12 Day Soi Yaksa Trek

Itinerary

Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatize to the altitude. Drive to Thimphu, check in to the hotel and let’s have your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine and some light sightseeing in Thimphu if possible.

Paro Valley – The beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Paro.

Drive to Haa through Chele La (3,988 m). From the pass, you can see Paro valley on one side and then Haa valley on the other. You can also have a picnic at Chele La if you like to.

In Haa, some sightseeing and then going to katsho village and visiting the Katso Lhakhang. The valley of Haa was only opened to Tourist in 2002 and Haa is the least visited valley in Bhutan due to the lack of Tourist infrastructure. This has helped in keeping Haa the way it has always been, with Bhutanese families living their traditional and simple life. There are no tourist standard hotels in Haa valley, so we return to Paro for the night.

Early morning drive from hotel to Shana. 
The trail follows the river through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. As we go up the valley becomes narrow, wilder and steeper. The trail winds up and down along the drainage. We pass a junction en route, where another path leads over the Tremo La to Tibet. This route was formerly used by Bhutanese people as a trading route to Tibet. We cross several traditional wooden bridges finally arriving Thanthangka. Camp is in a meadow with a stone shelter. From this campsite for the first time-in case of good weather the Mount Jomolhari may be seen.

The path ascends for a while until we reach the army camp. We then follow the river above the tree line, enjoying stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch is served at a yak herder’s camp. A short walk from here into the valley takes us to our campsite at Jangothang (4,040m). From here, the views of Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.

Most people will feel the effects of ascending 1800m in 3 days, so we will have a rest day at Jangothang. We will also do short day hike to acclimatize ourselves with the height. Follow the standard rule : Trek high, sleep low. The area is rich in livestock, which has always been very valuable at these high places. Day halt at Jangothang and enjoy the scenery possible. 

pon leaving camp at Jangothang, we follow the trail to the river with two bridges. Cross the first bridge and climb the trail that zig zag up the mountainside. The trail climbs steeply after the bridge and ascends about 300m in a very short distance. There are literally breath taking views of Jumolhari (7,315m), Jumolhari 2 (6,942m) and Jitchu Drake. A flower carpeted meadow with several yak herders’ tents indicates the end of the climb. The rest of today’s walk is flat and easy. The first lake is our possible campsite. 

The highest pass on this trek is crossed today so it is important that we get an early start. The weather in the mountains tends to be most settled in the early morning, increasing the chances of spectacular views. Bonte La (4,890m) is the highest trek of this pass. There are several cairns and prayer flags. Take time to enjoy the scenery or put up some prayer flags. Your camp site at Soi Yaksay valley is a beautiful site with impressive rock cliffs, waterfalls, deep side valleys and snow covered peaks.

This stage offers a number of beautiful sceneries. You will have beautiful views into the valley where the last camp has been put up and also the glaciated peaks to the South-East. Walking distance is 10 to 11km, the difference in altitude of ascent is 700m, the walking time is 4.5 hours.

You pass the village and there is a steep and steady climb which takes an hour. The pass has several cairns covered with prayer flag. Climb a bit and you can see the mountains like jumolhari, Jitchu Drake etc. Looking back is the pass crossed yesterday and looking the other side is tonight’s campsite. The trail first stays high to the left with some exciting drop offs, then winds gently downhill to camp. Thombu camp is the second highest camp for this trek.

Walking time 4.5 to 5 hours, The ascent overcomes a difference in altitude of 180m, the descent 1560m.

Cross the valley through a swampy area to find a clear trail through rhododendron bushes that climb steeply to Thombu la (4270m). The ridge walk from the pass is one of the best parts of the trek: very high above the valleys on a good trail with a beautiful view. It takes about an hour to reach a big descent. The trail ends near the military helipad next to the Bhutanese army camp.

We drive back to the hotel for the night.

We drive to Thimphu for the day and have an easy and light tour.

Today is an easy walk and with small ups and downs followed by a couple of short steep switchbacks to descend a vertical cliff before finally reaching the last stretch to Dodina. The trails descends through bamboo forests, following the mule trail high above the river and reach Dodina where your vehicle will meet you and drive you half an hour to Thimphu.,the modern capital of Bhutan. Thimphu has a population of about 98,500. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights.

SEE OFF BY AGENTS MEMBER

 WHAT’S INCLUDED
  1.  Private guided tour
  2. Airport transfer
  3. Daily 3 meal
  4.  3 star accommodation
  5.  A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide
  6.  An experienced drive
  7.  A tour vehicle
  8. Entry fess & road permit
  9.  Taxes & surcharge
  10.  Mineral water
  11.  Set of traditional costume (to be return at the end of your stay)

WHAT’S EXCLUDED

  1. Flight into Bhutan via Drukair (can be arranged with us)
  2. Visas for Bhuta
  3. Flight on other airline to catch Drukair Flight
  4. Meals at 4-5 stars restaurants
  5. Hotel stay outside of Bhutan
  6. Expenditure of personal nature
  7. Travel Insurance (can be arranged with us)
  8. Tips for the guide and driver
  9. Alcoholic drink

OUR GUARANTEE

Guaranteed Visa approval. We have yet to disappoint a single of our travellers in term of Visa issuance. 

Your choice of hotels will be confirmed for your inspection before your arrival. We only book you on hotels which we love and would love again. 

We will be happy to change your guide, driver or vehicle on the first two days of arrival in Thimphu if you are not satisfied with our selection. Drop us a note and our hospitality team be on the spot to assist you. 

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