Beautiful Lingshi - Laya - Gasa Trek

This spectacular trek is a more extensive version of the popular Jumolhari Trek and offers astounding views as well as an opportunity for immersion into the wildlife of Bhutan. Along the trails you'll have a good prospect of spotting blue sheep, takins, eagles, griffin vultures, yaks, and the Blue Poppy (Bhutan's national flower) as we take you to Jomolhari base camp (4,115 meters). Along your trek you'll have the opportunity to learn about the unique culture of the Layap people (The Nomadic people of Upper Himalayas bordering Tibet) as you spend a day mingling with them, enjoy a bath in a natural hot spring in Gasa, see waterfalls, and view many of the beautiful old buildings and villages of Bhutan. Before and after the hike you'll also get the chance to visit many of Paro and Thimphu's historically and culturally significant sites such as the National Memorial Chorten, the Ta dzong, archery grounds, and of course the awe-inspiring Tiger's Nest, a monastery clinging to a cliff 900 meters above Paro valley.

    What's Included?

  • Airport Transfers
  • Bhutan Visa
  • Transportation by private vehicle in Bhutan
  • English speaking guide
  • All meals
  • Accommodation
  • Entrance fees, Trekking permits, All local taxes
  • Services of Guide, Cook & Helper on the Trek
  • Mess Tent, Kitchen and Toilet Tent
  • Ponies to carry supplies
  • Sleeping Pads (Bring your own Sleeping Bag)


*Single Supplement of $625.

Day 1: Arrive Paro (By Druk Air/ Bhutan Airlines)

Altitude: 2280m

After a flight offering beautiful views of the World's highest peaks on a clear day you'll arrive at the Paro airport whereupon your Bhutanese escort from Yak Holidays will take you to your hotel After lunch, we will visit the Ta dzong, a National Museum housed in an old watchtower above Paro Dzong, the Paro Rimpung Dzong, and one of the innumerable archery grounds of Bhutan. Overnight Hotel in Paro)

Day 2: Paro - Excursion to Taktsang Monastery - Shana

Altitude: 2280m

After breakfast we'll begin an excursion to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger's Nest), a monastery perched at the edge of a cliff 900 meters above the Paro valley. A short drive will take us to Satsam Chorten, where we'll embark on a 2 hour horse ride to the viewpoint of the monastery, and trek up the rest of the way through a beautiful pine forest, stopping for a rest and light refreshments at the Taktsang Jakhang (cafeteria). Lunch will be served at the cafeteria, followed by a short walk to Satsam Chorten. Following this we'll visit Kichu Lhakhang and witness and archery match in the town before driving to view Drukgyal Dzong. We'll then have dinner and spend the night camping in Shana.

Day 3: Shana - Thangthangka (Start of Trek)

Altitude: 3610m. Distance 22Km. Time 7 - 8 hours (Ascent: 770 meters, Descent: 10 meters).

We'll begin trekking along the trail, which follows the river through a heavily forested area with a few isolated farmhouses, narrowing and closing in, eventually winding up down along the drainage. We will camp in a meadow with a stone shelter for the night.

Day 4: Thangthangka - Jangothang

Altitude: 4080m. Distance 19Km. Time 5 - 6 hours (480 meters Ascent).

In the morning, after passing a small army post, the trail will slowly leave the forest line and gradually climb into a beautiful valley, passing Tegethang, a winter home of yak herdsmen. Lunch will be served in one of these huts. Lots of yaks will be seen today before we arrive at the Jomolhari base camp (4,115 m). High mountains overlook the camp and visible nearby are the ruins of an old fortress used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasions.We'll have dinner and spend the night in camp.

Day 5: Jangothang

Rest day at Jangothang, enjoy the superb view all around.
For Day hikes, you have 3 options on this day at Jangothang.
1. Hike to Jumolhari Glacier which is around 4 and half hours (Back and forth).
2. Hike to Jichu Drake Glacier which is around 3 hours (Back and Forth).
3. Walk up the mountain between Jumolhari and Jichu Drake, the summit is at 5200 meters with a great view of both the mountains. This is 8 hours (Back and forth).

Day 6: Jangothang - Lingshi

Altitude 4000m. Distance 17km. Time 6 - 7 hours. Today we'll enjoy spectacular views of the Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake and the Tserim Gang. After some 3 to 4 hours of climbing we'll reach the Nyelela pass (4,700 m) and descend to a circular hut just below Lingshi, where we wil camp and obtain our first views of the truly mystical Dzong atop a high hill. We'll have dinner and spend the night in camp.

Day 7: Lingshi - Chebisa

Altitude 3880m. Distance 10km. Time 5 - 6 hours (Ascent: 280 meters, Descent: 410 meters).

This is a magical day. After we leave Lingshi, we'll gently climb gently to reach another delightful village right below a 300 m cliff, Gom Yu. Another hour walk brings us to a lovely little valley with a huge waterfall at one end of the Shangri La village of Chebisa, where we will have dinner and camp by the side of the river.

Day 8: Chebisa - Shomuthang

Altitude 4220m. Distance 17km. Time 6-7 hours (Ascent 890 meters, Descent 540 meters).

Today starts with quite a stiff climb through high pastures up the Gokula pass (4,320 m) before we drop through forests of dwarf rhododendron. We will climb gradually and head down to the camp near a riverbed.

Day 9: Shomuthang - Robluthang

Altitude: 4,160m. Distance 18 km. Time 6 - 7 hours (Ascent 700 meters, Descent 760 meters).

We'll begin with a long haul over the Jarela pass at 4,640 m where we once again get stunning views of the Himalayan Mountains above us. We'll drop steeply down a forest trail to the Tsarigathang valley, where herds of Takin roam, then cross a knee deep river before climbing up Robluthang where we will camp.

Day 10: Robluthang - Lemithang

Altitude 4,140m. Distance: 19km. Time 6-7 hours (Ascent 850 meters, Descent 870 meters).

This is one of the hardest days of the trek. We climb slowly up to Shinchela pass at 4,870 m. and are rewarded with stunning views of mountains, including the spectacular Gang Chen Ta at the head of the valley. On a clear day practically all the mountains on the northern border are visible. Eagles, griffin vultures, blue sheep and yaks abound in this area. We'll then descend down to camp on a lovely spot by the riverbank.

Day 11: Lemithang - Laya

Altitude 3840m. Distance 10kms. Time 4-5 hours (Ascent 60 meters, Descent 340 meters).

Today we will walk along the river, one of the tributaries of the Mochu and through a forest, then enter the village of Laya where the people are famous for their vertical stripe yak hair clothing and their conical bamboo hats. The rest of the day is spent at leisure or visiting village houses and mixing with the villagers.

Day 12: Laya (Halt)

We have a rest day at Laya and an opportunity to meet the local people.

Day 13: Laya - Koena

Altitude 3050m. Distance 19km. Time 6-7 hours (260 meters Ascent, Descent 1070 meters)

Back on the trail, we'll wind along the river valley, which offers breathtaking views of the crashing river, feeder streams and waterfalls. We'll have dinner and spend the night in camp.

Day 14: Koena - Gasa Tsachu (End of Trek)

Altitude: 2,638m. Distance 14km. Time: 6-7 hours (Ascent 900 meters, Descent 1710 meters).

Today we'll gradually climb up to Balela pass at 3,740 m and then descend to Gasa village where we'll get a spectacular sight of the Gasa Dzong perched on the hillside before dropping steeply down to the river to camp near the Hot Spring, offering a chance for a good, hot bath!

Day 15: Gasa Tsachu - Punakha

After the breakfast we will drive to Punakha and have dinner and spend the night in the hotel.

Day 16: Punakha - Thimphu

Distance 72km.

After breakfast, we'll visit Punakha Dzong situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). After lunch, we'll drive to Thimphu and enroute visit Chimi Lhakhang also called Temple of Fertility. Enjoy dinner and a night in hotel in Thimphu.

Day 17: Thimphu Sightseeing

The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, and the Dupthop Lhakhang, followed by a visit the impressive National Library, and the Painting School where traditional art is kept alive through the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls). After lunch we'll drive and view these various sights: the Traditional Medicine Institute, Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silversmiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work, Tashichho Dzong, and the Handicrafts Emporium, ending the day by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu.

Day 18: Thimphu - Paro (Departure)

Early Morning, drive to the airport and farewell.

    Exclusions

  • International air tickets
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance
  • Laundry service
  • Beverages
  • Telephone bills
  • Other extras not specified
Start your adventure here with us!

FAQ

The basics

What is trekking?

Trekking is an adventure! For the uninitiated, this active pursuit involves lengthy, multi-day walks and climbs on village and park trails. The terrain is usually fairly steep, and we will likely encounter snow at higher altitudes (those above 5,500m/18,000ft).

Is trekking for me?

We like to think trekking is for everyone who is physically fit, patient, and loves the outdoors.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

While it is not a legal requirement, we cannot overstate the importance of trekking with a licensed, experienced guide. You'll be traveling through wilderness, remote countryside, and high elevations - from an aspect of pure safety, it is highly dangerous to go it alone. Additionally, very few locals in Himalayan villages speak English. Should you get lost (and, with many paths crossing through many, many villages, this is more a likelihood than a possibility), it would be difficult to communicate directions or obtain food and shelter. Additionally, our guides are experts in Himalayan treks with an average of over 15 years trekking experience. No matter how confident you feel in your skills or knowledge, it is almost certain that we can help enhance your experience.

Who can go?

Are there any age limits for Himalayan trekking?

Nepal law requires that children under age 18 are accompanied by a parent or guardian while trekking. There's no upper limit on our adventures, as long as participants are healthy and willing!

How difficult is trekking?

It depends on the specific trek, and, to some extent, on the preferences of those trekking. We offer all sorts of treks, ranging from easy to difficult.

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

In theory, no. Anyone with robust cardiovascular capability and good stamina should be able to cope with higher elevations and lower oxygen density. Trekking or hiking experience anywhere in the world is strongly recommended for maximum enjoyment of your Himalayan adventure, however.

Preparation

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Nepal?

The best times for trekking the Himalayas are February to May, and then September to December. Unless you are trekking in rain shadow areas such as the Upper Mustang, trekking during monsoon season is going to be a very wet event. Winter isn't the optimal trekking season either, as very cold temperatures and heavy snowfall may impede crossings of high passes (treks that maintain lower elevations are accessible year-round).

Are any permits required for trekking?

Again, it depends on your specific trek. Some trekking areas require a special permit for trekking, while as others require only permits to enter conservation or national parks. Most require a Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) card. We handle all permits for you, so you have one less thing to worry about!

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Travel insurance should be considered mandatory and obtaining it is your responsibility. If you are arranging your own insurance your policy should cover rescue insurance, as well as medevac by helicopter. Many of the same agencies that sell airfare now offer travel insurance as well. We recommend ihi.com if still need a policy. If you get to Nepal and don't have insurance already we can arrange an affordable policy for you.

About the trek

How long do treks last?

Most of our Himalayan treks range from two to four weeks.

How long do we spend walking each day?

Trekkers generally walk four to six hours a day. That's between five and fifteen kilometers depending on trail conditions and the state of the weather.

Room and board

What kinds of accommodations will we utilize?

Unless you signed up for a camping trip specifically, most treks include lodge or guest house accommodation. A small minority of trekking areas may not have lodges available, and accommodation in these places will involve sleeping in tents.

What is teahouse trekking?

Teahouse trekking is a type of accommodation unique to mountain treks, in which lodging and meals are set up at local teahouses or lodges on a full-board basis.

What is camping trekking?

Camping trekking involves sleeping in tents. We provide you with full board on these treks, with meals being prepared by professional trekking cooks in a mobile camp equipped with a kitchen and adequate support staff.

Where will our drinking water come from?

Bottled water is available everywhere on established trekking routes, and most villages on the way will have locally-purified water as well. The teahouses or camping crew will supply boiled water for drinking.

Where do we eat our meals?

The most frequently-traveled Himalayan circuits feature lodges and guesthouses. Continental menus are generally available, along with soups and dishes of noodles or rice. Other routes will include more limited choices. On the most remote routes, only traditional dal bhat, curry, or instant noodle soups will be available.

Health and safety

What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! General hiking experience and comfort with the idea of multi-day hiking will also ensure you are 100% ready to trek!

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

At higher altitudes - the kind we experience frequently on our treks- your cardiac and pulmonary systems are affected by lower oxygen density. Our bodies must adjust to the mountain elevation gradually, or we can become ill. Physical symptoms can range from general breathing difficulties all the way to acute mountain sickness (altitude sickness, soroche, or "the bends"). To avoid altitude-related maladies, we pace our treks appropriately and incorporate acclimatization days throughout the itinerary. There are points throughout many treks during which trekkers may choose to either tackle additional hikes/day trips or rest and relax as their bodies demand.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun's intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize your travel insurance information to call a rescue helicopter, and you will be flown to Kathmandu or Pokhara for medical attention.

Are solo female travelers safe on Himalayan treks?

We ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. Nepal, on the whole, is both very safe and welcoming of foreign visitors. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters

What should I pack?

Your specific trek and the time of year during which you depart will greatly impact your packing list. A recommended outline of clothing and equipment is listed with each trek. In general, a down jacket, a warm fleece jacket, thermal underwear, trekking pants and shorts, and sturdy boots are recommended to wear, and a thermal sleeping bag, backpack, and camera are recommended for your kit. If you take any medication, this should obviously be a packing priority. Utilize common sense - you don't want to end up short-handed on the mountain, but overpacking is undesirable. It's worth noting that just about anything you need in the way of trekking clothing and/or equipment can be purchased or rented in Kathmandu when you first arrive.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

Comfortable, sturdy trekking shoes or boots are a must. Ideally your footwear will have Gore-Tex or similar lining, along with thick soles. This will ensure that your feet stay warm and dry, and that you are comfortable walking on rocky paths. Wool socks are recommended instead of cotton, and these too should be thick and warm.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters' ability to carry baggage depends to some extent on the trekking route and altitude in question, but the average trekking porter carries between 15 and 25kg. A camping porter carries up to 40kg. One porter is typically assigned per every two travelers.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

While not mandatory, tipping is customary and always appreciated in Nepal and on our treks. Your guides and porters will tremendously appreciate a small gratuity at the end of your trek, as these little extras go a long way towards helping their families. Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation for the team's hard work and devoted attention to your happiness.

How much money should I bring along?

Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible.. Travelers generally bring a small amount of pocket money to cover bottled water, snacks, or tea beyond your included meals, souvenirs, tips, or donations to monasteries along the route (if you are inclined to give one). Trekkers find that around $20 a day is reasonable for these extras.

What communication options exist while trekking?

It varies. Mobile coverage is expanding around the world rapidly, and the Himalayas are no different… did you know that 3G coverage is available all over Mount Everest? There is no guarantee of uninterrupted coverage, however. Most trekking routes feature local VHF phones, but on the more remote trails, a satellite phone is the only option.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Check out this link, or contact us for more information. We love hearing from you!