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Trekking in Bhutan


Trekking in Bhutan is strenuous - a little harder overall than trekking Nepal or hiking at home. This is mostly because the days' stages are longer - you should plan six and a half to seven hours on the trail each day. For a modest extra charge we can arrange a horse for anyone who wants to walk less. There are no "coca-cola" stops in Bhutan because there are rarely villages. Trekking in…

Trekking in Bhutan is strenuous – a little harder overall than trekking Nepal or hiking at home. This is mostly because the days’ stages are longer – you should plan six and a half to seven hours on the trail each day. For a modest extra charge we can arrange a horse for anyone who wants to walk less. There are no “coca-cola” stops in Bhutan because there are rarely villages. Trekking in Bhutan is much more a wilderness experience than trekking in the rest of the Himalayas. Campsites are rarely in or near villages.
Bhutan treks use horses or yaks for carrying the camp equipment and supplies. The crew and horse drovers will camp near you, everyone sleeping in comfortable two-person tents. Meals come from your camp kitchen and are remarkably good. There are no trekkers’ “teahouses” in Bhutan, almost no other trekkers, and long stretches where there are no villages or people. The trekking camp is highly self-contained.
“Trekking” is a South African term, borrowed to describe the Himalayan experience by British Gurkha Col. Jimmy Roberts. It is just hiking and camping, but with a very comfortable camp and efficient crew. No equipment is necessary, other than appropriate clothing and sturdy boots. The walking can be strenuous, but requires nothing other than an optional walking stick. The crew do all the work around the camp and serve 3 meals a day.
A typical day on trek begins with the crew making tea in the early morning. A quick wash up and pack, then breakfast is served. Often the crew are breaking camp and sending off the pack train as we finish eating. The morning’s walk is the longer half of the day. It may be gentle down hill or vigorous uphill, and often a series of ups and downs. Lunch break is comfortably long. An avid reader can get a chapter or two in after eating, but most people relax or snooze. When we reach the camp, dinner will be cooking. Then camp chatter, songs, reading or what have-you, and early to bed.
Trekking Programs
Bhutan discourages individual tourism in favour of small groups by putting a stiff surcharge on the price for any party of fewer than four people. If you are a couple or an individual traveller, please look at the pre-set trips below. These are great trips and routinely attract 4 to 8 people.
Trek Route From/To Dates Cost Status
FALL 2011-12
Dur Tsachhu Kathmandu 17 Oct-3 Nov Open
Laya Gasa Bangkok 29 Oct-18 Nov Open
Jholmohari BC. Bangkok 2-16 Nov Open
SPRING 2011-12
Jholmohari BC. Bangkok 21 Mar-3 Apr Open
Jholmohari BC. Bangkok 28 Mar-10 Apr Open
Druk Path Bangkok 8-19 April Open
FALL 2011-12
Bumthang Trek/Festival 31 Oct tent. Open
Laya Gasa dates to be determined Open
Jholmohari BC. dates to be determined Open
Other Treks
The Snowman Trek 27 days – Called the most difficult trek
Gangtey Gompa 10 days – A great Winter trek
Chilila Nature Trek 12 days – Rhodendron forests, a Spring trek
Dagala Thousand Lakes 12 days – Breathtaking views
Punakha Trek 12 days – Four day trek, great sightseeing
Rodungla 17 days – Bhutan’s wild, wild East
Some of these treks are special programs and not in “the books”! Please write to us for itineraries and more information.
The best travel book about Bhutan is the Lonely Planet’s guidebook. It is titled, simply, BHUTAN. The author is Stan Armington, who also wrote the Lonely Planet’s Nepal trekking guide. It’s well worth buying or taking out from the library.

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