Our most popular long-distance trek in Bhutan is the Lingshi Laya Trek, which takes you through Bhutan's remote northern border with Tibet. We are one of the few companies that offer this trip. Our 20-day itinerary is the result of many years of expertise.
The trek's main highlight is reaching Laya (3,850 meters), one of Bhutan's highest towns, located at the base of Mt. Masa Gang (7,200 meters / 23,620 feet). The route follows the Mo-Chu River from Punakha to Laya, passing past hot springs and the castle at Gasa Dzong, the district center, as well as many sorts of scenery and vegetation.
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Along the way, we'll travel through beautiful valleys, passes, and settlements, as well as wildness and abundant flora and animals. This trek will be one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life.
This beautiful trip is a longer version of the renowned Jumolhari Trek, and it provides breathtaking vistas as well as an opportunity to immerse yourself in Bhutan's wildlife. As we drive you to Jomolhari base camp, you'll have a high chance of seeing blue sheep, takins, eagles, griffin vultures, yaks, and the Blue Poppy (Bhutan's national flower) along the paths (4,115 meters).
Along the way, you'll have the chance to learn about the Layap people's unique culture (the Nomadic people of the Upper Himalayas bordering Tibet) as you spend a day mingling with them, take a bath in a natural hot spring in Gasa, visit waterfalls, and see many of Bhutan's beautiful old buildings and villages.
The trek begins in Paro and goes to the Jumolhari Base Camp. Jumolhari is one of Bhutan's most famous and biggest mountains. The path then continues to parallel the Tibetan border as it ascends Nyele La, the first of the trail's passes.
This then descends to Lingshi, the first of the trek's isolated settlements. The 500-year-old Lingshi Dzong and around a dozen monks live in this hamlet. From here, the track follows the same path for several days, traversing high peaks and passing through narrow ridges and steep valleys until it reaches Sinchey La, the trek's highest pass. The effects of altitude are clearly noticed at 5005 meters. The path begins a steady descent to Laya settlement from Sinchey La.
Laya is among Bhutan's largest and perhaps most distinctive mountain villages. And has its own dress sense, including a distinctive pointed cap worn by the women. The route descends from Laya to Gasa, which is home to some of Bhutan's greatest hot springs as well as the enormous Gasa Dzong. The route continues on to Punakha, where it ends after a day of bathing in the springs.
You will see the key western cities of Thimphu, Paro, and Punakha in addition to trekking along the northern border. Bhutan's western region is more developed than the rest of the country. All of the main government agencies, including the King's Secretariat, are located in Thimphu, the capital. Bhutan's lone airport is at Paro, and Punakha is the country's historic capital.
The Laya Lingshi Trek is Bhutan's second most challenging trek, with the Lunana Snowman Trek being the most demanding. The hike is 15 days long and includes four high-altitude passes. The walk begins in Paro and goes to the Jumolhari Base Camp. Jumolhari is one of Bhutan's most famous and biggest mountains.
4,950 m is the highest point in the area. The Laya Trek is a subset of the Lingshi Trek. We begin our trip in Drugyel Dzong, at an elevation of 2580 meters, and travel through rice fields, villages, pine forests, and through crystal clear streams and untamed rivers. Soon after, we arrive at high pastureland, where we receive our first glimpse of the high peaks.
Acute mountain sickness (AMS), the mildest form of altitude sickness, is a detrimental consequence of high altitude produced by quick exposure to low oxygen levels at high elevation. People react to high altitude in a variety of ways. Headaches, vomiting, exhaustion, disorientation, insomnia, and dizziness are some of the symptoms.
If your sole symptom is a headache, you should stop climbing and take a pain medication. This condition can be identified without testing if you have a persistent headache or other symptoms that point to acute mountain sickness.
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Cerebral edema at high altitude can make it difficult to walk in a straight path and cause mental abnormalities, hallucinations, or an inexplicable change in personality. If a person exhibits these symptoms while at a high altitude, high-altitude cerebral edema is likely. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention right once.
This trip is one of the most popular because of the numerous lonely dzongs and scattered communities, including the remarkable Laya hamlet and the Gasa hot springs. Cost of the Laya Lingshi Trek: March, April, May, September, October, and November are the busiest months. USD 4375 per person for a group of two.
Although high-altitude trekking is not possible in the spring, low-altitude walks in Bhutan's north-central and southern areas are possible. With temperatures that are lower than in the summer, the weather is ideal for walking along the winding pathways that weave their way across all of central Bhutan's hills and valleys from March to May.
Autumn is also a fantastic time to go trekking, although it only lasts from mid-October until mid-December. This is the most popular hiking season in Bhutan since there are few clouds in the sky and temperatures in the higher Himalayas are bearable.
Listed and detailed is your 20 days itinerary for the Laya Lingshi trek.
Passing over the Dragon Kingdom while arriving at Paro International Airport, which is located in a beautiful valley with monasteries and temples, as well as Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake peaks. When you arrive, you will be greeted warmly.
Taktsang, or the Tiger's Nest Temple, is the Buddhists' most renowned temple. This mystical structure is perched 800 meters above the valley floor on a sheer granite cliff. Guru Rinpoche, a tantric teacher, is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress in the 8th century and meditated in the cave around which the temple is erected. Our morning will be taken up with a trek to this temple. We will hold a special Buddhist prayer ritual in the afternoon at the majestic 1200-year-old Kyichu Lhakhang Temple to offer us good luck for the remainder of the journey.
This is the first day of your journey. We proceed to Drugyal Dzong after breakfast, where you will meet the trekking staff and begin your hike. You will arrive at the army checkpoint in Gunitsawa hamlet after 4 hours of hiking and descending. Your trek permit will be examined and endorsed at the army checkpoint. The campground is located on the other bank of the river, close to Gunitsawa.
We have to get up early today since we have to climb 700 meters and it is a lengthy journey. After breakfast, the route continues upriver through a rhododendron and blue pine woodland, leaving Shana. As we ascend in height into Jigme Dorji National Park, keep a watch out for animals and changes in vegetation. Mount Jomolhari may be seen from here if the weather is clear.
We past an army station and leave the tree line as we travel towards the high highlands, where we will be treated to a beautiful vista of high mountain ridges and snow-capped summits. After a while, we pass through Tengethang, a migratory yak herders' winter residence, and the herders' houses become a common part of the landscape. We can see the sunset on Mt. Jhomolhari (7314 m) and Mt. Jichu Drake from Jangothang, one of the most magnificent Himalayan campsites (6989 m).
Because we need to acclimate to the altitude, today is a rest day. Please feel free to explore the area.
After breakfast, we continue on our journey. As we approach Nyili La Pass at 4,870m, the first of several big passes, the path progressively ascends. The views of Mt. Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, and Tsherimgang from here are breathtaking. The Nyile La pass, at 4890 meters, is a four-hour climb. As we continue on our journey, we will pass huge yak meadows and a yak herder's hut constructed of yak wool. On a clear day, the vista of Lingshi Dzong as you descend into the Lingshi basin is spectacular.
We take our time today because it is a short stroll. In the morning, we'll go to Lingshi Dzong, which lies on a ridge and was previously known as Yugyel Dzong. Feel free to explore the region after arriving at Chebisa campground.
We continue on our trek over vast pastureland until we reach the 4350m Gombu La pass. Then we descend into a rhododendron-filled valley, passing by yak herder settlements on our way to Shakshepasa, where we camp.
Today's travel is a little more difficult because we have to climb 700 meters. We'll get an early start and head to the Jhari La pass at 4747 meters, then descend to Tsharijathang, where the valley has been designated as a Takin sanctuary and herds of Takin (Bhutan's national animal) are frequently observed. From here, we ascend to Robluthang (4160 m), where we will set up tent.
We'll have to get up early today since we have a long trek ahead of us to the Shinge La pass at 5005 meters. We'll witness Mt. Gangchenta (6840 m), the glacially sculpted Gangchhenta valley, stone homes, and Laya women dressed in traditional Laya attire with long pointed bamboo hats on their heads as we descend to Lemithang.
After breakfast, continue on our route to the west side of Laya village, which follows a small, twisting river valley. As we climb out of the woods, we'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Gangchhenta and Masang Gang (7165 m) mountains before arriving at the hamlet.
Hold a great day of relaxation and sightseeing in the hamlet, which has a community school, a hospital, an archery field, and stores.
We continue our rise and descent down the Mochhu River's river valley, avoiding natural barriers and soaking in the breathtaking vistas of the crashing river, feeder streams, and waterfalls. Following that, the trail goes to Kohi Lacha.
Today is the final significant ascent of your adventure. We descend 1500 meters after rising 700 meters to reach the Gasa settlement.
We're going to a hot spring in Gasa Tshachu, which is one of Bhutan's most popular hot springs, for a peaceful day. The hot springs are highly popular among Bhutanese from all walks of life, including visitors, due to its well-known therapeutic capabilities. It's possible that the site may be extremely busy, especially in December.
The trek's final day has arrived. Our final day begins with a drive over hills and mountains, pine and oak forests, towns, and wheat fields. You'll also get a great view of the Gasa Dzong, which is attached to the valley wall and appears to be floating in space. Our car will be waiting for you in Damji and will take you to Punakha by the high agricultural benches above the Mochhu River, via a magnificent semi-tropical gorge covered with banana trees, creepers, and various tropical vegetation till Tashithang, when we will continue driving to Punakha.
Until the 1950s, Punakha was the capital of Bhutan. When it gets too chilly in Thimphu in the winter, the central monk body relocates to Punakha. The valley is endowed with an abundance of fruits and grains due to its practically tropical temperature in the summer. The beautiful Punakha Dzong will be our first stop. Following the Dzong, we will travel to Thimphu, the capital, over the Dochu La pass (3000 m).
You'll begin your tour of Thimphu today by seeing the National Memorial Chorten, which was erected in commemoration of the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. The Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point) offers a panoramic view of the Thimphu valley as well as a Mini Zoo for Takin, Bhutan's national animal. Visit the Centenary Farmer's Market after lunch, and then travel to Paro.
You will depart for your next location after breakfast in the morning.
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