Laya Gasa Trek
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Today, Bhutan or the land of the Thunder Dragon is one of the most highly acclaimed travel destinations. This is a land of remarkable natural beauty with a pristine and intact environment and a friendly, tradition-bound people. To the discerning international traveler, Bhutan has become an exotic and enticing final frontier.

Bhutan’s present travel status comes as no surprise given that this tiny kingdom, the size of Switzerland, was zealously sequestered from the world for centuries. The door to this mythical Buddhist kingdom was opened to limited tourism only three decades ago.  Travel to Bhutan is still regulated through a policy of high value tourism.

At this time and age when tourism most often dictates national economics, travel to Bhutan is a refreshing experience. Here, a deeply ingrained sense of hospitality, a universally acknowledged ecosystem and a living culture ensures every traveler the best that any nation has on offer. Travel to Bhutan is really an exploration.

Explore a tradition and culture that has been preserved through the centuries. In Bhutan, it is not about seeing a display showcased for tourists but living and sharing an experience with the Bhutanese. From religious festivals to a celebration on a farm or a game of archery, become a part of it all. This is true interactive travel.

Bhutan Travelers is a product of the very evolution of tourism in the kingdom. From state-run tourism in the early years to privatization, Bhutan Travelers has always been there. Its strength lies in the deep understanding and insight of the nation and its people and the knowledge of clients acquired through years of experience.

Travel to Bhutan with Bhutan Travelers and we will accompany you through the most satisfying and memorable journey. We will unravel every myth and mystery and open the doors to untold adventures. Come and explore this bewitching land and leave knowing that you will return again, and again.

Bhutan Travelers packages are specially designed to suit the needs of every traveler. You can either travel to Bhutan as an individual or in large groups; we will be there every step of the way. Besides tours and treks, we also offer customized packages according to the wishes of the individual or group.

 

Contact Us

Bhutan Travelers
Thimphu Bhutan
P.O. Box 1298
+975 232 8868 (phone)
+975 232 8869 (fax)
info@bhutantravelers.com (email)

 



Trekking in Bhutan : Jhumolhari Trek

 

Beautiful Laya Gasa Trek

Trip length: 22 Days
Level: Moderate / Difficult
Season: April to June & September to Mid November

Day 1: Arrive Paro
Upon arrival in Paro, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel. After lunch in the restaurant, you can visit the Paro Dzong. It was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions, as do all the Dzongs (forts) currently. You'll cross a traditional wooden bridge on the way to the Dzong. Afterward you will visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From there you will be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day you can see Mount Jumolhari, Bhutan’s second-highest mountain at 7,329 meters, from the village below the Dzong. In the evening you can stroll through the Paro market and town. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.


Day 2: Paro Acclimatization Hike
After breakfast, full day excursion to Taktsang or the “tiger’s nest” perched precariously on the cliff 900m above the floor of the Paro valley.  It is the most famous monastery in Bhutan.  It is said that Guru Rimpoche have flown to the site of the monastery on the back of a tigress and meditated here for three months.  Lunch would be served in the Cafeteria.  Return to Paro in the evening. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.


Day 3: Paro - Shana (Trek starts)
Trek begins: 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 farmhouses in a purely rural setting. The campsite is just beyond an army outpost. Alt. 2800m, Distance - 17 km and time 5-6 hours.


Day 4: 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. Most of the trail actually is down hill after the initial climb. The campsite is located in a meadow with stone shelter. Alt. Approx. 3400m, distance 15 km, time 4-5 hours.


Day 5: 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 see the yaks and the yak herder’s winter homes. Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of the Jumolhari Mountain. Alt. 4040m. , Distance 19 km and time 5-6 hours.


Day 6: Jangothang - Lingshi
Walk up toward the pass through a wide pastureland. 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, valley, 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. 4150m. Distance 19 km. Time 5-6 hours.


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


Day 8: Chebisa - Shomuthang
You walk through a wide pastureland towards Gobu-la (pass). On the way, you will see few people herding the yaks. After crossing the Gobu -la (Alt. 4350m) descend down to the valley. The campsite is on a bench above a river, which is a tributary of the Nochu river. Alt. 4260. Distance 17 km. Time 5-6 hours.


Day 9: Shomuthang - Robluthang
As the walk is little strenuous, it is advisable to start 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. Alt.4390m. Distance 15 km. Time 6-7 hours.


Day 10: Robluthang - Lingmithang
After crossing the Shingela pass, alt. 4900m, you come down and follow the valley. Lingmithang 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 Lingmithang. Alt. 4140m. Distance 19 km. Time 6-7 hours. 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: Lingmithang - Laya
Today, you walk all the way downhill along a narrow winding river valley. The trail leads you to the west side of Laya village. Campsite is on a high flat bench above the Laya village. Alt. 3850m. Distance 10 km. Time 3-4 hours.


Day 12: Laya Halt
Rest and explore the Laya village.


Day 13: Laya - Koena
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. Alt. 3800m. Distance 19 km. Time 6-7 hours.


Day 14: Koena - Gasa
You cross the Babela pass, Alt.3740m, after which the trail is all the way down till you reach the campsite which is close to Gasa Dzong. Alt. 2900m. Distance 17 km. Time 6-7 hours.


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 - Tashithang - Punakha (Trek ends)
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. Arrive Damji. Distance 18 km, 5-6 hours. Your car will be waiting here to transfer to Thimphu. You will drive through the high agricultural benches above the Mochu (Chu means River) into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and various tropical vegetation till Tashithang. Continue driving to Punakha. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.


Day 17: Punakha with excursion to Wangdue
After breakfast drive for half-hour to Wangdue.  Wangdue town which is a typical small Bhutanese town, with bustling market and well stocked shops.  Visit Wangdue Dzong, the 17th century monument.  It sits atop a high ridge between the Puna Tsang Chu and the Dang Chu. The place is also known for its fine bamboo work, slate and stone carvings.  Also visit the Rinchengang village on the opposite side of the river, which is a unique cluster of houses made up of red mud.  The people of this village are of Indian origins, who originally were brought into Bhutan as construction workers of the Dzong (fortress).  In the evening drive back to Punakha. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.


Day 18: Punakha - Thimphu
Set out for Thimphu with a stop in Dochu La for tea.  Visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works.  Continue drive to Thimphu and check into your hotel on arrival. Overnight at the hotel In Thimphu.


Day 19: Sightseeing in Thimphu
Visit the Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third king 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. 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, living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.


Day 20: Thimphu - Paro
In the morning you can hike to Tango Monastery, which was built by the "Divine Madman" in the 15th century. It's a center of study for monks, and it affords a great view of the Thimphu Valley. Drive back to Thimphu and after lunch you will proceed to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.


Day 21: Excursion to Chelela Pass
After breakfast, you will drive to Haa Valley across Chela Pass 3810m. On the clear days you will have views of Mount Jumolhari and other mountains and valleys below the pass. Explore nearby mountains dotted with colorful prayer flags and blanketed with dwarf rhododendrons. If you want to be more adventurous you can hike further down the ridges to Kila Goempa Nunnery, which is nestled in a craggy patch on the mountain site below the pass and perched precariously along the rock face. After a picnic lunch, you will drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.


Day 22: Paro depart
Drive to Paro Airport. You will be seen off by our representative.


For details contact us:

Bhutan Travelers
P.O Box #1298
Thimphu Bhutan.

+975 232 8868 (phone)
+975 232 8869 (fax)
info@bhutantravelers.com (email)










 
Festival Schedule 2014
Bhutan Festivals
Punakha Festival
11 - 13 March 2014
Punakha Drubchen
08 - 10 March 2014
Gomkora Festival
07 - 09 April 2014
Talo Festival
07 - 09 April 2014
Paro Festival
11 - 15 April 2014
Domkhar Festival
09 - 11 May 2014
Ura Yakchoe Festival
11 - 14 May 2014
Nimalung Festival
05 - 07 July 2014
Kurjey Tshechu Festival
07 July 2014
Wangdi Tshechu Festival
01 - 03 October 2014
Thimphu Drubchen
28 Sept - 02 Oct 2014
Khaling Tshechu
03 - 05 October 2014
Tamshing Phala Choedpa
03 - 05 October 2014
Thimphu Tshechu Festival
03 - 05 October 2014
Thangbi Mani Festival
07 - 09 October 2014
Jakar Tshechu Festival
31 Oct - 03 Nov 2014
Jambay Lhakhang Drub
06 - 09 November 2014
Mongar Tshechu
28 Nov - 01 Dec 2014
Trashigang Tshechu
30 Nov - 02 Dec 2014
Trongsa Tshechu Festival
09 - 11 January 2014
Lhuntse Tshechu Festival
09 - 11 January 2014
 

Client's Testimonials

It is with great pleasure that we offer highest recommendations to Mr. Karma Tashi and his staff at Bhutan Travelers. Our trip dates were October 26 to November 8, 2005.

We initially met Karma on-line several months ago when we sent a "footprint" of our itinerary needs to several independent tour agents in Bhutan. Karma was the only one to answer us. From that time, our friendship developed as did our itinerary. Karma recognized our needs from the beginning and customized a final itinerary with just the right amount of hiking, trekking, and cultural exposure appropriate for us with no unnecessary details or "shopping". By the end of the two weeks in Bhutan, we fulfilled the itinerary as initially agreed with some minor changes en route. Karma was very generous with occasional flexibility as we went along.

He was also very generous with the variation in places to eat, unlimited water, and the use of car and driver which was available at all times. From our discussions with other travellers, they did not experience the generosity and flexibilities that we did.
When we first arrived in Paro (by the way, Druk Air was a very pleasant surprize), we got off to an immediate good start thanks to Mr. Tobgay, our primary guide for the entire two weeks. Tobgay is a very positive and humorous, yet also very efficient and professional. He was great fun, but you knew he was always in control of any situation, and he had the innate ability to know personalities and limitations of his clients at all times. Our thanks also to Mr. Gembo, our driver, who had our lives in his very capable hands through miles of narrow, winding roads. Here, too, we had the utmost confidence in car and driver.

Part of our itinerary included a moderate 3 day, 2 night trek which took us through stunning snow-capped vistas, enchanting forests, and magnificient valleys dotted with small herds of wild yaks. Our entourage included 9 or 10 horses with as many staff carrying our luggage, all of the kitchen utensils, as well as the kitchen itself, and all of the tents, which were all set up upon our arrival each afternoon. There was even the "egg man" whose primary duty was to carry all of the eggs. The food was excellent; how they prepared such good food in the wild is still a mystery, but they did. There were 3 meals a day with tea service to your tent in the morning. There was even an open bar in the evening during dinner, as well as some local dancing villagers who happened to live nearby the first camp site. Great fun! When not trekking, we were housed in wonderful hotels, which were either new, or recently renovated. At all times, we had wonderful rooms with amazing views and the friendliest hotel staff possible.

In general, Bhutan is the most spiritual, enchanting, and magnificent destination the world has to offer. And, the people of Bhutan are some of the world's most beautiful, inside and out. It is often referred to as the "Last Shangri-La", and with good reason. It probably is. We were very fortunate to have experienced this very positive first visit to Bhutan, which, hopefully will not be our last. There are many tour agents available in Bhutan, but none of them could have given any better service, knowledge, and friendship than we experienced with Karma and his staff. Please contact us directly for any more information you might need. Tashi Delek.

Stuart Cox & Richard Gerstl
PO 236, Wilsonville, Oregon, 97070, USA.


       
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