HAA Valley Region
Haa is located in South West of Paro and its one of the most beautiful and isolated areas in the kingdom adorned with pristine alpine forests and tranquil mountain peaks. The forested hills of Haa provide an ideal location for hiking and mountain biking. Biking around the valley to visit the dozen or so local temples is an enjoyable way to spend the day when visiting. Haa is home to a number of nomadic herders and hosts an annual Summer Festival that showcases their unique lifestyle and culture. The festival is an ideal occasion to immerse yourself in the traditions and unchanged lifestyles of nomadic Bhutanese herders, as well as to sample some delectable Haapi cuisine. Haa’s major feature is the Haa Valley, a steep north-south valley with a narrow floor. You may also experience Home-stay with the Bhutanese locals and enjoy the local hospitality of the families with homemade foods, and long period preserved wine.
Haa Sightseeing (Half day)
Ride to Chelela Pass: Chele La pass is the highest road pass in the country. It is popular for short excursion for maybe two and half hours. You will see many tourists visiting this vantage point. Some prefer driving, some hiking and many wheels down either to Haa or Paro valley in their mountain bikes. The drive to Chele La is through dense spruce and larch forests. Depending on the season you will encounter various sights such as a frozen river, waterfall, Rhododendron forest and yaks grazing peacefully. On a clear day, you can view Mt. Jumolhari (the third -highest mountain in Bhutan at 7,326 meters) along with other sacred mountains Jichu Drake and adjoining peaks to the North West, as well as the view of both the valley (Paro and Haa).
Visit Lhakhang Karpo and Lhakhang Nagpo: According to legend in the 7th century, Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo has built these two Lhakhang, Lhakhang Karpo and Lhakhang Nagpo in Haa and Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro in his mission to build 108 Lhakhang in one single day. As per legend, black and white pigeons were released to select sites to build Lhakhang. The white pigeon landed on the foothills of the three towering mountains where the white Lhakhangs stands today and the black pigeon landed a little north of where white pigeon landed.
Visit Shelkar Drak
A short excursion up the valley behind the Lhakhang Kharpo is Shelkar Drak (Crystal Cliff), a tiny but charming retreat centre perched on the limestone cliff face. Take the unpaved side road past the Lhakhang Nagpo,…
Visit and Explore Rural Livlihooda and cultures of Haa: A little walk up from the town and you will find yourself amid Bhutan villages while walking past the paddy fields. You will get to observe the wooden houses with unique Bhutanese architecture and walls painted with big Phallus. You may choose to spend your night in one of registered Homestay houses in Haa valley. Homestay culture is very common in Haa region. Bhutanese people are quite welcoming and will give you a warm smile as soon as they will see you. Children will look at you with a curiosity which will transition to a chuckle as soon as you will wave at them.
There isn’t much to see in Haa, because of its isolated location and sparsely populated, but if you are looking to have peaceful stay, explore daily activities of rural livelihood, relax/retreat yourself and enjoy the stunning natural beauty then Haa is for you. In the evening we will walk you along the Haa Chu riverside. Picturesque Haa Chu river flows right through the centre of the valley. You are going to love to walk by the riverside, listening to the sound of water striking against stones and looking at the clouds hugging the mountains around you. We assure you that you will feel so different, lost into imagination while enjoying the very stunning view of the beautiful sunset. If you will walk a little down from the taxi stand, you will also find a very beautiful small hanging bridge. Just stand over there amid prayer flags listening to the sound of flowing water and feeling the thumping cold wind, an ensemble !!
Hiking in Haa region (1 day)
TIME: 5-6 hours.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Haa valley is ideal for hiking. There are many Goembas (Buddhist Temples) around the valley where you can go for a day hike. The level of ease and difficulty of hiking are already set, which you may choose while on the field.