Laya Gasa Trek

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Laya Gasa Trek - 19 Days | 18 Nights

From

US$ 4090 / per person

Laya Gasa Trek

Highlights

  • The trek starts from Drugyl Dzong in Paro and ends in Gasa.
  • Spectacular scenery from the start of the trek till the end of the trek.
  • Cross two high mountain passes: Neylela Pass at 4890m and Singchen La Pass at 5000m.
  • Spend time in the remote mountain village of Laya.
  • Experience unique cultures of nomads of Laya and Lingshi.
  • Mountain views on trek, Mount Jumolhari at 7314m, Jichu Drake at 6989m and Tsherimgang at 6789m.

 

Laya Gasa trek in Bhutan is the most enchanting adventure trek in the Himalayas. The trail goes through high pasture land where Yak herders graze their animals. You will travel through the remote mountains villages inhabited by Layap, a distinct segment of Bhutanese society with Unique culture, traditions and appearance. 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 : Paro

During the journey, one will experience breath-taking view of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks including the sacred Jumolhari and Mount Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by your guide and transfer you to the Hotel.  Later in the afternoon You will visit Paro Dzong. It was built in 17th century and now houses government offices and religious institutions. Then you will visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 8th century. In the evening you can stroll in the paro town. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 2: Acclimatization Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

 In the morning you will hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress from Singye Dzong in Lhuntse to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. The Moanstery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. Lunch will be served at the Cafeteria. Explore the monastery and hike back to the valley in the afternoon. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 3: Drukgyal Dzong- Shana (Trek starts)

DISTANCE 15KMS | Time: 5-6hrs.| Ascent: 500m | Altitude: 2580m-2890m

Walk along the dirt road through wide, rich, cultivated valley, beneath forest-covered mountains, following the Paro Chhu. You will encounter the first settlement comprising of big, magnificent traditional buildings with bright red chillies dried on their roofs in season. Not far from here, at Gunitsawa, you will pass army check point and your trekking permits will be checked and endorsed here. The Shana campsite is just half an hour walk from here.

Day 4: Shana-Soi Thangthanka

DISTANCE 22KMS | Time: 7-8hrs.| Ascent: 900m | Decent: 0m| Altitude: 2890m-3750m

This is a hard day as the altitude gain is above the limit. You will come across the first bridge en route from Tibet to Bhutan that was used by the travellers once upon a time. The trail climbs steadily through beautiful thick forest consisting mainly of, Oak, Rhododendron, Bamboo, Fern, Birch, Fir, Larch, Maple and Blue Pine. The route has lots of small rises and drops with a vision of amazing snow-capped Jhomolhari on the north. The hard day of walking comes to an end at Soi Thangthanka camp, which is in a big meadow.

Day 5: Soi Thangthanka- Jangothang(Jomolhari Base camp)

DISTANCE 19KMS | Time: 4-6hrs.| Ascent: 300m | Decent: 0m| Altitude: 3750m-4050m

The view of Jhomolhari fades away as you leave the camp inflowing forest on the way towards the Army camp. Late in spring, Blue Poppy (Bhutan’s national flower) has been spotted. The Military camp has Bhutanese and Indian army personnel guarding another pass to Tibet. The trail takes you through six remote villages and you might be invited into one of the houses for a cup of famous butter tea. After crossing the settlements, the summits of spiky peak Jitchu Drakey, Tshering Kang and Jhomolhari appear to get closer. Cross a bridge and suddenly the irresistible snow-and-ice- covered east face of Jhomolhari appears, with its massive 3200m- high wall of granite, marble, and quartzite. You have reached Jhomolhari camp.

Day 6: Explore of Jangothang(Jomolhari Base camp)

Rest day at Jhomolhari camp will help with acclimatisation as most people will feel the effects of ascending 1800m in three days. There are some good day hikes from the camp, and it is important to hike so that you will acclimatize. Follow the standard trek rule: trek high, sleep low.

Day 7: Jangothang-Lingshi

DISTANCE 19KMS | Time: 6-7hrs.| Ascent: 780m | Decent: 820m| Altitude: 4050m-4010m

It is a long climb to reach the first high and very windy pass of this trek, Nyile La pass(4890m). From the pass, you can get the views of overpowering mountains covered with snow. The route descends from the pass leading to a viewing point from which Lingshi Dzong can be seen in its full glory; a powerful, solitary structure in the middle of an enormous wilderness. Further 900m descend, you reach Lingshi camp. You can walk around Lingshi village and visit the Dzong.

Day 8: Lingshi-Chebisa

DISTANCE 12KMS | Time: 5-6hrs.| Ascent:  | Decent: 160m| Altitude: 4010m-3850m

The route from Lingshi to Chebisa is the most pleasant walk of the trek. The hillsides are partly roofed with medicinal plants. The route passes through a small pass and a village with few households. There is a Dzong in the village which was renovated in 2003 by the community. After visiting the Dzong, continue walking and Chebisa campsite is reached after crossing a little pass.

  • At the end of the valley, a trail leads into Tibet. The extraordinary medicinal plant “Delphinium brunonianum” ‘Royal’ can be found. It is a beautiful, light purple, delicate-looking flower, which booms in the summer and has a musky aroma. The seeds are collected in summer.

Day 9: Chebisa-Shakyapang

DISTANCE 17KMS | Time: 6-7hrs| Ascent: 570m | Decent: 290m| Altitude: 3850m-4130m

The track leading to a peak called Inela through the grassy slope of the village is rigid and vertical. On the way you might see herd of Himalayan Blue sheep, and possibly bearded vulture. The trail levels out and traverses a pass- Gombu La(4940m). From the pass, the greasy (sometimes) route descends towards the valley covered with Rhododendron forest. The trail passes some rock cliffs containing salt minerals and towards the end of the hike, the route descends through the forest on a wet trail to the valley of Shakyapasang campsite. The valley is one of the more stunning ones on the trek.

Day 10: Shakyapang-Robluthang

DISTANCE 17KMS | Time: 7-8hrs.| Ascent: 570m | Decent: 290m| Altitude: 3850m-4130m

The day begins with a short climb and later levels and changes the direction. Watch for herd of Himalayan Blue sheep; snow leopard footprints have been spotted here. Jare la(4785m) is a small pass with several cairns and prayer flags, which marks the border between Lingshi and Laya for grazing Yaks. Jare la is a good viewing spot. You can see magnificent snow-capped Himalaya. Now the descent starts steeply snaking through Rhododendron bushes, Spruce, Larch, Silver Fir, Oak and various Pines and grassy slope all the way down to the valley. After crossing numerous rivers and swampy valleys you reach Robluthang campsite.

Day 11: Robluthang-Limithang

DISTANCE 19KMS | Time: 7-8hrs.| Ascent: 850m | Decent: 870m| Altitude: 4100m-4140m

The trail crosses several streams and a pass Sinche la(5000m). The trail is more of zigzag, grassy and slippery till the end. The trail gets you through glacial valley and yak pasture lands, and the lowest point in the horizon as well. The hillsides are roofed with medicinal plants “Rheum nobile” and there is possibility of seeing Blue sheep. The route offers great views of five Bhutan Himalayas ranging from 4617m to 7194m above sea level. From here, continue descending through some huts until you reach sandy place next to a moraine. 20 minutes after crossing a bridge, Limithang campsite is reached walking through beautiful Cedar forest.

Day 12: Limithang- Laya

DISTANCE 10KMS | Time: 4hrs.| Ascent: few small climb | Decent: 360m| Altitude: 4140m-3850m

The route crosses several streams, Cedar and Fir forest with an immense view of the Great Tiger Mountain. After some small ups and downs and crossing a ridge you reach a Chorten and prosperous Laya village with Tsenda Gang Peak in the distance to the northeast. Laya geog has six villages and it is part of the Jigme Dorji National Park.

Day 13: Explore Laya

Walk around Laya village, it’s a worthwhile. You can visit some of the houses and the hosts will be happy to have a guest, but watch out for dogs! There is a school in the village and few Temples were you can visit. If you feel little adventurous, go for Yak riding! Apparently there are more than 20 yaks that are safe enough. There are some good hikes from Laya.

Day 14: Laya-Koina

DISTANCE 16KMS | Time: 6hrs.| Ascent: 0m | Decent: 560m| Altitude: 3800m-3240m

Walk through the pasture and houses towards the village access and pass through some beautiful woodland. The trekking permits are checked at the army check point called “Take Hankhar.” After the army camp, the trail is good and it descends till the bottom of the valley. From the valley, the trail is good, wide and flat following Mo Chhu. Two massive caves are met on the way while climbing. At the end of the final climb, the trail provides a good view of Koina Chhu and the Koina campsite. The campsite is muddy and there is a hut and appropriate toilets, which is clean and well looked after by a caretaker.

Day 15: Koina-Gasa (Trek End)

DISTANCE 12KMS | Time: 6hrs.| Ascent: 660m | Decent: 1680m| Altitude: 3240m-2850m

Start the day with a trail through sub-tropical forest passing Georges and if the atmosphere becomes hazy, the canyon transforms into something out of a folk tale. On the other side of the canyon is one of the few places in the world where the Snow Leopard and Tigers use the same province. After 3hr of climbing gains Bale La(3900m), the last pass on this trek, and now the trail gradually descends till Gasa. Kang Bum Mountain can be seen through cane forest. There are few shops in the centre of the one-street village. One hour steep descends from Gasa leads to the Gasa campsite near the Hot Springs.

Day 16: Rest day: Gasa Tshachu

Explore the village and visit the Gasa Dzong. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal established this Dzong in the 17th century to protect the valley against Tibetan invaders. He was the first religious King of Bhutan. After your visit, descend to Gasa Tshachu (hot spring) to enjoy a hot relaxing bath in one of the springs. The Gasa Tshachu is the most popular hot spring in Bhutan. This is truly the place to unwind after the long trek.

Day 17: Gasa-Punakha

After breakfast, you will drive the descending road taking you through heavily forested areas with wild orchids in abundance. You will then arrive at Damji Village which lies at an altitude of 2,400m. Continue downhill where you will be pleased to see high agricultural benches, luxuriant semi-tropical gorge with banana trees and creepers aplenty. You will follow the Mo Chhu through the thick forest till you reach Tashithang (1,620m) and then further down for 15km where you will arrive to Punakha. Later in the afternoon, visit to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple. After Lunch you will visit the Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated inbetween the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight hotel in Punakha.

Day 18: Punakha – Thimphu

Today after breakfast you will drive to Thimphu, capital city of Bhutan with the stop at Dochula pass for Tea. On the way, visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works.On a clear day you will the spectacular of the Himalayas. Later in the afternoon you will visit the  King’s Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan); visit Buddha statue, and is presumed to be the largest Bronze statue in the world. The three storied high throne of the statue will consists of temples on each floor, visit Post office were you can personalize your stamp,  Traditional Paper Factory, the majestic Tashichhodzong. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.

Day 19: Thimphu-Paro-Departure

After your breakfast, you will be driven to the airport for departure. Our representative will bid you goodbye

At a Glance

Tour duration: 19 Days | 18 Nights

Difficulty level: Moderate to Hard

Total distance: 178 km

Best season: March, April, May, September, October and November

Maximum elevation: 5005m

Minimum elevation: 2400m

Highest camp elevation: 4230m

Highest ascent of the trek: 1200m

Inclusions

  • All meals
  • Tea, coffee and snacks
  • Complementary bottled water in car
  • Hotels
  • Transport
  • Guide
  • Government levy
  • Visa fee
  • Entrance fees
  • Permits
  • Sightseeing

 

On trek includes:

  • Sleeping tents
  • Dining tents
  • Toilet and shower tents
  • Toilet seats
  • Mats
  • Duffle bags
  • Cooking utensils
  • All meals
  • Guide
  • Trek chef assistants
  • Horses

Exclusions

  • Flight tickets
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Beverages other than tea and coffee
  • Sleeping bag on trek
  • Laundry
  • Internet bill
  • Phone bill
  • Other bills of personal nature

Accommodation

  • Accommodation in 3 star hotels (upgrade with supplement) during city tour.
  • Tented campsite accommodation on trek.

Insurance

Package does not include insurance of any kinds, and that you are required to obtain separate coverage from your home country before your trip begins.