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Gangtey - Phobjikha valley Trek
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Introduction:
This trek is to the beautiful Phobjikha valley (3,000m), one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan, which lies in the mountains east of Wangduephodrang. After crossing over the pass you soon come to the great monastery of Gangtey, established in the 17th century. The village of Phobjikha lies a few kilometers down from the monastery, on the valley floor. This quiet, remote valley is the chosen winter home of the rare black necked cranes, which migrate here annually from the Tibetan plateau. This moderate trek visits the villages of Gogona and Khotokha, passing through meadows and fields, then forests of juniper, magnolia and rhododendrons in full bloom in April. It is a short trek at relatively low elevations, which visits several remote villages. Kingdom of Bhutan in many ways the Last Shangri-la, the geographical isolation has left the country in a time warp - culture, traditions and way of life still a reflection of past centuries than any indication of 21st century.

Bhutan is the last bastions of Mahayana Buddhism. Against the backdrop of majestic Himalayas, Buddhist Spirit permeates almost all aspects of Bhutanese culture. Prayer flags flutter on the hills, temples and Dzongs dot the landscape, and religious festivals are celebrated through out the year. Due to Bhutan’s staunch conservation policies, country’s forest and environment are in pristine condition. Bhutan is one of the Biodiversity Hotspots with greater that 200 mammals, 770 birds and more than 5400 plants. Visit Bhutan with HimEX our experience, extensive contacts within the country and our personalized services would make your visit to Bhutan truly enjoyable and memorable one.

Outline Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: In Kathmandu with half day tour.
Day 03: Fly to Paro & transfer to Thimphu
Day 04: At Thimphu – sightseeing tour.
Day 05: Thimphu – Gangtey, 135 km, 4.1/2 hours drive
Day 06: Gangtey Gompa – Gogona 3,100m, 14 km, 5-6 hours walk
Day 07: Gogona – Khotokha, 2,790m, 15 km, 5 - 6 hours walk
Day 08: Trek to Tikke Zampa & transfer to Punakha 1,300m, 12km.
Day 09: Drive to Paro, 125 km, 4 hours drive
Day 10: At Paro for tour.
Day 11: Depart for Kathmandu
Day 12: In Kathmandu at leisure.
Day 13: International Departure.
 Departure Dates  Availability
 06 Apr-18 Apr  Available
 12 Oct-24 Oct  Available
Day 01:
Arrive at Kathmandu.1, 300m via respective airlines.
  On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuwan International Airport you will be received by our staff and will escort you to the Hotel, where our staff will give you a brief orientation of the Hotel, Kathmandu, Trekking, do's and don't and other related information that you might require while in Bhutan and Nepal.
   
Day 02:

A day in Kathmandu.

  After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about the time for your half day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest.
   
Day 03: Flight to Paro & transfer to Thimphu
  In clear weather, Druk Air’s flight to Bhutan provides a wonderful view of Himalayan scenery. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu, it is a fascinating journey, culminating in an exciting descent past forested hills into the Kingdom. On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative and after a drive of one and a half hour duration, reach Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. The seat of government, religion and commerce, Thimphu has been capital of Bhutan since 1955.
Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
   
Day 04:

At Thimphu.


After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit to the following : the National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School or Arts & Crafts School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later visit Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, a fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese material culture and living traditions.
After lunch, visit King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Then visit Changangkha Lhakhang, an old fortress-like temple perched on a ridge above Thimphu, offering fascinating view of the valley. Late afternoon, visit Trashichhoedzong, “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the center of government and religion, site of monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, it was reconstructed in 1960s in traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans. Visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts shops, to browse through example of Bhutan's fine traditional arts. Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangkha paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewelry, interesting items made from local materials. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
   
Day 05 :

Thimphu – Gangtey, 135 km, 4 1/2 hours drive


After breakfast, drive to Gangtey across Dochu-la pass (3,088m/ 10,130 ft) stopping briefly here to take in the view and admire the chorten, mani wall, and prayer flags which decorate the highest point on the road. If skies are clear, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendagang (6,960m), Terigang (7,060m ), Jejegangphugang (7,158 m ), Kangphugang (7,170 m ), Zongphugang (7, 060 m ), a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana - finally Gangkar puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.Afternoon visit Gangtey monastery. Gangtey Goempa (monastery), is perched a top a small hill that rises from the valley floor. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery. In winter this families, together with the monastery’s monks, move away to another monastery, a day’s walk to the south. Gangtey, which is now managed by the government, is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’s and is also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. It is directed by Gangtey Tulku, the ninth reincarnation (Tulku) to bear that name.
Later explore beautiful Phobjikha valley, lying at an altitude of 2900 m. This is the winter home of rare Black-necked Cranes, an endangered species that migrate from its northern habitats in Tibet and Siberia, each winter. Overnight at the hotel in Gangtey.
   
Day 06 : Gangtey Gompa – Gogona 3,100m, 14 km, 5-6 hours walk
  The trek leaves the valley at 2830m and leads south, then west through meadows and fields. It then climbs through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, rhododendrons and magnolia. The trail is rough and rocky and weaves through trees where pack animals have created deep muddy furrows. After crossing Tsele La (3440m) the trail crosses several meadows, and then descends through forests to Gangak (3020m). It is then a short climb to the camp at Gogona (3100m), a beautiful hilltop site overlooking a long valley. Nearby is Gogona Lhakhang and dozens of poles with white prayer flags fluttering. A 30-minute walk beyond Gogona is a hamlet where you may find homemade arra to buy. The women here weave blankets and speak a different dialect called Bjop-kha (language of the nomads). Overnight camp.
   
Day 07: Gogona – Khotokha 2790m, 15 km, 5 - 6 hours walk
  The trail winds gently up above Gogona village, past flocks of sheep and ploughed fields. Climb into a forest of firs, oak, spruce, dwarf rhododendron, miniature azaleas, cypress and juniper. Much of the undergrowth is daphne, the plant that is used for hand-made paper and may be identified by its yellow flowers. Then a long but gradual climbs leads to Shobju La pass (3410m). The trail down from the past is rocky and muddy, weaving through the forest and criss- crossing a small stream. Eventually, at about 3000m, the trail meets a rough trek used by tractors to collect wood from the forest. Follow the road, with a few short cuts through the woods, to a sawmill and woodcutters camp at Dolonaga (2830m). Still heading down, the trail overlooks the broad Khothangkha valley and eventually reaches a clearing, Chorten Karpo, where there are four Chortens dedicated to the four Je Khenpos who came from this area. Three of the Chortens are square, in Bhutanese style, and the fourth is Nepali style.  The best camp is in this clearing at 2790m, beside a forest of a large blue pines overlooking the valley and the village of Khothangkha, comprising about 60 rustic houses. Overnight camp.
   
Day 08:
Khotokha - Tikke Zampa & transfer to Punakha, 1300m, 12 km, 5 hours walk
  A short, steep climb along a well-known path takes you to Tashi La (2800m), this is the upper terminus of the cable car” that transports wood down to Chhuzomsa, 1300m below. The walk down is through a beautiful forest, with the undergrowth changing from rhododendrons and magnolia to ferns and dwarf bamboo. This stretch of trail is one of the finest bird-watching areas in Bhutan. Among the species found here are laughing thrush, shrike, magpie and woodpecker. The trail then plunges down past steep terraced wheat fields to a cluster of houses at Whachay. The trail eventually meets the road near Tikke Zampa at 1500m.
End of trek and then visit Wangduephodrang Dzong, founded by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgayl in 1638. It is located on top of a high ridge overlooking a river junction. The Dzong stands majestically on a spur and commands an impressive view over both north-south and east-west roads.
Evening visit Punakha Dzong, also known as ‘Palace of Happiness’. It is a massive structure at the junction of two rivers and was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1637. Punakha Dzong is the most beautiful and well-known fortress connected with Bhutan’s historical traditions. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.
   
Day 09:

Punakha – Paro, 125 km, 4 hours drive

  Morning drive to Paro en route visiting Simtokha Dzong, oldest Dzong in the country built in 1627 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It now houses the Institute of Language and Cultural studies.Arrive Paro, a beautiful valley, rich in culture, scenic beauty and abound in myths and legends.  Afternoon visit Ta Dzong built in 1951, was once the watch tower for the defense of Rinpung Dzong during inter-valley wars of the 17th century. It was re-established as the National Museum in 1967 and has been rated among the best natural history museums in Asia.
Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘Fortress on a Heap of Jewels’ was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal mainly for defense purpose against frequent incursions. Today, it houses the administrative offices which includes the legislative, executive, judicial and religious centre for the people of Paro, overnight at the hotel in Paro.
   
Day 10: At Paro for tour.
  Morning excursion to Taktsang Lhakhang popularly known as Tiger’s Nest (approx 5 hour walk). It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendor, afternoon drive to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. Along the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan, overnight at the hotel in Paro.
   
Day 11:
Departure for Kathmandu or to connecting flight from Delhi.
  As per the flight towards respective destination either back to Kathmandu or to Delhi connecting the flight back home.
   
Day 12:

Free day at leisure in Kathmandu.

  A free day in Kathmandu, please inform our staff if you would like to go on another short tour in and around Kathmandu Valley or for a scenic mountain flight.
   
Day 13:

Transfer to Airport for the International departure.

  Today as per your international flight time, keep your air ticket and your passport handy. Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from this amazing country, Nepal.
Price includes following services:
 1.  Accommodation sharing twin at Hotel in Kathmandu for 4 nights on Bed & Breakfast basis.
 2.  Accommodation sharing twin at Hotels & Lodges in Bhutan as per itinerary on full board basis.
 3.  Airport transfers in Kathmandu & Paro.
 4.  Guided sightseeing tours of Kathmandu with applicable entrance fees.
 5.  Guided sightseeing tour as per itinerary in Bhutan with accompanying Guide and applicable entrance fees.
 6.  Trekking and Camping arrangement as per itinerary on full board basis.
 7.  Transportation as per itinerary by private vehicle.
 8.  Flight Kathmandu / Paro / Kathmandu.
 9.  Bhutan Entry Visa fees.
 
Our price does not include followings:
 1.  International flights to / from Kathmandu.
 2.  Nepal entry visa fees.
 3.  Lunch and dinner while in Kathmandu Hotel.
 4.  Travel, Medical and Personal insurance.
 5.  Expenses of personal nature, i.e. tipping, laundry, bottled drinks, bar bills etc.
 6.  Any expense for early returning member due sickness, injury or any other reason. No refund will be entertained for any unused service.
 7.  Extra expense occurred due to unexpected circumstances like cancellation of internal flights, floods, strike etc.
 8.  Personal clothing and necessary trekking gear
Extensions

If you are not tied up with time limitations, or have more time before or after your main trip with us, you can join / take following extension trips to make your holiday even interesting. According to extra time you have, you can choose a visit to National Parks for jungle safari viewing rare animals, migrant birds and exotic reptiles or enjoy the whitewater rafting or take a cultural tour of Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nagarkot or even make a quick visit to neighboring countries of Tibet – Roof of the world, India – The country of wonders, Bhutan – The Dragon Kingdom. We can add these extensions before or after your holiday according to the flights that you have booked / can book. Beside these, if you even want just stay in Kathmandu for relax or any independent activities, we can book extra nights at the Hotel. You can book these extensions together with your main trip booking.


Chitwan National Park:

It is one of the oldest and popular National Parks in Nepal recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Site. More than 500 Asian one-horned rhinoceros and some 100 nocturnal Royal Bengal Tigers have made their home in this dense forest. There are an estimated 50 species of mammals, over 526 species of birds, 49 amphibians and reptiles and 150 species of butterflies. ...(More)

 

Bardia National Park:

The far west Nepal is one of the least explored regions of the Himalayas. Within this region is a seldom visited National Park, which still offers challenging adventure. Bardia National Park is the largest park in the lowland Terai covering an area of 968 sq kms and remains a very much untouched wilderness which appeals to the nature lovers. The park situated in Nepal’s Western Terai was established to protect representative ecosystems ...(More)

 

Kathmandu:

It is a treasure trove of ancient art and architecture that lie hidden in the labyrinth of manmade structures. The ancient pagoda temples and Buddhist stupas stand majestically above the rest of the landmarks. The Palace squares fascinate visitors with its exquisite woodwork and carving. You can extend your holiday from 1-3 days visiting these sites. ...(More)

 

Pokhara:
Pokhara is most popular tourist destination after Kathmandu, not because of its easy accessibility but because of its scenic beauty and proximity to many Himalayas. Rarely does a tourist miss a trip to this beautiful valley of lakes and mountain views. Ekai Kawaguchi who was the earliest visitor of this district, was awed by its beauty. The Annapurna range of the Himalayas dominates the landscape around Pokhara and many of treks and ...(More)

 

Nagarkot:

Nagarkot is one of the most popular hill resorts on the fringe of the Kathmandu valley. With an elevation of 2,195m, is 32 kms away from Kathmandu offers a panoramic view of the valley and is described by the visitors as a place whose beauty endures year round. The extraordinary view of the Himalayan peaks from Dhaulagiri to Kanchenjunga is stupendous. Sunrise view from here is truly magnificent. ...(More)

 

Tibet:

Encircled within Himalayan fortress, the image of Tibet has portrayed as “Shangr-la” in the western world. A ‘Land of Snows’ and the ‘Roof of the World’ is mysterious in a way that few other places are. Following virtual closure after the Chinese annexation of the Buddhist Kingdom, Tibet was opened to foreign tourism in 1984. Tibet has become dream adventure destination for the people living in the most sophisticated silicon cities. ...(More)

 

India:
The country of wonders, the lively bazaars, ornate architecture and the something puzzling customs of Indians make any visit a refreshing from the western life. Endowed with a backdrop of that can be anything from snow capped mountain to palm-lined beach, Indian rarely fails to delight adventurous travelers. India is considered to be the rich cultural melting pot with its colorful festivals of all the religion and people, blending well with magnificent landscape  ...(More)

 

Bhutan:

The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, commonly known as ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ is regarded as the last paradise on earth is slowly emerging from centuries of self-imposed isolation. Closed for the outside world until early seventies, Bhutan has adopted the regulated tourism policy for its visitors in this tiny Himalayan Kingdom by allowing to enter limited numbers of tourists every year. Bhutan has retained its religious and cultural values ...(More)

 

River Rafting:

Rafting is undoubtedly the best way to explore the Arcadian Nepal. It involves excitement, scenic views and challenge. Nepal has numerous fine rivers for rafting, kayaking or canoeing. The most prominent white water rafting regions are the eastern, the mid and the western rivers. Of all these regions, river Trisuli and the Bhotekoshi are the main popular rafting rivers for short trips. The rivers sometimes offer hair raising roller coaster rides. ...(More)

 

Mount Everest Flight:
Mountain flight is truly a memorable experience that one should not miss out in Nepal. If you feel you have not seen enough mountains, the mountain flight is the right choice to rejoice with spectacular panoramic mountains’ views. The bird’s eye view of the 6 mighty mountains above 8,000m out of the 14 from a close range is simply unbelievable. The one hour magic flight will make it possible for you to view uninterruptedly all the enchanting beauty ...(More)

 

Bungy Jumping:

(Jumping beyond imagination): Just imagination of jumping down from a bridge of 160m above a tropical gorge with the Bhote Koshi, one of the Nepal’s wildest rivers raging below is enough to make your heartbeat run faster. It is the thrill of Bungy jumping as it there is no fun for real adventure lover if challenge is not so hard and difficult. It is located within a reach of 4 hours outside Kathmandu and just 19 kms away from the Tibet Border. ...(More)

 

Paragliding:

(Flying like a bird): Paragliding is relatively new adventure sports in Nepal. Paragliding in this Himalayan country can be a truly wonderful and fulfilling experience for the adventure seekers. You can experience unparalleled scenic grandeur as you share airspace with Himalayan griffin vultures, eagles, kites while floating over the villages, monasteries, temples, lakes and the jungle with a fantastic view of the majestic Himalayas. ...(More)

 

Ultralight Flight:

Ultralight aircraft is being operated from Pokhara. It has an unique blend of both mountain and plateau area. While flying over the Pokhara valley, you will not miss the scenic beauty of both the Himalayas and the most famous lake of Nepal, Phewa Tal. The flight will be a journey through nature. Don’t miss this truly unique experience. ...(More)

 

Hotels:

We have allowed our packages with just right number of nights of hotel accommodations which enables you to spend nights with quick visits of local market or monuments in the area. However if you have some extra days before or after your main package holiday, you can spend extra nights in Kathmandu or nearby destinations so that you can cover the interesting sights or just relax while you are here. ...(More)

 

Hotel Yak & Yeti:

The Hotel Yak & Yeti with the historic character, suitable for both short or long stay, is fashioned as the fusion of modern design and the noblesse of original heritage interiors. This exceptional city centre hotel is located minutes away from both domestic and international airport. It continues to be the city's leading luxury hotel for business and leisure. ...(More)

 

Hotel Shanker:

Shanker Hotel is housed in a palace built at the turn of the 19th century by a Rana Maharajah with a penchant for French architecture, international cuisine and Eastern hospitality. It was converted into a hotel in 1964. The façade and traditions were kept intact but the interior was redesigned to give travelers the kind of comfort they would expect of a world class hotel. You will live in palace when you live at Hotel Shanker. ...(More)

 

Hotel Malla:
Superbly located between the Royal Palace and Kathmandu's fashionable tourist district, Thamel, in the heart of the city. The Malla Hotel is only a 20 minutes drive from Kathmandu's International airport. Besides excellent accommodation and Central location the Malla Hotel is Offering a well equipped business center, extensive meeting and conference facilities, a health club with the latest work out equipment, sauna, massage, steambath and jacuzzi. ...(More)

 

Hotel Marshyangdi:

Hotel Marshyangdi situated in the heart of Thamel is the best choice for those who want to be in the main tourist hub of Kathmandu. Because of its friendly & professional staff, home like atmosphere, Marshyangdi has been a popular name and home away from home for most of the repeated visitors. The hotel now has 50 deluxe and 5 mini suite rooms besides the regular standard rooms. ...(More)

Trip Facts
  • Trip Name : Gangtey - Phobjikha valley Trek
  • Trip Duration : 13 Days
  • Trip Grade : Moderate
  • Trip Date :
  • Activity : Trek and Walks
  • Highest Altitude : m
  • Month : Apr-May, Sep-Nov

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