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Wangdue Phodrang

3.2 / 5 15 votes

Country rank: 3 out of 14 Places To Visit In Bhutan

Sub-Region: Wangdue Phodrang District


Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best time: March - May, September - November (Read More)


"Here's why Wangdue Phodrang should be your next vacation"

Wangdue Phodrang Tourism

Being one of the largest Dzongkhags or districts of Bhutan, what Wangue Phodrang has to offer is varied flora and fauna coupled with immense beauty. From a beautiful valley to spiritual monasteries and temples and even some rustic villages, Wangdue would suit the taste bud of not just nature lovers but also those looking for a cultural experience as well.

Bhutan or The Land Of The Thunder Dragon is rich and abundant in its culture, values, heritage and is blessed with heavenly beauty with all of them being dispersed across what are known as Dzongkhags or districts. One of the largest of these districts is known as Wangdue Phodrang. The reason why this region is different vis-a-vis others is that in being such a large district, it is very diverse in terms of housing sub-tropical forests in the south to cold snowy areas in the north. This allows it to be the host of numerous plant and animal species. Plants like orchids, Rhododendrons,Blue Poppy and rare animals like the Red Panda, snow leopard, Blue Sheep and Black Bear can be found in this district. It also offers plenty of scope for visiting monasteries and temples for the spiritually inclined soul. There are also hikes and treks with beautiful views to suit the nature-lover's tastes as well. A particularly beautiful place to visit in Wangdue Phodrang would be Phobjikha Valley, which is one of the few glacial valleys in the country and is abound in natural beauty.

Hotels in Wangdue Phodrang


More on Wangdue Phodrang

People mostly follow and practice Buddhist customs and traditions.However, lores of Shaman culture exist.

The district of Wangdue Phodrang derives its name from the most prominent feature of the region that is the Dzong. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel was at Chimi Lhakhang in Punakha when an old man approached him saying that in order to unite the country, he must build a Dzong on a ridge that looked like a sleeping elephant. So a noble was sent out to the location and upon finding it he saw that there were ravens circling the site which flew away in different directions as he approached. Considering this as a good omen, the Dzong was constructed in 1638 overlooking the confluence of the rivers Dang Chhu and Punakha Chhu. This Dzong has a strategic control over the routes of Trongsa, Punakha, Dagana and Thimphu. According to a legend, Zhabdrung Rinpoche was so touched by the innocence of a boy named Wangdi that he decided to name the Dzong as Wangdi's Palace.However, since then it has had an unfortunate history of being damaged and destroyed by earthquakes and fires with the most recent fire in 2012 resulting in it being razed to the ground. Reconstruction is expected to go on till 2021. The Tsechu (festival) earlier held on the Dzong grounds is now taking place at the Army Training Centre.

Wangdue Phodrang is a district which has a speciality of its own. There are families of craftsmen who have been involved in bamboo weaving and stone carving and masonry for a number of years now. Souvenirs and products of this craft could be found in shops at Bajo town and stone masonry could also be observed in the village of Rinchegang.This might prove to be satisfying for those with an inclination towards the art and crafts.

English may not be widely understood. The majority speak Dzongkha. However,along the Bumthang border, Lakha is spoken in certain parts and Nyenkha is spoken in others.

The region is named after the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong that overlooks the confluence of two rivers. The history of this Dzong is marked by disasters. After being constructed in 1638, it was destroyed by a major fire in 1837, then damaged by an earthquake in 1897. In 2011 it faced minor damages from another earthquake and 2012 saw it being razed to the ground by fire.

An active nightlife culture is not present in Wangdue Phodrang. However there seems to be a night club along the Trashigang-Semthoka Highway called Kuentro Karokea.

Wangdue specialises in the culture of stone and slate carving and bamboo weaving. So on Saturdays and Sundays especially, one could find local craftsmen selling woven bamboo products and stone carved souvenirs in Wangdue town also known as Bajo.

Mostly Buddhism is practiced in the region.

Traditional Bhutanese delicacies such as Ema Datsi (chillies and cheese) with red/white rice, Maroos (stews) and local beverages such as Yak butter tea (Suja) and Ara (alcoholic) are offered in shops, restaurants and hotels. There are also other cheese-based dishes such as Khewa Datshi available. Small shops also sell wai wai or some other noodles and soup-based dishes as part of their menu.

Read more about Traditional Bhutanese Dishes

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Commuting within Wangdue Phodrang

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Holidify's Opinion

  What's Great?

Diverse in flora, fauna, topography and geography

  What's not so Great?

Mosquitoes and insects cause discomfort in summer


How to Reach Wangdue Phodrang

Travellers usually stop over in Wangdue and then proceed to visit the attractions such as Phobjikha Valley. There are both taxis as well as buses available from the key cities to Wangdue Phodrang. (Read More)

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