Kitiphu Ridge

View from Kitiphu Ridge (4,050m)
  • TRIP TYPE: Trekking
  • TRIP GRADE: Moderate
  • TRIP STYLE: Camping
  • TRIP LEADER: Local Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 2 - 10 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 28 Mar 2021


This trip combines seeing the unique culture of Bhutan with a short trek to Kitiphu Ridge.

With this itinerary we visit the main cultural highlights of the Kingdom of Bhutan. We explore Paro Valley with a walk to Taktsang or ‘Tiger's Nest’ monastery. We also visit Thimphu, Punakha and Bumthang. In Phobjika we have the chance to see Black-necked cranes. The birds spend the winter from mid-October to end of February. We visit their roosting areas located in wetlands at Phobjika and Gyetsa.

The Himalayan trek has three days of scenic walking. From Gyetsa we follow a quiet forest trail up to Tharpaling monastery.  We ascend onto Kitiphu Ridge where we see the Himalayan view along the Bhutan and Tibet border. We view Mount Gangkar Punsum at an altitude of 7,570m. This is the highest unclimbed peak in the world.

During the sightseeing part of the trip we stay at hotels. For three nights we sleep in tents and our cooks provide the meals. The other short camping style trek we organise in Bhutan is the five day Druk Path.

  • We are Himalayan trekking specialists and we have been operating trips in Bhutan for many years. Roland Hunter, owner and founder of The Mountain Company, has modified this itinerary based on his first-hand experience of this region.
  • Read our AITO Traveller Reviews for Kitiphu Ridge. Our approach to organising trips in the Himalayas has helped The Mountain Company win awards such as 2018 Gold Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year and 2015 Bronze Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year. Read more about our Testimonials and Awards.
  • The Mountain Company will receive bespoke weather forecasts for this region from and from our in house forecasting throughout the duration of this trek.
  • We send a Thuraya satellite phone on all of our treks in Bhutan. It is essential for your guide to have reliable communications with us for logistics, planning and group safety.
  • We bring a comprehensive first aid kit plus high altitude medicine, antibiotics and other medicines. 
  • Pre trip support will be given by our Operations team with first hand knowledge of Kitiphu Ridge trek.

Route Map


Arrive in Paro

Lunch and Dinner

Hotel Olathang in Paro

We will meet you on arrival at Paro airport and drive you to the hotel. When the whole group has arrived we will give a full briefing to get you ready for the Kitiphu Ridge trek. Later on we will organise a trip into Paro to change money at the bank and to look around the town. Afterwards we arrange sightseeing tour to visit Paro Dzong and the National museum. Paro is Bhutan’s second largest town. The valley also contains significant religious and historic sites in the country. It also has as well as Bhutan’s only international airport. 

Walking 9km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hotel Olathang in Paro

After breakfast we organise a walk up to the Taktsang monastery known as the “Tiger’s Nest”. The hike up to the monastery through pine forest takes about 2 to 3 hours and the trail ascends 520m. This is a good opportunity to stretch your legs after your travels to Bhutan. After our visit to Taktsang we drive to the Chele La pass at an altitude of 3,780m. From here on a clear day there is a view of Mount Chomolhari to the north. We descend from the pass into Haa Valley at an altitude of 2,712m where we stay for two nights. Being at this high elevation before the trek is essential for acclimatisation. Haa Valley remains one of the least visited areas in the country.

Drive to Punakha (4 hours driving)

Sightseeing in Punakha

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Meri Puensum Resort in Punakha

Today we drive to Punakha which is the old winter capital of Bhutan. On the way we drive over the Dochu La pass at an altitude of 3,050m. This is one of the finest viewpoints of Eastern Himalaya. On a clear day you can see a panorama of the Bhutan Himalaya. We can see Mount Masangang, Tsendagang, Terigang and Gangkar Punsum plus many others.  On arrival at Dochu La we get out of the car to admire the view. We will walk around the 108 chortens marking the top. From the pass we drive down through beautiful forest into the Punakha Valley at an altitude of 1,350m.

Before reaching Punakha we visit Chimi Lhakang. This is also known as the fertility temple of Bhutan or the Divine Madman’s monastery. Lama Drukpa Kunley was an unorthodox Buddhist saint. It takes about 20 minutes to walk across rice fields to reach the temple. Afterwards we drive to our hotel and check in for the night.

Sightseeing in Punakha

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hotel Meri Puensum in Punakha

After breakfast we visit Punakha Dzong. This is an impressive building and at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers. This dzong is the second largest in Bhutan. Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, built the dzong in 1638 so it is also the second oldest.

Drive to Gangtey (5 hours driving)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Dewachen Hotel Dewachen Hotel in Phobjika valley

Today we drive to the beautiful Phobjikha valley. This place is home to the endangered black-necked cranes that migrate every winter. The cranes over winter from mid-October to the end of February. Phobjikha is on the North Western edge of Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park. It has ecological significance and rich natural heritage. Phobjikha valley has the largest wetland in Bhutan. It is a habitat to 300 black-necked cranes that migrate from their breeding grounds in Tibet.

On reaching Phobjikha we visit the Gangtey monastery. This is the only gompa of Nyingmapa religious school in western Bhutan. From here we walk along the Gangtey Nature Trail.  We pass Semchubara village through forests of blue pine trees covered with lichen. We see views of the wetlands where you will see black-necked cranes. At the end of the nature trail in Kingathang village we visit a temple built by the Queen Mother. After we drive up to the black-necked cranes visitor centre. This place overlooks the roosting area of the cranes and you can use their telescopes for a closer look at the birds.

Drive to Gyetsa village (7 hours driving)

Gangtey monastery & Gangtey Nature Trail

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


We drive to Trongsa on a road with lots of bends. We pass beautiful waterfalls and thick forest cover along the way. We have good view of the south Trongsa Valley and stunning views of the Trongsa Dzong. We visit the Trongsa Dzong and the museum. After lunch we continue the drive and meet our trek crew at Gyetsa village where we camp for the night. There are wetlands outside the village used as a roosting area by black-necked cranes.

Walking for 5km (3 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


After leaving the village we walk through fields and cross a bridge over a small stream. We ascend a small path up through blue pine forest. There are good views back down to the field and wetlands around Gyetsa village. After 45 minutes we reach several traditional Bhutanese farmhouses and a private monastery. We continue following the ridge up through more forest.  Along the way we pass prayer flags, mani wall and an old gateway with a beautiful mandala painted on the roof. This marks the old trail from Trongsa to Bumthang.

We see Tharpaling monastery above us near the top of the ridge. After about three hours walking we arrived at our camp in the grounds of the monastery. We pitch the tents next to eight stupas and after arrival you will enjoy a cup of tea. Tharpaling is a cluster of isolated monasteries at an altitude of 3,700m.  This is an important monastery complex founded in 1352 by Longchen Rabjampa. This was during his enforced period of exile from Tibet. There are usually more than 100 monks at Tharpaling. During the winter they head south to a warmer place so in December we only saw a few caretaker monks. Near the main hall are eight stupas built in 2011. These commemorate the major deeds in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. In the afternoon you can visit one of the temples and attend a puja (religious ceremony).

Walking for 19km (6 to 7 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


In the morning we are likely to see monks and nuns walking their koras around the chortens. On their hands they spin prayer wheels. After breakfast we walk up through the monastery complex and follow the trail up to a pass on Kitiphu Ridge. From here you should see your first views of the Himalayan peaks to the East.

We ascend the grassy ridge to the first viewpoint bedecked by prayer flags. We see Mount Chomolhari to the West. We hike through blue pine and rhododendron. After there are more grassy slopes to the second viewpoint. From here we look down into the Bumthang valley far below and see Jakar Dzong located on a hilltop.

At the end of the ridge is Mount Kitiphu at an altitude of 4,050m.  on a clear day we see Mount Gangkar Punsum. At an altitude of 7,570m it is the highest unclimbed peak in the world. There are many prayer flags, a large Buddhist prayer umbrella and a shrine for pujas. We have time to take photos and enjoy the view.

We start the walk down Kitiphu Ridge and after passing a yak herder's hut we reach Drange La (3,600m). At this pass we descend through a beautiful forest of spruce, fir, rhododendron and bamboo. It takes about 45 minutes to reach our camp in a grassy clearing called Shonath. In the forest around this camp there are owls, hence giving the trek its alternative name “The Owl trek”.

Walking for 9km (3 hours)

Drive to Bumthang (45 minutes)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Swiss Guest House in Bumthang

This morning we have a short walk through blue pine forest to the road head at Dur Village. We explore the village and say farewells to our horsemen. We meet our vehicle and we drive to Bumthang where we check into a hotel.
In the afternoon we go sightseeing in Bumthang. We start off with a visit to Tamshing Gomba. After we walk over the suspension bridge to Kurjey Lhakang. Kurjey Lhakang is an important temple. There is the body print of Guru Rinpoche preserved in a cave inside the oldest temple.

Sightseeing in Bumthang

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Swiss Guesthouse in Bumthang

Today we take an excursion to Tang valley where we visit Membar Tsho known as the burning lake. This is one of Bhutan’s most important pilgrimage sites. After we drive to Drangchel. This is Pema Lingpa’s birthplace where walk up to visit Ugyenchholing Palace. The Palace is a museum giving an insight into life in an aristocratic family in the last century. Return to Bumthang for the night.

Drive to Punakha (8 hours driving)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hotel Meri Puensum in Punakha

We have a long drive from Bumthang to Punakha via Tongsa. As there is only one road that crosses the country from East to West we drive back the same way.
If you prefer to avoid the drive back to Paro it is possible to taek a flight from Bumthang. Please contact us to find out the flight schedule and availability.

Drive to Thimphu (3 hours driving)

Sightseeing in Thimphu

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Gyelsa Boutique Inn in Thimphu

Today we continue the drive over Dochu La. We have another chance to see the view of the Himalayan mountains. On arrival to Thimphu we will check into the hotel and then in the afternoon we can explore the town.

Sightseeing in Thimphu

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Gyelsa Boutique Inn in Thimphu

Today we have a full day of sightseeing in Thimphu. There are many options of places to visit with your guide. We visit the Tashichho Dzong and the large Shakyamuni Buddha statue overlooking town. It is also worth taking time to explore the town centre. We can see the Clock Tower square and Changlimithang Stadium. There are lots of shops, restaurants and cafes.

Flight back


Transfer to Paro airport for flight home. End of trip.

Dates & Prices

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Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 28 Mar 2021 to 10 Apr 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$3,495pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 31 Oct 2021 to 13 Nov 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$3,495pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 07 Nov 2021 to 20 Nov 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$3,495pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 28 Nov 2021 to 11 Dec 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$3,495pp Single Supplement:
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Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 27 Mar 2022 to 09 Apr 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$3,495pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 30 Oct 2022 to 12 Nov 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$3,495pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 06 Nov 2022 to 19 Nov 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$3,495pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 27 Nov 2022 to 10 Dec 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$3,495pp Single Supplement:
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What's Included

  • All transfers including airport collections at Paro.
  • Twin share hotels while in Bhutan.
  • All meals included while in Bhutan.
  • Twin share tents while on trek.
  • All trekking arrangements including permits and fees, tents, Bhutanese guide, pack animals and cook.
  • Bespoke weather forecasts from throughout the duration of this trek.
  • Thuraya satellite phone to ensure our guides have reliable communications with us for logistics, planning and group safety.
  • Full financial protection for all monies paid to us through our membership of Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (our ABTOT membership number is 5365) and having an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (our ATOL number is 10921).
  • Pre departure support and advice from The Mountain Company by email, phone or face to face meetings in London. After booking with us we will send our comprehensive “Bhutan Pre Trip Information” notes.

What's Not Included

  • International flight to/from Paro (flying from Bangkok, Singapore, Kathmandu and Delhi).
  • Travel & trekking insurance.
  • Personal clothing & equipment please see Appendix for suggested kit list.
  • Tips. 
  • Other items not listed in “What is included”.


Hotel Olathang in Paro

Hotel Olathang is set amidst 28 acres of blue pine forest on a hill overlooking Paro valley. This hotel is in traditional Bhutanese style.

There are 28 rooms with attached bathrooms and the cottages have an outdoor deck with chairs. There is a restaurant and bar in the main building. Other facilities include a spa and a traditional hot stone bath.

This was the first hotel built for tourists in Bhutan. Established in 1974 for the guests invited to the coronation of the Fourth King of Bhutan.

Swiss Guesthouse in Bumthang

Swiss Guesthouse is above Jakar with good views over the valley. This property is an old Bhutanese farmhouse surrounded by apple orchards. The older sister of the first King of Bhutan used to live here.

A Swiss-Bhutanese family set up the guesthouse. They also make cheese and this property is well known for its Swiss dishes such as Fondue and Raclette. There is a restaurant and a bar. They serve Red Panda beer, this is a traditional wheat beer brewed in Bumthang. The rooms are simple with attached bathrooms. They also have a wood-burning stove (bukhari) for heating.

Dewachen Hotel in Phobjikha valley

Dewachen Hotel is located above Gangtey valley and a short walk from the area with black necked cranes. This property is designed in traditional Bhutanese style and is set in three acres of garden and apple orchard with views over the valley.

There are 16 rooms with attached bathroom and individual balconies. Each of the rooms has a wood-burning stove (bukhari) for heating. There is a restaurant and a bar.

Hotel Meri Puensum in Punakha

Hotel Meri Puensum is above Punakha with good views down to the river and valley below. This property is family owned and was one of the first hotels built in Punakha.

The rooms have attached bathrooms and are simple yet functional. Some of the rooms have balconies overlooking the valley. There is a restaurant serving Bhutanese, Indian and Chinese dishes. Most meals are a buffet style. The blocks of the hotel are set in an attractive garden.

Gyelsa Boutique Inn in Thimphu

Gyelsa Boutique Inn is a family-run hotel located in the centre of Thimphu city. It is within walking distance of the restaurants, cafes and shops of the largest city in Bhutan.

The hotel has 6 suites and 12 twin rooms. The furniture is made in Bhutan from Himalayan wood. Facilities include a restaurant, bar and café. Every room has wifi.

Camping in Bhutan

We use A frame tents in Bhutan. These sturdy tents work well with the conditions experienced in Bhutan. They are waterproof plus have ample headroom inside.

Practical Information

Typical Day On Camping Trek in Nepal

We provide a comfortable experience on our camping style treks in Nepal. Our team works hard to support you so that you can relax and enjoy the trek. We provide personal tents, mess tent, kitchen tent and toilet tent(s). The camp will be set up and dismantled by the trek crew. We bring along a cook and kitchen helpers to provide the meals.

The day starts with an early morning mug of tea brought to your tent by one of the trek crew. Before heading for breakfast you pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. During breakfast the trek crew pack away the tents. The porters arrange their loads and set off on the trail in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, between 7am and 8am, we start walking.

The pace of the trek is moderate as there is plenty of time in the itinerary to reach the camp for tonight. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around midday at a spot by the side of the trail. Our cooks prepare lunch for us and the food is usually ready by the time the group arrives.

After lunch we continue the walk and on most days we arrive to camp by mid afternoon. Some of the trek crew would have gone ahead of the group to set up camp and to put up the tents. On arrival to camp you will get a hot drink and biscuits. In the evening our cook will provide a three course meal in the mess tent around 6pm.

After supper the leaders will discuss the plan for the next day. Afterwards people might stay in the mess tent chatting about the day’s events or playing cards. After a tiring day most people head to their tent quite early for the night. Tomorrow is likely to be very similar as today! The only difference is that if we are crossing a high pass or climbing to a summit we leave camp earlier in the morning.

Food provided on Camping Trek in Nepal

While on a camping style trek in Nepal we provide tasty and nutritional food. We make sure there is more than enough quantity to go around as trekkers will be hungry after a long day on the trail. Over the years we have worked on increasing the variety of the menus. We have expanded the list of ingredients provided to the cooks so they have more to work with. Also in 2015 we purchased two food dehydrators with a vacuum sealing machine. We dehydrate a large number of different vegetables in Kathmandu before departure. This has transformed the quality of food especially on longer treks to remote areas.

For breakfast we provide porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis and eggs. There will be hot drinks including tea, herbal teas, hot chocolate and coffee. We provide fresh coffee from our Bialetti Moka coffee machine.

For lunch we stop at a convenient spot with water at the side of the trail. The cook and kitchen walk ahead of the group in the morning and lunch should be ready shortly after our arrival. After lunch we have time to relax before starting to walk again in the afternoon.

On arrival at camp in the afternoon you have biscuits and a hot drink such as tea or coffee. Around 6pm we serve a three course meal in the mess tent. The starter is often soup with popcorn or poppadums. We have a range of main dishes and carbohydrates including rice, potatoes or pasta.

We cater for a variety of dietary requirements. Our meals are suitable for vegetarians. If there is a meat dish then we also provide vegetarian options as standard. During booking we find out if you have any dietary needs and agree upon meal plans before departure. If you have any questions about the food provided please get in touch with us to discuss further.


We bring a Thuraya satellite phone for logistical, safety and personal use. Personal calls charged at £4 (US$5 or €4.50) per minute and £2 (US$3 €4.50) to send and receive SMS text.

Clothing and Equipment List for Kitiphu Ridge

For the safety of everyone in the group and to help ensure a successful trek, you are required to have the following items in our clothing and equipment list tailored for Kitiphu trek.

As a reminder, the weather on this trek will vary season to season and day to day as you ascend to higher elevations and you will experience the coldest temperatures in December would have overnight lows around -5˚C.

Each trekker should bring one backpack for gear required during the day. Your day backpack will contain items such as warm clothes, jacket, camera, water bottles, personal first aid kit and snacks. The maximum weight allowance for back pack is 5kg. The rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel or kit bag will be carried by a pony. The maximum weight allowance for your duffel bag  is 15kg. Please ensure that your bag is marked clearly on the outside for easy identification.

We suggest you print the kit list and tick items off as you pack them then weigh your kit bag before you come on trek.


  • Walking boots. A pair of water repellent boots with ankle support.
  • Wool and liner socks.
  • Trainers/sneakers or sandals. Can be used in camp during the evenings.


  • Waterproof jacket and trousers (goretex or similar). For use if it rains or snows during the trek.
  • Trekking trousers.
  • Long sleeve shirts (not cotton).
  • Micro fleece.
  • Mid to heavyweight fleece.
  • Sleeveless/ gilet or body warmer type fleece. This will help keep your core warm while not bulking when layering up. Gilet fleece can be used in combination with base layers, other fleeces and down jacket to provide maximum warmth and insulation.
  • Thermals or base layer for top & bottom (merino wool or synthetic).
  • Medium weight down jacket (eg Nuptse jacket by The North Face)


  • Fleece gloves.


  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf. (eg. Buff Headwear or purchase a #myTMCbuff).
  • Headtorch. Bring extra batteries.
  • Sunglasses.

Personal Equipment:

  • Sleeping bag. Maximum overnight lows will be around -5 Celsius.
  • Fleece or silk liner for your sleeping bag. A liner protects your sleeping bag from getting dirty and helps by adding extra insulation to keep you warm at night.
  • Sleeping mat (eg. Thermarest).
  • Recommended size is 30 to 40 litres as you need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing such as down jacket etc. It is also a good idea to bring a rain cover to keep the contents dry.
  • Trekking poles (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best). Having two poles is mandatory as required for your safety on steep and loose sections of the trail and for walking through deep snow higher up.
  • Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organised. Or even better are fold- drybags such as from Exped.
  • Two water bottles (Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best).
  • Pee bottle. Highly recommended as means you do not have to get up to find toilet tent at night! For men you can use an old water bottle for women take a look at SheWee.
  • Sunscreen and lipsalve with a high SPF.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Water purification tablets (Pristine, Biox Acqua or Acqa Mira).
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books, phone and cards etc.
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer (optional)


  • Duffle bag or large backpack for your personal gear on the trek (carried by a porter). Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.
  • Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days and time spent in Paro, Punakha, Bumthang and Thimphu.
  • Toiletry bag include toilet paper, soap, towel, toothbrush, etc.

Personal first aid kit:

Note: we provide a comprehensive group first aid kit but please bring personal medications and other items you might use regularly such as:

  • Any personal medications.
  • Blister treatment (Compeed patches are the best).
  • Rehydration powder eg Dioralyte.
  • Analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
  • Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
  • Throat lozenges.

Threat and risk assessment for Kitiphu Ridge

Participants should be aware trekking, mountaineering and travelling in a developing country are activities that involve a risk of personal injury or death. As a condition of booking you must accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement.

Adventure travel requires an open and flexible attitude. You may experience extreme conditions, unpredictable weather and last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. The ability to work in team is an important aspect of all of our trips.

As a part of our planning process we have performed a detailed threat and risk assessment for our Kitiphu Ridge trek. It is worth pointing out all of our trips have a certain degree of risk, this is of course part of the attraction of adventure travel and why so many people choose to join this type of holiday. However by identifying the potential hazards on Kitiphu Ridge we can assess the level of risk and implement control measures to reduce this happening.

Our full threat and risk assessment for Kitiphu Ridge is available to clients on request. For your information we have listed below a summary of the significant risks and hazards identified by us:

  • Falls and trips resulting in physical injury eg. slipping on ice or falling off the path.
  • Altitude illness including but not limited to AMS, HACE and HAPE.
  • Severe bad weather and conditions when camping.
  • Climatic injuries (dehydration, sun burn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or heat stroke).
  • Crossing a river with no bridge resulting in drowning and/ or a fall.
  • Rock fall and landslides.
  • Lightning strike.
  • Wildlife, pack animals (eg. donkeys or horses) or stray dogs. Pack animals have been known to knock people off the path. Dogs can attack and bite, we advise you discuss rabies vaccination with your doctor.
  • Earthquake.
  • Risk of fire in the hotel or lodge.
  • Endemic local diseases. We advise you discuss vaccinations with your doctor before departure.
  • Physiological injury such as heart attack, appendicitis, hernia, toothache etc. in a remote area.
  • Road traffic or flight accident.
  • Contaminated food and/ or water.

This trip visits a remote area where you are away from normal emergency services and medical facilities. In case of a serious injury requiring hospitalisation evacuation could take up to several days and may impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the most usual means of evacuation, however they are not always available or they may be hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.

Dress code and cultural considerations for entering Dzongs

Depending on whom you talk to the exact dress code for dzongs, monasteries and lhakhangs can differ. Use the details below to assist with your planning and we recommend you discuss each days visits with your guide to reconfirm appropriate attire.

  • Go for smart casual look such as long sleeved shirt with collar i.e no T shirts or short sleeved shirts.
  • Full length trousers or long skirts (ankles must be covered) i.e no shorts, ¾ length trousers or short skirts.
  • Shoes with socks covering ankles i.e no sandals or slippers.
  • No hats and umbrellas allowed.
  • Photographs are only allowed to be taken in the courtyard of most monasteries.
  • Walking around Buddhist temples or stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
  • Turn off your mobile/ cell phone and talk in a quiet tone.
  • It is customary to give a small donation when visiting a monastery.

Ethics and etiquette in Bhutan

The Royal Government of Bhutan has a strict policy to preserve its cultural and traditional values.

  • All lakes in Bhutan are believed to be inhabited by spirits therefore no fishing, swimming or throwing stones is permitted.
  • Do not disturb or feed wildlife or do anything to destroy their natural habitat.
  • Do not use detergent in or near rivers, for personal washing use biodegradable soap at least 50m from any watercourse.
  • Do not give sweets, pens or gifts to children or distribute medicine to villagers (there is a network of Basic Health Units operated by Bhutan Government throughout the country).
  • Do not purchase local household items or religious artefacts from villagers, please note that antiques may not be taken out of the country.
  • Please respect the culture and traditions of local people (trek crew, villagers or pack animal owners).

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