Laya Gasa is regarded as the most long-distance trek in Bhutan and the most scenic one as well. The place is situated at the border of Tibet and the entire trek offers some amazing views of the untouched valleys of the country. Laya Gasa trek starts from the Drukgyel in Paro and lets you follow the trail of breathtakingly beautiful alpine meadows as the high mountains pass by.
You can watch the mount Jhomolari, Tsherimgang, and the Jichu Drake on the way and as you trek through the wilderness you will be acquaintanced with the cultures of the villages in Laya. You can also spot animals like the blue sheep and Takins along the trek, which again makes it one of its kind in the country. Here’s a little guide with all the essential details about the trek that’ll convince you to plan one with your adventure buddies right away!
About Laya Gasa Trek
The Laya Gasa trek in Bhutan can be experienced through various packages, all of which include the sightseeing in the country as well. Paro, Punakha, Thimpu, and the surrounding valleys are on the list. However, this very trek stays as the center of attraction always. The entire trek offers an array of Bhutanese landscapes and its rich culture too, and without a doubt, this is the most beautiful trekking experience for everyone. As the trekking begins from the Drukgyel and through the villages, hamlets and scenic farmlands, you will be able to experience the beauty of nature in full form. The vegetation areas are different from the other as it ranges up to the alpine pasture land where the villagers take their animals for grazing.
There is also a tradition of trout fishing in the blue lake with amazing view surrounding it with the majestic mountains as well. You can encounter some magnificent animal species during the trek, like the blue sheep, and if you are lucky then you will get to see the snow leopard. Laya is the largest isolated region in the Gasa district and their lives hardly 800 people who are called Layap. These people have their own language and custom dresses too.
Best Time To Trek
The perfect time to trek in this land is, from April to June and then from September to November. The mid of September to November is the best time to view the magnificent beauty of the Jhomolari mountain and the landscape as well. You can take a look at the Laya Gasa Trek map to know in details about the place and you might get climate news from the local people and your guide too.
Cost & Duration Of Laya Gasa Trek
The duration of the trek is for 13 days. As this is a long distance one in Bhutan, the trek can also be difficult for amateur trekkers too. The cost for this hike can be less to high, but the normal ranges are, USD 3000 per person in a group of 15 to 3 and extra single supplement will cost USD 20. A solo trip might cost USD 2800. As the trek happens from April to June and in September and November the rates can go up and down based on the high and low seasons.
Things To See During Laya Gasa
There are so many things to observe and see while trekking in Bhutan and Laya Gasa is one of the best long-distance treks you can have. Here are the major things you will encounter during the entire trek.
1. Gasa Koina
From Gasa you have to trek upward and it will be through the forest and it has a 3080m ridge, then you will come downhill, which can be steeply and you have to cross the Bari la pass. This is a muddy trail and it goes deep into the fir forest and the valley will take 3 hours to reach Koina, a very small but beautiful clearing in the gorge at 3050m. You can rest here but it’s a muddy campsite, and you will find a resting shelter for tourists.
2. Gasa Hot Spring
Relax after a long walk in the hot spring of Gasa, and enjoy a bath maybe! From here you can have lunch and start your journey again to the Gasa fortress or dzong and it will be 2 hours long uphill climb. The district of Gasa consists of two remote villages Lunana, and Laya, and the places are so remote that there are no motorable routes. The village of Gasa is a small one and is situated at 2770m, with barely 10 shops in the place. You will find a school, police post, a small clinic, a forest office, and the district administration office is situated in the dzong. You can have the splendid view of the dzong which is there from medieval time, and it was built in the 17th century to protect the land from the Tibet’s invaders from the far north. You can set up an overnight camp here and in the nearest field of the town if you want.
3. Punakha Damji
During the Jomolhari Laya Gasa trek, you can visit Damji from Punakha which takes 2 to 3 hours by car. Starting from Punakha the road takes north through the beautiful countryside of agricultural fields and the tropical forests and then ends in the small village of Damji. If you want you can have a camp for the night and then start the trek on the next day. The hike will take some climbs and you will have to pass the villages and follow the valley and you will get a magnificent view of the Gasa dzong as well.
This trail comes down to the Gasa hot spring and there is a guest house for tourists too. The hot spring has five pools and the temperature ranges from mild to extremely hot. People from all over Bhutan comes to this place for a relaxing time in the pools and as you are trekking for some days this will be a reward for your hard work.
During the trek from so many places you will pass, you will come across the village of Chebisa and from here you have to cross long pastureland, and you might pass a big herd of yaks on the way. After passing the valley of Gobu la, you have to climb a little and then you can reach Shomuthang, which is situated over a river which is the tributary of Nochu River. This is the campsite and many tourists set camps in here for a one day rest.
Suggested Read: Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary: Wander Into The Wild In Bhutan
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What To Pack For Laya Gasa Trek, Bhutan
- Take a waterproof jacket and pants, as you won’t be needing heavy clothes because you will be trekking.
- Water bottles at least of 3 liters with entire capacity
- A baseball cap for the harsh sun at the high elevation
- Sunglasses will be needed while you cross the snow lines
- Hiking poles, it will be good for the joints in your legs.
- A pair of trekking shoes, and make sure they are waterproof.
- A winter hat
- A pair of winter gloves
- At the campsite don’t forget to bring a headlamp with an extra pair of batteries, and a pair of camp shoes, thermal underwears.
Tips For Laya Gasa Trek
- You will get to see the mount Jhomolhari thus prepare yourself with your camera and all other equipment.
- Try not to stop at unusual places while trekking, because it might slow down your pace and when you are traveling in a group you might fall behind.
- If you have respiratory problems in the high altitude, then take your medications beforehand.
Thus, you now know how amazing this very trek can be and you must take note from the above mentioned details of the trek of Laya Gasa to plan a trip this year easily. It will be easier with the points and you will have no problem in finding the major places to visit. So, what’s stopping you? Pick a date, pack your backpack, and head out for a trip to Bhutan with TravelTriangle right away!
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