Gasa Hot Spring Trek
Duration: Five days, Max. Elevation: 2,430
Highest Camp: 2,250
Best Seasons: February to March & October to December
Start: Tashitang (Punakha)
Finish: Tashitang (Punakha)
The Gasa Hot Spring Trek is one of the easier treks in Bhutanalthough it is advisable to connect the walking days and walk up to the tsachu from Tashitang road head in one day. Soon the road will reach Damji. Then the Gasa Hot Spring Trek will decrease to a three day trek. Although the altitude difference between starting and ending point is minimal, the many ups and downs on the way can make it more 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 one will have lots of leeches en route. They love the warm and humid climate of Punakha valley, and they will love you!
Day 1: Tashithang-Damji (Distance 16km, five to six hours, 870m ascent, 250m descent, camp altitude 2,250m). The trek starts in Tashithang village by the riverside, following first the feeder road and then a well-made path through semi tropical forest. This part of the area is quite wet and one has to be careful of leeches. Flower lovers will find abundant wild orchids here. The day’s walk is fairly gentle climbing up to Damji village. You can save about two hours of walking if you drive further up than Tashithang to Kamina village, where the road presently ends.
Day 2: Damji – Gasa Tsachu (Distance 16km, four to five hours, 470m ascent, 480m descent, camp altitude 2,240m). The path continues through sub-tropical forests and villages up to Gasa Tsachu (hot spring). There are stunning views of the Gasa Dzong on the way. Due to their well known curative powers the hot springs are very popular amongst the Bhutanese. The place might be quite crowded especially in December.
Day 3: A Day at Gasa Tsachu. You can either laze around in the hot spring or take a pack lunch and climb about two hours to visit Gasa village and the Dzong.