Bumthang Cultural Trek - 14 Days

Overview

Bumthang Cultural Trek is a fourteen day package in the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan where you hike for about ten days going and returning to the cultural valley of Bumthang to see how the people and villages in this valley go about their lifestyle and what their cultural aspects are while there.

Bhutan, where this Bumthang Cultural Trek takes place, is a country that is perched in the Himalayan region between India to the south, east and west, and the autonomous region of Tibet to the north. This country, which is predominantly Buddhist, has a mixture of sects in it, which in some ways are distinctively apart from each other in what they wear and do. The cultural trek to Bumthang shows you what is different in these people though they are Bhutanese as a whole. The Bumthang Trek, itself involves going through some of the finest trekking trails with landscapes that keep you enthralled all along the way. There are snow-covered mountain peaks to keep you occupied when the difficulty of walking sets in. The flora, fauna, natural vegetation, animal and birdlife is so special to the region in which you do this Bumthang Cultural trek. So much so, you would like the other treks in Bhutan, which are Druk Path Trek Jomolhari Circuit Trek Laya Gasa Trek or Gangtey Valley Trek check out the Bhutan Trekking Packages. To keep its natural environment in pristine condition, the country of Bhutan has over sixty percent of its landmass covered with forests and the other forty percent is used in sustainable agricultural practices. So much so, Bhutan is the only country in the world, with a negative carbon rating, making it clean its own pollution plus its neighbouring countries. In addition to this, it uses gross domestic happiness, rather than gross domestic product to measure the benefits of the social order in the country. With these, it has a natural open air historical archives of monasteries, temples, shrines, Dzongs (fortresses) so well integrated into its natural landscape which is neither detrimental but only allowing for the peaceful existence of the mind, body and soul. Hence trekking in a region, so well kept, makes Bumthang Cultural Trek something worth undertaking or any other for a matter of fact.

There are many wonders which you are likely to come across on a Bumthang Cultural Trek, but what you surely are going to encounter while coming into Bhutan for it, is the terrain of the High Himalayan Mountains with its snow-covered peaks to the north and the landscape with the lush green hills and valleys with fast flowing rivers, some of which have cut gorges into them, that come from ancient glacial basins below the high Himalayan snow-capped mountains. You land at the only international airport in the lush green valley of Paro. You are then met to the introduction of your hiking tour staff who cordially welcome you to the Kingdom of Bhutan. Then you begin with some touring activities before you embark on the actual hike to Bumthang. You hike to Bumthang will take you across Buddhist temple, Shrines, Dzong (fortresses) and flora and fauna unique to the Region of Bumthang. When you have taken in the unique sights and sound of what is uniquely related to this region, you return to the remaining part of the tour of Dzongs, Monasteries and the Taktsang Monastery in Paro. You finally complete your tour with the thought, that if you really did this trek to Bumthang.

How difficult is hiking on this tour?
Like all treks in Bhutan, you have to do a bit of steep climbing in order to get to the next area, so, the treks can be taken as being moderately hard but can be done by anyone who happens to be in proper physical condition. Plus the landscape and wonders of the terrain will remove any physical discomfort you might have on the hike.

Outline Trekking Itinerary for Bumthang Cultural Trek
Day 1: Arrival Paro (2250m) – Thimphu (2350m)
Day 2: Thimphu – Punakha (1310m)
Day 3: Punakha – Gangtey (2,900m)
Day 4: Punakha – Bumthang (2,800m)
Day 5: Bumthang Sightseeing (2,800m)
Day 6: Trek to Ngang Lhakhang (2,895m)
Day 7: Trek to Tahung ‘Meadow Camp’ (2,790m)
Day 8: Trek to Gamling/Mesithang (2,640m)
Day 9: Trek to Bumthang (2,800m)
Day 10: Bumthang – Gangtey (2320m)
Completing breakfast, we retrace the same way back to Gangtey which takes about eight hours to cover. When we arrive at Gangtey, we check into a hotel.
Day 11: Gangtey – Paro (2350m)
Day 12: Paro – Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,120m)
Day 13: Depart Bhutan

Trip Highlights

  • Catch panoramic view of the world’s tallest Himalayas while flying in/out from Paro.
  • Witness Bhutanese culture and tradition.
  • Explore Paro exploding with colors and tradition.
  • Hike into the Bhutan’s cultural heartland – Bumthang Valley.
  • Explore around the tiny capital Thimphu.
  • Go on a popular hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan.
  • Visit Punakha Dzong – the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan.

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival Paro (2250m) – Thimphu (2350m)

Today, you arrive at Paro aboard the Bhutanese National Carrier (Druk Air) that takes you over the high snow-capped peaks, lush green hills and villages before landing to a delightful sight. You are greeted by the staff of your tour and later taken for lunch in Paro. Then you drive to the capital Thimphu in an hour’s drive. On the way you can do a short hike to Tamcho Monaster, which is a temple owned by the descendants of a famous Tibetan Bridge Builder Thangthong Gaylpo. In Thimphu, we visit Buddha Point for a lovely view of Thimphu City. Then it’s Takin Compound which is the national animal of Bhutan. Later, we visit Tashi Cho Dzong which is known as the fortress of the glorious religion that was first constructed in 1641 and then rebuilt after a fire in 1960s by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, and much later we go to the Folk Heritage Museum that is in a 300 year old traditional house, then onto the Centenary Farmers Market which sell authentic crafts.

Day 2
Thimphu – Punakha (1310m)

After completing an early breakfast, we take a drive for about three hours to Punakha through Dochu La Pass at a height of 3,140 metres. From here on a clear day, we are able to see the Eastern Himalayas with its snow-covered mountain peaks. The road goes down to finally, enter the valley of Punakha. While still on the way, we take a hike through the beautiful rice fields to Chimmi Lhakhang, than is a temple dedicated to Drukpa Kuenley, a well-known saint of the Bhutanese famously known as the Divine Madman. Later in the afternoon, we go to the Punakha Dzong that is at the junction of Pho-Cho and Mo-Cho Rivers, it’s supposedly the best dzong in the country. We stay the night at a hotel.

Day 3
Punakha – Gangtey (2,900m)

Completing breakfast, we go up a tortuous mountain road through an oak and rhododendron wood, and via a high pass descending into the Phobjikha valley, that is supposed to be one of the loveliest high altitude valleys in Bhutan. It is the winter home of the black-necked cranes which migrate from the Tibetan plateau. Then we enjoy an hour and half of Gangtey nature walk from the Monastery through the jungle before getting to the valley floor. We stay the night at a hotel.

Day 4
Punakha – Bumthang (2,800m)

Today, we take a five hour drive to Bumthang valley. The road is a rapid clim through a series of tortuous bends out of trongsa which gives us good views of the Dzong. Crossing the fields which have been cultivated and entering the forest we get to Yotong La Pass at 3,400 metres. We then descend to a low level at 2,650 metres called Chumey; the scene is completely different as we enter the wide open Bumthang Valley. It takes about an hour to get to the road at Chumey, which is the first of the four in Bumthang. We stay the night at a hotel.

Day 5
Bumthang Sightseeing (2,800m)

The first thing in the morning, we go to Kurje Lhakhang which is one of the most sacred temples in Bhutan, the patron saint, Guru Padmasambhava meditated here. Then taking the tarmac road heading south, we go to Jambey Lhakang. It is a temple which was erected in the 17th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. On having lunch, we take a hike to Tamshing Lhakhang that was founded by pema Lingpa in 1501. It has interesting old wall paintings. Later, we visit Jarkar Dzong, also called the castle of the white birds. Then we take a stroll in the market of Bumthang and return to our hotel for the night’s stay.

Day 6
Trek to Ngang Lhakhang (2,895m)

Today, you trek begins at a small village of Thangbi from Thangbi, following the Chamkhar Chu a river with trout in it. Walking for an hour, we pass Zangling Lhakhang onto a hill at the right side. Then the trail enters the Ngang Yul which means land of the swans where in the middle is the Ngang Lhakhang or Swan Temple. We stay at a camp for the night.

Day 7
Trek to Tahung ‘Meadow Camp’ (2,790m)

We visit the Ngang Lhakhang Gompa at the beginning of the trek from where we climb for an hour up to the steep pass at Phephela at 3360 metres which is also the highest point of the trek. Descending we reach camp. It is a trails which passes through many forests. We then put up tent for the night.

Day 8
Trek to Gamling/Mesithang (2,640m)

Today we start the hike at Tahung where the trails leads us to the Tang Chu and its bridge. We now got an option of going to either of the available camp site. If we want to camp at Mesithang then we cross the bridge, else we keep on walking along the left side of the river. Camping at Ugyen Chholing is the easier walk. Whichever one we choose, we spend the night there at a camp.

Day 9
Trek to Bumthang (2,800m)

Whichever placed we camped at the previous night. If it was Gamling, it will take us an hour before we get across the tang Chu where a vehicle shall be waiting else if we camped at Mesithang it is a 15 Km road ride to the Junction of Bumthang-Mongar highway and then we drive to Bumthang for 30 minutes. We then pay a visit to Membar Tsho. We stay the night at a hotel.

Day 10
Bumthang – Gangtey (2320m)

Completing breakfast, we retrace the same way back to Gangtey which takes about eight hours to cover. When we arrive at Gangtey, we check into a hotel.

Day 11
Gangtey – Paro (2350m)

Today, we head back to Paro by road which should take us about eight hours to arrive at. We stay the night at a hotel.

Day 12
Paro – Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (3,120m)

Today, we take and excursion to Taktsang Monastery which has a lovely setting in Bhutan. It is set against a vertical cliff at 2,950 metres. It takes two hours to reach. It is believed that the Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress to meditate for three months. Later we visit Kyichu Lhakang, the oldest temple in Bhutan and also have the opportunity to see local farm houses. At Paro we stay the night in a hot

Day 13
Depart Bhutan

Today, since your tour has been completed you will be taken and bid farewell at the airport for your outbound flight to your next destination.
At Breakfree Adventures, we hope that you had a fabulous time on this trek, where we take you comfort and security into considerati

Cost

What is Included

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
  • 3-star accommodation throughout your Bhutan stay (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
  • Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing.
  • Route Permit.
  • Three meals per day - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner (only breakfast on last day)
  • A licensed English Speaking Bhutanese tour guide.
  • All land transportation by a private vehicle.
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary.
  • Monuments entrance fees wherever applicable.
  • Bottled drinking water.
  • All internal taxes and charges.
  • A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)

What is Not Included

  • Airfare & Travel Insurance.
  • Expenses of personal nature, Tips & Gratuities.
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Where is Bumthang Bhutan?

Bumthang is located far off from Paro and it’s the one of the 20 dzongkhag (districts) in Bhutan. Bumthang is home to several ancient temples and sacred sites, so also known as the cultural heartland of Bhutan.

What is Bumthang Cultural trek?

Bumthang Cultural trek is trekking within the Bumthang region witnessing it’s culture and traditions, visiting ancient monasteries and temples, religious lake and trek past lush green Bhutanese countrysid

When is the best time for Bumthang Cultural Bhutan Trek?

The best time for Bumthang Cultural Bhutan Trek is March to May and September to November during when the weather will be at it’s best with clear Himalayan views and clear skies. Monsoon (Jun-Aug) will witness rain and winter (Dec-Feb) will be colder with chances of snow.

What will I experience on Bumthang Cultural Trek in Bhutan?

You will experience Bhutan’s pure and unspoiled culture and traditions on Bumthang Cultural Trek in Bhutan as well as witnessing majestic Himalayan panorama and the natural beauty of Bhutan.

What is Bumthang cultural trek itinerary?

Bumthang cultural trek itinerary is trek from Thangbi village to Ngang Lhakhang (2,895m), Tahung ‘Meadow Camp’ (2,790m), Gamling/Mesithang (2,640m) and trek back to Bumthang (2,800m).

How much difficult is Bumthang Cultural Trek Packages?

Bumthang Cultural Trek Packages is moderate graded trek and anyone with a good level of fitness can accomplish this trek

What is the walking hour Bhutan Bumthang trekking?

The walking hour Bhutan Bumthang trekking is maximum at 4-5 hours and less.

Is it Cultural Tour in Bhutan with Bumthang Trek?

Yes, it’s the Cultural Tour in Bhutan with Bumthang Trek where you will go several locations like Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey ‘Phobijikha Valley’, Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ visiting many monasteries, temples, dzongs which highlights the culture and tradition of Bhutan. In Bumthang, you will go for four days of trekking around the Bumtang area.

Is Bumthang Cultural Trek the short treks in Bhutan?

Bumthang Cultural Trek is one of the short trek in Bhutan at the Bhutnease countryside witnessing it’s beautiful nature and panoramic Himalayan views.

What will be the accommodation like on Bhutan Bumthang Cultural Trek?

Accommodation on Bhutan Bumthang Cultural Trek is on tent since this is camping based trekking since there are no lodges at the trekking trails and supported by a full trek crew.

Where does Bumthang trek Bhutan starts and ends?

Bumthang trek Bhutan starts and ends in Bumthang where the trek start from Thangbi village in Bumthang then after four days of trekking it ends at Gamling/Mesithang then back to Bumthang.

Which other places will I visit during Bumthang cultural trek Bhutan?

Other places you will visit during Bumthang cultural trek Bhutan are the colorful Paro, Thimphu-the tiny capital, Punakha – the old capital, Gangtey with beautiful Phobijikha Valley and the cultural heartland of Bhutan’Bumthang’.

Trip Information

Bhutan Visa Information:
The citizen of Bangladesh, Maldives and India do not require VISA to enter Bhutan. People from other countries except from Bangladesh, Maldives and India need a VISA permit while traveling to Bhutan. The VISA processing for Bhutan requires a readable color copy of passport via email that has at least six month of validity from the date of exit from Bhutan. The file Scan Copy should be forwarded to via email in JPEG or PDF format. The passport number and picture of the applicant should be visible in the e-document.

The application should be processed at least 10 days prior to the date of entry to Bhutan. The tourism council of Bhutan then issues a VISA clearance letter and fax or email it to the local travel agent. Please note that the VISA service is not offered in Bhutan, travelers have to buy full service package from the local tour operator. Travelers traveling by air are required to produce a printed VISA clearance copy at the time of check-in for Druk Air flight. People traveling by land to enter Bhutan via Phuentshoking or Samdrup Jonkhar are required to produce a VISA clearance letter at the immigration center. The actual VISA is stamped in your passport on your arrival in Bhutan.

Flights to Bhutan:
There are several cities that have direct flights to Bhutan. There are two airlines Druk air and Bhutan airlines running the flights to Bhutan. Druk air is the national carrier of Bhutan. With its fleet of Airbuses A319-115 and ATR 42 the airlines fly from different Asian countries to the Paro international airport, Paro (PBH); which is only the international airport in Bhutan. There are daily direct flights from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu to Paro International Airport.

The flights from Indian cities to Paro International Airport with the airport name and their codes are listed below:
Bagdogra Airport, Bagdogra (IXB)
Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (DEL)
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata (CCU)
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (BOM)

Likewise, there flights from other countries with the codes are as follows:
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand (BKK)
Shahjalal International Airport, Bangladesh (DAC)
Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore (SIN)

Note: The flight schedule and timings are subject to change. If you want to know more about the flight schedules and tour to Bhutan please feel free to contact us. We can also help to find you the cheapest fares available.

Best time to visit Bhutan:
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan lies in south Asia between China and India. Climate and weather vary according to the altitude, season and place of visit. Bhutan is open all year around for the visitors but it is better to make the travel arrangements as per your preference and nature of visit.

The ideal time to visit Bhutan is spring (March-May) and Autumn/fall (September-November). These are considered to be the best time to visit Bhutan to get the maximum adventure and trouble free experience. Summer and winter also have their own specialties that could draw the attention of tourists during these seasons. During the spring the weather mostly remains clear and climate is fantastic. It is also the best time to visit for the nature lovers to experience the mystifying beauty of nature. Varieties of flowers and plants bloom in this season that makes your adventure an exotic one. The route opens for Jomolhari and Druk Path treks from mid-April to May.

Summer (June-August) in the other hand could get tricky at times due to the early arrival of monsoon. The month of June would be great for traveling if the monsoon is pushed further. Usually monsoon is in full swing by early July. Travelers who would strive to get some trekking experience on muddy trail while witnessing swollen rivers, green forests and flourishing paddy field could choose late summer to plan their adventure. The view of open clear blue sky after the rain is something that strikes you with its mystifying beauty.

Fall (September-November) is another favorable and crowded season after spring. The weather gets mild despite cold mornings and evenings. Tourists from all around the world thong to Bhutan during this season to witness Black-Necked-Crane festival. The month of October has its own significance and the valley turn into a shade of gold as the farmers prepare to harvest their rice crops during this month.

Winter season (December to February) is not that crowded with tourists in comparison to other seasons. Planning your adventure during the winter could be a better idea if you want to avoid the hustle-bustle of the peak season. During the winter Bhutan may see some snow fall. The temperature level goes down (even below freezing point) during some winter days.

VACCINATION FOR BHUTAN:
No vaccinations are presently required However, the following vaccinations are recommended:
Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver. The disease is distinctly unpleasant, with profound nausea, loss of appetite, and weakness.
Tetanus: Tetanus bacteria can infect small wounds and cause a fatal infection.
Typhoid Fever: Typhoid fever is caused by infection with Salmonella typhi bacteria, passed in human feces and acquired by eating contaminated food or water.

WEATHER IN BHUTAN:
Bhutan lies in South Asia between China and India in the Himalayas, weather in Bhutan depends upon the altitude. In the northern parts of the country where mountains rise up to 7,000m, weather conditions are similar to arctic. Southwards, closer to India, the weather is hot and humid in the summer and cool in winter. The monsoon rains are usually heavy. Winters can be a good time to visit the lower parts, but then the highest areas are freezing.

The best times to visit Bhutan are spring (March-May) and autumn (late September – November) when the weather is warm, dry and sunny but always throw in a couple of warm clothes into your travelling gear when you travel to Bhutan regardless of the season.

WHAT TO WEAR AND BRING:
Layering Clothing
Bring your clothes according to the season and region of your travel. Based on your activity and the weather, you can make quick adjustments, by putting on more clothing if it is cold or taking off layers as it warms up. In the summer time, days can be quite warm, especially in the lowlands of Punakha and Phuentsholing, light cotton clothing is recommended for day time. But in most of the tourist and trekking areas, light woolen clothes for evenings and heavy woollens / down jackets for winter are necessary. A waterproof windbreaker is important for trekking and outdoor activities.
Comfortable and Sturdy shoes.
You have a lot of opportunity to walk around in Bhutan, you will be glad you wore sturdy shoes that keep your feet comfortable. Good shoes will let you explore the rural and allow you to have a long day walk. Bring sandals or slip ons to take off easily when entering temples.
Long pants / skirts
Wear particularly conservative clothing in the towns, women should wear long pants or long skirts, men should wear long pants and shorts are not appropriate for anyone. In the dzongs and temples, the legs and arms must be covered, and even threequarter-length capri pants are not acceptable for women.
Rain gear
Be prepared for occasional shower. A folding umbrella is a good idea to bring with.
Hat, Sunglass, Sunscreen & lip protection.
The sun can be scorching in Bhutan. Be sure to apply sunscreen in the morning and throughout your day.

Other requirements:
A quality sleeping bag.
Waterproof gators.
A headlamp torch and a normal torch. (Including spare batteries.)
Binoculars and Camera.
Small day pack.
Water bottle
Towel
Small medical kit that includes aspirin, motion sickness tablets, diamox.(The guide carries a larger Medical kit but please bring own travel medications)
Antiseptic hand gel for disinfecting hands without water.
Mini-flashlight

DIFFERENT CURRENCY ACCEPTED BY BHUTAN BANK:
Credit cards are accepted only in major international hotels and high-end shops in Bhutan.

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Bumthang Cultural Trek

Trip Facts

  • Bhutan
  • 13 Nights/14 Days
  • Spring (March-May) & Autumn/fall (September-November)
  • Private vehicle
  • Easy
  • Bumthang
  • Bumthang
  • 5-6 hours each day
  • Sightseeing/Hiking tour
  • Taktsang Monastery, Bumthang, Paro Ringpng Dzong, Buddha's Point-Thimphu, Dochula pass, Punakha dzong
  • Government approved 3 stars and Above/Tent during camping

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