Phaktshoding Lake – An Oasis for Fishes at Gedu Jungle Hills


There are times when you wonder reasons as to why Earth is being so unfair. Some places are blessed with scenic landscape and breathtaking views offering great moments for its visitors. But some places are just gloomy to the extent you regret travelling to it. This is how you would feel when you’re in Gedu – a small town in Chukha.

In almost throughout the circle of a year, weather in Gedu would be boringly foggy. During summer, the moment you step your foot on fresh grass, blood-sucking leeches will crawl to feast on you. There are no good places to visit in Chukha Gedu. I have been to Gedu several times. However, there never came a reason for me to love it.

Gedu town

However, during my last travel I was with a thought to end this relationship once and for all. So I searched for something that would make me fall in love with Gedu. It was during that, I discovered Phaktshoding Tsho – a small lake hidden amidst silent jungle.

Where is Phaktshoding Lake – Its Location

When you are in Gedu town, if you follow the road to Gedu Hospital you are actually on the road to Phaktshoding Lake. After driving for about 10 minutes from Gedu zero point, you’ll reach to a detour of trail leading to this lake. There is one big wooden signboard which indeed would make you hard to miss it.

Holy lakes of Bhutan

It was mentioned that from road, it would take 1 hour to reach the lake. But trust me, that is only for snail-pace walkers. I am also quite a slow walker. Yet I could reach at the lake in about 25 minutes.

The hiking trail goes through a thick jungle with occasional open space stop points. If you have experiences of going to some pasturelands in the past, you can say hiking to Phaktshoding Lake is similar. However, since hiking trail goes through gentle slopes, you’ll feel less tired.

Phaktshoding Lake – Fish pond in mountain

The lake is located on a point where tails of small hills end. Therefore, anyone can argue that it is actually a pond of accumulated rain water flown from those high-gradient hills. It’s narrowly rectangular and goes to the length of about 300 meters.

Bhutan lakes travel

However, this lake proved itself to be an oasis of aquatic lives on such mountains. The moment you are closer to it, you’ll see so many fishes enjoying its pristine environment and hospitality. It’s quite a hard-to-believe for fishes to survive on such altitude. Yet they seem to be thriving.

Therefore, that part of forest along with the lake has been declared as Phaktshoding Forest Heritage whereby neither fishing nor logging activities are allowed.

This protected area stretches to about 42 hectares. I also felt that it’s a right move. Fishes on such mountains and their environment deserve protection for studies.

Phaktshoding Forest Heritage – Things to Do

In onlooker’s perspective, there is not much you can do at Phaktshoding. The only thing you can do is take a walk around the lake taking photos and sometimes feeding fishes. Fishes there love zaw (burned rice). The moment you throw zaw, fishes come rushing. In a way you get to watch them.

Feeding fishes in Phaktshoding Lake

Phaktshoding Forest Heritage will be good place for wildlife photography enthusiasts. You get to see reindeers, hornbills, deer and other seasonal birds. But you’ll need a camera that is suitable for wildlife photography or can capture subjects from quite a distance.

If you want to go for outdoor picnic or camping with family or friends, an open space near the lake appears to be a very favourable place. And moreover, you don’t have to pay for it unlike in Lampelri Royal Botanical Park. However, you must be on favourable season.

When to visit Phaktshoding Lake – Seasons?

Summer will be rainy and foggy in Gedu. So don’t visit the lake during summer. Moreover, you might have to fight blood-sucking leeches. Winter would be quite cold and environment would be dry. So winter is also not a recommended season to visit Phaktshoding.

Tourist attractions near Phuentsholing Road

But during early spring, climate would be cool. Vegetation would be growing anew with fresh looks. Therefore, if you visit Phaktshoding in spring you’ll not only enjoy walking around the lake but will also enjoy outdoor camping near the lake.

Therefore, when you are in Gedu next time don’t remain struck blaming its gloominess. Instead stretch your limbs and hike to Phaktshoding Heritage Forest.

Gedu Photography

I cannot guarantee you’ll find it beautiful and worth-visiting but to change how you feel about Gedu, I can only recommend it. You can also visit it when you travelling to Phuentsholing from Thimphu or vice versa.

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About Author

An auditor by profession, but a traveller, blogger and photographer by passion. This site was created to share travel stories of various destinations within Bhutan and also travel tips of travelling to Bhutan. Read More>>

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