Places to visit in Phobjika

Phobjika Bhutan is a glacial valley located on the western slopes of the Black Mountain at an altitude of 9840 feet above the sea level. Although, it is part of the Wangdiphodrang district, it is located on a separate valley. Known for its breath talking scenery, it is approximately two hours’ drive from Wangdi Phodrang.  The valley is the largest alpine wet land in Bhutan and a designated eco-tourism hotspot in the country. The beautiful wide valley, offers tourist a sense of vast tranquil expanse and is the winter home to the rare endangered black-necked crane that migrates from high plateaus of Tibet in late fall. These birds have very interesting mating dances and they hold special place in Bhutanese folklore, songs and paintings. Besides, the cranes Muntjak (barking deer), Wild boar, Sambar, Himalayan black bear, Leopard and Red fox are also locals to the valley.  Phobjika is a designated conservation area and borders Black Mountain National Park. Home to close to five thousand subsistence farmers, the locals are very protective about the valley and crane habitat, and actively engages on sustainable development. The valley is a hallmark of community based tourism in Bhutan.

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The two beautiful rivers Nakay river (Black water) and Gay river (White water) meandering through the valley, amplifies the aesthetic beauty of the valley. One can engage on a wide range of outdoor activity in the valley; nature walks and hiking is very popular, outdoor camping, horse hiding, cycling, bird watching and hot air balloon experience is a must. One may also choose to visit the valley in conjunction with local events like Gangtey Festival and Black Neck Crane festival. Please refer to our events calendar for dates.

While there is certainly, dearth of hotel options in Phobjika, stays in local farmhouse is a popular alternative option and experience. Amankora Gangtey and Gangtey Goenpa lodge offers luxury hotels option to tourist. Please refer to our Hotels in Phobjika page for details.  They valley is perfect for honeymooners, who wish to relax and enjoy the pristine natural beauty without any disturbances. The Amankora Gangtey offers some very discerning experiences such as bespoke outdoor dining experiences and hot stone bath.

Places to see in Phobjika Bhutan.

Gangtey Gompa Monastery.

Gantey Gompa monastery sits atop a hilltop that overlooks the Phobjikha valley. It is headed by the ninth Gangtey Trulku and is the largest Nyingma monastery in western Bhutan. Gyalse Pema Thinlay built a small temple in 1613, which was later built into larger Goemba by the 2nd reincarnation Tenzin Legpai Dhendup. The temple is an important place of pilgrimage for Bhutanese.

Black Neck Crane Information center.

Located on the edge of the forest and marsh land along the main road of the valley, the information center offers observation room with high powered telescope for best safe viewing of the cranes. In addition, the center also has a small handicraft shop and offers information on natural and cultural history of the Phobjika and Gangtey.

Day Hikes.

Shasila Trail, Khotokha Trail and Gangtey nature trail are some of the popular day hikes in the valley.  These trails offers access to pristine bio diversity of the valley and remote villages. The Shasila Trail is highly recommended for Brid watchers and takes approximately six hours from Phobjika to reach kheylaykha. The trail is used by villagers of Sha Ngawang and Chitokha to travel between their summer and winter homes. The Khotokha trail offers more challenge in terms of gradient and takes approximately four hours to reach Khotokha. Whilst in village one may visits the monasteries and farmhouses. The Gangtey nature trails takes approximately six hours. And takes one through stunning blue fine forest and local villages.