Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Trongsa

Trongsa Dzong

Trongsa Dzong

This commanding dzong, high above the roaring Mangde Chhu, is perhaps the most spectacularly sited dzong in Bhutan, with a sheer drop to the south that often just disappears into cloud and mist. The rambling...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Trongsa

Tower of Trongsa Royal Heritage Museum

Tower of Trongsa Royal Heritage Museum

This watchtower (ta dzong) overlooking the dzong now houses an excellent museum. The five floors of displays tell the history of the monarchy through such varied treasures as the 500-year-old jacket of Ngagi...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Jakar

Jakar Dzong

Jakar Dzong

Jakar Dzong is in a picturesque location overlooking the Chokhor valley; the current structure was built in 1667. Its official name is Yuelay Namgyal Dzong, in honour of the victory over Tibetan ruler Phuntsho...

Buddhist Temple in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Kurjey Lhakhang

This large, active and important temple complex is named after the body (kur) print (jey) of Guru Rinpoche, which is preserved in a cave inside the oldest of the three buildings that make up the complex. It is at...

Buddhist Monastery in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Tamshing Goemba

This goemba, formally the Tamshing Lhendup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message), is 5km from Jakar. It was established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the most important Nyingma goemba in the kingdom. Pema Lingpa...

Buddhist Temple in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Konchogsum Lhakhang

Just 400m below Tamshing, this towering, recently constructed and brightly painted building completely envelops the restored remains of the original temple. That much smaller temple, most of which dates from the...

National Park in Southern Dzongkhags

Royal Manas National Park

Royal Manas is Bhutan's oldest national park and occupies territory in the biodiverse southern foothills of three dzongkhags: Zhemgang, Sarpang and Pemagatshel. Tourism is in its infancy here and the best place...

Buddhist Temple in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Jampey Lhakhang

Up a short side road about 1.5km past Sey Lhakhang, this fabulous temple is believed to have been built in 659 by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo, on the same day as Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro, in order to subdue a...

Buddhist Temple in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Ngang Lhakhang

A bumpy 10km drive up the Chokhor valley from Thangbi Goemba is the small region known as Ngang-yul (Swan Land). The site was visited by Guru Rinpoche, but the present Ngang Lhakhang was built in the 15th century...

Buddhist Monastery in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Thangbi Goemba

Thangbi Goemba was founded in 1470 by Shamar Rinpoche and, after a dispute, was taken over by Pema Lingpa. The main chapel of the Dusum Sangay (past, present and future Buddhas) is entered under another of Pema...

Buddhist Site in Trongsa

Taphey Goemba

If you have a spare half day in Trongsa or really want to get off the beaten track, consider driving and then hiking up to this meditation retreat high on the hillside north of Trongsa. It was built by the first...

Buddhist Temple in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Pema Sambhava Lhakhang

Along the dirt road north of Tamshing, a short steep climb above the valley floor leads to the small Pema Sambhava Lhakhang. The original lhakhang was built in 1490 by Pema Lingpa around the cave where Guru...

Museum in Tang Valley

Ogyen Chholing Museum

The family that owns Ogyen (or Ugyen) Chholing has turned part of the complex into a museum to preserve its legacy and provide a place for religious studies, research and solitude. The fascinating and...

Cave in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Shugdrak

To get well off the beaten track make the short 10-minute hike up to this sacred Guru Rinpoche cave, 2km past Thangbi. A series of ladders leads pilgrims past a lovely butter-lamp shrine to a rock-face chapel,...

Buddhist Temple in Trongsa to Jakar

Buli Lhakhang

This small but atmospheric temple was completely rejuvenated from an almost abandoned ruin to the lively Nyingma school and lhakhang it is today. The original temple was built by Tukse Chhoying, the son of Dorji...

Buddhist Temple in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Sey Lhakhang

Beyond the hospital north of Jakar is the Sey Lhakhang ('sey' means 'golden'). Properly known as Lhodrak Seykhar Dratshang, this is a monastic school that was established in 1963. The central figure in the...

Brewery in Jakar

Bumthang Brewery

At this state-of-the-art microbrewery you will learn about the brewing of the Swiss-style unfiltered weiss beer, before sampling the end product in the adjacent Panda Beer Garden Cafe. The brewery tour price...

Buddhist Temple in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Chakhar Lhakhang

Beside the main road, a short distance beyond Jampey Lhakhang, is Chakhar Lhakhang. It's the site of the palace of the Indian king Sendha Gyab, better known as the Sindhu Raja, who first invited Guru Rinpoche to...

Buddhist Temple in Chokhor Valley (Bumthang)

Luege Rowe

This lovely and little-visited lhakhang at the far northern end of the valley offers a fine half-day hike. The chapel is named 'Sheeps' Horns' after the sacred horn prints and hoof prints on the cave roof....

Palace in Jakar

Wangdichholing Palace

The palace of Wangdichholing was built in 1857 on the battle-camp site of the penlop of Trongsa, Jigme Namgyal. It was the first palace in Bhutan that wasn't designed primarily as a fortress. The grand but rather...