Laya Gasa is considered to be the longest distance trek and also the most beautiful trek in Bhutan. The place is located on the border of Tibet and the entire trek offers some amazing views of the untouched valleys of the country. The Laya Gasa trek starts from Drukgel in Paro and lets you follow breathtakingly beautiful alpine meadows while passing through high mountains.
You can see Mount Jhomolari, Tsherimgang and Jichu Drake along the way and as you walk through the forest, you will be introduced to the cultures of the villages of Laya. You can also spot animals like blue sheep and taquins during the trek, which again makes it one of its kind in the country. Here’s a short guide with all the essential details about the trek that will inspire you to plan one with your adventure friends in no time!
About Laya Gasa Trek
The Laya Gasa trek in Bhutan can be experienced through various packages that also include sightseeing tours of the country. Paro, Punakha, Thimphu and surrounding valleys are on the list. However this trek always remains the center of attraction. The entire trek offers a range of Bhutanese landscapes and its rich culture, and is, no doubt, one of the most beautiful trekking experiences for everyone. As the trekking starts from Drukgyel and passes through villages, hamlets and beautiful farms, you will be able to experience the beauty of nature in its fullest form. The vegetation zone is different from the others as it extends to alpine pasture lands where villagers take their animals for grazing.
There is also a tradition of trout fishing in the Blue Lake, which is surrounded by amazing views and majestic mountains. During the trek you may encounter some majestic animal species, such as blue sheep, and if you are lucky you may get to see snow leopard. Leya Gasa is the largest isolated area in the district and is home to barely 800 people, called Lap. These people also have their own language and customs and dress.
Best time to trek
The best time for trekking in this country is April to June and then September to November. The best time to see the spectacular beauty and landscape of Jhomolari Mountains is from mid September to November. You can take a look at the Laya Gasa trek map to know about the place in detail and you can also get climate related news from the local people and your guide.
Cost and Duration of Laya Gasa Trek
The duration of the journey is 13 days. Since this is a long distance trek in Bhutan, it can be difficult even for amateur trekkers. The cost of this hike can range from low to high, but general limits are, a group of 15 to 3 will cost US$3000 per person and an additional single supplement will cost US$20. A single trip can cost US$2800. As with the trek, rates can go up and down depending on the high and low season from April to June and September and November.
Things to see during Laya Gasa
There are so many things to do and see while trekking in Bhutan and Laya Gasa is one of the best long distance treks for you. Here are the major things you will encounter throughout the trek.
1. Bake everywhere
From Gasa you will have to trek upwards and it will be through the forest and it has a hill of 3080 meters, then you will come downwards, which can be steep and you will have to cross the Bari La Pass. It is a muddy track and it goes deep into the pine forest and valley, it will take 3 hours to reach Koina, which is a very small but beautiful clearing in the valley at 3050 m. You can rest here but it is a muddy campsite and you will find rest stops for tourists.
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2. Gasa Hot Spring
Relax after a long walk in the hot springs of Gasa, and maybe enjoy a bath! From here you can have lunch and resume your journey to Gasa Fort or Dzong and it will be a 2 hour long arduous climb. Gasa District includes two remote villages, Lunana and Laya, and these places are so remote that there are no motorable roads. Gasa village is small and situated at 2770 m, it has hardly 10 shops. You will find a school, police post, a small clinic, a forest office and the district administration office located in the dzong. You can get a spectacular view of the Dzong which has been there since medieval times, and was built in the 17th century to protect the land from invaders of Tibet from the far north. If you wish, you can set up night camp here and in the grounds near the city.
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3. Punakha Dam
During the Jomolhari Laya Gasa trek, you can go to Damji from Punakha, which takes 2 to 3 hours by car. Starting from Punakha, the road heads north through beautiful rural areas of agricultural fields and tropical forests and then ends at the small village of Damji. If you wish, you can camp for the night and then start the trek the next day. The walk will involve some climbing and you will have to pass through villages and follow the valley and you will also get a spectacular view of Gasa Dzong.
This trail leads to the Gasa hot spring and there is also a guest house for tourists. The hot spring has five pools and temperatures range from mild to extremely hot. People from all over Bhutan come to this place to spend relaxing time in the pool and since you are trekking for a few days this will be a reward for your hard work.
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During the trek you will pass through many places, you will come to Chebisa village and from here you will have to cross long pastures, and on the way you may cross a large herd of yaks. After crossing the valley of Gobu La, you have to climb a little and then you can reach Shomuthang, which is situated on a river which is a tributary of Nochu River. This is a campsite and many tourists camp here for a day’s rest.
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What to pack for Laya Gasa Trek, Bhutan
- Take a waterproof jacket and pants, as you will not need heavy clothing as you will be trekking.
- Water bottles of at least 3 liters with full capacity
- Baseball cap to protect from harsh sunlight at high altitude
- Sunglasses will be required when crossing the snow line.
- Hiking poles will be good for the joints of your feet.
- A pair of trekking shoes, and make sure they are waterproof.
- a winter hat
- a pair of winter gloves
- Don’t forget to bring a headlamp with an extra pair of batteries to the campsite, and camp shoes, a pair of thermal underwear.
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Tips for Laya Gasa Trek
- You will get to see Mount Jhomolhari and thus prepare yourself with your camera and all other equipment.
- Try not to stop at unusual places while trekking, as this can slow down your speed and cause you to lag behind when you are traveling in a group.
- If you have respiratory problems at high altitude, take your medicines in advance.
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Thus, you now know how amazing this trek can be and you should pay attention to the above mentioned details of the trek to Laya Gasa to plan the trip easily this year. With points it will be easier and you will have no trouble finding top places to visit. So, what’s stopping you? Pick a date, pack your backpack, and set out to visit Bhutan right away with TourTravelHotels!
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