Explore, Indulge and Hike in the Highlands with The team of excursion to Himalayas. At the relatively “young” age of 23, I’ve racked up a decent amount of travel experiences … and have been lucky enough to experience some very unique cultures from around the world. And Bhutan is one such place with Unique cult ya don’t traditions. Introduction Hello, My name is Sherab Dorji and I’ve always enjoyed traveling. Some of my fondest memories from childhood involve me from going around to the wilderness in and around the country. As I’ve grown, I’ve kept pushing the limits of where I go… and don’t even consider myself to be on a holiday unless it is adventurous, nature friendly and in the wilderness.I was extremely lucky to a get a opportunity to join this beautiful fam trip with the team of Excursion to Himalayas. This has only increased my desire to continue “jetsetting”. Anyways, I think my reason for creating this blog was to share some random experiences. It also gave me something to do while I was capturing those beautiful moments and mesmerizing essence. It was a beautiful 2 nights three days trip and below are places i visited. Thimphu We started from my house olakha, in the morning at around 8 am along with the team of Excursion to Himalayas and the family of the CEO of the company.
After that Drive to to Chelela(Mountain Pass) via Paro valley. It will take 45 minutes from Thimphu to Paro. Paro houses the only international airport in the country. As I was in the car listening to music and laying in the backseat, and as I looked through the window it was one of the most amazing view one could ask for. Here we are at Paro enjoying the views and now it will take around 45 minutes to one hour to reach Chelela. Chelala Pass via Haa Upon reaching the base of the Chelela pass, it was a slope up of a narrow black topped road ascending through rhododendrons,cypress tress, mosses, yellow puppy and other flora and fauna paved in the middle of various mountains. As we go higher, the temperature was low and the weather was foggy. One would get the chills and feels of going through the snow trekking. Chelela Pass stands at the altitude of 3800 meters above sea level. I enjoyed walking through on the ridges to scan for the pheasants. The main highlight for this Pass is to look for the Himalayan Monal and the Tragopans(most commonly seen In Spring and early summer. Chelela Houses many prayer flags and most interestingly it has a small food truck which costs you the double price of we get at the mainstream stores. In the mean time the Company has taken a initiative to do a cleaning campaign through the mountains in which they are advocating clean Bhutan for green Bhutan. After a short break we all head for a cup of tea and coffee and some snacks. It was really cold but at the same time my mind was fresh and was in the the process of renewing. Since it was really cold and scheduled was packed, we descended towards Haa. It will only take around half an hour to reach Haa. It was around 2 PM and I was feeling really hungry and everyone did. We stopped on the way to have lunch in a beautiful lawn area to enjoy food. Yes it was not in a restaurant but it was a pot log lunch and it was beautiful. There was varieties of food items including from Chicken, dried meat, dried fish, ema datsi(chili cheese), ezzay(spices), Tea and etc… I would really recommend clients visiting Bhutan for such experience of pot log services in various places of the country. I am sure they would really enjoy it and of course they would love it. After the delicious Lunch we got back in the car and headed towards Haa. After around 30 minutes of Drive we reached Haa Valley. Haa Located in South West of Paro and covering an area of roughly 1706 sq. km, Haa is one of the smallest Dzongkhag in the country. This valley remains one of the least visited areas by tourist in the country and retains the air of an unspoiled, primeval forest. The wooded hills of Haa provides an ideal location for hiking and mountain biking. Biking around the valley to visit the dzongs or local temples is an enjoyable way to spend the day when visiting. Haa is home to a number of nomadic herders and hosts an annual Summer Festival that showcases their unique lifestyle and culture. The town of Haa sprawls along the Haa Chhu and forms two distinct areas. Much of the southern town is occupied by the Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT) camp (complete with a golf course) and a Bhutanese army training camp. Near here is the small dzong and Lhakhang Karpo monastery. The central bazaar, a couple of kilometres to the north, has the main shops and local restaurants. The three hills to the south of town are named after the Rigsum Goempo, the trinity of Chenresig, Chana Dorje and Jampelyang; they also represent the valley’s three protector deities. The scenic road to the north continues past the Talung valley and Chhundu Lhakhang, and ends at Damthang, 15km from Haa town. We stopped at Damthang, took some pictures and some sightseeings and we head back to the hotel through the same route. After 30 minutes of Drive we reached Ugyen Home stay where our accommodation was arranged. Ugyen Home Stay Owners Ugyen and Bedar warmly welcome guests into their traditional home in Domcho village, just 100m south of the Lhakhang Kharpo; it’s a good option if you want a look at family and village life. It offers you with 6 rooms and Authentic Bhutanese Cuisine and entire Bhutanese lifestyle. The mattresses are thick, the toilets are Western, and a hot-stone bath is available. I would say that the people from others parts of the world can really understand and feel the zeal of being Bhutanese, also the lifestyle and emotions the Bhutanese express. I personally feel blessed for having visited this place. I feel better, open and I feel peace inside. I suggest people from the west that one place you should visit in Bhutan is Haa and Ugyen Home Stay. During dinner it was an amazing moment where they cooked delicious Bhutanese Cuisine which includes Sakam Paa( Dried Beef), Potato Curry, Ema Datsi(Chilli with Cheese), Jaju( traditional style soup) Suja ( Butter Tea) and Dal. The food was really delicious and tasty. Later some beers and chill and then everyone went to their respective room so that we can rest after a tiring journey. Kila Goenpa Hike We woke up in the morning at around 8 am. Then headed for breakfast at the farmhouse with amazing butter tea with fried rice. It Includes other snacks as well with Bhutanese Ezzay(spice). After that we headed back as per the schedule. We were heading towards Paro via Chelela Pass. As we reached Chelela it was very cold and freezing. We stopped there for some hot coffee and tea.
Here there is a Temple called Kila Goenpa which is around 1 hour hike. Kila Gnunnery or Chele la Gompa is located on the cliffs below Chele pass at about 3,500m above sea level. There are seven small temples and several retreat huts built into a dizzying Cliffside, a days walk from anywhere, where some 30 to 70 nuns live in self-imposed isolation. They rarely get visitors as the hike up from the main road takes almost an hour each way, through forest and steep slopes. The drive till the pass takes around one and half hour from Paro and less than an hour, if you are coming from Haa. There are great views from here of Paro valley below, Jele Dzong across on the far ridge and also seen to the north, are Mt Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake on a clear day. Kila in Sanskrit means a subjugating spiritual dagger that destroys the negativities. We started our hike. We were around 6 people and others, they stayed in the Car. We started along the trails with a little more initiative and started collecting trash along the way. The trail was not so steep or slope. The view was amazing. The trees’s branches and leaves made an amazing ceiling as we walk through that thick forest. The smell of Moses was freaking and relieving. There was varieties of flora and other plants. It was an productive and enthusiastic hike. After that some photo sessions and then we reached our pick up point. There rest for a while and then we moved ahead towards Paro. Paro is our last destination. Paro Paro is a small town located in the Paro Valley of Bhutan. This is quite location for someone who enjoys being close to the nature while at the same time appreciated sacred places. This town lies in the centre of valley at a height of about 2280 metres. This valley is one of the most fertile as well as most historic valley located in Bhutan. Paro is both the name of the district as well as town located within the district. This town is known to contain the largest International Airport of Bhutan and has been one of the prime locations for numerous tourist visit. This town was found in the year 1985 and consisted of only a single street. Over the years this destination has been transformed enormously and this is one of the prime reasons for increase in tourist activity. As we reached Paro we stopped for Lunch at Paro town. We were served with good food since we were back fro a tiring journey. After that we decided to head towards our hotel which was at Dewachen Resort. Paro Dewachen Resort The Dewachen Resort is located 20 minutes from the airport in Paro on a gentle slope overlooking the picturesque Paro Dewachen in Bhutanese means heaven, and further signifies well-being and peace.The resort was built keeping in mind the vibrant and colorful Bhutanese architecture and modern comforts. Dewachen Resort has been deemed appropriate for tourist accommodation by the Tourism Council of Bhutan and is rated 3 star. One of the best thing about this Hotel is the Panasonic view of Paro Valley from the Hotel. This is quite a location for someone who enjoys being close to the nature while at the same time appreciated sacred places, rice fields and other factors. As we reached Dewachen, we went to our respective rooms, got freshen up and we came out to relax.
Later, during the dinner we ordered some continental food. This time it was not Bhutanese cuisine but we enjoyed the food. Since it was our last night, everyone enjoyed the last dinner together, even the kids, they really had a good time. After that, it was a time for them to get boozed and the kids and the ladies went to their room as they want to rest. Next day after breakfast, we had to head back towards Thimphu where our tour ends. We drove back to Thimphu. We reached Thimphu at around 2:PM and everyone went back to their respective homes. These two nights and three days tour was one of the most complete tours I have been to because it includes everything from Bhutanese Traditions to Western twist, Luxury and self oriented activities and other company oriented services.