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.


A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.

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).

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.

Gangtey Monastery

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.

Lawala Pass

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.

Monk Debate

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.

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