Laya Gasa Trek

Tour Highlights:

             •  14 days trekking passing through high altitude passes, streams, rivers and villages

             •   Explore Paro Valley and Thimpu in Bhutan

             •  Tiger's Nest Monastery, Drukgyal Dzong

             •   King's Memorial Chorten, Punakha Dzong and  Druk Wangyel Monastery

             •   Changangkha Monastery, traditional paper factory, Tashichodzong

             •   Gasa hot spring

             •   Wangdue Dzong Chimi Lakhang and Weekend Market at the end of Thimpu River


 

Trip Cost Includes:

             •   All ground transportation in private vehicles.
             •   5 Nights in twin sharing government approved accommodation

             •   13 Nights in tented camps during trekking days

             •   18 Breakfast, 18 Lunch and 18 Dinner.

              •   Bhutan Visa and Visa Processing assistance

              •   Drinking water for the duration of the tour

              •   Equipment during the camping trek. (We provide fully water proof two men tents, dining tents,

                  kitchen gear, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, shower tent etc.)

              •   Government Royalty (35% of 200USD), that goes to health and education project of the country
              •   Guided city tour with all entrance fees in sightseeing places.
              •   Licensed English speaking Bhutanese tour guide 
              •   Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine for all staff.
              •   City Map and T Shirt

Day 1: Arrive Paro
On arrival at Paro airport you will be received by our representative and escorted to your pre booked hotel after immigration formalities After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that is now the National Museum. Then walk down the trail to visit the Rinpung Dzong (fortress of the heap of jewels). Visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country and from there you will be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain at 7,314meters.

Overnight: Hotel in Paro

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 2: Acclimatization hike to Tiger’s Nest
After breakfast, hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery stands now. Lunch will be served in a restaurant located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. You will hike down to Paro for overnight stay

Overnight: Hotel in Paro

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 3: Drive to Drukgyal Dzong & trek to Shana
17km / 5-6 Hours / 360m Ascent 80m Descent
Drive up to Drukgyal Dzong where the road ends and start the trek by following the river gently uphill through a narrowing valley of paddy fields. You will find plenty of traditional farmhouses in a purely rural setting. The campsite is just beyond an army outpost.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 2800m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 4: Trek from Shana to Soe Thangthangkha
22km / 7-8 Hours/ 770m Ascent 10m Descent
Continue uphill through the river valley, which narrows and closes after some distance. The trail then winds up and down along the drainage. Most of the trail actually is downhill after the initial climb. The campsite is located in a meadow with stone shelter.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 3400m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 5: Trek from Soe Thangthangkha to Jangothang

19km / 5-6 Hours / 480m Ascent
Walking up along the Paro River we pass a small army outpost where the valley begins to widen again. You can now clearly view the high ridges and the snow-capped mountains along with the winter homes of yak herders. We camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of the Jumolhari Mountain.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 4040m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 6: Rest day at Jangothang (Base Camp)

Today is a rest and acclimatization for tomorrow’s highest climb on this trek. You will hike to explore nearby mountains and lakes.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 4040m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 7: Trek from Jangothang to Lingshi

18km / 6-7 Hours / 840m Ascent 870m Descent
Walk up towards the pass through a wide pastureland. As you come down after the pass to the Lingshi basin, you will see some beautiful views of the Lingshi Dzong, Tserim Kang (mountain) and its descending glaciers at the north end of the valley. We camp in a stone shelter with a built-in fire pit or in the tent.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 4150m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 8: Trek from Lingshi to Chebisa

10Km / 5-6 Hours / 280m Ascent 410m Descent
Today is the shortest walking day. On reaching the campsite at Chebisa, you can visit the village houses if you feel up to it.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 3850m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 9: Trek from Chebisa to Shomuthang

17Km / 6-7 Hours / 890m Ascent 540m Descent
You will walk through a wide pastureland towards Gobu-la pass. After crossing the Gobu La Pass (4350m) descend down to the valley. The campsite is on a bench above a river, which is a tributary of the Nochu River.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 4260m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 10: Trek from Shomuthang to Robluthang

18Km / 5-7 Hours / 700m Ascent 760m Descent
Today’s trek is little strenuous and it is advisable to start little early. After crossing the Jere La pass (4600m) you come down to Tsharijathang valley where you can normally see herds of Takins. We camp at Tsharijathang.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 4390m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 11: Trek from Robluthang to Lingmithang

19km / 6-7 Hours / 850m Ascent 870m Descent
After crossing the Shinge La pass at an altitude of 4900m, you come down and follow the valley. Lingmithang is under the Laya District and you will see people dressed in typical Laya costume with long pointed bamboo hats on their head. We camp at Lingmithang.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 4140m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 12: Trek from Lingmithang to Laya

10km / 4-5 Hours / 60m Ascent 340m Descent
Today you walk all the way downhill along a narrow winding river valley. The trail leads you to the west side of Laya village. Campsite is on a high flat bench above the Laya village.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 3850m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 13: Trek from Laya to Koena

19km / 6-7 Hours / 260m Ascent 1070m Descent
The trail winds up and down along the river valley avoiding natural obstacles and affording breath-taking views of the crashing river, feeder streams and waterfalls.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 3800m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 14: Trek from Koena to Gasa

14km / 6-7 Hours/ 900m Ascent 1710m Descent
You cross the Babela pass at an altitude of 3740m, after which the trail is all the way down till you reach the campsite which is close to Gasa Dzong.

Overnight: Tented Camp at an altitude of 2900m

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 15: Relax at Gasa Hot Spring

Today you will relax in the hot spring. The Gasa Tsachu is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan. Camp at Gasa Tsachu.

Overnight: Tented Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 16: Drive from Gasa Hot Spring to Punakha, excursion to Wangdue

Today you will drive to Punakha on unpaved roads. The drive is through the high agricultural benches above the Mochu (Chu means River) into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees and creepers. Check into hotel on arrival.
Later in the afternoon, you will visit the Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. After lunch, drive to Wangdue. You can visit the Wangdue Dzong, the 17th century monuments. It sits atop a high ridge between the Puna Tsangchu and the Dang Chu. The place is also known for its fine bamboo works, slate and stone carvings. You can visit the Rinchengang village on the opposite side of the river, which is a unique cluster of houses made up of mud. The people of this village are of Indian origin who originally were brought into Bhutan as constriction workers of the Dzong. In the evening, drive back to Punakha.

Overnight: Hotel in Punakha

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 17: Drive from Punakha to Thimphu

Today you will drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. On the way, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Continue drive to Thimphu with a stop for tea at Dochu La (3100m), where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. You will also visit the new Druk Wangyel 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. Check into your hotel on arrival.


In the afternoon, you will visit the busy Weekend Market at the bank of Thimphu River where people from nearby villages come here to sell their farm products. You can stroll through the market to see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese, and mangoes. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items. It's fun to wander the aisle, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market. Perhaps this market scene offers wonderful opportunity for photographs and to mingle with local people. In the evening, you can stroll through Thimphu city and absorb the lifestyle of the people.

Overnight: Hotel in Thimpu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 18: Drive from Thimpu to Paro

After breakfast you will visit the King's Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972; Changangkha Monastery, traditional paper factory, Tashichodzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government ministries, the office of the King and living quarters of the Chief Abbot and monks. You will then drive to Kuenselphodrang overlooking Thimphu valley and where giant Buddha statue is under construction. 169 feet statue is reputed to be the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world. Later in the afternoon, you will drive to Paro.

Overnight: Hotel in Paro

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


 

Day 19: Departure flight home

Meals: Breakfast

Spring (March to April) and autumn (September to November) are the best times for trekking in Bhutan. So please contact us for your desired dates.

Maximum Altitude: 4235m


 

Best Time
Spring (March to April) and autumn (September to November) are the best times for trekking in Bhutan. The day temperature is warm while the night temperature can go between 20 degree celsius to minus 10 degree celsius in high altitude areas


 

Trekking in Bhutan
Trekking in Bhutan is different than in Nepal. In Nepal, most of the trekking trails run through spaced villages, encountering diversified ethic groups. On the way, you can find lodges or small tea house for your shelter for the night. While trekking in Bhutan is a complete wilderness experience. You will be on a trek sleeping at tents on designated place where there is water supply for your camp meals. Your equipment and supplies will be carried by horses and by yaks on higher altitudes.


 

What to pack for Bhutan trek
You must bring all your personal equipment with you as trekking gear is not widely available in Bhutan. While packing for the trek, limit your baggage to 15kg. Each pack animal carries 30kg, and it’s expected that one animal will carry the luggage of two trekkers.
We provide 2-men tents, foam mattresses, eating utensils, kitchen equipment, a kitchen tent, dinning tent and a toilet tent. Sleeping bags are not provided. So bring your own because it is difficult to find sleeping bags of your specification in Bhutan.


 

Unforeseen events
Despite all the preparations, sometimes itineraries can be disrupted due to unforeseen factors such as blockage of route due to heavy snow or breakage of bridges due to unexpected heavy showers or sometimes trails become too icy for the horses due to rapid temperature fall.


 

Trekking trail conditions in Bhutan
Trekking in Bhutan is physically demanding as it involves a vigorous long walk up hillside and through mountains with harsh terrain with drastic changes in elevation. The average daily gains is about 500m spread over 8km to 12km, with an odd 1000m ascent.
Campsites are sometime spaced out over long distance, requiring you to walk seven to nine hours in a day. However sometimes, it may be just three or four hours of brisk walking. You will often come across rocky terrain and long stretches of round river rocks, which is hard on your feet. Trails could also be muddy, and diversions are quite common. On high passes, it’s always possible to encounter snow.


 

Trekking Crew for Bhutan trek
A trekking party typically will consist of a guide, a trek chef, a helper and a horse man with his animals. The guide plays an important role in arranging and coordinating the trek by teaming up with trek chef and other members.


 

Accommodation in Bhutan trek
Standard government approved accommodation in cities like Paro, Thimpu and Punakha. But during tented camp stay trekkers will sleep in tents with foam pads placed on rubber mats acting as an insulator. We provide best quality Nepal made A-shaped or North Face dome tents. Your guides and helpers have their own tents as well. Your campsites will be at a designated place where there is water to cook your meals.
In some places, there is a stone building where staff can use for cooking and trekkers can also use it for dinning and shelter in emergency.


 

Food supplies in Bhutan trek
During hotel stay in cities such as Paro, Thimpu and Punakha, you will be eating in restaurants and during tented camp stay you will be supplied with large assortment of food items and our trek chef can cook pampering meals at any height and weather. All our trekking chefs are trained and certified by Bhutan tourism bureau and they can prepare variety of western and Asian dishes, and they often add interesting local touches. All food supplies are carried from the start of the trek, and food is cooked over stoves fuelled by LPG.


 

Transportation used
We use comfortable and reliable vehicles for sightseeing, city tours and pickups; whereas we use the best 4WD SUVs as our support vehicle. These vehicles are extremely sturdy, spacious and reliable assuring comfortable journey. You will have a vehicle, an English speaking Bhutanese guide and a licensed driver at your disposal at all times during drive


 

Pack animals for Bhutan trek
You will not find porters in Bhutan. Instead of porters, horses and yaks (at higher elevations) are used in while trekking in Bhutan. They are used for carrying all food supplies, trekking gears and equipment leaving you only with a day pack. Your day pack will consists of items you require daily such as cameras and batteries, toiletries, energy bars, and water bottles.


 

Preparing for trek in Bhutan
Trekking in Bhutan is challenging. So, you must train intensively before coming for a trek in Bhutan. Walk up and down hills or inclines as much as possible with a backpack weighing 4-5kg to increase the strength. If you do not have time take walks over weekends, try riding a bicycle, jogging or training intensively with exercise machine.


 

Health and safety
People wishing to do a trek in Bhutan should not worry about altitude and potential heart problems. There is no evidence that altitude is likely to bring on previously undiagnosed heart diseases. If you can exercise and train maximum at home, you should not have an increase risk while trekking. However if you already have a known heart disease and your exercise is already limited by symptoms at low altitude, you must consult your doctor before coming for a trek.


 

Rescue
In Bhutan, there were only few incidences (once in a year or so) where people had to be rescued because of altitude. There are horses and men to carry back to the lower place but on higher passes, evacuation has to be done by helicopter as land evacuation will not be possible. Rescue helicopter come from Indian Air Force bases in Hasimara or Bagdogra airport, after a request sent out by guide to the tour operator reaches the Indian forces through TBC and the Royal Bhutan Army. Fortunately communication between the trekkers and base office has been made quicker due to introduction of mobile networks.


 

Bhutan Visa
We handle the visa procedures for you. The Bhutanese government sanction visa only after the receipt of full payment in advance. The visa fee is included in our tour price. You need to email us the copy of your passport for visa procedures. Actual Bhutan VISA is stamped in your passport on arrival to Paro airport. Without visa clearance number, tourists cannot board the flight or enter the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs forwards a copy of this visa clearance to the concerned Druk Air stations and other entry points; we also fax a copy of the visa clearance document to our clients for their reference. While the actual visa is stamped on arrival, the initial visa clearance is also required at the time of issuing Druk Air Tickets.2 copies of original passport-sized photographs are required on arrival in the country.


 

Vaccination
No vaccinations are compulsory in Bhutan, but we do recommend you are covered for Diphtheria, TB, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Malaria, Typhoid, Polio and Tetanus. We also do recommend for a dental check-up prior to travelling and you should know your blood group in case of emergency in your travel
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on your tour, you need to inform to us


 

Credit Cards in Bhutan
Only few establishments in Bhutan accept credit card payments . In Bhutan there are only few ATM's for credit card (Master card / Maestro) . US Dollars (cash or Amex travelers cheques) or Euro Cash is suggested and convenient to cover any personal expenses. 1US$ is equivalent to Nu. 55 and 1 Euro is equivalent to Nu.69 as of today NU= Ngultrum, the Bhutanese currency


 

Insurance Coverage
A travel insurance policy that covers medical expenses, evacuation, theft and loss is recommended.


 

Departure Dates
The tour will be arranged for you according to your needs. So, please contact us for your required date. Best Months: March to May & September to November. You can have a look at our fixed departure dates to see if that suits your plans.


 

Contact Us
Information required for this trip is provided here. If you want to consult us regarding any aspect of the trip, please feel free to email us or give us a call at 977 1 6915029