Samteygang cultural trek is adventurous trekking the wild & western Bhutan of Punakha- Wangduephodrang. It is relatively easy trek as the altitude merely ranging between 3300ft/1100-5700ft/1900m and the climate is mildly warm throughout the trek.
The trek takes you through forests of rhododendron and oak, through the villages of Sha and Chungsakha and across the longest foot bridge in Bhutan. While this trek is available throughout the winter the best times to go aboard, March-April and September and October. The trek is approximately 54km in length.
Max Elevation: 1100-1900m
Trek Begins: Punakha
Trek Ends: Wangdue Phodrang
Trek length: 54km
Best time to trek: March-April & September-October.
Day 1: Arrive at Paro. Transfer to Thimphu.
Distance 65 km, 1 hours, altitude 2300 m
Drive to Thimphu, the capital and the largest city of Bhutan that still is without traffic lights. Check In, visit the authentic arts & craft bazzar, the 160ft tall statue of Buddha Doderma at Kuensel Phodrang, Takin Preservation centre & Zilukha Drubthob Nunnery, the colorful weekends market & centenary farmers market, whereby vendors from throughout the region arrive on Friday afternoon and remain selling their goods until Sundays is an interesting place to visit where villagers bring their vegetables, foodstuff and handicrafts to sell. You’ll find some locally produced goods including religious objects, baskets, fabrics, and different hats from various minority groups. If time permits you may still visit fort of glorious religion, at Tashichhoedzong.
Overnight at Khang Residency, Peaceful Resort (or) similar
Day 2: Thimphu-Punakha
Distance 76 km, 3 hours, altitude 1,351m/4430ft
We suggest making an early start since, on a clear day, the view of the Eastern Himalayas
From Dochu La (Pass), 10150ft/3100m is one of the best in the country. The road bifurcates forming a large island which is populated by striking 108 chortens, known as the Druk Wangyel Chortens.
The descent from the pass is mainly through magnolia tree blossoming in April and lending its beauty & fragrance to the air. Afternoon, take 1hr hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal, and then visit Punakha Dzong, a short hike for about 30min to Fertility Temple will lead you in between the village of sopsokha.
Overnight at Punatsangchu cottages, Meri Puensum (or) similar.
Day 3: Punakha – Limukha
Distance 12 km, 4 hours, 880 m ascent, camp altitude 1,980 m.
We begin our trek after passing majestic Punakha Dzong you cross a footbridge over the Pho Chhu and walk up to Shengana. This is the longest bridge in Bhutan. You then climb gradually through the forest until you reach Limukha. Make sure you are carrying enough water as you won’t find any on the way to Limukha
Day 4: Limukha – Chhungsakha
Distance 14 km, 5 hours, 430 m descent, camp altitude 1,550 m.
The path leads through rhododendron and oak forests to Chhungsakha. Chungsakha is a small village of about 10 houses. You’ll find a holy stone and an impressive Cyprus tree here that are reminders of Drukpa Kuenley, the “divine madman”.
Day 5: Chhungsakha – Samtengang
Distance 13 km, 5 hours, 650 m ascent, 270 m descent, camp altitude 1,830 m.
You walk downhill until you cross Pho Chhu before climbing again through the village of Sha on your way to Samtengang. Near the school in Samtengang you will see a small lake and your campsite is right next to it.
Day 6: Samtengang – Chhuzomsa
Distance 15 km, 5-6 hours, 730 m descent
The trail leads steeply downhill on a treeless slope to the road head at Chhuzomsa. Check in & refresh your self
Overnight Kichu Resort, Punatsangchhu Cottages (or) similar
Day 7: Punakha/Wangdue-Trongsa
Distance 135km, 4-5 hours, altitude 2350 m
Crossing the Punatsangchhu (river), as you climb up to the spur on which the recently burned down wangdi phodrang dzong is pearched, on the opposite site is the quant and ancient village of Rinchengang renowned for producing the best stone masons in the country.
The Black Mountains are considered as the mountains that separates the west from the east during ancient period. The difference in style in cultivating crops like mustard, wheat, barley and potatoes and well known for bamboo products unlike the west where they mainly depend on rice and paddy fields. En route stop over at lunch at Chendebji village.
Overnight at Yangkhil Resort, Raven Crown Resort (similar)
Day 8: Trongsa – Punakha/Wangdue
Distance 135 km, 4-5hours, altitude 1,351m/4430ft
Visit Trongsa museum and Trongsa dzong before retracing your way back to Punakha.
Overnight at Meri Puensum Resort, Punatsangchhu cottages (or) similar
Day 9: Punakha – Paro
Distance 137 km, 4 hours, altitude 1,980 m
En route stop over at Druk Wangyal Cafeteria for lunch. It will be the best opportunity to view the Eastern Himalays if you have missed during your first visit at the Pass.
Visit the National Museum, Kyichu lhakhang,
Overnight at Tenziling Resort, Tashi Namgay Resort (or) similar
Day 10: Paro-Taktsang, ‘Tigers Nest temple’
Distance 5-6 km, 3-4 hours, altitude 2950m/9700ft
Tigers Nest Temple is located approximately 10 km north of Paro town at an altitude of 3.120 meters. In order to arrive at the temple visitors must trek for around 3-4 hours through beautiful, shady pine forests. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a visit to this remarkable heritage site.
The ruins of Drugyal dzong, “the Fortress of the Victories Bhutanese”, is amazing site to visit.
Optional: We also cater traditional ‘hot stone bath’ at local farm houses for USD$20 supplement per person upon clients interest, which believes to heal arthritis, joint & muscle pains, and relieves fatigue.
Overnight at Tenziling Resort, Tashi Namgay Resort (or) similar.
Day 11: Depart.