Laya Bhutan trek

Laya Hilander Trek

Compare to the other treks this one of the tougher trekking. The actual number of days of trekking is 15 days. There will be two days of halt in between at Lingshi and Gasa. This trek is an extension of the Jhomolhari trek and takes you to a maximum elevation of 5005m above sea level. One can have the most enchanting views of the mountain ranges taking you through diverse flora and fauna, including a good opportunity to spot the blue sheep. You can also see the national animal, Takin and blue poppy, Bhutan’s national flower. Chances of spotting snow leopard are rare but not impossible. Yaks will be accompanying you through most part of the trek. This trek continues towards the east rather than turning towards Thimphu valley. It takes you to Laya village at an altitude of 13,000 feet where you will see the unusual culture of Layaps. A days halt at a natural hot spring in Gasa will ease you of your body aches and pains after a long trek.

Max Elevation: 5005 M

Standard: Medium-Hard

Season: April to June and mid-Sept to mid-Nov


Day 01

Arrive at Paro. 2,280M.

A flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchen Junga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsrim Khang. The first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After Customs and Immigrations formalities, you will be welcomed and received by Tour Bhutan representative, who will escort you to the hotel. After lunch/Brief refreshment, visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) located on a promontory overlooking the valley. The building was originally built as a watchtower for the Dzong. It now houses a fine collection of national costumes and fabrics, an extensive gallery of thangkas, impressive stamp gallery, showcasing armor and silverware. Visit Ringpung Dzong, (the fortress of the heap of Jewels built in the 17th century) which houses the office of the district governor and district monastic body. Walk down the stone path and through the traditional wooden bridge, which is one of the fine specimens of Bhutanese architecture and explore Paro village town. O/n Hotel.

Day 02

Acclimatization Hike to Paro Taktsang (2,950m).

After breakfast, drive to Drugyal Dzong, which is 16 Kms away from the town. The Dzong though in ruins played a very important role in defending the valley from Tibetan Invasion. The word Drugyal means “Victories Bhutanese” and it was built to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan forces. Drive back to Ramthangka to hike up to the view point of Taktsang (Tiger’s nest) (2950m). The round trip will take about three hours. After a brief refreshment at Taltsang cafeteria, you can take a walk little higher to have a closer view point of Taktsang monastery. Legend says that in the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche visited and meditated here for some time. The place now is one of the holiest pilgrim sites for the Mahayana Buddhist. Lunch at the Taktsang Cafeteria, after lunch walk back to the car and drive back to Hotel. On the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu temple built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gambo. IN the evening explore the Paro village town. O/n hotel.

Day 03   Paro – Shana. 17 Km, walking times 5 - 6 hours.

Drive up to Drugyal Dzong where the road ends. The trek begins from here, following the Paro River gently uphill through rice paddy terraces, apple orchards, and forest, passing the village houses. Overnight at camp 2,870m.

Day 04

Shana – Soi Thangthangkha. 22 Km. walking times 6 - 7 hours.

The trail again follows Pa-chu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. After lunch follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, and reaching to the camp. Overnight Camp 3630m.

Day 05

Soi Thangthangkha – Jangothang. 19 Km, walking time 5 hours.

The trail today gains elevation and you will be comfortably worn out at day’s end. The trail leads bypassing the array post and the valley begins to widen and come by the winter house of yak herder where hot lunch will be served in one of the house. A short walk in the valley reaches you to the camp at Jangothang.  Unparalleled views of snow Peak Mountain form the eastern side of the valley. You are in the most spectacular camp spot in the entire Himalayan range. You are truly in the High Himalayas , Camp beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mt, Jumolhari 4,090m.

Day 06

Rest day at Jangothang. (Optional walk around).

Explore with stupendous day hike with choice of oneself to the direction of Mt. Jhomolhri, Jechu Drake or to Tsophu (lake).

Day 07

Jangothang – Lingshi. 18 Km. walking times 5- 6 hours.

The trail gradually climbs across Nyili-La pass 4,890m. Our highest point of the trek Feelings of great accomplishments will arise when you see prayer flags aflutter at Nyile La. It tends to be windy at the pass. After the pass it’s a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp. You will have a great view of Lingshi Dzong further along the trail. It’s also possible to see blue sheep and musk deer. Tserim Gang Mountain and glaciers are at the north end of the Lingshi valley, Overnight camp 4,010m. The Jomolhari Trek will give you unsurpassed beauty and memories for a lifetime.

Day 08   Lingshi – Chebisa. 12 km. walking times 3-4 hours.

 We continue on the trail past Lingshi dzong on its hilltop, enjoying exciting views of green hills, the Winding River and magnificent peaks as we walk. It is an easy day, and pleasant walk through villages and yak herders’ camp. After lunch, a short walk takes us to Chebisa village 3850m.where we camp by the side of a stream.

Day 09

Chebisa – Shomuthang. 17 km. walking times 6 - 7 hours.

Today begins with a stiff climb of nearly four hours up a ridge to Gugu -la 4,440m. We descend from the pass through rhododendrons to our lunch place. We cross the stream after lunch, and continue along the up and down path, through rhododendron forests and yak herders’ camp, occasionally sighting flocks of blue sheep as we walk. Camp site is at an altitude of 4,260m.

Day 10

Shomuthang – Robluthang. 18 km. walking times 6-7 hours.

Today, your walk is little strenuous, it is advisable to start a little early. After crossing the Jerela (pass) Alt. 4,700m, we descend from here to Tasharijathang valley, the summer grazing ground of the rare Himalayan taken ( Bhutan’s national animal). We may have to ford the stream here, as the footbridge is frequently washed away. After crossing to the left bank of the stream, the trail ascends to Robluthang (4,200m) where we set up our camp for the night.

Day 11

Robluthang – Lemithang. 19 km. walking times 7 - 8 hours.

We start the day with a long climb up to Shinje – la pass 4,900m, enjoying stunning mountain views from the path. From the pass, we descend to valley of Lemithang. The path is quite narrow, and we may have to ford the stream again and get wet. The last part of today’s trek is a rather a scramble down a steep path, with the compensation of splendid views of Gangchenta peak 6,840m along the way. Overnight campsite at 4140m on the flat ground above the river in a forested area, with Gangchenta towering directly above us to the north.

Day 12

Lemithang – Laya. 10 km. walking times 3 – 4 hours.

In the morning we wake to a superb view of gangchenta peak in front of our camp. The walk to Laya is very pleasant with wonderful views along the way. We pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds. Campsite is on a high flat bench above the Laya village 3,850m.

Day 13

Rest day at Laya.

Today we explore the village. The people in this village are very interesting, especially the woman, whose plain black yak wool garments are set off by elaborate necklaces and conical bamboo hats decorated with turquoise and silver ornaments.

Day 14

Laya – Koeina. 19 km. walking times 7 - 8 hours.

Today the trail winds up and down along the river valley avoiding natural obstacles and affording breath-taking views of the crashing river, feeder streams and waterfalls. Campsite 3,800m.

Day 15

Koeina – Gasa Tshachu. 14 km. walking times 6 - 7 hours.

Today after you cross the Babela pass (Alt.3740m), your trail is all the way down to Gasa Tshachu. We take lunch at Gasa village (2,700m), afterwards visiting the village and Gasa Dzong. The Dzong was built in the 17th century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, to protect the valley against the Tibetan invaders. We then descend to Gasa Tshachu (hot spring), where we set up our camp 2,200m.

Day 16

Gasa Tsachu (hot spring) rest day. After a long trek, this is the place to relax! Enjoy a hot bath.

Day 17

Gasa Tsachu – Geon Damji. 18 km. walking times 5 - 6 hours.

After a short climb, the trail winds through the rolling hills and passes through the pine and oak forests, villages and wheat fields. You will also see a beautiful view of the Gasa Dzong glued to the valley wall seeming to float in space. Campsite near Damji village at an altitude 2,280m.

Day 18

Geon Damji – Tashithang – Punakha (1,350M).

16 km. walking times 5 - 6 hours. Today is our last trekking day. The trail descends through heavy forest, following the course of the Mo Chu, till reaching the road head at Tashithang (1,620m). From there, you will be pick-up and drive down along the valley to Punakha. O/N hotel.

Day 19

Punakha – Wangdi Phodrang – Thimphu. 93 km & 3 hrs drive.

After breakfast, visit Punakha Dzong, the former capital of Bhutan. Now serving as the district administrative center and also the winter residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot) Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 and is beautifully located in between the two rivers called Pho (male) and Mo (female) chhu (river). The first historical National Assembly was also held in the Dzong in 1953. After the visit, drive to Wangdi Phodrang en-route visit Chimi Lhakhang, which is located on the hilltop. The temple is also known as ‘temple of fertility’. The hike will take you through village and the rice field about 30minutes from the main road. Visit Wangdi Dzong, this Dzong was founded by Zhabdrung in 1639. It is situated on the hill with a commanding view of the valley. It is believed that the protective deity, Yeshi Gonpo told Zhabdrung that if he builts a dzong on the ridge, he would be able to bring the whole country under his power. Explore Wangdi town and after lunch drive back to Thimphu. O/N hotel.

Day 20

Thimphu – Full day sightseeing.

 In the morning, visit National Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the late King. National Library, it has a vast collection of ancient manuscripts and religion art facts. Institute for Zorig Chusum (Bhutanese arts and crafts school) where students are taught painting, calligraphy, embroidery, wood carving, sculpture etc. Folk Heritage is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibits demonstration, educational programmes and documentation of rural life. National Institute of Traditional Medicine, the complex has the traditional medicine production unit, the treatment hospital and conducts training courses for practitioners. Bhutanese Traditional paper factory, to see paper process in which the bark of two Himalayan shrubs; Daphne and edgeworthia undergoes a multi-stepped process to produce paper of excellent quality. The Bhutan Postal Office, to see the famous stamps of Bhutan. Handicrafts emporium, to see the Bhutanese hand-woven textiles and other crafts. O/N hotel.

Day 21

Thimphu – Paro (2,280m) 55 km & 1hour 15 min drive.

Morning for shopping and at leisure, after lunch, visit Simtokha Dzong 5 miles from Thimphu, on a lofty ridge; stand Simtokha dzong the oldest fortress in the kingdom. The Dzong houses the Institute for Language and Culture and continue drive to Paro. O/N hotel.

Day 22

Paro – Departure by Druk-air.

Early breakfast and drive to the airport for your onward destination.


Check list

Valid passport (valid for six months from the date of your trip)

One other picture ID, such as driver’s license (in case of emergency and for use as a substitute of passport or incase of loss of your passport) Photocopy of passport page to carry in wallet

Air tickets (Make a copy of flight tickets which may be helpful, in case of loss)

Visa Clearance (Make a copy of visa clearance which may be helpful, in case of emergencies)

MasterCard, Visa Credit and Debit Cards are accepted in Bhutan. However travelers’ cheques and some cash are highly recommended.

Mobile (if your cell phone is from CINGULLAR USA or ATNT (USA) operators then your cell phone will work in Bhutan.)



Warm Jackets with water proof or rain coats

Hiking shorts (for men) or skirt

Winter clothes

Hiking/trekking boots

Socks for hiking boots Sunscreen for lips and face



Long and short T- shirts or cotton shirts

Sun Hats

Walking Sticks

Back pack or Suitcase


Shirt (either half or full sleeve)

Full pants/long skirts

Any type of shoes with socks

No Hats, No Umbrella, No Slippers, No t-shirts, No short skirt and No half-pants

Photographs allowed in the courtyard only.




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