Zhemgang is located in the central part of Bhutan, south of Trongsa. Spread over an area of 2125 sq. km, Zhemgang is an offbeat tourist destination popular for its rich biodiversity. The valley is home to more than 22 endangered animal species and forms a part of important biological corridors and protected areas dotting bhutan such as the Manas national park, Thrumshingla National park and Jigme Singye Wangchuk national park. The Manas national park is the oldest protected area in the country and features many interesting animal species such as Golden Langurs, Gangetic Dolphins, Rufous-necked Hornbill and the Asian One-horned Rhinoceros. Others include, tigers, clouded leopards, elephants, wild gaurs and many more. Excursions on the great Royal Manas Park and Kayaking on the Manas River offers visitors a remote safari experience.
Zhemgang is also the last region in Bhutan were ancient BON (Animist) religion is still practiced today. Agriculture and cattle breeding is the main livelihood for locals, besides bamboo woodcrafts. Some villages still live traditionally in bamboo huts roofed in traditional bamboo leaves and it is interesting to notice that water is still being carried in small bamboo containers.
The remoteness of Zhemgang region is itself a trekker’s delight. The valley is perfect place for bird watchers and nature trekkers. There are several hiking trails within the Manas National Park and most are connected to the eight natural salt licks found in the area. Visitors can also enjoy a 4 day eco-trek from Gomphu to Norbugang. Gomphu can be reached via Zhemgang (3 hours) or from Gelephu (5 hours).The famous Dunmang natural hot spring in Zhemgang district is another interesting highlight. While the valley has limited tourist accommodation, however the area makes for a perfect place to camp, especially the Manas national park. The park also offers log cabins as accommodation options. Each eco-camp has two eco-lodges with twin beds in each lodge and camping area with kitchen, dining, toilet/bathroom, fencing and drinking water facilities. Zhemgang can be accessed through Trongsa or alternatively from Gelephu in southern Bhutan. One may also choose to combine the visit during the annual Zhemgang festival to get a glimpse of rural Bhutanese culture. Refer to our festival calender for details.
Places to Visit
Zhemgang Dzong: Build in 1655 the fortress features six monasteries, the most important being Geonkhang monastery, which is said to be built by Lam Zhang, a highly revered Tibetan lam associated with the Dzong.
Buli Lhakang: Located in Buli village, the monastery was built by one of bhutan’s most revered lam’s Terton pema Lingpa.
Tharpa Choeling Lhakhang: The Monastery was built by Terton pema Lingpa and is a important place of worship for locals.
Trophel Tours & Treks is accredited by Tourism Council of Bhutan (License No: 1030972) and member of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Global Sustainable Tourism Council.