Soi Yaksa Trek-10 days
Join our Soi Yaksa Trek package and enjoy trekking in one of the most biologically diverse environments in the world. This enchanting trek takes you to the base of Mount Jumolhari, one of the highest levels of Bhutan treks, the second highest unclimbed peak in the world. As you walk along the rugged trails, the hike becomes a walking meditation. This 10 days trek has proved to be one of the best treks for nature lovers offering stunning views of peaks and alpine pastureland. While trekking on part of his BBC Himalaya Adventure 2010, Michael Palin exclaimed, "Farewell big, monumental, Himalayan peaks!" The trek also offers an opportunity to visit remote villages neighboring with Tibet, and learn traditional lifestyles of nomadic yak-herders and highland farmers.
After an acclimatization hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery, the trek starts from Drugyal Dzong. From there you will have a stunning view of 7513m Mount Jumolhari. The initial days of the trek follow the Paro Chhu valley to Jangothang. The remaining days of the trek pass through high pastureland and also through such exotic places like Tshophu Lake (4380 meters) and Takhung La (4520 m). En route relish the startling views of of Jichu Drake (6989m) and Tshrim Khang (6789m).
Important Note :
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Himalayan Glacier. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
What Is Included
- All meals, tea & snacks
- Government approved A category hotels on twin sharing basis in city and camping during trekking
- Round trip airport transfers and other transport as per itinerary
- Experienced English speaking guides and local staff
- All city tour
- Government taxes, permits, sightseeing entrance fees for museums and monuments
- Bhutan Visa fee
- Porter and pack animals for the trekking
- Trekking equipments like 2-men sleeping tents, dining tents, kitchen tents, toilet tents, and sleeping mats
What Is Not Included
- Airfare to/from Paro, Bhutan
- Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet , laundry etc.)
- Trip cancellation and Medical/Evacuation Insurance
- Tips for Staff/guide
1-2 people = USD 3330 per person
3-12 people = USD 2880 per person
( Note! above price valid until end of 2012 )
Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of your booking, we provide grade A hotels in Paro and Thimphu. We use Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort or similar in Paro, Hotel Migmar or similar in Thimpu and tent/camping during the trekking. Since the Soi Yaksa trek is designed on twin sharing basis, you share room with your fellow traveler but in case you prefer single rooms we charge USD 320 as single supplement.
A variety of meals are available in most hotels – the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food. Non vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advice is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season. For the actual trekking days, our company will send wide assortment of food. You will be provided 3 meals a day – breakfast, hot picnic lunch on the way, and dinner at the campsites with evening tea and snacks. Our trekking cooks are well trained and can whip up delicious meals at any altitude. If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know prior to the trek departure so that we would be able to take care of it. For the first few days during trekking, you will be served fresh foods and meats and towards the end of the trek, you will be served with high quality tinned foods.
Day to Day Itinerary
Arrive Paro (2250m / 7382ft)
Crossing over the Himalaya Mountains, the flight to Paro offers spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by the guide at the airport and transferred to the hotel. After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now the National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong meaning "fortress of the heap of jewels". Next visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. Our next visit would be the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314meters. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Paro Acclimatization Hike
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, Bhutan's most famous monastery. Guru Rinpoche (8th century saint) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuentse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. It is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. The hike to reach the viewpoint to the monastery makes for a nice half-day excursion. In the evening you can explore Paro Town. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Trek starts: Paro-Shana (2,870m/9413 ft): 17 km/5-6 hrs
The trek starts from Drugyal Dzong at 2,580 m with a downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail climbs gently traverse through well-maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. The route later enters an area of apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens and you reach the army post of Gunitsawa at 2,810m. This is the last stop before Tibet. You will camp at 2,870m, just beyond Shana Zampa, at the meadows surrounded by trees.
Shana-Sio Thangkha (3,750m/12.300 ft): 20 km/7-8 hrs
The trail again follows Pa Chhu (Paro River), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. After lunch follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, reaching to the campsite at the altitude of 3,750m.
Sio Thangkha-Jangothang (4,040m/13,251 ft): 19 km/7-8 hrs
The path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder's camp. A short walk into the valley will take you to the camp at Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the view of Mt. Jumolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.
Jangothang-Bonte La pass-Dhumzo (3800m/12,464 ft): 16 km/6-7 hrs
The trail leads north to the last settlement in the valley and drops to the Paro Chhu, crossing it on a wooden bridge. Walk up to the Tshophu Lake (4380 meters), which is inhabited by ruddy-shel ducks. You will come across a second lake after you climb across a slope to a crest. Then descend into a hidden valley and climb steeply to Bonte La pass at 4890 meters. After the pass, the trail descends crisscrossing through yak trails down to the Dhumzo Chhu and after walking downstream below few houses you arrive to a camp at 3800 meters.
Dhumzo-Thombu Shong (4180 m/13,710 ft): 11 km/4-5 hrs
The trail climbs over 100 m over a ridge, and then drops to another stream. After crossing this stream, the trail heads up the hillside dropping into a small valley before emerging onto a ridge. Here the route turns south, ascending past few huts to Takhung La (4520 m). A short descend leads to Thombu Shong (4180 m) with few yak herder's huts.
Thombu Shong-Shana Zampa (2730 m/8955 ft): 13 km/4-5 hrs
Climb out of the valley to Thombu La at 4380 m, and then drop gradually to about 4000 m. The trail then makes a steep descent, switch backing down the ridge, finally reaching the helipad at Gunitsawa (2730 m).
Shana Zampa-Drugyal Dzong: 17 km/4-5 hrs
Trails leads through blue pine forests along the Paro Chhu River along farm houses, rice fields, small human settlements and then finally arrive Drugyal Dzong. Your car will be waiting to transfer you to Thimphu. If time permits, you will visit the King's Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), Changgangkha Monastery, and Trashichhodzong. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
After early breakfast, drive to Paro airport (54 km, 45 minutes) for departure. Today we bid farewell to the tiny Himalayan Kingdom and her friendly people. Druk Air generally departs in the early morning to avoid adverse weather conditions. Therefore, after taking breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in the morning depending on the flight schedule and your destination. Our representative will bid you farewell.
Health and Experience Requirements
Trekking in Bhutan is physically demanding because of the distance and abrupt changes in elevation. Depending on the day of the trek, you will have to walk 5-8 hours covering a distance of 10-15 kilometers daily to reach the campsites. Most of the climbs run through deep forests on rocky trails and sometimes the trails traverses through wet mud were you need agility to hop between round river stones. But if you have experience of walking long distances with a back pack and you do not have history of knee pains on descents it should not be difficult for you for trekking in Bhutan.
It is a condition upon joining any of Himalayan Glacier's trips that all clients be insured for comprehensive expenses that might incur due to medical issues or accidents (this includes air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please note that we don't arrange or sell insurance.For more information
Equipment and Packing List
While packing for Soi Yaksa Trek certain equipments are essential.
Please Click here
for this trip's comprehensive checklist.
Trip Start Dates
We will organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date.
You can join our Bhutan Tour Programs as per your convenience. Spring season (March to June) and in the autumn season (September to November) are the best time for the Soi Yaksa Trek. The months of April and May offer the natural grandeur of rhododendron blooms. The spring season also observes the biggest festivals of Bhutan.
Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us.