Western Bhutan includes key districts such as Thimphu, Paro, Haa, Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha, and Gasa. With rice paddies cascading down magnificent mountains, pristine rivers flowing through the main towns of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, this part of Bhutan is considered more developed than the rest of the country and offers many cultural sights and festivals during the high seasons. A great place for first timers traveling to Bhutan.
Trongsa and Bumthang, the 2 most important historical districts are located north of Central Bhutan. They were considered the spiritual heartland of Bhutan with immense cultural and religious treasures and were also the major seats of power of the first and second Kings till the 1950s when the capital shifted to Thimphu.
A ‘sacred valley’ with tales of Guru Rinpoche still manifest today in the many Lhakhangs (temples) and Nye (sacred spots) all over the breathtakingly scenic landscape in the four main valleys: Chumey, Chokkhor, Tang, and Ura. Spectacular festivals celebrate traditions and there are also dozens of great day hikes throughout the region
Eastern Bhutan comprises of the districts of Mongar, Lhuntse, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Pemagatshel, and Samdrup Jongkhar at the Southern border.
The East is still largely considered less developed than the West and Central in terms of tourism infrastructure. Adventurous travellers venturing east will experience authentic rural lifestyle and hospitality, and be fascinated with tourists-free dzongs and temples, beautiful silks and embroidery, and lush, bird-filled forests in deep valleys. Accommodation options can be modest and simple, attesting to the region's remoteness.
Many villages in the East are not clustered like the West but take on a different look with spread out households nestled within rice fields.