- Best available of the regular hotel accommodation in Paro and Thimphu
- All camping gears that includes-2 person sleeping tents with floors and fly sheet, dinning tent, kitchen tent, toilet tents, dinning tables, chairs, pillows and mattresses
- English speaking Guide
- Cook and kitchen aides
- All intercity transfers and sightseeing by a private vehicle
- Pack animals and animal drivers during trekking
- All necessary supplies
- 3 meals a day
- Bhutan visa
- Entrance fees
Trip Does Not Include
- All airfares and airport taxes
- Travel Insurance and emergency evacuation
- Expenses of personal nature such as drinks, tip, telephone, laundry etc.
- Extra expenses due to nature or unforeseen events such as flight cancellation, road blockade, no show etc.
Trek Difficulty and Preparation
This is a moderate graded trek with maximum altitude of 4, 930 m (16,170ft). We camp between 2800m (8185ft) and 4150m (13,615ft) and take optional hike to 4500m (14,760ft). In average, we will walk 6 to 7 hrs but some days are longer. Trail conditions are varied with frequent ups and downs. The trails become muddy and pretty miserable when it rains and passes are closed by snows around end of November. Trekkers are likely to experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness above 3000m (9840ft); so we allow enough time for acclimatization and the symptoms should go away in two or three days. Although previous experience is not a mandatory but some training and preparation would help a lot to build stamina and confidence. Participants should start jogging, cycling and some hill hiking etc about a couple of months ahead of the trip. If you are buying new boots for the trek, please do wear them to get used to your feet.
What a typical trekking in Bhutan is like?
A trekking day in Bhutan usually consists of five to seven hours of walking. Pack animals, ponies or yaks are provided to porter provisions, baggage and equipment. All necessary camping and kitchen equipment are provided and included in the trip cost. Camping gears include 2 person sleeping tents, toilet tent, kitchen tent, dinning tables and chairs and foam mattress. You should bring your own sleeping bag.
All trekking parties are accompanied by a trained guide, a cook, and a couple of aides and pack animals with their driver. At least one riding pony is always taken along just incase it is needed. The support crew walks ahead of the trekking party each day and pitches camp before the trekkers arrive. A warm cup of tea or coffee waiting in the dinning tent is a most welcome treat after a days trek. All meals are carefully planned and prepared. Breakfast and dinner are served freshly prepared at camp and includes a choice of, at least, four dishes. During the day a picnic lunch is served at a pleasant and scenic place. All cooking and cleaning chores are taken care of by our trek staff so you can enjoy the trek fully.
A trekking day normally begins with an early cup of tea or coffee in our tent. A jug of hot water will be provided for washing and you are expected in the breakfast table by 7 am. Breakfast is usually cereals, toasts, eggs, juice and tea or Nescafe Coffee. By 8 am, we find ourselves on the trail. Trekkers can walk on their own pace but we should still try to maintain some close proximity with others. We stop to explore the villages and temples and exchange greeting with the locals. Lunch stop is around noon to 1 pm. We are served hot fried rice or noodles or bread or boiled potatoes brought in an insulated container, unlike in Nepal where the crews take time to cook hot meal while you nap. Lunch is usually accompanied by tea from a large flask. Some days, they serve cold lunch which is simply sandwiches, fruits and cookies. Usually the day concludes between 4 to 5 pm. As we reach our campsite, we find our tents already set up and steaming cup of tea or coffee with biscuits or cookies waiting. We will have some time to write journals, or read novels or engage ourselves on photography while the crews fix dinner for us. Dinner is usually served around 7 pm. Meals usually include a rice dish, a potato dish or frequently both. The cook is trained to produce a reasonable variety of Western and Asian dishes. They often add interesting Bhutanese touches, such as cheese sauces.
Clothing and Equipment
Druk Air has only 20 kg of checked in baggage allowance and we expect to provide one pony for each two trekkers. Each pony carries 30kg or less. So, these things should be taken under consideration when.
Essentials Items/Not to forget
Down Jacket: We recommend down jacket as it has the advantage of being light and compressible and it can serve many functions on the trek. We can use it as pillow at night and long car trips and wear it to bed inside our sleeping bags when its very cold. Artificial-fiber jackets filled with Polar-guard Thinsulate or Fiberfill are a good substitute for down and price wise, much cheaper.
For day walking, we recommend Jumper or Pile Jacket. Two or three light layers of clothing, which could be jumpers, shirts or polypropylene, are better than a single heavy layer. Pile jackets with polyester fleece are light, warm and easy to clean.
Sleeping Bag is a must. Choose the one for 4 seasons. We can rent them in Bhutan but can not guarantee the quality.
Duffel Bags and Backpack: As suitcases are fragile and cannot be carried by ponies, please bring strong duffel bags which are water proof, also a spare lockable kit bag or suitcase for the city stuff that you want to leave behind in the hotel and a back pack for your personal items such as camera, wallet etc.
Mountain Trekking Boots: Bring a pair of good quality of trekking boots with ankle support. If you are buying a new pair, make sure you use them enough to make it comfortable to your feet. Another pair of tennis or camp shoes or thongs are also recommended.
Torch lights with spare batteries and bulbs
Water bottle and water purifying pills
- Jumper or sweaters
- Waterproof jacket, poncho or umbrella
- Hiking shorts (for men) and skirts (for women)
- Nylon windbreaker (for altitude above 4000m/13,120ft)
- Nylong wind pants (for altitude above 4000m/13,120ft)
- Insulated pants (for altitude above 4000m/13,120ft)
- Long sleeved shirt
- Long Underwear
- Sun hat
- Gloves ((for altitude above 4000m/13,120ft)
- Gaiters (for altitude above 4000m/13,120ft)
- Woolen socks and some cotton socks to wear under wool socks
- Cigarette lighter
- Small knife
- Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
- Laundry soap
- Medical and first aid kit
- Sewing kit
- Goggles or sun glasses
- Lip guards
- Insect repellents
- Reading materials
- Pen and diaries
- Play cards
How we dress during the day
This is one of the high altitude treks and it is cool even during the day and so most people are comfortable on long pants but women are recommended skirts; the most obvious reason is the ease in relieving yourself along the trail. There are long stretches where there is little chance to hide and a skirt solves the problem.
Best Trekking Season
Late September to mid-November is generally recognized as the best trekking season in the Himalayas and so it is in Bhutan. The second best period is March to April. Winter is snowy and summer is rainy and so we tend to avoid these seasons but no matter when we trek, we expect some rain at some time. During fall, nights are cold in the mountains, but the bright sun makes the day pleasant, with temperatures-in the high 20?Cs,(68? F+) falling to 4-5?C ( 40? F +) at night, in the elevation below 3500m( 11,500ft) but at higher elevation, temperatures range from about 20?C (68? F) to -10?C (14? F). Autumn has clear sky with good visibility whereas Spring trekkers are rewarded with rhododendron and orchid flowers in bloom.
High Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness can pose a problem for trekkers crossing the high passes. Above 3000m (9,840ft) All trekkers are likely to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness that includes headache, disorientation, dizziness, restlessness and loss of appetite but our itineraries allow enough time for acclimatization and following proper measures, those symptoms should disappear in a day or two. We will not overly exert ourselves or engage on hard physical activities. We drink plenty of water and eat soup in meal.
People with existing heart, lungs, high blood pressure issues should consult their physician before signing up for this trip. Participants should be optimally conditioned and should start some exercises like jogging, cycling, swimming, hiking in hilly terrain and camping at least a couple of months ahead of the trip. Please, note that this trek should not be taken as means of loosing weight.
Accommodations and meals in the towns
In the towns of Paro and Thimphu, unless we have chosen other alternatives, we will be staying in moderate to the best available accommodations which are in general small hotel with room numbers ranging 10-20. Rooms are simple with en suite bathroom with running hot and cold water. No rooms may be similar to another and so there may be disparity in the rooms. You may get a better room than others or vice versa. We do not expect our hotel to have a gift shop for "sundry" items.
All Bhutan trip includes 3 meals a day and we expect to eat most meals at our hotel, usually served in buffet that includes rice, vegetables, noodles, bread etc. Our guide can arrange some dinner at local restaurants but beware: traditional Bhutanese food always features chilies and the most popular dish is ema datse made with large, green hot chilies in a cheese sauce.
Our guides are college educated locals, proficient in English and trained and licensed by local tourism authorities. Most importantly they are friendly and committed to deliver the best services.
International and internal airfares
You will book your international airfare on your own and provide us your flight information. We can also help you find good fares through our air ticket consolidator on your request. We will take care of internal airfares-flight from Bangkok into Paro or on the return from Kathmandu back to Bangkok. If your trip starts from Delhi or Kathmandu, we can book your internal airfare accordingly. All internal airfares are booked locally. Local airport taxes may or may not included in the fare.
Passport and Visa
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at the time of travel and there should be enough blank pages for entry and exit seals. Bhutan visa is pre-processed by us and we will get clearance for you before your flight into Bhutan. Your passport gets actual visa seal upon arrival at Paro airport. You can obtain Nepal visa upon arrival at Kathmandu airport or you can obtain it from nearest Nepali embassy abroad. India does not grant visa on arrival and so you will have to obtain it beforehand. We will take care of all other permits necessary for this trip.
Best time for this trip
This trip can be undertaken throughout the year but definitely October and November are the best months when temperatures are mild, skies are clear and we have clear visibility. The second best season is from March through early May. Temperatures are still mild and we have rhododendrons and other wild flowers in bloom during this season.
Note on Itinerary
Although we will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed; it is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
When you are sure you are going to Bhutan, it will be wise to put your reservation in line as early as possible as Bhutan Air reservation is quite a tricky matter. Druk Air is the only airline flying into and out of Bhutan and operates with 2 A 319 craft with capacity less than 100 passengers and gets filled up quickly. Paro-the only airport of Bhutan is connected with Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkatta and Kathmandu and have limited operations. For flight schedules and more information, please visit Druk Air Website. A deposit of US$ 200 on land plus the cost of internal airfares is requested along with booking application and passport photocopies.
The balance and final payment is 60 days prior departure. The payment schedule may vary with customized and private trips on case to case basis. Payments made within 60 days prior departure may be subject to late fee and are required to make through wire transfer or cashier’s check.
Cancellation and refund
Notice of cancellation and refund request must be received in written form. Cancellation fee structure has been listed below.
- 90 days prior departure: US$ 50 (Administrative Fee)
- 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- 45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- 30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
- Less than 30 days: 100%
Travel Protection Plan
While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High’s Tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.