Lingshi Laya Bhutan Trek-20 Days

Arrival On : Kathmandu Nepal
Max Altitude : 5,005m//16,420ft
Accommodation Types : Hotels, Camping
Trip Duration : 20 Days
Maximum Group Size : 12
Difficulty : Strenuous
Duration on trek : 11
Land Only Joining City : Kathmandu
Meal Only in Kathmandu : Bed and Breakfast in Kathmandu, all meals in hotels and on trek in Bhutan
Departure From : Kathmandu Nepal

Trip Overview

One of the finest treks in Himalaya, remoteness, fantastic mountains, and fascinating villages.

This is our most popular long-distance trek in Bhutan and takes you along the remote northern border with Tibet. have run the trek almost every year since. Our itinerary results from considerable experience. Any shorter and we believe that there would not be sufficient time for proper acclimatisation and to rush through this region would mean you miss the very point of being there; it remains rarely travelled and unspoilt.


highlights of this trek is local people that you will meet en route – both the semi-nomadic yak herders that camp in black yak hair tents, often seen now with solar panels stuck outside, and the hospitable inhabitants of the unbelievably remote small stone villages that you. If you travel on departure, you may join the locals in a celebration of their culture at the Chomolhari Mountain Festival.


The mountain scenery is magnificent – most of the peaks being unclimbed, unmapped and un-named. You will pass underneath the second highest peak in Bhutan, Chomolhari, 7,314m/23,996ft, first climbed by Spencer Chapman in 1937 and now a forbidden peak on religious grounds. There are many passes to cross, offering tantalising panoramas of distant ranges and the opportunity too,


  • Spectacular scenery from start to finish so nice.
  • Spend time in the remote mountain village of Laya to the mountain.
  •  Enjoy first camping facilities on trek so beuti full, Attend the Chomolhari Mountain Festival on our autumn departure well to Home,
  •  Look for rare tigers in the high mountains where we are ‘Lost Land of the Tiger.

Short Itinerary

Day 01-02:

Arrive Kathmandu.

Day 03-04:

Fly to Paro Visit Taktsang Monastery and sightseeing in the Paro Valley.

Day 05:

Trek from Olathang to Kyichu, Drive to Gunitsawa, Trek to Shana,

Day 06-07:

Trek to Soi Thangthanka and to Chomolhari Base Camp,

Day 08:

Rest day and acclimatisation walks to Tsho Phu lakes or Jitchu Drake Base Camp, Attend the Chomolhari Mountain Festival (autumn departure)

Day 09-10:

Trek to Lingshi via the Nyelela Pass, Visit Lingshi Dzong and trek to Chebisa.

Day 11-12:

Treo Shomuthang and to Robulathang via the Jarela Pass.

Day 13-14:

Cross the Shingela Pass,Trek to Laya. for all

Day 15:

Trek to Koena. End trek and drive to Punakha.

Day 16:

Visit Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lakhang, Drive to Thimphu.

Day 17:

Sightseeing in Thimphu. Drive to Paro.

Day 18-20:

Fly to Kathmandu. Fly to your Home,


Day 01 Depart your Home.
Overnight: In flight

Fly overnight your Home to Kathmandu.

Day 02 Arrive Kathmandu. Group transfer to hotel.
Overnight: Hotel Shanker Or Shangri La, Kathmandu.

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. You might like to venture out to nearby Thamel for your evening meal, or eat in the restaurant, if you are tired from your journey.

Day 03 Fly to Paro in Bhutan.
Overnight: Hotel Olathang Or Similar, Paro

Transfer for the flight by Druk Air, Bhutan’s national airline, to Paro. The flight often gives fantastic views of the Himalaya, including Everest, and of particular excitement is the section through the Bhutanese. Try to sit on the left-hand side of the plane for the best mountain views. Your Bhutanese guide will meet you on arrival. Time permitting you may pay an initial visit to Paro town.

Day 04 Walk to Taktsang Monastery and sightseeing in the Paro Valley.
Overnight: Hotel Olathang Or Similar, Paro

Today you will walk up to the famous ‘Tiger’s nest’, Taktsang Monastery, perched some 2,000ft (609m) up on a cliff overlooking the Paro valley and one of the iconic buildings of Bhutan. It is said to be the spot where the legendary opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan. The walk, which will provide good acclimatization, is quite steep and takes about 2-3 hours to go up, less to descend. You may choose to walk just as far as the tea house for fantastic views or climb to some prayer flags just above where the views are even better. If there is a particular religious gathering or VIP visit in progress, you will not be able to enter the monastery but in any case it is worth climbing for a further half hour beyond the tea house to another viewpoint directly across from the monastery. If you are allowed to visit the temple itself you have to descend steeply from this viewpoint about 100m//330ft on steps, only to climb again to reach the temple where it clings to the rock face. It was built to be isolated! You then descend to your vehicle and return to your hotel.

Day 05 Trek from Olathang to Kyichu - 3 hours. Drive to Gunitsawa. Trek to Shana, 2,890m//9,482ft.
Overnight: Camp

Today you start your trek. You leave the hotel and walk up a hill to a village. You continue trekking along forested ridges until you reach Kyichu. You will visit the ancient temple of Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest in Bhutan, which was one of 108 temples built by Songtsen Gampo was thought to hover over the whole of Tibet. From here it is an hour drive to Gunitsawa. It’s a short walk through the army base at Gunitsawa to cross the river on a small bridge and start walking upstream to camp at Shana.

Day 06 Trek to Soi Thangthanka, 3,575m//11,729ft // 7:8 hours.
Overnight: Camp

Your route still follows the river in heavily forested country, with isolated farmhouses and plenty of wildlife. The Bhutanese may advise you to walk in pairs, as there are bears in this area. You pass a junction en route, where another path leads north over the Tremo La to Tibet, crossed by Spencer Chapman in 1937 on his way to climb Chomolhari. In the afternoon over several switchbacks and can be muddy in places – rocks have been strategically placed for you to hop across. After reaching a larger bridge, if lucky, you will get views of Chomolhari ahead, before the final climb to the large meadow which is your campsite. There is a simple hut here and you may well eat inside.

Day 07 Trek to Jangothang (Chomolhari Base Camp) 4,090m//13,418ft - 5-6 hours.
Overnight: Camp

It is worth getting up early to photograph the dawn colours on Bhutan’s second highest mountain, Chomolhari, 7,314m//23,997ft! which is framed at the end of the valley. After about an hour’s walk, you slowly leave the forest line and gradually climb into a beautiful valley, passing Tengethang, a winter home of yak herdsmen. You are still walking beside the before you reach base camp. There are a couple of stone buildings here, and nearby there are the ruins of an old fortress which used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasion! At the head of the valley is the huge stunning snowy peak of Jitchu Drake, 6,714m//22,027ft, with razor sharp ridges.Camp. Attend Chomolhari Mountain Festival in the autumn.Day 8  Rest day and acclimatisation with walks to glacier, Tsho Phu lakes or Jitchu Drake Base

It is highly advisable that you do some sort of walk today involving height gain in order to help with acclimatisation. There are several excellent walks to choose from. Highly recommended is to walk a short way up,turning right to climb steeply uphill towards a hanging valley leading to the beautiful Tsho Phu Lakes, situated at about 4,350m//14,271ft. Alternatively, you can climb up the grassy ridge just north of the base camp to reach a small peak at 4,760m//15,617ft. Or you can walk up to Jitchu Drake base camp, or to the original Chomolhari base camp along the valley floor.

If travelling on our autumn 2021 departure you may join the festivities at the Chomolhari Mountain Festival. This festival celebrates the culture of the local communities and the natural wonders of the region. Please note that the dates for this festival are provisional and may change.

Day 08 Trek to Lingshi, 4,149m//13,612ft! via the Nyelela Pass, 4,890m//16,043ft - 6-7 hours.
Overnight: Camp

Today, weather permitting, you will have spectacular views of several stunning Himalayan peaks. You start climbing immediately and after some 3-4 hours reach the windy Nyelela Pass, 4,890m//16,043ft. You may well pass yak herders’ Jhas (tents) where you may get invited in to sample tea, yoghurt and cheese – all three are acquired tastes! It is very special meeting these lovely people. Coming down to Lingshi you obtain your first views of the truly mystical dzong atop its 183m/600ft high hill.

Day 09 Visit Lingshi Dzong and trek to Chebisa,3,849m/12,628ft 5-6 hours.
Overnight: Camp

Today is an easier day and you will be able to view the outside of the Dzong and small settlement below it before setting off on trek. Gang Yul, which is set right below a 304m//1,000ft cliff. There is a very holy llakang here. Another hour’s walking high above the valley floor brings you to a lovely little side valley with a huge waterfall at one end and the Shangri-la village of Chebisa, where you camp by the side of the river. The trail leading up and past it leads to Tibet – about 12 miles away. There are plenty of blue sheep in this area and you should be able to get quite close to them. It is a very leisurely walking day today with plenty of reasons and opportunities to linger.

Day 10 Trek to Shomuthang, 4,220m//13,845ft :! 6-7 hours.
Overnight: Camp

Walking up to the top of the waterfall before breakfast is recommended for lovely early morning views of the valley. On your trek today you will encounter quite a stiff climb up to the Gombu La, 4,480m//14,698ft, before dropping to a deserted valley and crossing a river. You will either camp here, or climb up to Shomuthang. It will be another lovely day’s walking.

Day 11 Trek to Robulathang, 4,160m//13,648ft, via the Jarela Pass, 4,785m//15,699ft:7-8 hours.
Overnight: Camp

It is a long haul over the Jarela Pass at 4,785m//15,699ft, where once again you get stunning all-round views including Mount Tsering Kang towering above.  where herds of Takin roam (the strange national animal of Bhutan), before crossing a river on a log bridge and steeply climbing to Robulathang where the camp will be located. Again, a stunning day’s walk.

Day 12 Cross the Shingela Pass, 5005m//16,420ft. Camp at Limithang, 4140m//13,583ft: 6-7 hours.
Overnight: Camp

This is the hardest day of the trek. Firstly you climb slowly up to the Shingela pass. This takes about 5 hours. You will be rewarded with stunning views of mountains, On a clear day almost all the mountains on the northern border are clearly visible, 10-20 miles distant. For those with energy, it is worth climbing a little higher to a small rocky peak. Eagles, griffin vultures, blue sheep and yak abound in this area. After the initial rough and rocky descent you finally reach a beautiful cedar forest and you will once again meet up with nomadic yak-herders, who may offer tea and curd in their yak-hair tents. Camp is set in a lovely spot on the riverbank.

Day 13 Trek to Laya, 3,840m//12,598ft: 4-5 hours. Explore village.
Overnight: Camp

Alongside the river through cedar and fir forest before descending to reach the largest village on the trek. The people of Laya are famous for their vertically-striped yak hair clothing and strange conical bamboo hats. The women wear long hair and a great deal of turquoise and jade jewellery. The features of the people are even more Tibetan/Mongolian than the Bhutanese who live in the central valleys. The rest of the day is spent at leisure, or visiting village houses, There are good views of Masagang, 7,165m//23,507ft, and other peaks. In the evening the local girls may dance for you. This will be the last night you spend with your trek crew.

Day 14 Trek to Koena, 3,240m//10,630ft: 7-8 hours. Drive to Punakha.
Overnight: zhingkham resort or damchen resort or Similar, Punakha

Today is a long day during which you will follow the Mo Chu River through its gorge; with an atmosphere akin to ‘the Lost World’ it is both gigantic and spectacular. You climb up and down through a heavily forested area with lots of birds and butterflies, to arrive at Koena

Day 15 Sightseeing in Punakha. Drive to Thimphu.
Overnight: Phuntso Pelri Hotel or Similar; Thimphu

Before leaving Punakha you will visit its spectacular Dzong. The main monastery/fortress in Punakha was the power base for the old system of re-incarnated rulers. The remains of the original ruler of Bhutan, Nawang Namgyal, are kept in a small room at the top of the highest tower; only the King and the head of the Monastic Order are allowed to enter it. Provided the head of the monastic order and his monks have not migrated from Thimphu,  The dzong was badly damaged but has been beautifully restored and renovated.

You will also pay a visit to Chimi Lakhang, taking a short walk across the paddy fields visit this delightful small temple built by Drukpa Kunley. Known as the The Divine Madman’, Drukpa Kunley was a 15th Century Bhutanese lama and is Bhutan’s most popular Saint and one of the most important figures in Bhutanese folklore. Despite the apparent conservatism of the Bhutanese people Chimi Lakhang is especially popular with women who come here to pray for children. The temple is characterised by its many phallic symbols.

The drive to Thimphu, on winding mountain roads, takes about 2 hours and crosses the Dochu La, 3,116m//10,223ft where on a clear day panoramic views can be had of the eastern Himalaya, including the highest peak in Bhutan, Gangkar Punsum at 7,550m//24,770ft. You may have time for a little initial sightseeing when you reach Thimphu.

Day 16 Sightseeing in Thimphu; Drive to Paro.
Overnight: Hotel olathang or similar, paro

Thimphu has been the permanent capital since 1955 and has two cinemas and a radio station. This is the least visited of all the Himalayan capitals. It has a population of around 100,000 and has wide streets and a rather relaxed air. Its sights include the Late King’s Memorial Chorten, the Textile Museum, the Heritage Museum, the silversmiths and pottery workshops, the indigenous hospital specialising in herbal medicine, the thangkha painting school, the Bhutanese paper factory, the recently built Changlingmithang Lhakhang temple, and the National Library.





Enter a recent customer’s contact info and we’ll ask them to leave you a review.