Overview – Gangtey Trekking
The Gangtey trekking is described by many to be the most venerated and amazing trek that exists in Bhutan. This 9-day ordeal leads you deep into the isolated parts of the Gangtey valley which are unblemished by human hands. Dwell deep into this glacial valley and admire the colossal shards that decorate the Bhutanese horizon like Chomolhari and Gangkhar Puensum. Observe never before seen scenery in the quaint valleys of Gogona, Phobjikha, Khotokha, and share drinks with the locals that dwell in this wilderness. The Gangtey trek is bound to exceed all your expectations both for authenticity and thrill.
Upon arriving at the Land of the Thunder Dragon, you’ll feel that the air here is much cleaner and fresher. This is to be expected as the country is densely forested. A quick drive will take you to Thimpu and there the first leg of this trek commences. This ancient capital is a place where you can observe modernization and culture co-existing in harmony. Make your way to the Memorial Chorten which symbolizes peace and harmony. The stupa is beautifully draped in white with golden peaks. Marvel at the Dechen Phodrang monastery that dates back to the 12th century. This monastery houses more than 500 monks, each with a story to tell. Head to Punakha via bus, and admire gorgeous hilly scenery along the way. Punakha is comparatively warm but you can still see giant mountains. Proceed forward until you reach Gangtey. Visit the 17th-century monastery here and if you’re lucky, you can observe black-necked cranes that migrate here from Tibet.
Gangtey Trekking Highlights
From Gangtey, the trek officially commences. The organized roads are now no more as now, you have to walk on the rough trails. The road gradually transcends from forested ones to barren and desolate ones. The Tsele La Pass is the first barrier and then we reach the camp at Gogona. Rest at the Gogona Lakhang and be sure to pray. Enjoy the local alcohol and move towards the Shobju La pass. The road is demanding but worth the effort. Walk along forested trails with random appearances of cattle and people. After completing the snowy part of the trek, we now enter the densely forested part till Tikke Zampa. As you walk, you can see exotic birds here like shrike, woodpecker, and magpie. The road leads you back to Punakha and after a much-needed rest, we visit the Tiger’s Nest monastery in Paro and bid farewell to this exotic land.
Day 1: Arrival at the Paro International Airport and head to Thimpu. (2350 m) Distance covered: 50.4 km by bus
Day 2: Sightseeing and exploration of Thimpu
Day 3: Drive to Punakha from Thimpu. (1242m) Distance covered: 85 km by bus
Day 4: Drive to Gangtey from Punakha (3000m) Distance covered: 75 km by bus
Day 5: Trek from Gangtey to Gogona (3100m) Trek for 5-6 hrs. distance covered: 14 km
Day 6: Trek from Gogona to Khotokha (2790m) Trek for 5-6 hrs. Distance covered: 15 km
Day 7: Trek from Khotokha to Tikke Zampa and head back to Punakha via bus. Trek for 4-5 hrs. Distance covered: 12 km
Day 8: Drive to Paro from Punakha by bus. Distance covered: 125.4 km by bus
Day 9: Sightseeing and exploring Paro
Day 10: Departure from the Paro International Airport, Bhutan