8 Day Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
Min Elevation:2400 m
No.of days:9 days
Plan:3 star hotel
Options: 4 or 5 star hotel
Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Reaching at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatize to the altitude and let’s have your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine. Drive to Thimphu; enroute we take the opportunity to stretch our legs with an easy 10 minute walk to Tachog Lhakhang (temple) built circa 1420 by the Tibetan master Tangtong Gyelpo (aka the Bridge Builder).Check into the hotel and some light sight-seeing in Thimphu if possible.
Today we will start our trekking after two hours’ drive from Thimphu to Geynikha. From Gynekha village and begins with a short descent to the river. After crossing the river you start climbing until you reach a huge rock platform from where you have a picturesque view of the valley below. After another two hours you reach Gur, an area of yak pastures located just below the main trail and spend a night in the nearby campsite.
|Ascent 550 m, descent 210 m
On the second day, the trail takes you across the high ridges from where you can truly appreciate the rugged beauty of your surroundings and the mountain vegetation. The path winds through refreshing meadows adorned with wild flowers and asparagus (in spring). The first mountain pass you cross is marked by a huge cairn and gives a spectacular view of Kanjenjunga (Sikkim) and a number of the Bhutanese Himalayan peaks. As you descend the pass you will be able to see the entirety of the Dagala mountain range including meadows and yak herder camps. Once you have descended into the Labatama valley you begin climbing gradually through the valley, passing several yak herder huts before you arrive at Uthso Tsho. The campsite is right next to the lake.
|1,220 m, descent 110 m
On the third day, the trail climbs along the western side of Dala Tsho up to a saddle at 4,520m. From here onwards you will have a fantastic view of the majestic Himalayan peaks all through the descent. The mountain peaks visible include Mt. Everest (Nepal), Mt. Kanchenjunga (Sikkim), Mt. Jomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake, Mt. Tshering Gang, Mt. Khangbum, Mt. Masang Gang, Mt. Tsende Gang and Mt. Gangche Ta. If you want an even better view, you can climb a peak close to the saddle with an altitude of 4,720m. From the saddle the path descends, passing some yak herder huts to Doccha Chhu. You follow the river for a while, but stay higher up on the slope to reach Panka with ascents and descents along the way.
|Ascent 260 m, descent 520 m
This day entails the crossing of several passes but none of them require a major climb. You should keep your eyes open for different varieties of blue poppy (June-July) and mountain birds while in this area. After crossing the last pass, Tale La (4,180m) you start a long descent to Talakha Gompa. From here you will be treated to a great view of Bhutan’s capital Thimphu and descending to Chamgang Vehicle will be waiting for you, so this will be the time to say goodbye to your staff and horses. You will finally Arrival to Thimphu and rest in the hotel.
Our day begins with a visit to the beautiful sacred site, Buddha Dordenma (Buddha Point) one of the largest statues of Buddha Shakyamuni in the world (completed in 2015), was built to emanate an aura of peace and happiness to the entire world. We join the cheerful throng of local worshippers who gather at National Memorial Chorten (stupa) to circumambulate and socialize at the end of the day. We visit Thimphu’s famous Textile Museum, where both ancient and modern examples of this traditional craft are on view.
After lunch we proceed to Paro and we visit Paro Rinpung Dzong (Fortress of Jewels). Located at the edge of Paro Town, this impressive example of 15th Century Bhutanese architecture now serves as the local government centre of Paro. We then visit nearby Ta Dzong (Watchtower) which was built in 1649 and converted into the National Museum of Bhutan in 1968. Here we can view antiques, art, textiles, weapons and household items offering a glimpse of Bhutan’s fascinating history. We enjoy a relaxing evening with time to stroll around the town, visit its cafes, eateries and art and craft shops in Paro.
Morning we will hike to The Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang), the most iconic landmark and holy site in the Kingdom, is located 900 meters above the Paro Valley. It was first built in 1692 at the site of a cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated in the eighth century. Legend says that Guru Rinpoche flew there on a tigress and meditated in the cave for three years in order to subdue evil demons residing within it. The cave has been considered a sacred site ever since and many famous saints have made pilgrimage there. Located approximately 10 km north of Paro town at 3,100 meters altitude, Taktsang is reached after an approximately two and a half hour hike through beautiful, shady pine forests.
We end the day with a visit to Kyichu Lhakhang, a beautiful seventh-century Buddhist temple, one of the oldest in Bhutan.
In the evening there is time for shopping in Paro and we gather for our farewell dinner.
Boarding a morning flight from Paro International Airport, we bid a fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country, taking with us cherished memories of Bhutan! We wish you a safe and happy journey and look forward to meeting again in Druk Yul – a land of endless Enchantments! Tashi Delek!
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