Architecture of Bhutanse House

Camp site at Laya, from limithang to laya route

It takes 19 days to complete this trek. It is of medium -hard kind. The seasons favorable are from April to June and from September to November. The best season is in April. This trek begins from Paro valley then heads north into the high country. At this point you will see the Layaps, the ethnic people with their extraordinary culture. You can also stop for a hot spring in Gasa. Sometimes you will see Takins and Blue Poppy flower, the national animal and flower of Bhutan and end point is Gasa where we will enjoy the Gasa hot spring.

Maximum Elevation: 5,660 m

Nature of Trek: Medium hard but surely navigable by those in excellent health-100% fully escorted and staff supported

Seasons: April - June and September - November      

Start Point: Gunitsawa village- Paro, End Point: Gasa - Hot spring

Detail itinerary as follows 

Day 01: Arrive Paro

On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by your Across Himalaya Travels representative and transferred to your hotel after completion of arrival formalities. Evening visit to Paro market and town. Overnight at hotel in Paro.

Day 02: Paro Valley sightseeing:

Visit the Rinpung Dzong. Built in 1645 A.D. This fortress is presently the seat of the district administration and the residence of the monk body. Lunch in the hotel. After lunch, visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). Once the watch tower for the Rinpung Dzong, it was converted into the National Museum in 1968. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means Monastery). Kyichu Lhakhang was built in 659 A.D by the King Soingtsen Gampo of Tibet as one of 108 such monasteries built across the Himalayas to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro town and Drugyal Dzong. This temple marks the advent of Buddhism in Bhutan. Option: After breakfast drive to the start of the path for the hike to Takstang retreat (Tiger’s Lair) and trek to the view point where there is small wooden tea house with beautiful views of the most scenic of monasteries clinging to the cliffs 900m above Paro valley. The round trip will take about 4 to 5 hrs. It is said the Guru Rinpoche arrived here back of a tigress, and meditated at place, hence the monastery is called “Tiger’s Nest.” This side, which has long been recognized as a most sacred place, was visit by Shabdrung Ngawang  Namgyal in 1646. It is a place of pilgrimage which Bhutanese try to visit at least once in a lifetime. Over night at hotel in Paro.

Day 03: Paro-Shana:

Drive to Drugyel Dzong (a ruined fortress – 16 kms from Paro town) or the fortress of the victorious drukpas. From here, the peak of Chomolhari “Mountain of the Goddess” can be seen on a clear day (Alt 7,329 mtrs/24,029 ft) where the trek begins. Follow the river gently uphill through a narrowing valley of paddy fields. You will find plenty of traditional farm houses along the way. The camp site is just beyond an army outpost. Alt – 2800 mtrs. Distance – 17 kms and time 5-6 hrs.

Day 04: Shana – Soe Thangthangkha

Continue uphill through the river valley which narrows and closes in after some distance. The trail then winds up and down along the drainage.The camp site is located in a meadow with stone shelter. Alt.approx – 3400 mtrs. Distance19 kms. Time 6-7 hrs.

Day 05: Soe Thangthangkha – Jangothang

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 herder’s winter settlements. Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Jhomolhari Mountain. Alt – 4040 mtrs. Distance 18 kms and time 5-6 hrs.

Day 06 Jangothang – Lingshi

Walk up towards 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. Alt. 4150 mtrs. Distance 19 kms and time 5-6 hrs.

Day 07: Lingshi – Chebisa

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 upto it. Alt.3850 mtrs. Distance 12 kms and time 3-4 hrs.

Day 08: Chebisa – Shoumuthang 17km, 6-7 hours

Today begins with a stiff climb of nearly four hours up a ridge to Gubu-la pass (4,500m). We descend from the pass through rhododendrons to our lunch place. We cross the stream after lunch, and continue along the up and down path, through rhododendron forests and yak herders’ camps, occasionally sighting flocks of blue sheep as we walk. Tonight’s campsite is at an altitude of 4,250m.

Day 09: Shoumuthang – Robluthang 18km, 6-7 hours

The trek starts with a climb up to Jari-la pass (4,700m). We descend from here to Tasharijathang valley, the summer grazing ground of the rare Himalayan takin (Bhutan’s national animal). We may have to ford the stream here, as the footbridge is frequently washed away. After crossing to the left bank of the stream, the trail ascends to Robluthang (4,200m) where we set up our camp for the night.

Day 10: Robluthang – Limithang 19km, 7-8 hours

We start the day with a long climb up to Shinje-la pass (4,900m), enjoying stunning mountain views from the path. After crossing the pass we descend to Limithang. The path is quite narrow, and we may have to ford the stream again and get wet. The last part of today’s trek is rather a scramble down a steep path, with the compensation of splendid views of Gangchenta peak (6,840m) along the way. Tonight we camp at 4,100m on flat ground above the river in a forested area, with Gangchenta towering directly above us to the north.

Day 11: Limithang – Laya 10km, 4-5 hours

In the morning we wake to a superb view of Gangchenta peak in front of our camp. The walk to Laya is very pleasant with wonderful views along the way. We pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds. We set up camp on arrival at Laya village, the second highest settlement in the country, at 3,800m.

Day 12: Rest day at Laya 

Today we explore the village and environs. You can go and visit any of the houses around. Traditional Bhutanese hospitality is extended even to a perfect stranger, and a cup of tea and chang (an alcoholic drink) is always offered. The people in this village are very interesting, especially the women, whose plain black yak wool garments are set off by elaborate necklaces and conical bamboo hats decorated with turquoise and silver ornaments. In the evening, witness a cultural program of dances performed by village girls by the campfire, and enjoy the local alcohol (ara and chang, brewed from barley) if you have a strong stomach.

Day 13: Laya – Chamsa 19km, 8-9 hours

We descend from Laya to the army camp at the side of the Mo Chu (Mother river of Punakha), and then walk alongside the river till reaching a bridge. After crossing the bridge, the track winds up and down through juniper and fir forests. We camp in the forest at Chamsa (3,800m).

Day 14: Chamsa – Gasa Tshachu 14km, 6-7 hours

After a 30 minute walk over flat land to Bele-la pass, it’s downhill all the way to Gasa Tshachu. We take lunch at Gasa village (2700m), afterwards visiting the village and Gasa Dzong. The Dzong was built in the 17th century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, to protect the valley against Tibetan invaders. We then descend to Gasa Tshachu (hot spring), where we set up our camp (2,200m).

Day 15: Gasa Tshachu rest day

After a long trek, this is the place to relax! Enjoy a hot bath and try some of the local beer.If you like you can also visit Gasa Dzong with a uphill walking distance of 1 1/2hrs.

Day 16: Gasa Tshachu – Punakha

18km, 5-6 hours

The path winds up and down through heavily forested areas where you can see many wild orchids. Take care; as there are leeches too PunakhaThis is our last trekking day. The trail descends through heavy forest, following the course of the Mo Chu, till reaching the road head at Tashithang (1,620m). Across Himalaya Travels transport will be waiting here to drive us along the valley to Punakha, 15 km. down the road. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

Day 17: Punakha – Thimphu (70kms, 3hrs)

Morning sightseeing in the Punakha and Wangduephodrang valleys, visit Punakha Dzong and local market. Afternoon drive to Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 18: Thimphu

Today tour Thimphu, visiting the following as time permits: National Memorial Chorten, Tashichhodzong, National Library, Institute for Zorig Chusum (Bhutanese arts and crafts school), National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only), Handicrafts Emporium, Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 19: Thimphu – Paro (45kms, 11/2)

Morning for shopping and at leisure. After lunch drive to Paro visiting Semtokha Dzong en route. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 20: Depart Paro

After early breakfast in the hotel drive to Paro airport for flight to onward destination.

Detail costing for this tour

Land cost: USD $ 1400.00 (USD $ 280.00 per night) 

Airfare Bangkok/Paro/Bangkok:  USD $ 794.00

Visa Fee: USD $   40.00

Tourism Development Fund: USD $   10.00

Net package cost per person: USD $ 4204.00

What’s included:

a)    Expert leadership

b)    All accommodations

c)    All meals

d)    All transportation during the tour

e)    All activities as noted in the itinerary

f)       Bottled water while on drive and hiking

* All rates based on three or more traveling together on twin room sharing basis.

SURCHARGE

Individual tourists and smaller groups of less than three persons shall be subject to the following surcharges:

a)    Single Individual: US$ 40/ per night halt

b)    Group of 2: US$ 30/ per person per night halt

c)    The 10% agency commission payable to agents abroad shall not be deductible from the surcharge.

d)  The surcharge will not be applicable to representatives of foreign travel agents on business study or promotional visit duly approved and cleared by TCB.

Contact details

Ar-ring Tours and Treks

Olakha Thimphu,   

Bhutan 

Contact # : 00975 17612201

tdorjiinsb@gmail.com