Program Lingshi - Laya Trekking
Price on request
Transport, Trekking-Crew, english speaking tourguide, 3 meals per day, overnight stay, admission to places of interest according program, visa
Flights, drinks, tips for driver, tourguide, trekking-crew
Duration: 20 days/19 nights
Difficulty level: moderate
Overnight stay: During trek in tents, otherwise in traditional and comfortable hotels
Recommended season: April to June, August to October
- Gorgeous views
- Exciting encounters with nomads and mountain people
- Dzong in Punakha
- Hot springs in Gasa
- Hike on Chele la pass
- Tiger's Nest
These trek starts from Paro to Jhomolhari camp and through first high pass onwards to Lingshi and Laya, and finally come out of Gasa. The trek is an extension of Jhomolhari trek. It offers a diverse flora and fauna, as well as good opportunity to spot blue sheep, blue poppy (National Flower of Bhutan), Takin (National Animal of Bhutan) and other species of birds and animals. The treak leads you through the foot of sacred mountain Jhomolhari, Tseringang, Tiger Mountain and remote villages Lingshi and Laya where people mainly depend on yak and its product. The inhabitants here live a nomadic life.
"If the path leads to the sacred mountains, then do not go with the legs but with the heart.”
Arrival in Paro
On a clear weather, flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, it is a breathtaking journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the kingdom. Upon arrival at Paro you will immediately notice the transparent purity of the air and the absence of noise. After the Immigration and customs formalities, you will be welcomed by your local host and the tour guide from Druk Eye Tours & Travels.
If there is enough time, we shall visit the Paro Rinpung Dzong. Its setting and its spacious upper courtyard and prayer halls are filled with a simple, quite and stately spiritual power. The dzong’s correct name, Rinpung Dzong means ‘a fortress on a heap of jewels’. After visiting the dzong we will walk down to cross the ancient cantilever bridge over the Paro Chu (river of Paro). Welcome Dinner and overnight stay in Hotel in Paro.
Hike to Tiger's Nest
Taktsang, Bhutan’s most famous monastery, and one of the most venerated pilgrimage sites in the Himalayan Kingdom, The trip is an uphill walk of about 2 and half hours. We will be walking firstly through the pine forest and as we get higher the vegetation consists mainly of Oak. Taktsang Monastery is the most famous of Bhutan’s many monasteries. Taktsang literally means – Tiger’s nest. This monastery was built in the 1600s and clings to a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900m above the valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, also known as Guru Padmasambhawa in the form of Dorji Drolo arrived at this site on the back of a flying Tigress from a place called Khenpajong which is in kurtoe, Lhuntse, to subdue the eight evil spirits who were preventing the propagation of Buddhism in that area. An accidental fire destroyed the monastery in 1998; but many of the precious relics and treasures were retrieved from the ruins. It has recently been rebuilt in its original form.
After lunch we shall visit Kychu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and the most important temples in Bhutan. It is said to have been built in 659 by the Tibetan Buddhist king called Songtsen Gampo, to pin down the trouble-making ogress whose body is so large that it covers Bhutan and most of the eastern Tibet. This Lhakhang contains a 5 meters high statue of Guru Rimpoche and another of Tara, who represents one of the wives of the Tibetan Buddhist king Songtsen Gampo. Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Hike on Chele la pass
Chele la (elevation 3,988 meters) is considered to be one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan. A two hour hike through pine and rhododendron forests will take you up to this peaceful nunnery set high in the mountains with stunning views all around. From there the driver will pick us up. Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Drukgyel - Shana (2890m)
Estimated walking time: 5 hr
Altitude gain: 310m / Altitude loss: 80m
Take a short drive from Paro to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong, a wonderful place to begin your trek. Your trekking staff and pack animals will meet you here. Walk through the dirty road along the wide and rich cultivated valley following the Paro Chu. Throughout the valley there are beautiful traditional Bhutanese farm houses. Crossing the farm houses you reach Hedi Gompa which is famous and very old monastery. Pushing further on the valley widens and you finally reach a military camp where the trekking permit is checked. Now you’re half an hour walk will take you to your camp of the day, Sharna at an elevation of 2890m.
Shana - Thangthangkha (3610m)
Estimated walking time: 7-8hr
Altitude gain : 685m
The trail continues its gradual climb alongside of Paro Chu through conifers and rhododendrons until you enter the Jigme Dorji National Park which is marked by a Sharna bridge and a chorten on the other side. Continuing the trail you reach a Shing Karapa (3110m) and soon from here we reach a junction to Tremo La the ancient trade route to Tibet. After some hours cross a big bridge, and a short climb will take you to a second bridge at the confluence of Paro chu and Ronse Ghon Chu. From you will have a beautiful glimpse of the Jhomolhari(7314m) to the north and several other snowy peaks. Now your camp Soi Thangthanka at elevation of 3575m is just 30min walk.
Jhomolhari Base camp (4080m)
Estimated walking time: 4-5hr
Altitude gain : 469m
We continue following Paro River as the valley begins to widen, opening to a spectacular area surrounded by high ridges and snowcapped peaks. A few yak-herding villages are based in this area, be aware because some yaks are notorious. The day is not so long but because of an altitude gain, your pace might be slower. Jangothang (4040m) is surrounded by stone Chortens below a ruined fortress with Jhomolhari at a distance.
At the foot of the goddess Jhomo (Acclimatization Day) (4080m)
Jangothang is one of the most spectacular camping places in the entire trek to enjoy the sunrise. Chain of snow capped peaks form the eastern side of Paro River has put up here. The site gives you one of the best views of mighty Jhomolhari the second highest mountain of Bhutan and Jichu Drake (6989). Both the mountains remain unclimbed in the history of Bhutan and remains off limits to the mountaineers. You can also go around the village or walk around to see the yak herders and trout filled lakes or do some cleaning in the stream close by.
Jhomolhari Base camp to Lingshi
Estimated walking time: 5-6hr
Altitude gain : 845m / Altitude loss : 880m
Continue walking north from your camp and cross the river over a log bridge and your steep climb to the Nglele La pass begins. Nglele La at 4890m is the first high and very windy pass of the trek, the pass gives you the view of Gangchenta to the east. As you descend from the pass you will also see Masang Gang in the far distance. Now the trail is smooth and leads you to the viewing point of Lingshi Dzong. As you descend the the powerful solitary Lingshi Dzong gets closer and closer and you are finally at the camp. The Lingshi village is below the Dzong and it has nine months of winter and a brief summer. Village has 118 household and about 400-500 people. The government of Bhutan has built a school and a health unit to the inhabitants here.
Lingshi - Chebisa
Estimated walking time: 8hr
Altitude gain : 450m / Altitude loss : 440m
The trail traverses high above the river and then the path descends to cross small stream. This area is the hub of many plants of medicinal values. After 1hr you reach a cairn with some prayer flags on a ridge called Tale La (4140m). From here the track descends to a village called Gangyu, meaning village on the hill, which is located below the steep cliff. Leaving Gangyu, we cross a small pass from where a beautiful village of Chebisa could be seen from here do not miss the water fall at the end of the valley. After the village a stiff and steep climb takes you to a pass called Gombu La (4440m) during the climb you might spot some herds of blue sheep and bearded vulture. From the pass the valley opens up, covered with rhododendron forest that begins to descend.
Chebisa - Shomuthang
Estimated walking time: 6-7hr
Altitude gain : 540m / Altitude loss : 890mThe hike starts with a steep climb. En-route to the pass of Gogu La (4440m) keep your eyes open for herds of blue sheep. We cross a river and find a nice place for a picknick. After lunch the next climb is awaiting. Our camp is beside a river in Shomuthang.
Shomuthang – Robluthang (4160m)
Altitude gain: 940m / Altitude loss: 785m
The first 1hr or two you will have a good trail through which the valley slowly fades away and you come to a steep climb with many switch backs to Jare La (4785m). Jare La is the pastureland demarcation for Lingshi and Laya yak herders. En-route to the pass keep your eyes open for herds of blue sheep and sometimes even snow leopard are spotted in this area. The pass is also one of the best top to see many snow capped mountains. From here with a steep descent leads you to the forest mixed with rhododendron, spruce, fir, oaks and several other species. You will also encounter several yaks and black tents which belong to the yak herders. In a short while you will reach a place called Tsharijathang where several stream and valley meet, crossing the Tsharijathang Chu and a steep 40min climb will lead you to campsite Robluthang(4160m).
Robluthang – Limithang (4140m)
At the foot of the "Tiger Mountain"
Estimated walking time: 6-7hr
Altitude gain : 840m / Altitude loss : 840m
Today will be a long and exhausting day. As soon as we leave the camp we climb a swampy trail which later opens up in serpentine path leading up to about 4,400 meters. Here we come into a large glacial valley which leads us toward east and finally to today’s pass. As you continue your trail you will come across a steam with a view of snow capped mountain at the distance. From here you have a steep climb to Sinche La (5000m) pass which will be marked by cairns and prayer flags. The pass is filled with the vista of great Tiger Mountain (6840m) in the north. You will also have panorama several other mountain including Masang Gang (7190m) and Black mountain ranges. Descending over a rocky and steep trail enjoying the view of some enormous moraine and glacial lakes will lead you to a nice and open grassy field. Pushing further on you will come to a spot form where there is a good view down to the glacier form Tiger Mountain. From here a short steep descent will lead you to a river from where your campsite, Lingmethang (4160m) is about 20min through a beautiful cedar forest.
Limithang - Laya (3800m)
Estimated walking time: 4hr
Altitude loss : 360m
Continue your trek over the cedar and the fir forest. After few hours cross the river where you will have a stunning view of Tiger Mountain and with few small ups and downs you will have the view of Laya village which appears before you with Tsendagang peak (7000m). The Laya village is part of the Jigme Dorji National Park and the people here are very unique to ordinary Bhutanese. Layap women wear a distinctive dress made up of yak’s hair and sheep wool. A black skirt with brown vertical stripes, a black jacket, and a special conical bamboo hat with much decoration hanging from the back of the hat.
Exploring Laya (Rest day in Laya)
Having walked tirelessly today is the day where you have some rest with short hikes around the village. The hot stone baths is also available in the village on demand.
Laya – Koina (3050m) / Champsa (3700m)
Estimated walking time: 6hr
Altitude loss : 560m
As you leave Laya you come down to confluence two large river both fed by Masang Gang glacier. On the other side is Take Hankhar the army camp where your trekking permit will be checked. Continue your descend following the river, after crossing two cantilever bridges follows a several steep climb through negotiating cliffs. At the end of the final climb the trail rounds a ridge into a side valley with Koina River and campsite Koina (3240m).
Koina - Gasa (2270m)
Estimated walking time: 6hr
Altitude gain : 660m / Altitude loss : 1680m
The day begins with 3hr climb until you reach Bari La 3900m along the bamboo forest and several small streams. From Bari La you have a steep descend of 3hr which opens into a small Gasa town infront of giant Kang Bum (6500m). Gasa is marked by several small shops and restaurant. The district is famous for hot spring which is about an hour downstream from Gasa.
Gasa – Punakha
Today we say goodbye to the trekking crew. Your transport will be waiting here to transfer you to Punakha (drive 4-5hr). Overnight Hotel in Punakha.
Punakha - Thimphu
Punakha is the ancient capital of Bhutan and also the winter residence of the central monk body. Visit Punakha Dzong which is located on the island of the Pho - Chu (male) river and the Mochu (female) river. In the afternoon, we will drive to Punakha through Dochula Pass (3,088m). On clear weather, the view of the spectacular Himalayan Mountain ranges can be seen. Visit the beautiful 108 chortens built on the hill by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo for the well being of His Majesty the King, country and the people of Bhutan. Overnight Hotel in Thimphu.
Thimphu - Paro
The capital city of Thimphu lies in the broad fertile valley of the Wang Chu (river) at an altitude of 2380m. Once a rustic village, Thimphu now has a population of over 100,000 people. In the morning we shall first visit the Memorial Chorten an impressive monument with its golden spires shining in the sun. The Memorial Chorten was built in 1974 in memory of the third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Next we will visit the National institute of Zorig Chusum and National institute of Tradional Medicine where the children are being trained in all 13 different Arts and Crafts. We will also visit the National Library, which was established in late 1960s by the queen mother mainly to conserve the literary treasures, which forms a significant part of Bhutan’s cultural heritage. In the afternoon we drive to Paro. Overnight Hotel in Paro.
Departure from Airport Paro
Depending upon our flight timing we say farewell to Bhutan and have a safe journey home or to other exciting destinations. Tashi Delek.
(subject to change)