BEAUTIFUL LAYA & GASA TREK
ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TREKKING ROUTES IN BHUTAN
17 Nights / 18 Days
Paro, Gasa, Punakha & Thimphu
BEAUTIFUL LAYA & GASA TREK
Considered to be one of the most beautiful trekking routes, this trek offers one a taste of all the treasures that the Himalayan Kingdom is especially known for. Through this trek, one can feast on the wonders of Nature, embodied in some of the most enthralling peaks of Bhutan; see some of the animals that have almost become extinct and engage with the people of the Highlands whose culture is unparalleled. It also offers one the opportunity to soak in a hot spring revered for its medicinal values.
The first part of the Laya Gasa Trek goes along the same route as the Jomolhari Trek I right till Lingshi. Highlights of the trek include the unforgettable views of Mount Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Gangchhenta (Great Tiger Mountain). One has good opportunities to spot blue sheep or even takin.
DAY 1 - 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 the representative of Atlas Tour and Travel will receive you and transfer you to the hotel. later visit Ta Dzong former Watch Tower which now houses the National Museum and then visit Rinpung Dzong which houses the monastic school and the office of the civil administration andwalk down passing close by crossing the Bhutanese typical wooden roofed bridge to Paro town. After a short stroll in town drive back to hotel for the night halt.
DAY 2 - PARO - EXCURSION TAKTSHANG
After breakfast, drive for half an hour and start the hike, which is about 5 hours (round trip.) The trail is along an ancient path marked by river powered prayer wheels.
As you reach Taktshang you will be struck by the architectural wonder of this most pious Buddhist shrine in Bhutan. Perched some 1000m, 3000ft on a cliff overlooking the valley, it would justifiably qualify as one of Bhutan’s wonders. Tragically wrecked in a fire early in 1998. It has been rebuilt to its original glory. It is said that the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tigress to tame five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan in 746 A.D. Hence the name, Taktshang, or the “Tiger’s Lair.”
Descend back to Ramthangka. If the time permits, drive further north to visit another symbolic structure, which is now in ruins. Drugyel Dzong, or “Castle
of the Victorious Drukpa,” which was also built by the Shabdrung to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over the Tibetans in the 16thcenturies.
From here, the Jomolhari Peak (“Mountain of the Goddess”) can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). Overnight at hotel.
Paro Taktshang, Tiger’s Nest Monastery
DAY 3 - PARO - SHANA – SOI THANGTHANGKHA
After breakfast drive to Shana where the motor-able road ends and start the trek to Thangthangkha. (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. Camp is in the meadow with 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. Overnight at camp.
DAY 4 - THANGTHANGKHA - JANGOTHANG
(Distance 19km, five to six hours, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4,080m). The trail leads by passing 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.
Camp at base of Jomolhari
DAY 5 - JANGOTHANG - HALT
The day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views on lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jhomolhari 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 acclimatization. Trek up to Tosoh or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in
three directions. Jumolhari and itssubsidiary mountain chains lay directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east Jangothang
DAY 6 - JANGOTHANG - LINGZHI
(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 ascend 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. There after you will be seeing only Tsherim Gang. From Nyelila pass the trail leads you down to the camp.
DAY 7 - LINGZHI - CHEBISA
(Distance 10km, five to six hours, 280m ascent, 410m descent, camp altitude
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 8 - CHEBISA - SHOMUTHANG
Distance 17km, six toseven hours, 890m ascent, 540m descent, camp altitude
As you ascend the steep hill side 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 9 - SHOMUTHANG - ROBLUTHANG
(Distance 18km, six to seven hours, 700m ascent, 760m descent, camp altitude
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 are usually seen grazing in the meadows. Night will be halt in the camp.
DAY 10 - ROBLUTHANG - LEMITHANG
(Distance 19km, six to seven hours, 850m ascent, 870m descent, camp
You will be passing over the highest point on this trek, Shingle Pass at 16,072ft/4,870m. 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. Night will halt in the camp.
DAY - 11 - LEMITHANG -LAYA
(Distance 10km, four to five hours, 60m ascent, 340m descent, camp altitude
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 - 12 - LAYA - HALT
Rest and explore the Laya village
People of Laya
DAY 13 - LAYA -KOENA
(Distance 19km, six to seven hours, 260m ascent, 1,070m descent, camp altitude
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. Night will be halt in the camp.
DAY - 14 - KOENA - GASA
(Distance 14km, six to seven hours, 740m ascent, 1,500m descent, camp altitude
at GasaTsachu 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 - 15 - GASA TSHACHU - PUNAKHA
After breakfast drive to Punakha. Visit Punakha Dzong- built in 1637 by
Zhabdrung. It is one of the most beautiful Dzong in the country. Later walk around Punakha and Khuruthang town. Overnight stay at hotel.
Gasa Tshachu (Hot Spring bath)
DAY - 16 - PUNAHKHA - THIMPHU
After breakfast drive to Thimphu. On the way visit Chhimi Lhakhang – This
was founded in 15 Century by Lama Dukpa Kinley also known as divine mad man. It is half hour walk across a local village and rice field. Continue drive
to Thimphu-approximately 3-hour drive through picturesque valleys and mountain slopes dotted with typical Bhutanese villages. From the Dochula pass, at over 10,000ft, vast panoramic views of the high snowcapped peaks of the Bhutanese Himalaya can be enjoyed on a clear day. Lunch will be served at Dochula cafeteria. And you even have an opportunity take a picture of Dochula, 108 stupas. Continue drive to Thimphu. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 17 - SIGHTSEEING IN THIMPHU
Memorial Chorten: Built in the year 1974 in the memory of our third king of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Buddha Point / Kuensel Phodang: Is the largest Buddha statue in the country, from there you can get a good view of the Thimphu valley.
Motithang Takin Preserve: Houses the rare national animal of Bhutan. Takin is listed by international conservation agencies as a vulnerable species and it is a rare animal found only in Bhutan, Nepal and Burma.
Takin Preserve at Motithang
National Institute for Zorig Chusum: Or the school of Arts and crafts is an institute where student undertake a six year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
Traditional Medicine Institute: In Bhutan, equal emphasis is given to both allopathic and traditional medicines. The rich herbal medicines made up from medicinal plants are prepared and dispensed here.
Folk Heritage Museum: The house replicates a traditional farmhouse and is furnished as it would have been about a century ago. Overnight at hotel.
Making mud pot at Fold Heritage Museum
DAY 18 - DEPARTURE
After breakfast, drive to Paro international airport for your onward flight. The representative of Atlas Tour and Travel will see off and bid farewell
Paro Internation Airport
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