Beautiful Laya – Gasa17 Nights 18 Days
Beautiful Laya – Gasa17 Nights 18 Days
Beautiful Laya – Gasa
Join the league of people who have had a taste of this beautiful trek along Bhutan’s northern frontiers. Capture the scenic and mesmerizing views of Mount Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, Gangchhenta (Great Tiger Mountain), Masangang, Gangkhar punsum and other peaks, along with the opportunities to spot blue sheep and even takins.Interact with the nomads; the unique culture and appearance of the Layaps (people of Laya district) and end the trek with a refreshing dip at Gasa hot springs.
In Paro valley, we see the castle-fortress at Rinpung, the ruins of the “Victory Fortress at Drugyel”, the National Museum, and the 7th century temple complex at Kurje. The highlight is the hike to Taktshang monastery (Tiger’s Lair), an edifice on a sheer cliff wall 800 meters above the valley floor, worshipped in the entire Himalayan Buddhist world.
In Thimphu, we visit the magnificent castle-fortress at Tashi Chho Dzong, the seat of power which also houses the palace of the King. Then we go to other places of interest like the Memorial Stupa, traditional paper factory, Folk Heritage Museum, Textile Academy, Handicraft Emporium, the site of the world’s biggest Buddha statue.
Stroll around town and see Bhutanese culture by observing people, dress, language, customs, art and craft, etc.
Arrival by Druk Air to Paro.
Fly into Paro. The flight over the Himalayas is one of the most spectacular experiences one will ever experience. You will fly past Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga and the entire Himalayan range visible on the left hand side. On landing at Paro you will be met by our representative from Journey to Discover Bhutan. After Customs and Immigrations formalities, you will be escorted to the hotel. Over night at hotel
Paro - Sightseeing
A very special day, with a excursion to Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest) perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the floor of Paro valley, to acclimatization the altitude for the trek. It is 1-2 hours hike. Lunch at Taktshang cafeteria. After lunch visit the place of interest in Paro.Over night at hotel. Start of Trek. DAY 3 Paro – Sharna: Trek Day 1 Distance: 15 kms/ 9.5 miles. Walking time: 5 hours. Altitude Gain: 310m / 1020ft Altitude loss: 80m / 260ft Starting at Drukgyel(2580m / 8064ft) and camp near Sharna Zampa(2890m / 9480ft). Gradual climb following the Paro river through the agriculture valley and villages. The campsite is opposite to the Gunyitsawa Army check post in a meadow.
Paro – Sharna
Trek Day 1 Distance: 15 kms/ 9.5 miles. Walking time: 5 hours. Altitude Gain: 310m / 1020ft Altitude loss: 80m / 260ft Starting at Drukgyel(2580m / 8064ft) and camp near Sharna Zampa(2890m / 9480ft). Gradual climb following the Paro river through the agriculture valley and villages. The campsite is opposite to the Gunyitsawa Army check post in a meadow.
Sharna – Thangthangka
Trek Day 2 Distance: 22 kms/13.6 miles Walking Time: 6-7 hours. Altitude Gain: 685m / 2250ft Altitude loss: 0m/0ft Starting at Sharna Zampa (2870m/9840ft) and camp at Thangthangka(3630m/11,730ft). The trial is a gradual ascent with plenty of ups and downs through conifer forest, ferns and Rhododendrons. A magnificent view of Mt. Jumolhari can be seen from your camp site on clear days.
Thangthangka – Jangothang
Trek Day 3: Distance: 17 kms/10.5 miles Walking Time: 4-5 hours. Altitude Gain: 469m / 1530ft Altitude loss: 0m/0ft Starting at Thangthangka (3630m/11,730ft) and camp at Jangothang (4044m/13,260ft) Today trial passes an army post and the village of Soe and a small settlement at Takethang. Yak herders live here. Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mt. Jumolhari.
Jangothang – Halt
Trek Day 4: Acclimatization Day. You can spend the day relaxing or there are several day hikes to choose from. Two interesting hikes would be to get views of Mt.Jumolhari or Jichu Drake. If you are interested in a lake then you can take the hike to Tsophu. Overnight at camp.
Jangothang – Lingshi
Trek Day 5: Distance: 21 kms/13 miles Walking time: 5-6 hours. Altitude gain: 2780m/845ft Altitude loss: 2890m/880ft Starting at Jangothang (4044m/13260ft) and camp at Lingshi (4010m,13,150ft) Today you encounter your first major pass at 4890m/16,040ft ( Nyile-la ).You also get snow peak views of Tserim Kang (6789m) Camp near a stream in a meadow.
Lingshi – Chebisa
Trek Day 6: Distance: 16 kms/10 miles Walking time: 4-5 hours. Altitude gain: No major elevation gain or loss Altitude loss: No major elevation gain or loss Starting at Lingshi (4010m/13,150ft) and camp at Chebisa (3990m/13,090ft). Today is a pleasant walk and you encounter parts of Lingshi village and the settlement of Goyak. On reaching camp at Chebisa village you can visit the village houses.
Chebisa - Shomuthang
Trek Day 7: Distance: 16 kms/10 miles Walking time: 5-6 hours. Altitude gain: 450m/1470ft Altitude loss: 440m/1440ft (plus few small up and downs of less 40 m) Starting at Chebisa (3990m/13,090ft) and camp at Shomuthang (4220/13,845ftm). Todays walk is mostly through wild high pastures and yak pastures with few people & Yaks. You also encounter a pass ‘Gobula’ at 4440m/14,560ft. Camp is on a bench above a river, a tributary to the Mo Chu which comes out just below Gasa Tsachu.
Shomuthang - Robluthang
Trek Day 8: Distance: 16 kms/10 miles Walking time: 6-7 hours. Altitude gain: 785m/2575ft Altitude loss: 785m/2575ft Starting at Shomuthang (4220m/13,845ft) and camp at Robluthang (4160m/13,645ft) On the early part of the trek you will get views of Kang Bum (6526m). After crossing Jhari la pass at 4785m/15,695ft, you get views of Gangchenta (6840m), Tserim Kang and upper half of Jumolhari. You pass by Tsheri Jathang, a valley by the riverside where herds of Takin are normally seen during the summer months.
Robluthang – Limithang
Trek Day 9: Distance: 14 kms/8.5 miles Walking time: 6-7 hours. Altitude gain: 840m/2755ft Altitude loss: 840m/2755ft Starting at Robluthang (4160m13,645ft) and camp at Limithang (4140m) today is a hard day as you have to cross Sinche la (5000m/16,400ft) the highest point on your trek. The second half of todays walk is through rocky trails and moraines. Limithang is in the Laya district and here you begin to see the wonderful children in funny hats. Camp at Limithang is beneath Gangchhenta, the Great Tiger Mountain. If you have time it would be worthwhile to spend a rest and exploration day here.
Limithang – Laya
Trek Day 10: Distance: 9 kms/5.5 miles Walking time: 5 hours. Altitude gain: few small climbs Altitude loss: 360m/1180ft Starting at Limithang (4160m/13,645ft) and camp at Laya (3800m/12,465ft) Today is all the way down hill along a winding river valley with quite a closed-in feeling. The trail splits, one going down with the river to the campsite used by the army. The other stays high and brings you into the west side of Laya village. You can camp on a high flat bench above the east end of Laya village. The peak towering above Laya is Masagang (7165m)
Laya - (Halt)
Trek Day 11: Visit Laya village houses or hike above the camp. A day halt is interesting here or just spending the day with the Layaps (nomads)
Trek Day 12: Distance: 16kms/10 miles Walking time: 6 hours. Altitude gain: 0m/0ft Altitude loss: 560m/1837ft Starting at Laya (3800m/12,465ft) and camp at Koina (3240m/10,627ft) The trail winds up and down along the Mo Chu river, avoiding natural obstacles and affording breathtaking views of the crashing river, feeder streams and water-falls. The beginning of the trek will take you past an army camp and the route junction for the Snowman trek. Campsite at Koina is one of the worst campsites on this trek but you will have to use it due to non-availability of campsites or availability of water.
Koina – Gasa
Trek Day 13: Distance: 12 kms/7.4 miles Walking time: 4-5 hours. Altitude gain: 660m/2165ft Altitude loss:1680m/5510ft Starting at Koina (3240m/10627ft) and camp at Gasa (2220m/7282ft) The route may seem all the way downhill but you have to cross the last pass on this trek - Barila pass at 3900m/12,792ft, after which is all the way down hill till you reach camp. The camp is near the Gasa Dzong and village. You can go further 1-1/2 hours to Gasa Tsachu (hotspring) if you prefer a hotspring dip than the Gasa village. The decision should have been made at the start of the trek and the camp staff should have been informed.
Gasa - Geon Damji – Punakha
Trek Day 14: Distance: 14 kms/8.7 miles Walking time: 4-5 hours. Altitude gain: 0m/0ft Altitude loss:30m/99ft Starting at Gasa (2220m/7282ft) today trail winds through rolling hillsides with vistas of fields, villages and Oak and Pine forests, our transport will we waiting us at Gaza Pang, Over Night at Damchen Resort or Zangdopelhri.
Punakha – Thimphu - Paro
This early morning we drive to visit the Punakha Dzong, which is one of the most beautiful and architecturally impressive Dzong in the country. It is ideally located between two rivers Pho Chu “Male River” and Mo Chu “Female River”. It was built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngwang Namgyel and it has served as the seats of the Government till 1953. The construction of the the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoch, who predicted “a person named Namgyel will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. At the time there was a smaller Dzong “smaller Dzong” that house a statute of Duddha. It has said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in from of the statue. While Palep was sleeping in front the statue; the Shadrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From this vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang, “Palace of Great Happiness.” Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo "Chief Abbot” and central monk body. Here the war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved. In 1952; King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here. Thereafter you will drive to to Paro. Lunch will be serve at Dochu-la Pass and continue your journey to Paro.
Depart for Paro airport for your onward flight. Thank you for your visit, we wish you a wonderful flight and safe journey back Home.
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Our ten day trip through Bhutan was a truly amazing experience. Bhutan is a beautiful kingdom and thanks to our excellent guide Tsheten, we could explore it thoroughly.
Tine Raeymaekers & Cis Verbeeck
I visited Bhutan in January/February 2007 for 11 days, and it was an incredible experience. Tsheten took very good care of me and introduced me at easy pace to Bhutan culture, customs, history and people.
It was clear that Bhutan had captured everyone's attention when my fellow taking photos the minute they stepped off the plane - and we hadn't even entered the airport yet! I was met at the airport by Tsheten himself, and from start to finish, he was organized, charming and attentive.