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22 Days' Beautiful Laya/Ghasa Trek:

 

Day - 1 Arrive Paro by Druk Air. Overnight at Hotel.

Day - 2 Morning: Visit Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress - 16 Kms. away from Paro town). Although in ruins, this Dzong is of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peak of Jhomolhari "Mountain of the goddess" can be seen on a clear day (Alt. 7,329m/24,029ft.). On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse. Visit the Rinchen Pong Dzong. This massive fortress is located on a small hill just above the Paro river (Pachu) in the Paro valley. You have to walk about 15 minutes by crossing an ancient wooden bridge built in typical Bhutanese architect. The Dzong houses the District Administration office and the District Monk Body. It was built in 1645 AD. Lunch in the Hotel. After lunch, visit the National Museum (Ta-Dzong). This was actually the Watch Tower of the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong. It was converted to the National Museum in 1968. Visit Kyichu Lhakhang (Lhakhang means Monastery). Kyichu Lhakhang was built in 659 AD by the King Songtsen Gompo of Tibet as one of the 108 such Monasteries, which he built in various places to spread Buddhism. It is located between Paro Town and Drugyal Dzong. It is one of the holiest places in Bhutan as it marks the advent of Buddhism in the country. Overnight at Hotel.

Day - 3 Trek begins: Paro - Shana Drive up to Drugyal 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 at an altitude of 2800 meters.

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. The approximate altitude is 3400m.

Day - 5 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 see the yaks and the yak herder's winter homes. Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of the Jhomolhari Mountain. This place is at an altitude of 4040m covering a distance of 19 kilometers ( 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 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 (4150m).

Day - 7 Lingshi - Chebisa Today is the shortest walking day and you can really take it easy. On reaching the campsite at Chebisa (3850m), you can visit the village houses if you feel up to it.

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 (4260m) is on a bench above a river, which is a tributary of the Nochu River.

Day - 9 Shomuthang - Robluthang As the walk is little strenuous; it is advisable to start a little early. After crossing the Jerela pass (4600m) you come down to Tsharijathang valley where you can normally see herds of Tarkins. Camp at Tsharijathang (4390m).

Day - 10 Robluthang - Lemithang After crossing the Shingela pass (4900m) you come down and follow the valley. Lemithang 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 Lemithang (4140m). 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 Lemithang - 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 (3850m) is on a high flat bench above the Laya village.

Day - 12 Halt in Laya for rest and to 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. Overnight Camp ( 3800m).

Day - 14 Koena - Ghasa You cross the Babela pass (3740m), after which the trail is all the way down till you reach the camp site (2900m) is close to Ghasa Dzong.

Day - 15 Ghasa - Ghasa Tsachu (hot spring) After a late breakfast, trek to Ghasa Tsachu. After lunch relax in the hot spring. The Ghasa Tsachu is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan. Camp at Ghasa Tsachu.

Day - 16 Ghasa Tsachu - Geon Damji 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 Ghasa Dzong glued to the valley wall seeming to float in space. Camp (2280m).

Day - 17 Geon Damji - Tashithang The trail descends from 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. You will also see monkeys and few other animals occasionally. Camp at Tashithang (1700m).

Day - 18 Tashithang - Khuruthang After a short walk to the motor road, drive down to Punakha valley. Stop at Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan. The Dzong lies between two rivers known as Phochu and Mochu, which mean " Male River and Female River ". It was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel the founder of Bhutan in 1637 AD and is one of the most important and historical Dzongs in Bhutan. In the Dzong are kept the sacred remains of Pema Lingpa and Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The Dzong now houses the District Administration office and the winter residence of the state Monastic Body and its Chief Abbot. Lunch in Punakha. After lunch, drive (77 km, 3 hours) to Thimpu. Overnight at Hotel.

Day - 19 Sight seeing in Thimpu: Visit the Memorial Chorten (a huge stupa) built in memory of the third king of Bhutan 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. It houses the largest monastic schools in the country. Visit Tashi Chho 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 and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot and the senior monks. Overnight at Hotel in Thimpu.

Day - 20 Drive to Dechencholing 6 km from Thimpu town to view the Queen Mother's Palace from the outside. You can take pictures of the Palace and the Dechencholing Monastery from the outside only. Drive back to Thimpu and take a leisurely stroll in the market. After lunch, drive to Paro. 65 km. Time 2 Hr drive. Overnight at Hotel.

Day - 21 Drive up to Satsam Chorten (10 km from Paro town) and from there walk up to Takstang Monastery. The name Takstang means " Tiger's Nest ". The Monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 4000 ft. and overlooks the Paro valley and the river. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambhava known as the second Buddha in Bhutan, meditated in the spot where the Monastery is situated having alighted there on the back of a flying tigress. Picnic lunch at the Takstang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 4 Hours.

Day - 22 Drive to Paro International Airport.

 
  TREK
DAYS
GRADE
BEST SEASON
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Gangtey Gompa Tour and Trek
10
Strenuous
Mar- May & Oct - Dec
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Samteygang Tour and Trek
10
Strenuous
Mar-May & Sep-Nov
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Chilela Trek
12
Strenuous
Mar-May & Sep-Nov
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Druk Path Trek
12
Strenuous
Mar-May & Sep-Nov
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Punakha Trek
12
Strenuous
Mar- May, Oct - Nov
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Dagala Trek
13
Strenuous
Mar- May, Oct - Nov
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Jhomolhari Trek
15
Strenuous
Mar- May & Oct - Dec
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Lunana Snowman Trek
23
Strenuous
Mar- May & Oct - Dec
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Hot Spring Tour and Trek
17
Strenuous
Mar- May & Oct - Dec
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Beautiful Laya/Ghasa Trek
22
Strenuous
Mar- May & Oct - Dec