A trek in Bhutan can last anything from 4 days to 30days and ranges from the reasonable to the strenuous! In 2004, National Geographic Magazine rated Bhutan as the 10th most adventurous destination in the world. This is partly because of the untouched beauty of the mountains and forests and partly because of the uniqueness of the lifestyles of the people encountered in the higher altitudes.
The views of the Himalayan mountain ranges and peaks are truly awe- inspiring. The slopes are covered with thick forests and, depending upon the season, beautiful flowers of every hue. Every new day brings a change of scenery. Travelers go in search of a sighting of the exotic Snow Leopard and the legendary Blue Poppy, which is the national flower of Bhutan. The valleys of the mountain are dotted with turquoise blue lakes filled with golden trout.
Most of the trekking routes follow the high mountains that divide Tibet and Bhutan and here there are ten mountains measuring over 6000 meters. Before the arrival of the Chinese in Tibet, the Bhutanese used to trade mainly with Tibetans and one can still see, today, some old ruined buildings that used to house the government officials at the border.
Only by trekking does the traveler get to see the settlements of the nomads who live as high as 5000 meters. The nomads depend totally on yaks, a long-haired animal similar to a Buffalo. They make tents and clothes from yak hair, and yak meat, cheese and butter are their main food. They barter these products with the people from the lower valleys, where crops are grown. Bartering is usually held in the autumn before the winter sets in, since the paths towards the high altitude areas, where humans are settled, get cut off by heavy snowfall. Nomads in Bhutan have a distinct culture, language and dress. Amongst the nomads, polygamy and polyandry are still common because of the circumstances they face on the remote mountains.
The Jumolhari trek is well known and the Lonely Planet guidebook rates the base camp as the best camping site in the world but there are plenty of other treks to choose from. Trekking in Bhutan is actually a luxury experience rather than a hardship since the services are superb – experienced guides, cooks and waiters; mules to carry your bags, tents set up and waiting for your arrival each day, a dining tent with chairs tables and lamps, hot tea and a bowl of hot water for washing brought to your tent as a wake-up call every morning - to mention just a few of the comforts and facilities offered. Trekking is the only way to get a close-up view of the Bhutanese countryside and its inhabitants. And, rest assured, the trekking experience in Bhutan is still unique. Even in 2005, a total of only 600 people went trekking.
BEAUTUFUL LINGSHI-LAYA-GASA TREK
One of the most beautiful treks in the Himalayas. Trekking along the edge of the Eastern Himalayan range bordering with Tibet will bring you to the nomad settlements and to Laya, the highest village in Bhutan. You will see all the high mountains in Bhutan and get close-up views of the Chomolhari, Tshering-gang and Jichu Drake mountains. Rare flora and fauna are in abundance here.