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5. LAYA LINGSHI GASA NOMAD’S LAND TREK (21 days/20 nights with 2 rest days)

LAYA LINGSHI GASA NOMAD’S LAND TREK

The second most difficult trek in the nomad’s land in Bhutan is considered to be one of the most mangificient scenery, culturally and ecologically pristine treks in the world after the toughest Lunana Snowman Trek. Besides the stunning views of Mount Jomolhari, the trek also offers spectacular views of Jichu Drake and Gangchhenta (Great Tiger Mountain). Between Jangothang and Laya the trail hardly goes below 4,000 m. Trekkers will get a marvellous opportunity to spot blue sheep and takin passing through some beautiful Bhutanese mountain villages, the unique culture and appearance of the nomads of Laya. Horses and yaks carry our camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours through snow capped mountains, crystal lakes, alpine forests and remotest villages in this mystical nomad’s land. Arrive in Gasa and soak in at its hot spring to your trekking experience.

Duration of Trek: 15 days

Grade of Trek: Moderate/Demanding

Best Season: April to June & September to Mid-November

Day 1: Arrive Paro

Upon arrival at Paro Airport, you will be met by our representative from Bhutan Green Travel and checked-in to your hotel in Paro for two nights. This afternoon is at your leisure to explore the charming Paro town.

Day 2: Hike to Paro Taktshang

The altitude of Paro valley is at 2,250m. This morning we will take a short hike to Paro Taktshang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). No visit to Bhutan would be complete without a trip to Taktshang. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900m above the Paro valley and takes about a 2-hour climb on a well-maintained trail through beautiful pine forest, trees festooned with Spanish Moss and fluttering prayer flags. Legend has it that Guru Rimpoche flew to Paro Taktshang cliff in the form of Guru Dorji Drolo, mounted on a flaming tigress in the 8th century. Overnight in Paro.

Day 3: Drukgyel Dzong – Shana [Start of Trek]

Today you will begin the trek distance of 17-km, 4-5 hours, 360m ascent, 80m descent and camp altitude at 2,850m. Drive up to the road end at Drukgyel Dzong where the trek begins. After about 4 hours you will reach the army post at Gunitsawa village. At the army checkpost your trek permit will be checked and endorsed. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa. Overnight in camp.

Day 4: Shana – Soi Thangthangkha

Today the trek distance is 22-km, 7-8 hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent and camp altitude at 3,610m. The trail follows the river through a heavily forested area and enters the Jigme Dorji National Park. The camp is in a meadow. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mount Jomolhari. Overnight in camp.

Day 5: Soi Thangthangka – Jangothang

Today you will trek a distance of 19-km, 5-6 hours, 480m ascent and camp altitude at 4,080m. Cross an army outpost along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. Yaks and the herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari. Overnight in camp.

Day 6: Halt at Jangothang (Rest Day at Jomolhari Base Camp)

Our hike today provides you with great views of lakes, snow capped mountains plus chances to see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains. Trek up to Tsophu or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions: Jomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lay directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east. Overnight in camp.

Day 7: Jangothang – Lingshi

Today you will trek a distance of 18-km, 6-7 hours, 840m ascent, 870m descent and camp altitude at 4,010m. The trail gradually ascends to the Nyili La Pass at 4,870m, where you will have spectacular views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang. The trek continues through vast yak pastures and witnesses the yak herder’s tent made from yak wool. As you come down into the Lingshi basin, you get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tserimgang and its glaciers rise up at the north end of the valley. Overnight in camp.

Day 8: Lingshi – Chebisa

Today is the shortest walking day for a distance of 10-km, 5-6 hours, 280m ascent, 410m descent and camp at altitude 3,880m. Shortly after starting you will reach a chorten below Lingshi Dzong at 4,220m, which sits right atop a ridge. After arriving in Chebisa campsite, stroll through the village houses if you feel up to it. Overnight in camp.

Day 9: Chebisa – Shomuthang

Enjoy a walk today through a wide pastureland towards Gobu La Pass covering a distance of 17-km, 6-7 hours, 890m ascent, 540m descent and camp altitude at 4,220m. En route you will come across a few people hering yaks. After crossing the Gobu La at 4,350m, descend to the valley via Shakshepasa at 3,980m and finally leading to the campsite at Shomuthang, above a river, which is a tributary of the Nochhu River.

Day 10: Shomuthang – Roblutang

As today’s walking distance of 18-km is a little strenuous, 6-7 hours, 700m ascent, 760m descent and camp altitude at 4,160m, it is advisable to start early. Following two hours of climbing, you will reach Jhari La at 4,750m and descend to the Tsheri Jathang valley for an overnight camp by the river. The valley has been declared a takin sanctuary and here you normally see herds of takin, the National Animal of Bhutan.

Day 11: Roblutang – Lemithang

Today’s trekking distance is 19-km, 6-7 hours, 850m ascent, 870m descent and camp altitude at 4,140m. After crossing Sinche La Pass at 5,005m, you descend to Lingmithang where you‘ll see stone houses, Laya women dressed in typical Laya costume with long pointed bamboo hats on their head. Overnight camp in Lingmithang.

Day 12: Lemithang – Laya

Today’s downhill trail distance of 10-km, 4-5 hours, 60m ascent, 340m descent and camp altitude at 3,840m, along a narrow winding river valley, leads you to the west side of Laya village. The village has a community school and a basic health unit with telephone connection. Overnight camp is below the school.

Day 13: Halt at Laya

Enjoy a full day of leisure to relax and explore this fascinating Laya village.

Day 14: Laya – Koina

The trail distance of 19-km, 6-7 hours, 260m ascent, 1,070m descent and camp altitude at 3,050m winds up and down along the river valley of Mochhu River avoiding natural obstacles and affording breath-taking views of the crashing river, feeder streams and water falls, then lots of ups and downs route leads to Kohi Lacha at 3,510m. Overnight camp in Koina.

Day 15: Koina – Gasa

Your last major climb of the Laya Lingsihi Gasa Trek distance is 14-km, 6-7 hours, 740m ascent, 1,500m descent and camp altitude at 2,770m. Descending the trail finally reach to the Gasa village for a campsite close to Gasa Dzong.

Day 16: Gasa Hot Spring (Tshachu)

This morning you’ll set off to Gasa Tshachu, which is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan. After lunch, why not soak up and relax your leisure in the hot spring having spent nearly two weeks trekking in the wild Himalyan Bhutan? Due to their well known curative powers the hot springs are very popular amongst the Bhutanese from all walks of life including tourists. The place might be quite crowded especially in December. Camp at Gasa Tsachu.

Day 17: Gasa Hot Spring – Tashithang – Punakha [End of Trek]

Your final leg of the trek distance is 18-km, 5-6 hours, 480m ascent, 470m descent and camp altitude at 2,250m. After a short climb, the trail winds through rolling hills and passes, pine and oak forests and villages and wheat fields. You will also see a beautiful view of the Gasa Dzong glued to the valley wall as if floating in space. Arrive in Damji, and your car will be waiting here on the road head for you to transfer to Punakha traveling through the high agricultural benches above the Mochhu River into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and diverse tropical vegetation until Tashithang and continue driving to Punakha. Overnight in Punakha or Wangdue Phodrang.

Day 18: Excursion in Punakha & Wangdue Phodrang

Today’s tour begins at Chimi Lhakhang, which is dedicated to the legendary Lama Drukpa Kinley (known as the Divine Madman). The monastery is also revered as a sanctum of fertility. Legend has it that the couples wishing to have a baby from across Bhutan and occasionally from overseas are blessed with a child after visiting the temple – Japanese and several American couples visited this temple and were blessed miraculously with children. Next, visit the ruined site of Wangdue Phodrang Dzong by fire in late June 2012, which is perched on a ridge overlooking the Punatshangchhu and Dangchhu rivers. Stop at the Rinchengang village on the opposite side of the river, which is a unique cluster of houses made up of red mud. Overnight in Punakha or Wangdue Phodrang.

Day 19: Punakha – Thimphu

This morning we drive a distance of 70-km for about 3 hours to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. En route stop off at at Dochu La Pass for tea at an altitude of 3,050m. On a clear day, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the snow capped eastern Himalaya ranges and also a magnificent distant view of the Gasa Dzong from this spot. Continue your journey to Thimphu and then visit Tashichhodzong, which houses some ministries, the office and throne room of His Majesty the King and the central monk body. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 20: Thimphu – Paro

Explore a fascinating tour to see the best of Thimphu city at an altitude of 2,300m. First stop is at the National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Next, drive up to the Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point) offering a panoramic view overlooking the Thimphu valley and Mini Zoo for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. After lunch visit the Centenary Farmer’s Market on the banks of the Wangchhu River selling farm produces, local arts and crafts, etc. In the evening, drive to Paro for your last overnight in Bhutan.

Day 21: End of Tour

Your tour ends in Bhutan with a departure transfer to the Paro Airport for your onward journey. A representative from Bhutan Green Travel will see you off. Goodbye and Good luck!

Services Included

  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in 3-star hotels
  • Upgrades to 5-star luxury accommodation available on request
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
  • Licensed Bhutanese English-speaking guided tours
  • All entrance fees to museums and other attractions
  • Comfortable transport within Bhutan
  • All applicable internal taxes and service fees (including royalty)
  • Mineral water
  • Visa fees

Services Not Included

  • International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
  • Travel insurance
  • Discretionary gratuities to guides and driver (we provide suggested guidelines)
  • Single room supplement
  • Other personal expenses such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls, etc.

Prices and Dates

ON REQUEST

Pricing Policy

Prices are quoted and payable only in (US$ dollars). All prices published on our websites, brochures and marketing materials are set as low as possible. The guide prices may vary at any time subject to government actions, changes in exchange rates, increase in transportation costs or fuel prices before we have accepted your booking, however, we guarantee our prices who have already signed up for your tour.

Departure Dates

April, May, June, September, October and Mid-November

[It’s always advisable to contact us 4 or 5 months in advance. You decide dates depending on your plan of travel, however, plan your trekking tour during the best months indicated above]

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