Our Top Three Hikes in Bhutan

Sunset on Dochula Pass with Himalaya in background – Bhutan
Dochu La Pass Buddhist Shrine

Thimphu to Punakha

This relatively easy hike between Thimphu and Punakha, takes approximately 3-4 hours round trip and takes you past the Buddhist shrine at Dochula Pass (10,000 ft) to Lungchutse Monastery. The path is used primarily by horses, cattle and yaks. If here during spring, you will see blooming rhododendron, juniper, birch and hemlock. The reward when reaching the monastery is panoramic views north of Bhutan’s major peaks 22-24,000 feet in elevation.

Phobjikha Valley. Kingdom of Bhutan
Phobjikha Valley

Phobjikha Valley: Gangtey Nature Trail

A short and easy trek, mostly down hill, taking approximately 2 hours, starts atop a small hill at the 16th century Gangtey Goemba. As you hike down you will pass through meadows blooming with wildflowers. A must-do for nature and wildlife lovers, this trail is an excellent glimpse into the peace and quiet rural Bhutanese life.

Taktshang Goemba – Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Tiger's Nest

Tiger’s Nest

Though moderately difficult, extremely worth it! As the walk to Tiger’s Nest is up a relatively steep grade, we suggest a slow walking pace, with several stations available to rest. We feel the walk down to be more treacherous, as you may easily slip if wet/damp conditions.

Though you may decide the option on site of hiring horses for the uphill journey to Tiger’s Nest, we recommend walking on the downhill part of the journey.

The monastery’s namesake, “Tiger’s Nest” comes from local folklore that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this spot. The monastery has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shubdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646. All Bhutanese visit here at least once in their lifetime. Though severely damaged by a fire in 1998, Taktshang has been painstakingly restored to its original luster.

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