View of Jimilang tsho, the magnificent sand ox lake
Hiking

Jimilang Tsho, a day-trek to the sand ox lake

One of the stops in the famous week-long Druk Trek path; but the hassle of food and lodging arrangements, I imagine it’s a nightmare (unless of course, you outsource it). So, for those of you who’ve already completed the hike, you’re probably loaded or just really committed to hiking. Either way, kudos to you!

As for others, what if you don’t have the time to go on such long treks? Whether you’re a student or bound by a 9-5 job trying to earn a living, long holidays are hard to come by. Ignoring the student’s vacations because they probably have other things to do and gathering all your friends together while on vacation is another challenge.

For these cases, spare some time and visit this lake as a one-day-trek, like we did. I swear it’s worth the 4-5 hours hike from Tshalung ney, the base point. Believe me, I’ve planned the trip three times. Got lost on the first time and ended up even further away from the lake than when we started. Plans got cancelled on the second try due to heavy rainfall but finally made it up on the third try and it was definitely worth all the trouble.

View from the first trip, when we got lost
View from the first trip, when we got lost

The lake is located at an altitude of about 3800 metres above sea level. On first sight, there was a beautiful seaweed green lake enclosed between two mountains with lush green pasture surrounding it, as a colorful campsite was being set up near the lake for hikers on the Druk Trek path.

Horses of campers alongside the Jimilang Tsho
Horses of campers alongside the lake

As you reach the lake, the sun’s rays breaking through the clouds forms a beautiful reflection on the lake making it a picture-perfect location for a getaway with friends. Also, there’s lots of scenic locations along the way including a small waterfall for the photography enthusiasts.

En route Jimilang Tsho, a one day trek in Thimphu
En route Jimilang Tsho

It’s an approximately 13km gradual climb to the lake with few short, steep ascents in between. Personally, I’d recommend visiting the lake during dry seasons to avoid hiking on the slippery route after rain. And to capture the sight of beautiful shrubs.

So, if you have a day to spare in Thimphu, this place is definitely worth a visit.

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Bored during this pandemic? Keep yourself engaged by reading and find out places to visit once the situation improves. Stay safe people!

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