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Exploring Bhutan’s Phobjikha Valley, Land Of The Rare Black-necked Crane

Like most of the 10-day Bhutan trip, the eight-hour drive from Bumthang to the Phobjikha Valley makes Bolivia’s Death Road seem like a suburban court, as one awkward movement and we’ll go tumbling over the highway cliff side to our deaths.

But Kinley, my guide, has done this plenty of times, and I feel safe knowing I’m in good hands.

And when we start heading up a steep incline, leveling out on the rim of a massive valley full of trees and rolling hills, peaks shrouded in clouds so thick it looks like there was an explosion in the sky, it’s immediately clear that Phobjikha Valley, or as I like to call it the Valley of the Black-necked Crane, was worth the journey.

This place is unique in Bhutan for its endless flat fields of bamboo shrubs, mountains forming the rim of a waterless swimming pool for the local birds that dive and plunge into it from the sky.

Moreover, it’s home to the Black-necked Crane, one of the rarest species of crane in the world.

Honestly, if you’ll be traveling to Asia and can get over to Bhutan, you shouldn’t miss visiting the Phobjikha Valley. 

One quick tip before we dive into the experience:

Grab my free Ultimate Travel Planning Kit — which also includes a downloadable Google Map of my full Bhutan itinerary.

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black-necked crane
Phobjikha Valley

Bhutan Is Unique

Before we get into this must-visit Bhutan destination, I’ve got a video for you: .


  1. Kate on at 4:01 pm

    Sounds like an amazing experience! I’ve really enjoyed your series on Bhutan, and it’s definitely piqued my interest. Perhaps it’ll be the destination for my next big trip 🙂

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