Laya Gasa Trek - 20 Days

Laya Gasa Trek

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Laya Gasa Trek is one of the longest yet finest treks in Bhutan. It is a moderate trek meandering alongside the border of Tibet.

This 20 days long Bhutan trek takes us through dramatic landscapes, secluded mountain villages, and gigantic mountains. In addition to the captivating natural beauty of Bhutan, the trek also offers an unparalleled opportunity to get acquainted with the local culture. You can also get a glimpse of some of the rare animals like blue sheep and Takin (national animal of Bhutan), and relish the tiredness in the hot spring.

One of the world’s best-kept secrets, Bhutan was opened for an outsider for the first time in 1974. Since then, it has been the hot spot for tourists. And, the obvious reason being its mysterious aura, untouched and rich cultural diversity, and natural beauty.

Trek Highlights

  • Submerge into the ancient Bhutanese culture.
  • Taste ethnic cuisines.
  • Explore through Jigme Singye National Park.
  • Splurge into ancient monasteries and Chortens.
  • Short hike to Tiger’s Nest.
  • Get a glimpse of some of the rare animals like blue sheep and Takin (National animal of Bhutan).
  • Views of mountains: Jumolhari (7314m), Jichu Drake (6989m) and Tsherimgang (6789m)

Among all other Bhutan treks, Laya Gasa Trek is cited as the most refined and gratifying trek as it covers almost all the major aspects of Bhutan; from ethnic villages to enchanting forests, alpine meadows, small hamlets, farmland, green hills, glacial valley, architecturally rich shorten and monasteries, soothing rivers and sparkling mountains. The vistas of sacred Mount Jhomolhari, Gangchhenta, and Jichu Drake make the trip more rewarding.

Laya Gasa Trek begins at Paro and passes through Shana, Soi Thangthangkha, Jangothang, Linghsi, Shomuthang, etc. One of the major attractions of this trek is Laya, a small village packed with colourful culture and wonderful people. Laya Gasa Trek is a perfect place to learn Bhutanese culture, witness local lifestyle and customs. Throughout our trek from Paro to Khuruthang, we will witness some of the best gifts of nature and cultural sites.

Laya Gasa Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Paro.
Day 2: Paro Acclimatization Hike.
Day 3: Paro to Shana.
Day 4: Shana to Soi Thangthangkha.
Day 5: Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang.
Day 6: Jangothang to Linghsi.
Day 7: Lingshi to Chebisa.
Day 8: Chebisa to Shomuthang.
Day 9: Shomuthang to Robluthang.
Day 10: Robluthang to Limithang.
Day 11: Limithang to Laya.
Day 12: Rest Day at Laya.
Day 13: Laya to Koena.
Day 14: Koena to Gasa.
Day 15: Gasa to Gasa Tsachu.
Day 16: Gasa Tsachu to Geon Damji.
Day 17: Geon Damji to Tashithang.
Day 18: Tashithang to Khuruthang.
Day 19: Thimpu to Paro.
Day 20: Depart from Paro.

This itinerary is a standard one, if you want to customize your itinerary please inquire us. Also, we offer short Bhutan treks like 7 Days – Druk Path Trek and 12 Days – Chomolhari Trek. Read our Bhutan blog for more information.

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Day 1
Arrival to Paro.

Enjoy the amazing flight with constantly changing vistas of the high Himalayas and low lands. After landing at Paro airport, Heaven Nepal Adventure’s representative will pick you up and drive you to your hotel. Check into the hotel, freshen up, have lunch then head out for sightseeing.

Paro is a small town housing national museums, Ta Dzong and Rimpong Dzong. Learn Bhutan’s history and culture, walk around the town while enjoying the distinct beauty of the country. Enjoy walking on the captivating cantilever wooden bridge before heading back to the hotel. Take a rest after delicious dinner.

Day 2
Paro Acclimatization Hike.

Start the day with a delicious breakfast. The 2nd day of the trek is reserved for acclimatization purpose. Today we will embark for a short hike to the most popular monastery of Bhutan called Tiger’s Nest. Around two hours of walk from the hotel will take us above the Paro valley from where we will get an amazing view of Taktsang Monastery also known as Tiger’s Nest. On our way back we will have lunch at one of the tea houses. We then head to Drukgyel Dzong, a historic monument constructed in the 17th century followed by a short visit to Kyichu Lhakhang built in the 7th century.

Day 3
Paro to Shana.

Today we will officially start our Laya Gasa Trek with a short downhill hike on an easy broad trail. Meander alongside beautiful fields and rice terrace as we move forward the valley. Walk alongside a river named Pa Chhu then, ascend gradually on the uphill blanketed by rice paddies. Tread amid apple orchards and farmhouses, cross small settlements including Sangatan and Mitshi Zampa. A brief walk through blue pine forest will take us to an army post. We will need to show our trek permits and get it stamped. We will cross Pa Chhu before climbing to Sharna Zampa. We will camp on the beautiful meadow below thousands of stars at Shana.

Day 4
Shana to Soi Thangthangkha.

Follow the river and walk through a beautiful forest housing oak, spruce, and pine. The beautiful sceneries and a number of streams on our way to Singkharap will keep our spirit high. Shingkharap is a stone house perched at an altitude of 3110m. Walk briefly then cross a small bridge on the left to reach our lunch spot. After resting for a while, we will resume our journey. Soon we will be on the junction from where we will take the right route heading to the wooden bridge. Walk through the colorful rhododendron forest and cross the bridge to reach Soi Thangthangkha. Spend a blissful night amid lush meadows.

Day 5
Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang.

Though we will be walking only 4 to 5 hours, the trek is going to be a little daunting as we will be constantly moving to the higher altitude. Ascend until we reach an army camp. As we move upwards we can see the tree line fading away and vistas of mountains becoming more prominent. A muddy trail passing through a mani wall lead to yak herder’s camp. Here we will have a delicious lunch. Leaving the camp behind we will head to small settlements; Takethang and Soe. Tread on the plateau leading to another beautiful village, Dangochang. A brief walk from here will take us to our ultimate destination Jangothang. The place offers an amazing view of mysterious mountains; Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake.

Day 6
Jangothang to Linghsi.

For the initial half an hour, we will be following the stream then cross it. A tiring walk on the ridge will be awarded by the series of sparkling mountains like Tshering Gang, Jichu Drake, and Jumolhari. Tread on the leveled ground and soon another ridge appears. Climb Ngye La Pass from where we can witness the jaw-dropping vistas of mountains above and wide valley below. Spend a few moments capturing this beauty then walk down to camp. Splurge into the view of majestic mountains then check out the ancient Lingshi Dzong. If we reach before the dusk, we can stroll around the village. After a delicious dinner, we will call it a day.

Day 7
Lingshi to Chebisa.

Start the trek with a pleasant walk to Lingshi Dzong nestled on the hillock. Constructed in 17th centuries, the dzong is beautifully preserved. Today we will be walking on the easy trail meandering through small villages and yak pastures. On our way, we will have lunch. It will take us around 5 to 6 hours to reach Chebisa. It is a captivating small settlement embedded with cascading waterfall. Camping on the side of the soothing stream will be one heck of an experience.

Day 8
Chebisa to Shomuthang.

Today’s trek will take us all the way to Gogu La Pass at an elevation of 4500m. We will walk for around four-hour on the steep ridge to reach the pass. Enjoy the view of rare blue sheep then walk down the trail passing through the rhododendron forest. Have lunch then follow the hills fluctuating up and down. A brief walk from here will take us to Shakepasa. A steep climb from here will take us to Shoumuthang. Take a brief rest then explore the place.

Day 9
Shomuthang to Robluthang.

Begin the trek with a gradual climb on the trail covered with alpine herb. Soon we will be climbing a steep hill leading to Jari La Pass set at an elevation of 4700 m. The daunting trek will be rewarded by vistas of snowy Alps and beautiful valley. We will walk downhill to a wide valley called Tsarijathang valley. We can see few of herder’s homes used in summer for the Himalayan Takin. Leaving this beautiful summer hamlet behind, we will walk to a small stream and cross it a few times. Ascend until we reach Robluthang. Spend a night amid rocky meadow.

Day 10
Robluthang to Limithang.

Get ready to navigate the highest pass of Laya Gasa Trek i.e. Shingchen La Pass at an altitude of 5005 m. Today we will start our day earlier than before. Tread on the boggy patches, cross streams few times and see moraine as we approach the pass. Tread on the narrow path, cross few streams and walk past a cedar forest to reach Limithang. The camp is set by the side of a beautiful river in the scattered meadows with vistas of sparkling mountains.

Day 11
Limithang to Laya.

What can be more beautiful than seeing a sparkling Gangchenta peak in front of your eye as soon as you wake up. Take some time to delve into this once in a lifetime experience. After a quick breakfast, we will follow a stunning trail offering mesmerizing views. Walk past a beautiful forest with moss-covered trees while enjoying the birds chirping and singing. It is a long yet beautiful walk as we come across a beautiful waterfall and village with stone houses. Laya is an ancient village with people following traditional culture and lifestyle. It is a perfect spot to explore Bhutanese culture, arts, and tradition.

Day 12
Rest Day at Laya.

Splurge on the ethnic breakfast in the morning and enjoy the serene ambiance. Afterward, we will head out to explore this lovely village. Stroll around, have a warm chat with locals, snap pictures and check out their strangely fascinating attire. Head back to the hotel for lunch and take a rest before going out.

Day 13
Laya to Koena.

Laya to Koena will be one of the most scenic trails as it is teamed up with soothing streams, raging rivers, and cascading waterfall. Start walking on the trail leading to a river. A brief walk from here will take us to an army camp. The trail from here fluctuates up and down. We will have to walk past a muddy trail quite a few times, climb the ridge then descend. Ascending to Kohi Lapcha can be a bit daunting. Moving further won’t be wise, there is no better spot for camping nearby. Thus, we will spend a night here.

Day 14
Koena to Gasa.

We will resume our trek after a delicious breakfast. First, we will climb then follow the downhill piercing fir forest leading to Babela pass at an elevation of 3900m. The pass has few prayer flags and stone cairn. Delve into the serene ambiance, click pictures, breathe in the fresh mountain air then descend on the trail blanketed by lush forest. As we move forward, the valley appears wide. A few up and down from here will take us to Gasa village. We will spend the remaining day exploring this beautiful village. Stroll around, have a fleeting conversation with locals, experience Bhutanese hospitality then head to the hotel for dinner.

Day 15
Gasa to Gasa Tsachu.

Today we will head to Gasa Tsachu where we will take a dip into the hot spring to relish our tiredness. The hot spring is believed to possess multiple medicinal benefits. Moreover, it soothes aching muscles and swollen joints. We will spend the rest of the day relaxing and strolling around. Take a rest after a luscious dinner.

Day 16
Gasa Tsachu to Geon Damji.

A short climb above the hot springs will take us to hills that constantly fluctuates up and down. Walk past oak and pine forest, small settlements, and beautiful farms. From the above, the Gasa Dzong looks stunningly beautiful. It is a short trek thus, we will be in our destination by the afternoon. We will spend the rest of the day exploring the village, learning local cultures, tasting ethnic food and learning new things. Take rest after dinner.

Day 17
Geon Damji to Tashithang.

From Geon Damji, we will descend to the semi-tropical gorge. The gorge is covered with tropical vegetation, creepers, and banana trees. The sight of monkeys and other animals is common on this trail. We will mostly walk through the forested section to reach Tashithang. It will take us around 6 to 7 hours to reach the village. The locals plant crops like wheat, maize, and rice. Head out to explore the village and snap pictures. From here we will easily get a vehicle. Spend a night in a tented camp.

Day 18
Tashithang to Khuruthang.

A brief walk from the camp will take us to the motor road. We will hop into the vehicle heading to the Punakha Valley. Here we will take a brief break to explore the Punakha Dzong. The Dzong, constructed in the sixteenth century reflects Bhutan’s ancient culture, tradition and carries a great significance in Bhutan. The beautiful monument is set amid two rivers. Stroll around the place, learn it’s history from the guide and submerge into its beauty. Before starting our journey, we will have lunch. Thimpu is merely 77 km away from Punakha. Spend a beautiful night in a camp. Dinner and Breakfast are included.

Thimpu, capital of Bhutan holds some of the sacred and religious sites including Pangri Zampa Monastery, Cheri Gompa Monastery, and Thadrak Goemba, few parks and museums. We will spend our afternoon checking out some of these attractions.

Day 19
Thimpu to Paro.

Early morning breakfast is followed by a scenic drive to Dechenchlioling. The Queen Mother’s palace is barely an hour away from Thimpu town. The palace was constructed in 1953. We will check out the palace from the outside and snap some pictures. It won’t take us more than an hour or two to explore this lovely monument. We will then head back to Thimpu.

In the afternoon, we will stroll around the local market in Thimpu. If you are willing to buy any souvenirs, it is the time. Check out local handicrafts and other items. A brief rest after lunch will fuel us with the energy to start the journey. Paro is around 65 km away from Thimpu. It will be a blissful drive on a scenic road.

Day 20
Depart from Paro.

On the last day of your trek, Heaven Nepal Adventures representative will pick you from your hotel to transfer you to Paro airport as per your flight schedule. If you want to go for the last minute shopping, you may wander around the nearby market.

Cost Includes

  • Airport pickups and drops
  • Transportation on the comfortable vehicle by private car or Hiace
  • Accommodation
  • All the meals during the trip (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
  • All city tour with Sightseeing and entrance fees as per our itinerary
  • Well-experienced English speaking Bhutanese guide
  • All necessary travel permits
  • All government taxes
  • Bhutan Visa fee

Cost Excludes

  • Insurance of any kind.
  • Additional cost due to natural calamity and unforeseen circumstance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, guide tips, etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in the Cost Includes section.

Visit our Bhutan Travel Info page for Visa Information, People, Culture, Accommodation, Currency, Foreign Exchange, Weather, Climate and more.

If you have any questions regarding Booking the trip, check these pages:

Booking FAQs

Booking Terms and Conditions

Bhutan Laya Gasa Trek FAQs

What is the $200-$250 daily fee for traveling in Bhutan?

If you are visiting Bhutan in peak months (March to November), the daily fee is $250 per person and $200 in other months. If you are travelling alone, the fee is $290. Discounts are available to children and students. However, the fee covers everything for your stay in the country. This includes food (not alcohol), accomodation, road transport, entrance fees and a private guide. Also, you need to book a trip to Bhutan with a government approved travel company.

Why the $200-$250 daily fee for travelling in Bhutan?

The $250 daily fee in Bhutan is its way of preserving its ancient culture and pristine environment. This fee also helps Bhutan to provide free education and healthcare for its citizens. It also promotes its ‘High value, Low impact’ tourism.

How hard is Laya Gasa Trek?

Laya Gasa Trek can be classified as a medium difficulty trek. It is a long trek with steep trails which definitely requires you to be fit. The trek is for people who have previous experiences in trekking.

What is the best time for Laya Gasa Trek?

The best seasons for Laya Gasa Trek are Spring and Autumn. More specifically, April to June and September to November are considered as the best time for the trek. However, late November and early September may not always offer ideal weather to trek.

How is the weather in Bhutan? Will it be cold during the trek?

Bhutan is not among the coldest Asian countries by any means but as you trek to higher altitudes and the mountains, the temperatures may drop. You can expect the day time temperatures to be 15 to 20 degree celsius and 0 to 15 degree celsius in the night. This is mostly for the Spring and Autumn months. With the minimum altitude of 2500 meters and maximum altitude of 5000m, you know what clothes to pack.

Is Laya Gasa Trek crowded?

The trek is the least ventured trek in Bhutan but you will meet few trekkers during the peak seasons. The hotels may be packed during peak seasons. Sometimes you may have to share rooms or even have to spend the night in a dormitory.

Is there any chance of altitude sickness during the trek?

Yes, there are chances of altitude sickness during the trek. Laya Gasa Trek takes you through passes and other high altitude areas. Your itineraries should be designed with care so that you make gradual ascends and acclimatize properly throughout the trek. Our guides and porters are well equipped with medication and skills to handle you in these situations. You can also carry suitable medicine for altitude sickness.

How long should I walk for the Laya Gasa Trek?

The total distance of the Laya Gasa Trek is 217 kilometers. You will walk around six to eight hours per day which also means around 15 kms a day on average. We also make sure you ascend gradually and in high altitude areas, you will not ascend more than 500 meters a day.

How is the food during the Laya Gasa trek in Bhutan?

The traditional Bhutanese food is not the preference for many trekkers due to excess spices. Bhutanese, Indian, Nepali and sometimes even Western food are available as a buffet at hotels and you will have less options when you are camping.

Is vegetarian food available during the trek?

Yes, vegan food is not a problem in hotels. But make sure to inform us beforehand so that we can arrange the food of your preference in the camps.

How is the accommodation like in the Laya Gasa trek?

While there are options of hotels for you in the cities and villages, some part of the trek requires you to spend the nights in a tent. Laya Gasa Trek is a camping trek and our team will arrange camps with tents, sleeping bags, pillows, mattress and toilets. Normally, the hotels are of good standards but it does not necessarily mean of the highest quality as Bhutan is still a developing country.

Will I get hot showers and heaters during the trek?

Most hotels are equipped with heating facilities in Bhutan. Hot showers are not always available except for a few hotels in the cities but buckets of hot waters are available throughout the trek if you want to bathe. Once you ascend to higher altitudes, we do not recommend you bathe unless it is absolutely necessary as it is really cold and we want you to be on the safe side.

What about internet during the trek?

Do not expect to get a reliable internet and mobile connectivity during the treks. Even though most hotels have Wifi, it is not reliable. The cities have better internet facilities.

Clothing and Accessories

  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Masks
  • Neck gaiter
  • Lightweight thermal gloves
  • Lightweight towel
  • Down Jacket
  • Windproof and waterproof jacket
  • Windproof and waterproof trousers
  • Thermals
  • Sleeping trousers
  • Shorts
  • T-Shirts (full/half sleeve)
  • Under wears
  • Socks
  • Walking shoes or sandals
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sleeping bag

Food & water

  • Snacks ( Crackers, Chips, Biscuits, etc)
  • Protein bars
  • Chocolates
  • Candies
  • Dry fruits
  • Your favorite coffee or tea bags
  • Water bottle
  • Water purifier

Personal Hygiene and Toiletries

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Quick drying towel
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Multipurpose soap
  • Deodorant
  • Nail clipper
  • Face wash
  • Body wash
  • Baby Wipes
  • Sunscreen with maximum SPF
  • Moisturizer
  • Small mirror
  • Feminine hygiene (Sanitary pads)

Documents

  • Passport
  • Travel insurance
  • Few passport-sized photos
  • Map

Others

  • Sleeping bag
  • Duffel bag
  • Backpack (45-60 litre)
  • Swiss knife
  • Trekking Pole or Stick
  • Portable charger / power bank
  • Books
  • A notebook and a pen is always useful
  • Binoculars
  • Alarm clock
  • Torch/Flashlight/Headlamp
  • Lighter
  • Insect repellent
  • Earplugs
  • Locks
  • Sewing kit
  • Card games (Uno, Skip Bo)
  • Board games (Ludo, Chess)

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Laya Gasa Trek
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Trip Facts

  • Flight
  • Adventure
  • 5005 meters
  • 2 to 20 people
  • 20 Days
  • Hotels and Camping
  • April to June and September to November

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