HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PHOCHU MOCHU RIVER RAFTING
Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu Rivers Rafting is one of the most action packed adventures, amongst some of the most rafting. This rafting tour is generally conducted in Punakha. The Pho Chhu River has approximately 16km and is the most popular one for rafting and drifting followed by Mo Chhu River with 10 km. Both these rivers flows from different direction but immediately meet at the head of Punakha Dzong. The river flows through the protected and undisturbed valleys with an opportunity for rafter to experience amazing array of sites including terrace fields, scattered settlements, and farm house with green lush landscape. Rafters will be amazed with its hair rising rapids with screaming and laughing joyfully rafting down the river in a rubber raft.
PHOCHU MOCHU RIVER RAFTING DETAILED ITINERARY
Day 1: Arrive Paro International Airport
Upon arrival at Paro International airport, you will be welcomed by our company representative and the tour guide will receive and escort you to designated Hotels in Thimphu.
After lunch visit Simtokha Dzong.This was the first of the many dzongs constructed by Zhabdrung in 1631. NATIONAL MEOMRIAL CHORTEN, it was built in 1974 in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk by his mother. CHANGANGKHA LHAKHANG, is one of the oldest temple in Thimphu, dating back to the fifteen century. The place has an air of peace and tranquility, located as it is above and away from the city. TRASHICHHOE DZONG, “The Fortress of Auspicious Religion”, your last stop for the day. The Dzong can be visited only after 5 pm on week days, when the government office closed-or then during the day on Saturday/Sunday.
Day 2: Thimphu Sightseeing
Today drive further north of Thimphu to visit TANGO GOMPA, this is a 300m hike and takes around one hour. Although founded by Gyalwa Lhanangpa , it was further developed by Lama Drukpa Kinley in the 15th century. Nearby is the cave where Zhabdrung meditated and believing that his spiritual powers had helped repel the Tibetan invasion, this gompa was presented to him in appreciation.
SANGAY GANG, heading towards the telecom tower which is at 8807ft/2685m and provides a vantage point for brilliant, clear views of the town and surrounding countryside.
MINI-ZOO, heading back, stop a few minutes at the ‘mini-zoo’ which is now a large outdoor enclosure that holds one of the strangest looking creatures you are likely to see- the takin.
DRUBTHOP GOMPA, a small building surrounded by prayer flags that now house the Zilukha Nunnery. Located above the dzong, this gompa is believed to protect it from fires.
DECHEN PHODRANG, descending further, your arrive at Dechen phodrang which was the original site of the dzong and is now occupied by the state monastic school.
NATIONAL LIBRARY, your drive will now take you past the rolling greens of the golf course with the grand National Library coming up on the opposite side. This was open in 1967 to preserve the ancient Dzongkha texts and act as a repository for thousands of old religious books and manuscripts as well as the wooden blocks used for printing.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ZORIG CHUSUM, which offers a six year course on Bhutan’s traditional crafts for those who are artistically inclined.
FOLK HERITAGE MUSEUM, with its interior styled to resemble a typical farmhouse as it would have been a hundred years ago. The museum offers not only a glimpse into the past but also depicts the present reality of many remote rural hamlets. “If you are in Thimphu over the weekend, try and visit the local open market with its vast array of fresh produce, handicrafts and other items.”
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha
Check-out from the hotel and drive to Punakha, the former Capital of Bhutan (77 Km) from Thimphu. Enjoy panoramic view of Black Mountain range at Dochu La, Visit Druk Wangyel Lhakhang, and Royal Botanical Garden on the way. Dochu La is a paradise for photographers.
On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, the “Palace of Great Happiness” built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’. It is situated at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Pho Chu (Mother and Father Rivers) and is the winter headquarters of the Je Khenpo and hundreds of monks who move en masse from Thimphu to this warmer location.
After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. He inherited the Divine Madman title since he revolted against the orthodox Buddhism in his time. He taught the people that religion is an inner feeling and it’s not necessary that one should be an ordained monk. He is also considered a symbol of fertility and most childless couples go to his temple for blessing.
Day 4: Raft the Mo Chhu
Mo Chhu (Female River) is one of the major rivers in Bhutan with its source in Gasa region, which is the northern district, that border to Tibet. The lakes that forms Mo Chhu (Female River) are –Laya Tsho (lake) near Laya Gewog, Sinchhe Glacier Lake in Laya Gewog, Mt. Gangchentag Glacier Lake, which comes together to form Mo Chhu (Female River). The river raise in Gasa province and generally flow downhill through the valley of Kabji and then generally flow towards southward to Punakha through the side of the Punakha Dzong and immediately meet with the Pho Chhu (male river) just below the Punakha Dzong. The Mo Chhu raft runs for about 10km and comprise around 10 rapids with 2- 2+ rapids.
Day 5: Raft the Pho Chhu
Pho Chhu (Male River) is one of the major rivers in Bhutan with its source in Gasa region. There are several glacier lakes which comes together to form Pho Chhu River and generally flow downhill through the valley of Samadinkha and then generally flow towards southward to Punakha and immediately meet with the Mo Chhu (Female river) just below the Punakha Dzong. Pho Chhu has approximately 16km course with about 15 rapids of class II – IV and is the most popular for rafting in Bhutan. In the afternoon visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong saddled on the confluence of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu River. It was built in 1637. The flamboyant architectural design of Punakha Dzong richly showcases the typical 13 traditional arts and architectures of Bhutan.
Day 6: Punakha – Thimphu
In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten, built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. Perched high on a hill on the bank of the river, the Chorten houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions.Take a picnic lunch on a picturesque riverside before exploring the Wangduephodrang Dzong. Built in 1639 the strategically located Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers.
Drive back to Thimphu where you will have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. Afterwards proceed to Paro, visiting Semtokha Dzong en route. The Dzong, built in 1627, is the oldest in Bhutan. It now houses the Institute for Language and Culture studies. On arrival in Paro, check into the hotel. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
Day 7: A day hike to Taktsang Monastery
After breakfast,you will hike up to Taktsang Monastery, also known as ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The climb up to the viewpoint will take around 1 ½ hours and from there you will enjoy a spectacular view of the monastery clinging to the side of the cliff. Stop for refreshment at the View Point Cafeteria. Then walk further up to the monastery which will take about 1 hour. It is said that in the 8th century Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and meditated in a cave here for 3 months. The principal Lhakhang (monastery) of the present monastic complex dates from 1692. Taktsang was damaged severely by fire in 1998 but has now been fully restored to its former beauty.
After visiting the monastery, walk back down to the road on the way stop for lunch at the view point cafeteria and then walk further down to the road point. Then drive back to hotel and relax.
Dinner and overnight in Paro.
Day 8: Depart Paro
After your leisurely breakfast in the hotel drive to Paro airport and depart to your onward destination. Here you bid goodbye to your helpful Bhutanese tourist guide and driver and proceed to your onward destination.
WHAT WE INCLUDE IN OUR TAILOR MADE BHUTAN TOURS:
Tea and snacks
Complementary bottled water in car
permits and sightseeing
NOT INCLUDED IN OUR TAILOR MADE BHUTAN TOURS:
Drinks and Beverages
Phone and other bills of personal nature