The Gasa Tsachu (Hot Springs) trek is one of the easier and shorter in Bhutan, being at low altitude and on a good trail parallel to and above the Mo Chhu (mother river). The trail connects the Tsachu from Tashitang road head in one day and then leads onward to Damji. It is just a 3 day trek. Although the altitude difference between starting and ending point is minimal, there are some up and downhill walk en route can make this trek little strenuous than it looks at first sight. However, the relaxation at the Tsachu and the views and a visit of Gasa Dzong are absolutely rewarding. From April to September lots of leeches are found on the way.
The hot springs are located below Gasa Dzong (2760 m) on an old trade route to Tibet at an altitude of 2220 m, one of the larger and most accessible sites. The Bhutanese pay a visit to the hot springs mainly for medical reasons. In the last couple of years the site has developed enormously with new showers, changing facilities and a royal guest house. The hot water is redirected and divided among five cement-walled pools. Every spring attracts more than 7000 visitors a year. Animals used the springs as well but are banned now.
It is also possible to access the trekking head trail with a drive from Punakha through a beautiful valley going north on a dusty (in summer) or muddy road (in monsoon), all the way to Gasa Dzong. Halfway along the trail you will see Yambesa on the right at the top of the hill. It is an impressive chorten, popularly known as the Khamsum Yuley Namgyel. A big stone gate marks the entrance to the Jigme Dorji National Park. Nearby is a fenced meadow and camp reserved for nature clubs and school groups.
After 1.5 hrs drive (30 km) Tashithang (1600 m) is reached, the old starting point of the trek. The feeder/dirt road now climbs to the village of Damji (2250 m), bypassing the village of Kabina (1860 m). The road can be partly out of use, especially after rainfall. In the summer, the Punakha valley looks very beautiful with warm and pleasant climate.
What is Included
- International arrival/departure transfers
- Kathmandu sightseeing escorted by City Guide
- 4 Nights standard hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on BB basis
- Flight fare with tax: Kathmandu-Paro-Kathmandu (if the trip ends in Kathmandu)
- International arrival/departure transfers (Paro)
- Guided sightseeing tour in Paro, Thimphu & Punakha escorted by local Bhutanese guide
- Private vehicle while sightseeing in Kathmandu and Bhutan
- Bhutan Monuments entrance fees
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis in hotels/resorts with breakfast in Bhutan
- All meals (breakfast/lunch/dinner) in Bhutan during trekking
- Porters and pack animals to carry trekking gear in Bhutan
- All necessary trekking permits
What is Excluded
- International airfare and airport tax
- Nepal entry visa fee
- Nepal re-entry visa fee
- Bhutan visa fee
- Single supplement in hotel during entire trip
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
- Monument entrance fees in Kathmandu
- Travel/medical insurance and emergency evacuation cost
- Expenses of personal nature like alcoholic drinks, mineral water, cold drinks, laundry, international phone call etc.
- Personal clothing and equipment
- Extra luggage charge on the flight
- Upgrade of airfare and type of accommodation
- Tips for guide and driver after sightseeing in Nepal and Bhutan
- All expenses incurred in the event of early departure (evacuation fee, transport, extra hotel night, food etc.)
- Any others expenses which are not mentioned in the ‘Cost Includes’