Rodung La Trek / Max. Elevation: 4,160m
Highest Camp: 3,680m
Standard: Medium to hard
Best Seasons: October to early November and April to early May
Start: Toktu Zampa (Bumthang) Finish: Trashi Yangtse
Summary: This route was the most important trade route to eastern Bhutan till the road was built. Nowadays hardly anybody, except some ardent trekkers, travels along this route anymore. The route can also be seen as an extension of the Snowman Trek ending in Bumthang. The combination of the two of them, Snowman and Rodung La trek, connects the country from the west (Paro) to the east (Trashi Yangtse). Although the trek does not lead into really high altitude, it is tough and involves long steep descents or ascents depending on the side you start the trek. Definitely one of the harder treks in Bhutan!
Flight to Bhutan is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Katmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, each flight is a mesmerizing aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the Kingdom. On arrival at Paro airport, immigration and custom formalities then received by our representative and transfer to the hotel. Evening take a stroll around town’s main street. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast in the hotel drive to Drukgyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), a ruined fortress built to commemorate victory of Bhutanese warrior over Tibetan invaders centuries ago. Witness the snowy dome of sacred Jumolhari, “mountain of goddess” that looms directly over the Dzong.
Along the way see the 7th century Kichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in Himalayas by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. This temple reflects the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.
After lunch visit to Ta Dzong, originally as watchtower, now houses national museum of the kingdom. It boasts antique thangka, textiles, weapons, amours, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts.
Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning “fortress of heap of jewels” which has a long and fascinating history.
Drive to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The road leads through the Paro valley to the confluence of Thimphu and Paro rivers at Chhuzomsa (confluence). Three different styles of chortens adorn the confluence. A short way beyond, on the left is Tacho Lhakhang, the Temple of the Hill of Excellent horse. Witness Simtokha Dzong en route to Thimphu. On arrival in Thimphu, check into the hotel. Go for an evening walk before dinner.
Full day of sight seeing includes visit to: National Library; it holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts, manuscripts, modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags. Art School: famous for traditional crafts. Traditional Medicine Institute: the rich herbal medicines abundant in Kingdom are prepared here. The institute also imparts the art of herbal medicine to would be practitioners. Memorial Chorten: the beautiful stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s third King. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.
Tashi Chodzong: this impressive fortress/monastery houses the Secretariat building, King’s Throne room and other government’s offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot. Textile and Folk Heritage Museum: Opened in 2001, they are living testimonies of the Bhutanese traditions. Handicraft emporium: it displays wide assortment of beautifully hand woven and crafted products. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
After early breakfast, drive to Dochula pass (alt. 3,100m). If weather permits, you can see a range of high mountains of high Himalayan peaks towards the northeast. Following peaks can be seen from this pass on a clear day; Masanggang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Teri gang (7,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158m), Kangphugang (1,170m), Zongphugang (7,060m), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana and finally Gangkar Puensum (7,497m), the highest mountain peak in Bhutan.
Further drive onwards to Wangduephodrang town for lunch. The descent from Dochula into Wangduephodrang valley is quite long as the difference is 1700 meters. Proceed to Trongsa across Pelela pass (alt. 3,300m), the traditional boundary between east and west. A large prayer flag marks the pass and the ground is covered with high altitude dwarf bamboo. Stop en route at Chendebji Chorten, which was built in 18th century by lama named Shida. It is Nepalese in style with eyes painted at four cardinal points.
Arrive Trongsa and check into hotel in Trongsa.
After break fast walk by Trongsa Dzong, built by Shabdrung in 1647 and visit to the epic Ta Dzong (watch tower), dedicated to the epic hero, King Geser of Ling.
Then drive to Bumthang, which is about 3 hours, through the Yutong La pass (alt.3, 400m 29 km from Trongsa).
Further 13 km ahead, the road enters into a wide, open cultivated valley known as Chumey.
On arrival in Bumthang, check into the lodge. After lunch visit to Kurjey Lhakhang (where the saint body imprint on a rock), he Jambay Lhakhang (7th century), Tamshing Monastery (containing one of the oldest painting in Bhutan), the Jakar Dzong (administrative center of the region). Later, take a stroll in the village.
Dinner and overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Trek begins today. The route takes you around Chamkhar Chhu, a river rich in trout. Lunch at the Thangbi Lhakhang, a temple built by the first Karma Shamar in 13th century. Further ahead you enter Ngang Yul, ‘Swan Land” and at its center is Ngang Lhakhang, the “Swan Temple”. This part of the valley was at first inhabited by swans who gave their name (Ngang) to the place. The Lama Namkha Samdrup, having dreamt a vision of how to build a temple, shot an arrow at the spot where the arrow landed, the Ngang Lhakhang was erected. Overnight at the camp at an altitude of 2,800m. Distance is 20 km, walking time 6/7 hours.
Climb gradually to Phephe La pass (3,353m). Follow the trail until the pass takes you through one of the most beautiful forested areas of this region. Allow for stops to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. Overnight camp at an altitude of 2,850m.
Today’s walk is through bamboos, hemlock and finally up to alpine forest. Overnight camp at an altitude of 3,600m. Distance 17 km, walking time 5/6 hours.
Continue ascending for half an hour until you reach Rodungla (3,800m), and then continue downhill through the gorge, overlooking some of the mountain valleys. Towards the camp you see pine trees. Overnight camp. Distance 20 km, time 6/7 hours.
This trail winds up and down till you reach Drula village and Khaine Lhakhang en route. It is one of the oldest temples in existence today, built in mid 7th century by the King Songsten Gampo of Tibet to subdue demons. Overnight camp. Distance 21 km, time 7/8 hours.
Proceed to Lhuntse guesthouse for lunch. After lunch it is leisure time. Overnight camp.
Arrive firstly to Kuri Zampa and the trek from here is gradually up through the paddy fields and villages. Overnight camp. Distance 12 km, time 4/5 hours.
Continue uphill through thick forests overlooking mountain views. The camp is under forest shelter at an altitude of 2,400m. Distance 20 km, time 6/7 hours.
Continue up to Dongla where you will have the fascinating mountain views. Descend through thick evergreen forests till you reach campsite. Overnight campsite. Distance 21 km, time 6/7 hours.
Today is the longest trek. It is a gradually downhill till Yangtse through Chir pine and hardwood forests like oak of sub tropical forest zone. Overnight camp. Distance 24 km, time 8/9 hours.
End of the trek and drive to Trashigang. Overnight at the lodge in Trashigang.
In the morning you can visit the weaving center in Khaling (which is operated by the National Women’s Association of Bhutan), Sherbutse College in Kanglung (Bhutan’s first college), and Zangdo Pelri Monastery. From there you will head back to Mongar. Overnight in Mongar.
Drive the spectacular 8-hour route back to Bumthang, with stops for lunch and tea in nearby villages. Overnight in Bumthang.
You’ll begin the day at the Bumthang market, and then drive to Wangduephodrang, where you can stroll through the town and visit the shops. The nearby villages are known for their slate and stone carvings and bamboo work. Overnight in Wangduephodrang.
After break fast you will drive to Paro via Thimphu. If it’s the weekend, you can stroll through the market to see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It’s fun to wander the aisles, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market.
After lunch you will drive to Paro. At Paro visit a traditional farmhouse and, if you wish, enjoy a hot-stone bath and a typical Bhutanese dinner. Overnight in Paro.
After early breakfast drive to Paro Airport for departure. Our representative will bid you farewell.
Sustainable Development Fees
Bhutan Visa fee
Accommodations in 5 star hotel/Resorts on Double Occupancy basics.
Lunch, Dinner, Evening Tea and Snacks(Dinner & Lunch will be served at Tourism board certified restaurent only)
All transfers and sightseeing with entrance fees to the sights visited.
Local English Speaking Tour Leader/Guide.
Full time luxury SUV or luxury Coaster Bus.
All necessary permits and their fees.
Plenty of drinking mineral water.
All necessary trekking arrangements (1 tent for 2 guest for trekkers).
Individual’s special gifts hamper.
Free Bhutan tourist maps and other information pamphlets.
Wearing of Bhutanese dress during your stay in Bhutan only if you are interested.
Visit traditional Bhutanese house and dinner with Bhutanese locals.
International & Domestic Airfare
Travel / Medical Insurance (recommended)
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
Specialized /language guides available on supplement cost
Travel / Medical Insurance
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