Bumthang Valley Overview

Bumthang Valley is considered a sacred place by the local population and ancient tales of religious treasure-discoverers still linger to this day. The valleys in the area are vast and rolling and the place is home to some of the most venerated temples of the region and country. Including a visit to Bumthang Valley in a Bhutan trip offers travelers a chance to immerse themselves in the spiritual essence of the land and explore its rich cultural tapestry firsthand.

The landscape is dominated by fields of rice, potatoes and buckwheat. You will also find quaint scenes of dairy farms and apple orchards in this quiet part of the world which make for excellent picnic spots and day trails. Thousands of visitors visit the region every year, coming here to marvel at the scenic Trongsa Dzong whose unique structure, lying on top of a steep ridge makes it a sight to behold.

Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan

Timing: Open all-day

Price: Free

Bumthang Valley, often called the “Switzerland of the East”, is a breathtaking region in the heart of Bhutan. Its four main valleys, Ura, Chumey, Tang, and Choekhor, are lush with vast, serene landscapes that mirror the tranquillity and beauty of the Swiss Alps. The main town, Jakar, is noted for its charming traditional architecture. The town also serves as the gateway to the region’s numerous ancient temples and monasteries.

Rich in spiritual heritage, Bumthang is central to Bhutanese Buddhism, hosting some of the oldest temples in the nation. Among these, Jambay Lhakhang stands out, established in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. The valley is a focal point for numerous spiritual festivals, such as the vibrant mask dances that celebrate Bhutanese traditions. The valley’s monasteries, like the Kurjey Lhakhang, house sacred relics and offer insights into the Buddhist way of life. Its picturesque landscapes provide a peaceful backdrop for both meditation and exploration. 


• Experience Bumthang, the “Switzerland of the East,” with its vast, serene valleys.
• Visit Jambay Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest temples, founded in the 7th century.
• Participate in colourful mask dance festivals that showcase Bhutan’s rich culture.
• Walk through the tranquil fields of rice and buckwheat that dot the landscape.
• Sample the unique Red Panda wheat beer at Bhutan’s only brewery in Jakar town.

How To Reach

1 By Road: Bumthang is well-connected by road from major cities in Bhutan. It is around 248.3 kilometres from Thimphu.

2 By Bus:  From Thimphu, you can take a bus to Bumthang. The distance is around 248.3 kilometres, and the journey takes about 8 to 10 hours due to the winding mountain roads. Buses operated by Bhutan’s transport services are comfortable and offer a budget-friendly option. The route passes through scenic areas like Pele La Pass and Trongsa.

3 By Car:  Hiring a private car or taxi offers a more flexible and comfortable journey to Bumthang. The drive from Thimphu via PNH1 takes around 8 to 9 hours, covering a distance of approximately 248.3 kilometres. This route offers stunning views of the Bhutanese landscape and passes through several districts with opportunities to stop at tourist spots.

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Point of Interest for Bumthang Valley
Experience Spiritual Tranquillity at Jambay Lhakhang

Experience Spiritual Tranquillity at Jambay Lhakhang

Visit Jambay Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest temples, built in the 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. As you explore, you will feel the serenity of the carved wooden interiors and the temple’s intricate designs. Participate in local traditions, such as lighting butter lamps, which add a reflective touch to your visit. The temple’s peaceful ambience provides a perfect setting for meditation or a quiet moment of reflection. Witness the vibrant Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival, known for its unique fire ritual and sacred dances, adding another layer to your spiritual journey.

Go on the Bumthang Cultural Trek

Go on the Bumthang Cultural Trek

Set off on the Bumthang Cultural Trek, a journey that guides you through lush valleys and traditional Bhutanese villages. You will pass by ancient temples and monasteries, getting a firsthand glimpse of Bhutan’s rich cultural tapestry. The trek offers a physical challenge and a cultural immersion, providing insights into the local way of life. Take a moment to enjoy the panoramic views of majestic landscapes that are as spiritually uplifting as they are beautiful. This trek also offers the chance to see traditional Bhutanese architecture and agricultural practices up close.

Discover the Mysteries of Kurje Lhakhang Complex

Discover the Mysteries of Kurje Lhakhang Complex

Explore the Kurje Lhakhang Complex, where history and spirituality converge. The site is known for its three temples, each marking a different era of Bhutanese history. Feel the historical depth as you touch the rock believed to hold the imprint of Guru Rinpoche. The complex is located against a backdrop of towering cliffs and lush greenery. This location enhances its mystical feel, making your visit a profound journey back in time. The largest temple was built in 1652 and contains a large statue of Guru Rinpoche, making it a focal point for pilgrims.

Sample Local Brews at Red Panda Brewery

Sample Local Brews at Red Panda Brewery

Visit the Red Panda Brewery to taste some of Bhutan's finest craft beers. Nestled in the heart of Bumthang Valley, this brewery offers a unique glimpse into the brewing process, using local ingredients and traditional methods. You will have the opportunity to sample various beers, including the famous Red Panda Wheat Beer, known for its distinctive flavour profile that captures the essence of the region. The visit also includes a tour of the facilities where you can learn about the brewing process from start to finish. Enjoy the cosy atmosphere and end your tour by purchasing your favourite brew to take home as a tasty souvenir.

Relax at the Dozam Nature Park and Kurkumithang Recreation Park

Relax at the Dozam Nature Park and Kurkumithang Recreation Park

Spend a day unwinding at the Dozam Nature Park and Kurkumithang Recreation Park. These serene parks offer picnic spots by the river, where you can relax under the shade of trees or enjoy a leisurely afternoon with a book. The parks’ quiet, natural settings are ideal for family outings or a solitary retreat into nature. If you are up for more activity, the trails invite you for a gentle hike or a bike ride through the scenic landscape. Both parks are known for their beautiful floral displays and birdwatching opportunities, enhancing your connection with nature.

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