Ancient Trans Bhutan Trail

6Min to Read | By Himalayan Windows | Feb 02, 2022

“The Ancient Trans Bhutan Trail is all set to open to international visitors which has remained in disrepair for six decades. The Trans Bhutan Trail also reflects the country’s philosophy of Gross National Happiness and will allow the children of Bhutan to be in the footsteps of their ancestors.”

Haa_Valley_Bhutan Haa Valley Bhutan

The 28-Day long, culturally rich, and least explored Trans Bhutan ancient trail, which is sponsored by the Bhutan Canada Foundation (BCF) and the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), passes through Haa in the west of Bhutan to Trashigang in the east (closed to the Tibetan border) and stretches 403 KM (250 miles). The trail can be explored by foot or bike, passing through one of the national parks and about 400 cultural and historic sites. Visitors can complete the trial in a month or do anything in between; there are several travel itineraries you can choose from.

The Ancient Trans Bhutan Trail can only be made with guides as per Bhutan’s visitor rules, and there are several itineraries, packages, and scheduled departures throughout the year. You can add activities like biking, rafting, fly fishing, yoga, etc.

The choice is entirely yours. An ambitious visitor could cover the whole trail within a month, but most tourists will likely choose shorter segments of the course on three, four, or even seven-day excursions. If you plan an end-to-end trek itinerary, you will need to allow about a month and hike across the country from Haa in the west to Trashigang in the east, covering 403 Kilometers, passing through countless historical and religious sites, traversing diverse climate zones, and enjoy the variety of culturally immersive experiences. Rest days are programmed in Punakha and Bumthang.

Chomolhari view from Chele La (3,810m)


RELATED ARTICLE | All You Need To Know Before Traveling To Bhutan


Some of the shorter itineraries from the Ancient Trans BhutanTrail:

Itinerary #1

Trek from Haa to Paro – 4 Days 3 Nights 

Day 01: Arrival in Paro; you will be met by a Bhutanese guide and transferred to Haa by a private vehicle via Chele La, 3810m (12500ft) above sea level.

Accommodation: Soednam Zingkha Heritage Lodge or Similar (3-Star)

Day 02: Drive Haa to Katsho and trek to Ngopa (Paro)

Accommodation: The village Lodge or Similar (3-Star)

Meals: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

Trek Distance: 17 KM (10.57 miles)

Estimated trek duration: 8 hours

Elevation gain: 1,169 meters (3,835 ft.)

Starting Elevation: 2,801m (9,190 ft.)

Maximum Elevation: 3,790 meters (12,435 ft.)

Day 03: Trek Nagopa to Dopshari (Paro)

Accommodation: Haven Lodge or Similar (3-Star)

Meals: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

Trek Distance: 16 KM (9.94 miles)

Estimated trek duration: 6 hours

Elevation gain: 943 meters (3,049 ft.)

Starting Elevation: 2,380 m (7, 809ft.)

Maximum Elevation: 2826 meters (9,272 ft.)

Day 04: Depart Paro

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your international departure flight.


Itinerary #2

Discover Western Bhutan-  8 Days 7 Nights

Duration: 8 Days, Distance: 33 KM, Avg 16.6 Km/day, Type: Moderate, Ascent & Descent: 2,112m, Maximum Elevation: 3,790m

Day 01: Arrival in Paro

Upon arrival in Paro, you will be met by a Bhutanese guide and transferred to your hotel in Paro.

Day 02: Paro – Haa: You will be transferred to Haa by a private vehicle via Chele La, 3810m (12500ft) above sea level.

Day 03: Haa – Paro

Day 04: Paro – Dop-Shari

Day 05: Dop-Shari – Thimphu

Day 06: Thimphu – Paro

Day 07: Tiger’ Nest (Taktsang) hike

Day 08: Paro – Depart


Itinerary 3#

Luxury Western Bhutan – 6 Days 5 Nights

Distance 28.5 KM, AVG 4.75 Km/day, and Type: Easy

Ascent & Descent: 400m, Maximum Elevation: 3,402m

Day 01: Paro to Thimphu

Accommodation: Amankora Thimphu Lodge (5-Star)

Meals: Dinner

Day 02: Thimphu – Thinleygang – Punakha

Accommodation: Uma Como Punakha Hotel (5-Star)

Meals: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

Trek distance: 10.5 KM, Estimated Trek Duration: 4 hours

Elevation Gain: 50 meters

Starting Elevation: 3100m (10170 ft.), Ending Elevation: 1560 m (5,118 ft.)

Maximum Elevation: 3100 m (10,170 ft)

Day 03: Punakha

Accommodation: Uma Como Punakha Hotel (5-Star)

Meals: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

Trek Distance: 8 Kilometers (4.97 miles)

Estimated trek Duration: 3 hours, Elevation Gain: 50 meters

Starting Elevation: 1751 m (5745 ft.), Ending Elevation: 1225 m (4,019 ft)

Maximum Elevation: 1751 meters (5,745 feet)

Day 04: Punakha – Pele La – Rukubji – Gangtey

Accommodation: Gangtey Lodge (5*)

Trek Distance: 10 Kilometers (6.21 miles)

Estimated Trek Duration: 3.5 hours, Elevation Gain: 300 meters (984 ft.)

Starting Elevation: 3402 meters (11,162 feet), ending Elevation: 2,735 meters (8,973 feet)

Maximum Elevation: 3,402 meters (11, 162 feet)

Day 05: Drive Gangtey – Paro

Accommodation: Uma Como Paro Hotel (5-Star)

Meals: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

Day 06: Paro – Depart

Meals: Breakfast


According to the Trans Bhutan Trail website, ‘The restoration of this ancient trail will provide you with an intimate view of one of the world’s best-preserved traditional cultures and environments while crossing the world’s only carbon-negative country.’ Walking or cycling the Trans Bhutan trail, you will immerse yourself in generations’ worth of stories and become a piece of a unique part of the country’s history.

Our HimalayanWindows Team can assist you in planning your perfect trip to Bhutan by customizing the itinerary as per your interest. Feel free to contact our team at the given contact details on our website.


Other articles you may also like;

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