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Bhutan Laya Gasa Trek

  • Tour in Details
  • Itinerary Day by Day
  • Cost Info

Bhutan Laya Gasa Trek is one of the most adventurous treks in this beautiful Himalayan country. This trek heads northwest from Paro, offering a great variety of trekking conditions, from picturesque farmland and sub-tropical forests to alpine pastureland and high passes. Laya Ghasa trekking in remote Bhutan also grants us the opportunity to gain knowledge about lifestyle of the nomadic people who mostly depend upon of Yaks for their livelihood. The wonderful rewards of this trek you can explore snow capped peaks, Turquoise-tinted lakes, high altitude wildlife, nomadic yak herders and ancient religious sites. The Layaghasa trekking route passes through diverse geographical and cultural regions: from farmland to forests and to alpine highlands.    

After arriving at Paro, next day our Bhutan Laya Ghasa tour begins with trek to Shana. The trek passes through a wide, rich, cultivated valley, beneath forest-covered mountains, following the Paro River and encountering herds of Yaks. The Laya trail follows the Pachu River ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forest to Soi Thangthangkha. We approach Jangothang, Chomolhari Base Camp at 4100m that welcomes you with a full frontal view of the huge bulk of Chomolhari. Crossing very windy pass of this trek, the Nyelela Pass “sleepy pass” (4890m), would be wonderful experience for you. Climb up the ridge and enjoy stunning views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshrim Khang mountains and descend to valley of Lingshi.

The Laya Ghasa trek in Bhutan continues towards Chebisa, a lovely little valley with a huge waterfall at one end of the Shangri La village. We drop steeply down a forest trail to the Jholethang valley, Shomuthang and Tsarigathang valley. You can see classic examples of the lateral moraines where the glacier has pushed rocks on every route of these valleys. With a superb view of Gangchey Ta peak, pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds, reach Laya valley. Passing the koena valley and crossing Balela pass we reach Gasa, a beautiful old Dzong city. Enjoy a hot spring bath and explore the surrounding area at Ghasa hot spring and trek to Geon Damji and finally back to Thimpu. Trekking of Laya Ghasa in Bhutan is a wonderful experience for one who enjoys hiking and camping in rich natural forest, meeting with the local people/yak and their traditional cultures.

Day 1: Arrive Paro and transfer to Hotel

You will have spectacular scenic flight of Himalayas including Everest and Bhutanese foothills and the landscapes to the Paro Airport of Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by our representative and transfer to hotel. After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong Museum housing many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical, cultural, and religious past. Visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong, Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. In the evening visit Paro town, stroll through its quaint two streets and browse through the shops. 

Day 2: Trek to Shana (2870m): 5-6 hrs

Today the trek begins from Drukgyel Dzong with a short downhill walk on a wide train. The trek pass through a wide, rich, cultivated valley, beneath forest-covered mountains, following the Paro River. We climb gently through well maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. It goes upstream of the Paro River, through villages, gradually ascending. You'll also encounter local people who live a simple lifestyle herding yaks, gathering and drying herbs, making fresh cheese and butter, and weaving beautiful textiles. We continue upwards to Shana, where there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees. Night in a camp. 

Day 3: Trek to Soi Thangthangkha (3800m): 6-7 hrs

We continue up through the valley of the Paro River. Today is a long day with occasional glimpses of the peaks along the Tibetan border, which we are steadily approaching. The trail again follows the Pachu River ascending through pine, oak and spruce forest. The trail makes a short steep climb and descent followed by a big bridge at 3250m; crossing to the east side of the river is Thongo Zam, a possible lunch spot. After lunch follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, and reaching to the camp.

Day 4: Trek to Jangothang (4040m): 6-7 hrs

After enjoying the view to Chomolhari and breakfast we ascend for a while till you reach the army camp. We ascend a beautiful river valley and hike along rushing streams through deep forests of rhododendron, pine, and oak. A few yak-herding families are based in this area, and we may be lucky to pay them a visit and try some of their dried yak cheese. The valley levels out as we approach Jangothang, Chomolhari Base Camp at 4100m, with a full frontal view of the huge bulk of Chomolhari. The view of Chomolhari (7320m) and Jichu Drake (6900m) is superb.

Day 5: Rest day at Jangothang

Today is our rest day and also a day for the excursion of the Jangothang area. You can hike to an open area where you can sit and watch the grazing blue sheep. You can explore the surrounding areas of Tshophu Lake.  Have close up views of Chomolhari (7314m) and Jichudrake (6974m) - a spectacular peak only recently climbed. 

Day 6: Trek to Lingshi (4150m): 6-7 hrs

Leaving the valley by a short steep trail we ascend through a broad open landscape. It is a long climb about 3-4 hours to reach the first high and very windy pass of this trek, the Nyelela Pass “sleepy pass” (4890m). Climb up the ridge and enjoy stunning views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshrim Khang mountains. We descend gradually from the pass to our campsite at Lingshi. Enjoy the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong.  Overnight in Camp.

Day 7: Trek to Chebisa (3990m): 3-4 hrs

This is the most pleasant walk of the whole trek. Walk past the Lingshi Dzong, perched on the hilltop with a commanding view of the green hills, the Winding River and magnificent peaks. During the descent you might see herds of Himalayan blue sheep and the bearded vulture. Another hour's walk brings us to a lovely little valley with a huge waterfall at one end of the Shangri La village of Chebisa. We set our camp by the side of river. Enjoy the beautiful waterfall behind the village.

Day 8: Trek to Shomuthang (4220m)

Today you walk through a wide pastureland towards Gobu La (pass). The trail descends on a muddy path into main Jholethang valley in a deep forest of fir and birch. We climb gradually and head down to the camp near a riverbed. You may see some flocks of Blue Sheep and yak herder’s camps.

Day 9: Trek to Robluthang (4160m)

The trek starts with a climb to Jari la pass at an altitude of 4,600 meters. We drop steeply down a forest trail to the Tsarigathang valley. After crossing the stream, the trail ascends till you reach Robluthang camp. 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.

Day 10: Trek to Lemithang (4140m)

A long climb up to the Shiche la passes (altitude 5005 meters). The views of the mountains from the pass are breathtaking.  You can see classic examples of the lateral moraines where the glacier has pushed rocks up both sides of the valley. You may be able to spot Blue Sheep high on the slopes. The last part of the trek is very interesting with a view of Mt. Gangchey Ta peak. Our campsite is in a meadow by the riverbank.

Day 11: Trek to Laya (3880m)

In the morning you wake up with a superb view of Gangchey Ta peak in front of you. We walk along the river, one of the tributaries of the Mochu. You will pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds. The trail leads you to the west side of Laya village. Laya is also part of the Jigme Dorji National park.

Day 12: Laya – Excursion

Today is the day to visit the village of laya and explore it. You can go and visit many of the houses in the village. The people in this village are culturally and traditionally very interesting. From the west of the village you will view Gangchhenta again and catch a glimpse of Masagang.         

Day 13: Trek to Koena (3050m): 6-7 hrs

The trail winds up and down along the river valley of Mo Chhu avoiding natural obstacles. The trail winds up and down along the river valley, through beautiful forests with great views of waterfalls, swift streams and a wonderful variety of birds. You reach the camp at Koina at an altitude of 3,240 m. Overnight at tented camp.

Day 14: Trek to Gasa (3240m)

We gradually climb up to Balela pass at 3,740 m. There is a small rock cairn and a few prayer flags at the pass. The route starts down again, through a bamboo forest to a stream. Then trail descends until you reach the lovely village of Gasa with a beautiful old Dzong. Today we will spend our night exploring this village.

Day 15: Trek to Gasa Tsachu

Descend for about one hour to the Gasa Tsachu (hot springs) and relax in the thermal water. It is a wonderful place to lounge after a long trek. Enjoy a hot spring bath and explore the surrounding area. Set your camp today at 2220m altitude.

Day 16: Trek to Geon Damji

The path continues descending and ascending, through heavily forested areas with lots of wilds orchids. The trail winds through rolling hillsides with the vista of fields, villages and forests of oak and pine. You finally rech Damji village which is famous for its well maintained life style.

Day 17: Trek to Tashithang and drive to Thimpu

The trail descends from the high agricultural benches above the Mo Chhu. We pass through lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and the sight of an occasional monkey. From Tashithang we will catch our drive back to Thimpu.

Day 18: Full Day Sightseeing in Thimpu (2350m)

Today we have full day sightseeing in Thimpu. Visit Pangri Zampa Monastery, situated just beyond Dechencholing Palace (5kms from Thimpu). Visit National Textile Museum which is a good place to see the art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved through exhibition. The Memorial Chorten which was constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of the country, King Jigme Dorji Wang chuck. Visit the radio tower (for a great view of Thimpu Valley and the Thimpu Dzong), and the zoo, which contains the national animal of Bhutan. After lunch, visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a traditional paper factory, the majestic Tashichodzong, the Simtokha Dzong (the oldest fortress in the kingdom), and the Folk Heritage Museum.

Day 19: Final Departure

After breakfast, we will bid you farewell at the Paro International Airport for your flight to your onward destinations.  

What’s included in the Cost:

  • Airport pickups and drops
  • Transportation on comfortable vehicle by private car or Hiace as per the group size
  • full organized trek in camping, sleep on tent, thermal pads, bollow pillow, medical kit box.
  • trekking guide, support staff,cook, horseman.
  • all meals & snacks.
  • All necessary travel permits & Bhutan visa fee.
  • sleep in good hotel in the town, tent during the trek.

Extra Cost to Consider:

  • Airfare To/From Paro, Bhutan.
  • Travel Insurance, Personal equipment, telephone calls, internet, laundry.
  • Personal expenses such as a drinks, beverages, tips and gratitude.

 

Trip Facts & Figures:

Duration: 19 Days

Grade: Difficult

Best Travel Time:Late September to Mid November & late March to mid May

Transportation:  Private Car/Van.

 

Photos

Bhutan Layagasa Trek

Trek Leader and Staffs:

Government certified hiking & trekking Guide

Accommodation/Lodging:

Twin sharing tea house/guest house accommodation

Daily Meals on the Trek:

Breakfasts Lunch and dinners (meals can be chosen from Menu, Vegetarian options available)