This trek takes you into an area less frequented by tourists with spectacular views of the mighty Mt. Masagang(7000m) and Mt. Tsendegang (6,900m). The trail is adorned with lush forests as well as alpine meadows letting you experience the extreme altitude range within Bhutan. The difficulty of this trek can be considered as moderate and recommended for amateur and intermediate trekkers.
Masagang Trek – 15 days (5 nights in Hotel & 9 nights in Camp)
Bhutan Tour Itinerary
Meet driver and guide and drive 1.5 hrs. to Thimphu the capital city with more than 170,000 inhabitants. In the evening at leisure visit various shops on your own. Overnight stay in Hotel 2300m.
In the morning take a short drive towards above Dechenchholing palace and hike 1.5 hours with gradual climb and super view of whole Thimphu city till Dodeydrak monastery founded in 1779 AD by then 13th Chief Abbot of Bhutan Je Yonten Thaye. It is considered as second Tsari, after Tsari in Tibet. Two more temples were added by the 18th and 27th Chief Abbots later. After the visits and picnic lunch, return to Thimphu valley and visit the grand Buddha statue. In the evening free time visit various shops on your own. O/N in hotel.
In the morning drive less than one hour till Trashigang monastery founded by the 12th Chief Abbot of Bhutan H.H Je Kunga Jamtsho in 1768 AD. In the main temple on the second floor one can see several relics from various other Chief Abbots following the founder. From there it takes about 1 hour gradual climb through thick forest of spruce and juniper till Lungchusekhar temple built on a peak at 3400 meter above sea level. If the weather is good one can have spectacular mountain views starting from Chomolhari till Gangkharpunsum. After visiting the temple descend for one hour to Dochula pass marked by more than 108 stupas. After lunch drive 1.5 hours all way down to Punakha valley at 1350m. In the evening visit Punakha Dzong that served as the capital of Bhutan until 1950s Overnight stay in hotel.
In the morning drive through several villages with beautiful rice fields and orchards till Tashithang primary school. From there the car road gets narrow and steeper through dense subtropical forests till Damji village and further up to Gasa. It takes approximately 3-4 hours to reach Gasa Dzong. The Dzong is also called Tashi Thongme name derived from the local deity and was founded by Lama Shabdrung Nawang Namgyal who unified Bhutan in the 17th century AD. There are several relics dedicated to Shabdrung in some of the temples here. After the visits and picnic lunch, we transfer on the 4×4 jeep pickup truck and drive for 2 hours on a very rough road till Jim thang or also called Tongchudrak and camp there. Alt. 3460m.
After breakfast we continue gradually climbing up, following the river for more than 2 hours to the Military Checkpost at Takse Makhar where we need to show some documents. From here we climb steeply up 2 hours to Omtsa yak herders camp. Mt. Tsendegang can be seen from here. It takes another half hour walk on a straight trail till the old abandoned army post called Tashi Makhar few kilometers before Kullu Khar yak herders camp. Alt. 3780m.
Short distance to cover today. We pass through high meadows used by Layaps as winter pastures till you reach Somji yak camp at the foot of Mt. Masagang (7,000m). After crossing the River (Nule Rongchu also called Tokserkhagi chhu we reach Nulithang camp site at the base of Mt. Tsendegang (6,900m) facing the peak of Mt.Masagang. Alt 4150m. In the afternoon explore in the vicinity.
It is another short days walk following the river left till the ruined fortress and after crossing the stream and past 2 yaks herders camps we reach the river junction called Phue Dong which offers superb view of Mt. Masagang and we put up the camp here. Alt. 4,260m.
Today you have options to rest at the camp site or trek towards the north side of Mt. Masagang near Dromo Yala border pass OR In the morning climb 1.5 hours to Gikula pass at 4, 700 meters which is 4 kms. before Wakila pass that Lama Shabdrung had to cross to come to Bhutan through Nulethang valley to Laya and to Gasa region. From the pass you can have very good views of Mt. Masagang, Teri Gang and Tsendegang. Return to the valley floor called Sinta phu and walk to the lake. From there you can hike above the lake to see and feel the glaciers.
Descend all the way down to Nulethang and further down to Kullu Khar and the old abandoned army post called Tashi Makhar and camp there. Alt 3480m.
After breakfast start on a straight trail back to Omtsa yak camp and further down till the trail junction that one goes down to the army camp and the other that stays up which we follow to go to Lungu village. From this junction it takes 1.5 hours to reach Lungu village. Besides the beautiful village houses there is also a very old temple which dates back to the 7th century AD. From Lungu descend 1 hour till the river Zamdo Rong Chu and climb 1 hour till the level of Lungu and follow the straight trail for another 2 hours to Laya the semi nomadic village so unique from rest of Bhutanese villages. Laya consists of five villages including Lungu, (Pashi, Tongu, Lubja-Nilo, Tongra). People are called Layaps and women wear thick skirt type costume from yak hair and small pointed conical bamboo hat with colorful jewelries and what makes you feel special of them is their disposition and willingness to talk to visitors and invite to their houses. Their main economy is cattle and Yak herding. They also do trade across the border unofficially. Overnight stay in camp. Alt. 3780 meters.
In the morning visit a family home. Then, trek downhill 2 hours to the army camp and another 2 hours till the car road and drive to Gasa and further down to the Hot spring. After dinner dip into several hot spring pools with various water temperatures for various ailments. Overnight stay in simple guest houses or if not available in tents. Alt. 2300m.
In the morning drive through several villages and descend into lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees, ferns, creepers and occasional white monkeys to Punakha. After lunch drive to Thimphu . Overnight stay in hotel. Alt 2,200m.
In the morning visit to Simply Bhutan and textile museum. Then drive to Paro and on the way visit Drak Karpo temple. This site founded as early as the 8th century AD is so sacred that if one can complete going around the site 108 times in one day, all your sins so bad as killing your own parents can be cleansed. After lunch, visit the National Museum and Kyichu temple founded by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century AD. Overnight stay in hotel. Alt 2,200m
In the morning take a short drive till the parking lot below the monastery and from there walk 45 minutes till the cafeteria and further 1 hour to the Tiger’s nest monastery the most sacred pilgrimage site in Bhutan. After seeing the main sanctuary you may contemplate climbing further upto temple of Yogini Machig Lhabdonma and further upto Zangtopelri temple opposite Tiger’s nest for super view. Simple lunch will be served at the cafeteria. In the evening return to Paro and visit
Early morning drive to Paro airport for flight to Katmandu/Delhi/Bangkok. End of services.
Disclaimer: This itinerary is indented as a guide only. Local road conditions and weather may affect the program. Be aware that all the times stated are approximate and might vary conditionally.
Private guided tour
Visas for Bhutan
Daily 3 meals (B/L/D) at designated restaurants
Accommodation at 3 star hotel
A licensed English-speaking guide
An experienced driver
A tour vehicle
Entry fees & road permits
Government fee, royalty, taxes & surcharges
Mineral bottled water
Full service & assistance before, during and after your Bhutan trip
Flight into Bhutan via Drukair (can be arranged with us)
Flight on other airline to catch Drukair Flight
Meals at 4-5 stars restaurants
Hotel stay outside of Bhutan
Expenditure of personal nature
Tips for the guide and driver