Bumthang district is located in the north of Bhutan, commonly referred to as “the spiritual heartland of Bhutan” and with a number of literal translations including “Valley of the beautiful girls”. The area comprises of four picturesque mountain valleys including Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekor, however sometimes the whole place is just referred to as Bumthang.
As well as beautiful valleys, the area also boasts some of Bhutan’s oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries including Jakar Dzong and Thangbi Goemba. Jakar Dzong is the dominant fixture of the Chamkhar valley, proudly overlooking the town. Constructed back in 1549 by a Tibetan, it played an important role in defence of the area – however its biggest claim to fame would be that it was the seat for the first ever king of Bhutan. Thangi Goemba is a monastery that lives in the middle of a wide fertile plateau that overlooks the river. Built back in 170, the monastery includes a temple of terrifying deities as well as statues of Buddhas, past, present and future.
Walking is a popular activity for visitors to the area. The varying terrain and scenery makes for a fantastic range of hiking. The popular half day trek to Pelseling Goemba is highly recommened and takes in a mixture of forest, meadows, villages and sacred sites. This walk is best to start in the morning, then you can relax and enjoy lunch and the amazing views once you arrive at the monastery.