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December, 2022

The Beauty of Summer in Gangtey Valley

During the summer months of June, July and August the moody monsoon rains roll in from India and the valleys of Bhutan are blessed with abundant rain. These summer rains make for lush, fertile valleys, green paddy fields, forests dense with blue pine and rivers that hurtle by, full to overflowing with pristine waters from the mountains above. The valleys of Bhutan have never looked more beautiful.

Phobjikha (Gangtey) Valley is no exception. A glacial valley and high altitude wetland located above 3000m on the western slopes of Bhutan’s Black Mountains, it is one of the country’s main conservation areas and a biological corridor squeezed in between Bhutan’s two largest national parks. It is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, including Bhutan’s famous Black Neck Cranes. Phobjikha is the wintering ground for these protected birds that are now sadly a globally threatened species and each year during the months of October to February more than 300 of them return to Phobjikha Valley from their summer breeding place on the Tibetan Plateau. The valley remains one of the few places in the world where these birds can still be seen.

There are two main rivers that flow through the valley and an ancient tale describes one, the Nakay Chhu, as a snake and the other, the Gay Chhu, as a wild boar. Legend has it that one day the two animals decided to race across the valley and they agreed that if the snake won, then rice would be grown in the region but if the boar won, the farmers would have to choose something else to grow. The Nakay Chhu meandered all over Phobjikha and eventually lost its way and so the boar won and the valley began growing potatoes, not rice like the rest of Bhutan!

Gangtey Valley View
Terrace Corner

Today it’s possible for guests, through our Gangtey Lodge Experiences, to visit a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse and join the family in harvesting potatoes along with other crops such as turnips and radish and also learn how to make homemade butter and cheese – all part of the experience of visiting this remote valley and its small, friendly community. You can learn more about our experiences here.

It is not uncommon for guests traveling to Phobjikha Valley to glimpse majestic views of the mighty Himalayas but during summer these vast mountain vistas are hidden, tucked behind the thick clouds that creep in and hang low and heavy in the warm afternoon. The valleys of Bhutan wait patiently for them to burst and when they do, these magical monsoon rains wash away the troubles of the day, leaving everything clean and sparkling in their wake.

The World’s Last Remaining Vajrayana Buddhist Kingdom

Bhutan is the world’s last remaining Vajrayana Buddhist Kingdom, and this ancient spiritual tradition is, to this day, embedded in the very consciousness and culture of the people.


Sous Chef Wangchuk travelled to Thailand in August of 2022 to train at the beautiful Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, winner of the ‘Top Destination Spa Resort in the World’ in the Conde Nast Traveler, Readers’ Choice Awards.

The Story Behind the World’s Fastest Vaccine Roll Out

On July 20th, Bhutan began the roll out of the world’s fastest inoculation program, reaching 90% of its eligible adult population with a second dose within one week.

Gangtey Lodge Team Updates: Kinley Wangchuk & Kinley Dorji

‘What are the Gangtey Lodge Team doing whilst Bhutan’s borders and Lodge are closed?’ is a question we often get asked.

We are happy to have kept all our team employed on rotation, whilst they pursue other projects in their free time.  Here we interview Kinley Wangchuk (Food and Beverages Attendant)  and Kinley Dorji (Spa Manager), about their work as Desuups – the Kingdom’s ‘Guardians of Peace’.

Supporting the Conservation of Black-Necked Cranes

If Bhutan wears the crown for caring for the environment, then Phobjikha Valley is the jewel in that crown. Phobjikha Valley is one of the largest, high-altitude wetlands in Bhutan, situated on the western slopes of Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park.

Gangtey Lodge Team Updates: Sonam Tshering, Sangay Tshering & Wangchuk Dorji

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bhutan’s borders have had to remain closed for quite some time now, meaning that we haven’t been able to welcome any of you to experience our great nation. During these hard times, while we have been able to keep our whole team employed on rotation, there has been a lot of free time away from the lodge for our team to utilise. We asked some of our team members to share what they have been doing during this time.