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Trekking... in Bhutan

Trekking in Bhutan is unlike anywhere else in the Himalayas. Some treks can be long and arduous but they are complemented by crystal air and views that defy description. Trekking is fast growing in popularity and the trekking infrastructure is constantly being improved. What Bhutan may lack in infrastructure, it makes up through its superb facilities for trekkers. All parties are accompanied by a trained guide, a cook, an assistant and at least one horseman.

Horses and yaks carry all provisions and most belongings; trekkers rarely have to carry more than a daypack with camera and extra film. The support crew walks ahead of the trekking party each day and pitches camp before the trekkers arrive. A warm cup of tea waiting in the dining tent is the most welcome treat after hours of walking up and down mountains as high as 18,000 feet.

Altitude sickness can be an acute problem for trekkers in Bhutan. Some of the designated treks go above 3,000 metres (9,000 feet). Walkers who have not properly acclimatised or those who suffer from altitude sickness are advised not to trek. If you are not used to high altitudes it’s a good idea to start slowly and allow yourself to acclimatise. Trekking permits are required for all parties and are obtained in advance by GLTB.

Treks vary from short three-day walks across relatively low altitudes to the three-week Snowman Trek that covers 356 kilometres and climbs three of the Kingdoms highest passes. Inexperienced trekkers are recommended to do the trek from Thimphu to Paro or vice-versa. Called the Druk Path, it leads across the chain of mountains separating the two valleys passing crystal clear lakes and offering splendid views of the high Himalayas outside the monsoon season. More difficult treks take in northern villages and pass yak herdsmen who spend most of the year tending to their herds high above the villages. The northern paths climb as high as 5,500 metres and should only be attempted by strong experienced walkers.

All meals are carefully planned. Your wake-up call each morning will be a hot Tea or Coffee bought to your tent along with a bowl of hot water for personal hygiene. For meals, a dinner table is set up with a table cloth, chairs and condiments. A bowl of hot soapy water is provided before all meals as hygiene remains a priority. Breakfast is always cooked and dinner includes a choice of at least four dishes. In many of the remote parts of the country, villages are scarce and few people cross paths and as a result GLTB takes every precaution to ensure the safety and comfort of all trekkers.

We suggest you take the following equipment.
* A quality sleeping bag. (Lower quality bags available for hire at US$5.00 per night)
* Waterproof gators.
* Seeping mat for extra cushioning.
* A headlamp torch and a normal torch.
* Binoculars and Camera.
* Small day pack.
* Sunscreen, sun hat and sun glasses.
* Small medical kit. (The guide carries a larger Medical kit).
* Quality footwear that has been previously worn in.
* Antiseptic hand gel for disinfecting hands without water.

Download & Print Important Trek Routes in Bhutan as follows:
Trek 1: Chomolhari Trek
Trek 2: Druk Path Trek
Trek 3: Gangtey Gonpa Trek
Trek 5: Bumthang Cultural Trek
Trek 6: Punakha/Sinchula Trek
Trek 7: Samtengang Trek
Trek 8: Laya/Lingshi Trek
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