Life - An Adventure, Not a Package Tour

River Rafting & Kayaking in Paro Chhu

Now it's all good if you do some travel package tours to let yourself breathe in the fresh air, just relax and enjoy, but just sightseeing won't give you a thrilling experience. If you want to feel those heart stopping moments like you are on the scariest roller coaster - Still, in the shadow of nature, River Rafting & Kayaking in Paro Chhu is where you should go!

A paradise for wildlife and nature enthusiasts

Bhutan is an island country situated in the eastern Himalayan mountains of central Asia. Known for its rich history, culture, ancient traditions, and picturesque beauty, it is also called the Kingdom of Bhutan. With Rivers running throughout the country, it enhances the beauty of high valleys and rugged landscapes. It gives a striking backdrop against the supreme Monasteries for their most exemplary architecture.

Before you go looking for adventure, take a pause just to feel the sound of leaves rustling, unknown birds chirping on unknown trees, the distant sound of a river flowing, sometimes gently and sometimes rapidly through the valleys.

Adventures for the explorers

The major source of livelihood of this small 'Kingdom' of Himalayas is the glacial-fed crystal clear rivers that protect the nation with their generous offerings. The Bhutanese word for river is "chhu," so the Paro Chhu is translated to the Paro River. If you have done rafting or kayaking way too many times, you can choose your fighter. Still, if you are a beginner, don't worry. The rafting guides are highly trained and experienced individuals who have obtained safety rafting guide certificates in institutions recognized nationally or internationally.

These rivers are graded from class I to Class VI as per the level of danger. The river starts from the Southside of the 24,035 ft Mount Jomolhari, further flowing through mountain meadows. It then enters Paro Valley and wanders through the town of Paro Chu. 

When you start rafting, the first few warm rapids will let you admire the scenic beauty of your surrounding and enjoy the gentle touch of water sprinkling on you as the abundant laughter of the rafters echoes in the valley. 

As you catch a glimpse of the bridge where the road from Paro to Thimphu switches from river left to river right, the guide will shout some more instructions to prepare you for the next rapid. You will pass through Wallbanger, where the river takes a turn to the right after slamming into a wall on the left bank. It will surely raise your heartbeat, but the best is yet to come. 

Further ahead is the iron bridge at Tachog Lhakhang, built by the Tibetan Monk Thangtong Gyalpo in the 1400s. Here you can stop to admire artistry displayed through paintings inside the bridge towers. Then comes the Boulder Choke (V), which is complex enough to pin a kayak or raft. But your guide at the raft knows where to pull over to scout/portage ahead of time as you are swiftly led through the entrance. 

Then comes highs and lows of rapids quickly in succession, which is fun just before you finish at Chuzzom. Take-out at Chhuzom on the right side before the confluence with the Thimphu Chhu, from where you'll hike your rafts or kayaks up a narrow trail to the road with your heart still beating loudly as drums of a rock band and blood rushing through your veins like the scarlet speedster running through the city. 

The untamed waterways of Bhutan would never disappoint the adventure seeker in you. This thrilling experience will give you numerous stories that you can share with your kids & friends one day!
Klaus O
December 13, 2021
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