The clouds lifted and allowed a peek at the most stunningly located Taktsang Goenba, the Tiger's Nest.
Itinerary Mushroaming Bhutan 2018
8/18 Sat - Arrival Paro & Thimphu
Drive straight to Thimphu. On the way get first impressions of the stunning architecture and biodiversity in the little kingdom. Light sightseeing, e.g. drive to Buddha Dordenma statue towering over Thimphu, and relaxed evening. Druk Hotel
8/19 Sun - Thimphu
Hike up to Phajoding monastery, founded in the 13th Century by Phajo Drugom Zhigpo (1184-1251), who spread the Drukpa Kagyu teachings of Buddhism in Bhutan. The path leads through beautiful forest. Later selected sightseeing e.g. Takin reserve and Changangkha Lhakhang, Trashichoedzong, etc. Druk Hotel
8/20 Mon - Thimphu to Punakha or Wangdue
In the morning visit the mushroom center at Yusipang. Later drive to Dochula with stunning views in clear weather and mystical atmosphere if in the clouds. Hike up to Lungchutse Lhakhang through magical forest with lichen covered trees. Later drive to Punakha or Wangdue.
8/21 Tue - Punakha
Visit the famous Punakha Dzong, an architectural gem. Walk through rice fields to Chime Lhakhang founded in 1499 by Ngawang Choegyel. Earlier, the place was blessed by the famous and popular Saint Drukpa Kuenley. He is said to have subdued a demoness here who committed monstrous deeds, torturing travelers between Thimphu and Punakha. Later visit Gaselo village, take your lunch there and explore the forests with a local guide.
8/22 Wed - Punakha to Chumey
All day drive with sightseeing stops incl. Chendibje Chorten and Trongsa Dzong, evening rest in a beautiful and quiet resort with a little temple in the courtyard.
8/23 Thu - Chumey to Ura - Masutake Festival
Drive to picturesque Ura village and enjoy the Matsutake Festival together with the village folks. Learn about their art and crafts, traditional lifestyle, folk songs and dances, regional food and drink, etc. Home stay
8/24 Fri - Ura - Masutake Festival
Another day at the festival with many activities e.g. mushrooming in the forest, display of local products and crafts in little stalls, folk songs and dances and home cooked meals at village houses. Home stay
8/25 Sat - Ura to Tang
First hike up to Singmela pass on 4000m with breath taking view of snow mountains and stunning flora, fauna & funga. Later drive along the old highway to Tang’s Orgyen Choling guesthouse. The lady of the house authored the book "Chili & Cheese” which highlights the role of food in Bhutanese society. On the way visit Mebartsho the “burning lake” where the yogi Terton Pema Lingpa is said to have performed magic.
8/26 Sun - Tang
After breakfast visit the interesting museum at Orgyen Choling palace. Later explore beautiful Alpine Tang valley together with some locals. Pass through charming villages and take your lunch at a local home.
8/27 Mon - Tang to Choekhor
Hike to adjacent valley of Choekhor and visit Tag Rimochen Lhakhang and Pema Choling nunnery on the way. It is a pleasant walk uphill through pastures and forest till you reach Choekhor. Check out the little district town Jakar.
8/28 Tue - Choekhor
Today you can either visit the National Park office in Choekhortoe or hike up to Petsheling temple from where you have stunning views of Choekhor valley. The latter includes a steep climb through gorgeous forest. Later visit the most important temples in the valley: Tamshing-, Kurje- and Jampey lhakhang.
8/29 Wed - Flight to Paro
Excursion to picturesque Pangbisa valley, a little gem in the otherwise rapidly developing Paro district. Walk to Guru Lhakhang and take your lunch in a heritage farmhouse. Later stroll through Paro town. Gangtey Palace Hotel
8/30 Thu - Paro Taktsang
Hike to Taktsang Monastery, the world famous Tiger’s nest monastery nestled into a sheer cliff high above the lush valley. Gangtey Palace Hotel
8/31 Fri - Departure day
Mushroaming fellowship disperses
The itinerary is not final. We might still need to do some changes and add a few more items, such as cultural events (music, textile etc.) and enjoying a traditional herbal hot bath. We are working with Bhutan Homestay, there web page gives a nice idea of the scope of possibilities. Regarding homestays, during our Kongpo Tibet tour I fell in love with integrating homestays in our trips. Many home owners are mushroom hunters themselves and accompany us into the woods. Once back we can cook with the hosts or use their kitchen, the perfect setting! And the quality of home stays seems to be much higher than in Tibet, I am very excited!
Also, hunting for mushrooms can include walking up steep slopes with no trails and there are bears in the woods. In addition travel in Bhutan can be strenous, one factor being altitude, furthermore the roads can be challenging, especially during mushroom season.
Druk Hotel http://drukhotels.com/hoteldruk/
Dhumra farm resort http://dhumrafarm.com/
Chumey Nature Resort http://www.chumeynatureresort.com/
Bangpa Heritage farmstay http://www.bhutanhomestay.com/portfolio/bangpa-heritage-farmstay/
Rinchenling lodge http://www.rinchenling.com/
Dorjibi homestay lodge http://www.bhutanhomestay.com/portfolio/dorjibi-homestay-lodge/
Paro village lodge http://www.hhlbhutan.com/the-village-lodge-paro/
Gangtey palace http://www.gangteypalace.com/
Mandala resort http://www.bhutanmandalaresort.bt/index.html
Hotels can also be found on trip advisor
ticket needs to be purchased individually by participant, but we need to coordinate with which plane we are coming into Bhutan.
Into Paro, Bhutan: from Dakha $340 rt, Delhi $570 rt, Bangkok $700
It is an excellent edible, but is not often eaten in Bhutan because of its dark color. We cooked it up and it was wonderful.
Also visible in this picture in the lower center are "Ripongkar", a Lyophyllum.