Phobjikha Valley is a stunningly vast U-shaped glacial landscape also known as Gangtey or Gangteng Valley after the impressive Gangteng Monastery. Uncover a vast marshy land crisscrossed by swathes of grassy pasture where cattle and horse graze. The picturesque valley, set against the backdrop of the towering Black Mountain Range, offers rich biodiversity and is popular for its scenic splendor and cultural uniqueness. Phobjikha Valley is brimming with diverse fauna, including the black-necked cranes and 13 other globally threatened species. It’s also famous for a special type of dwarf bamboo, which draws in the cranes during roosting season in the winter. The region is also famous for its coniferous forests with blue pine, maple and rhododendrons interspersed through the valley, along with farmlands where cash crops such as potato and turnips are grown.
Start your visit of the Phobjikha Valley (Gangtey) from the famous Gangtey Goempa, perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor. The monastery is home to the main seat of the guru Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche, the founder of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Walk through the little town of Gangtey with its small market area lined with charming, traditional Bhutanese houses. Don’t miss the ancient stupa (sacred monument) which marks your entrance to the town. This is also the perfect opportunity to learn about the region’s famous black-necked cranes while visiting the black crane info center in Phobjikha Valley. These graceful cranes (Grus nigricollis) travel all the way from the Tibetan Plateau to this valley to roost during the winter season. (Half Day; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness level: Easy; Please bring comfortable walking shoes.)