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  • Package Name :- Laya Gasa Trek
  • Duration :- 20 Days / 19 Nights
  • Trip Difficulty Level :- Demanding

Laya Gasa Trek

Paro,Punakha and Thimphu.

Laya Gasa Trek

Trip Length:  20 Days / 19 Nights

Days

 Activities

Day One

 Arrive Paro, sightseeing in Paro.

Day Two

  Hike to Taktshang “The Tigers Lair”- Acclimatization.

Day Three

Trek Starts: Shana Zampa to Thangthangkha

Day Four

Thangthangkha to Jangothang

Day Five

 Jangothang Halt

Day Six

 Jangothang to Lingshi.

Day Seven

 Lingshe to Chebisa.

Day Eight

 Chebisa to Shomuthang.

Day Nine

 Shomuthang to Robluthang.

Day Ten

 Robluthang to Limithang.

Day Eleven

 Limithang to Laya.

Day Twelve

 Laya halt and explore the village.

Day Thirteen

 Laya to Koina.

Day Fourteen

 Koina to Gasa. “Enjoy Hot Spring Bath”.

Day Fifteen

 Trek ends, Gasa to Punakha. Punakha Sightseeing.

Day Sixteen

 Punakha Sightseeing.

Day Seventeen

 Punakha to Thimphu. Thimphu Sightseeing.

Day Eighteen

 Full day sightseeing in Thimphu.

Day Nineteen

 Morning visit the Choki Traditional Art School. Then drive to Paro.

Day Twenty

 Depart

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1/Arrive at Paro. Paro Sightseeing.

On your Drukair flight to Bhutan, you will be treated to a spectacular view of the snowcapped Himalayan Mountains. On arrival at Paro International Airport you will be received by Boonserm representatives who will accompany the group throughout the journey. After checking in your hotel we will be doing some sightseeing by first visiting the National Museum of Bhutan, which showcases our rich flora and fauna, important antique thangkha/scrolls paintings, textiles, gallery of different masks and beautiful old statues. If time permits we will also visit the Rinpung Dzong, built in 17th century to defend valley against Tibetan invaders. It is now used as an administrative centre and home of monastic community. Towards the evening we can explore the charming town of Paro for shopping and leisure. Overnight at hotel, Paro.

Day 2/Hike to Taktshang “The Tigers Lair”- Acclimatization.

After breakfast we will hike to the famous Taktshang Lhakhang “The Tigers Lair”. Clinging to a black rock face, 900 meters above the valley floor, nestles Taktshang Lhakhang, one of the holiest and the most beautiful site of Bhutan. Taktshang, the tiger's lair, acquires its name from the legend of its foundation, when in the 8th Century Guru Rinpoche, widely revered as the second Buddha, arrived from Tibet flying across the mountains on the back of a tigress. He meditated at the site for three months, from where he subjugated the Eight Categories of Evil Spirits, and thus converted the region to Buddhism. The hike to the Monastery is a gradual climb through lush meadows, oak and rhododendron forest, past quaint hamlets, fluttering prayer flags and rotating prayer wheels. The hike takes you about4-5hours from the car park. Overnight at hotel, Paro.

Day 3/Trek start. Sharna Zampa- Thangthangkha .

(Distance 22km, 7 to 8 hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent, camp altitude 3,750m).

Morning we will drive up to Sharna Zampa at 2,870m, from where we will be starting our trek. The trail follows Pachhu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. After 2 hours of continuous hiking and crossing several streams, you will reach at Shingkharap, a stone house at 3110m. A hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. Little ahead is the trail junction – left an old trade route and invasion from Tibet and right leading to the wooden bridge (we follow the right). After climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, we reach our camp at 3750m, which is amidst beautiful meadows. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mt. Jomolhari. Overnight in tent.

Day 4/Thangthangkha – Jangothang.

(Distance 19km, 5 to 6 hours, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4,080m).

This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest. Although today is not a long trekking day, a significant height gain will take place as your trail goes above tree line. From the camp, your path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. In this area yaks and their herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. After reaching Jangothang ( 4,080,), one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, where you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari. Overnight in tent.

Day 5/Jangothang Halt.

The rest day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatization. You can also trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lie directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and there are a number of unclimbed peaks to the east. Overnight in tent.

Day 6/Jangothang – Lingshi.

(Distance 18km, 6 to 7 hours, 840m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4,010m)

The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Jumolhari (7314m), Jichu Drake (6989m) and Tshering Gang (6789m). Then walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until you climb to the Ngye La pass at an altitude of 4,700m. After the pass, it is a gradual descent to the camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the surrounding peaks and Lingshi Dzong. Camp at an altitude of 4010m. Overnight in tent.

Day 7/Lingshe to Chebisa.

(Distance 12km, 5 to 6 hours, 160m descent, camp altitude 3,850m)

Visit the Lingshi Dzong, perched on the hilltop with a commanding view of green hills, the winding  river and magnificent peaks. For centuries, Lingzhi Dzong was a way station for weary Buddhist pilgrims and defense fort against Tibetan and Mongol invaders. It is an easy day and pleasant walk through villages and yak herders camp. After lunch, a short walk will take you to Chebisa, a charming little village adorned with a beautiful crystal clear waterfall. Camp by the side of stream at an altitude of 3,850m.

Day 8/Chebisa to Shomuthang.

(Distance 17km, 6 to 7 hours, 890 m ascent, 540 m descent, camp altitude 4,250m)

The morning starts with a long ascent behind Chebisa Village (2-3 hours) through a wide pastureland towards Gobu La pass (4,500m).The sights of rare blue sheep is common on the rocks near the top of this pass. After the pass, descend through rhododendron bushes to a lunch stop. Afternoon continue along the trail with intermittent ascents and descents and after crossing the stream, through rhododendron forests and yak herders camp we arrive at Shakepasa at 3980m. From there, we walked down through a thick rhododendron forest until our next camp in Shakshepasa at (3,980m), a large U-shaped valley. Climbing from here you will finally reach the campsite at Shomuthang, above a river, which is a tributary of the Nochu river. Overnight in tent.

Day 9/Shomuthang to Robluthang.

(Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, 700 m ascent, 760 m descent, camp altitude 4,160 m)

The trek starts by walking through edelweiss bound trail with a climb to Jari La pass at altitude 4,700m. The snow capped peak visible to the south-east is Kangbum at 6526m. Then descend to Tsarijathang valley, the summer residence of rare Himalayan Takins (national animal of Bhutan). From here we may have to cross the stream as most of the time the footbridge is washed away. After crossing the stream towards the left, the trail ascends till you reach Robluthang, a rocky meadow camp at an altitude of 4,200m. Overnight in tent.

Day 10/Robluthang to Limithang.

(Distance 19 km, 6-7 hours, 850 m ascent, 870 m descent, camp altitude 4,140 m)

Today, you will cross the highest pass in our entire trek. Climb all way up through boggy patches crossing stream, traversing marmot holes and moraine, you will reach at the top of Shingchen La pass (5005m). The view of snow-covered Gangchenta or the Tiger Mountain (6,840m) filling the northern horizon is simply stunning. After the pass, descend through rough rocky trail following moraine river valley to Kango Chhu River. The path is quite narrow and you may have to cross a stream again and get wet. After walking through cedar forests we arrive Lingmethang (4,140m), which is a beautiful scattered meadow by the river with Tiger Mountain towering behind your campsite. Overnight in tent.

Day 11/Limithang to Laya.

(Distance 10 km, 4-5 hours, 60 m ascent, 340 m descent, camp altitude 3,840 m)

In the morning you wake up with a superb view of Gangchenta 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 altitude of 3,800m. Overnight in tent.

Day 12/Laya Halt and Explore the village.

Explore around Laya village. You can go and visit any of the houses around. Even to a perfect stranger, traditional Bhutanese hospitality is extended and a cup of tea and Chang (local, wine) is always offered. The people in this valley are very interesting especially the women. They wear conical bamboo hats decorated with turquoise and silver ornaments. Overnight in tent.

Day 13/Laya to Koina.

(Distance 19 km, 6-7 hours, 260 m ascent, 1,070 m descent, camp altitude 3,050 m)

The trail winds up and down along the river valley of Mo Chhu avoiding natural obstacles and affording breath-taking views of the raging river, feeder streams and waterfalls. Lots of ups and downs will lead you to Kohi Lapcha at 3.300 m. The trek then drops down to the large stream of Koina Chhu, where you will find the campsite of Koina. Overnight in tent.

Day 14/Koina to Gasa. Enjoy Hot Spring Bath.

(Distance 14 km, 6-7 hours, 740 m ascent, 1,500 m descent, camp altitude 2,240 m)

Today you will have the last major climb of the Laya Gasa Trek. You will cross Bari La (3,740m), after which the trail descends all the way until you reach Gasa village (2,770m), where you will find the first restaurants since you started your trek. There is also a campsite close to Gasa Dzong. You will have to decide whether you want to stay in Gasa village or descend for another hour to the Gasa Tsachu (hot springs) and relax in the rejuvenating mineral waters. The Gasa Tsachu is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan. Overnight in tent.

Day 15/Trek Ends, Gasa to Punakha. Sightseeing.

This Morning it is only a short 20 min hike to the roadside where you will be received by our driver and then drive to Punakha which would be approximately 3 hours drive. After reaching Punakha we will check in the hotel. Later sightseeing in Punakha, visit the Sangchhen Dorji Lhendrup Nunnery where you can interact and get a glimpse of the nuns daily life at the nunnery. Overnight at Hotel, Punakha.

Day 16/Full day sightseeing in Punakha.

Morning drive to Nezigang village and hike to Khamsum yuelley Namgyal Chorten, a shrine built by Her Majesty the Queen, Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck in 1999. The shrine is perched high on a hill on the opposite bank of the Mo chu river offering superb views of the Punakha valley. The hike is a gradual ascent through cultivated rice fields and little hamlets. After our hike we will be organizing a picnic lunch by the female river side with beautiful views of the valley. Then we will continue our sightseeing by visiting the Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It stands majestically at the junction of the two rivers – Pho Chu and Mo Chu (the Male and Female rivers). The Punakha Dzong is an architectural wonder and it has played a prominent role in the civil and religious life of the Kingdom. The Dzong had been destroyed four times by fire, earthquake and flood. The Dzong has been now fully restored to its original splendor. The official name of Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang translates as "the palace of great happiness." If time permits we can also visit the Sangchhen Dorji Lhendrup Nunnery. Overnight at Hotel, Punakha. 

Day 17/Punakha to Thimphu. Sightseeing.

Morning drive to Thimphu valley via dochu la pass ( 3,100m). Enroute take a half-hour walk through mustard fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery and fertility temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, a Tibetan Buddhist saint known popularly as “the divine madman” and considered a folk hero in Bhutan for his unconventional ways. As part of this fertility cult, this temple is frequented by couples wanting children, who go there to be blessed by a large wooden phallus. Related to this religious notion, one finds phallic symbols all over Bhutan, where it represents both fertility and protection. Then we will continue our drive to Thimphu. Later at Thimphu visit the Tashichho Dzong (fortress), which houses the royal office of the king of Bhutan, a number of important ministries offices and the highest religious authority of the country. Evening free time for shopping and leisure. Overnight at Hotel, Thimphu.

Day 18/Full day Sightseeing in Thimphu.

Morning after breakfast we will visit the King's Memorial Stupa built in 1974, then we will drive to Kuensel Phodrang where the gigantic 51 meters tall Shakyamuni Buddha statue overlooking the valley resides. Then we take a short drive to see the takins, the unique national animal of Bhutan. After visiting the takin preserve we will visit the Folk heritage Museum founded by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. The museum is one of a kind that portrays the lifestyle of a genteel family in the Thimphu valley in the olden days.Later we will also visit the paper making factory where the traditional Bhutanese paper is produced from Daphne plant using the very old typical traditional methods.  Overnight at hotel, Thimphu.

Day 19/Morning visit the Choki Traditional Art School. Then drive to Paro.

Morning drive 13km north of Thimphu to Kabesa Village to visit the Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS), the only charitable art school in the Kingdom, which provides an opportunity for economically disadvantaged students from different parts of Bhutan to obtain training in the preservation of traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts. A presentation by the principal will be organized followed by classroom visits where you can interact with the students and watch them painting, drawing, carving and embroidering. At the small shop at the school you can also purchase craft items and gifts made by the students. After lunch drive to Paro. Evening leisure and shopping in Paro. Overnight at Hotel, Paro.

Day 20/Depart.

Depart from Paro International Airport to your destinations.

 

Accomodation Detail

Thimphu : Namgay Heritage Hotel or Tashi Yoedling

Paro : Tashi Namgay Resort or Hotel Gangtay Palace

Punakha : Hotel Meri Phuensum or Drubchu Resort

Please note that the above hotel will be based on availability at the time of confirming your trip. In the event the above hotels are not available, we will provide hotel in similar catagory.

Price Details

High Season(Mar,Apr,May,Sep,Oct & Nov)

  • One Person :  $5550.00
  • Two Person :  $5360.00
  • Three Person :  $4790.00

Lean Season(Dec,Jan,Feb,Jun,Jul & Aug)

  • One Person :  $4600.00
  • Two Person :  $4410.00
  • Three Person :  $3840.00

Cost includes:  

  • Bhutan Government Royalty & Taxes
  • Accommodation in Standard Tourist Hotels on twin sharing basis
  • All trekking arrangement and equipments except personal sleeping bag
  • All Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • A licensed English-speaking guide
  • An experienced driver with comfortable private vehicle
  • Bhutan visa fees
  • Entrance fees to all museums & monuments
  • Mineral water
  • Evening Tea/Snacks

 

Cost does not include:  

  • Drinks and Beverages
  • Tips/Gratitude
  • Personal Insurance
  • Flight ticket To/From Bhutan

 

Route Map

www.welcome2bhutan.com

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