- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Looking to ease your way into the trails scattered around Thimphu, Bhutan? The Tango Hike is tailor-made for newcomers wanting to warm-up their legs and tap into the trekking mindset. Just 2.4 km, this out-and-back trek will introduce you to wildlife like monkey and deer, as well as the Tango Monastery, which stands tall on a grassy slope.
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Route Description for Tango
This is the easiest walk in the area, mainly because the path is paved and switches back on itself often enough to not have any major inclines, however you do gain a lot of elevation quickly, so it’s not a walk in the park.
The Tango hike is an excellent choice for your first weeks in Bhutan before you’re totally acclimated. Tango is on the mountain next to Cheri. There is a hike that goes from one monastery to the other over the ridge, but it’s not clearly marked so I’d recommend a guide. It’s quite common for the monasteries to be in renovation mode, it may take many years for the building to be complete so be prepared for that.
You’ll need to catch a cab or arrange a driver to take you to the base of the walk. Most know where it is. At the base is a prayer wheel and off to the right a bridge leading to the path to the retreat monastery. That walk is only open once every three years after one group of monks finish their retreat and another starts. Head up the marked path, it will only take you about an hour or so with plenty of places to rest and heaps of photos to take. The path forks at the base of a massive tree and while it’s customary to head clockwise (to the left), take the right to the chorten. Keep an eye out for monkeys and deer, and if you go around the middle of the year, the walk is dotted with bright flowering rhododendrons.
Tango monastery has a library and relics room, the monks are usually very happy to show you around. Head up and around the back of the monastery, you’ll see a path to the right and a wonderful view of the monastery to the left. The path will then split - down the hill or around it. Take the path around, to the right until you get to a meditation hut. Over the valley dotted on the side of the next mountain is Cheri monastery and it’s a lovely place to have lunch. You’ll likely have a few furry friends with you as well. Head back the way you came and take the path down the hill. It will join the main track at the fork you took earlier. This is a very easy walk and good for a chillaxed Sunday.
Insider Hints for Tango
- There’s a hot stone bath house on the road back to Thimphu, stop in for a dip on the way home but be sure to bring your bathing suit, a change of clothes and a towel.
- You can refill your water at the monastery, but bring a LifeStraw, especially for monsoon when the water is churned up.
Getting to the Tango Trailhead
Tell your driver that you want to do the Tango Hike, and they’ll know where to go.
Tango Elevation Graph
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