RKPO

Gangtey, Bhutan

At a Glance

  • Prime location in the Gangtey Valley
  • Views of Black Necked Cranes
  • Charming local staff
  • Very authentic feel
  • Ask the staff to regale you with tales of regal visits - you may even be in the same room chosen by the king!

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

In the western, central and eastern Bhutan you will mostly experience cold European-like weather. Winter lasts here from November to March. The Monsoon occurs between June and August when the temperature is normally between 8° and 21°C. October and November are arguably the best months, when the monsoon has passed and the skies are clear. The spring months of March, April and May are best for the flora, but it can be stormy as the monsoon builds up for July-September.

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Description

A rustic-styled property with gorgeous views across the Gangtey Valley, RKPO is good value for no-frill guests. A good point from which to hike and take in local sights, this humble hotel has served as the King’s accommodations whilst visiting the valley.

RKPO is a charming rustic property situated at the southern end of the renowned Gangtey Valley. It is a prime location from which explore Phobjikha, a glacial valley and protected nature area, home to endangered black necked cranes, foxes and tigers. The cranes visit from the Tibetan Plateau during the winter months and often arrive in early October and remain in the valley until the end of March. RKPO is simple, but therein lies its charm. The rooms maintain a strong sense of local Bhutanese character, with wall paintings and local wood stoves called bukharis. The views here are lovely and the access to local hiking trails makes it a great location.  There is a small gift shop and a nice dining area. Massages and traditional hot stone baths can even be booked in the small spa on site.
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Accommodation

The RKPO Gangtey boasts 7 deluxe rooms and 2 suites, with another 14 rooms coming in new buildings.  They feature traditional décor with handpainted flourishes on the walls and local furniture, giving this lodge a very strong sense of place.

Experiences

  • A visit to Chimmi Lhakhang

    The Chimmi Lhakhang Temple is a temple of fertility dedicated to the Buddhist saint known as the Divine Madman. A short walk through paddy fields takes you to the temple and is popular with Bhutanese families wanting to start a family.

  • Afternoon Tour of Thimphu

    Enjoy an afternoon of sightseeing around Thimphu. This tour includes a visit to Tamchog Lhakhang, the beautiful National Memorial Chorten, the golden Buddha Dodernma before taking in the views and enjoying the local farmers' market.

  • Apple Plucking

    Apple plucking season starts from July to August in the region of Paro and Thimphu.

  • Black Necked Crane Festival

    During the festival, the local communities organize various cultural programs in Phobjikha, including crane dance performance and stalls selling colourful local items and Bhutanese handicrafts.

  • Bumthang Discovery

    This day tour will bring you to visit Jakar Dzong, one of the largest in the country, hike through, Kurjey Lhakhang's beautiful landscape to Tamshing Monastery, experience first-hand the unique local cottage, brewery and cheese industries.

  • Cultural Tour of Thimphu

    Spend the afternoon visiting some of Thimphu's cultural artistic sights. Your guide will take you to the impressive Zorig Chusum, Weaving centre, Folk Heritage Museum & Jungshi Paper factory. All play an important role in understanding Bhutanese culture.

  • Cycling up the Pho Chhu River

    Take a morning cycling up the beautiful Pho Chhu River, famous for the White-Bellied Heron and dramatic scenery. Take a walk into the local village for a spot of tea before having a lovely picnic lunch overlooking the river before returning to Punakha.

  • Day in Thimphu

    You can easily fill an afternoon or day exploring Thimphu. It is worth visiting the Tashiccho Dzong, where essentially Bhutan is governed from. Also of interest is the Simtokha Dzong, Memorial Chorten, Changagkka Temple & Folk Museum.

  • Day Trip to Chelela Pass and Hike Kila Goenpa

    Chele La Pass is known to be the highest motorable pass in Bhutan and provides wonderful views over Ha Valley and Paro District, which you have the chance to view today before taking a scenic hike and visit to Kila Nunnery.

  • Dochu La Pass

    At an altitude of 3,100 metres, The Dochula Pass is a high mountain pass known for its 108 distinctive memorial stupas and breathtaking panoramic views over the Himalayas.

  • Dressing up in traditional Bhutanese dress

    Anyone who works in Bhutan must wear traditional national dress, and you can have the chance to dress up for a few hours to see how it feels. The Bhutanese absolute love visitors doing it!

  • Drukgyel Dzong

    The Drukgyal Dzong is located further up the Paro Valley from the Tiger's Nest Monastery and was built in 1649 by Tenzin Drukdra to celebrate victory over an invading army from Tibet.

  • Evening Prayers at a Buddhist Monastery

    Evening prayers at a Buddhist Monastery is something you should do at least once on a tour of Bhutan. You will witness monks chanting traditional prayers, helping them prepare for meditation.

  • Explore the Paro Valley by Helicopter

    A wonderful way to see the rich and fascinating Paro Valley

  • Farmhouse Visit & Home-Cooked Dinner

    Visit Kyichu Lhakang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan dating back to 7th century before meeting with local community members in a nearby farmhouse to enjoying a home-cooked dinner.

  • Fly Fishing

    Enjoy an excursion into one of the Bhutanese rivers and try your hand at fly-fishing.

  • Gangtey 360° Hike

    Today you will be driven to Lewa La Pass and have the chance to enjoy a hike in the stunning countryside surrounding Gangtey Valley and at the end rewarded with incredible 360° panoramic views.

  • Gangtey Goenpa Monastery

    The Gangtey Goenpa monastery, or Gangteng Monastery is the main seat of the Pema Linpa tradition of the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism. Dating from the 17th century, it has superb views and guests usually visit before taking the Gangtey Nature Trail.

  • Giligang Trail

    Giligang has a 300-year old temple and a wonderful way to escape other tourists and see an authentic side to Bhutan, and can be added on to a visit to the Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten and Butterfly Trail.

  • Haa Valley Alpine Excursion

    Experience the unique nomadic Haa culture in the Bhutan's formerly isolated Haa Valley.

  • Hike to Hokatsho Lake

    Bhutan is a full of excellent hiking trails waiting to be discovered, all with equally mesmerising landscapes. On this six to seven hour jungle trek, you will head to Bhutan’s largest lake, Hokatsho where you can expect sensational views.

  • Hilltop Nunnery Visit

    This evening visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhendrup Lhakhang Nunnery which is home to a higher learning and meditation centre for nuns, as well as being home to some of the most impressive statues in Bhutan.

  • Jakar Dzong (Bumthang Dzong)

    Bumthang Dzong is perched above the town is also known as the Fortress of the White Bird, or Jakar Dzong. Constructed in the 16th century, it has superb views.

  • Khansum Yulley & the Butterfly Trail

    Take the short hike up to the Khansam Yulley Temple where you can sit back in awe at the wonderful views down the Mo Chhu Valley before heading off on the one-hour Butterfly Trail, stopping off for tea in the local home.

  • Kurje Lhakhang & Bumthang Village Walk

    The Kurje Lhakhang Monastery is worth visiting as it was where Guru Rinpoche meditated before his tiger flew him to Tigers Nest Monastery. Continue through villages and then along the river back to Bumthang.

  • Kyichu Lhakhang

    The Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, dating from the 7th century and constructed by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsan Gampo.

  • Longtey Hike

    Enjoy this stunning hike - through Rhododendron forests, thick woodland, steeper passes, taking in the views of the valley and ending in the idyllic Kumba Village.

  • Matsutake Mushroom Picking

    From around mid-July to the second week of August, we can arrange a matsutake mushroom-picking activities in the forest of Ura village near to Bumthang.

  • Meet a Monk Your Own Age

    Your children can have the opportunity to meet a monk their own age. 10% of Bhutan's population are monks and they can hear stories of getting up each day before first-light for prayers and their daily routines.

  • Monk Blessing

    Visit a Buddhist temple for a monk blessing ceremony for an eternity of happiness.

  • Morning Hike to Cheri and Tango Goempa

    Enjoy a hike through the beautiful and beguiling Bhutanese countryside. Visit the Cheri and Tango Goemba, two beautiful monasteries in the hills between which lies the Thimphu Chu River.

  • Nalanda Buddhist College and Nobgang Walk

    This fantastic experience combines the Sangchen Nunnery, the Nalanda Buddhist College and the Nobgang Village walk which takes you from the high hills above Punakha and winds gently down to the Punakha Dzong - you approach it almost vertically!

  • Paro Dzong & National Museum

    The Paro Dzong, or Rinpung Dzong as it is otherwise called, looms above the town of Paro. On the hill above the Dzong in the former watchtower you can visit the National Museum.

  • Paro Sunday Market

    If you are in Paro on a Sunday then absolutely visit the local market. See a variety of vegetables on offer from 0630 until about 1000, and you can then see the archery ground following your visit.

  • Phobjika Nature Trail

    Take a day walk around the Phobjikha valley, an ideal hike to see the black-neck cranes from November to late March, or simply to experience the villages and farms along the way. See the Crane Information centre at the end.

  • Potato Shed Candlelight Dinner

    Enjoy a traditional Bhutanese dinner amidst flickering candles and bhukhari in the middle of shed on a local potato farm.

  • Punakha Drubchen Festival

    Held annually on February in Punakha, local militias dress up as Bhutanese warriors in this festival to re-enact the famous battle between Bhutan and Tibet.

  • Punakha Dzong

    Punakha Dzong, otherwise known as the Pungtang Dechen Photrang literally means the palace of great happiness or bliss, and is the finest of its kind in Bhutan, dating from the 17th century and located on the confluence of the Mo Chhu and Po Chhu Rivers.

  • Punakha Weekend Markets

    Khuruthang Saturday Vegetable Market is located in the small town next to the Punakha Dzong. On Sundays, you can visit the Wangdue Market, about a 30-minute drive away. Wander around the stalls, selling local fruit and vegetables.

  • Spa Bath in Potato Shed

    Visit a Bhutanese farmer in his traditional shed and enjoy a Bhutanese bath heated from fire-roasted stones, all while you indulge with a bowl of chips harvested from potatoes in the same field of Tokha village.

  • Tea with a local family

    Visiting a local home in Bhutan is an exceptionally interesting experience given the lovely hospitable nature of its people. Try traditional butter tea, or even some locally made rice wine 'Ara'.

  • Tea with a Local Family - Paro

    Visiting a local home in Bhutan is an exceptionally interesting experience given the lovely hospitable nature of its people. Try traditional butter tea, or even some locally made rice wine 'Ara'.

  • Tea with a Local Family - Thimpu

    Visiting a local home in Bhutan is an exceptionally interesting experience given the lovely hospitable nature of its people. Try traditional butter tea, or even some locally made rice wine 'Ara'.

  • The Butterfly Trail & Rafting in Punakha

    Take the Butterfly Trail which is a one hour trek through local villages and paddy fields, stopping for tea in a local home before hiking to the Khamsum Yulley Chorten and then rafting back to the main Dzong of Punakha.

  • The Gangtey 360°Hike

    Today you will have the chance to enjoy a hike in the stunning countryside surrounding Gangtey Valley and at the end rewarded with incredible 360° panoramic views.

  • The Haa Valley

    The unspoilt Haa Valley is located close to Paro and offers a fantastic day out. Drive over the Chele Pass, Bhutan's highest road, and choose to free-wheel on bikes into the Haa Valley. Explore the local monastery, have a picnic and return to Paro.

  • The Red Panda Brewery and Cheese Factory

    The Red Panda brewery and Swiss Cheese Shop was established by a Swiss immigrant, Fritz Maurer, in the 60s. It is a perfect way to end a day in Bumthang.

  • The Tang Valley and Burning Lake

    Explore the remote Tang Valley with a stop at the Burning Lake en route. The valley is accessed through a bumpy off road track passing remote villages. You might want to stop at the Pema Tekchock Choeling Shedra, a large nunnery.

  • Thimphu Weekend Market

    You shouldn’t miss the weekend market in Thimphu. People from nearby valleys arrive on Thursday afternoon and stay to sell their goods – vegetables, other foodstuffs and handicrafts – until Sunday evening.

  • Tiger's Nest Monastery

    The Tiger's Nest Monastery is spectacular; legend has it that this cliffside was where Guru Rinpoche landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan. Set off for the 2-hour walk to the viewpoint before continuing onto the Monastery.

  • Trongsa Dzong & Yathra Weaving

    The scenic journey between Gangtey and Bumthang breaks at Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of Bhutan's royal family, as well as the the Yathra Weaving Center at Chumey Valley.

  • Try your hand at Archery

    Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and can be seen played throughout the Kingdom. Traditional bows are made from bamboo and witnessing an archery competition is an absolute highlight. We can easily arrange for you to have a go should you wish.

  • White Water Rafting

    Enjoy the thrilling white water rafting down Mo Chhu.

  • Zurig Lhakhang Hike & Archery

    Hike through the scenic Paro Valley, visit historic Buddhist fortresses and try your hand at Bhutan's national sports - archery.

Holiday Ideas

  • Active Bhutan

    Bangkok, Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha, Bumdra & Paro

    from £9000 pp inc flights & transfers for 11 nights

    • A varied private tour of Bhutan blending equally trekking, culture and authentic experiences seeing the local life - not over-doing any element
    • Fantastic itinerary for those that like to keep active, exploring a new country with various means including cycling and trekking
    • Have an exclusive private guide and driver throughout giving you complete flexibility

Location & directions

Gangtey, Bhutan

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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