Laya Gasa Trek with the cultural tour is a power package that lets you dive into the mountainous terrain of Bhutan. You can cater your lush for mountains, hills, high altitude landscapes and serenity through this trek. This trekking adventure will give you an opportunity to cross the high altitude passes, jump across the fast flowing rivers and walk freely through the lush forests and farmlands. Thus, if you are an adventure lover then this is the perfect package.
The trek to Laya Gasa starts with an amazing mountain flight from Kathmandu to Paro. To be honest, flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. During the flight, three of the world’s highest mountains i.e. Everest, Makalu, and Kangchenjunga are visible from the plane. The real trek starts from Paro. Then you drive up to Drukyel Dzong. As you walk forward following through the trail, you pass the lush forests of oak, fir, rhododendron and wild ferns. And cross through the undulating paths that take you up and down. Likewise, the waterfalls on the way that emerges out of the hills are mind-blowing. The mountain village that we pass along the trail is sparsely populated. And it is a wonderful opportunity to interact with the hostile Bhutanese people.
In Gasa, you will find many glacier lakes and hot water springs formed from the mountain water. The hot water bath in the springs of Gasa can be relaxing. Also, it is believed to be a cure for weakness and pain in the body. Besides, the lifestyle of people living in Bhutan is fascinating. The dressing sensation of women in Laya – women are simply amazing. The women usually have long hair in the black skirt made up of yak and sheep’s wool. Also, they have a uniquely pointed bamboo hat is unique and appealing.
Apart from natural fantasy, Laya Gasa Trek is an opportunity for cultural exploration. The architecturally rich monasteries and dzongs placed in cultured locations are wonderful to look at. Similarly, beautiful landscapes which are home to unique floras and faunas. If lucky, you will be able to encounter blue sheep, Takins, musk deer or marmots on your way through the trail.
Laya Gasa Trek with the cultural tour is a moderate grade trek that requires a bit of endurance capacity amongst the trekkers to cope with long walks in high altitude region. So, if you like to immerse in the beauty of Bhutan then join Himal Eco Treks for an adventurous and joyous journey. Taste the pristine nature of Bhutan with a unique blend of Bhutanese culture.
Fly to Paro. The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. Three of the world’s highest mountains namely Everest, Makalu and Kangchenjunga are clearly visible from the left side of the plane. Upon your arrival, you will receive a warm welcome from our Bhutanese crew. You will then be transferred to a hotel for check in. Overnight at a hotel in Paro. (Lunch and dinner included)
In the morning, we take our breakfast and hike to Taktsang monastery (Tiger Nest). The climb up to the monastery will take around 3 hours from Paro. As per the mythology, the monastery lies on the place where Guru Rinpoche had landed on the back of a tigress and meditated for three months. Guru had meditated in this place in 8th century however, the monastery was built later in 1684 by the fourth temporal ruler of Bhutan. After exploring the artistic monastery, we descend down to Paro. Overnight at a hotel in Paro. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
We drive up to Drukyel Dzong from where our trek starts. Our trail follows Paro Chu river along the wide, rich and cultivated valley that lies beneath the snow covered mountains. We pass the settlement of Tsento Zampa with traditional Bhutanese farmhouses. Our trek continues on the east side of the river through the forests with vibrant birds and butterflies. We further walk along big military camp and forest to an open field at Shana. The view of Jo Drakey Mountain from Shana is amazing. Overnight at tented camps in Shana. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Today, we have to cover a long distance with more altitude gain. The trail is quite rough and stony with many ups and downs. We follow the river upstream and pass old ruins of Shana Bridge that was destroyed by flood caused by outburst of glacial lake in 1950’s. From the bridge, our trail climbs up steadily through a forest of rhododendron, oak, fern and bamboo trees. We pass Shing Karap to the forbidden pass of Tremo La and make a short steep climb. We further descent down a bridge and cross to the east side of river - Thongo Zam. We stop for our lunch and continue our walk through the birch, fir, larch, maple and pine forest to Thangthangkha. Overnight at tented camps in Soi Thangthangkha. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
In the morning, we enjoy the views of Mt. Chomolhari with breakfast and continue our trek. We leave the forest line and climbs up gradually into a beautiful valley. We pass Tegethang which is a winter home of yak herdsmen and continue walking until we reach Jangothang (Chomolhari base camp). At the base camp, we can see the Jichu Drake near the ruins of an old fortress. Overnight at tented camps in Jhangothang. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
After breakfast, we start climbing out of the valley to the Nyela La pass. Towards the north, we can see the great Mt. Takaphu that dominates the skyline and Gangchen Ta - Tiger Mountain can be seen to the east. Leaving the pass, we descend down to a flat and more sheltered area. We further continue descending through a narrow gorge with a small river. The trail leads us to a view point from where the Lingshi Dzong looks magnificent. Overnight at tented camps next to the river. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
We leave Lingshi behind and climb up to another village called Gom Yu. We continue our walk through the village to a valley with a stunning waterfall. We further walk ahead to the village of Chebisa. Overnight at tented camps in Chebisa. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)
We climb up stiff over a ridge to Gogu La (4,440m) descend down through a muddy path to a stream at 4,170m into Jholethang valley. We then traverse high above the valley floor on stream to a yak pasture at 4,260m. Overnight at tented camps in Shomuthang. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)
Today, we walk up to Jarela pass (4,785m) and stop for the stunning views of mountains. From the pass, we drop down steep into a forest to Tsarigathang valley. The valley is a summer residence of Takins. Takins are a rare Himalayan animal and the national animal of Bhutan too. We continue our trail ahead, cross a stream and ascends up until we reach Robluthang (4,160m). Overnight at tented camps in Robluthang. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Today we cross the highest and toughest pass on our route i.e. Shinchela pass (5,000m). If lucky, we may encounter Blue Sheep eagles, griffin vultures and yaks on our way. From the pass, we descend down through rough and rocky trail and follow a moraine into another glacial valley. The spectacular views of Mt. Gangchey Ta on our way is a blessing to all our efforts for the day. Overnight at tented camps in Lemithang. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Today, we walk along a river beholding the views of spectacular nature to Laya. We pass a lush, damp forest filled with moss and ferns. Overnight at tented camps in Laya.(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Today is a leisure day in Laya and we can spend the day on our own. We can visit the houses in the village and interact with the local Layaps. The people in the village are mostly semi-nomadic yak-herders. The major attraction of the village is the unique attire of the women residing here. You can find Laya women carrying her long lustrous hair and wearing a black skirt with vertical brown stripes made up of yak hair and sheep’s wool. Added to it is a black jacket with an eye catching bamboo hat. Overnight at tented camps in Laya. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
After our breakfast, we descend down to army camp and follow our trail through Mo Chhu River until we cross a bridge. From the bridge, we walk up and down through juniper and fir forest to our camp at Koina. Overnight at tented camps in Koena. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
We begin our walk with a long climb to Bale La pass (3,900m). At the pass, we can see a small rock cairn and a few prayer flags. From the pass, we start walking down through a bamboo forest to Gasa. Overnight at tented camps in Gasa. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
In the morning, we take our breakfast and walk downhill for about one hour to visit the Gasa Taschu(hot springs in Gasa). Taking bath in the hot springs at Gasa is a relaxing experience after long days of walking. The hot springs in Gasa Tashu are popular throughout the Kingdom of Bhutan. Overnight at tented camps in Gasa Tsachu. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Leaving Gasa Tsachu, we make a short climb and walk through ups and downs to Geon Damji. We pass rolling hills, pine and oak forests, villages and wheat fields and make our way to Damji. On our way, we can see a spectacular view of the Gasa Dzong. It looks as if the dzong is glued to the valley wall as is floating on the space. Overnight at tented camps in Damji. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Today, we descend down from the high altitude vegetation above the Mo Chhu to a lush semi-tropical vegetation filled with banana trees, creepers and many other tropical region vegetation. We can also encounter monkeys and other animals on our way. As we walk ahead, the trail leads us to Tashithang Overnight at tented camps in Damji. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
We start our day with a short walk until we reach the road with motor access. We will find our vehicle halted on the road. From here, we drive down to Punakha valley. We stop at Punakha and visit the popular Punakha Dzong. The Dzong was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637 AD and looks spectacular between two rivers namely Phochu and Mochu. The dzong has great importance culturally and historically. We take lunch at Punakha and drive further to Thimphu. Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
In the morning, we drive to Dechenchlioling and explore the Queen Mother's Palace. We cannot enter inside the palace but view the palace and take its pictures from outside. After our visit to the palace, we return back to Thimphu, have lunch and drive towards Paro. Overnight at a hotel in Paro. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Your guide will escort you to the airport before your scheduled flight for your journey ahead. We hope to serve you again.