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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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).
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.
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.
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.
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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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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