Bhutan Phobjikha Valley
Bhutan Phobjikha Valley
Myanmar employee turns volunteer


Birds from Heaven


In late 2019, our Digital Marketing Communications Manager, Mary Eden, embarked on a tour through the Kingdom of Bhutan. This feature finds her in Phobjikha Valley – an area of unspeakable beauty in central Bhutan.

“The sacred valley of Phobjikha is dotted with clusters of hundreds of white fluttering prayer flags – planted by relatives when their loved ones died to guide and protect the soul as it moves toward the next life.

But look closely and on the wide, flat swampy valley floor are distant black and white shapes – these are the sacred black-necked cranes. Known locally as ‘thrung thrung kam’, they are considered by the Bhutanese to be holy messengers and heavenly birds. Each winter the people of the valley await the return of these auspicious birds as they migrate here from Tibet.

I arrived at the Phobjikha Valley after a journey of many hours via the ‘National Highway’ – a two lane road that twists and turns through valleys, mountains and dense pine forests – sometimes paved, other times dirt road.”

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Gangtey Monastery Bhutan monks
Bhutan Phobjikha Valley cranes

Image of cranes from Black-necked Crane Visitor Centre, RSPN Facebook page.