Himalayan Laya Gasa Trek

Himalayan Laya Gasa Trek

  • Camping
  • CommunityBasedTourism
  • CulturalSight-seeing
  • FarmHouseStay
  • Festival
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Textile
  • Trekking
  • ValueAddedActivity
  • VillageLife
Himalayan Laya Gasa Trek,Himalayan travel agent,explore Himalaya with better taste
Trip Code: T018
Trip Duration : 19 Days
Trek Duration:
Trip Type: Cultural and Trekking
Difficulty Level: Medium to Hard
Psychical Demand:
Destination(s): Bhutan
Highest Altitude: 5005m
Max Elevation: 5005m
Highest Camp: 4,220m
Max Group Size: 16
Best Season: April to June & Mid September to Mid Nov
Trip Start: Paro
Trip End: Paro
Avg. user rating:
Trip Route: Paro > Punakha > Thimphu > Paro
Activities: Trekking, Hiking, Visit Farm House, Monastery, Museums, Weekend market, Stroll around the City etc

Overview


You can book Himalayan laya gasa trek through the Himalayan travel agent and will help to explore Himalaya with better taste. The first part of the Himalayan Laya Gasa Trek is similar to the Jomolhari 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 4000m 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. Of all the treks, the Laya Gasa Trek is considered to be the second most beautiful trek of Bhutan after the tough Snowman Trek.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the impressive Dzong (fortresses), former palaces and Buddhist monasteries!
  • Hike through the ridge top Goembas (monasteries) and meet the monks.
  • Hike through the terraced farmlands and villages, visit the farmhouses and meet the villagers.
  • Attend the local festivals and events.
  • Visit the vibrant markets and towns.
  • Visit the traditional arts and crafts workshop, meet the artisans, weavers and painters!
  • And much more…

What’s included

  • Receive and Transfer to Airport
  • Double/Twin in 3 Star Hotel
  • 3 Meals every day with Evening Tea
  • Toyota SUV for FIT & Toyota Bus for Group with Driver.
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All Sightseeing
  • Museum Fees
  • Bhutan Visa
  • All Permits
  • Bottled Mineral Water
  • Walks and Hikes

What’s is Not Include

  • Guide and Driver tip
  • International Airfare
  • Laundry Charges
  • Internet, International calls
  • Other Beverages
  • Donation when photographing
  • Travel Insurance
  • Baggage Handlers tip

Intinerary


You’ll follow an itinerary which has been researched and planned by our experts, saving you all the hassle of organizing the trip. The itineraries are designed to minimize the time spent travelling and maximize the variety of experiences. From small buses to riverboats as well as on foot.

Itinerary at a Glance:

  • DAY 1: Arrive Paro International Airport by Druk Air
  • DAY 2: Paro – Paro
  • DAY 3: Paro Drukgyel Dzong – Sharna Zampa
  • DAY 4: Sharna Zampa – Thangthangkha
  • DAY 5: Thangthangkha – Jangothang
  • DAY 6: Halt at Jangothang.
  • DAY 7: Jangothang – Lingshi.
  • DAY 8: Lingshi – Chebisa.
  • DAY 9: Chebisa – Shomuthang.
  • DAY 10: Shomuthang – Robluthang
  • DAY 11: Robluthang – Limithang
  • DAY 12: Limithang – Laya
  • DAY 13: Laya – Koina
  • DAY 14: Koina – Gasa
  • DAY 15: Gasa – Damji.
  • DAY 16: Damji – Tashithang- Punakha
  • DAY 17: Punakha (Sightseeing)
  • DAY 18: Punakha-Thimphu/Paro
  • DAY 19: Thimphu/Paro – Paro International Airport See off by your guide.

Detail Itinerary

1

Paro – ParoAs you approach Paro, on clear sunny days you can capture a spectacular view of Himalayan peaks. Just before landing, you will have unusual experience with the aircraft as it prepares to land on one of the most difficult airports in the world. On arrival you will be received by our representative who will then take you to hotel to checkin. After lunch you will visit Drukgyal Dzong built in 1647 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong was built to commemorate the victory against the invading Tibetan army in 17th century.The Dzong was destroyed by fire and left in ruins. On a clear day you can get a magnificent view of Mount Jhomolhari (7314 m / 23,990 ft). From Drugyal Dzong, we will drive south to Satsam Chorten, built in memory of the late Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, and continue on to Kyichu Lhakhang, built in seventh century by a Tibetan King, Songtsen Gonpo. After that according to time we will visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum of Bhutan, which has collection of works of art, handicrafts, costumes, armor and rare stamps. We will take a short hike down to Rimpung Dzong. The short hike will take you through a traditional cantilever bridge and to your waiting car at the valley floor. Depending on time, we will hike up to the nearby hill to get a panoramic view of the Paro Valley. Overnight at hotel.

2

PARO (EXCURSION TO TIGER’S LAIR)After breakfast, your car will drop you at the starting point of the excursion to the spectacular Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s nest). The steep trail to the monastery will take you through beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. You will love to stop at the cafeteria for refreshment after a steep climb. If not tired, you will hike further until you get a clear view of Taktsang monastery. Built in 1600s, this incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. The history states that Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tiger.Lunch will be served at the cafeteria

3

Drukgyel Dzong – Sharna Zampa(Distance: 17km, Duration: 4-5 hours, Ascent: 360m, Descent: 80m, Camp altitude: 2850m).
Drive up to Drukgyel Dzong (2580m) where the motor able road ends, and the trek begins. With a gradual climb the trail follows the Paro Chhu passing through beautiful meadows, paddy fields and impressive farm houses. After about four hours you will reach the army check point at Gunitsawa village. At the check point your trek permit (provided by your tour operator) will be checked and endorsed. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa.

4

Sharna Zampa – Thangthangkha(Distance: 22km, Duration: 7-8 hours, Ascent: 770m, Descent: 10m, Camp altitude: 3610m)
On this long day, the trail continues with lots of gentle climbs up and down. After going uphill through the river valley, you enter the Jigme Dorji National Park. The valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mount Jomolhari.

5

Thangthangkha – Jangothang(Distance: 19km, Duration: 5-6 hours, Ascent: 480m, Camp altitude: 4080m)
If you have not seen Mount Jomolhari last evening, you have a great chance in the early morning to get a great view. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley, which widens into patches of alpine meadow with scanty forest growths. Cross an army outpost along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. Yaks and the herders’ homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. Reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari.

6

Halt at JangothangThe day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views on 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 acclimatisation. Trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jumolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains in the west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.

7

Jangothang – Lingshi(Distance: 18km, Duration: 6-7 hours, Ascent: 840m, Descent: 870m, Camp altitude: 4010m)
After 15 minutes from the camp the trail climbs rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascend to the Nyilila pass at 4870m. While on the climb enjoy the surrounding. You might see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains. From the pass you will have spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang, all of them rising above 7000m. On the way down to the camp you will pass by some of the yak herders’ tent, made from yak wool, where the herders take shelter while on the move to various pastures for their yaks. As you come down into the Lingshi basin, you get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tserimgang and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. The campsite is next to a stone hut, just before you reach Lingshi Dzong.

8

Lingshi – Chebisa(Distance: 10km, Duration: 6 six hours, Ascent: 280m, Descent: 410m, Camp altitude 3880m)
Today is the shortest walking day, and you can take it easy. Shortly after starting you will reach a chorten below Lingshi Dzong. Here, you have the choice of staying on the main trail or taking a diversion up to the Lingshi Dzong (4220m), which sits right atop a ridge. Besides a very special atmosphere of mystic silence Lingshi Dzong provides a great view over the valley. After Lingshi Dzong you will be passing through the villages of Lingshi and Goyul. In Goyul, the stone houses are clustered together to a small compact village, which is unusual in Bhutan as village houses are normally scattered. On reaching the campsite at Chebisa with a beautiful waterfall behind the village, you will have plenty of time to visit the village houses if you feel up to it.

9

Chebisa – Shomuthang(Distance: 17km, Duration: 6-7 hours, Ascent: 890m, Descent: 540m, Camp altitude: 4220m)
You walk through a wide pastureland towards Gobu La (pass). On the way, you will see a few people herding yaks. There is also a great chance to spot large herds of blue sheep above the trail. After crossing the Gobu La (4410m), you descend to the valley, then climb again a little bit, and descend again to Shakshepasa (3980m) where a helipad has been established. Climbing from here you will finally reach the campsite at Shomuthang, above a river, which is a tributary of the Nochu river.

10

Shomuthang – Robluthang(Distance: 18km, Duration: 6-7 hours, Ascent: 700m, Descent: 760m, camp altitude: 4160m)
As the walk is a little strenuous, it is advisable to start early. You will climb up the valley to view Kang Bum (6526m) and some edelweiss. After two hours of climbing you will reach Jhari La (4750m), from where you can catch the first sight of Sinche La, the pass you will have to cross the next day. The big snow peak in the north is Gangchhenta 6840m, better known as the Great Tiger Mountain. If weather is clear, Tserim Kang and the top of Jumolhari will be visible. The camp by the river is called Tsheri Jathang. Herds of takin, the Bhutan’s National Animal, migrate to this valley in summer and remain for about four months. The valley has been declared a takin sanctuary. Climb up a little bit and you will reach the campsite at Robluthang in a rocky meadow.

11

Robluthang – Limithang(Distance: 19km, Duration: 6-7 hours, Ascent: 850m, Descent: 870m, Camp altitude: 4140m)
After crossing Sinche La (5005m) (the last and highest pass on the trek in case you don’t intend to continue the Snowman trek from Laya onwards) you descend to a little stone house and come across a few Laya women dressed in typical Laya costume with long pointed bamboo hats on their head. Right behind the stone house you will see an impressive terminal moraine and a glacial lake at the foot of the valley. You can see classic examples of the lateral moraines where the glacier has pushed rocks up both sides of the valley. Below the moraine, you cross the Kango Chhu and soon reach the Limithang campsite. The peak of Gangchhenta towers over the campsite even though it’s quite a distance away.

12

Limithang – Laya(Distance: 10km, Duration: 4-5 hours, Ascent: 60m, Descent: 340m, Camp altitude: 3840m)
Today, you walk all the way downhill along a narrow winding river valley. After a long time, you again trek partly through deep forest. The trail leads you to the west side of Laya village. From the west of the village you will view Gangchhenta again and catch a glimpse of Masagang. In the centre of village are community school and basic health unit with telephone connection. The campsite is below the school.

13

Laya – Koina(Distance: 19km, Duration: 7 hours, Ascent: 260m, Descent: 1070m, Camp altitude: 3050m)
The trail winds up and down along the river valley of Mo Chhu avoiding natural obstacles and affording breath-taking views of the crashing river, feeder streams and waterfalls. Lots of ups and downs will lead you to Kohi Lapcha at 3300 m. The trek then drops down to the large stream of Koina Chhu, where you will find the campsite of Koina.

14

Koina – Gasa(Distance: 14km, Duration: 6-7 hours, Ascent: 740m, Descent: 1500m, Camp altitude at Gasa Tsachu: 2240m)
Today you will have your last major climb of the Laya Gasa Trek. You will cross the Bari La (3740m), after which the trail is all the way down till you reach Gasa village (2770m), where you will find the first restaurants since starting from Drukgyel Dzong. There is also a campsite close to Gasa Dzong. You will have to decide if you want to stay in Gasa village or descend for another one hour and relax in the hot spring. It is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan.

15

Gasa – Damji(Distance: 18km, Duration: 5-6 hours, Ascent: 480m, Descent: 470m, Camp altitude: 2250m)
After a short climb, the trail winds with lots of climbs up and down, through rolling hills and passes and pine and oak forests, villages and wheat fields. You will also see a beautiful view of the Gasa Dzong glued to the valley wall as if floating in space. You finally reach Damji with its well-maintained campsite.

16

Damji–Tashithang-Punakha(Distance: 16km, Duration: 5 hours, Ascent: 250m, Descent: 870m)
The trail descends from the high agricultural benches above the Mo Chhu into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and tropical vegetation. You will also see monkeys and a few other animals occasionally. The road actually leads further up and will soon reach Damji. You can save about two hours of walking when you arrange transport from the current road head.Overnight in hotel.

17

Punakha (Sightseeing)In Punakha, we will visit the Dzong built by Zhabdrung in 1637. The dzong is on a strategic junction at the confluence of Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). The dzong has played a sacred role in the history of Bhutan. It served as the seat of Zhabdrung’s government, and it has received several foreign delegations in 18th and 19th century. The first King was coronated in 1907 and the third King convened the first National Assembly in the dzong. The central monastic body continues to reside here in winter. The embalmed bodies of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Pema Lingpa are on the top floor of the main tower. Following four catastrophic fires, an earthquake and flood, the fourth King restored the dzong after the latest flood in 1994.Next in line is a short hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten in the northern part of the valley. It is the more elaborate version of the Memorial Chorten in Thimphu. It has an astounding work of frescoes and intricate statues. Later in the afternoon according to time you will then be driven to Lobesa where you will make another hike to Chimi Lhakhang, a Temple on small hill. This temple is dedicated to the great Yogi known as Drukpa Kuenley popularly known as “Divine madman” to the westerners. Bhutanese believe that this temple blesses women who seek fertility.Overnight at hotel.

18

PUNAKHA-THIMPHU/PAROAfter Breakfast, we will drive to Paro and stop at Dochula Pass to take photographs and explore the recently built stupas. On clear sunny days, you can view the Bhutan’s 200 mile snow-capped peaks in the north. From Dochula, you will drive down and stop at the oldest Simtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It now houses the institute of traditional studies for lay men and women. We will continue our drive and eat lunch in a local restaurant in Thimphu. Visit King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Memorial Chorten, Dupthop Lhakhang ( Monastery for the nuns), National Library, the Painting School where traditional art is kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkhas ( sacred Buddhist religious scrolls), and the Institute of Medicine where traditional medicines are prepared according to ancient practices. After that, you will visit the Bhutanese traditional paper factory. Drive back to town and visit the handicraft stores and stroll around the tiny capital city. Or drive to Paro depanding upon the flight timing.Overnight at Hotel.

19

Depart Thimphu/PAROAfter breakfast, drive to the airport for your onward flight which will take you about hour. Your escort from Bhutan Creative Tours will bid you farewell. As the aircraft gains height and proceed, you will see the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappear behind its guardian mountains.

Images



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FAQ

What is the best time to visit Bhutan?

In Bhutan every season has its own charm; as such the country has variety of doings to the tourist according to their interest. But the most visited months are usually March, April and May during which the country is at its best scenery as the spring just hits off and of course in the later months of the year like August, September, October and November. These are the peak seasons as the weather during these time of the years are pleasant and warm and not to forget the festival months. However, Bhutan Creative Tours is focusing to spread out visitation over the year because, come rain or shine, there is something for all parts of the year. The winters are cold, but we have winter treks and festivals in the southern parts of Bhutan,which has warm weather through out the year. A winter in Bhutan is characterized by clear blue skies, but you need your jackets with you.


Do I need a Visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a Visa for Bhutan?

All visitors traveling to Bhutan are required to obtain a Visa prior to your arrival to Bhutan, except for Indian nationals holding a valid Indian passport. After your confirmation to visit Bhutan with us, you can just download and fill out the Visa Application form from our website and send it to us. We’ll have the visa confirmation letter processed within 7 working days and send it to you. The Visa Application System used by the national tourism office is designed by our CEO when he was working as the Chief Researcher for the Tourism Council of Bhutan. This makes it very easy for us to leverage visa processing even during the final minutes before your arrival to Bhutan.


What Documents will I require at the Airport when I come to Bhutan?

You will need your Passport which has 6 months validity for its expiry date, Druk Air e-ticket, whether you booked it through us or the Druk air’s website and your Visa confirmation letter which we will send you prior to your arrival in the country. And please to carry a copy of your tour itinerary as well.

Route map