19-day Classic Laya Trek offers you a luxury of experiencing the most amazing trekking adventure along the off the beaten path with plenty of acclimatization. Reckoned synonymous to warmth hospitality and a dotted trekking destination, Laya is a perfect hub to capture a complete picture of Bhutan; you can taste Bhutan’s famous butter tea, yak milk and local brewed wine, watch cultural program and remain mute witness to the authentic Bhutanese culture and custom.
En route to Laya the trekking trail weaves past Shana camp, Soi Thangthangkha, Jangothang, Lingshi, Chebisa, Shomuthang, Robluthang and Limithang. You can not help yourself soak in the tranquility and exotism of nature. Further ahead, you trek along Koina, Gasa Hot spring, Goen Damji and Tashithang on a network of well-maintained and rock-strewn trails. Each of these destinations has its own distinct character: unique geographical features, surreal mountain vegetation, quaint hamlets, dzongs, open pastures, indigenous people, art and history are juxtaposed amid the seclusion and simplicity of Bhutan. Hot spring bath at Gasa Tshachu is an additional treat that makes your trek more memorable and undeniably worthwhile.
Day 01 ARRIVE PARO BY DRUK AIR
Day 02 A DAY HIKE TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY
Day 03 DRIVE TO DRUGYEL DZONG AND TREK TO SHANA CAMP
Day 04 TREK FROM SHANA TO SOI THANGTHANGKHA
Day 05 TREK FROM SOI TO JANGOTHANG
Day 06 A REST DAY AT JANGOTHANG
Day 07 TREK FROM JANGOTHANG TO LINGSHI
Day 08 TREK FROM LINGSHI TO CHEBISA
Day 09 TREK FROM CHEBISA TO SHOMUTHANG
Day 10 TREK FROM SHOMUTHANG TO ROBLUTHANG
Day 11 TREK FROM ROBLUTHANG TO LIMITHANG
Day 12 TREK FROM LIMITHANG TO LAYA
Day 13 A REST DAY IN LAYA
Day 14 TREK FROM LAYA TO KOINA
Day 15 TREK FROM KOINA TO GASA HOT SPRING
Day 16 TREK FROM GASA HOT SPRING TO GOEN DAMJI
Day 17 TREK FROM DAMJI TO TASHITHANG & DRIVE TO PUNAKHA
Day 18 DRIVE FROM PUNAKHA TO PARO VIA THIMPHU
Day 19 TRANSFER TO AIRPORT FOR DEPARTURE
Accommodations at all places with meals Transfers and sightseeing by a deluxe vehicle Bhutan Govt. Royalty Tourism Development Fee Visa Fee An english speaking guide throughout the tour Entrance fees to the monuments Complete trek arrangement as per the itinerary All applicable taxes
EXCLUDED: International and internal flight Personal insurance, evacuation and medical expenses of any kind Expenses of personal nature like bar bills, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
ARRIVE PARO BY DRUK AIR
Arrive Paro by Druk air BAe 146-100 series, the only national carrier. The flight offers you beautiful view of mountains and landscapes. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be received by Our members. Afternoon / evening time at leisure. Overnight Kichu Resort..
A DAY HIKE TO TAKTSANG MONASTERY
DAY hike to Taktsang monastery. Horses can be arranged with an extra US $ 5/- The hike which is all the way uphill takes about 2 /3 hours through villages and pine forests. The monastery which clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the Paro valley was devastated by fire in 1998 but the Royal Government has taken immediate steps to restore the monastery to its original structure. It is believed that the great saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley into Buddhism. During the end of the 17 century a monastery was built on the spot where the saint meditated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time. Stroll back to Resort..
DRIVE TO DRUGYEL DZONG AND TREK TO SHANA CAMP
Drive to Drugyel Dzong where the trek begins. The path goes upstream of the Pachu river through villages gradually ascending to 2800 meters at Shana camp. Walking time 5/6 hours..
TREK FROM SHANA TO SOI THANGTHANGKHA
Shana to Soi Thangthangkha. The trail again follows the Pachu river ascending through pine, oak and spruce forest. Lunch will be served near a wooden bridge. The camp is at an altitude of 3800 meters near a stone shelter. Walking time 7/8 hours. .
TREK FROM SOI TO JANGOTHANG
Soi to Jangothang. Climb slowly for a while till you reach an army camp. Then follow the river above tree line with stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a Yak herders camp. A easy walk will reach you to Jangothang at an altitude of 4050 meters. The view of Chomolhari (7320 meters) and Jichu Drake (6900
meters) is superb. Both the mountains are still virgin peaks. Walking time 4/5 hours..
A REST DAY AT JANGOTHANG
Halt at Jangothang. Explore the surrounding areas like Tshophu lake, visit Yakherders or simply relax..
TREK FROM JANGOTHANG TO LINGSHI
Jangothang to Lingshi. The trail follows the stream for half hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Climb up the ridge and enjoy stunning views of Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshrim Khang mountains.Than walk through the wide open valley sometimes coming across herds of blue sheep. The climb upto the Nyele la pass 4700 meters is not too difficult and the view is breathtaking. After the pass its a gradual descend and through the valley with beautiful views on all side. Nearing the camp you will see the Lingshi Dzong perched ontop of a hill with commanding view of the valley. Arrive camp at 4100 meters near a stone shelter. Walking time 6/7 hours..
TREK FROM LINGSHI TO CHEBISA
Lingshi to Chebisa. Walk pass the Lingshi Dzong and magnificent peaks. Today is a very pleasant walk through villages, yak herders camps and keep a sharp eye on herds of blue sheep that looks like rock boulders on the mountain side.. lunch will be served at scenic Goyuna village. A short walk after lunch will reach you to Chebisa village at an altitude of 3900 meters. Walking time 4/5 hours. .
TREK FROM CHEBISA TO SHOMUTHANG
Chebisa to Shomuthang. ToDAY begins with a stiff climb up a ridge to Gobu la pass 4600 meters taking nearly 3/4 hours to the top but rewarded with magnificent views of the Himalayas. This is a blue sheep area so always keep a sharp eye. After the pass descend through rhododendrons bushes and lunch will be served at a ideal spot. The path goes up down crossing streams and Yak herders camps. Arrive camp at 4250 meters. Walking time 7/8 hours..
TREK FROM SHOMUTHANG TO ROBLUTHANG
Shomuthang to Robluthang. The trek starts with a climb to Jari la pass 4650 meters. Then descend all the way through alpine forest and rhododendron shrubs to
Tsharijathang a summer feeding ground for the rare Takins (national animal of Bhutan). During summer/monsoon the path is all wet so be prepared to get wet as the small wooden bridges are all washed away. After crossing the stream the trail ascends for a while till you reach the camp at 4300 meters. Walking time 7/8 hours..
TREK FROM ROBLUTHANG TO LIMITHANG
Robluthang to Limithang. ToDAY will be a long climb up to Shinje la pass at 4950 meters. The view of Gangchey ta mountain 6800 meters from the pass is breathtaking. From the pass descend all the way with a wider view of the mountain. Arrive Limithang a wide open valley and summer grazing ground for the yaks of the Laya people. Camp at 4100 meters. Walking time 7/8 hours..
TREK FROM LIMITHANG TO LAYA
Limithang to Laya. Wake up with great view of Gangchey Ta mountain in front of you. The walk to Laya is pleasant passing through damp forest filled with moss and singing birds. Arrive Laya village the second highest settlements in the country at an altitude of 3850 meters. Walking time 4/6 hours..
A REST DAY IN LAYA
Laya halt. Explore the village by visiting the home of the laya people. Every home will welcome you with smiling faces and there is no need for invitation. A cup of butter tea, yak milk, Chang (local brewed wine made from wheat or barley) any of your choice will be offered. They are very friendly people and will happily pose for photographs. The Laya women have a dress that is unique in Bhutan. They wear the conical bamboo hats decorated with turquoise and silver ornaments and dark yak wool dress. If the group is interested in a cultural dance program by the Laya people it can be arranged..
TREK FROM LAYA TO KOINA
Laya to Koina. Trek down to the army base camp and follow the river crossing small streams. During the winter months you will see the rare Takins grazing on the bamboo shoots. The trail is up and down. Camp will be near a river next to a stone shelter at 3400 meters. Walking time 5/6 hours..
TREK FROM KOINA TO GASA HOT SPRING
Koina to Gasa Hot spring. The trail ascends for some time and gradually to the Bamela pass at 3750 meters. The path is all the way down hill till the camp. During monsoon the trail is filled with leeaches but it is surprising not finding any leeaches near the hot spring. The hot spring was discovered by Guru Rinpoche and it is believed that who has faith in him can cure sickness which was impossible by modern medicene. The spring has a small shop selling beer imported from India and is a sure way to relax after a long trek. Camp altitude at 2200 meters. Walking time 6/7 hours..
TREK FROM GASA HOT SPRING TO GOEN DAMJI
Hot Spring to Goen Damji. The walk begins through semi tropical vegetation filled with wild orchids crossing rivers and streams. Walking across huge suspension bridges and one bridge is over 150 meters in height which is all a part of the thrill. It is a easy walk and you can take your time in admiring the scenic beauty of the country side. Camp at 1850 meters. Walking time 4/5 hours..
TREK FROM DAMJI TO TASHITHANG & DRIVE TO PUNAKHA
Damji to Tashithang. ToDAY is the last DAY of trekking. Continue walking gradually down hill following the Mochu river through heavily forested area till you arrive Tashithang at 1550 meters. The Intrek bus will be waiting and proceed for 1 hour to Punakha. Visit the 17 centuary dzong and drive 45 minutes to Wangdue Kichu resort. Relax and enjoy the modern comfort..
DRIVE FROM PUNAKHA TO PARO VIA THIMPHU
Drive 4 hours to Paro via Thimphu. On arrival in Paro commence sightseeing. Overnight at Kichu resort..
We find it very important that our travelling contributes to the preservation of Nepal’s fragile and beautiful nature. We encourage Kipling Travels and Explore Himalaya to start working with different tea-houses / lodges and hotels on sustainability initiatives- like waste recycling, solar heating etc.