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Quiet and soothing, Gangtey is a town of peaceful monasteries and flourishing wildlife. Nestled in a glacial valley at the center of the nation, Gangtey overlooks a landscape of potato fields, alpine meadows, and even rare, black-necked cranes. Local culinary specialties include yaksha momo, or Tibetan-style dumplings stuffed with yak meat and fresh potatoes, as well as a variety of spicy casseroles and stews, heavily influenced by the surrounding areas of Nepal, Tibet, and India.
Must-see sights include Gangtey Monastery, perched atop a hill that overlooks the entire valley, and the Black-Necked Crane Center, a conservation program seeking to preserve the breeding grounds and habitat of the endangered creature.
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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald counts her dinner with the Bhutanese royal family, and her private rinpoche blessing, as two of her most treasured travel memories.
Stroll through the quaint village of Gangtey and visit the imposing Gangtey Monastery, which offers a commanding view of the entire valley. Built in 1613, the monastery is home to 100-odd monks, and features one of the largest prayer halls in all of Bhutan.
Black-Necked Crane Center
Visit the Black-Necked Crane Center and see the reclusive species’ nesting and breeding grounds. The black-necked cranes are a rare animal revered in Bhutanese culture and folklore. Each time the cranes enter and leave Gangtey, they are often spotted circling the air three times before taking off; locals believe that this is the cranes’ way of demonstrating gratitude for the food and shelter received during their stay in Bhutan.
Cranes typically visit Gangtey from November to March of each year.
Subject to availability, attend a debate session at the Gangtey Shedra, the local monastic college. Here, upwards of 150 resident monks, ranging in age from approximately 15 to 40, congregate in the evening to discuss the various topics of their studies. These debates, an integral part of the monks’ education, are conducted in the national language of Dzongkha, which can be difficult to understand at times even for some native Bhutanese. However, you can still witness the passion behind each monk’s advocacy of his point of view, which creates a lively and fascinating atmosphere, and your guide will translate so you can get the gist of the debates.
Embark on a half-day hike to the top of the 10,500 foot (3,200 meter) high Lawala Pass, a truly spiritual experience. On a clear day, climbers can see the outlines of snowcapped peaks in the distance.
Bhutanese Cooking Class
Discover the intricacies of Bhutanese cuisine in a cooking class as you prepare kakur hentsey jaju (pumpkin soup), yaksha momo (yak dumplings), laphu marp hogay (traditional carrot salad), and emadatse (chili and cheese curry).
Enjoy a classic tour of Bhutan’s beautiful countryside on this 14-day journey from Paro to Thimpu. You’ll visit such time-honored spots as Drukgyel Dzong, Tiger’s Nest Monastery, and Gangtey Monastery, step into the lush Tang Valley, all while staying in luxurious Amankora hotels dotted across the country.
Explore the world’s most majestic peaks on this 22-day Himalayan adventure. You’ll trek through China, Nepal, Bhutan and India, staying at luxury hotels and lodges like the Amankora or Uma by COMO. You’ll walk along the Great Wall of China, visit the ancient Potala Palace, and search for Bengal Tigers in Chitwan.
See the contrast of two cultures as they’re juxtaposed before your eyes on this 16-day luxury journey through Thailand’s Bangkok and Bhutan. You’ll compare the glimmering Grand Palace and Wat Arun to the ancient architecture of Bhutan’s monasteries, raft the Mo Chu river, and spend nights at the luxurious Amankora.
Take in Bhutan’s lush landscape on this 16-day luxury bicycle adventure, pedalling past ancient Buddhist temples like the Taktsang Monastery, climbing Bhutan’s highest road pass, Thrumsing La, and gaining insight into local religion at a Buddhist festival in Jakar, while staying in luxe hotels like Uma by COMO.
Take a ride on the open road through Bhutan’s stunning countryside, as you’re chauffeured from Paro to Thimpu in your luxury vehicle. You’ll marvel at religious sites like Rimpung Dzong and Drukgyel Dzong, interact with local families at their farms, and enjoy luxury stays at luxurious Amankora hotels.
Spend 22 days traveling from India to Bhutan on this luxurious adventure of a lifetime. Shop in New Delhi’s world-famous Chandni Chowk market, dine at the Calcutta Polo Club, and marvel at the ancient Tibetan Buddhist Ghoom Monastery, while staying in luxury hotels like Amankora and Oberoi.
Move across mountains as you spend 19 days trekking through some of the highest peaks in Nepal and Bhutan. You’ll visit unforgettable sites like the Monkey Temple and Gangtey Monastery, ride an elephant through Chitwan National Park, see Mt Everest up-close on a helicopter tour, and stay in luxury Amankora hotels.
Amankora Gangtey is in the remote Phobjikha Valley, with awe-inspiring views of a gorge and the 16th century Gangtey Goemba monastery. Each of Amankora's eight suites is fitted with a bukhari, a wood-burning stove, and wood paneling. The dining room and living room are combined and have views of the Phobjikha Valley out of floor-to-ceiling windows. There is no Internet, business center, fitness center or pool at Amankora Gangtey, but hot stone baths and a spa with two treatment rooms are available. The resort is approximately a 4-hour drive from the airport in Paro.
Six Senses Bhutan
In Spring 2017, Six Senses will open five luxury lodges in Bhutan, creating a "Six Senses Journey" through Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha, Bumthang and Paro. Built in a style sympathetic to their rural Himalayan surroundings, the Six Senses Bhutan lodges will offer guests total intimacy, with a mere 82 suites across all five lodges. Six Senses' keynote features - eco-friendly design, personal service and wellness - will of course characterise the new Six Senses Bhutan product, and we at Remote Lands look forward to offering these new properties to our clients.
Gangtey Goenpa Lodge
Gangte Goenpa Lodge will offer a luxurious and interactive experience in the Gangte Valley when it opens its doors for a soft launch in May 2013. The Lodge draws upon the inspiration of the unique and beautiful Bhutanese rural architecture down to the very last detail. Designed by Mary Lou Thomson, who has worked on some of the world's most prestigious resort projects, the interiors and furnishings showcase aspects of the vibrant local culture.
The focal point of the lodge will be an informal lounge and dining space with wall-to-ceiling views of the valley below. Plush leather sofas and rich fabrics will invite guests to share the day's adventures around two impressive fireplaces encased in local stone. The twelve beautifully appointed guestrooms, each with their own cozy fireplace, will reflect the rich cultural heritage with warm fabrics and earthen tones.