Out East Bhutan Trek

Day 1: Tsenkharla to Nangkhar Gonpa

Start walking just below the first Dzong built in Bhutan in the 9th century (Tsenkharla) and follow the ridge with excellent views past several gonpas to Shakshing Gonpa.

If you are late, you can walk directly to the campsite near Nangkhar Gonpa. Otherwise continue up the ridge past a small lake to Darchen Gonpa and several sacred sites in the pastures above. Descend from Darchen through broadleaved forest to Nangkhar Gonpa and your campsite. 

Distance8 km
Time4-5 hours
AscentAscent 1,950 m, descent 2,650 m
Camp Altitude2400 m

Day 2: Nangkhar Gonpa to Omba village

From Nangkhar Gonpa walk down past maize fields and 3 chorten to the irrigation channel of Sep, which you follow to Septshekhang Lhakhang on a steep ridge. Back-track to a trail down through a sokshing (leaf litter oak) forest and a bigger trail to a river. After crossing another small stream you climb back up to a chorten just above the neat village of Omba, which has a pleasant homestay and a small camping site. In the afternoon visit Omba Ney and Gonpa (the Taktshang of East Bhutan) and the Gonpa at the cave where Guru Rimpoche meditated. 

Distance12 km
Time5-6 hours
AscentDescent and ascent between 2,400 m and 1,800 m
Camp Altitude2200 m

Day 3: Omba to Shangphula

Follow your local guide to the hamlet of Phekti, from where there is a small trail up a ridge with views of the Omba cliffs and Gonpa. You emerge from the forest into pastures and keep climbing until you reach Shangphula, just above 3000m.From the “border-egg” at Shangphula, you have excellent views of parts of Bhutan and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Camp in the pasture and enjoy the flowers, sunset and sunrise. 

Distance8 km
Time3-4 hours
Ascentbetween 1900 and 2650 m
Camp Altitude3000 m

Day 4: Shangphula to Jangphu village

Enjoy the views and your breakfast at your leisure and make your way down the pastures along the ridge into the forest below. You emerge at a lookout point of the village and the Gongri valley. Find your way to the campsite at the school or near the army camp or to the home stay after it has been established. Shop for local bags mainly produced for the Tawang market, visit the lhakhang and relax. 

Distance8 km
Time3-4 hours
AscentDescent 2100 m
Camp Altitude2100 m

Day 5: Jangphu to Doksum via Gongza Ney

Follow your guide through the maze of trails to a larger trail through broadleaved forest to Kheni. Just before a chorten on a ridge turn left down a steep small trail. After Changmashing and Chemkhar village it improves and reaches a small saddle from where you can find your way to Phamkhar ruins (mainly defense walls and trenches left; built to defend Tsenkharla against attacks from Tibet. Then descend to the paddy fields and the peaceful Gongza Ney and Gonpa along the Gongri river with lots of sacred rocks and stones. The gonpa holds a petrified treasure chest, a demon’s heart, a shoe of Guru Rimpoche and a devil’s egg. 

Start early from Gongza if you want to avoid the heat and make your way down the valley past some paddy areas and sand beaches to the end of the road near Doksum, a couple of km from Gom Kora. From there continue to your next destination. If that is the natural rock bridge (dozam) in Thragom you can in a few years walk upstream to and get picked up at the Melongkhar bridge, and dropped at the school and walk along a gentle trail with chortens and mani walls to Thragom village, 1.5 hrs above which you find the dozam.

Distance12 km
Time4-5 hours
AscentBetween 1450 to 840 m
Camp Altitude840 m

Day 6: End of the Far-Out East Bhutan Trek

End your Far-Out East Bhutan Trek at Doksum and you can either come back to Trashigang or go to visit Trashi Yangtse.

Ascent0 m
Camp Altitude840 m