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    However, there are couples of rivers in Bhutan which are calm and are healthy for rafting activities. Manas river in southern belt of Zhemgang, Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river) in Punakha district are some of such rivers that benefit experiencing river rafting of Bhutan.

    I have always desired to try rafting. So just recently I went Punakha to have this experience of Punakha river rafting. It was really a fun ride through a calm and cold Mo Chu (Female) river. The cost of rafting in Punakha is likewise affordable.

    Punakha Pho chu (male river) and Mo chu (female river)

    Tourists are with the view that Pho chu (male river) is more violent and also consists of high degree rapids. They think that rafting in male river is for expert rafters or people who attempt take threats. They also think river rafting of Bhutan would be rather costly.

    Likewise they think about Mo chu (female) as a calm, less deep, peaceful, tidy and quiet river. This system of designating respective human gender qualities in these 2 rivers is quite in the minds of numerous travelers.

    But this is really not correct. Both rivers are comparable since they stream through geographically very same terrains. Each has similar degree of rapids. If we actually go into history, it was a flood from Mo chu (female river) that almost cleaned away whole Punakha dzong sometimes in mid 90s.

    Nevertheless, Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) restricts kids and senior citizens rafting in Pho chu (male river). I was told this is only during peak rafting season in Bhutan i.e monsoon.

    The Experience of River Rafting of Bhutan in Mo chu (female river)

    There are few rafting provider. However I ended up with Xplore-Lotus Rafting. During introduction, I came to understand that guides who will be assisting all of us through rafting were trained and licensed at Nepal.

    They were saying that rivers at Nepal are more violent and have higher degree rapids. The river (mo chu) where we will raft, inning accordance with them is a much more secure one for performing river rafting of Bhutan. It contains only 4th and 5th degree rapids.

    The range is also rather brief, around 10–12Km. We need to drive around 30mins along Mo chu (female river) from Punakha Dzong to reach the raft introducing point.

    Is it worth rafting at Punakha- loan paid and returns?

    What is the rafting in Punakha price? Since there are many Bhutan rafting company who perform river rafting in Thimphu in addition to in Paro, rates are rather affordable. During peak seasons, it’s Nu.2,000–2,500 per individual and throughout off season, it is Nu.1,000–1,500.

    My expectation must have been bit high. I discovered the river sluggish and less powerful. Furthermore, I was put in with 3 elderly Indians. All along I felt like a ‘one man army’ paddling to reach them ashore.

    You can imagine me sweating and struggling with aching muscles and joint pains the following day. However, I enjoyed the attitude of the guides — they were attempting to keep us entertained the whole time as well as sung songs though their voices didn’t make great mix with river sound.

    There was so much water fights, basically splashing water utilizing a paddle to individuals in other boat. Obviously, I enjoyed that. But I needed to bear the consequences of playing with cold winter season water.

    However, occasionally we get to see flocks of winter migratory birds at river bank. And I was taught by the guide on ways to make noise with paddle and make them fly. Along the rafting path, we can also take pleasure in Punakha Bhutan sightseeing.

    When the rafting range is practically to end, we get a wonderful view of stylish and majestic Punakha Dzong. And passing below a wooden Punakha suspension bridge, I felt like one of the casts in ‘Game of Throne’ rowing beneath the ‘Huge Statue of Braavos.’ It was fantastic minute.

    How you can plan to make rafting at Punakha much better?

    If you want rough and adventurous rafting at Punakha in either of Pho chu (male river) or Mo chu (female river), winter season won’t be a great time. Water volume is low and boats don’t move at a pleasurable speed.

    The rafting team members likewise recommend us to come there for rafting throughout monsoon season (June-August). And if you don’t wish to become ‘one man army’ like me during rafting, be clever in choosing your boating partners.

    Throughout the course of rafting, guides will begin water battle; a video game where you can use paddle to splash water to your challengers. However, if you are hypothermia or other cold associated illness client, inform them about your illness before-hand.

    They allow bring of video cameras and other electronic devices with you for making videos and shooting Phunakha Dzong pictures. They supply you with water-proof bag to keep them. However, I didn’t find them water evidence. Particularly during water battle and crossing rapids, water enter the bag.

    However, when your boat nears the destination, the view of marvelous Punakha Dzong is something you should not miss out on. It’s the finest point for shooting Punakha Dzong in your cams.

    In conclusion, rafting at Punakha may not be as wild and rough as rafting in other geographically rough terrains like that of Nepal. Nevertheless, on positive note, it’s more secure and you’ll delight in the sluggish float over among the silent and tidy rivers of Bhutan.

    For more information on Bhutan tour packages and any other holiday packages contact Swan Tours one of the leading tour operators in India.

10 Nights 9 Days Available on request Paro, Paro
What we'll give. What we won't

What is included in the tour

  • Private guided tour
  • Visas for Bhutan
  • Airport transfers
  • Daily 3 meals (B/L/D) at designated restaurants or hotels
  • Accommodation at 3 star hotel
  • A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide
  • An experienced driver
  • A tour vehicle
  • Entry fees & road permits
  • Government fee, royalty, taxes & surcharges
  • Mineral bottled water
  • Set of traditional costume (to be return at the end of your stay)
  • Full service & assistance before, during and after your Bhutan trip
  • Free Local Sim
  • Excited Trip Gift exclusively from Arisedev Tours and Treks

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Flight into Bhutan via Drukair (can be arranged with us)
  • Flight on other airline to catch Drukair Flight
  • Meals at 4-5 stars restaurants
  • Hotel stay outside of Bhutan
  • Expenditure of personal nature
  • Travel Insurance (can be arranged with us)
  • Tips for the guide and driver
  • Alcoholic drink
  • Airfare international & Domestic.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Tips for Guide & Driver.
What makes this tour special

What makes this tour special

  • Guaranteed Visa approval. We have yet to disappoint a single of our travellers in term of Visa issuance.
  • Your choice of hotels will be confirmed for your inspection before your arrival. We only book you on hotels which we love and would love again.
  • We will be happy to change your guide, driver or vehicle on the first two days of arrival in Thimphu if you are not satisfied with our selection. Drop us a note and our hospitality team be on the spot to assist you.
  • We’re here to help. Our world-class member services team is available by phone or email — there's no automated system or call center; you'll communicate with a real person.

Day 1 – Fly  to Paro, Bhutan; Visit the Rinpung Dzong

If possible, it is a good idea to arrive in Bangkok a couple of days early to explore the city and adjust to the new time zone. You are responsible for lodging and meals while in Bangkok.Fly into Paro, taking in the majestic views of the eastern Himalayas as you descend into the narrow Paro Valley. This picturesque town of traditional houses nestles amid more than 100 historic sites and monasteries.

Meet your guides as you exit the airport and have lunch. In the afternoon we’ll visit the Rinpung Dzong (ancient fortress) and Kyichu Lhakhang (monastery).


Day 2 – Raft the Paro Chhu, Travel to Thimphu

After breakfast we raft a beautiful Himalayan stream, the Paro Chhu. Along the way, we’ll stop at a famous iron bridge built by a Tibetan monk in the 14th century.

This afternoon we drive an hour east to Bhutan’s capital city, Thimphu, located at 7,656 feet in the Wang Chhu Valley. We’ll check into our hotel and visit the largest sitting Buddha in the world.

If time permits, we may also visit the local textile museum, the National Library, or the National Memorial Chorten.


Day 3 – Drive over Dochu La, Temple of the Divine Madman

We spend the morning enjoying the cafes, shops, and ancient-meets-21st-century streets of Thimphu before traveling by bus over Dochu La pass (10,300 feet) and into the Punakha Valley.

Before checking into our hotel, we’ll hike through lush rice fields to the Temple of the Divine Madman. This monastery decorated with giant phalluses was built in 1499 to honor a local folk hero, Drukpa Kunley. Here you can participate in an ancient fertility ceremony.


Day 4 – Raft the Pho Chhu, Visit Punakha Dzong

We hike up the fertile Pho Chhu Valley and then raft to its confluence with the Mo Chhu at the famous Punakha Dzong. This glacial river has beautiful blue water and fun Class II and III rapids.

After lunch, we visit the famous Punakha Dzong. This fortress was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1637-38. It is one of Bhutan’s most attractive landmarks and has survived six fires, two glacial lake outbursts, and one massive earthquake. It was built at the confluence of the Mo Chhu and the Pho Chhu, which is considered an auspicious location. The Punakha Dzong was the site of the coronation of Sir Ugyen Wangchuck as the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan in 1907. More recently, the coronation of His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the 5th King of Bhutan, was held here on October 31, 2008.


Day 5 – Drive over Pele La to Trongsa, Visit Trongsa Dzong

We drive 3-4 hours over the 11,200 foot Pele La pass to Trongsa. Upon arrival we’ll check into our hotel and then visit Trongsa Dzong, the largest dzong in Bhutan.


Day 6 – Drive to Bumthang, Visit Jakar Dzong

We drive 2 hours to Jakar and the beautiful Bumthang Valley. In the afternoon we’ll tour the Jakar Dzong, perched high above the valley.


Day 7 – Raft the Chamkar Chhu, Visit Jambay Lhakang

We begin our day by paddling the Chamkar Chhu through its beautiful gorge. In the afternoon we visit Jambay Lhakhang, one of the two oldest Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan.


Day 6 – Drive to Bumthang, Visit Jakar Dzong

We drive 2 hours to Jakar and the beautiful Bumthang Valley. In the afternoon we’ll tour the Jakar Dzong, perched high above the valley.


Day 7 – Raft the Chamkar Chhu, Visit Jambay Lhakang

We begin our day by paddling the Chamkar Chhu through its beautiful gorge. In the afternoon we visit Jambay Lhakhang, one of the two oldest Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan.

aktsang is probably the most recognizable site in Bhutan, perched precariously on a cliff-face 3,000 feet above the Paro Valley. Mythology says that Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a flying tigress, which was actually one of his consorts in disguise, and landed here in the 8th century. The guru meditated in caves on the cliff and would eventually spread tantric Buddhism throughout Bhutan.


Day 9 – Fly from Paro 

Fly from Paro to Bangkok. Spend a few days in Bangkok, or head directly home the following day.

The itinerary may vary depending on local festivals, water flow, roads and/or river access. We may substitute a different activity or adjust the schedule to provide you the best possible trip
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