Phub Gyeltshen

Tucked into the upper end of Phobjikha overlooking the glacial valley's protected wetlands, Phub Gyeltshen Farmhouse is a 45-minute drive east of Wangdue town and another five minute walk from the main road. The traditional two-story structure is home to Phub Gyeltshen and his wife, his 82 year old father, and their 10 year old daughter, who live together on the ground floor and keep five rooms for guests on the floor above.

The family can accommodate up to 10 guests at a time, and the farmhouse has two Western-style toilets with running hot water. Electricity comes courtesy of underground cables that ensure overhead lines do not interfere with the flights of black-necked cranes, who migrate from Tibet every year to overwinter in the valley. The tidy home has an altar room and a bukhari wood-burning stove in the main family room, where guests can gather to enjoy homemade ara (rice wine) and meals with the family. Expect authentic Bhutanese dishes, like beef stew with rice and the ever-present ema datse.

The family can arrange local guides for exploring the area, and games of darts (khuru) and archery with villagers are there for the asking. When so inclined, guests can help out in the family's fields during cultivation and harvest times, and hot stone baths are always available. The Black-Necked Crane Information Centre is an easy 30-minute walk away; early November to early March is the best time to visit if you want to see these famous endangered residents.