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Soi Yaksa Trek – 15 Days

Soi Yaksa Trek, one of most preferred treks in Bhutan.

This is regarded as one of the most preferred treks for the nature lovers as it offers some of the best views of the Himalayas and the alpine pastureland. Your close up encounter with the base of the second highest unclimbed mountain of the world- Mt Jhomulhari, is also a gravity of this trek. The trek commences with an acclimatization hike to Taktsang monastery and then in the days ahead takes you through some beatific places like Tshophu Lake (4380 meters) and Takhung La (4520 m). En route, you can enthusiastically relish the captivating views of Jichu Drake (6989m) and Tshrim Khang (6789m) as well. Taking you to some of the remote villages in the vicinity of Tibet, this trek caters the opportunity to get acquainted to the traditional life patterns of the nomadic yak herders and highland farmers.

 

OUTLINE ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m)

Day 02: Trip preparation and Kathmandu city sightseeing (1400m)

Day 03: Flight from Kathmandu to Paro (2200m/1hr)

Day 04: Acclimatization day at Paro (Hike to the famed Tiger Nest Monastery-3120/1hr)

Day 05: Drive from Paro to Drugyel Dzong (2580m/4 hrs) & trek from Drugyel Dzong to Shana (2870m/2hrs)

Day 06: Trek from Shana to Thangkha (3750m/7 to 8 hrs)

Day 07: Trek from Thangkha to Jangothang (4040m/ 5 to 6 hrs)

Day 08: Rest and excursion day in Jangothang

Day 09: Trek from Jangothang to Dhumzo (3800m/ 6- 7 hrs) via Bonte La Pass (4890m)

Day 10: Trek from Dhumzo to Thombu Shong (4180m/4 - 5 hrs) via Takhung La Pass (4520m)

Day 11: Trek from Thomsu Shong to Shana  (2870m/ 4 – 5 hrs) via Thombu La Pass (4380m)

Day 12: Trek from Shana to Thimphu (2350m/5 - 6 hrs) via Drugyel Dzong (2580m)

Day 13: Sightseeing in Thimphu

Day 14: Drive from Thimphu to Paro (2200m) and Flight from Paro to Kathmandu (1400m/1hr)

Day 15: Final departure

                                                                                                                    

  Important  Snippets  

The itinerary prescribed above is the standard template of the trip plan offered by Marron Treks, which can be readily customized to match the guests’ preferences. However, the guests are expected to understand that the execution of the trip plan might be circumvented by an array of uncontrollable factors like bad weather, political turmoil, strikes, blockades and other unforeseen contingencies. Under such abnormal circumstances, the trip plans might undergo slight or sharp alterations, taking into consideration, the best interest of the clients. Wherever the changes are made, Marron Treks cannot be held responsible for the consequences. Nevertheless, we shall endeavor our level best to make sure that the trip is carried out with respect to the original trip specifics.

Bhutan Government owned, ‘Druk Air’, in the only operational airlines flying in and out of Bhutan. Hence, the ‘Druk Air’ tickets will have to be booked at least 2-3 months in advance as they get sold out pretty early.


Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu, the only international airport in Nepal.Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1400m)

Once you arrive at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will be received by a representative from Marron Treks and then transferred to your hotel. Free welcome drinks (tea, coffee or juice) will be served at the time of check in. A little later, you will be briefed on the trekking itineraries. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu; breakfast included.

 


 

 

Day 02: Trip Preparation and Kathmandu city sightseeing (1400m)Kathmandu Durbar Square, the UNESCO world heritage site in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Marron Treks will assist you in Trip Preparation and other formalities. After the completion of all the formalities, hop in to our transport vehicle for a guided tour to the most historical and renowned landmarks in Kathmandu. You will be exploring the sites like- Pashupatinath Temple (the most revered Hindu Shrine), Kathmandu (Basantapur) Durbar Square and Boudhanath (the Maha Stupa), which are all included in the UNESCO world’s cultural heritage list. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu; breakfast included.


 

 

Paro Airport, Bhutan.Day 03: Flight from Kathmandu to  Paro (2200m)

Upon your arrival our representative will be there to receive you at the airport. You will be transferred to your hotel after all the entry formalities are completed. Welcome drinks will be served at the hotel. You can take your time to relax. A little later, we will proceed to visit the Paro Dzong, crossing a traditional wooden bridge. This Dzong was built in 1646 and now the government offices and religious institutions are stationed here. Continuing our short exploration of Paro, we offer our visit to the oldest temple in Bhutan, Kichu Lhakhang. Paro Valley encapsulates many old temples and monasteries; that is the reason why it happens to be the eye candy of tourists. Overnight at hotel in Paro; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
 

 

Day 04: Acclimatization day at Paro (Hike to the famed Tiger Nest Monastery-Tiger Nest Monastery also popularly known as Takstang Monastery is located in Paro, Bhutan.3120/1hr)

The Taktsang Monastery or the Tiger Nest Monastery is the gravity of Paro that drives in significant number of tourists every year. Hence, this morning, after breakfast, we head to catch a glimpse of this popular landmark. It is believed that the Spiritual Guru, Rinpoche used to come to this place, the then cave, riding on the back of a tigress in order to meditate. This monastery is artistically positioned on the edge of a steep cliff, almost 900 m above Paro Valley. This could be a vantage point to behold the breath taking view of the valley. Trekking up to the monastery will be an exciting half day excursion for you. For rest of the time you can still stroll around Paro. Overnight at hotel in Paro; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
 

 

Shana Campsite, Druk Path Trek, Bhutan.Day 05: Drive from Paro to Drugyel Dzong (2580m/4 hrs) & trek from Drugyel Dzong to Shana (2870m/2hrs)

We will have a morning drive to the Drugyel Dzong, the ruined fort in Bhutan. We begin our trek from Drukgyal Dzong at 2580 m. We come across Paro River then walk through cultivated fields which brings us to the forest alive with numerous birds and brightly colored butterflies. Finally, we reach Gunichawa, a military camp. Here, we will be asked to show our trek permit. Gradually, we move to our campsite, Shana, which is just 1 km above the military camp. Overnight at camp in Shana; breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Trekking distance: 17 kms, estimated time: 5 to 6 hrs.
 

 

Day 06: Trek from Shana to Thangkha (3750m/7 to 8 hrs)The Paro river flows in western Bhutan.

Along the trail we need to follow the Paro River ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. After crossing the bridge we sojourn for lunch. We then walk through the Rhododendron forests and crossing the bridge again, we will finally reach our campsite, Thangka, which is at an altitude of 3750m. Trekking distance: 22 kms, estimated time: 7 to 8 hrs. Overnight at camp in Thangkha; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
 

 

 

Jangothang, a beautiful campsite that offers great view of Mt. Chomolhari 7326m in Bhutan.Day 07: Trek from Thangkha to Jangothang (4040m/5 to 6 hrs)

We continue our trek following the river through a heavily forested area. Trailing along the uphill and downhill route we come to a juncture where another path leads us over Tremo La to Tibet. In the early days, Bhutanese used this route for trading with Tibet. On the way, we cross many wooden bridges. A brisk walk into the valley and we are right at our campsite in Jangothang, at an altitude of 4040 m. We can have vivid view of Mt. Jomolhari from the camp site. Overnight at camp in Jangothang; breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Trekking distance: 19 kms, estimated time: 5 to 6 hrs.
 


 

Day 08: Rest and excursion day in JangothangMount Chomolhari (7326m) is the second highest peak in Bhutan lying on the northern border with Tibet.

This will be our rest day just to ensure that we get acclimatized for the next day’s climb which is going to be the highest one on this trek. You can still go on short hikes to explore the nearby mountains. Overnight at camp in Jangothang; breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Jangothang.






Bonte La Pass (4890m), one of the high elevation mountain passes in Bhutan.Day 09: Trek from Jangothang to Dhumzo (3800m/6-7hrs) via Bonte La Pass (4890m)

The trail leads north to the last settlement in the valley and drops to the Paro Chhu, We then walk to the Tshophu Lake (4380m), which is inhabited by ruddy-shel ducks. We come across a second lake after we climb a slope to a crest then descend into a hidden valley and climb steeply to Bonte La Pass at 4890m. After the pass, the trail descends crisscrossing through yak trails down to the Dhumzo Chhu and after walking downstream below few houses, we arrive to a camp at 3800m. Trekking distance: 16 kms, estimated time: 6- 7 hrs. Overnight at camp in Dhumzo; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

 

 

Day 10: Trek from Dhumzo to Thombu Shong (4180m/4-5hrs) via Takhung La Thombu Shong Campsite is located amidst a yak pasture in Bhutan.Pass (4520m)

We proceed with a steep and steady climb that passes through a valley for about an hour. The route now deviates south ascending to Takhung La pass – 4520 m. The pass has several cairns covered with prayer flags. Climb a bit and you can see the mountains like Jhomolhari, Jitchu Drake etc. The trail first stays high to the left with some exciting drop offs to 4180 m getting us to Thombu Shong, tonight’s campsite. This is the second highest campsite of the trek. Trekking distance: 11 kms, estimated time: 4 - 5 hrs. Overnight at camp in Thombu Shong; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

 

 

Thombu La Pass (4380m) in Bhutan offers great views of Bhutan side mountains, including the Mt. Kanchenjunga.Day 11: Trek from Thombu Shong to Shana  (2870m/4-5hrs) via Thombu La Pass (4380m)

Cross the valley through a swampy area to find a clear trail through rhododendron bushes that climbs steeply to Thombu la (4380m). The ridge walk from the pass is one of the best parts of the trek: very high above the valleys on a good trail with a beautiful view. It takes about an hour to reach a big descent. The trail ends near the military helipad next to the Bhutanese Army Camp at Gunitsawa. The final night’s camp is on a pleasant site by the Paro Chhu. Trekking distance: 13 kms, estimated time: 4 – 5 hrs. Overnight at camp in Shana; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
 

 

Day 12: Trek from Shana to Drugyel Dzong & drive from Drugyel Dzong to Thimphu, the prudent capital of Bhutan.Thimphu (2350m/5 - 6hrs)

Hiking through the blue pine forests along the Paro Chu River, farm houses, paddy fields and pockets of human settlement, we finally come to the Drugyal Dzong. From here, we board on our bus and drive to the hotel. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


 

 

Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.Day 13: Sightseeing in Thimphu

This would be our sightseeing day in Thimphu valley where we will be visiting the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts and then we move on to explore the Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions. Then we head towards the King’s Memorial Chorten built in the memory of the third king of Bhutan. Here, where we can see the monks murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Finally, a visit to the government run Handicrafts Emporium and few local crafts shops should wind up the day for us. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu; breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


 

Day 14: Drive from Thimphu to Paro (2200m) and Flight from Paro Thamel, a popular spot for souvenir shopping in Kathmandu, Nepal.to Kathmandu (1400m/1hr)

We will have breakfast and then proceed to check in for your flight. We bid a fond farewell to Bhutan and fly back to Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel. Take your time to relax and refresh yourself by indulging in shopping or strolling around some of the cultural and historical landmarks of Kathmandu. Thamel is your hot spot for shopping where you can haul all the souvenirs representing Nepal and its culture. May be that in addition to your interesting trip anecdotes, you would also want to take back some stuff for your friends and relatives. In the evening, a farewell dinner with a range of traditional Nepali cuisines will be hosted by Marron Treks. Enjoy the dinner, pack/prepare yourself for a flight back home and have a beauty sleep. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu; breakfast and dinner included.


 

Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal.Day 15: Final departure

Unless you would want to extend your trip and try out some of our other adventurous packages like Bungy Jumping, Mountain Biking, Jungle Safari, White Water Rafting, Golfing & Paragliding etc., this will be your last day in Nepal. A representative from Marron Treks will escort you to the airport for the final departure to your homeland. Have a safe flight back home. Please let us know about your desire for trip extension so that we can make the necessary arrangements.


 

 

 

  Important  Snippets  

The itinerary prescribed above is the standard template of the trip plan offered by Marron Treks, which can be readily customized to match the guests’ preferences. However, the guests are expected to understand that the execution of the trip plan might be circumvented by an array of uncontrollable factors like bad weather, political turmoil, strikes, blockades and other unforeseen contingencies. Under such abnormal circumstances, the trip plans might undergo slight or sharp alterations, taking into consideration, the best interest of the clients. Wherever the changes are made, Marron Treks cannot be held responsible for the consequences. Nevertheless, we shall endeavor our level best to make sure that the trip is carried out with respect to the original trip specifics.

Bhutan Government owned, ‘Druk Air’, in the only operational airlines flying in and out of Bhutan. Hence, the ‘Druk Air’ tickets will have to be booked at least 2-3 months in advance as they get sold out pretty early.


Accommodation

While you are in Kathmandu, we opt to accommodate you in 3 star or 5 star hotels like Hotel Royal Singhi (3 star), Hotel Manaslu (3 star), Radisson (5 star), Yak & Yeti (5 star) or similar.

During the trek, you will be accommodated in a Tea House/ Lodge or Trekking Inn. Most of these lodges and teahouses cater good services and are equipped with modern amenities. We will endeavor to provide you the best accommodation available along the route so that you get a good night’s rest in a hygienic milieu.

While in Bhutan, you will be accommodated in 3-4 Star lodges and hotels in Paro, Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha etc as per your requirement.

 

Meals

We never compromise with the quality of food, as we are concerned about the health of our clients as well as staff members. Generally, we opt for the locally available fresh and nutritious community food, viz. dried meat cooked with hot chilies, Ema Datshi (vegetarian dish made out of cheese and chili) etc, so that you have the opportunity to taste something new and also get a real sense of the native culture and life patterns. Besides, a wide range of Continental, Chinese, Italian and Indian cuisines like Pizza, Spaghetti, French Fries, Soups, Breads etc. are also available at the restaurants for your retreat.

 

Best Months

The months of January-May & September-December are considered to be the best time for Soi Yaksa Trek.

 

Our Guides

Guides play the most significant role in trekking. Marron Treks has literate, experienced and helpful trekking guides who are multilingual speakers and are very well versed to the culture, language, location and every single detail pertaining to Bhutan. Hence your trek becomes informative as well as entertaining.

 

Access to enter Bhutan

Bhutan is well connected to the outside world through Druk Air (Royal Bhutanese Airlines), the national carrier which is the only airline operating flights in and out of the kingdom. The country's only airport is situated at Paro and two flights a week from Kathmandu (Nepal).

 

Travel Insurance

It is advised that you arrange your travel insurance before leaving your homeland. The main thing is to make sure that your insurance covers you for both medical as well as evacuation costs. Having a travel insurance with you makes you trip safe and hassle free.

 

Bhutan Visa Requirement

Unlike other countries, Bhutanese Visa can be obtained only after entering the country itself as it does not have any embassy abroad. Hence, after Marron Treks receives your booking confirmation, you need to send us the details below along with the copies of your valid passport and recent PP sized photograph. We will then initiate your visa processing. It takes about 2 weeks for the visa to be granted. The visa application has to be submitted to the Department of Tourism in Bhutan and then finally it is approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But we do not want you to get into the rigmaroles of doing this all by yourself. All you need to do is send us the details below (along with the copies of passport and recent pp sized photograph) and we will take care of the rest in coordination with our agent in Bhutan. You will get the visa upon your arrival at the airport in Bhutan. You are entitled to pay the nominal visa fee of US $20. Visa extension fee for a period not exceeding six months is NU510 (US $ 8.24). Since the tourist visas are issued for the full period of stay in Bhutan, it is very unlikely that you would need a visa extension. Please note that the above conditions apply to all the nationalities except the Indians. The Indian citizens do not require a visa or a passport, but they need to provide some form of identification such as a copy of driving license, citizenship etc. along with five copies of PP sized photographs. Generally, they are issued a permit of 14 days which can be extended as necessary.

 

Full Name: ……………………………………………………….. …

Permanent Address: ………………………………………………….

Place of Birth: ………………………………………………………..

Date of Birth: …………………………………………………………

Nationality:…………………………………………………………….

 

Nature of Passport: Diplomatic/Official/Ordinary/UN Laisser-Passer.

Passport Number: ……………………………………………………...

Date of Issue: …………………………………………………………..

Place of Issue: ………………………………………………………….

Date of Expiry:………………………………………………………….

 

Occupation/Profession

Period for which visa is required: ………………………………………

Point of Entry/Exit into Bhutan: Entry: ………………Exit: ………….

Purpose of visiting Bhutan: …………………………………………….

Is this first visit to Bhutan? YES /NO. If not, give details of your earlier visit.

 

 

For more queries, Visit our  FAQ section or contact us directly at   marketing@marrontreks.com


Starting Price: USD XXXX (On request) on twin sharing accommodation basis.

For other special requirements or bigger group deals, kindly mail us directly at: marketing@marrontreks.com

 

Cost Includes

  • Airport pick up and drop services by private transportation.
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu city.
  •  Accommodation in Bhutanese government approved tourist standard hotels or lodges throughout the trip in Bhutan, on full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) basis.
  • Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu in a three star category hotel on “BB” basis.
  • Applicable Bhutan airfare as per the itinerary. (Kathmandu - Paro- Kathmandu Airfare = US $ 520 / subject to change.).
  • Entrance and monumental fees during the sightseeing in Nepal & Bhutan as prescribed in the itinerary.
  • Bhutan visa fees and processing assistance.
  • Company’s t-shirt, cap and a day pack (provided as complimentary gears).
  • Remuneration to the Bhutanese government certified English speaking local tour guide throughout the tour in Bhutan.
  • Private transportation during the trip. The luggage may be transferred by horses, mules or yaks in higher elevation when required.
  • All trekking route permit access fees.
  • Bhutanese government’s royalties, taxes and tourist service charges.
  • A comprehensive medical kit (will be carried by the guide).
  • Personal insurance for crew members.
  • Farewell dinner with live Nepalese cultural program.

 

Cost Excludes

  • International airfare (Kathmandu to home country) and departure taxes.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Emergency rescue evacuation (to be covered by the client's travel insurance).
  • Nepal entry visa fee – Visa can be obtained upon your arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 15 days costs US $ 25 or equivalent foreign currency, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 30 days and 90 days costs US $40 and $ 100 respectively. You will need a valid passport and 2 copies of your recent PP sized photos).
  • Other expenses of personal nature (phone calls, laundry, bottled water etc.).
  • Bar bills, alcoholic drinks & beverages.
  • Lunch and dinner expenses.
  • Personal clothing and equipments.
  • Tip for tour guides, driver, hotel lobby staff, potters, kitchen staffs and helpers. (Tipping is expected but not mandatory).
  • Cost incurred due to the addition of extra days or change in the real course of the itinerary because of bad weather conditions, political turmoil or any other unforeseen contingencies.
  • Other expenses not mentioned in the “Cost Includes” section above.

TREKKING GEARS & EQUIPMENTS

Needless to say that kitting and stuffing yourself out for a trek is almost a herculean task which keeps you mulling and often gets you overwhelmed. But at the mercy of the renting outlets sprouting in every visible corner in Kathmandu, preparing for trekking in Bhutan these days is almost tantamount to equipping yourself for a weekend backpacking trip. Most of the heavy and expensive items are easily available on rent, so you don’t actually have to travel Bhutan with a cartload of gears. We have endeavored to formulate a categorical checklist that gives you a tentative idea regarding the gears and accessories mandatory for you during the trek. The list could vary depending upon the kind of trek you pursue, the terrain, weather conditions and time of the year. For instance, you don’t need the camp-trek equipments when you are on a tea-house trek. This listing below simply serves as a guideline and you can always have your own checklist. It is always preferable to pack light and the key to this is to carry the gears and accessories that have multidimensional uses.

 

  • CLOTHING (Core & Lower body)

Water-proof (breathable fabric) jacket, Poncho or Umbrella

Hard shell pants (breathable fabric- 1 set), preferably that zips from top and bottom which can be worn over boots without getting undressed, in case of abrupt weather changes

Fleece jacket or Pullover

Fleece windcheater jacket

Down jacket or a Down vest

T-shirts (2 – 3) and Long-sleeved shirts with collars ( 2- 3 pairs)

Nylon (cotton ought to be strictly avoided) hiking shorts ( 2- 3 pairs)

Hiking trousers- one that is detachable from the knees so that the it can be folded up as shorts ( 2- 3 pairs)

Thermal underwear as well as synthetic underwear (3 -4 each – avoid cotton)

Synthetic sport brassieres for women (2 pairs- avoid cotton)

 

  • Head/Eyes & Hand Gears

Sun hat/cap

Woolen hat or Balaclava

Sunglasses/Goggles (preferably the one with 100% UV protection)

Liner, Synthetic or Thin wool gloves (1 -2 pair)

Warm gloves (designed to the shield the sub-zero temperatures)- 1 pair

 

  • Footwear

Trekking boots (1 pair) and spare laces

Running shoes, Sandals or Thongs (flip-flops)- 1 pair each

Hiking gaiters (1 pair) to do away the rocks, dusts and moist feet

Liner socks- preferably synthetic (3 – 4 pairs)

Heavy or wool blend socks (3 – 4 pairs)

 

  • Equipments

Backpack/Rucksack

Duffle bag (will be provided by Marron Treks as a complimentary gear and you needn't return it )

Pack cover (to protect your gears from getting wet)

Day sack/Nylon stuff sack

Sleeping Bag/ Silk liner (will be provided by Marron Treks but should be returned after the trip)

Water bottle

Good head torch along with spare batteries and bulbs Maps, compass and a guide book

Trekking poles

 

  • Miscellaneous Bits

The items below could seem trivial, but if you don’t have them, you might just find

 yourself sticky and stinky, which isn’t actually good for you!


Toiletries

Quick-drying camp towel

Detergent powder/bar

Toilet paper

Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 20+) & Lip balm

Pocket knife

Sewing/Repair Kit (for tent & mattress)

Emergency kit including a whistle, waterproof match/lighter

Padlocks for bags and lodge rooms

Stuff sacks

Earplugs

Candlesticks

 

  • Medicaments

It is important that you can include the medicines prescribed by your doctor. Below is just the generic list of medications. We advice you to always consult your travel doctor as you might be resistant or allergic to some medicines 


Anesthetics (Ibuprofen/Aspirin)

Broad spectrum antibiotics tablets

Metronidazole and Antacids (for diarrohea /indigestion)

Broad spectrum ointments (Neosporin/ Clotrimazole/Gentamicin)

Antiseptic liquids (Dettol/Savlon)

Assorted band-aids

Small gauge pad

Roll of adhesive tape

Iodine tablets

 

  • Optional Carry

Nothing hard and fast about carrying the items in this list as they are not the basics. Yet, though not all, if you still manage to squeeze in some of these items on your carry, you will not regret as they might just come handy during the trek


Camera, memory card and battery charger

GPS unit Altimeters

Binoculars

Pee bottle for men (leak proof/wide mouth) & Pee funnel for women

Books and magazines

Departure Date

Unfortunately, we do not have fixed departure dates for this package. Please let us know your preferred travel schedule. We shall endeavor our best to make sure that the trip is organized in tandem with your suitable time frame.





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