Soi Yaksa Trek
Soi Yaksa Trek is yet another beautiful and adrenaline pumping trek in Bhutan. The trek is filled with beautiful sceneries with some climb as high as 4700m. Soi Yaksa Trek does not require any special technical skills and every trek is led by a qualified Bhutanese guide. The level of difficulty is moderate and at times demanding.
Trekkers will also have occasional intimate encounters with yak herders along the pass. Lucky tekkers would even spot the himalayan blue sheep, marmots and other wildlife.Welcome to Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon.Touching down at Paro International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide upon exiting the arrival hall. Today, we will take it easy to acclimatise to the altitude.
Paro Valley – The beautiful valley is home to many of Bhutan’s old monasteries and temples. The country’s only Airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to mount Chomolhari (7,300 meters) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pachu flowing through the valley. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Paro.
Day 1 – Paro Drugyal trek point to Shana
Morning drive the winding road to the Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions. Mount Jomolhari, the sacred summit, reaches skyward beyond the dzong. Our trek to Shana starts at Drukgyal Dzong. At first we have to walk down to the level of the Paro River, the path runs on the left (western) side of the river. We then follow the Paro River up the valley through cultivated fields and tiny picturesque villages.The forests are alive with numerous birds and brightly colored butterflies. Finally at “Gunichawa”, a military camp, which also junctions as a checkpoint for the army. Here the permits for the trek have to be produced and is checked by the army. Our camp site is located about 1 km above the military camp. From Drugyal Dzong to Shana it takes 5hr. Distance 15km. overnight at camp Shana.
Day 2 – Shana to Thangthangkha
Usually sun reaches camp at about 0700hr. Today hard day we have to cover lot of distance. The trail follows the river through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. As we go up the valley becomes narrow, wilder and steeper. The trail winds up and down along the drainage. We pass a junction enroute, where another path leads over the Tremo La to Tibet. This route was formerly used by Bhutanese people as a trading route to Tibet. We cross several traditional wooden bridges finally arriving Thanthangka. Camp is in a meadow with a stone shelter. From this campsite for the first time-in case of good weather the Mount Jomolhari may be seen.After lunch the trail is rough and stony with many rises and drops.After that we have to croos one brige call shongdo zam frothere we can see the view of beautiful jhomolhari and etc. Count on a late arrival at camp and carry an extra sweater.
Day 3 – Thangthankha to Jangothang (Base Camp of Mt.Jumolhari)
After enjoying the view to jhomolhari and a good breakfast, walk for 1hr through forest. Today we have to walk 4 to 6hrs and the distance is 17km. gradually the view is lost, but the mountain will be seen again in its full glory from jangothang (jhomolhari camp). Somewhere between Soi Thangthanka camp and the military camp the border between the Paro Dzongkhag and Thimphu Dzongkhag is crossed. A Dzongkhag (district) is divided into smaller gewogs. We now enter the Soe (Soe Yetey) gewag.The first village, Jomphu, is above the trial. There is a spilt here and the higher track leads through the village.At Dangojang, 30min before jhomolhari camp, There is a , JDNP, Committee School and a BHU building. By now there should be a view towards the summits of the spiky peak Jitchu Drake (about 22,470ft/6850m) and the Tsheri Kang to the right (21,405ft/652m). Slowly the ruin of a Dzong, located on a rock near camp and decorated with prayer flags, appears to get closer. Cross a brige and suddenly the overwhelming snow and ice covered east face of jhomolhari (23,995ft/7315m) appears, with its massive 3200m-high wall of granite, marble, and quartzite. Now we have reached Jhomolhari camp.
Day 4 – Jangothang Halt
Most people will feel the effects of ascending 1800m in 3 days, so we will have a rest day at Jangothang. We will also do short day hike to acclimatize ourselves with the height. Follow the standard rule : Trek high, sleep low. The area is rich in livestock, which has always been very valuable at these high places. Day halt at Jangothang and enjoy the scenary possible.
From here, There is many trek route like laya lhingshi, Jhomolhari round trek(dodina trek) and Snow man trek etc. This place is main camp side where we can meet so many trekking groups.
Day 5 – Jangothang to Yaksa vai Bonte la pass.
Upon leaving camp at Jangothang,We have to walk 6 to 7hrs. we follow the trail to the river with two bridges. Cross the first bridge and climb the trail that zig zags up the mountainside. The trail climbs steeply after the bridge and ascends about 300m in a very short distance. There are literally breath taking views of Jumolhari (7,315m), Jumolhari 2 (6,942m) and Jitchu Drake.
A flower carpeted meadow with several yak herders’ tents. The highest pass on this trek is crossed today so it is important that we get an early start. The weather in the mountains tends to be most settled in the early morning, increasing the chances of spectacular views. Bonte La (4,890m) is the highest trek of this pass. There are several cairns and prayer flags. Take time to enjoy the scenery or put up some prayer flags. Your camp site at Soi Yaksay valley is a beautiful site with impressive rock cliffs, waterfalls, deep side valleys and snow covered peak
Day 6 – Yaksa to Tumbu Shong
Today we have to walk 4 to 5hrsYou pass the village yesterday and there is a steep and steady climb which takes an hour. The pass has several cairns covered with prayer flag. Climb a bit and you can see the mountains like jumolhari, Jitchu Drake etc?Looking back is the pass crossed and looking the other side is tonight’s campsite. The trail first stays high to the left with some exciting drop offs, then winds gently downhill to camp. Thombu camp is the second highest camp for this trek.
Day 8 – Thombu Shong to Shana via Thombu La Pass
Cross the valley through a swampy area to find a clear trail through rhododendron bushes that climb steeply to Thombu la (4270m). The ridge walk from the pass is one of the best parts of the trek: very high above the valleys on a good trail with a beautiful view. It takes about an hour to reach a big descent . The trail ends near the military helipad next to the Bhutanese army camp. The final night’s camp is on a pleasant site by the Paro Chhu.
Day 9- Shana to Drugyel Dzong :-A 4 hour hike through the lovely valley, finishing at Drugyel dzong where transport should be waiting to take you to your hotel.
Day 11 – Thimphu
Today is an easy walk and with small ups and downs followed by a couple of short steep switchbacks to descend a vertical cliff before finally reaching the last stretch to Dodina. The trails descends through bamboo forests, following the mule trail high above the river and reach Dodina where your vehicle will meet you and drive you half an hour to Thimphu.,the modern capital of Bhutan. Thimphu has a population of about 98,500. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights.