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Beautiful Laya-Gasa Trek: 22 Days


Day 1: Arrive Paro by Druk Air
Overnight in Hotel.

Day 2: Visit Drukgyal Dzong
(A ruined fortress – 16 Kms. away from Paro town) Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Jhomolhari “Mountain of the goddess” can be seen on a clear day Alt. 7,314m/24,029ft.). Visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. This massive fortress is located on a small hill just above the Paro River (Pa-Chu) in the Paro valley. You have to walk about 15 minutes by crossing an ancient wooden bridge built in typical Bhutanese architect. The Dzong houses the District Administration office and the District Monk Body. It was built in 1646 AD. After lunch, visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). This was actually the Watch Tower of the Dzong. It was converted to the National Museum in 1968. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means Monastery). Kyichu Lhakhang was built in 659 AD by the King Songtsen Gempo of Tibet as one of the 108 such Monasteries which he built in various places to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong. It is one of the holiest places in Bhutan as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 3: Trek begins: Paro – Shana [17 km] [5-6 Hr]
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 farm houses in a purely rural setting. The camp site is just beyond an army outpost. Alt. 2800m,

Day 4: Shana – Thangthangkha [Alt. Approx. 3400m] [15 km] [4-5 Hr]
Continue uphill through the river valley which narrows and closes in after some distance. The trail then winds up and down along the drainage. Most of the trail actually is down hill after the initial climb. The camp site is located in a meadow with stone shelter.

Day 5: Thangthangkha- Jangothang [Alt. 4240m.] [19 km] [5-6 Hr]
Bhutan_Mountain_Jichudrake Walk up along the Pachu (Paro River), 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 all around and also sees the yaks and the yak herders’ winter homes. Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of the Jhomolhari Mountain.

Day 6: Jangothang – Lingshi [Alt. 4150m.] [19 km.] [5-6 Hr]
Walk up toward the pass through a wide pasture land. Depending on the season you are there, you might find some yak herders in their camping tents along the way. As you come down after the pass to the Lingshi basin, you will see some beautiful views of the Lingshi Dzong and the valley and also Tserim Kang (mountain) and its descending glaciers at the north end of the valley. Camp in a stone shelter with a built-in fire pit or in the tent.

Day 7: Lingshi- Chebisa [Alt. 3850m.] [12 km.] [3-4 Hr.]
Today is the shortest walking day and you can really take it easy. On reaching the camp site at Chebisa, you can visit the village houses if you feel up to it.

Day 8: Chebisa – Shomuthang [4260m.] [17 km.] [5-6 Hr.]
You walk through a wide pasture land towards Gugu-la (pass). On the way, you will see few people herding the yaks. After crossing the Gugu -la (Alt. 4350m ) descend down to the valley. The camp site is on a bench above a river which is a tributary of the Mochu River.

Day 9: Shomuthang – Robluthang [4390m.] [15 km.] [6-7 Hr.]
As the walk is little strenuous, it is advisable to start a little early. After crossing the Jerela (pass) Alt. 4600m you come down to Tsharijathang valley where you can normally see herds of Takins. Camp at Tsharijathang.

Day 10: Robluthang – Lemithang [Alt. 4140m.] [19 km.] [6-7 Hr.]
After crossing the Shingela pass, alt. 4900m., you come down and follow the valley. Lemithang is under the Laya District and you will see people dressed in typical Laya costume with long pointed bamboo hats on their head. Camp at Lemithang. If you have time, it would be advisable to spend a day here exploring the valley and meeting the people who have a different and unique culture.

Day 11: Lemithang – Laya [Alt. 3850m.] [10 km.] [3-4 Hr.]
Bhutan Trekking Bridge Today, you walk all the way downhill along a narrow winding river valley. The trail leads you to the west side of Laya village. Camp site is on a high flat bench above the Laya village.

Day 12: Halt in Laya for rest and to explore the Laya village.

Day 13: Laya – Koeina [Alt. 3800m.] [19 km.] [6-7 Hr.]
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 water falls. Camp.

Day 14: Koeina – Gasa [Alt. 2900m.] [17 km.] [6-7 Hr.]
You cross the Babela pass, Alt.3740m., after which the trail is all the way down till you reach the camp site which is close to Gasa Dzong.

Day 15: Gasa – Gasa Tsachu (hot spring)
After a late breakfast, trek to Gasa Tsachu. After lunch relax in the hot spring. The Gasa Tsachu is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan. Camp at Gasa Tsachu.

Day 16: Gasa Tsachu – Geon Damji [Alt. 2280m.] [21 km.] [6-7 Hr.]
After a short climb, the trail winds through the rolling hills and passes through the pine and oak forests, villages and wheat fields. You will also see a beautiful view of the Gasa Dzong glued to the valley wall seeming to float in space. Camp.

Day 17: Geon Damji – Tashithang [Alt. 1700m.] [17 km.] [6-7 Hr.]
The trail descends from the high agricultural benches above the Mo-Chu ( Chu means River ) into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and various tropical vegetation. You will also see monkeys and few other animals occasionally. Camp at Tashithang.

Day 18: Tashithang – Punakha [77 km.] [approx. 3hr.]
Bhutan Laya Trek Village After a short walk to the motor road, drive down to Punakha valley. Stop at Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan. The Dzong lies between two rivers known as Phochu and Mochu which means ” Male River and Female River “. It was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel the founder of Bhutan in 1637 AD and is one of the most important and historical Dzongs in Bhutan. In the Dzong are kept the sacred remains of Pema Lingpa and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The Dzong now houses the District Administration office and the winter residence of the state Monastic Body and its Chief Abbot. Lunch in Punakha. After lunch, drive to Thimphu . Overnight in Hotel.

Day 19: Punakha – Thimphu
Visit the Memorial Chorten ( a huge stupa ) built in memory of the third king of Bhutan who reigned the Kingdom from 1952-1972. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit the Wood Craft and Painting school where traditional arts and crafts are still kept alive. Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased. Visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan. It was built in 1629 AD. It houses the largest monastic schools in the country. Visit Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive structure houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks. Overnight in Hotel in Thimphu.

Day 20: Thimphu – Paro
Drive to Tango visit the Buddhist College. Picnic Lunch served. Drive to Paro. 65 km. Time 2 Hr drives. Overnight in Hotel.

Day 21: Paro
Drive up to Satsam Chorten (10 km from Paro town) and from there walk up to Taktsang Monastery. The name Taktsang means “Tiger’s Nest “. The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000 ft. and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava known as the second Buddha in Bhutan, meditated in the spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress. Picnic lunch at the Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 4 Hr.

Day 22: Drive to Paro Airport
Be seen off by your guide.

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