If you’re a discerning traveller looking for a hands-on approach, or perhaps a hiking aficionado looking for something more than the Swiss Alps, look no further. This is a two-week adventure trek beginning in Paro, the landing ground of Bhutan, heading north through the mountainous terrain towards the steamy springs of Gasa.
And with a fleet of helping hands to ease your journey, including your very own yak to carry your heavy baggage, you can enjoy jaw-dropping mountain peaks, amazing wildlife and visit isolated villages without breaking a sweat.
Land into Paro and warm up with a breathtaking hike (in all sense of the word) to Bhutan’s most treasured monastery. Climbing through shaded pine forests where prayer flags flutter in the faint breeze, you’ll emerge out of the trees to find your eyes set on the most magnificent monastery: Tiger’s Nest.
Miraculously hanging onto a crumbling cliff face, this building was built in memory of an old legend: to tame the tiger of Guru Rimpoches. From here, return back to Uma Parofor some last minute pampering before your hike towards Gasa.Read more
Follow the river to Mount Jhomolhari
Following the Paro River, start your journey aiming for base camp at Mount Jhomolhari, Bhutan’s most sacred summit. Along the way pass several isolated villages where you’ll get a glimpse into raw rural Bhutanese life. Think men in traditional dress farming, crops drying on roofs of houses, women weaving and children getting ready for school.
As you proceed further north, the terrain of the trek will slowly change from the leaves of the forest line, to beautiful baron valleys that give way to the snow-capped Mount Jhomolhari. In the valleys, stop for lunch with travelling yak herdsmen and listen to their stories and tales, giving you the final inspiration (and meal) to reach base camp.
After a well deserved rest at base camp, keep moving north towards Laya, stopping overnight at Lingshi, where a diversion up to the Lingshi Dzong is a must.
Atop a ridge some 4,220 metres high, you’ll experience something rare in today’s bustling world: absolute silence. Returning back on track, pass through Shomuthan and Robluthans where you’ll camp above rocky meadows overlooking herds of takins and blue sheep which flock to the valley to escape the harsh winter months.
Laya traditions and Gasa hot springs
Arriving into Laya you’ll meet the Laya people. Only accessible by foot, you’ll instantly feel how far removed Laya is from the rest of Bhutan. Famous for yak hair textiles and strange conical bamboo hats, these people exude a strong Tibetan and Mongolian culture.
One of their unusual customs means you’re free to walk in and out of houses without invitation, but be prepared to accept cups of buttery tea and pints of locally brewed beer if you do, not that you could resist anyway.
And finally, your last day of trekking will be an easy downhill descent to Gasa. Winding through rolling hills and passing through pine and oak forests, you’ll reach the hot springs of Gasa, ready for a well deserved full body soak. And relax.