` Good Karma Travels

Eleven-day Birding Tour

On this 11-day birding tour, we explore the birding paradise of Bhutan, the Zhemgang region. We see some endangered birds like Rufus-necked Hornbill, Beautiful Nuthatch, and Ward’s Trogon.

Day 1
Arrive in Paro
Good Karma Travels will receive you at the Paro airport.
If you arrive in Paro early morning, we will take you to the National Museum of Bhutan, spectacularly located on the hill above the Paro valley, and to Rinpung Dzong (fortress-like structure) after lunch. We will make sure that you have some time to walk around small Paro town, which has a number of handicraft shops that you may like to explore.

Day 2
Chelela Pass
Today, we drive to Chelela Pass early in the morning. It’s the pass between Paro and Haa which commands spectacular views of Mt. Jhomolhari and Jichu Drakye. On the way to Chelela Pass colourfully forested with prayer flags, we may see the Colorful Himalayan Monal, flocks of Blood Pheasants, Kalij Pheasants, Grosbeaks, Bullfinches, and Cutia.
We have the packed breakfast on the pass. After hanging around on the pass for a while, we go back to Paro town, rest there for a while before having lunch.
After lunch, we visit the 7th century Buddhist temple, Kyichu Lhakhang, a few kilometres from the town. The temple is one of the two in Bhutan built by Tibetan dharma king Songtsen Gampo as his grand project of the construction of 108 temples to suppress a supine demoness. Jampa Lhakhang in Bumthang is believed to have been built on the demoness’s left knee and Kyichu Lhakhang on its left foot. The temple is small but very historic in Bhutan. Visiting it will take only a short time, but our guide will take some time explaining to you it historical and religious importance.
After visiting the temple, we drive to Thimphu, some 56 km and 1 and a half hours. We will have some time to explore Thimphu city, particularly handicraft shops.
Dinner and overnight stay at hotel.

Day 3
Halt in Thimphu
Today, we hike to Cheri Monastery in the morning. We may spot the following birds on the way: Spotted Laughing Thrush, Fire Capped Tit, Golden Breasted Fulvetta, Yellow-backed Flower Packer, Maroon-backed Accentor.
We eat packed lunch.
After lunch, we return to Thimphu go around sightseeing in Thimphu. We take you to the bustling Memorial Choeten, the Weaving Centre, the Bhutanese Paper Factory, and Post Office to buy the Bhutanese stamps. Among others, you get bird stamps.
Dinner and overnight stay in hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4
Thimphu to Punakha
Early in the morning, we drive up to Dochula Pass at 3150m. We stop on the pass for a while enjoying the breathtaking mountain views and the grandeur of the 108 stupas that decorate the mountain top.
The following birds can be spotted on our way to Punakha: Gold-naped Finch, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Satyr Tragopan, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, and Tree Creeper.
We halt for lunch in Lobesa.
In the afternoon, we hike to Khyime Lhakhang, some 25 minutes from the road point. This temple built by Tibetan lama Ngawang Chogyal (1465-1540) is today mostly associated with his cousin, Lama Drukpa Kunley, who was known for his outrageous behaviour aimed at ridiculing the hypocrisy of society. The temple is believed to have been built on the spot where Drukpa Kunley subdued a demoness fleeing in the form of a dog. It is today known as the temple of fertility. The temple is believed to bless childless couples with fertility.
After the visit to the temple, we drive to Punakha to visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong built by the founder of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, in 1637. Located between the Phochhu (Male River) and Mochhu (Female River), it was the medieval capital of Bhutan. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel in Punakha.

Day 5
Punakha to Trongsa
Today, we head east over Pelela Pass. On the way to Trongsa, we may spot following birds: Blood Pheasant, Yellowish-billed Bush Warbler, Great Parrotbill, White-winged Grosbeak, Fire-tailed Myzornis, and Maroon-backed Accentor.
We halt for lunch at the Chendebji Restaurant.
If we arrived in Trongsa early, we will visit Trongsa Dzong. Trongsa Dzong was the seat of Trongsa Ponlop, the governor of the east, before the institution of monarchy. It is one of the most impressive dzongs in Bhutan. The crown prince of Bhutan symbolically assumes the role of Trongsa Ponlop before becoming the king.
Dinner and overnight stay in Trongsa, in a hotel.
Day 6
Trongsa to Zhemgang
We drive to Zhemgang with packed lunch. Today we may spot the following birds, among others, on the way: Chestnuts Breasted Partridge, Ward’s Trogon, Rufus-necked Hornbill and Great Horn Bill, Blue-napped Pitta, Blue-fronted Robin, Wedge-billed and Bar-winged Wren Babblers.
Dinner and overnight stay in camp, Zhemgang.

Day 7
Zhemgang to Tingtibi
Today, we explore the birds of Zhemgang till Tingtibi.
Dinner and overnight camping at Tingtibi.

Day 8
Tingtibi to Trongsa
Today, we drive to Trongsa with packed lunch. We can stop on the way whenever we see birds.
Dinner and overnight stay in hotel at Trongsa.

Day 9
Trongsa to Wangdue
Today’s journey from central Bhutan to western Bhutan takes about five hours. We halt for lunch at Nobding.
Dinner and overnight stay in hotel at Wangdue.

Day 10
Wangdue to Paro
Halt for lunch in Thimphu. After lunch, we continue our journey to Paro, which takes about one and a half hours. Today’s journey is rather leisurely and short so you will reach Paro early and have enough time on your last evening for your last-minute shopping and strolling around.

Day 11
Paro town to airport
Our guide will drive you to the airport on time to catch your flight. He or she will see you off in the traditional Bhutanese way with a white scarf.

Other Bird Watching Tours

1. Lateral Route Bird watching Tour
2. Six-day White-Bellied Heron Tour
3. Sixteen-day Bird Watching