After breakfast at camp, continue your hike east towards Bhutan’s capital city, Thimphu. With elevations ranging between 2,248 metres (7,375 feet) and 2,648 metres (8,688 feet) above sea level, Thimphu is the fifth highest capital city in the world by altitude. It is also the only capital city in the world without any traffic lights. The city offers a unique blend of the modern world with Bhutanese tradition.
From Tsalunang, the Trail climbs through forests of fir, blue pine, dwarf rhododendron and through yak pastures before it reaches the pass at Pumola. Herders from Punakha would once bring their cattle here over the summer to escape the heat of the lower-lying Punakha valley.
After enjoying a picnic lunch and excellent mountain views at Pumola, rejoin the Trail as it meanders down through picturesque meadows, offering stunning views of the Thimphu Valley from the long ridge thereafter. From here, you will be able to make out your route for the next few days in the distance beyond Thimphu.
Towards the end of the day, you will arrive at Buddha Point, home to Thimphu’s most recognized landmark, the Buddha Dordenma. Guarding the entry to the Thimphu Valley, this 51 metre (167 feet) gilded bronze statue is filled with 125,000 miniature statues and sits atop a three-storey base housing a chapel and thousands of donated statuettes. The statue was commissioned to mark His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s 60th birthday and was originally made in China before being transported to Thimphu in pieces.
Check in to your hotel before heading out for dinner with your guide at one of the many excellent restaurants in the capital.
Trek Distance: 19.2 kilometres (11.93 miles)
Estimated Trek Duration: 8 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,285 metres (4,216 feet)
Starting Elevation: 2,774 metres (9,101 feet)
Ending Elevation: 2,659 metres (8,724 feet)
Maximum Elevation: 3,934 metres (12,907 feet)