Hike to Lungchutse Monastery
Today’s 10km trail is one of the most picturesque hikes in the Thimphu region. Starting from the large chorten on the Dochu-la pass the trail slowly climbs through a forest of hemlock, birch and rhododendrons until reaching an open meadow.
Re-entering a forest of moss-covered rhododendrons, gigantic hemlocks, junipers, and bamboo undergrowth, a small trail leads you the last 50 meters past a row of fluttering prayer flags up to Lungchutse Temple.
On clear days, the view from the temple is fantastic! You will have a 360° view of the Himalayas including views of Jumolhari (7314m) and Gangkhar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan and the highest unclimbed peak in the world (7497m). You can also see Gasa Dzong, as a tiny white speck in a sea of green almost 50 kilometres to the north.
A trail below Lungchutse, leads to Trashigang village and temple then slowly descends through spruce, rhododendron, hemlock and juniper forest. Have lunch around the chorten in the temple’s courtyard while watching the monks in their daily endeavours.
After returning to the main road, you have the option to visit Hongtsho Temple on the hill side, a short hike up through the village. It was built in 1525 by the older brother of Drukpa Kuenlay, the Divine Mad Man. It is a two-story traditional Bhutanese building where the main alter room has several enormous statues of important figures in the history of Bhutanese Buddhism.