Bumthang Cultural Trek, Bhutan

The Bumthang Cultural Trek is an easy three-day trek that takes you through the Himalayan landscape, rivers, and beautiful valleys. The Bumthang valley is the religious heartland of Bhutan and on the way, you will have the opportunity to visit some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. A highlight is a trek to Phephela at 3,360 m. You can also visit local homes to experience the indigenous buckwheat pancake (Khooli) and buckwheat noodles (puta)

Best time for this trek:  April to May and September to November. Please note that this trek is not recommended for December-March due to the extreme cold weather.

Bumthang Cultural Trek, Bhutan at a glance
  • Day 1: Toktu Zampa – Ngang Lhakhang
  • Day 2: Ngang Lhakhang – Tahung
  • Day 3: Tahung – Mesithang
Bumthang Cultural Trek, Bhutan Image 1

Day 1: Toktu Zampa – Ngang Lhakhang

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 Thangbi Lhakhang. From here the trek enters the Ngang Yul (Land of the Swan) at the centre of which lies the Ngang Lhakhang (Swan Temple). The valley was once populated by swans, and hence the name Ngang Yul

Bumthang Cultural Trek, Bhutan Image 2

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. The path leads you downhill into a broad valley. Amongst several possible camping sites, the most likely one is uphill behind the village of Tahung.

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’s Lhakhang. The trek will pass the Mebar Tsho (Burning Lake) and lead you to Tang Ogyencholing. Ogyencholing Palace houses the only privately owned museum in Bhutan and has all manner of traditional artefacts on display. From here you will soon reach the road head.

Highlights

Bumthang: cultural heartland and Bumthang Trek

Bumthang is the base for experiencing the Bhutanese rural life through a three-day Bumthang Trek.

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Accommodation

Bumthang, Standard Class
Mountain Lodge

A local family owned property, one of the longest established in Bumthaung, and located within a tranquil, pine forest setting, the lodge enjoys views across an adjoining village to the historic and imposing Wangduechoeling Palace.

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