopy of passport page to carry in wallet
  • Air tickets (Make a copy of flight tickets which may be helpful, in case of loss)
  • Visa Clearance (Make a copy of visa clearance which may be helpful, in case of emergencies)
  • MasterCard, Visa Credit and Debit Cards are accepted in Bhutan. However travelers cheques and some cash are highly recommended.
  • Mobile (if your cell phone is from CINGULLAR USA or ATNT (USA) operators then your cell phone will work in Bhutan.)

TREKKING TIPS AND WHAT TO BRING DURING THE TREK IN BHUTAN

Physical Fitness

Treks vary from short three-day walks across low altitudes to the three-week Snowman Trek that covers 356 kilometers and climbs three of the Kingdom’s highest passes. Not only the overall duration but also the daily walking distances vary substantially according to the different trek routes.

Guiding, Food and Camping

In Bhutan, all trekking supplies - camping equipment, kitchen implements, food - are all carried by pack animals. Porters are rather unusual in Bhutan with loads usually carted by horses or, in higher regions, yaks. All trekkers are accompanied by a guide, a cook and usually at least one horseman or yak herder. With the surest footing; they lead trekking groups across the passes. The horseman and cook will usually run ahead during a trekking day. They will have prepared a packed lunch for hikers and will go on to the night’s resting place to set up camp.
They set up tents, cook dinner and ready the area for arriving trekkers. When trekkers reach the campsite they are greeted with a hot cup of tea and biscuits in the dining tent. After six hours on the mountains, no drink will ever taste sweeter. For dinner the cook will usually prepare a buffet of dishes that are as welcome as they are delicious.

Trekking Gear

Although trekking gear is available in Bhutan you are advised to bring your own gear.

What to Bring - FOR ALL TREKS

Footwear

  • Trekking or running shoes
  • Camp shoes or thongs
  • Socks (polypropylene)

Clothing

  • Down or fibre-filled jacket
  • Jumper or piled jacket
  • Hiking shorts
  • Waterproof jackets, poncho or umbrella
  • Hiking pants
  • T-shirts or blouses
  • Underwear
  • Sun hat
Other equipment
  • Rucksack
  • Self Inflating Sleeping Mattress (optional, “normal” mats provided by Bhutanese tour operators)
  • Water bottle
  • Torch, batteries and bulbs
DRESS CODE FOR VISITING FORTRESSES, MONASTERIES AND TEMPLES IN BHUTAN

Shirts (either half or full sleeve)
Full pants/long skirts
Any type of shoes with socks
No Hats, No Umbrella, No Slippers, No t-shirts, No short skirt and No half-pants
Photographs allowed in the courtyard only.

Transportation and Travel situation in Bhutan
Ground transportation is by private  vehicles based on number of travelers. we provide clean Air conditioning  and  heat in vehicles . expect bad roads with uphill and narrow tracks too, travel time might delay due to weather too.

please consult your doctor before you come to travel. in Bhutan we have local doctors to assist incase if needed.

Hotels / Resorts / Tents
We choose nice and best available hotels based on your budget. you will have private rooms with hot and cold showers

Guide, Driver and helpers
local expert guides and drivers.
this program can be customized based on your time and interest

Service Includes during Bhutan Tour

  • Bhutan Visa arrangement service
  • Government royalty and all the taxes
  • FIT Surcharge for one and two persons
  • Accommodations in A grade hotels
  • Three meals a day breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Full time English speaking Bhutanese guide
  • Private transportation and sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Museums and parks fees indicated in the itinerary
  • Bottled drinking water throughout the journey

 Excludes in the package / supplement during Bhutan Tour

  • Flight fares from Kathmandu, Bangkok, Singapore, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Dhaka, Mumbai, Guwahati, Gaya to Bhutan- please choose the route and let us know we book for you
  • Personal expenses and any alcoholic, non-alcoholic beverages
  • Tips to guide, driver, trekking staff, hotel service, etc.
  • Single room supplement charge for two Pax and above
  • Luxury hotels/resorts available on supplement cost
  • Specialized /language guides available on supplement cost
  • Travel / Medical Insurance

Visa processing

  • Bhutan visa is pre-process by our company we need to have your passport copy by scan on our e-mail. we will send you electronic visa on your mail. you need to print and carry to fly to Bhutan. at immigration authorities will stamp on your passport.
  • your passport must be valid more than 6 months at the time  of travel in Bhutan
* Notes: There are regular flights from Kathmandu Nepal, Bangkok Thailand, Delhi India to Bhutan . for flights and package please contact us now

Some useful Bhutanese phrases during tours
Hello :              Ku-zu-zam-po-la (meaning good health)
Thank You :     Ka din chey la
See you :          Lok jey gay
Good bye :       Lus la “or” Laso la

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Latest Review

Dear Rajan,
Many thanks for organizing such a wonderful tour for us. This will remain our unforgettable trip! We felt so lucky that we were able to visit your beautiful country during the 30th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Bhutan and Japan.

We spent one night in Thimphu, two nights in Phunakha, and two nights in Paro. Phunaka's Lobesa hotel became one of the most impressive splendid hotels we have ever stayed! Its view from the window was just gorgeous and took our breath away.

Nawang was a knowledgeable, kind and caring guide and we learned a lot about your beautiful country from him. Ugay was a safe driver and we felt so comfortable in the lovely Nissan four wheels.

The tour was both very informative and fun. In addition, Nawang accommodated many of our requests and re-arranged the original schedule to our satisfaction. Going to the weekend market in Thimphu became one of the highlights of this tour for us !

We'd like to visit Bhutan again in the future and we will definitely ask you again to organize tour for us.

Finally, we would like to thank Rajan for being such a friendly coordinator. Your responses were always so prompt!!

Yours sincerely,
Nory and Mayuri from Tokyo, Japan
Email: mayurih@hotmail.com

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