Pickup from airport (2200m altitude) after completing the airpprt formalities and drive to hotel at Paro. Check into the hotel and after lunch; visit Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. A short walk takes you to the base of the Dzong at the sight of cantilever bridge over Paro River. Overnight stay at Paro.
Distance; 40 mins. walk, campsite altitude 2,850 m.
This trek begins at Gunitsawa Village and passes through the army check post. At the army check post submit trek permit (provided by concern tour operator) to check and endorse. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa.
Distance 22 km, 7-8 hours, campsite altitude 3,610 m.
On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After going uphill through the river valley the valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up. From here, if weather permits, have first great view of Mt. Jomolhari.
Distance 19 km, 5-6 hours, campsite altitude 4,080 m.
If guest(s) miss the view of Mt. Jomolhari the previous evening, there is still a chance to get a great view early this morning. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest. After crossing an army checkpoint along the way, enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. In this area yaks and their herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. After reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, again enjoy a spectacular view of Mount Jomolhari.
The rest day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains towards west, Jichu Drake to the north and there are a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.
Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, campsite altitude 4,010 m.
This is one of the longest days of the trek. Short distances from the camp the trail begins climbing rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascend to the Nyilila pass at 4,870m altitude. While on the way to pass enjoy the surroundings by sighting the herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains. After reaching at the pass enjoy a spectacular view of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang, all of them rising above 7,000m. It's a gradual descend to the campsite, passing by some of the yak herder’s tents, made from yak wool. The herders use these tents while travelling to various pastures for their yaks. Reaching at Lingshi basin, a beautiful U-shaped valley and get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on clear day. The campsite is next to a stone hut just before Lingshi Dzong.
Distance 10 km, 5-6 hours, campsite altitude 3,880 m.
Today is the shortest walking day, reaching at a chorten below Lingshi Dzong, guest(s) will have the choice of staying on the main trail or taking a day tour up to the Lingshi Dzong (4,220m), which sits right on top a high ridge. Lingshi Dzong provides a great view over the valley. After Lingshi Dzong visit the villages of Lingshi and Goyul. In Goyul, the stone houses are clustered together to form a small compact village that is unusual in Bhutan where settlements are usually scattered. On reaching the campsite at Chebisa visit beautiful waterfall located behind the village.
Distance 17 km, 6-7 hours, campsite altitude 4,220 m.
The morning starts with a long ascent behind Chebisa Village (2-3 hours) through a wide pastureland towards Gobu La (pass). On the way, there is high chance to spot large herds of blue sheep above the trail. After crossing Gobu La Pass (4,410m altitude), continue descending into the valley, then climb again a little bit, before descending again to Shakshepasa (3,980m altitude), a large U-shaped valley. Climbing from here finally make up to the campsite at Shomuthang, above a river, which is a tributary of the Nochu River.
Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, campsite altitude 4,160 m.
Begin the day by climbing up the valley to view Kang Bum (6,526 m altitude). After two hours of climbing reach Jhari La (4,750m altitude), from where the first glimpse of Sinche La, the pass you will have to cross the day after can be seen. The big snow peak in the north is Gangchhenta 6,840 m altitude, known as the Great Tiger Mountain. If weather is clear, Tserim Kang and the top of Jomolhari will be visible. The camp by the river is called Tsheri Jathang located in a beautiful wide and remote valley. Herds of takin, the Bhutan National Animal, migrate to this valley in summer and remain for about four months. The valley has been declared a takin sanctuary. Climb up a little bit and reach the campsite at Robluthang in a rocky meadow.
Distance 19 km, 6-7 hours, campsite altitude 4,140 m.
The trek starts out with an initial 40-60mins ascend before gradually raising for another 1.5 hours through a boulder field. It is then an hour steep ascends before reaching Sinche La (5,005m altitude) - the final and highest pass on the trek. Continue descending the far side of the pass and see an impressive terminal moraine and a glacial lake at the foot of the valley. Below the moraine, you cross the Kango Chhu and soon reach the Limithang campsite. The peak of Gangchhenta towers over the campsite is still visible.
Distance 10 km, 4-5 hours, campsite altitude 3,840 m.
Today, walk downhill all the way along a narrow, winding river valley. After a long time, the trail takes you through densely forested region. The trail leads you to the west side of Laya village. From the west of the village have a spectacular view of Mt. Gangchhenta and catch Mt. Masagang. In the village centre is a community school and a basic health unit with a telephone connection. The campsite is located below the school.
Distance 19 km, 6-7 hours, campsite altitude 3,050 m.
The trail winds up and down along the river valley of Mo Chhu avoiding natural obstacles and affording breath-taking views of the raging river, feeder streams and waterfalls. Lots of ups and downs will leads to Kohi Lapcha at 3300 m altitude (Pass). The trek then drops down to the large stream of Koina Chhu leading to the campsite of Koina.
Distance 14 km, 6-7 hours, campsite altitude 2,240 m.
Today have the last major climb of the Laya Gasa Trek. Crossing Bari La Pass (3,740m altitude), after which the trail descends all the way till Gasa village (2,770m altitude), where the first restaurants is located near Gasa Dzong. From here, descend for another hour to the Gasa Tsachu (hot springs) and relax in the rejuvenating mineral waters. The Gasa Tsachu is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan.
After breakfast, drive towards Punakha on unpaved road. The drive is through the high agricultural benches above the Mochu (Chu means River) into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees and creepers. Check into the hotel and after lunch; visit Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Overnight stay in Punakha.
After breakfast at 8:00am drive towards Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. On the way, stop at Lobesa to hike through paddy fields up to the Chimi Lhakhang Temple. This temple is dedicated to the great Yogi in the 14th century known as Drukpa Kuenley, or the “Divine Madman,” who is believed to bless women who seek fertility. Continue drive to Thimphu via Dochula pass (3,100 meters), where on a clear day enjoy the spectacular views of the Himalayas. After lunch in Thimphu, stroll down through Thimphu city. Overnight stay in Thimphu.
After breakfast at 7:30am drive to Paro airport, 56 km from Thimphu for onward destination.
Once the tour package is booked, cancelled package(s) are subject to the following cancellation charges:
• Earlier than 4 weeks prior to commencement of the tour program: 7% of the rates
• 2 weeks prior to commencement of the tour program: 25% of the rates
• 1 week prior to commencement of the tour program: 40% of the rates
• After arrival in Bhutan: 100% of the rates.
25% cancellation fee on air ticket(s) will be deducted, if cancelled one week prior to scheduled flight date.
Mr. Purna Lopchan
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