Embrace Bhutan Cultural Tour
Wangdue | Bhutan
11 Nov 2019 | Mon
Day 05 of 13
Drive | Punakha to Gangtey
Today was a busy travel day – we left Punakha and drove to Phobjikha Valley (home of Gangtey Monastery and Black-Necked Crane Visitor Centre). Along the way, we passed through the town of Wangdue Phodrang (located along two rivers – Puna Tsang Chu and Dang Chu).
We stopped off at a popular “stretch your legs and have a cup of tea/cup” spot at Hotel Kuenphen Norbuding Restaurant. Near the end of our driving journey, we crossed another high pass Lawa La Pass (10,700ft).
We arrived at Gangtey Monastery in Phobjikha Valley around lunchtime. We were originally scheduled to attend the famous Black-Necked Crane Festival that was taking place today, but our guide Tashi told us that it’s very difficult to see the actual dances due to overcrowding. Since we were already scheduled to see the last day of Prakhar Tsechu in Bumthang (dances here are considered some of the best in Bhutan), we all agreed with Tashi that it would be best to skip the Black-Necked Crane Festival at Gangtey Monastery.
So instead, we had a wonderful picnic lunch in a beautifully scenic spot near Gangtey Monastery (prepared by the same family that we would be staying with that night – Wangchuk Dema Village Homestay).
After lunch, we took a short hike on the nearby Gangtey Nature Trail, which took us through Semchubara village and by Phobjikha valley (incredible view!), where we spotted a few black-necked cranes in the distance. Our hike ended at Khewang Lhakhang Temple (where our driver was waiting). We then took a short drive across the street to the Black-Necked Crane Visitor Centre (informative and interesting).
We finished up the day with a short drive to our next overnight stay – Wangchuk Dema Village Homestay.