Punakha

At 4,100 feet, or 1,250 meters, Punakha is situated at a relatively low altitude compared to the rest of the country, which averages 8,000 feet, or 2,438 meters. Due to its comparatively low elevation and the ensuing sub-tropical climate, Punakha is the breadbasket of Bhutan. Here, farmers harvest two rice crops a year, as well as crops of mangoes, bananas, oranges, and pomegranate.
At 4,100 feet, or 1,250 meters, Punakha is situated at a relatively low altitude compared to the rest of the country, which averages 8,000 feet, or 2,438 meters. Due to its comparatively low elevation and the ensuing sub-tropical climate, Punakha is the breadbasket of Bhutan. Here, farmers harvest two rice crops a year, as well as crops of mangoes, bananas, oranges, and pomegranate.

Experiences

Chimi Lakhang

Hike to Chimi Lakhang, a temple dedicated to the “Divine Madman”, an eccentric Bhutanese monk from the 15th century who is said to have tamed a female demon with his "thunderbolt." It is not uncommon to see quite skillfully rendered phalluses adorning the walls of Bhutanese temples and homes, and Bhutanese pilgrims travel here specifically to pray for fertility blessings.

Dochu La Pass

Have tea at Dochu La Pass, located between Punakha and Thimphu. Dochu La is marked by a large array of prayer flags and a rhododendron forest surrounding 108 chortens, or stupas. The chortens are a more recent addition to Dochu La; they were built in 2005 to commemorate the loss of lives in fighting between Bhutanese soldiers and Indian rebels.

Farmhouse Lunch

For lunch, visit a farmhouse and join a family for a cooking demonstration and tasting. Enjoy a cup of fresh yak butter tea or home-brewed liquor – fiery arak or sweet sinchang. Help them make ema datsi (cheese chili), buckwheat noodles and pancakes with red rice, served along with hot chili curries.

Punakha Dzong

The grand Punakha Dzong is held by many to be the most beautiful dzong in the country, and is often photographed in the springtime when the purple flowers of the jacaranda trees blossom against the backdrop of the dzong’s white walls. Constructed in 1637, its six-story high "utse," or central tower, is a highlight.

Sunrise at Khamsum Chorten

Watch the sunrise from the Khamsum Chorten. The Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten is a 100-foot tall stupa with three levels. Dedicated to Bhutan’s Fifth King, the Chorten was built to banish negative energy while providing peace, stability, and harmony in an ever-changing world.

White-Water Rafting

Go white-water rafting in the Punakha Valley. Your journey will begin about two miles north of Punakha Dzong, continue past a winter residence of the Queen of Bhutan, and some gorgeous farmland. Rafting time varies from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your interest. (Available from September through May only).

BHUTAN Regions

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

Multi-Country Specialists

bhutan Goes Well With

Remote Lands

Explore 400+ Journeys in
33 Countries Across Asia

Where to go

Choose Your Destination

What to do

Choose Your Interest

When to go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei
Cambodia
China
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Macao
Malaysia
Maldives
Mongolia
Myanmar
Nepal
Oman
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Siberia
Singapore
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Thailand
Tibet
Turkmenistan
Uae
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Amazing Landscapes
Architecture
Art
Beaches
Bicycling
Celebrations
Cuisine
Diving
Glamping
Heritage
Luxury Cruises
Luxury Trains
Motorcycling
Off The Grid
Responsible
Romance
Skiing
Spirituality
Sports
Trekking
Tribal
Unesco
Wellbeing
Wildlife
With Kids

Filter to Select Your Itinerary

Travelogues

Royal Highlander Festival: Trek to the Home of the Layap

Author
Jay Tindall

Jay Tindall treks 20 kilometers to the Royal Highlander Festival to meet the Bhutan tribes of one of the most under traveled regions in Asia.

Read More

Remote Lands’ Dozen Dream Destinations 2019

Author
Tyler Roney

Remote Lands is proud to present the Dozen Dream Destinations 2019, from tented camps in the jungle and secluded seaside villas to diving with hammerheads and exclusive private jet journeys.

Read More

Remote Lands’ Dozen Dream Destinations 2018

Author
Remote Lands

From private island paradises and luxury resorts to sacred mountains and wildlife sanctuaries, Remote Lands is proud to present the Dozen Dream Destinations for 2018.

Read More

A Family Adventure in the Land of the Thunder Dragon

Author
Remote Lands

Swap the resort’s kids club for a foray into a totally distinct culture and you are looking at a very different family holiday, one that is filled with adventure and enriching, horizon-broadening experiences.

Read More

What Others Say

Two Couples from North Carolina & Florida

Two Couples from North Carolina & Florida

“All the logistics and ground transportation were executed flawlessly.”

Aman Jet Expeditions

Bali to Luang Prabang

Indonesia - Cambodia - Vietnam - Laos

May 9 - 24, 2021

Kyoto to Greece

Japan - Philippines - Indonesia - UAE - Turkey - Greece

October 1 - 17, 2020

Wait List Only

A Mindful and Cultural Journey

Vietnam - Laos - Bhutan - India - Sri Lanka

September 8-24, 2021

Venice to Utah

Italy - Morocco - Dominican Republic - Turks and Caicos - USA

February 16 - March 2, 2021

The Grandest Tour

Japan - China - Vietnam - Thailand - Bhutan - India - Greece - Montenegro - Italy

March 21 - April 11, 2021

Kyoto to Greece

Japan - Philippines - Indonesia - UAE - Turkey - Greece

April 16 - May 2, 2021

Stay Informed: Newsletter