6th  to  14th April 2018 | Bhutan

Land of the Thunder Dragon with Adrian Hayes - Personal Growth Programme

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Land of the Thunder Dragon with Adrian Hayes - Personal Growth Programme: Bhutan 

6 April - 14 April 2018


We are very excited to be offering this special challenge with Adrian Hayes, the first of its kind in the region. Adrian will lead this life-changing journey, trekking through the last surviving Kingdom of the Himalayas, delivering inspiring daily workshops on personal growth, leadership, and team development.

Unlike anywhere else on earth, Bhutan is a mystical kingdom filled with dense forests, impressive mountains, ancient monasteries, and a culture unchanged by and isolated from the modern world; this will be a test of physical fitness as well as an opportunity for self-discovery in a spectacular, unspoiled country steeped in ancient history and tradition.

“This trek is not about summitting Everest; instead about overcoming the ‘Everest’ within all of us. We will be doing some ground-breaking and change inducing development and self-growth work, suitable for all ages, genders, and backgrounds.” Adrian Hayes

Level: This will be a DEMANDING challenge, a good level of fitness required but, achievable by anyone in good health and willing to train for a minimum of 3 months to build fitness and stamina. We run a variety of free, weekly training sessions that we encourage you to join before the challenge.

No. of participants: Max. 25

Registration Fee (non refundable): AED 2,500 (US $680) - to reserve your space on the challenge

Minimum Sponsorship: AED 19,500 (US $5,300) 

TOTAL: AED 22,000 (US $5,990)

(USD 1 = AED 3.673)

G4G endeavours to keep trip costs to a minimum and therefore, approximately half of the above sponsorship fee will go to the partner charity, Mission Himalaya.

Assistance provided in advance by G4G: Fund-raising ideas; training & fitness suggestions; safety & medical advice; clothing & equipment advice.

What G4G provides on the challenge: 
Flights and transfers, hotels/tents (on a double-occupancy basis), food, guides, medical & vehicle back-up.

Leave behind your day-to-day problems and instead come armed with determination and a sense of humour!


This event is approved by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, under license no.439.




In addition to trekking through the hills and mountains of the country, Adrian will be delivering a series of presentations and workshops daily on an aspect of personal growth, leadership, and team development.

“This trek is not about summitting Everest; instead about overcoming the ‘Everests’ within all of us. We will be doing some ground-breaking and change inducing development and self-growth work, suitable for all ages, genders and backgrounds.” Adrian Hayes

Workshop subjects will cover personal values, leveraging strengths, goal setting, mission and purpose, maximizing potential, comfort zones, overcoming challenges, leadership and real teamwork.


Day 1: Friday, April 6th 2017 - Arrival in Kathmandu 

Arrive in Kathmandu for welcome dinner, kit check, briefing, and overnight in hotel. 


Day 2: Saturday, April 7th 2017 - Paro (2,195m)

Take our early morning flight to Paro which affords great views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Chomolhari, Mt. Tsrim gang and Mt. Jichu Drake. The moment you step out of the plane you will feel the difference. Bhutan welcomes you with cool, fresh and crisp air. Peace and tranquility is just another bonus. Our ground handlers will transfer us to the hotel. We will visit the National museum and Rinpung Dzong in the afternoon.

Pre-challenge briefing and kit check early evening.

Dinner and overnight at hotel


Day 3: Sunday, April 8thTaktsang Monastery (2,195m)

Today we will do a hike to Taktsang Monastery. The uphill hike takes about 2 – 3 hours through villages and pine forests.

The Monastery clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters above the Paro valley. It is believed that the great Saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated there in a cave for 3 months. The demons who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism were subdued and Saint Padmasambhava converted the Paro valley into Buddhism. During the end of the 17th century a monastery was built on the spot where the Saint meditated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time. It is today the landmark of Bhutan and known as the Taktsang Monastery or the “The Tiger’s Nest”! The Monastery was sadly gutted by fire and The Royal Government took immediate steps to restore and re-construct the old structure. Tea and snacks will be served at the cafeteria where you can gaze at this beautiful monument built during the 17th century. 

Later, we hike back down to the road and drive to the resort for hot showers, rest and relaxation.

Dinner and overnight at hotel


Day 4: Monday, April 9th - Trek from Dzong to Jele Dzong, 5-6 hours (3,100m) 

Today is rather a short trekking day so you can relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Paro valley. The hike is gradually uphill through pine forests. Camp will be next to a Dzong which was recently renovated. There are very interesting stories about the Dzong people.

Overnight Camping (3,100m)


Day 5: Tuesday, April 10th - Trek to Jangchulakha, 8-9 hours (3,650m)

After breakfast we will walk towards Bameri Lhakhang hiking through huge rhododendron trees. We may have a good view of Mt. Chomolhari standing 7,320m, also Mt. Jichu Drake and Mt. Gangar Punsum reaching 7,520m. An afternoon walk back to Jele dzong and we continue onto Jangchulakha. We may encounter yak herders.

Overnight Camping (3,650m)


Day 6: Wednesday, April 11th - Trek from Jangchulakha to Jigmelangtsho, 7 hours (3,500m)

Today the trail takes us through dwarf rhododendron shrubs passing two lakes. After passing the second lake we gradually ascend. From the top we can enjoy the majestic view of Mt.Gangkar Punsum, standing at 7,520m and being the highest mountain in Bhutan. We continue on a straight gradient for 1 ½ hours until the steep descent to Phajoding camp at 3,500m.

At night we will see Thimphu city glittering in a bowl shaped valley. 

Overnight Camping (3,500m)


Day 7: Thursday, April 12th - Trek from Phajoding to Thimphu

Today is an easier day of trekking. 3 hours all the way downhill through pine forests. Upon reaching Motithang a coach will drive us to the hotel. For those not too tired, we will enjoy an afternoon sightseeing tour of the city.

Overnight in hotel and celebration dinner


Day 8: Friday, April 13th - Charity visit  

After an early breakfast check out from the hotel and drive approximately 1 hour to Paro airport for the flight back to Kathmandu.

Today is our charity visit. We will drive to the Eco-Farm (approximately 1 hour from the airport) and spend the rest of the day with the children.

Overnight in hotel and celebration dinner


Day 9: Saturday, April 14th - Onward Journey Home

We will make our way back to Dubai today from Kathmandu. 

Mission Himalaya was founded in July 2008 by a group of socially committed professionals to help the rural and back tracked community of Nepal. Not only have they committed to reaching out to those in need of proper Healthcare and Education, but are also dedicated to helping orphaned and homeless children in Nepal.

Mission Himalaya Children's Eco Home & Farm

A self-sustaining, eco-friendly home for orphans based in Kavre, Panauti providing proper care and nurture to children who have been abandoned or orphaned. 


Adrian Hayes is a British record-breaking adventurer, author, speaker, presenter, leadership consultant, and humanitarian.

An Arabic and Nepalese speaking former Airbus Middle East Sales Director, British Army Gurkha Officer and Special Forces soldier, he has achieved more major goals the past ten years than most people in the world - Everest, K2, the North Pole, South Pole, the length of Greenland by kite-ski, the Arabian Desert by camel, two Guinness world records, two documentaries and two books.  

One of the few extreme adventurers in the world with a senior corporate background, Adrian is an internationally acclaimed keynote / motivational speaker and professional leadership, team and executive coach / consultant, delivering speeches, seminars and programs worldwide.

He is an ambassador on economic, social & environmental sustainability and a patron of several organisations and charities, speaking, writing and campaigning on a number of contemporary world issues. As a former qualified Paramedic, he is also involved in an ongoing project providing medical treatment and health & hygiene education in the remote areas of the Himalayas.

Adrian has featured in two documentaries: the 2011 National Geographic Channel ‘Greenland Quest and the 2013 Discovery Channel ‘Footsteps of Thesiger’ and is now an establishing television and documentary presenter. His first book, ‘Footsteps of Thesiger’, was published in 2013 and his second book, ‘K2 – The Tragedy and the Triumph’, will be published in 2018.



October/November follow the rainy season in Bhutan. Therefore, it is characterized by bright, sunny days and some early snowfalls at higher elevations. Daytime temperatures will range from 10 to 18C and night time temperatures will go down to 0C to 7C, or even lower at altitude (-5C). Please note that for every 1000 meter gain while climbing up, there will be a 1C temperature drop. Warm clothing and layering is needed.


Your health will not be at risk if you take the proper precautions while you are traveling. The most important and simple thing you can do to prevent illness is to be properly immunized.  Second most important - follow food and drink guidelines.

Tetanus vaccinations are mandatory on all G4G challenges, and our medical adviser recommends that you should also be immunized against Hepatitis A and B and Typhoid.  Ideally, all necessary immunizations should be taken 6-8 weeks before travel to allow time for the shots to take effect. Contact your GP for more information.

In Dubai, these are available at the Travel Clinic at Al Mankhool Health Center in Bur Dubai: 04 502 1200 (walk in clinic open Sunday – Thursday from 7:30am – 2pm CASH only), Al Baraha Hospital in Deira, and private clinics.

Dr. Kersten Elliot, a chiropodist/Podiatrist from Dubai Physiotherapy and Family medicine Clinic, 04 349 6333 is happy to provide a 50% discount on consultation on the basis of your G4G Registration Cover Letter. 

As always, seek medical care immediately if you feel sick.  There will be a first aider with you throughout your trip. Cleanliness precautions should be taken, such as regular hand washing and the use of hand cleaning gel prior to eating to prevent passage of viruses and germs.

Keep hydrated by drinking water regularly.

This trek is described as DEMANDING as the walking, though rarely steep or difficult, reaches altitudes above 4,000m.  You need to be fit and healthy to participate.  It is essential to walk slowly and drink a lot of water throughout your trek. 

Most mountain treks have occasional exposure to sheer drops. Should you suffer from vertigo, you should discuss the itinerary with a member of our team.


You will be trekking for several hours per day, generally on inclines. Therefore, good fitness is required, and it is important that you start a gym or training programme at least three (3) months prior to the challenge if you are not fit when you start.

You must try to also train outdoors and not just in the gym. There are various places to trek in the UAE which have proven to be great training grounds for our locally based challengers. Do join our ever popular beach hikes and stair climbs in the lead-up to a challenge and don’t forget to keep stretching, as flexibility helps stamina.

Visa Information

Check if your passport is valid for at least 6 months prior to travel. You should also have a couple of clean pages (no stamps!) left in the passport.

All visitors need a visa to enter Bhutan with the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives. All visas must be obtained prior to arrival in Bhutan and will be arranged through the ground handler.

Travel & Medical Insurance (Mandatory)

G4G can arrange travel insurance at Aed 20 per day if you don’t have your own coverage for such a challenge. You will be required to pay your insurance premium in addition to your sponsorship target. Further details about the premium, type of cover, insurance terms and conditions, etc. are available on request.

If you have your own Insurance cover, please ensure that you are covered for activities such as trekking at high altitudes (above 4,000m) and provide us with a copy of the policy.

If you are on medication, remember to write down both the brand and generic name, and if it is serious medication, we will need written confirmation from your doctor that it is OK for you to participate in this challenge.

Raising Sponsorship  

A comprehensive fund-raising booklet to guide you is included in your challenge pack once you register for the challenge.  It is always good to arrange private sponsorship events as well as ask family, friends and colleagues for funds.  Sponsorship in this way increases your profile, creates more goodwill and raises awareness of the work of the nominated charities.  The G4G office can give you names of previous challengers who will be happy to offer advice and maybe even assistance.  Be aware that there are rules and regulations controlling public events in the UAE – if you have any questions, contact our office.


We take your safety very seriously.  It is our first and never forgotten priority.  Please listen to your guides and follow their instructions. 

Respect for the Environment 

We maintain a firm commitment to conserve the areas we work in and ask you to do the same.  Take only photographs and leave behind only footprints!

What We Supply 

Return flights from Dubai, internal transfers, accommodation, guides & porters, daily meals & water. 

All your baggage will be transported each day to the night stop, except daily necessities carried in your own daypack.

If you require special flight arrangements i.e. different dates of travel, please inform the G4G office immediately. You will have to bear any extra costs.  

Personal Equipment

Travel light!  Do try to limit the weight of your luggage on the trail to 15 Kgs overall.  Bags should be soft sided with no hard corners and are to be clearly marked and lockable.  G4G duffel bags are available for a price of AED125. Do not take or wear any valuables on the trip, it is best to leave them at home. 

The key to staying comfortable while climbing is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation.  The kit list is provided to help you choose your equipment and clothing for this trip.

Light clothing is generally sufficient up to 3000m / 14,000ft altitude range, provided you always have something warm and waterproof right with you.

Thoughts and ideas:

  • Be kind to your feet! If you plan on purchasing new hiking boots, do so well ahead of time and use them to allow time to “break them in”.  Bring some extra moleskin or Second Skin (Compeed) for fast foot treatment, plus tape and watch out for blisters.
  • One way to minimize the risk of blisters is to wear a thin liner sock under your regular thicker hiking socks.  The liner sock should be made of a non-absorbent, wicking material, absolutely no cotton.  Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
  • Another way is to coat your foot with a layer of Vaseline before you put your socks on each day
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather, but once it becomes wet, it drains your body heat.  Plan on bringing at least one synthetic shirt that dries quickly. Suggestions are Capilene, M.T.S. and Thermax.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting your gear.  Use different sizes and colors to differentiate the contents.  Plastic bags are also helpful to separate clean and dirty clothing, as well as giving an extra layer of waterproofing inside the duffel bag.
  • Always test your layers before the trip.  Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • If you normally wear contacts, bring a pair of glasses in case of eye irritation from dust.
  • Some of the trails can be rutted and dusty.  It is a good idea to pack camera equipment and binoculars in plastic bags to protect them from the dust.  This is in addition to their normal cases.  Also bring some lens cleaning material.
  • Laundry is difficult on this trip but you can hand-wash a few quick-drying items.
  • Make 1 copy of your passport and take it with you; we will have a second copy in our files. 

Miscellaneous Information

Bhutan is 2 hours ahead of UAE time, GMT +5:45

Currencies: Bhutanese Ngultrum or BTN

Indian Rupee or INR

1USD = 65 BTN approximately

1 AED = 17.5 BTN approximately

Sanitation and Personal Hygiene

2 dugout latrines (male and female) will be made at every camp and with toilet tents pitched over, with folding toilet seats. Toilet paper will be provided. Hot water and soap will be provided twice a day for washing.

Bags and essentials:

  • 30 - 35 litre day pack with a couple of outside pockets. It should be light and comfortable, preferably waterproof, with padded straps and provision for a water bladder /water bottles, to carry all small personal items needed during the day
  • Suitcase as per UAE airport regulations into which you should flat pack a soft duffle bag to be used during the trek - lockable, with a top length zipper and nametag slot (nametag provided by G4G). Your suitcase can then be stored at the hotel (with anything you are not taking on the trek, perhaps a clean set of clothes) for your return. For your convenience G4G has custom-made weather resistant duffle bags, which we will provide to you free of charge at the pre-challenge briefing
  • Water bottles (preferably insulated) &/or >2 litre insulated hydration bladder (with insulated drinking tube)
  • Trekking Poles x 2
  • Sleeping bag rated to at least -5C, preferably -10C or -20C
  • For extra warmth, a fleece sleeping bag liner/outer bag and/or a silk liner can add several degrees of warmth
  • Hot Water Bottle for sleeping bag
  • Quick Dry Towel


  • Medium weight waterproof hiking boots with ankle support (Gore-tex recommended or treated leather boots or equivalent) with new and spare laces
  • Several pairs hiking socks
  • Several pairs of lightweight socks (for evening)
  • Sock liners – optional
  • Casual shoes for evenings/camp sites (we recommend crocs – closed toe yet okay to get wet)
  • Vaseline

Base Layer: 

  • Medium Thermal Underwear leggings (long) – avoid cotton – can use as sleepwear
  • Medium Thermal Underwear top (long) – avoid cotton – can use as sleepwear
  • Regular underwear – wicking material is the best – avoid cotton!
  • 3-4 Wicking T-shirts (one for every two days)

Thermal Layer: 

  • Fleece jacket or equivalent – full zip is best for temperature regulation
  • Fleece trousers or equivalent - optional
  • Down jacket
  • Warm ski gloves (with thermal liner) worn over glove liners
  • Quick dry shirts – optional

Outer Layer: 

  • Long length waterproof, windproof, breathable jacket (e.g. Gore-tex or equivalent). Must be big enough to go over all other layers
  • Trousers – at least one pair should be waterproof, windproof, breathable (e.g. Gore-tex)
  • Poncho or rain jacket

NOTE: The above layers work much better than a single huge parka or ski-jacket!


  • Brimmed hat for sun or a baseball cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Scarf for cold weather
  • Warm hat (we recommend one that covers your ears)

Day pack: 

  • 2 water bottles, 1 litre size
  • Sunscreen SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm with sunscreen
  • Prescription medication
  • Camera/spare batteries and memory cards
  • Toilet Paper/Tissue
  • Trail snacks/ Isotonic Drink Powder
  • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Buff or Bandana (to cover your throat and the back of your neck) – Available from G4G for Aed 50.
  • Small change for souvenirs
  • Extra shirt: When you stop trekking, you may feel cold after sweating and need to change or add a layer to prevent chills
  • Swiss army knife (not packed in hand luggage!) - optional
  • Head lamp or flashlight, spare batteries
  • Mini First Aid Kit (main kit carried by the G4G rep)
  • Bum bag (something that can be accessed without taking off your pack, for your camera, hand sanitizer etc)
  • Small binoculars – optional
  • Water proof layer and warm layer, like Jersey or Goretex jacket (items included in list above, but you should pack into your daypack).


  • Toiletries
  • Reading material
  • Plastic bags for packing & zip-lock bags – assorted sizes are very useful for storing and keeping dry all sorts of things!
  • Ear plugs – optional
  • Bathing Suit