Wild East Rodung La Trekking

wild-east-rodung-la-trekkingWild East Rodung La Trekking does not ascend to very high altitudes, it is still fairly challenging as the trail covers some fairly steep climbs and descents. The trail takes you from Bumthang in Central Bhutan to Trashiyangtse in the far eastern reaches of the kingdom. Wild East Rodung La Trekking is one of the best trekking in Bhutan where culture, nature, religion and typical local lifestyle exploration trek in Bhutan

Wild East Rodung La Trekking route was once an important trade road in the past, but it has fallen into disuse now and is chiefly used as a trekking trail. The trail passes through alpine and bamboo forests, meadows and mountain passes, through villages and temples offering trekkers an incredible array of biodiversity to appreciate. The trek typically takes 10 days to complete and is best carried out in winter between October to early November or in spring between April and early May.

This trek also takes in a visit to the awe inspiring Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest) and to visit two other Dzongs in Paro on arrival.

We can customise this trek to suit your needs.

Trek Facts

Trek: Wild East Rodung La
Trek starts: Jakar
Trek duration: 11 days/18 days including transportation
Grade: Moderate
Maximum altitude: 4160m
Minimum altitude: 2250m
Trek ends: Trashiyangtse

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and a representative of Unique Nepal Adventure Trek will welcome and transfer you to your selected hotel by private vehicle.

Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Paro (2250m). This flight into Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights to take, as it flies past Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and many more peaks. The flight takes around an hour and a half. We will then go to our hotel and take refreshment and visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and Paro Rinpung Dzong.

Day 3: After breakfast, we drive to Kyichu Lhakhang. King Songtsän Gampo built the Lhakhang in the 7th century AD. The associated legend is that – this is one of 108 Lhakhang’s built in a single night by the king to tame his kingdom’s borders. The next stop is the ancient ruins of Drukgyal Dzong (30 minutes). The Dzong is a monument to the Shabdrung’s victory against an invasion of allied Tibetan-Mongolian forces in 1649. The name “Drukgyal Dzong” thus translates to “Fortress of Victory”. The Dzong was destroyed in a fire in the 1950s. On clear days, Drukgyal is an excellent place to view the glorious mountain Jomolhari. Return to stay for lunch, rest and prepare for the trek up to Taktsang Monastery (the “Tiger’s Nest”).

Drive to the start of the trek. Trek (or horse ride) to Taktsang Monastery (trek time is 2-3 hours depending on weather and fitness level).Taktsang is perched on a precipitous 900 meter cliff. The monastery has been restored at painstaking efforts to former glory after a fire in 1998. The legend is that Guru Padmasambhava flew to this holy place on the back of tigress to meditate. More recently, one of the most enlightened abbots in modern Bhutan history, Geshe Gendun Rinchen (1926 – 1997) also known as Draphugpa (Of the Caves), was born in a small cave by the path to the monastery. Tea and refreshments will be taken at Taktsang Café for about an hour’s rest to take photos and view the scenery. We will then descend to the road point (horses cannot be ridden) and drive back to Paro to prepare for the trek.

Day 4: Fly from Paro to Jakar. There may be time to do some sightseeing. Stay overnight at a hotel.

Day 5: Jakar – Ngang Lhakhang
Distance 20 km, 6-7 hours, camp altitude 2800m.
The route takes you around Chamkhar Chhu, a river rich in trout. After passing Thangbi Lhakhang, a temple built by the first Karma Shamar in 13th century, you will enter Ngang Yul or ‘Swan Land” named for the swans that were once common in this part of the valley. Near the centre of this area you will find Ngang Lhakhang, the “Swan Temple”. The Ngang Lhakhang was erected by the Lama Namkha Samdrup in the spot where his arrow landed. The design of the Lhakhang was inspired by a vision he had.

Day 6: Ngang Lhakhang – Ugyen Choling
Camp altitude 2850m.
You begin with a gradual climb to Phephe La pass (3353m). Follow the trail until the pass takes you through a picturesque forested region. It is recommended that you allow for stops along the way to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. You will stop for the night at Ogyen Choling Manor. This manor houses one of the most interesting museums of Bhutan and visitors will gain a better understanding of the lives of the landed gentry in traditional Bhutanese society.

Day 7: Ugyen Choling – Phokphey
Distance 17 km, 5-6 hours, 920 m ascent, camp altitude 3680m.
Today’s walk is through bamboos, hemlock and finally up to an alpine forest. The camp is in a meadow at the head of the valley.

Day 8: Phokphey – Pemi
Distance 20 km, 6-7 hours, 480m ascent, 1160m descent, camp altitude 2950m.
Rodung La (4160m) is about three hours climb from the camp. From the pass you then continue downhill through a gorge, overlooking scenic mountain valleys covered in lush pine forests. The region is rich in folklore concerning spirits and yetis. Near the camp you can see a ruined stone building that once acted as a grain storehouse during the reigns of the first and second king.

Day 9: Pemi – Khaine Lhakhang
Distance 21 km, 7-8 hours, 350m ascent, 1340m descent, camp altitude 2010m.
This trail winds through the villages of Ungaar, Bulay, Kulaypang and Gomda before bringing you to Drula village and Khaine Lhakhang. One of the oldest temples in the country, it was built in the mid 7th century by the King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet to subdue demons.

Day 10: Khaine Lhakhang – Tangmachu
Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, 520m ascent, 810m descent, camp altitude 1720m.
From your camp, the trail goes down to a stream and back up to a basic health unit and a community school in Gorsam. Further on, you pass a Tibetan-style Umling Mani, built by a lama from Tibet, and a chorten on Zerim La (1940m). Before reaching the next pass, Tage La (1760m) you will see Menjabi, a beautiful Bhutanese village with large white houses. The campsite for the night is located South-east of Tage La near Tangmachu High School. Another possibility is to organize transport and drive to Lhuntse, the capital of Lhuntse district. Lhuntse Dzong is considered to be one of the most impressive Dzongs in Bhutan.

Day 11: Tangmachu – Menji
Distance 16 km, 4-5 hours, 690m ascent, 620m descent, camp altitude 1830m.
After arriving at Kuri Zampa the trek begins to gradually climb up through paddy fields and villages before bringing you to Chusa.

Day 12: Menji – Pemi
Distance 20 km, 5-6 hours, 620m ascent, camp altitude 2450m.
Today’s trek has you going uphill through thick forests overlooking spectacular mountains. The camp is located in a forested area at an altitude of 2400m.

Day 13: Pemi – Taupang
Distance 21 km, 7-8 hours, 1450m ascent, 1450m descent, camp altitude 2450m.
After climbing up to Dongla you will descend through thick evergreen forests until you reach the campsite for the night.

Day 14: Taupang – Trashiyangtse
Distance 24 km, 8-9 hours, 720m descent.
Today is the longest day of the trek. It is a gradual descent to Trashiyangtse. As you descend the chir pine and hardwood forests are slowly replaced by oak trees. The final camp of the trek is located in a subtropical forested region.

Day 15: Fly from Jakar to Paro and do some sightseeing and shopping for some souvenirs. Stay overnight at a hotel.

Day 16: Fly back to Kathmandu. Stay overnight at your selected hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 17: Souvenir and sightseeing in Kathmandu.

Day 18: A representative ofUnique Nepal Adventure Trek will drop you off at Tribhuvan International Airport by private vehicle.

Price Includes:

  • Airport pick-up and drop off by private vehicle.
  • Two nights in your selected Kathmandu hotel with breakfast.
  • All meals during the trek (lunch, dinner, breakfast and tea or coffee).
  • Accommodation in a hotel in Paro and Jakar.
  • Accommodation in twin shared tents with mattress.
  • All necessary equipment for camping.
  • One English speaking government trained license holder and well informed trekking guide.
  • Dependent on group size, cook, kitchen boy and extra horses)
  • All expenses for guide and porters – meals, accommodation, salary, equipment, insurance, transportation (bus/flights) etc.
  • First Aid kit bag.
  • Government and local area taxes where applicable. These include Royalty fees and road permit fees.
  • Return transportation from Kathmandu to Paro by flight.
  • Return transportation from Paro to Jakar by flight.
  • Return transportation from Jakar to the start and end of trek by private vehicle.
  • A Bhutanese visa fee, where the cost is dependent on the time of year you visit. See the link for Bhutan Information for prices.

Price Excludes:

  • Nepalese entry visa fee and departure tax. (See the ‘Visa Information’ link under ‘Trekking Info’ for current fees)
  • Travel insurance.
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks (mineral water, hot water, coke, fanta, beer, spirits, etc).
  • Snacks (Chocolate, biscuits etc).
  • Hot water, hot shower, heater charge, battery charge, phone calls and laundry service.
  • Donation, tips and personal expenses.
  • Emergency evacuation and medical equipment.
  • In case of natural calamities i.e. political unrest, cancellation of flight due to weather, landslides, etc, the extra charge will be borne by themselves.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Please note that you cannot hire equipment and other personal items in Bhutan such as (sleeping bag, down jacket, hiking boots, etc). You must either bring these items into the country by yourself, or they can be hired from Kathmandu.