Changzamtog, Thimphu, Bhutan
Mon - Sun : 09.00 AM - 08.30 PM

Tour Overview

The 3-day trek in the Phobjika Valley, reaching an altitude of 11,277ft/3438m, is suitable for all seasons, with temperatures ranging from freezing in winter to hot and monsoonal in summer.

Accessed by a day’s journey by vehicle from Paro or Thimphu via Wangdi, the trek begins after passing through the Lawala pass (10,791ft/3290m), marked by a chorten, where the picturesque valley unfolds. In winter, its large houses are vacant as residents move to warmer places around Wangdi. The valley, characterized by its glacial U-shaped form, features marshes and the Nake Chhu river, attracting black-necked cranes during their mid-November migration from Tibet. The Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) actively conserves the habitat, operating a black-necked crane information center and guesthouse for birdwatchers. Wildlife in the area includes barking deer, Himalayan black bear, leopard, wild boar, and red fox.

The valley boasts attractions such as Gangte Gompa, currently undergoing renovation, along with a BHU, two schools, RSPN center, and several guesthouses/hotels. Telephone and electricity wires are prohibited to avoid disrupting the black-necked cranes.

Various day hikes are available, including the Gangte trail, visits to nearby villages, and the Kilkhorthang trail to Kungathang Lhakhang. Note the different names for the same areas – Phobjika or Phobjikha valley, and Gangte, Gangtey, or Gangteng valley, with “Gangte” referring to the gompa and village.

Four trekking routes originating from the Phobjika valley are outlined below.

Day 1: Phobjika valley to Gogona (Zasa) via Hele La 

Day 2: Gogona to Chorten Karpo via Shobju La

Day 3: Chorten Karpo to bridge at Tika Zampa or suspension bridge at Chazam via Mulai La

Day 1: Phobjika valley to Gogona (Zasa) via Hele La 

Start near Tabiting village, ascend alongside a stream to Hele La pass. From the pass, take the right path at the first split and gradually descend through a mixed forest into Kangkha Chhu valley, reaching Gogona village in 5-6 hours.

Day 2: Gogona to Chorten Karpo via Shobju La

Ascend through meadow and mixed forest to Shobju La pass in 2.5 hours. Descend into Khotokha valley. Turn right at Wacchey village and climb to the campsite at Chorten Karpo below four large chortens, taking 5-6 hours in total.

Day 3: Chorten Karpo to bridge at Tika Zampa or suspension bridge at Chazam via Mulai La

From the campsite, ascend to the ridge’s peak at Mulai La, then begin a challenging descent through a beautiful forest. Follow the trail to Wachay village, where the National Highway becomes visible.

What should I bring with me?

· Good walking shoes
· Sunglasses
· Sunscreen (highest possible)
· Woolen cap
· Prescription medications/ first aid (only basic first aid is/ can be provided)
· Sturdy and ‘broken-in’ trekking boots
· Rain gear
· Torch (flashlight)
· Insect Repellent
· Gaiters
· Gloves
· T-shirts
· Comfortable walking pants
· Down jacket
· Day bag (to carry your requirements while walking)
· Energy chocolate bars
· Water bottle
· Memory card and batteries for camera and flashlight
· Toiletries

Maximum recommended load for trekking is 25kgs (55 lbs), or 1/5th of body weight.

What will be the weather like in Bhutan?
Days are normally warm, nights can be quite chilly. In winter, the temperature is below freezing point. Monsoon shower in summer can be expected with heavy rains in July and August.

Preventing Altitude Sickness

· Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills or other narcotics, they may decrease ventilation, intensify hypoxemia and make symptoms worse.
· Drink plenty of fluids.
· Avoid heavy exercise at high altitudes. Mild exercise is okay.
· Diamox (acetazolamide) 125 mg. tablets taken twice a day is F.D.A. approved for prevention and treatment of A.M.S. Although it originally was released as a diuretic (water pill), it also helps you breath deeper and faster. This allows you to get more oxygen. Diamox is especially helpful with the sleeping problems and other symptoms of A.M.S.
· Home oxygen will relieve symptoms. Home oxygen is safe, cheap and easy to use. It can be used at night when symptoms are worse and off and on during the day as symptoms dictate.
· If nothing else works, you can return to lower altitude. Going down to lower altitudes will always help relieve the symptoms of AMS, it is also one of the best ways to overcome the sickness.

Acute mountain sickness is caused by lack of Oxygen when traveling to higher elevations. This usually occurs in individuals exposed to an altitude of over 7000 ft (2100 m) who have not had a chance to acclimate to the altitude before engaging in physical activities. Mountaineers, trekkers, skiers and mountain travelers are at the greatest risk. While individual tolerance varies, symptoms usually appear within several hours, with those in weaker physical conditions being more susceptible. Headache, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and poor appetite are the initial symptoms. Inability to sleep is also frequently reported. In more severe cases, thinking and judgment may become impaired. An uncommon but potentially fatal complication called high altitude pulmonary edema, caused by fluid build-up in the lungs can also occur in rare cases.

The symptoms of acute mountain sickness can be prevented or minimized by gradually ascending (less than 500 meters/day) over several days to give your body a chance to acclimate to the higher altitude. Taking the prescription medication Diamox (acetazolamide) 250 mg three times a day has been shown to speed up the acclimatization process and can be taken shortly before and during the ascent. Do not take this medication if you are allergic to sulfa drugs. This medication is a mild diuretic and may work by changing the body’s acid-base balance and stimulating breathing. Dexamethasone 8 mg once a day has also been shown to be effective. However, this steroid medication may have more adverse effects. Once symptoms occur, they usually improve over several days without treatment. However, if they become severe, they can be relieved with the administration of oxygen or descent to a lower altitude.


A soft but strong duffel bag luggage is best suited on treks as it will be loaded on horse backs. A small back pack (day bag) to carry your essential things on the way like rain gear, wind stopper, camera, batteries, water bottle, candies etc.