Walk for Girls Bhutan Spring Charity Challenge

Explore Bhutan with Days for Girls and see first hand work being done to improve lives.

Challenge Highlights

  • Join Days for Girls to visit projects in Bhutan
  • Experience the rich culture of Bhutan
  • Visit to the Takstang Monastery, Paro Dzong
  • Optional walks in Thimphu Valley and Punakha
  • Learn "how to wear a Kira/Gho" the traditional wear for the Bhutanese
  • Local Bhutanese cooking school, Cook our own Farewell Dinner!

Overview

Join Days for Girls on a special one off journey to Bhutan. Imagine a kingdom where happiness is paramount, where culture and tradition remain intact and where Buddhism has predominated since the 7th century. Beside special project visits we take some short gentle day walks amongst local Monasteries and combine with some well planned sightseeing. Heading to Thimphu and the high mountain pass to Punakha, we finish with the magnificent Taktsang Monastery.

Great sounds and views, dramatic scenery and cultural interaction.

Challenge Grade

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the walking terrain, and the altitude. The trip is graded introductory. This is primarily due to the low altitude gains and the condition of the walks which is well defined and not unduly demanding. During the walks you will be walking for up to 3 hours at a slow but steady pace. You will need a reasonable level of fitness (remember there is no such thing as an easy walk) and we suggest 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for the three months leading up to your trek. Hill walking with a daypack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.

As for any trip, the fitter you are the more you will enjoy your experience.

Itinerary

Fly into Paro and experience breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks as you descend into this remote land. The flight into Paro is one of the most spectacular in the world. Paro is the only airport in Bhutan located in a deep valley at an elevation of 2,225m above sea level. The surrounding hills are high as 4,900m and the approach into Paro airport is entirely by visual flight rules. On arrival we are welcomed and transferred to our hotel. In the afternoon we will visit the town and some of the Monasteries and local buildings.

Meals:  L,D

This morning we drive approx 3 hours to Thimphu. On route we visit the Days for Girls project who supports students. On arrival we will enjoy the afternoon sightseeing Thimphu with visits to the Buddha Dordenma and the Takin animal sanctuary.

Meals:  B,L,D

This is morning we visit DFG supported work. This afternoon an optional chance to enjoy a 2 hour walk in the valley outside of Thimphu. We drive approx 1 hour to the small village of Doedena, where we walk through the wilderness Cheri mountain area to the Tango Monastery. If you would prefer to stay in town and self explorer Thimphu you could visit the Textile Museum and or the traditional medicine hospital.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Thimphu, we drive for about three hours to Punakha. Changing climatic zones from mountainous to tropical. On the way, we cross over Dochu La, a 3150-metre-high pass marked by prayer flags and a chorten and, if the weather is fine, a view of the eastern Himalaya including the highest mountain in Bhutan, Mt Gangar Punsum (7520m). We drive through forests of rhododrendron and magnolia, before the road descends into the warmer lowlands around Punakha. We visit the Punakha Dzong, which once served as the old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress was built in 1637 between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we take a short drive up the Punakha valley for our day excursion. First stop is Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Temple, which stands majestically on a strategic ridge above the Punakha valley. On route we cross a suspension bridge and walk through the rice fields before we start to climb surrounded by pine trees. The Temple was built over a period of 9 years, Bhutanese craftsmen including carpenters, painters, and sculptors consulted holy scriptures rather than engineering manuals, to construct this 4-storey temple. From the temple top floor we have spectacular views of the Punakha valley. In the afternoon we follow a path through agricultural fields of mustards and rice, which leads to the tiny village hamlet known as Yowakha. Prayer flags are lined all along the road to the monastery.

Meals:  B,L,D

The return drive back to Paro is no less spectacular, we re-cross the spectacular Dochu La and arrive into Paro in the afternoon. The remainder of the day our own class on "how to wear a Kira/Gho" the traditional wear for the Bhutanese, followed by local Bhutanese cooking school.

Meals:  B,L,D

A really exciting and informative day as an introduction to this wonderful country (described in part above). The Paro valley is truly beautiful, being a location for various farming activities, including commercial quantities of asparagus, strawberries and shitake mushrooms for export, plus various grain and vegetable crops. It is a patchwork of colours delineated by well kept traditional design farm houses that are ornately decorated. All of the slopes surrounding the valley are forested and the hint of mountains beyond is alluring. Simply driving through the willow lined streets is relaxing and uplifting – there is no clutter of people, or traffic or rubbish, (Plastic bags are banned). Our morning is spent exploring and appreciating the Tigers Nest Monastery or Taktsang. This is the most famous monastery in all Bhutan and is perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro Valley. In Buddhism it is said that Guru Rinpoche flew here on the back of a tigress, and meditated at this place and so the monastery is called “Tiger's Nest” (Takstang) It is a sacred place of pilgrimage which Bhutanese people try to visit at least once in a lifetime. This is a full day trek with a stop for lunch half way up at a local teahouse. When you reach the top, take time to hang prayer flags in honour of the local deities. In the evening enjoy a dinner of local cuisine including the famous red rice of Paro and later soak under the stars in a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we transfer from hotel to Paro airport for flights home.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 nights good quality accommodation
  • all meals
  • airport transfers
  • expert bilingual guide
  • group medical kit
  • private transportation
  • all park entrance fees and permits
  • sightseeing and site entry fees as listed

What's Not Included

  • International flights
  • Bottled water
  • Aerated & alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc
  • Tips
  • Airport & departure taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Bhutan visa

What You Carry

  • In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-eze etc.

Fundraising Impact

Your funds raised will:

• Give the gift of a kit which will give 180 days of lost opportunity back to a girl. With your support girls will not miss school when they have their period. They won’t fall behind and potentially drop out of school all together.

• Provide vital health education so that girls can understand and optimise their own menstrual and reproductive health.

• Allow girls to manage their period with dignity.

• Enable girls to break the cycle of poverty through education and health.

• Enable us to support our partner READ Bhutan to teach women and girls the skills to make menstrual hygiene kits themselves in a sustainable and enterprising way.

Travel Dates

Other Challenge Costs

Optional Single Supplement:USD$320 
Minimum Charity Donation/Fundraising:USD$800 

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
 23 Oct 201830 Oct 2018
Duration:8 Days
Activities:Charity Challenge
Grade:Adventure touring  Click for more information
Trip Code:DG2
Registration Fee:USD$160
Travel Cost:USD$2690

Days for Girls is dedicated to creating a more free, dignified, and educated world, through providing lasting access to feminine hygiene solutions and health education.