This is a fairly easy three-day trek that takes you through beautiful valleys and along clear, trout-filled rivers. Bumthang is often known as the ‘cultural heartland’ of Bhutan and there are plenty of ancient temples to visit during the hike.
In addition to the numerous lhakhangs there are also a number of small villages where you can stop and rest. The only segment of the trek that may prove challenging is a 500m ascent to Pephe La pass. The best time to embark on this trek is in spring or autumn.
Day 1: Toktu Zampa – NgangLhakhang
Distance 12 km, 4-5 hours, 170 m ascent, camp altitude 2,800 m
The route follows the Chamkhar Chu, a river known for trout and stops for lunch at ThangbiLhakhang. From here the trek enters the NgangYul (Land of the Swan) at the centre of which lies the NgangLhakhang (Swan Temple). The valley was once populated by swans, and hence the name NgangYul
Day 2: Ngang Lhakhang – Tahung
Distance 16 km, 6 hours, 750 m ascent, 670 m descent, camp altitude 2,720 m
You’ll begin the day by crossing verdant meadows and with a beautiful view of the valley below. Then you climb gradually to Phephe La (3,360m), the highest point of the trek route. The trail passes through beautiful forested areas where many stops can be made to enjoy the natural beauty of your surroundings.
Day 3: Tahung – Mesithang
Distance 16 km, 4-5 hours, 230 m descent
The trail follows the Tang Chu, another trout-filled river. On the bank of the river is the Tang Rimpoche’sLhakhang. The trek will pass the MebarTsho (Burning Lake) and lead you to Tang Ogyencholing. Ogyencholing Palace houses the only privately owned museum in Bhutan and has all manner of traditional artifacts on display. From here you will soon reach the road head.