Phobjikha Valley (Gangtey)
Placed against a backdrop of the Black Mountains, Phobjikha is one of the flattering bowl-shaped valleys in the country which offers breathtaking views of vast expanses of green fields visible from a number of points along the journey. Also visible at the end of the year is the sight of hundreds of endangered black-necked cranes who fly to their winter home in this valley so snugly nestled amongst the mountains.
Bhutan is known for its natural beauty and the warmth of its people. Out of all its districts, there are some which are less-visited and are comparatively less touristy than say, popular cities like Paro and Thimphu. However, these regions have their allure despite being relatively undiscovered. Phobjikha Valley, located in Wangdue Phodrang District is one of the few glacial valleys in the country. It is distinctly different from the others in the sense that it is shaped like a bowl due to the glacier that existed before and hence is much flatter as compared to others in its category. This valley is located at an average altitude of about 3000 m above sea level which makes it slightly colder compared to other regions. Phobjikha is also known as Gangtey after the Gangtey monastery that overlooks the entire valley. This valley would suit the taste of all nature-lovers, hikers, trekkers and those with a keen interest in birds.It boasts of being the winter home of the endangered Black Necked Crane who fly to the valley to escape the harsh winter in Tibet and is also one of the most important conservation sites in Bhutan.This valley is also relatively untouched by the outside world, and use of electricity in the region began only a few years ago. Ideal for a 1 – 2-day visit, this valley offers not just trips to spiritual and religious Lhakhangs and Goombas but also many hiking and walking trails along which one can encounter the most beautiful of views of birds and landscape alike. There are also a few villages one could visit and observe the rural life thereof. One could take home the intricately designed handwoven carpets from the famous factory in Gangtey or handicrafts from the village shops and maybe a bag full of memories.