• actualtravelbhutan@gmail.com
  • +975 17603512

Duration: 11 Days / 10 Days

Destination: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangdue

Spread the love

The mighty and majestic glacier fed Pho Chhu River gushing down through the midst of terrace rice fields, scattered settlement, mixed forest, protected and undisturbed wilderness provides an exciting opportunity for kayaks enthusiast. The exhilarating Mo Chhu rivers perfect with lush green landscape and heart pounding rapids is perfect for kayaks & rafts of all time. Come, experience this natural paradise, and challenge the rapids of Pho Chhu River. The Mo Chhu River offers a year-round recreation from beginning of February until the end of December. To make it more interesting you can explore the multi-day kayaks and raft through Punakha region.

Detailed Itinerary

The remarkable Punakha was the old capital of Bhutan where the historical events, coronation of the first king Ugyen Wangchuk and the first National Assembly Session was accounted to held here. Punakha still function as the winter capital for the monastic body headed by the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot). It lies at an elevation as lowly as 4430ft/1350m and the sub-tropical valley of Punakha is warmer than Thimphu. Punakha is also the home for the fabulous Punakha Dzong, which is one of the most spectacular and important in the kingdom saddled on the confluence of two rivers Pho chhu(male river) and Mo Chhu(female river) resembling the giant battleship. The dzong was built in 1637 and it was named “Pungthang Dechen Phodrang” which means the Palace of Great Happiness.

  • Location: Western Bhutan
  • Distance from Thimphu: 77 km (03 ½ hours)
  • Elevation: 1350m/4430ft

Pho Chhu (Male River) is one of the major rivers in Bhutan with its source in Gasa region which is the northern district that border to Tibet.  There are several glacier lakes which comes together to form Pho Chhu(Male River). The river raise in Gasa province and generally flow downhill through the valley of Samadinkha and then generally flow towards southward to Punakha through the side of the Punakha Dzong and immediately meet with the Mo Chhu (Female river) just below the Punakha Dzong or in front of Punakha High School and together forms Puna Tshangchu. The combined river flowing further 11 Km it is joined by Dang Chhu, which flows through the valley of Wangdue province drained from the Black Mountain. Flowing further through the southern region the name is changed to Sunkosh River until it cross the Bhutan border and finally joints Brahmaputra.

Access Point

  • Paro: 142 Km 05 hours
  • Thimphu: 77 km 2 ½ hours
  • Wangdue: 13 Km 30 minutes

Scenery: The beautiful valley of Punakha provides immense opportunity through its rich natural environment for adventure activities of all kind. The valley is rich and abounds with terrace rice crops and orchards with steep valley, golden topped monasteries, and temple scattered throughout.

What to Bring: We suggest you to bring bathing suits, shoes that best fit for rafts & kayaks, towel, waterproof camera, sunscreen, bug spray, string to hold your sunglasses, sandals to use after the rafts (can keep in the car), and flop flops.

Other Information

Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park (JDWNP): The Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park is one of the fully operated parks in the country with its location range from Punakha, Gasa, Thimphu and Paro, covering around 434950ha. Having the largest protected areas of conservatory of glaciers, alpine meadows, scrublands, sub-alpine, temperate conifer forests, warm and cool temperate broad-leaved forests, major rivers and streams, and the flora and fauna that inhabits the ecosystem. It is also home for many endangered animal species like- Takin, Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, Musk Deer, Himalayan Barking Deer, Red Panda, Marmots and several bird species. There are several medicinal plants found in the park used for commercial, medicinal, traditional and religious values.

Available Rafts & Kayaks In Pho Chhu River

Upper Pho Chhu

  • Location: Punakha (Western Bhutan)
  • Rafts & Kayaks: Wangthangkha – Samadingkha
  • Sports Length: Approximately 7 km (02 hours)
  • Difficulty: Class III – IV
  • Flow: 2000 – 3000 cfs
  • Best Season: March – April, October – November
  • Craft: Rafts & Kayaks

Lower Pho Chhu

  • Location: Punakha (Western Bhutan)
  • Rafts & Kayaks Location: Samadingkha – Below Punakha Dzong
  • Sports Length: 7 km (1 ½ hours)
  • Difficulty: Class III with one IV at the bottom
  • Flow: 2000 – 3000 cfs
  • Season: March – April, October – November (Tips: Runs at high water possible
  • Craft: Rafts & Kayaks