Experiences of Bumdra Camp (Bhutan)

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Bumdra Camp is a tent campsite above The Tiger’s Nest, near Paro, Bhutan. Visitors to Bhutan can hike up to Bumdra Camp, spend the night there, and then hike down to The Tiger’s Nest in the morning. What’s it like at Bumdra Camp? We’ll tell you in this post, with plenty of photos. The camp was more comfortable than I expected, but much colder.

Bhutan Hiking Tiger's Nest
Look back from the Tiger’s Nest trail to Paro. Paro Airport is visible.

So far in my blogging career, I’ve been calling this camp Bumdruck camp, but, apparently it’s Bumdra Camp. There may be some inconsistencies in my spelling!

Bumdra Camp is just below the Bumdra Monastery. The name comes from the word ‘Bum’ which means ‘One Hundred Thousand’ and ‘Dra’ meaning ‘rock’. We weren’t told at the time, but there is a sky burial site just above the camp.

The Tiger’s Nest is arguably the most beautiful place to visit in Bhutan, it was certainly the ultimate highlight of our time in Bhutan.

There is also a “Little Tiger’s Nest” in Bhutan, we have a post about that too!

Bumdra Camp is much higher than The Tiger’s Nest at an altitude of 3,800m. The Tiger’s Nest is at 3,210m. We didn’t have any issues with altitude.

Walking To Bumdra Camp

The walk to Bumdra Camp takes a few hours, (5-6 approx) it’s scenic and mostly uphill. Parts of the walk are through a forest.

The walk begins at Sang Choekhor Buddhist University, a short drive from Paro. The university is at quite an elevation, but you do gain altitude as you walk to the campsite at Bumdra. It’s not enough to break out the Diamox for most.

Hike to Tigers Nest Camp
Along the trail we met a very friendly cat. On a short hike like this you don’t need any technical gear. My son was wearing hiking boots but you don’t need to. He is carrying a basic backpack, it’s not a trekking pack. A waterproof jacket is a good idea and a warm fleece for the camp.
Taskang Way
The Taksang Way. The Tiger’s Nest is Paro Tatsang. This is the trail to the Tiger’s Nest.

On our hike we stopped for hot drinks and a snack along the way. It’s also a good idea to pack a chocolate bar for an emergency energy boost.

There are plenty of scenic viewpoints and photo ops on the trail.

trek to camp Bhutan
Almost at our campsite on the trek up to the camp. Wear whatever makes you comfortable. It was sunny, but chilly, getting cold enough for a frost overnight. My son is in jeans. You don’t need special clothing.

I don’t think you need to be fit for this hike, it wasn’t particularly hard, but we are well accustomed to walking. Kids could cope with it easily. The lower age limit for our group was 12 years old.

We arrived at Bumdra Camp in the late afternoon and were assigned our two-person tents. I was travelling with my teen son, he was 16 years old at the time. We shared a tent.

Things You Need at Bumdra Camp

Tents at Bumdra Camp
The tents at Bumdra Camp were pretty good!
Bumdra Camp
Bumdra Camp campsite

On this trip to Bhutan we travelled with carry-on baggage only. On the walk to the camp we only carried our day packs.

At the camp you should have a head lamp, for reading in bed or for night-time trips to the bathrooms. One like this, without a battery pack on the back of your head is the best.

I would also take your own, clean, sheet sleeping bag liner. (buy here)

It will be cold at the camp, make sure you change into clean dry clothes after your hike, or you’ll be even colder!

Chortens at Bumdra Camp
Chortens at Bumdra Camp, the whole site is sacred.

You’ll also need a water bottle. After years of trying multiple water bottles, this is the type we use now. The steel doesn’t taint the water, the bottle is insulated, and the wide mouth makes it easy to clean while travelling.

Tents at Bumdra Camp

The tents at Bumdra Camp
The tents at Bumdra Camp are pretty good!
Bumdra Camp Bumdra Monastery
Bumdra Camp and Bumdra Monastery Behind. The Sky Burial site is further up the mountain. There was frost on the tents the next morning – early October weather.

Bumdra Camp Facilities

There was a permanent block with bathroom facilities and a sink for washing. Alongside the guest tents there were larger communal tents where dinner and breakfast were cooked and served. There was a heater in the meal tent, no heating in the guest tent.

Bumdra Camp Dining
Dining tent at Bumdra Camp. Food was cooked and served in these larger tents.

We were provided with a towel. I can’t recall if there was a shower and I forgot to take a photo of the washing / bathroom facilities. They were OK, better than expected, but not luxury.

Continuing The Hike To The Tiger’s Nest

After sleeping at Bumdra Camp and having breakfast, tour groups continue on down the mountain to The Tiger’s Nest.

Walking down to the Tiger's Nest from the campsite
First views of the Tiger’s Nest as we walked down the hill from the campsite.

Again, this walk isn’t particularly hard, it’s very scenic, mostly downhill, and there are some beautiful buildings to explore on the way.

We arrived at the Tiger’s Nest (which is not UNESCO listed, surprisingly) before lunchtime. And part 2 of this hike will be in another post.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

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