Trip starts from
The Gasa Hot Spring Trek is one of those treks in Bhutan you’d simply like. Altitude is not much of a problem despite the fluctuating elevations but being fit and a keen walker makes things a lot easier. Nevertheless, the memorable views and our visit to the Gasa Dzong are worth the trip among several other attractions.
Our venture includes some interesting sightseeing of Paro valley, Thimphu (capital of Bhutan), Punakha and the neighboring valleys that offer us something new at each spot we visit. The highest elevation we go to on this trek is approximately (3,840m). The lively villages of Gasa with its natural hot springs accompanied with lovely Laya north of Punakha is an exotic outing in Bhutan’s gentler wilderness. There’s No roadway from the start point of our trailhead at Tashithang which runs up a valley and the only option is on foot. Laya is a pretty far flung region in the far northwest of the Gasa district. Most of the local folks hereabouts form a community called ‘the Layap’’ with a dissimilar identity in their language, customs, traditions and their attires; This outing is a fantastic combo of culture and a part of Bhutan’s rural landscapes that makes the trip unique and enjoyable…
Gasa possesses an exceptional ecosystem of sublime beauty and its immaculate surroundings jell wonderfully with the local folks and their traditional friendliness, sets an amazing ambience for visitors to make the best of a well planned vacation for even the discerning visitor looking for the unusual; Gasa, with its welcoming hot springs has now translated into a highly appealing front for Bhutan’s tourism. Hereabouts, a warm sense of kindness, a collectively well known ecology and a thriving culture opens avenues for visitors to relish a holiday in one of the best Himalayan destinations on the planet. Trekking to Gasa in Bhutan is a true discovery of the sublime withTashi Delek Nepal Treks…a holiday that will linger on in the memory for a whole lifetime…
Day 1: Arrive Paro by Druk Air, transfer to hotel
Our Paro flight on a clear blue sky day is one of those fantastic mountain flights of a natural kind. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsering Ghang. The first most welcome thing about Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the aircraft. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Later in the day take an exploratory walk getting acquainted with the local environment.
Overnight at your hotel in Paro – B. L. D
Day 2: Paro - excursion with sightseeing
In the Morning after b/fast, we do an excursion to Taktsang Monastery (5 hrs walk), the most well known of Bhutanese monasteries. The myth goes that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence called “Tiger’s Nest”. The excursion to monastery takes about 5 hours for round trip. While returning to Paro, we haul up at Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress from where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, “Mountain of Goddess” looms directly over the Dzong. On the way back to hotel, visit 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gembo. One of the most sacred shrines in the country, it reflects the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Overnight at our hotel in Paro – B. L. D
Day 3: Paro- Thimphu – cultural sightseeing around the capital city
Thimphu is geographically placed ideally in a wooded valley, which is an extension of a hillside on the West Bank of the Thimphu Chhu [Chhu means River]. Thimphu is pretty different to other world capitals. This is a Small and secluded the city which is pleasantly quiet and you won’t find traffic jams here like in other asian cities; It is often said that Thimphu is the only world capital without traffic lights. Thimphu’s primary shopping centres are wonderfully placed with its unique architecture and the bright colorful national costumes that most of the local folks wear on the streets.
Our tour begins with a visit to the National Library (closed Saturday, Sunday due to government holidays), which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion.
Our next tour is the nearby Institute for Zorig Chusum (Sat afternoon, Sun & Govt holidays closed). Commonly known as Arts & Crafts School or Painting School, the Institute offers a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. On a visit, one can see students learning the various skills taught at the school. We then drive towards city centre to visit Textile (Sat afternoon, Sun & Govt holiday closed) and Folk Heritage Museum: These museums, both of which opened in 2001, provide absorbing insights into Bhutanese material culture and everyday lifestyles.
The curtain falls on our sightseeing with a visit of Trashichhodzong: This remarkable fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King, and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and the central monk body. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu – B. L. D
Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha – excursion with sightseeing
Punakha was the winter capital for over 300 years until the time of the second King of Bhutan
After B/fast, we drive down to Punakha and visit the famous Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. Punakha was Bhutan’s capital until 1955, and Punakha Dzong still serves as the winter residence of the central monk body.
Bhutan’s first King, Ugyen Wangchuck, was crowned here in 1907. The fortress has withstood several damages from fire, earthquake and flood over the centuries. The latest flood, in October, 1994, caused great damages to the fortress but miraculously spared its most holy statue.
Also visit Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, the newly built stupa.
In the afternoon, we cruise down to Thimphu, the capital town of Bhutan. The road runs down through the Paro valley, to Chuzom (confluence) at the entrance of the valley, where the Paro and Thimphu rivers meet. The road passes along a narrow valley with high, rocky cliffs on the left, and then the valley opens out into farmland on the approach to Thimphu. Simtokha Dzong, “the place of profound tantric teaching”, stands sentinel on a hillock a few kilometers out of town. This Dzong now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies. We check into our hotel for the night. B. L. D
Day 5: Punakha to Tashithang to Goen Damji (Start of Gasa Hot Spring Trek)
Trek Day 1: Distance 16 km and walking time 5-6 hours.
After an early breakfast, you will be driving through the valley of Punakha on the Mo-chu side to Tashithang which will be approx. 18 km and 1-1/2 hour’s drive. We start your trek at Tashithang (1840m) with a gradual climb up above the Mo-chu into the lush semi-tropical forest filled with banana trees, creepers and different kinds of orchids. If you are lucky Takin the national animal can be seen on the other bank of Mo-chu. Goen Damji is a large village with rice terraces along side. B. L. D
Day 6: Goen Damji to Gasa (Hot Spring)
Trek Day 2: After breakfast we start our trek along the side of Gasa Valley and then drop to the large stream below Gasa. The trail leads north from here, following the stream directly to the hot spring at 2240m. The hot springs are situated along the banks of Mochu River which flows through Punakha and Wangdue Valleys. There are five to six cemented hot pools. The total trek will be for about approximately 5 hrs. On arrival at the camp site, we relax in the evening soaking in the hot springs which is healthy for the body. Overnight camp – B. L. D
Day 7: Gasa – Enjoy the Gasa hot springs. Dip yourself in the hot-springs and renew yourself.
Trek Day 3: The day will be at leisure and we can try out the hot spring located by the bank of a stream. This day can also be spent going up to Gasa Dzong. (We shall enjoy a packed lunch today). The trek to Gasa Dzong will be a pretty tough climb and will take you about 2 hours up to an elevation of 2770m. Overnight camp – B. L. D
Day 9: Goen Damji to Tashithang to Thimphu (End of Gasa Hot Spring Trek)
Trek Day 4: End of Trek: Distance 16 km and walking time 5 hours.
Today we start at Goen Damji (2430m) and end at the vehicle point which is at Tashithang (1840m) From here it is a rattling 22 km (1-2 hour drive) to Thimphu. Overnight at our hotel – B. L. D
Day 10: Thimphu to Paro: Excursion with sightseeing; the cultural views are fascinating
We drive to Thimphu, stroll around the market place and maybe catch up on things we wanted to do earlier at Thimphu. We could even pick up a few souvenirs for the loved ones at home, and this will also help us to remember our sojourns to this great area in the land of the thunder dragon. Towards the afternoon, we head down for an excursion to Paro and visits some places of interest before we check into our hotel for a good rest after a wonderful holiday. B. L. D
Day 11: Departure from Paro/Bangkok or Kathmandu
The choice of destination is yours.