The high-altitude valleys around Bumthang offer ancient monasteries and temples, excellent day hikes, and a Swiss brewery. Although the Bumthang region encompasses four major valleys: Chokhor, Tang, Ura and Chhume, the large Chokhor valley is commonly referred to as the Bumthang valley, as the dzongs and the most important temples lie here. The valley was completely isolated until the 1970s, when the road through it was constructed.
The valleys are Bhutan’s spiritual heartlands, studded with rivers and religious sites. Some prefer to call it the land of beautiful girls, known as ‘bum’. According to some archaeologists, this region is the oldest inhabited part of Bhutan. Today, Bumthang Valley is known and loved for its untouched Himalayan landscapes, forested valley floors, quiet villages, an abundance of ancient monasteries and temples and vast open plains that make for the most enticing walking trails.
Bumthang’s famous Swiss Farm was established by Fritz Maurer, one of the first Swiss to work in Bhutan. The project introduced cheesemaking and brewing to the valley. The Red Panda, Bhutan’s popular beer is a legacy from this project, and one can tour the Red Panda brewery.
A 3 day cultural trek in Bumthang is a popular choice on a active holiday, taking in the nearby villages and temples.