Laya – Gasa Trek Itinerary
Duration: 19 Nights, 20 Days
Location: Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Laya, Gasa
Day 01. Arrival by Druk Air: Paro
During this flight one will enjoy the view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan Mountains including the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari& Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro Airport, our representative will receive you and transfer you to the hotel for the overnight halt.
Day 02. Paro
Sightseeing After breakfast drive to chelae-la pass (3,810 m) to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountain. On a clear day, there are superb views of Bhutan’s highest peaks –mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. From a turnout on the main road the trail climbs steeply for 45 minutes to Kila nunnery- is the oldest nunnery in Bhutan which was established as a meditation site in the 9th century. Walk down to road point and drive back to Paro. After lunch drive to Ta Dzong former Watch Tower which now houses the National Museum and then visits Rinpung Dzong which houses the monastic school and the office of the civil administration and walks down passing close by crossing the Bhutanese typical wooden roofed bridge to Paro town. After a short stroll in town drive back to the hotel for the night halt.
Day 03. Paro
Excursion to Taktsang After early breakfast, drive up to the Ramthangka (base camp) of Taktsang and then hike up to the most famous monastery Taktsang, the Tiger’s nest. This magical monastery clings to the vertical granite cliff of 3,000′ above the valley floor. It is believed that Guru meditated here in the 8th century. The disciples of Guru built the temple, which was later enlarged by Zhabdrung in the 17th century. After lunch walks back down. Drive to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 04. Paro – Shana
(Distance 17km, four to five hours, 360m ascent, 80m descent, camp altitude 2,850m) Drive up to Drukgyel Dzong where the motor-able road ends and the trek to Shana begins a start which is about 5 to 6 hours walk with gradual climb following the Paro river through the agricultural valley and villages. The campsite is opposite the army check post in the meadows, near the river at an altitude of 2,580m.
Day 05. Shana – SoiThangthangkha
(Distance 22km, seven to eight hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent, camp altitude 3,610m). The trail is gradual ascend following the Paro river through the conifer forest and Rhododendron. The path narrows and closes in and the trail winds up and down along the drainage. The camp is in the meadow with a stone shelter built for trekkers surrounded by conifer and birch forest and on clear days one can have a magnificent view of Mt. Jhomolhari suddenly peeping at you through the clouds.
Day 06. Thangthangka – Jangothang
(Distance 19km, five to six hours, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4,080m). The trail leads bypassing the array post and the valley begins to widen and come by the winter house of yak herder where hot lunch will be served in one of the houses. Halt camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mt. Jhomolhari.
Day 07. Jangothang – Lingshi
(Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 840m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4,010m) After your breakfast, you start ascending up the mountainside towards Nyelila. During the ascent, you will be seeing the Mt. Jhomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake and Tsherim Gang till Nyelila at which point you will be seen off by the former two mountains. Thereafter you will be seeing only Tsherim Gang. From Nyelila pass the trail leads you all the way down to the camp.
Day 08. Lingzhi – Chebisa
(Distance 10km, five to six hours, 280m ascent, 410m descent, camp altitude 3,880m).The walk is through Gongyuel village and if you are lucky you might see the Raven bird and herds of blue sheep is no miss. Then you get to a small village called Chebisa, winter house of yak herders.
Day 09. Chabisa– Shomuthang
(Distance 17km, six to seven hours, 890m ascent, 540m descent, camp altitude 4,410m). As you ascend the steep hillside till Gobula pass, Alt. 14,268 ft. From Gobula pass the walk is a very gradual descend till you get to the tree line which is the campsite by the river,
Day 10. Shomuthang – Robluta
(Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 700m ascent, 760m descent, camp altitude 4,160m).The walk starts a little early and we head towards Jhari La pass 4760 m. From here you drop to Tsharijathang, the valleys where herds of Takin have usually seen grazing in the meadows. The night will be a halt in the camp.
Day 11. Robluta – Lemithang
(Distance 19km, six to seven hours, 850m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4,140m). You will be passing over the highest point on this trek, Shingle Pass at 16,072ft/4,870 m. The walk is tough till the top, and from there you start descending towards Lemithang. You trek through the valley till Lemithang, which is under Laya District. Here you will see kids in funny hats. Camp at Lemithang is beneath Gang Chen Ta, Great Tiger Mountain. If time permits it is worthwhile to spend a day of exploration here. The night will halt in the camp.
Day 12. Lemithang – Laya
(Distance 10km, four to five hours, 60m ascent, 340m descent, camp altitude 3,840m) The walk for the day is all the way downhill along a winding river. As you walk down, the path splits in two, one going down in the direction of the river to the campsite which is also used by the army, and the other maintains almost the same height and leads you to the west side of Laya village. You can camp on this flat bench sort profile above the East End of Laya village.
Day 13. Laya: Halt
Rest and explore the Laya village.
Day 14. Laya – Koena
(Distance 19km, six to seven hours, 260m ascent, 1,070m descent, camp altitude 3,050m). The trail winds up and down along the river valley, avoiding natural obstacles and affording breathing views of the crashing river, feeder streams, and waterfalls. The night will be a halt in the camp.
Day 15. Koena – Gasa
(Distance 14km, six to seven hours, 740m ascent, 1,500m descent, the camp altitude at Gasa Tsachu 2,240m).The trail leads en route Balela pass at Alt. 12,342ft/3,740 m, after which it all the way downhill till the camp, which is near Gasa Dzong. Overnight stay will be in the camp.
Day 16. Gasa – Gasa Tsachu
After breakfast walk down to GasaTsachu (meaning hot spring). After lunch relaxes in the hot spring. Overnight stay will be in the camp.
Day 17. Gasa Tsachu – Punakha
After the climbing uphill for 30 minutes till you reach Pho Chu your car will be waiting to transfer to Punakha.
Day 18. Punakha – Thimphu
After breakfast, visit Punakha Dzong, which was the ancient capital until 1966. The remains of the Zhabdrung, the saint who unified Bhutan in the 17th century are interred here. The Je Khenpo, head abbot of the monk body of Bhutan, resides here with the monk body from Thimphu during the winter because it is warmer at this altitude. Drive to Thimphu on the way visit ChhimiLhakhang, which was built in 15 Century (dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kinley also known as a divine mad man). It is a pilgrim site especially for a childless couple and is a half an hour walk across a local village and rice field. Everyone in this kingdom believes that the Lam’s blessings will help a woman conceive. Continue drive to Thimphu and it will take about 3 hours. Across Dochula pass Alt. 10,000ft. (Approximate) from the pass, if the weather is clear you will have beautiful views of the snow-capped mountains. Drive back to the hotel here in Thimphu for the overnight stay.
Day 19. Sightseeing in Thimphu
Sightseeing –Folk Heritage Museum, National Institute for Zorig Chusum, Zelukha Nunnery, National library, Memorial Chorten, Handicraft Emporium, Memorial Chorten, Buddha Point, Changangkha Lhakhang and stroll around Thimphu town. Drive back to the hotel for the overnight stay.
Day 20. Departure
After breakfast, drive to Paro international airport for your onward flight. Our representative will see off bid and farewell