Although the Gangtey Trekking is possible throughout the winter, the best time for the Gangtey trek is between March to May and September to November. It is a short and relatively easy trek with several beautiful villages and monasteries en route.
Gangtey trekking trail winds through forests of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendrons and over small streams of cold, clear mountain water. This trek is an excellent choice for those visitors not accustomed to trekking in the mountains, as it offers beautiful views of the country with mostly gentle, forested slopes. The best time for this trek is between September and May. This trek also takes in a visit to the awe inspiring Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest) and to visit two other Dzongs in Paro on arrival. Bhutan tour and trekking is one of the best destination in the world to spend some days for trekking and touring. the Bhutan trip has special rules & regulations and visitor must understand about their rules and regulations.
Trek starts: Phobjikha
Trek duration: 4 days/12 days including transportation
Maximum altitude: 3480m
Minimum altitude: 2250m
Trek ends: Tikke Zampa
Day 1: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and a representative of Unique Nepal Adventure Trek will welcome and transfer you to your selected hotel by private vehicle.
Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Paro (2250m). This flight into Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights to take, as it flies past Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and many more peaks. The flight takes around an hour and a half. We will then go to our hotel and take refreshment and visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and Paro Rinpung Dzong.
Day 3: After breakfast, we drive to Kyichu Lhakhang. King Songtsän Gampo built the Lhakhang in the 7th century AD. The associated legend is that – this is one of 108 Lhakhang’s built in a single night by the king to tame his kingdom’s borders. The next stop is the ancient ruins of Drukgyal Dzong (30 minutes). The Dzong is a monument to the Shabdrung’s victory against an invasion of allied Tibetan-Mongolian forces in 1649. The name “Drukgyal Dzong” thus translates to “Fortress of Victory”. The Dzong was destroyed in a fire in the 1950s. On clear days, Drukgyal is an excellent place to view the glorious mountain Jomolhari. Return to stay for lunch, rest and prepare for the trek up to Taktsang Monastery (the “Tiger’s Nest”).
Drive to the start of the trek. Trek (or horse ride) to Taktsang Monastery (trek time is 2-3 hours depending on weather and fitness level).Taktsang is perched on a precipitous 900 meter cliff. The monastery has been restored at painstaking efforts to former glory after a fire in 1998. The legend is that Guru Padmasambhava flew to this holy place on the back of tigress to meditate. More recently, one of the most enlightened abbots in modern Bhutan history, Geshe Gendun Rinchen (1926 – 1997) also known as Draphugpa (Of the Caves), was born in a small cave by the path to the monastery. Tea and refreshments will be taken at Taktsang Café for about an hour’s rest to take photos and view the scenery. We will then descend to road point (horses cannot be ridden) and drive back to Paro to prepare for the trek.
Day 4: Paro – Thimphu
In the morning we take a bus and follow the winding road beside the Paro Chhu downstream to its confluence with the Thimphu Chhu, then up the valley to Thimphu. The drive will take about an hour and a half. In the afternoon, you will have a choice to visit all or a few of the following places:-
Tashichho Dzong: The Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery cum fortress at the northern edge of Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan.
National Memorial Chorten: It was gifted to the nation on 28 July, 1974. The exquisite wall paintings and the delicately carved statues reflect deep insights into Buddhist spirituality and a rich tradition of prayer and learning.
Handicrafts Emporium: A government run craft shop with a wide range of goods at set prices. There is a specialized selection of books on Buddhism and local subjects on the second floor. Stay overnight in a hotel in Thimphu.
Day 5: Thimphu – Gangtey (Phobjikha)
After breakfast we drive to Gangtey by going over the Dochu La pass (3116m). The Dochu La pass is probably the best known mountain pass in Bhutan. Spend some time on the pass and then continue the drive to Gangtey. If time permits, visit the Gangtey Goemba. The Gangtey Monastery or the Gangtey Goemba is an important monastery/temple with the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. Stay overnight at a hotel.
Day 6: Phobjikha – Zasa
Distance 15 km, 6-7 hours, 610m ascent, 410m descent, camp altitude 3130m.
The trek starts near the village of Tabiting. The trail winds through meadows and fields and the climb takes you through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendron to Tsele La (3430m). From here you descend into the Juge Kangkha Chhu valley. Further on, the path leads to Gogona, well known for its “Gogona Cheese” production. The campsite is a bit further on besides a small stream in a yak pasture called Zasa.
Day 7: Zasa – Chorten Karpo
Distance 16 km, 5-7 hours, 450m ascent, 860m descent, camp altitude 3330m.
A gentle climb leads to Shobe La pass (3480m). The descent from the pass leads to a wide valley, surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges. Below the route you can see Khothokha, a village with about 60 houses. You finally reach the campsite by climbing gently up till you see four chortens in a forest of blue pine.
Day 8: Chorten Karpo – Tikke Zampa
Distance 12 km, 4-5 hours, 120m ascent, 1340m descent.
From the camp you climb until you reach a forest road. From here it is an easy walk up to a little ridge at 2800m. The walk down back into the valley leads you through Bhutan’s best bird watching areas. This is where the trek finishes and a car will pick up us up and take us to Punakha. Stay overnight in a hotel.
Day 9: Punakha – Paro
Drive back to Paro for 4-5 hours and have an evening walk around Paro city and do some sightseeing and shopping for some souvenirs. Stay overnight at a hotel.
Day 10: Fly back to Kathmandu. Stay overnight at your selected hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 11: Souvenir and sightseeing in Kathmandu.
Day 12: A representative ofUnique Nepal Adventure Trek will drop you off at Tribhuvan International Airport by private vehicle.
Distance 15 km, 6-7 hours, 620m ascent camp altitude 3780m.
The vegetation along the route is similar to places crossed the previous day. Near the campsite the vegetation thins out and the camp is made above tree line.
Day 8: Tshochenchen – Duer Tsachu
Distance 18 km, 8-9 hours, 1340m ascent, 1530m descent, camp altitude 3590m.
The trek from Tshochenchen is uphill all the way until Juli La (4700m). If the day is clear, you will have a great view of the surrounding mountains from the pass. After crossing the pass, the trail descends to a lake at 4220m and then climbs again to Gokthong La (4640m). From here the path is a steep descent until the campsite. Musk deer, herds of blue sheep and Himalayan bears are sometimes seen along the route.
Day 9: Duer Tsachu – Rest day
As the highlight of the trek, today will be spent resting at the Duer Tsachu. After a late breakfast, relax in the rejuvenating hot springs or take a leisurely walk around surrounding areas.
Day 10: Duer Tsachu – Tshochenchen
Distance 18km, 8-9 hours, 1530m ascent, 1340m descent, camp altitude 3780m.
Return by the same route taken on day eight. The journey will be even tougher than before as there is slightly more climbing than descending.
Day 11: Tshochenchen – Lungsum
Distance 15 km, 5 hours, 620m descent, camp altitude 3160m.
Return by the route taken on day seven.
Day 12: Lungsum – Gorsum
Distance 12 km, 4 hours, 40m descent, camp altitude 3120m.
The trail descends gradually from the campsite. It leads through dense forest of Spruce, Hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple.
Day 13: Gorsum – Duer Village
Distance 18km, 6 hours, 380m descent
From Gorsum the trail descends gradually until the bridge near Duer village, where you reach the road head. Stay overnight at a hotel.
Day 14: Fly from Jakar to Paro and do some sightseeing and shopping for some souvenirs. Stay overnight at a hotel.
Day 15: Fly back to Kathmandu. Stay overnight at your selected hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 16: Souvenir and sightseeing in Kathmandu.
Day 17: A representative ofUnique Nepal Adventure Trek will drop you off at Tribhuvan International Airport by private vehicle.
- Airport pick-up and drop off by private vehicle.
- Two nights in your selected Kathmandu hotel with breakfast.
- All meals during the trek (lunch, dinner, breakfast and tea or coffee).
- Accommodation in a hotel in Paro, Thimphu, Gangtey and Punakha.
- Accommodation in twin shared tents with mattress.
- All necessary equipment for camping.
- One English speaking government trained license holder and well informed trekking guide.
- Dependent on group size, cook, kitchen boy and extra horses)
- All expenses for guide and porters – meals, accommodation, salary, equipment, insurance, transportation (bus/flights) etc.
- First Aid kit bag.
- Government and local area taxes where applicable. These include Royalty fees and road permit fees.
- Return transportation from Kathmandu to Paro by flight.
- Return transportation from Paro to Thimphu and onto Gangtey, then to Punakha and back to Paro by private vehicle.
- A Bhutanese visa fee, where the cost is dependent on the time of year you visit. See the link for Bhutan Information for prices.
- Nepalese entry visa fee and departure tax. (See the ‘Visa Information’ link under ‘Trekking Info’ for current fees)
- Travel insurance.
- Soft and alcoholic drinks (mineral water, hot water, coke, fanta, beer, spirits, etc).
- Snacks (Chocolate, biscuits etc).
- Hot water, hot shower, heater charge, battery charge, phone calls and laundry service.
- Donation, tips and personal expenses.
- Emergency evacuation and medical equipment.
- In case of natural calamities i.e. political unrest, cancellation of flight due to weather, landslides, etc, the extra charge will be borne by themselves.
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
- Please note that you cannot hire equipment and other personal items in Bhutan such as (sleeping bag, down jacket, hiking boots, etc). You must either bring these items into the country by yourself, or they can be hired from Kathmandu.