Changzamtog, Thimphu, Bhutan
Mon - Sun : 09.00 AM - 08.30 PM

Tour Overview

Laya Gasa Trek is considered to be the most beautiful trek of Bhutan taking you through deep valleys and mountain tops above tree line offering one magnificent views to behold.
The first few days of the trek is the same for both Jomolhari Trek and this one till the Jangothang base cap. Apart from the beautiful Mt. Jomolhari, you will also get to see spectacular views on Jichu Drake and Gangchhenta (Tiger Mountain). You will mostly be above 4,000m once you leave Jangothang until you reach Lingshi. One has good chances of seeing blue sheep and takin, Bhutan’s national animal in their natural habitat. Along the way you come across some beautiful villages in the mountains. People of Laya have a different culture and traditions which one can immediately make out from the women’s unique attire. At the end of the trek in Gasa you can relax at the Gasa hot springs to ease out all the muscles in your body and add to an extremely rewarding trekking experience.

Day 1: Arrive at Paro
Day 2: Drugyal to Shana
Day 3: Shana to Thangthangka
Day 4: Thangthangka to Jangothang
Day 5: Rest day at Jangothang (Jumolhari base camp)
Day 6: Jangothang to Lingshi
Day 7: Lingshi to Chebisa
Day 8: Chebisa to Shomuthang
Day 9: Shomuthang to Robluthang
Day 10: Robluthang to Lingmithang
Day 11: Lingmithang to Laya
Day 12: Rest day at Laya
Day 13: Laya to Chamsa
Day 14: Chamsa to Gasa
Day 15: Gasa to Punakha
Day 16: Punakha to Paro
Day 17: Hike to Taktsang (tiger’s nest)
Day 18: Departure

Districts you will cover: Paro, Gasa, remote part of Thimphu and Punakha

Day 1: Delhi – Paro
Flying into the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression.

Day 2: Drukgyel Dzong – Shana
Drive up to Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m) where the road ends and the trek begins. A gradual climb the trail follows the Pachu (Paro River) passing beautiful meadows, paddy fields and impressive farm houses. After about four hours you will reach the Army post at Gunitsawa village. At the army check point your trek permit (provided by your tour operator) will be checked and endorsed. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa.
Camp– Shana (2850m)

Day 3: Shana – Thangthangka
On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After going uphill through the river valley, you enter the Jigme Dorji National Park National Park which is marked by a signboard that asks yo to “Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints”. The valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which ascends to an open ground where a camp will be set up. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mt. Jomolhari.
Camp – Thangthangka (3610m)

Day 4: Thangthangka – Jangothang
Clear morning skies should allow early risers excellent views of Jomolhari. Today is a short day as the forest now gives way to rough pasture and small fields for growing barley and we will probably see yaks grazing for the first time. The valley levels out as we approach Jangothang or Jomolhari base camp, delightfully situated close to a ruined dzong, with a full frontal view of the huge bulk of Jomolhari. Close to a ruined dzong, with a full frontal view of the huge bulk of Jomolhari.
Camp – Jangothang (4040m)

Day 5: Rest Day at Jangothang
A day for acclimatisation and to enjoy the magnificent scenery. Various excursions can be undertaken up to about 5,000m. for close up views of
Jomolhari (7,314m) and Jichu Drakey (6,974m) – a spectacular peak only recently climbed. In addition there are also some lovely clear glacial lakes to visit. From the campsite there are spectacular sunset views on Jomolhari and we may well see bharal (blue sheep), which scramble on the hills around camp.
Camp – Jangothang (4040m)

Day 6: Jangothang – Lingshi
A long day today as we cross our first pass. Leaving the valley by a short steep trail we ascend through a broad open landscape. A final steep climb takes us to the top of the pass, the Nyale La, at about 4,850m. From here there are magnificent views of the dozens of peaks that line the border with Tibet. A long easy descent through a sea of dwarf rhododendrons brings us back to the tree line, and down towards Lingshi dzong (4,150m), situated on a small hill in the bottom of the valley.
Camp – Lingshi (4150m)

Day 7: Lingshi – Chebisa
Today is an easy day. If we did not do so yesterday we can start today by visiting the impressive Lingshi Dzong, perched on a hill above the camp giving incredible views north towards Tibet. Leaving Lingshi on a fairly level trail we traverse high above the river before rounding a corner to look down on the small picturesque village of Goyul set below a towering rockface. Watch out for the Himalayan griffin vultures gliding along the cliff face searching for thermals. After descending to Goyul the trail climbs again before turning into another side valley to reveal the spectacularly situated village of Chebisa (3,980m) where we camp tonight. In the afternoon we can explore further up the valley, where there is a waterfall.
Camp – Chebisa (3980m)

Day 8: Chebisa – Shomuthang
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.
Camp – Shomuthang (4250m)

Day 9: Shomuthang – Robluthang
Today we have an early start to cross the Jhari La (4,750m). The day starts with a short steep climb away from camp. The trail then turns to traverse up a side valley heading for the pass. The effort of reaching the pass is rewarded with a panoramic view of the rugged mountain ridges stretching out in the distance. As we descend, the sparse grass is replaced by a hillside covered in rhododendrons that in turn give way to fir trees and then the grazing pastures of Tsheri Jathang. This valley acts as the summer home to the shy, wild takins. There is another short, steep climb at the end of the day to reach our campsite at Robluthang.
Camp – Robluthang (4160m)

Day 10: Robluthang – Limithang
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.
Camp – Limithang (4100m)

Day 11: Limithang – Laya
An early rise is recommended today to watch the sunlight rising up the massive snow covered face of the Great Tiger Mountain. Today is an easy day after the last three hard days crossing high passes. In fact it is mainly downhill all the way to Laya. The trail follows a winding river in a closed-in valley. Laya itself is at only 3,850m and we should reach the hillside village for lunch. The afternoon is then free for exploring the village and meeting the people. There are plenty of opportunities to buy artefacts and handicrafts made by the Laya villagers. For the energetic, there are still plenty of hikes around the Camp.
Camp – Laya (3850m)

Day 12: Laya: Halt
Spend the day at Laya exploring the village and meeting with and observing the daily life of the Layaps.

Day 13: Laya – Chamsa
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.
Camp – Chamsa (3,800m).

Day 14: Chamsa – Gasa Hot Spring
Today we head for the Balela Pass (3,740m), the trail undulates and is steep in parts. We then have a long walk through the forest to Gasa. From Gasa there are great views to the mountains across the valley. Gasa Dzong is an impressive building hidden amongst the wilds of the Bhutanese mountains. From Gasa we descend to the Gasa Hot Springs where we camp tonight and we can have a welcome soak in the hot water. Monks and villagers alike come to relax in the hot water and there is a special bathhouse here reserved for the King of Bhutan.
Camp – Gasa Hot Spring (2200m)

Day 15: Gasa Hot Spring – Damji – Punakha
This is our last trekking day. The path winds up and down through heavily forested areas where you can see many wild orchids till Damji where our bus will be waiting for us to drive us along the valley to Punakha. Altitude at Punakha: 1300m.

Day 16: Punakha – Paro
We will visit Punakha Dzong that was built by Shabdrung, in 1637, on a strategic junction at the confluence of Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. We will then drive to Paro up and over Dochu La Pass (3050m). The pass is marked by 108 chortens (Stupa) which are
Buddhist reliquaries, memorials to the teachings of the Buddha. Sometimes actual relics of the Buddha or revered monks are inserted into the dome of the
stupa, but whether or not there are relics inside, the stupas mark the landscape with reminders of the Buddha’s teachings.
Approximate driving time: 04 hours.
Altitude at Paro: 2300m

Day 17: Hike to Tiger’s Nest
Hike up to Taktsang monastery, built on a 600m sheer cliff and 900m above the valley floor, it is a breathtaking sight and even more breathtaking once you reach up there.

Day 18: Departure
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport in time to catch up your onward flight. Your escort from Bhutan Trip Advisor will bid you farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.

What should I bring with me?

· Good walking shoes
· Sunglasses
· Sunscreen (highest possible)
· Woolen cap
· Prescription medications/ first aid (only basic first aid is/ can be provided)
· Sturdy and ‘broken-in’ trekking boots
· Rain gear
· Torch (flashlight)
· Insect Repellent
· Gaiters
· Gloves
· T-shirts
· Comfortable walking pants
· Down jacket
· Day bag (to carry your requirements while walking)
· Energy chocolate bars
· Water bottle
· Memory card and batteries for camera and flashlight
· Toiletries

Maximum recommended load for trekking is 25kgs (55 lbs), or 1/5th of body weight.

What will be the weather like in Bhutan?
Days are normally warm, nights can be quite chilly. In winter, the temperature is below freezing point. Monsoon shower in summer can be expected with heavy rains in July and August.

Preventing Altitude Sickness

· Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills or other narcotics, they may decrease ventilation, intensify hypoxemia and make symptoms worse.
· Drink plenty of fluids.
· Avoid heavy exercise at high altitudes. Mild exercise is okay.
· Diamox (acetazolamide) 125 mg. tablets taken twice a day is F.D.A. approved for prevention and treatment of A.M.S. Although it originally was released as a diuretic (water pill), it also helps you breath deeper and faster. This allows you to get more oxygen. Diamox is especially helpful with the sleeping problems and other symptoms of A.M.S.
· Home oxygen will relieve symptoms. Home oxygen is safe, cheap and easy to use. It can be used at night when symptoms are worse and off and on during the day as symptoms dictate.
· If nothing else works, you can return to lower altitude. Going down to lower altitudes will always help relieve the symptoms of AMS, it is also one of the best ways to overcome the sickness.

Acute mountain sickness is caused by lack of Oxygen when traveling to higher elevations. This usually occurs in individuals exposed to an altitude of over 7000 ft (2100 m) who have not had a chance to acclimate to the altitude before engaging in physical activities. Mountaineers, trekkers, skiers and mountain travelers are at the greatest risk. While individual tolerance varies, symptoms usually appear within several hours, with those in weaker physical conditions being more susceptible. Headache, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and poor appetite are the initial symptoms. Inability to sleep is also frequently reported. In more severe cases, thinking and judgment may become impaired. An uncommon but potentially fatal complication called high altitude pulmonary edema, caused by fluid build-up in the lungs can also occur in rare cases.

The symptoms of acute mountain sickness can be prevented or minimized by gradually ascending (less than 500 meters/day) over several days to give your body a chance to acclimate to the higher altitude. Taking the prescription medication Diamox (acetazolamide) 250 mg three times a day has been shown to speed up the acclimatization process and can be taken shortly before and during the ascent. Do not take this medication if you are allergic to sulfa drugs. This medication is a mild diuretic and may work by changing the body’s acid-base balance and stimulating breathing. Dexamethasone 8 mg once a day has also been shown to be effective. However, this steroid medication may have more adverse effects. Once symptoms occur, they usually improve over several days without treatment. However, if they become severe, they can be relieved with the administration of oxygen or descent to a lower altitude.


A soft but strong duffel bag luggage is best suited on treks as it will be loaded on horse backs. A small back pack (day bag) to carry your essential things on the way like rain gear, wind stopper, camera, batteries, water bottle, candies etc.