Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu Rivers Rafting is one of the most action packed adventures, amongst some of the most rafting. This rafting tour is generally conducted in Punakha. The Pho Chhu River has approximately 16km and is the most popular one for rafting and drifting followed by Mo Chhu River with 10 km. Both these rivers flows from different direction but immediately meet at the head of Punakha Dzong. The river flows through the protected and undisturbed valleys with an opportunity for rafter to experience amazing array of sites including terrace fields, scattered settlements, and farm house with green lush landscape. Rafters will be amazed with its hair rising rapids with screaming and laughing joyfully rafting down the river in a rubber raft.
|Day||Day to Day trip Schedule|
|01||Arrival Paro – Thimphu||Hotel|
|03||Thimphu – Punakha||Hotel|
|04||Raft the Mo Chhu||Hotel|
|05||Raft the Pho Chhu||Hotel|
|06||Punakha – Thimphu||Hotel|
|07||Paro/Tiger’s Nest Hike||Hotel|
The flight into Bhutan takes you close to the great Himalayas, offering dazzling scenic views of some of world`s highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will sweep past forested hills with the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley below. Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watchtower) on the hills above the town will be a fine sight. Our Bhutan Safari representative will meet you at Paro airport, and after completion of arrival formalities you will be transferred to Bhutan`s capital, Thimphu , an exciting blend of tradition and modernity.
Today`s full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes visits to:
* National Library, which holds a vast collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion;
* Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan;
* National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only), where the medicinal herbs abundant in the kingdom are compounded and dispensed, and traditional medical practitioners are trained;
* National Memorial Chorten: The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the father of modern Bhutan”) and a monument to world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy;
* Tashichhodzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses the secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of the Chief Abbot and central monk body;
* Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life.
* Handicrafts Emporium: This government-run enterprise displays a wide range of beautifully hand-woven textiles and craft products. It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture.
(72 Kms, 3 hours drive). After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. On the way, stop a while to view Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “The Temple of Fertility”.
Lunch at Punakha. After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping; the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952. In the evening, hike to Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery. Overnight in Hotel.
Mo Chhu (Female River) is one of the major rivers in Bhutan with its source in Gasa region, which is the northern district, that border to Tibet. The lakes that forms Mo Chhu (Female River) are –Laya Tsho (lake) near Laya Gewog, Sinchhe Glacier Lake in Laya Gewog, Mt. Gangchentag Glacier Lake, which comes together to form Mo Chhu (Female River). The river raise in Gasa province and generally flow downhill through the valley of Kabji and then generally flow towards southward to Punakha through the side of the Punakha Dzong and immediately meet with the Pho Chhu (male river) just below the Punakha Dzong. The Mo Chhu raft runs for about 10km and comprise around 10 rapids with 2- 2+ rapids.
Pho Chhu (Male River) is one of the major rivers in Bhutan with its source in Gasa region. There are several glacier lakes which comes together to form Pho Chhu River and generally flow downhill through the valley of Samadinkha and then generally flow towards southward to Punakha and immediately meet with the Mo Chhu (Female river) just below the Punakha Dzong. Pho Chhu has approximately 16km course with about 15 rapids of class II – IV and is the most popular for rafting in Bhutan. In the afternoon visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong saddled on the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu River. It was built in 1637. The flamboyant architectural design of Punakha Dzong richly showcases the typical 13 traditional arts and architectures of Bhutan.
In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions.Take a picnic lunch on a picturesque riverside before exploring the Wangduephodrang Dzong. Built in 1639 the strategically located Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers.
Drive back to Thimphu where you will have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. Afterwards proceed to Paro, visiting Semtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
After breakfast a short drive takes us to Satsam Chorten, the trail climbs through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. We stop for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria) and then walk a short distance until we see, clearly and seemingly within reach, Taktsang monastery. The primary Lhakhang was built around Guru Rimpoche`s meditation cave in 1684 by the Penlop of Paro, Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgay, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort.
After lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”), the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. In the evening, drive to Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel.
After early breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination
The Trip Cost Includes
- Bhutan Government Royalty of US$ 65/person/night
- FIT surcharges of US$40/person/night for a single traveler and US$30/person/night for a double
- Twin sharing hotel rooms at 3 star hotels
- All meals ( breakfast, lunch, dinner & light refreshments) with standard menu at 3 star hotels
- English speaking tour guide service
- All transfers and excursions by private vehicles
- All entrance fees to museums and monuments
- All internal taxes and fees
- Mineral drinking water
The Trip Cost Excludes
- Fee of US$20/person for Mules/horse ride to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Optional)
- Single room supplement of US$ 50/room/night (optional)
- Bhutanese Visa fee of US$40/person (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
- Airfares (optional)
- Travel insurance (recommended)
- 4 star and 5 star accommodations and meals (optional)
- Other personal expenses like overseas calls, laundry,etc