Bhutan Laya Gasa trekking
Bhutan Laya Gasa trekking is moderate trekking routes in Bhutan which includes sightseeing in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and the surrounding valleys. Bhutan Laya Gasa trek offers a diverse variety of Bhutanese landscapes and culture and is without doubt one of the most beautiful and unspoiled trekking areas in the entire Himalayas. Bhutan Laya gasa trekking begins at Drugyel Dzong passing through interesting villages, scattered hamlets and farmland. Vegetation zones differ from richly forested valleys to high alpine pastureland where Yak herders graze their animals. Trout fishing in a sky blue lake with magnificent views of three majestic peaks is an activity that can be done on a rest day. You will also encounter rare species like the blue sheep, and with any luck, possibly even the snow leopard! The unique culture of the friendly Layap people is fascinating to experience and gives one a sense of being in a truly remote corner of our world.
The first part of the Laya Gasa trek goes along the same route as the Chomolhari Trek I right till Lingshi. Besides the unforgettable views of Mount Jomolhari, the trek offers spectacular views on Jichu Drake, Gangchhenta (Great Tiger Mountain). Between Jangothang and Laya the trail hardly goes below 4,000m and one has good opportunities to spot blue sheep or even takin. Some beautiful Bhutanese mountain villages, the unique culture and Appearance of the Layaps (people of Laya district) and finally a day of Relaxation at the Gasa hot springs add to an extremely rewarding trekking Experience. All in all, the Laya Gasa Trek is considered to be the most Beautiful trek of Bhutan, only to be beaten by the tough Snowman Trek. Laya is a large isolated region in the far northwest of the Gasa district. The roughly 800 people of this area are from a group called Layap, who have their own language, customs and distinct dress. April to mid June and mid-September to mid- November is the best season for the Bhutan Laya Gasa trekking tour.
Bhutan Laya Gasa trekking itinerary :
Day 01: Arrive at Paro.
Flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in all the Himalayas. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu as well as other peaks in Bhutan such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsrim Gang. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. On arrival you will be greeted by Himalaya Journey Treks & Expedition airport representative and transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Paro sightseeing.
Drive to Sartsam Chorten and walk up to the Taktsang monastery (Tigers nest) viewpoint. It is believed that Guru Rimpoche, who brought Tantric Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century, meditated here for three months.
The monastery was built later in the 17th century on the same site. In April 1998, a fire destroyed the main structure of the monastery and its religious contents. A complete restoration was done and has resulted in the monastery being identical to the original one. This place beholds the history of the hidden land.
The walking time is approximately five hours. But it depends on one’s pace. When we reach the main road we turn to the right and dive further on to Drukgyel Dzong. Built in 1649 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal & damaged by fire in 1951.
On the way back we will visit one of the oldest monasteries that we have in Bhutan and it built in the 7th century by the first king of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo to introduce Buddhism into Bhutan.
Day 03: Paro - Shana. 17 KM. walking time 5-6 hours.
Drive to Drukgyel Dzong (15 km), at the end of the valley where the trek begins. It goes upstream of the Paro River, through villages, gradually ascending to Shana. Overnight Camp. Altitude: 2580m.
Day 04: Shana - Soi Thangthangkha. 22 KM. Walking time 6 -7 hours.
The trail again follows Pa-chu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river.
After lunch follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing a bridge again, before reaching camp. Overnight Camp. Altitude: 3750m
Day 05: Soi Thangthangkha - Jangothang. 19 KM. walking time 5 hours.
The path ascends for a while until you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder’s camp. Then take a short walk in the valley to the camp at Jangothang. The view of Mt. Chomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb. Overnight Camp. Altitude: 4040 m.
Day 06: Rest day at Jangothang. (Optional walk around)
Today is a rest day and is free to take a hike to Tshophu, walk towards the glacial lake of Chhomolhari or to the Jichu Drake glacial lake.
Day 07: Jangothang - Lingshi. 18 KM. walking time 7-8 hours.
The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right. Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsrim Gang. Then walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Nyele la pass at an altitude of 4,700 meters. After the pass it's a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong. Overnight Camp. Altitude: 4000 m.
Day 08: Lingshi - Chebisa. 10 KM. walking time 5-6 hours.
Walk past the Lingshi Dzong, perched on the hilltop with a commanding view of the green hills, the Winding River and magnificent peaks. This is a very easy and pleasant walk, through villages and yak herders' camps. Lunch will be served at scenic Goyuna village. After lunch, a short walk to Chebisa village. We camp here by the side of a stream at an altitude of 3,850 meters.
Day 09: Chebisa - Shomuthang. 17 KM. walking time 7 - 8 hours.
Today begins with a stiff climb up a ridge to Gobu la pass at an altitude of 4,500 meters, taking nearly 4 hours to the top.
After the pass descend to a lunch spot, through rhododendron bushes. Afternoon continues along an undulating path, after crossing the stream, through rhododendron forests and across yak herder’s camps. You may see some flocks of Blue Sheep now and then. Arrive at camp. Altitude: 4,250 meters.
Day 10: Shomuthang - Robluthang. 18 KM. walking time 8 - 9 hours.
The trek starts with a climb to Jari la pass at an altitude of 4,600 meters. Then descend to Tsharijathang valley, the summer residence of the rare Himalayan Takin (national animal of Bhutan). From here we may have to cross the stream and get wet, as most of the time the footbridge is washed away. After crossing the stream towards the left the trail ascends to Robluthang camp at an altitude of 4400 meters.
Day 11: Robluthang - Lemithang. 19 KM. walking time 6 – 7 hours.
A long climb up to the Shiche la passes (altitude 5005 meters). The views of the mountains from the pass are breathtaking. After the pass descend to Lemithang. The path is quite narrow and you may have to cross the stream and get wet again.
The last part of the trek is very interesting, with the view of Mount Gangchey -Ta peak. Arrive at camp with an altitude of 4100 meters.
Day 12: Lemithang - Laya. 10 KM. walking time 4 – 5 hours.
In the morning you wake up with a superb view of Gangchey Ta peak in front of you. The walk to Laya is very pleasant with wonderful views. You will pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds. Arrive at Laya village, the second highest settlement in the country, at an altitude of 3,800 meter.
Day 13: Rest day at Laya.
Explore the village. You can go and visit many of the houses in the village. By tradition one can go to any house without an Invitation. A cup of tea or chang (local drink) is always offered. The people in this village are very interesting with a unique dress, language and ornaments. Overnight Camp.
Day 14: Laya - Chamsa. 19 KM. walking time 6- 7 hours.
Descend to army camp and join the Mo Chu (Mother River of Punakha) and follow the river until you cross the bridge. After the bridge it’s up and down several times through juniper and fir forests until you reach the camp at Chamsa at an altitude of 3,800 meters.
Day 15: Chamsa - Gasa Tshachu. 16 KM. walking time 6- 7 hours.
Walk for half an hour over flat land to the Bele la pass. It is downhill all the way to Gasa Tsachu (hot spring). Make a stop for Lunch at Gasa village at the altitude of 2,700 meters. After lunch visit the village and Dzong. The Dzong was built in 17th century by the first religious king, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, to protect the valley against Tibetan invaders.
Then descend to Gasa Tshachu (hot spring) for camp at an altitude of 2,200 meters.
Day 16: Gasa Tshachu rest day.
After a long trek this is the place to relax. Enjoy a hot spring bath and explore the surrounding area. You may meet a lot of people coming to this Tshachu for treatments.
Day 17: Gasa Tshachu - Damji. 15 Km. walking time 4- 5 hours.
The path continues descending and ascending, through heavily forested areas with lots of wilds orchids. In this area there are leeches so one must be careful especially in the summer. Camp will near the village at Damji an altitude of 2,200 meters.
Day 18: Damji – Tashithang - Punakha. 16 KM. 4 walking time 4- 5 hours.
The last days of trekking will continually follow the Mochu down through heavily forested area until you reach Tashithang at an altitude of 1,620 meters. Our coach will be waiting to drive you to Punakha (15km), following the river all the way. Overnight Punakha.
Day 19: Punakha – Thimphu.
In morning visit Punakha Dzong the old capital of Bhutan. It was built in 1637. Drive to the Dochula for lunch. The Dochula Pass is an altitude of 3,050 meters. On a clear day one can have a magnificent view of the eastern Himalayan range of peaks. Overnight Thimphu.
Day 20: Thimphu sightseeing.
Visit the Memorial Chorten, built in 1974 in memory of the late king of Bhutan; the Indigenous Hospital where traditional medicines are still practiced; the National Library where ancient texts and manuscripts are stored and the painting school where children learn the traditional technique of painting and arts.
Day 21: Thimphu - Paro
Morning visit the Handicraft Emporium and free time for shopping. After lunch drive to Paro.
Day 22: Departure.
Himalaya Journey Treks & Expedition’s airport representative will drop to you airport for onward journey.
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- Airport pick up and transfer to hotel.
- Three night accommodation in Paro on BB basis ( 3 star category hotel) on twin sharing as mentioned in itinerary
- An experienced, helpful and friendly Government license holder trekking Guide.
- Domestic airport pick up and drop by private car/van/ Minibus / Bus
- Required Trekking porter /sherpa for Bhutan Laya gasa trekking who will carry your bag pack during the trekking.(two person will get one trekking sherpa/ porter)
- Three time meal during the trekking Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
- Bhutan visa fee
- Bhutan travel permit
- Bhutan Laya gasa trekking permit as mentioned in itinerary
- All entrance and permit fees for visits to monuments and museums
- Porter and pack animal services for trekking
- Tents and Kitchen utensils for trekking
- Company services and all required Bhutanese government taxes/royalties
- All program as mentioned in itinerary
- Overland transportation
- Insurance for staff. ( Trekking guide, Driver and porters)
- Guide and porter fares and taxes.
- Government Tax and office service charge.
- Airport drop
- International flight ticket
- High risk medical insurance
- Alcoholic beverage and telephone calls
- Soft drinks such as cola, mineral water
- Emergency rescue evacuation if needed
- Purely personal nature expenses
- Tipping /Tips(Tipping is Expected).
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Useful Information 2021&2022:
Bhutan Laya Gasa trekking moderate trekking routes in Bhutan which includes sightseeing in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and the surrounding valleys. Bhutan Laya Gasa trek offers a diverse variety of Bhutanese landscapes and culture and is without doubt one of the most beautiful and unspoiled trekking areas in the entire Himalayas.