11N 12D - Signature Laya Adventure

11N 12D - Signature Laya Adventure

Shape Icon
Places Covered :  
  • Paro
  • Thimphu
  • Punakha
  • Phobjikha
  • Travel period: Autumn season (Please refer the festival calendar)
  • Grade: Moderate
11 Nights / 12 Days Starting From US $3010 pp

Tour Highlight

  • High light of the trip Laya & Lungu village
  • Experience the high lands unique culture up-close
  • Walk through landscapes of lush valleys & high mountains
  • Experience the most colourful religious festivals
  • Explore the stunning Phobjikha Valley
  • Discover some of the most sacred Buddhist monasteries
  • Visit many cultural attractions including medieval fortresses
  • Hike up to the famous Taktsang Monastery

Package Desscription


  • The information in these notes is given in good faith, and covers the average range of conditions likely to be found on this trip.
  • In remote destinations abnormal conditions can prevail at any time, and all adventurous holidays can therefore be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them we request that you be prepared to be flexible where necessary.

Daywise Detailed Itinerary

Your guide and driver will welcome you at the airport & you will proceed to the capital of Bhutan which is an hour’s drive away. Take brief stop at Tachog Lhakhang on the way. Built by Thangtong Gyalpo or the Iron Bridge Builder as he is known, this 14th century saint introduced the art of building suspension bridges with iron chains and the only way to reach his temple is by one of his bridges.

The view over Thimphu from the big Buddha statue helps to get our bearings before we plunge into this vibrant growing town struggling to blend the shock of the new with traditional aspects of life in the shadow of the Himalaya, followed by Memorial stupa, which was built in memory of our Late Third King. It now serves as a focal point of worship for people residing in Thimphu especially for elderly people. Depending on opening hours, guest interests and time, your guide may include some of the following in your private schedule: The school of Arts & crafts, the Folk Heritage Museum, Post office if you are interested in making personalized stamps, Takin preserve (Bhutan’s National animal), Bhutanese handmade Paper factory or you may wish to just go window shopping.

Later visit the Tashichhoe Dzong (fortress of glorious religion), the main secretariat building, and the office of the King and Throne room and also the house of the State Monastic Body. In the evening visit weekend market where vendors from different regions come to sell their products mostly vegetables and food stuffs.

Overnight Thimpu (Alt; 2320m)

After breakfast proceed to Punakha valley which is about 2 & hours from here. The Dochula pass is one of the most spectacular passes in Bhutan and is about 45 minutes’ drive (22km) from the capital city, Thimphu. The pass (3080) marks the watershed between the districts of Thimphu on the western side and Punakha on the eastern side. It presents a panoramic view of these districts and some others beyond them. You can also get the panoramic view of the eastern Himalayas.

On arrival, hike to Chimi Lhakhang. This temple is called the Temple of Fertility as it is believed that childless couples who come here to pray for a child is usually blessed with a child. This is the temple of one of Bhutan’s foremost saints, Lama Drukpa Kunley, also known as the “Divine Madman.” The trail takes you through the Himalayan paddy fields and a typical village called Lobesa.

Later afternoon visit Punakha Dzong (Druk Pungthang Decchen Phodrang - the Palace of Great Happiness). Built in 1637 by Zhabdung Nawang Namgyal in a commanding position at the confluence of the Po Chhu and Mo Chhu (Father and Mother rivers). Bhutan’s second oldest dzong served as the seat of the Kingdom's government until the time of the second King and today is the winter home of the Je Khempo, the head abbot of Bhutan, along with a retinue of about 1,000 monks. Some guests are so captivated by the murals, shrines and general goings on in the courtyards that they chose to spend a few hours in the dzong.

Overnight Resort (Alt; 1,300m)

On arrival to Gasa, visit Tashi Tongmon Dzong which is the administrative center of Gasa dzongkhag (district) in the northwestern region of Bhutan. The Dzong was built in the 17th century by Tenzin Drukdra the second Druk Desi/Secular ruler over the site of a meditation place established by Drubthob Terkungpa in the 13th century. The Dzong was constructed as a bulwark against attacks from the north and named Tashi Tongmön Dzong. It was later expanded by the fourth Desi, Tenzin Rabgye.


TIME : 5 HOURS + 1 HR WALKING (tentative depending on road)



The trail from Koina first ascends above the river again to descend to river bed. Continue along the Mo chu river further with some gentle up and downs. After few hours you’ll reach to Takshikha military camp where you get your permits checked. From here there is final approximately 300 meters climb to village Lungu village which is inhabited be Layap people. Layap woman are famous for their antenna hat made of bamboo. Layaps are traditionally seminomadic Yak herders ethically different from Bhutanese and Tibetans to the north. Overnight Campsite.


In the morning you will explore the village and it sacred places related to unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel, who according to legend, passed through Laya and Lungu villages when fleeing from Tibet. Then take route down to the valley and again up to the Laya village, main settlement of the Layap people. Visit school and seek the craftsmen producing the traditional Layaps bamboo hats called "belo". You will learn about the tradition of hats which are related to local deities. Interesting fact is, that the hat itself has little value, but the corrals which are bound it are very valuable and more coral threads the hat has, the higher status the owner holds. See cultural dance program of local people and taste their traditional meals, especially dried yak meat and other yak products. Also learn about cordyceps, mysterious worm-fungus attributed lot of medical features. Overnight in local farmhouse.




ALTITUDE LOSS : 7347 FT/2240 M




Phobjikha is a glacial valley on the periphery of the north western tip of the Black Mountain National Park. The valley is a conservation area and lies on the northern boundary of the Jowo Durshing range. People sometimes refer to the entire region as Gangtey after the name of the Gangtey Goenpa that is situated on a ridge overlooking the Phobjikha valley. According to legend that the Gangtey Goenpa was founded by the grandson (the mind incarnation) of Pema Lingpa in 1613. The Phobjikha valley is also one of the roosting grounds of the Black-necked cranes that migrate each year in winter from its northern habitats in Tibet and Siberia to these grounds.

Visit Information Centre for the Blacked Necked Cranes. Evening, take a hike through the Blue Pine forest to the hotel.

Overnight Phobjikha (Alt; 2,900m)

The journey will take you across Pele La pass (3,300m), which is marked by a chorten and an array of prayer flags. On a clear day, you can get spectacular views of the highest peaks of the kingdom and it’s quite common to spot some yaks and yak herders on this pass. This point marks the boundary between western and central Bhutan as well as the western border of Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. Beyond Pele La is Longte Valley where people raise sheep and yaks. You’ll come to the village of Rukubji Valley, with its big school and Gompa.

The houses here are clustered amid extensive fields of mustard, potatoes, barley, and wheat. As you drive down through rhododendron trees and ferns, you’ll reach Chendebji village. This was a night halt for mule caravans traveling from Trongsa during the reign of the 2nd King of Bhutan. Just below Chendebji village is the Chendebji chorten, a large white structure beside a stream. This chorten is modelled after Swayambhunath in Kathmandu.The last village before you reach Trongsa is Tangsibji, which provides full view of Trongsa Dzong and its distinctive red roof. Drive to Bumthang from Trongsa (68km/ 2 ½ hr), the spiritual heartland of Bhutan. This journey will take you over one of the most scenically beautiful routes in Bhutan via the Yotong La pass (3425m), which is also the habitat for the Satyr peasant. Good for photography.

As you enter the Chhume Valley (the first of the four valleys that comprise the Bumthang Valley) you can visit a centre of Yathra weaving. Yathra is the name for the locally produced hand-woven woollen cloth. Distinctive patterns and bright, earthy colours enliven the fabric, which is used for a wide variety of purposes and sought after throughout the country.

On arrival visit Weiss beer factory owned by swiss national Mr. Maurer, this microbrewery makes excellent unfiltered, weiss beer. At the brewery the tour starts with a walk thru of the plant and ends with the sampling of freshly brewed beer. (closed for visits 2nd half Saturday & all of Sunday and during brewing & bottling)

Overnight Bumthang (Alt; 2,580m).

In the morning attend Jakar Tshechu, a religious annual event held in the Dzong. During the festival there will various mask dances performed by the monks in courtyard of the dzong. Many people in and around the valley come to witness the festival in their finest cloths with family and friends. It is also a social gathering for people to come together to rejoice and get blessed by attending festival.

After lunch take leisurely walk through several ancient and important monasteries such as, Jambay lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang & Tamshing. (These temples have many mythical stories linked to its origin and some of them dates back as early as 7th century. Your guide will unfold its mystery as you visit these holy sites. Evening at leisure!

Overnight Bumthang (Alt; 2,580m)

Take a short scenic flight to Paro, please make sure you ask for the right-hand side of the plane to have the magnificent views of Himalayas.

Time for an easy but spectacular walk high above the valley to the pretty grounds of Zurig Dzong overlooking Rinpung Dzong and the festival ground before descending to our pick up point near Ta dzong (watch tower). Taking in the magnificent views, we may be fortunate to see a plane on its final approach.

Visit Bhutan’s National museum which houses some of the religious mask, Thangkas (wall hanging/tapestry), religious artefacts, History & geological landscape of Bhutan. Proceed further down to visit Rinpung Dzong(fortress on the heap of jewel) which houses the seat of government and monastic body of Paro valley.

Take a short walk down to the traditional cantilevered bridge Nyami Zam which is built over the Pa Chhu River. From here you can get a good picture of the Ta Dzong, Dzong & the bridge. Later visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan with its magic orange tree that bears fruit all year round. The walk can be also done vice-versa, you can discuss with your guide.Evening at leisure browsing the small charming city of Paro picking up last minute souvenirs or simply window shopping.

Overnight Paro (Alt; 2,280m)

Drive to Satsam Chorten and spend the day hiking up the forested path to Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger's Nest, Bhutan's most famous and scenic icon. The climb is steep and takes about 4 hours round trip. An important place of pilgrimage and refuge for more than 1200 years, Taktsang Monastery clings to sheer cliffs two-thousand feet above Paro Valley, and from your closest vantage point on a rocky ledge directly across from it, you will still need 200-300 mm lenses and a steady tripod to get tight photographs.

This sacred place got its name when Guru Rinpoche rode there on the back of a flying tiger and meditated in a cave behind the present-day monastery. Sadly, in 1998, the central temple was destroyed by fire, leaving the country in mourning for their holiest of spiritual places. But religious Leaders and the King quickly developed a plan to rebuild Taktsang and donations started pouring in from Buddhist centres all over the world, and today, the magnificently rebuilt exterior is complete. Tiger’s Nest is once again the subject of cloud-shrouded posters that say, "Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon." Picnic lunch on the hillside cafeteria.

Evening, visit a typical village home for a traditional Bhutanese style dinner accompanied by the local liquor called "Ara" (tastes somewhat like the Japanese Sake). Then luxuriate in the Bhutanese equivalent of a Jacuzzi called a "Chu Tse." River rocks are heated and dunked into a large wooden tub with herbs. This type of bath is considered to have medicinal properties of healing. Depending on the time availability you may opt for some other days, however you may discuss with the guide about it.

Overnight Paro (Alt; 2,280m).

Druk Air normally departs in the morning to avoid adverse weather conditions so after breakfast, your transfer to the airport will be arranged depending on the flight schedule.

Tour package cost is inclusive of the following

  • SDF and taxes of the government
  • One time US$ 40 (visa fee for single entry)
  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis (3 star hotels approved by DOT)
  • Entrance fees to various museums, dzongs & temples
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Licensed English speaking tour guide
  • Ground transportation within Bhutan
  • Camping equipment and gears for the trekking
  • Ponies and pack animals on trek

Tour package does NOT include the following:

  • Flight fare
  • Refreshment, any alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages and any other personal expenses
  • Travel Insurance (Must for all tours)
  • US$ 30/Night, single room supplement charge for 2 Pax and above
  • Luxury star hotels and resorts available at an additional cost
  • Luxury camping/trekking can be arranged at an additional cost
  • Gratuities to guide, driver, trekking staff, etc.
  • Specialized guides (Foreign Language, Photography, Bird Watching, Buddhism, Flora and Fauna) available at an additional cost

The rates given above are applicable per person per night halt in Bhutan. On the day of departure, the “local agents” host obligation shall be limited to breakfast only and extra requirements shall be payable on actual basis.

The rates shall apply uniformly irrespective of locations and the type of accommodation provided/asked for. List of hotels and lodges approved for international tourist accommodation updated from time to time shall be issued by Department of Tourism.

Delayed Arrivals

There is no SDF charge for the delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or road blocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required.

Related Holidays You Might Like