Bhutan Laya Gasa Trekking

Bhutan Laya Gasa Trekking

Bhutan Laya Gasa Trekking starts from Punakha and offers a great variety of trekking conditions, from picturesque farmland and sub-tropical forests to alpine pastureland and high passes. This trek gets you to the hot spring of Gasa and to Laya, a high spectacular village, whose people are friendly and dress differently. This trek can be combined with Chomolhari route, making it a full circuit from West through North to central Bhutan.

Trip Details

  • Itinerary
  • Trip Info
  • Useful Info

Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival Paro: On arrival at the airport received by our representative and transfer to Paro. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02: Paro: Morning take an excursion to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger's Nest. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, the father of the Bhutanese strain of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. Taktsang was severely damaged by fire in 1998 and now has been restored in its original grandeur. After lunch, visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons and country's exquisite postage stamps. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong situated at commanding height, overlooking Paro valley. This Dzong is symbolic as the religious and secular center of all affairs of the valley. In the evening visit a traditional farm house to see what the lifestyle is like for the local people. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 03: Paro - Shana: 17 km, 5 / 6 hours/ The trek starts from Drukgyel Dzong at 2,580m with a short downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail climbs gently traversing through well maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. The route later enters an area of apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens and you reach the army post of Gunyitsawa at 2,810m. This is the last stop before Tibet. At 2,87m, just beyond Sharma Zampa, there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.


Day 04: Shana - Soi Thangthangkha: 20 km, 7/8 hours/The trail again follows Pa Chhu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. After lunch, follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, reaching to the campsite at the altitude of 3,750m.

Day 05: Soi Thangthangkha - Jangothang: 19 km, 7/8 hours/The path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a ya herder's camp. A short walk into the valley will take you to the camp at Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the view of Mount. Chomolhari and Jichu Drake is superb.

Day 06: Jangothang - Lingshi: 18 km, 7 / 8 hours/ The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the ascent up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Mount. Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsrim Khang. Then walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Nyele la pass at an altitude of 4,700m. After the pass, it's a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong. Campsite at altitude of 4,000m.


Day 07: Lingshi - Chebisa: 10 km, 5/6 hours/Proceed further passing Lingshi Dzong, perched on hilltop with a commanding view of green hills, the winding roads and magnificent peaks. The actual name of Lingshi Dzong is Yugyel Dzong. Built in 17th century it played a role in controlling travel over Lingshi La (pass) between Tibet and Bhutan. Today's walk is easy and pleasant through villages and yak herders camp. Camp by the side of a stream at 3,860m.

Day 08: Chebisa - Shomuthang: 17 km, 6/7 hours: The day begins with stiff climb to Gomby La (4,450m) then it is a long descent to a stream at 4,170m. Later the trail again climbs over a small ridge through a cedar forest. It is a long climb over the ridge, then the trail descends on a muddy path into main Jholethang valley in a deep forest of fir and birch. Afternoon, the trail traverses high above the valley floor on stream right to Chachim, a yak pasture at 4,260m. The camp at 4,250m is in a cluster of brush beside a stream at the bottom of the valley.


Day 09: Shoumuthang - Robluthang: 18 km, 6/7 hours/The trek begins with a climb to Jari La pass at altitude 4,700m then descents to Tasharijathang valley, the summer residence of rare Himalayan Takin (Bhutan's National animal). Later after crossing the stream, the trail ascends till you reach Robluthang camp at altitude of 4,200m.


Day 10: Roluthang - Limithang: 19 km, 7/8 hours/This day is long as well as tough crossing Shinjela (4,900m), the last and highest pass en route. You may be able to spot Blue Sheep high on the slopes. From Shinjela, the descent is on a rough, rocky trail that follows moraine into another glacial valley. The last part of the trek is very interesting with fascinating view of Mt. Gangchey Ta. Campsite in a meadow at 4,140m.


Day 11: Limithang - Laya: 10 km, 4/5 hours/The walk to Laya is very pleasant with wonderful views. You will pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds. Arrive at Laya village, the second highest settlement in the country at a altitude of 3,800m.


Day 12: Laya - Chamsa: 19 km, 8/9 hours/ Descend to army camp and join the Mo Chhu river. Follow the river till you cross the bridge. After the bridge it is up and down several times through juniper and fir forest until you reach the camp at Chamsa at an altitude of 3,500m.


Day 13: Chamsa - Gasa Tsachu: 14 km, 6/7 hours/ Walk for about half an hour over flat land till the Bari La (3,900m). There is a small rock cairn and a few prayer flags at the pass. The route starts down again, sometimes steeply, through a bamboo forest to a stream. Later it is downhill all the way to Gasa Tsachu. Afternoon visit Gasa village and Dzong built in 17th century. Then descend to Gasa Tsachu (hot spring) for camp at an altitude of 2,200m.


Day 14: Gasa Tsachu - Damji: 18 km, 6 hours/The path continues ascending and descending through heavily forested areas and wild orchids. Overnight camp at altitude of 2,400m.


Day 15: Damji - Tashithang: 16 km, 6 hours/Continue following the Mo Chhu river through heavily forested area till you reach Tashithang at an altitude of 1,620m. Picked up by our transport and transfer to the hotel in Punakha.


Day 16: Punakha - Thimphu: (75 km, 2.1/2 hours)/Morning visit to Punakha Dzong and Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. Then drive to Wangduephodrang visiting Dzong and local market. Afternoon drive to Thimphu for overnight stay.


Day 17: Thimphu - Paro: (55 km, 2hours)/Full day of sightseeing in Thimphu, visit to Memorial Chorten, Trashichhodzong, National Library, Arts & Crafts School, Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, Handicrafts Emporium. Evening drive to Paro for overnight stay.


Day 18: Paro - Departure: After early breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for onward flight.

Above itinerary can be customized as per your requirement.

Cost Include:

* Bhutan Visa fees
* Consultation on every aspect of preparation including physical and mental.
* All transfers during the trip.
* All meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
* Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary.
* Porters and ponies to carry all personal gear and group equipment.
* Experienced English speaking guides.
* Trekking permit and Entrance fees.

Cost Exclude:

* International flights to/from Paro/Bhutan.
* Personal medical & travel insurance.
* Tips and Gratuity.
* Any meals/snacks not mentioned in the itinerary.

Trekking in Bhutan, Tibet  and Nepal need not be considered risky affair as far as your health is concerned. Nevertheless, preventive measures such as a through medical checkup and inoculations before you start trekking can save you from unexpected hazards. Since the remote places of Nepal are not supplied with necessities that are essential for modern medical facilities and as the rescue and evacuation are measured in days, it is imperative to make a comprehensive first aid box consisting of basic drugs and accessories as part of the paraphernalia for trekking. Modern dentistry is unknown in the hill of Nepal so it is advised to have a checkup before departure from home. Tooth fillings; sometimes loosen in cold temperatures and high altitudes, so it is recommended to have them checked. Travelers are requested to bring medicine prescribed by their doctor at home. Common medicine for stomach problems, headache, and malaria is available in Kathmandu. Medicine is usually not available in remote areas. So necessary medicine is advisable to carry with you. Before going to Nepal, it is advised to get injections against typhoid, meningitis and hepatitis.

OVERCOMING ALTITUDE PROBLEM:

This is often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), which is particularly a matter of important medical consideration while trekking in the Himalayas. Altitude Sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. Early mountain sickness will manifest itself in headache, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue; etc can be encountered as initials of the sickness. The major information source on prevention and treatment of the sickness is Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) and Adventure Treks Nepal (P). Ltd. is the confide life member of it. We assure every trekker that all our guides have followed the training conducted by HRA with the understated information.

CAUSE/FACTOR OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS

1. Less Oxygen
2. Low Pressure i.e. Barometric Pressure
3. Rapid Ascent
4. Possible Dehydration
5. Hypothermia TYPE OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS

  TYPES ALTITUDE SICKNESS

1. AMS - Acute Mountain Sickness
2. HAPE - High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
3. Hace - High Altitude Cerebral Edema

SYMPTOMS

1. (AMS) ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS
Mild symptom feels like hangover/not feeling good

a. Headache
b. Fatigue/Tiredness
c. Nausea
d. Shortness of breath
e. Loss of appetite
f. Sleep disturbance
g. Dizziness

2. (HAPE) HIGH ALTITUDE PULMONARY EDEMA (Water in lungs)

a. Increasing shortness of breath even at rest
b. Severe cough-dry/Productive
c. Very tired-Unusual fatigue while walking
d. High Pulse rate i.e. 110
e. Blueness of face, lips, finger nails that means inability to transport Oxygen into the blood

3. (HACE) HIGH ALTITUDE CEREBRAL EDEMA (Water in the head)

Severe symptoms of altitude sickness
a. Severe Headache
b. Vomiting
c. Walking like a drunk (Ataxia)
d. Mental confusion/Altered mental status
e. Irritable-Does not want to be bothered by other people
f. Unconsciousness or Coma
TEST - Tandem walking test, Heel to toe step fall off from the line.

DECISION MAKING

1. Find out the main problem i.e. at altitude. Assume all problems are Altitude Sickness unless proven otherwise.
2. If it is an altitude problem with mild symptoms, stay at the same altitude until the symptoms are completely gone. Take an Aspirin tablet, try to go up but listen to your body. If symptoms are worsening, go down.

PREVENTION

1. Acclimatization: Have time for acclimatization.
2. Do not make RAPID ASCENT; don't go too fast too high.
3. No alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking.
4. Drink more fluid 3-4 ltrs a day… clean, boiled or treated water/tea/coffee/soup/juice etc.
5. Do not carry heavy packs.
6. Climb higher sleep lower.
7. Do not travel alone.

TREATMENT

1. DESCENT is the best medicine; do not wait for the Helicopter.
2. Medicine:
a. Oxygen.
b. Diamox…for AMS 125mg. Before dinner, for sleeping problem if feeling suffocated.
c. Nafedipine for HAPE
d. Steroids/Dexamethasone for HACE
3. Hyperbolic Bag - Gammow Bag
4. Golden Rules
a. Awareness of ALTITUDE SICKNESS
b. If you have mild symptoms, do not go higher. Take Aspirin.
c. If you have worsening symptoms, go down.
d. Do not leave your team member behind unattended, either trekker or porter.
5. IMPORTANT
a. Go up slowly.
b. Drink plenty of fluids (at least 3 liters per day)
c. Get all information about Altitude Sickness before your trekking tour that will make you confident to make your tour successful.

Our advice: Drink 3-4 ltr of water minimum a day, don't exhaust yourself so much and breathe deep and take rest more than usual.

Visa/Entry Permit: With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all other visitors travelling to Bhutan need a visa. Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC).

All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior the travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent.

You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.

At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

Online Regional Permit System: In order to streamline and facilitate smooth visitation by tourists from Bangladesh, India and Maldives, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan have launched the Online Permit System. The system facilitates the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered tour operators and TCB certified hotels. The facility is offered as an optional channel to process permits for visitors from the region and is applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. Visitors who use this facility will be able to obtain their permit clearances and route permits ahead of their arrival in Bhutan similar to international tourists.

Travel Requirements: All tourists (excluding Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian passport holders) who wish to travel to Bhutan require a visa and must book their holiday through a Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners. The tour operator will take care of Visa arrangements for visitors.

In keeping with the Tourism Council of Bhutan's policy of "High Value. Low Impact" tourism a Minimum Daily Package is required for tourists. To learn more about the Minimum Daily Package, please follow the link below:

Getting Into Bhutan: The Kingdom of Bhutan remained largely cut off from the rest of the world up until the early 1960’s. Entering the country was difficult as it was only accessible by foot from two main entry points, one in the North and another from the South. The Northern route was through Tibet, crossing high mountain passes that were inaccessible throughout the winters. The second entry route from the South came through the plains of Assam and West Bengal. The high frozen passes in the North and the dense jungles in the South made it extremely difficult to enter the country.
However, carefully planned economic development has made the country much more accessible and there are now a network of roads entering and traversing the country, as well as one international and multiple domestic airports.

Today the main roads entering the country are through Phuentsholing in the south, linking Bhutan with the Indian plains of West Bengal through the border towns of Gelephu, in the central region and Samdrup Jongkhar in the east, that link Bhutan with the Indian state of Assam.

Travel by Land: Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists.

The town of Phuentsholing in south-west is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport at Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, you begin your journey to Thimphu, the capital city with travel time of about six hours for the 170 km stretch.

Gelephu, in south-central Bhutan, is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 kms from Thimphu and the journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. One will have to traverse across three districts and the travel time will be about ten hours.

The district of Samdrup Jongkhar in south-east Bhutan borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150 kms away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati is about three hours. Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, and from there over the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang and then finally into the capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 kms and will take you a minimum of three days to reach Thimphu.

Travel by Air: There are flights to destinations that include Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.

Paro is situated at a height of 2,225m (7300ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,876?m (16,000?ft). At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. There are also domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.

Flying into Bhutan’s Paro International Aiport is typically an exciting experience as the descent into Paro valley brings you closer to the mountain tops than most other flights in the world. The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting ones as the aircraft passes over four of the five highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you soar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga at their best.

Payment System in Bhutan: Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) It is at par with the Indian rupee which is widely accepted in the country.

ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard. In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.

Guides: There are over 1000 licensed and active tour guides working in the country.
In order to ensure that visitors receive high quality professional service, every guide must complete a training course. Guides are trained to specialize in either cultural or adventure tours. Many guides complete language courses in German, Japanese, Thai and other languages so that they can easily communicate with guests and all are proficient in English. All tour operators must employ only registered and certified guides.


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