Freemantle, Western Australia. 09 - 20,July,2019Bumthang Owl Trek – 09 – 20 July, 2019 ( Bumthang Owl Trek – 09 – 20 July, 2019)5 " " Hello Wind Horse With pleasure, I commit to words although it will be hard to match the depth and diversity of our experiences and gained insights. My interactions with Wind Horse have always been helpful, informative with prompt responses including, whilst we were shaping up the itinerary. Wind Horse was well
Bumthang Owl Trek – 09 – 20 July, 2019 Hello Wind Horse With pleasure, I commit to words although it will be hard to match the depth and diversity of×
Penny S.Hello Wind HorseWith pleasure, I commit to words although it will be hard to match the depth and diversity of our experiences and gained insights.
In conclusion I was super impressed with the collective commitment from Wind Horse to ensure that our visit to your wonderful country was the best and will stay with us forever.Thanking youPenny[gallery order="DESC" ids="16678,16677,16676,16675,16674,16673,16667,16668,16669,16670,16671,16672,16666,16665,16664"]
- My interactions with Wind Horse have always been helpful, informative with prompt responses including, whilst we were shaping up the itinerary.
- Wind Horse was well organised, meeting us from our flight to Paro and then assisting us with the onward connection to Bumthang where we were met by Yenten (guide) and Sonam (driver) at the airport.
- Yenten and Sonam's attention to our comfort, safety and quality of our diverse experiences and adventures was outstanding. And Sonam is a very skilful driver.
- We achieved everything on our itinerary and more. Yenten and Sonam put in some long hours for us.
- As you know there were some changes in the itinerary, due to weather, one member's incapacity to trek on foot and some altitude sickness. Wind Horse took prompt action to arrange for Pema to bring in the 4 horses and for Yenten then to organise the monastery overnight stay. We were also impressed that Wind Horse deemed these alterations as complimentary and with no further cost to us.
- Yenten's (and Sonam) guiding and information sharing about their country, the positions of the royal family, government, economic and religious institutions was extraordinarily detailed. Yenten was very enthusiastic and provided great insights so we could consolidate and increase our knowledge about Bhutan and ways of living.
- The accommodation was very comfortable and to a high level. We also enjoyed the variety including farmstay and attractive hotels.
- The food was delicious, varied and plentiful. And it was great to have access to bottled water.
Freemantle, Western Australia. 09 - 20,July,2019Bumthang Owl Trek – July, 2019 ( Bumthang Owl Trek – July, 2019)5 " " Dear Windhorse Team, Where to begin with insights into our wonderful Windhorse holiday in Bhutan in July 2019. We were four mature women travelling together. We are members of a walking group in Western Australia and most years some of us travel overseas together. This year Penny, Deb, Elspeth and I decided
Bumthang Owl Trek – July, 2019 Dear Windhorse Team, Where to begin with insights into our wonderful Windhorse holiday in Bhutan in July 2019. We were four mature×
R. S.Dear Windhorse Team, Where to begin with insights into our wonderful Windhorse holiday in Bhutan in July 2019.We were four mature women travelling together. We are members of a walking group in Western Australia and most years some of us travel overseas together. This year Penny, Deb, Elspeth and I decided to go to Bhutan. Just the idea of the place was magical. The long wished for Shangra La. The country that limited the arrival of TV and tourism. My main planning was to buy a novel about a family’s trip to Bhutan but my intrepid companions planned the trip down to the last detail with the excellent help of the people at Windhorse Tours. My planning for the trip was eclipsed by breaking a toe 2 months before our departure date and a week before we travelled I requested a horse for our 3 day trek in the mountains. I imagined myself on one of the pack horses or a mule but I was determined to go on the holiday and to not hold the others up.We travelled in the monsoon season, the low season. The downside was the rain and cloud and we never did get a glimpse of the snow capped mountains but the upside was the lack of many other tourists at this time of year, and most days we had little rain. Flying into Paro airport then on to Jakar was great fun in the small aircraft. Our guide Yonten and driver Sonam met us at the Jakar airport and after that we never had to worry about a thing. Every bit of planning, every meal, every contingency was taken care of with kindness. We felt thoroughly cared for. Our first feelings about Bhutan, coming from dry and often brown Australia were that we were in a very green mountainous country with abundant flowing water, and a country which truly cares about the environment and the future of the planet. During our first couple of days we went to two festivals. The costumes, the amazing masks, the music and the dances were very colourful and exciting to watch. Yonten had a great depth of knowledge and he explained everything to us in detail; the history, the role of the royal family, the architecture, the costumes and the meaning and the purpose of all things ranging from the statues in the temples to the new hydro electric power facilities. We visited a nunnery, a palace and museums and many temples. We stayed in very nice accomodation each night and had 3 delicious meals every day. We all enjoyed the Bhutanese food, especially the ginger potatoes, the chilli cheese and the chicken and green vegetable dishes.On our 5th day we set off for our trek. It was raining and the road became too boggy for our car. We all piled into a pick up tuck with our waterproofs on. At the start of our trek we were met by the cook and his helpers and the pack horses and the horseman Pema and his 4 beautiful riding horses. Yonten explained that the 3 extra horses were there in case my very fit travelling companions wished to ride at any stage. I hadn’t ridden in over 10 years but with my broken toe there was no other way I could have done the trek without my noble steed Prince. My friends did do some walking but with all the rain and mud and the very steep rocky streams and some altitude sickness we all enjoyed the remarkable experience of riding in the cloudy mountains with forests hung with lichen. There were wildflowers, wild strawberries and we saw yak and monkeys which made it a once in a lifetime experience. Windhorse kindly included the horses in our tour and by the end of the trek my friends were praising my broken toe and the horses. After one wet night in tents Yonten arranged for our second night to be in the guest room of the monastery, for which I was extremely grateful, as I was exhausted and unwell by the end of our difficult descent.After the trek we enjoyed several more day walks including up to the Tigers Nest which I climbed up in hiking boots and down in sandals, at Yonten’s suggestion to save my toe. The drive to Thimphu with the landslides onto the road was exciting for us but required all of Sonam’s driving skill and concentration. One day we had car trouble and even that became an adventure. An auto repair shop appeared out of the clouds on cue and we were taxied into town to visit temples and have a feast while the repairs happened. Our last accomodation was the old governor’s residence in Paro, a fine example of Bhutanese architecture in lovely gardens, where we had time and comfort to prepare for our onward journey. Yonten and Sonam dropped us at the airport, the most beautiful airport in the world, with its traditional Bhutanese buildings, and they would not leave until we were safely checked in. We were all quite sad to leave the Land of the Thunder Dragon and we all truly hope that we can return one day.Thank you again for a remarkable holiday. It exceeded all of our wildest expectations.Best wishesR[gallery order="DESC" ids="16678,16677,16676,16675,16674,16673,16667,16668,16669,16670,16671,16672,16666,16665,16664"]
Preston, chevy chase, Maryland, USA March 04 -17,2015Bumthang Owl trek was the highlight of the trip ( Bumthang Owl trek was the highlight of the trip)5 " " TID 8721 (March 4-17) 2015 Guide Duba Hello Anand - Firstly, we want to tell you how amazing our guide was! Duba really made our trip. He was professional, punctual, knowledgeable, kind, and exceptionally friendly. For example, our guide would always rush to open our door, carry our handbags, and would ask
Bumthang Owl trek was the highlight of the trip TID 8721 (March 4-17) 2015 Guide Duba Hello Anand - Firstly, we want to tell you how amazing our guide was! Duba×
Jeans & Bryan Enis
TID 8721 (March 4-17) 2015 Guide Duba Hello Anand - Firstly, we want to tell you how amazing our guide was! Duba really made our trip. He was professional, punctual, knowledgeable, kind, and exceptionally friendly. For example, our guide would always rush to open our door, carry our handbags, and would ask us how we were feeling.
Other positive factors were: -The Chumey nature valley resort was exceptional -The trek was very beautiful and a highlight of our trip -The fertility temple was very interesting -Our driver was safe and curteous Some negatives: -The food was redundant so in Thimphu Duba was able to give us more western food recommendations like Cloud 9 and Ambient Cafe Thank you again! Drukyul Walking Tour and Bumthang Owl trek
Woodman Way, Newburyport Massachusetts, USA June 06-18,2014We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future. ( We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future.)5 " " TID 775 Grand Cultural Tour with Bumthang Owl Trek ( June 06-18,2014) Hello Jambay, Sorry for this tardy email. We've been busy catching up after our trip. We'd like to start by saying our visit to Bhutan was a wonderful experience. The countryside and the people were lovely and Windhorse, Yeshi and Tshering
We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future. TID 775 Grand Cultural Tour with Bumthang Owl Trek ( June 06-18,2014) Hello Jambay, Sorry for this tardy email. We've been busy×
Amy L.J & Roger T.BTID 775 Grand Cultural Tour with Bumthang Owl Trek ( June 06-18,2014) Hello Jambay, Sorry for this tardy email. We've been busy catching up after our trip. We'd like to start by saying our visit to Bhutan was a wonderful experience. The countryside and the people were lovely and Windhorse, Yeshi and Tshering did a very good job of keeping us on track, entertained and fed. Our trek was a particular highlight. The time and effort which went into planning that amazing trip was awe inspiring. Your office handled all of our various financial issues (overpayment, cancelled flight) very impressively and communication was always timely . Thank you for all of that. We can think of three things that may be helpful to you in the future; 1) On the day of our arrival we were greeted by our temporary guide, Yonten. Our flight arrived rather late (fourish) to do any tours as many things close between four and five. I think that new arrivals are either excited or exhausted. We were excited. We wish Yonten had suggested a walk or some other introduction to our exotic new environment and if we were tired we could have said no. Instead he assumed that we must be tired and dropped us at our hotel. Yes, we could have pushed for a walk but we didn't which was our fault. Maybe we just look too old! 2) On the fateful "cancelled flight" day (day 2) we felt a bit adrift. Yonten had given us his phone number in case there was any difficulty with the flight. Initially the flight was merely delayed an hour so we waited. When it was delayed again and there was some thought that it might eventually be cancelled we decided that we should contact Yonten. Another party nearby who were traveling with their guide were discussing their alternatives and we weren't sure what ours were. We do not travel with a phone (perhaps this is rare) so we had to borrow one from an airline employee to make the call. Yonten did not seem to be nearby so we waited for him to arrive. It might make sense for the guide to be checking the flight status so they can be close by when decisions need to be made. We know that in a situation like ours the guide can't sit in the departure lounge since they are not flying. Once Yonten arrived he was very accommodating and offered us several options. We wanted to be in Bumthang for our trek two days later so the overnight drive was our best option. Our driver did a spectacular job getting us across the country to Trongsa in fog, rain, mist and dark without a complaint. He is to be commended. We realize that neither Yonten nor the driver had anticipated their extended time with us and they remained pleasant and helpful through the whole experience. 3) This falls into the "wish" category. One of the wonderful things about Bhutan is it's seeming remoteness. It would be nice if there were some additional lodging choices to reflect this fact. Although most of our accommodations were fine, there were a few that felt too large and overrun with bus tours. Those traveling in small groups might like the choice of a guesthouse or something more intimate. It seemed that rather early in the planning phase we were already booked into our hotels and we could not suggest other places. I know booking quickly must be important if you are traveling in high season but we weren't. Having the choice of smaller, more intimate places would be greatly appreciated. Do they exist? Perhaps not. We hope these don't sound too much like complaints because they really aren't. We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future. All the best.
Visit major cultural landmarks sites enveloping western and central Bhutan (Bumthang). Besides the trek, as many day hikes incorporated so that you can interact with locales, farm house visit -insights into daily life at walking pace. Pristine environments, some wild life whilst in trek etc. Also farm house stay in Punakha (Clean and Hygienic) and deluxe camping that brims with amenities can add zing to your experience.
Bumthang Owl Trek in Bhutan is one of the popular and easy trek. Three day Bumthang Owl Trek offers an invigorating experience of the culture and environment of the country. It is an easy to moderate 3-day hiking starting from Menchugang, north of Jakar and ends at Tharpaling Monastery located on the ridge top above Chumey valley, all in Bumthang district. The trail has an abundance of flora and fauna, and the panoramic views of the valleys beneath the hill tops and the Himalayas spread over a broad horizon will be an experience that one shall cherish for a lifetime. This trek could be a substitute for the Bumthang Cultural Trek that has been deteriorated to a great degree by the farm road constructions.
On this trek you have the opportunity to see village life in Dhur. The virgin temperate forest of blue pine, hemlock, fir, spruce, juniper with under growth of bamboo spices, rhododendrons, birch, maple, chestnut and many others. In spring the rhododendrons flowers are in bloom that beautifies the whole trek route. The valley views and the Himalayan snow capped mountains in the north are quite beautiful. Birds of different spices, among them the big monal pheasants can be sighted around the second camp and Tharpaling area during mornings and evenings. You will also be able to see Monasteries, retreat centers in Tharpaling, Choedak and Zhambala, the area that is highly venerated as pilgrimage site for Bhutanese. Longchen Rabjam, the great philosopher of the Dzogchen, a religious movement of the Nyingmapa school spent almost 10 years here in the 14 century.
Day 1: Arrive in Paro
Upon arrival in Paro, meet, tour/walk for the remaining day. If you wish, you can visit farm houses – a typical agrarian houses forming a quaint village nearby town and your hotel. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Fly to Jakar, Bumthang
Flight operates only on certain days. Bumthang is considered as spiritual heartland of Bhutan, vindicating, it is dotted with many religious edifices, attractions and also some scenic short hike. Based on your inclination, tour/walk around for the remaining time in and around Jakar. Overnight in hotel
Note:Due to road extension work in progress from Punakha till Bumthang, in some sections of roads the ride may get bumpy. Considering this, it is best to make useful domestic flight from Paro – Bumthang or other way round rather than travelling both way by road.
Day 3: In Jakar, Bumthang
Depending on your interest, we can incorporate visit to prominent cultural attractions and mainstay and more hikes that can set tone for your trek or combination. Overnight in hotel
Day 4: Begin Trek: Jakar- Menchugang-Dhur-Schonath (3450m/ approx. 6- 7 km/Walk &Visit 2- 3 hours, Trek – 2-3 hours)
Transfer to trail head, trek start from Menchugang. Visit Dhur (2900m) – biggest village in Bumthang. It consists of 75 households with diverse populations based on their local dialects. Above the villages offer a beautiful view overlooking village and far off mountains. Water driven flourmill is one of the highlights. Continue trek uphill through blue pine forest and reach the campsite at Schonath (3450 m) amidst hemlock and juniper forest. Howling of owl is quite common at night thus derives the name of this trek. Overnight in regular tent camp/Deluxe Camping.
Day 5: Trek to Kitiphu ((3870 m/3 hrs/ 5 -6 km)
Trek through verdant and virgin forest of spruce, hemlock, fir, birch and rhododendron species. Spring spells Technicolor bloom of rhododendron species. After 2 hours, you will reach Drangela pass (3600 m). Descent the pass and climb Kitiphu ridge campsite (3870 m). Climb further uphill for 30 -40 min at Kitiphu ridge summit for panoramic view of valley and mountain peaks – mainly Gangkar Phuensum (7541 m) – highest mountain of Bhutan. Overnight in regular tent camp/ Deluxe Camping.
Day 6: Trek end and drive to Trongsa (trek downhill – 2 hour/trek distance- 3-4 km downhill)
Climb down to the monasteries of Zambhalha, Chuedak and Tharpaling which brings you to the religious life of monk hood. After visiting the temples, monasteries, meet the vehicle and drive to Chumey valley (30 minutes downhill) and drive over the Yontongla pass to Trongsa (2hrs), where you can spend rest of the day visiting Trongsa Dzong and tower of Trongsa musuem.
From Tharpaling, there is a option to do a 3hr trek along the ridge to Kikila following the ancient trail and later drive for about 2.5hrs to Trongsa. This option is for those who want longer hiking. Overnight hotel in Trongsa.
Day 7: Drive to Punakha
The spectacular road passing many villages, with great views and ever changing vegetation as the road crosses Pelela pass and descends into subtropical Punakha-Wangdue area. Depending on the road condition, you could also take a side trip to Gangtey, Phobjikha valley, which takes additional 2hrs. Overnight hotel in Punakha/ Deluxe camping on river bank/ Typical Farm House Stay.
Day 8: In Punakha & Wangdue
Spend full day for tours, short hikes in Punakha Wangdue valley. You can also choose to stay in typical ancient farm house/deluxe camping on river Bank/ overnight in hotel.
Day 9: Punakha – Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu (3-4hrs) across spectacular Dochula pass. Option for a scenic hike from Dochula pass to Lungchuzekha and Trashigang. Overnight comfortable hotel in Thimphu
Day 10: Thimphu – Paro
Spend most part of the day for visiting sites in the capital, which has lots of monuments and other attractions that can be covered based on your interests. Then towards late afternoon, drive to Paro (1hr) and try to cover some sights missed on the first day in Bhutan. Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 11: In Paro (Hike to Taktsang)
Dedicate a full day for hike to famous Tiger’s nest (Taktsang) monastery. As you have trekked, and covered much ground on foot, our guide can also bring you to sites above Takstang that are rarely visited and are as interesting. Overnight hotel in Paro
Day 12: Departure
Transfer to airport for your outbound Journey
Please note this trip can be also done in reverse order; travelling overland to Bumthang and flying back from there at the end.
Group SizePrivate Group
MealsAll meals including tea. Food are largely mixture of Local, indian and continental in buffet style.
Trip AccommodationWe use best tourist Standard hotels and whenever available, we automatically avail relative upgrade such as Hotel Druk & Tashi Namgay Resort (both 4* deluxe) in Thimphu and Paro respectively. In regards to trek portion there is option to do with Wind Horse's special - deluxe camping/ Lungta deluxe instead of regular camp. Deluxe camping comes with added amenities in addition to safari style tent and bed. To add a new dimension to your experiences, you can also choose to stay for a night in Farm house in Punakha (clean and Hygienic) with the local family.
RouteArrive in Paro
Fly to Bumthang
Bumthang Owl Trek
Trongsa to Gangtey to Punakha.
Punakha to Thimphu
Thimphu to Paro
Trip Type Trekking
Trip SeasonsSpring ( March -May) and Fall (Spetember -Nov) are the best time. Even lean season from dec, Jan and Feb are good with bright and warm sun during day time however it can get cold at night so for trekking it can get cold.
Best MonthsMarch, April, May, October, November
Good MonthsJune, September, December
Lean MonthsJanuary, February, July, August
Prices & Dates
Starting from USD$ 2200, however it is subject to group size, travel date etc. Please contact us for details.
- Bhutan Royalties, tourists fees, Visa fees and taxes.
- Accommodations in listed or similar hotels (pleasant hotels 3-4 star type)
- All meals,including evening tea/coffee etc through-out the tour in Bhutan.
- All land transfers, sightseeing with entrance fees.
- Experienced English Speaking Bhutanese Tour Guide.
- Bottled water in the vehicle and other comp. services.
- Flights into and out of Bhutan and Domestic flight.
- Optional Travel/Medical Insurance
- Personal expenses such as bars, beverages in the hotel, telephone, laundry, trips, and others
- Any items that are not listed in included section.
We use best tourist Standard hotels and whenever available, we automatically avail relative upgrade such as Hotel Druk & Tashi Namgay Resort (both 4* deluxe) in Thimphu and Paro respectively. In regards to trek portion there is option to do with Wind Horse’s special – deluxe camping/ Lungta deluxe instead of regular camp. Deluxe camping comes with added amenities with safari style tent and bed. To add a new dimension to your experiences, you can also choose to stay for a night in Farm house in Punakha (clean and Hygienic) with the local family.
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Yonten Phuntsho may give way to being shy guy bordering with man of a few words. But he is man who loves to be in thick of action . He leads from the front whilst on the tour. Behind his facade lies the guide whose knowledge and passion runs deep for the love of his works. His aptly quote Barbara Kingsolver “I do my best work if I think about what it is I have to offer”.
From the outset, he knew what he wants to do in his life. Right after finishing his Class 12, he enrolled for guide course for culture initially then extended few more month to complete course on Trekking as well in 2008. After doing free lancing for a while, he joined Wind Horse Tours in 2010.
For most Bhutanese, appeals that mountainous terrains throw in for an out door adventures are native. In the case of Yonten, it was no exception. He easily gave in to the temptation of Mountain biking with its advent. He explored and lead tours in his bike but his allegiance is more inclined to off road biking trips that leads to quaint villages. To explore the unknown and love for nature, these attributes that he cultivated while trekking the alpine highlands and wilderness in remote corner of country was what prompt him to readily agree to embark on audacious Haa to Phuentsholing on mountain bike, overcoming challenges of carrying bike in tough terrains, untamed vegetations and unexplored areas.
Growth in Tourism in Bhutan has also its share of impact on young minds. With tourists freely moving around, the curiosities to know them, talk to them holds ground firmly on young minds . Namgay is one among many youth whose imagination was captured by razzmatazz of tourism.
He has his career goal cut out, he could have easily opted for some comfortable desk jobs, after passing out in flying colours from prestigious St Joseph college Darjeeling in 2010 but he chose to pursue his dream, he loved to be in field, among the guests, so it was only matter of time to enroll for guiding course.
His first foray into job was in 2013 at Wind Horse Tours and still he is going great guns. Feed Backs from guests that he led are great testimonial to his dedication.
He prodigiously read books that open up new frontiers and interaction with guests coupled with sound command of English takes his outlook towards learning and experiences altogether to different height.
One of the guest fondly remarked ” Yeshey Penjor may be short in stature but he walks real tall in term of dedication, knowledge and the way he carries and does his work” Except perhaps during the nightmare at night, he wear his smile almost all the time. His soft spokenness and demeanour make him most sought after guide for guests travelling with kids. He gel with kids like as any good adhesive and impress the adults with his profound knowledge on subjects and his conduct.
For over 5 years he has been leading guests with panache and authority both culture and trekking. But he jumped gleefully into when he is assigned to do the trek. For his love for lush natural amphitheatre of vegetation and wildlife date back to growing days in far flung village in Mongar ( Eastern Bhutan).
He make up his lack of interest for sport with serious hiking. The best place to find him over weekend or free time is at camping hotspot within the vicinity of Thimphu.
For Dechen Duba, nothing is much more fulfilling than being in tour with guests. He comes a long way from quaint village of Mongar to the capital city of Thimphu. It wasn’t a easy journey, nothing was served on a platter. He earned every bit of rave review from guests through his hard work and dedication. His favourite line “Hard works beats talent”.
To be part of tourism fraternity was what he desired most, he made a splash headlong after class 12 by enrolling for Tourism and management course. After its completion, he joined Wind Horse in 2013 and has been leading groups umpteen times.
You may find him in basketball court playing hard, when he is not leading the group.
Reviews / Testimonials
Freemantle, Western Australia. 09 - 20,July,2019
Bumthang Owl Trek – 09 – 20 July, 2019 Hello Wind Horse With pleasure, I commit to words although it will be hard to match the depth and diversity of
Freemantle, Western Australia. 09 - 20,July,2019
Bumthang Owl Trek – July, 2019 Dear Windhorse Team, Where to begin with insights into our wonderful Windhorse holiday in Bhutan in July 2019. We were four mature
Preston, chevy chase, Maryland, USA March 04 -17,2015
Bumthang Owl trek was the highlight of the trip TID 8721 (March 4-17) 2015 Guide Duba Hello Anand - Firstly, we want to tell you how amazing our guide was! Duba
Woodman Way, Newburyport Massachusetts, USA June 06-18,2014
We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future. TID 775 Grand Cultural Tour with Bumthang Owl Trek ( June 06-18,2014) Hello Jambay, Sorry for this tardy email. We've been busy