Haa Valley Trek

BhutanHike and Trek, History & Culture

Following an ancient trade route this trek will take you through some of the most scenic valleys of western Bhutan - incorporating some of Bhutan's major cultural and historic centers and lesser known areas. You will trek past herders camps - cows in summer, yaks in winter - alpine meadows, spruce and fir forests and camp overnight near small villages. The most important temple in the Haa valley is the Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) supposedly built by a pigeon emanation of the 7th century Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo.

Perhaps most spectacular sight in western Bhutan is the Taktsang Monastery dramatically sited on a cliff side in the upper Paro Valley - of immense historic importance Paro is also site of the imposing, fortified Rinpung Dzong as well as a number of small, but important temples - including Kyerchu Lhakhang and Dumtsek Lhakhang.

Punakha is unquestionably one of Bhutan's most picturesque dzongs situated between two rivers, upstream from the dominating dzong at Wangdue and partially rebult following a severe flood in 1994. In Thimphu, Bhutan's tiny capital, there is time to shop for handicrafts as well as visit the Painting school, School of Traditional Medicine and the Memorial Chorten and the chance of watching an archery match or practice session.

10 Nights
From SGD 2,683Per Person

Haa Valley Trek

10-day, 9-night trips can depart Singapore for Paro every Thursday (returning the following Saturday).

The flight to Paro must be one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. On this flight the views of the Everest, Kanchen Junga and other Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drakey in Bhutan are simply awesome.
Sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum and the Rimpong (Paro) Dzong.

In the afternoon  drive (1½ hours) to Thimphu, the country's capital, following the Po Chu River.

Overnight in Thimphu.

Once a rustic village sitting in a broad, fertile river valley, Thimphu is today the nation’s bustling capital. Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, including a visit to the National Memorial Chorten. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernisation, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972. Continue on to 12th century Changangkha Temple and Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha Nunnery.

Other sites to visit include the School for Arts and Crafts where students are taught the 13 types of Bhutanese art, the National Library housing the collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, the traditional Paper Factory displaying the Bhutanese paper making process, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. Time permitting, you may visit the nursing pen for the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, and Tashichhodzong, ‘the fortress of the glorious religion’. Initially erected in 1641 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was rebuilt in the 1960s during the reign of Bhutan’s third king in the traditional style, without plans or nails. Tashichhodzong houses some of the ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.

If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market to see the varieties of Bhutanese food including baskets of fiery chillies, cheese and a variety of greens. (This market is open only from Friday-Sunday).

Overnight in Thimphu.

The road to Punakha and Wangdue (3 hour drive) crosses the Dochula Pass (3,050m), offering a great view of the Eastern Himalaya. Visit the ruins of the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong (burned to the ground in 2012 but there are already plans to rebuild) once perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers, completely covering it and commanding an impressive view. Across the river, comes the first glimpse of the picturesque village of Rinchengang whose inhabitants are celebrated stonemasons.

Punakha Dzong is the winter residence of Bhutan’s spiritual leader, it is built between two rivers known as “Phochu” (Male River) and “Mochu” (Female River).

Overnight in Punakha.

Return to Thimphu in the afternoon, perhaps with time for the 2 hour hike to the Buddhist college above Tango monastery.

Overnight in Thimphu.

Drive into the picturesque Haa valley. There is time to explore the small town before setting off on the easy 1 hour hike to Katso village. Opposite the village, you can see the famous Katso Lhakhang (temple) of Guru Rimpoche built against the rocky ledge. Overnight Camp above Katso Village in an open meadow through which runs a beautiful stream.

Overnight in camp.

The second day’s trek is about 5 hours, gradually climbing through blue pine forest. Crossing the same stream three times, the trail leads up hill through spruce and conifer forest until you reach Kalila Pass. Enroute will come across cow herders in summer and yak-herders in winter. Kalila Pass is a point from where you get a spectacular view of Paro and Haa valleys as well as the western Himalayan mountain ranges on a clear day.

Overnight camp at the pass.

After crossing the pass the trail winds down through thick spruce and fir forests, overlooking the Paro valley - a great place for bird-watchers. After descending down about 3 hours you will pass a stone piled stupa, which is dedicated to the deity of Ngoba village.

Overnight in a farm house at Ngoba village.

Trek down-hill towards Paro for about an hour to reach the main road where transport will be waiting for you. Drive to the hotel for lunch and rest. Afternoon spend exploring Paro town and valley.

Overnight in Paro.

After breakfast hike up to Taktsang Monastery. The view of Taktsang Monastery - “The Tiger’s Nest”, built on a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley floor, is a spectacular sight. The trail is broad, and the walk of approximately 2 hours uphill takes you almost a kilometre above the Paro valley floor. The great Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century.

In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7,314m) appears as a stunning backdrop.

On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa. Inside there is a great golden image of Buddha Shakyamuni.

Overnight in Paro.

Early morning transfer to the airport for departure flight to Singapore.

Tour Cost

Price per person in SGD

10D Haa Valley Trek ~ Thimphu, Punakha, Haa & Paro

Valid from Valid from Dec 01, 2017 - Nov 30, 2018.
SGL Traveller
(private tour)
02 Persons
(private tour)
03 or More
(private tour)
SGL
Supplement
Dec, 2017, and Jan to Feb, 2018298927252683377
Mar, Apr and May361833533311377
Jun, Jul and Aug298927252683377
Sep, Oct and Nov361833533311377
Land prices do not include air passage to/from Paro. Please check with us for attractive tour-based airfare between Singapore and Paro.
9NHAATREKID058TT180202

Inclusions

  • Return economy airfare between Singapore and Paro on Drukair (Royal Bhutanese Airlines): SIN/PBH/SIN
  • All airport taxes, fuel surcharges and security taxes
  • Bhutan Visa & application fee
  • All royalties, government taxes, and small group surcharges, if any is payable
  • All transfers and ground transportation in a private vehicle with an experienced driver
  • 06 nights in standard government-approved accommodation (in twin sharing rooms)
  • 4-day, 3-night guided trek from Haa to Paro valleys
    • Tented accommodation and equipment during the camping trek. We will provide fully waterproof two-men tents, dining tents, kitchen gear, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, shower tent, etc.
    • The required number of local staff and porters to carry your luggage and camping equipment during the trek; luggage will be hauled by horses, mules or yaks at higher elevations.
    • All trekking, route and monument access permits and fees.
  • All meals, excluding beverages
    • Breakfasts in hotels
    • Other meals in local restaurants
  • Drinking water for the duration of the tour (not during meal times in restaurants)
  • Services of licensed English-speaking Bhutanese guide
  • Guided touring with entrance fees to sights & monuments

Exclusions

  • Travel insurance covering trip curtailment, emergency rescue and medical evacuation, etc. (please check with us for our travel insurance plans)
  • Personal expenditure such as phone calls, internet access, all soft/hard beverages, laundry services, etc.
  • Other options or expenses not mentioned in the Inclusions above
  • Tips and gratuities for guide and driver, and trekking staff (tipping is expected)

Drukair flight schedules

Singapore (SIN) to Paro (PBH)

 TUE     KB501 SIN/PBH 06:00/10:15 (Sep to May)
 THU     KB501 SIN/PBH 06:00/10:15
 SUN     KB501 SIN/PBH 06:30/10:45

Paro (PBH) to Singapore (SIN)

 MON     KB500 PBH/SIN 07:20 15:35 (Sep to May)
 WED/SAT KB500 PBH/SIN 07:20 15:35