Kayaking & Rafting(7 Days)

Outline of the Tour

Day 1: Arrive Paro

Day 2: Paro Chu Excursion

Day 3: Glimpse of Thimphu (sightseeing)

Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha

Day 5: Punakha Chhu Excursion

Day 6: The Wangduephodrang Excursion

Day 7: Thimphu to Paro

Detailed Itinerary

KAYAKING AND RAFTING

Bhutan is immensely blessed with clean rivers beside abundant forest. Bhutan has the capacity to produce at least 30,000MW electricity because of numerous rivers in the country. Of the plenty rivers in Bhutan six major rivers (Wang Chhu, Sunkosh, Puna Tsang Chhu, Mangde Chhu, Kuri Chhu and Dangme Chhu and their tributaries), have been scouted for kayaking and rafting.

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Adventurous travelers will not be disappointed by the rugged, untamed waterways of Bhutan.  The rivers are plentiful with strong currents varying between slow, gentle flows in some places and powerful, raging white water can be found throughout the country. Although adventure sports and tourism are relatively recent introductions to Bhutan, they are rapidly gaining its popularity. The river courses available in Bhutan offer something for all visitors, regardless of experience.

 

Safety

Our rafting and kayaking guides are well trained and will do everything to ensure that you enjoy the adventure while minimizing the risks. SNG Tours & Treks ensure that all our operators will use professional equipments and maintain a reasonable guide-client ratio.

The best time for rafting and kayaking is from March to Mid-May and Mid-October to December.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Duration: 7 Days

Start: Paro Chu (river), Paro

End: Dang Chu (river), Wangduephodrang

Rivers: Paro Chu, Wangchu, Tamchu, Punakha Chu and Dang Chu.

Craft: Kayaks and Rafts

 

Day 1: Arrive Paro

(Elevation: 2,250m)

  • Representative of SNG Tours will welcome & receive you at the entrance gate.
  • Visit Kichu Lhakhang. This is one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th Century to subdue the ogress that lay across the whole of the Himalayas. Later in 1968, Her Majesty, the Royal Grandmother Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck, built a second temple alongside the first one.
  • Visit National Museum. It is built as a watch tower. Unlike the rectangular shape of the Dzongs, Ta Dzong is conical, more like that of a European castle. Since 1967 the Dzong was re-established as the National Museum and holds a fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps.

Night halt in Hotel at Paro

Day 2: Paro Chu Excursion

i.Paro Chhu (Bondey – Isuna Bridge)

Location: Paro Valley, Western Bhutan

Length: Approximately 10 km (3 hours)

Difficulty: Class III-IV

Flow: About 500 cfs

Season: March – April, October – November

Craft: Kayaks recommended due to narrow and steep rapid

After breakfast we shall take a short drive toward Bondey and instantly start kayaking from there. It may take around three hours drive towards Isuna, a small settlement on the way to Thimphu. You will have lunch after this excursion.

ii. Lower Paro Chhu (Isuna Bridge – Chhuzom)

Location: Paro Valley, Western Bhutan

Length: 7 km (1 hour)

Difficulty: Class II – III, with one V

Flow: Approximately 500 cfs

Season: March – April, October – November

Craft: Kayaks (too small for rafts)

This will be the second part of the Paro river excursion along Paro – Thimphu and it will take you around an hour. This would be very enchanting and live because of the steep ridges.

We will stop at Chhuzom, the confluence of the Paro and Wangchu rivers.

iii. Wang Chhu – Upper Run (Chhuzom Confluence – Lower Tam Chhu, Dobji Dzong)

Location: Thimphu/Paro/Phuentsholing Highway, Western Bhutan

Length: Approximately 4 km (2 hours)

Difficulty: Class IV, one class V

Flow: 800 -1000 cfs

Season: March – April, October – November

Craft: Only Kayaks

iv. Wang Chhu – Lower Run (Tam Chhu – 4 km Downstream)

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Location: Thimphu/Paro/Phuentsholing Highway, Western Bhutan

Length: 4 km (1 hour)

Difficulty: Class III Flow: 800 -1000 cfs

Season: March – April, October – November (Tips: a high water run is possible with good scouting)

Craft: Kayaks, Rafts

This will be the last part of your excursion of the day which will continue downstream from Chhuzom till Tam Chhu. After almost 3 hours of excursion downstream you will reach to today’s destination, Tam Chhu. For those who are stone artist or interested in stone balancing you can display your art here. There would also be a good chance for bird watching.

We then head to Thimphu

Night halt in Thimphu.

Day 3: Glimpse of Thimphu (sightseeing)

  • Visit the National Library, established in 1967. Among the highly prized collections, there is a book reported to be the heaviest in the world, weighing 59 kilograms (130 lb), known as “Bhutan Visual Odyssey across the Last Himalayan Kingdom”.
  • Visit National Institute of Zorig Chusum. It is the centre for Bhutanese Art education. It was set up by The Government of Bhutan with the sole objective of preserving the rich culture and tradition of Bhutan and training students in all traditional art forms.
  • Visit Buddha Dordenma Statue. It is a bronze statue gilded in gold. It is one of the largest Buddha Statue in the world, at a height of 51.5 metres (169 ft). The statue alone is being built at a cost of US$ 47 million, by Aero sun Corporation of Nanjing, China, while the total cost of the Buddha Dordenma Project is well over US$ 100 million.
  • Visit the Memorial Chorten. This Chorten (Stupa) was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1928-1972). It is designed as a Tibetan style chorten, also called as the Jangchup Chorten (Stupa).
  • Visit mini-zoo where we have preserved the National Animal of Bhutan. This animal called Takin was declared as the National Animal on 25 November 2005 as it is attributed to a legend of the animal’s creation in Bhutan in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kuenley.

Hold night at hotel in Thimphu

Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha

(Elevation: 1,350m, Distance: 77km, Time: 3 hrs.)

  • You will come across the Dochula Pass. Here you can see 108 Stupas built by Queen Mother to honor the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed when fighting the Indian rebels in 2003 and also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang.
  • Later on visit Chime Lhakhang. Chime Lhakhang is a small 15thcentury temple famous for its fertility endowments/rites due to the blessings of Lama Drukpa Kuenley. The temple sits on a hillock shaped, as only Drukpa Kuenley could describe it “like a woman’s breast. The word ‘chime’ translates as “No dog”.
  • Later visit Punakha Dzong (the Palace of Great Happiness) built in 1637 by the Zhabdrung. The Dzong is beautifully located in between the two rivers called Pho (male) and Mo (female) Chhu (river). It was the capital of Bhutan till 1955. The establishment of the Wangchuck Dynasty on 17th December, 1907 took place here and the first National Assembly was also held in the Dzong in 1953. Punakha Dzong continues to be the winter residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) and the central monk body.

Overnight in Punakha Hotel

Day 5: Punakha Chhu Excursion

i. Upper Pho Chhu (Wangthangkha – Samdingkha)

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Location: Punakha Valley, Western Bhutan

Length: Approximately 12 km (7 hours)

Difficulty: Class v

Flow: 1000 cfs

Season: March – April, October – November

Craft: Kayaks and Rafts

This could be one of the most enchanting and challenging kayaking/rafting excursion. Higher than medium flows makes this run quite dangerous, especially for the first timer. So we don’t recommend high water runs for amateurs. We will break for a while for lunch.

ii. Lower Mo Chhu (Khamsum Yuling Namgyal Chhorten – Below Punakha Dzong)

Location: Punakha Valley, Western/Central Bhutan

Length: 6 km (1 hour) (Note: In Spring, high winds and small currents makes this stretch longer and harder)

Difficulty: Class I – II

Flow: 800 -1000 cfs

Season: March – April, October – November (Tips: with good scouting, runs at higher flows possible)

Craft: Kayaks and Rafts

In the evening move to Wangduephodrang and Halt the night there.

Day 6: The Wangduephodrang Excursion

i. Upper Dang Chhu (Wangduephodrang Downstream – Kichu Resort)

Location: Wangduephodrang, Western/Central Bhutan

Length: Approximately 3 km (2 hours with scouting)

Difficulty: Class IV -V at medium flows, V -V at higher flows

Flow: 400-500 cfs

Season: March – April, October – November (Caution: high water makes this run dangerous. Not recommended for amateurs)

Craft: Kayaks only (too small and steep for rafts)

ii. Middle Dang Chhu (Kichu Resort – Dang Chhu Downstream)

Location: Wangduephodrang, Western/Central Bhutan

Length: 5 km (1.5 hours)

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Difficulty: Class IV with three class V scouts

Flow: 400 – 500 cfs

Season: March – April, October – November

Craft: Kayaks. (Tips: rafts possible but only with crew and portages. It is time consuming but there are great runs at stretches)

iii. Lower Dang Chhu (Wangduephodrang Upstream – Puna Tsang Chhu Confluence)

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Location: Wangduepwhodrang, Western/Central Bhutan

Length: Approximately 5km (1 hour)

Difficulty: Class III+

Flow: 5000 – 7000 cfs (Tips: higher water makes this run more difficult but reasonable as well)

Season: March – April, October – December

Craft: Kayaks and Rafts

This excursion will start after breakfast. After lunch we move to Thimphu and you will have some evening leisure time.

Hold night at Thimphu.

Day 7: Thimphu to Paro

Early morning you will be driven to Paro Airport for departure.

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