Best Things to Do in Mongar,Mongar Dzong,Where to Stay in Mongar,How to Get to Visit Mongar,Yagang Lhakhang,Aja Ney,Drametse Lhakhang

19th June 2024

15 Best Things to Do in Mongar: Escape to Paradise

Are you looking to uncover the best things to do in Mongar? If so, we’ve got you covered in this blog post.

From our past experience of leading group trips here and our last visit to this place, we’ve discovered the best things to do in Mongar that will leave you captivated and craving for more.

Get ready to explore Mongar, a land of majestic fortresses, intricate textile weaving, stunning trekking routes, and vibrant festivals.

So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to embark on an exhilarating journey through the wonders of Mongar.

5 Facts about Mongar

  • Mongar is a district in eastern Bhutan, known for its stunning landscapes and picturesque valleys.
  • The district is home to Mongar Dzong, a fortress-like structure that serves as a major administrative and religious center in the region.
  • Mongar is famous for its vibrant festivals, including the popular Mongar Tshechu, where locals and tourists gather to witness colorful masked dances and religious ceremonies.
  • The district is renowned for its traditional handloom weaving industry, producing exquisite textiles and fabrics that reflect Bhutanese culture and craftsmanship.
  • Mongar offers opportunities for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and exploring remote villages, allowing visitors to experience the untouched beauty of the region.

Best Things to Do in Mongar

1. Mongar Dzong: A Majestic Fortress

Mongar Dzong

In the heart of Eastern Bhutan stands the magnificent Mongar Dzong, a fortress that epitomizes the country’s architectural brilliance. Rising proudly on a hilltop, the dzong exudes an aura of timeless elegance.

As you step inside, you’ll be captivated by the intricate woodwork, vibrant murals, and ancient artifacts that adorn the halls. The dzong also offers sweeping vistas of the surrounding valleys and mountains, providing a breathtaking backdrop for photography enthusiasts.

Whether exploring the inner sanctums or simply savoring the serene atmosphere, Mongar Dzong promises an unforgettable encounter with Bhutan’s cultural heritage.

  • Location: Mongar District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Architectural grandeur and panoramic views

2. Yagang Lhakhang: A Spiritual Haven

Yagang Lhakhang

Nestled amidst tranquil surroundings, Yagang Lhakhang welcomes pilgrims and travelers with its serene ambiance. This hidden gem offers a glimpse into Bhutanese Buddhism and the religious practices that permeate the country’s way of life.

Engage in enlightening conversations with the resident monks, who graciously share their wisdom and stories. Immerse yourself in the rituals and prayers, witnessing the deep-rooted spirituality that flourishes within the walls of this Lhakhang.

Yagang Lhakhang offers a sanctuary of peace, where you can meditate and reflect, finding solace amidst the bustling world.

  • Location: Trashigang District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: February to April (spring) and October to December (autumn)
  • Famous For: Tranquil surroundings and Bhutanese Buddhist spirituality

3. Phrumsengla National Park: A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Trashiyangtse District

Embrace the wonders of nature in Phrumsengla National Park, a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. This vast expanse of wilderness boasts incredible biodiversity, housing rare and endemic species.

Trek through lush forests, where vibrant rhododendrons and towering ancient trees paint a picturesque backdrop. Keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of elusive wildlife, such as takins, red pandas, and various bird species.

Embark on thrilling hiking trails, each unveiling mesmerizing vistas of cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes. Picnic spots and viewpoints offer the perfect setting to soak in the park’s breathtaking beauty.

Phrumsengla National Park is a sanctuary for nature lovers, where you can reconnect with the Earth’s abundant splendor.

  • Location: Trashiyangtse District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Biodiversity and pristine natural landscapes

4. Ruins of Zhongar Dzong: Exploring Ancient History

Ruins of Zhongar Dzong

Step back in time as you wander among the ruins of Zhongar Dzong, an archaeological gem shrouded in mystery. These ancient remnants stand as a testament to Bhutan’s rich history and the resilience of its heritage.

Marvel at the weathered walls and crumbling architecture that once housed Bhutanese royalty. Uncover the stories whispered by the wind, revealing the battles fought and the triumphs celebrated within these hallowed grounds.

The ruins of Zhongar Dzong offer a glimpse into a bygone era, allowing you to connect with the legacy of Eastern Bhutan’s past.

  • Location: Trashigang District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Ancient ruins and historical significance

5. Aja Ney: A Pilgrimage to Sacred Caves

Lhuntse District

Embark on a spiritual pilgrimage to Aja Ney, a revered site nestled within the mountainous terrain of Eastern Bhutan. These sacred caves hold immense significance in Bhutanese folklore and mythology.

As you delve into the depths of the caves, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility wash over you. Engage in quiet contemplation or join in meditation sessions led by experienced practitioners.

Legend has it that those who offer sincere prayers and seek blessings at Aja Ney are granted protection and spiritual enlightenment. Immerse yourself in the mystical ambiance and embrace the spiritual energy that permeates these sacred caverns.

  • Location: Lhuntse District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: April to June (spring) and September to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Spiritual significance and sacred caves

6. Drametse Lhakhang: Witnessing Traditional Performances

Drametse Lhakhang

Experience the vibrant cultural heritage of Eastern Bhutan at Drametse Lhakhang, a revered temple renowned for its traditional performances. Be enthralled by the captivating masked dances and colorful rituals that take place during festivals.

The rhythmic beats of drums and cymbals reverberate through the air as dancers adorned in ornate costumes bring ancient stories to life. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, joining locals in celebrations that honor Bhutanese traditions.

Drametse Lhakhang offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Bhutanese culture, providing a truly immersive and unforgettable experience.

  • Location: Mongar District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Cultural festivals and traditional masked dances

7. Jarung Khashor Chorten: A Symbol of Devotion

Jarung Khashor Chorten

Discover a symbol of devotion at Jarung Khashor Chorten, a revered site of religious significance in Eastern Bhutan. This grand chorten, adorned with intricate carvings and gilded embellishments, stands as a testament to the Bhutanese people’s deep-rooted faith.

Engage in the sacred act of circumambulation, walking in reverence around the chorten while spinning prayer wheels. Immerse yourself in the spiritual ambiance, observing locals engaged in prayer and meditation.

Jarung Khashor Chorten invites you to connect with the spiritual heart of Bhutan, fostering a sense of peace and reflection amidst the bustling world.

  • Location: Trashigang District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Sacred chorten (stupa) and spiritual practices

8. Kurichu Dam View: Scenic Beauty and Hydroelectricity

Kurichu Dam View

Marvel at the mesmerizing beauty of Kurichu Dam, a testament to Bhutan’s commitment to sustainable energy. This engineering marvel not only offers stunning vistas of the tranquil reservoir but also showcases the country’s reliance on hydroelectric power.

As you take in the panoramic views, contemplate the harmonious balance between nature and technological progress. The Kurichu Dam serves as a reminder of Bhutan’s commitment to environmental preservation and its vision of becoming a carbon-neutral nation.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or an advocate for renewable energy, the Kurichu Dam view is a sight to behold.

  • Location: Mongar District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Scenic dam view and hydroelectric power

9. Integrated Horticulture Farm: Exploring Organic Delights

Horticulture Farm Bhutan

Indulge in the delights of organic farming at the Integrated Horticulture Farm in Eastern Bhutan. This idyllic farm offers a firsthand experience of sustainable agriculture practices and farm-to-table concepts.

Wander through lush fruit orchards and vibrant vegetable gardens, where the air is infused with the aroma of fresh produce. Engage with local farmers, learning about their traditional farming methods and the importance of organic cultivation.

Sample delectable fruits and vegetables, savoring the flavors of nature’s bounty. The Integrated Horticulture Farm invites you to reconnect with the land, gaining insights into sustainable food production and experiencing the joy of harvesting your own organic delights.

  • Location: Mongar District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Farm-to-table experiences and sustainable agriculture

10. Mongar Town Exploration: Immersing in Local Culture

Mongar Town Exploration

Embark on a journey of cultural immersion in Mongar Town, the vibrant capital of Mongar District. Stroll through bustling markets where locals gather to sell a variety of goods, from fresh produce to colorful textiles.

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, engaging with friendly vendors and discovering unique handicrafts. Explore the local shops and boutiques, where you can find exquisite Bhutanese souvenirs and traditional garments.

Take part in cultural events and festivals that showcase the region’s traditional music, dance, and arts. Mongar Town offers a delightful blend of local flavors and cultural experiences, providing a deeper understanding of Bhutanese life.

11. Bathpalathang Circuit Trek: Conquering Mountain Trails

Bathpalathang Circuit Trek

Embark on an exhilarating adventure along the Bathpalathang Circuit Trek, a trekking route that winds through the pristine mountains of Eastern Bhutan. Traverse rugged terrain, crossing picturesque valleys and dense forests. As you ascend higher, be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of snow-capped peaks and sprawling landscapes.

Encounter serene monasteries nestled amidst the mountains, offering a tranquil sanctuary for reflection. Marvel at the diverse flora and fauna that thrive in this untouched wilderness.

The Bathpalathang Circuit Trek promises an unforgettable journey of endurance and natural beauty, allowing you to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring landscapes of Eastern Bhutan.

  • Location: Mongar District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May (spring) and October to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Scenic trekking trails and panoramic mountain views

12. Traditional Archery Experience: Channeling Bhutanese Spirit

Traditional Archery Experience

Engage in a quintessential Bhutanese experience by participating in a traditional archery session in Mongar. Archery holds deep cultural significance in Bhutan, embodying the spirit of camaraderie and competition.

Learn the art of bow and arrow under the guidance of skilled archers, who will teach you the proper techniques and share fascinating stories of the sport. Engage in friendly competitions with fellow travelers and locals, experiencing the thrill of hitting the target.

Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, as archery matches are often accompanied by traditional music, dances, and celebrations. The traditional archery experience in Mongar offers a unique opportunity to connect with Bhutanese traditions and forge lasting memories.

  • Location: Mongar District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
  • Famous For: Traditional archery and cultural camaraderie

13. Kurizampa Monastery: Discovering Spiritual Serenity

Kurizampa Monastery

Escape the bustling world and find inner peace at Kurizampa Monastery, a serene sanctuary nestled in the tranquil mountains of Eastern Bhutan. This sacred retreat offers a respite for those seeking spiritual solace and tranquility.

Engage in guided meditation sessions led by experienced monks, allowing your mind to quieten and your spirit to rejuvenate.

Explore the monastery’s ornate halls adorned with intricate murals and sacred relics, and gain insights into Bhutanese Buddhism through enlightening conversations with resident monks.

Surrounded by lush nature and breathtaking views, Kurizampa Monastery provides an ideal setting for introspection and self-discovery.

  • Location: Mongar District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Buddhist monastery and meditation retreat

14. Rural Village Experience: Embracing Authentic Bhutanese Life

Rural Village Experience

Delve into the heart of Bhutanese culture and embrace the authenticity of rural village life in Mongar District. Take a step back in time as you immerse yourself in the daily activities of the locals.

Engage in traditional farming practices, tending to crops and livestock alongside the villagers. Participate in craft workshops, learning the intricate art of weaving or pottery-making from skilled artisans.

Indulge in hearty Bhutanese meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients, savoring the flavors of traditional cuisine. Experience the warm hospitality of the villagers as they welcome you into their homes, sharing stories and cultural traditions that have been passed down through generations.

A rural village experience in Mongar offers a genuine glimpse into the authentic way of life in Bhutan, fostering connections and memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Location: Mongar District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
  • Famous For: Traditional village lifestyle and warm hospitality

15. Kurichu River Rafting: Conquering the Rapids

Kurichu River Rafting

Seek an adrenaline rush as you embark on a thrilling rafting adventure along the roaring waters of the Kurichu River. Strap on your safety gear and navigate through the exhilarating rapids, feeling the rush of adrenaline as you conquer each challenging twist and turn.

Marvel at the pristine beauty of the river valley, surrounded by lush forests and towering cliffs. Keep an eye out for the diverse bird species that inhabit the riverside, adding a touch of natural splendor to your rafting experience.

Kurichu River rafting promises an exhilarating blend of adventure and awe-inspiring landscapes, offering a unique perspective of Eastern Bhutan’s natural beauty.

  • Location: Mongar District, Eastern Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May (spring) and September to November (autumn)
  • Famous For: Adventurous water sports and scenic river landscapes

Best Time to Visit Mongar

The best time to visit Mongar is during the spring season, from March to May, and the autumn season, from September to November. These periods offer favorable weather conditions and pleasant temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploration.

During the spring season, Mongar showcases its natural beauty with blooming flowers and lush greenery. The weather is generally mild, with comfortable temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F). It’s a great time to witness the vibrant colors of the landscapes and enjoy activities such as trekking, nature walks, and visiting the local attractions.

In the autumn season, Mongar experiences clear skies and pleasant temperatures, ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The foliage takes on stunning hues of red, orange, and gold, creating a picturesque setting for outdoor adventures. It’s an excellent time for hiking, sightseeing, and immersing in the cultural festivities and festivals that take place in the region.

How to Get to Visit Mongar

1. By Air

The nearest airport to Mongar is Bathpalathang Airport in Jakar, Bumthang District. Travelers can take a domestic flight from Paro International Airport, the main international gateway to Bhutan, to Bathpalathang Airport.

From there, it’s a scenic drive of approximately 6-7 hours to reach Mongar. It’s essential to check the flight schedules and availability, as domestic flights in Bhutan operate on a limited basis.

2. By Road

For those seeking a more adventurous route, road travel is a popular option. From Paro or Thimphu, the capital city, you can embark on a picturesque journey by car or bus through the mountainous landscapes of Bhutan.

The journey takes approximately 12-14 hours, depending on road conditions and stops along the way. The route passes through beautiful towns and valleys, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the stunning scenery.

Where to Stay in Mongar

  1. Zhingkham Resort – A tranquil retreat nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Mongar, Zhingkham Resort offers spacious rooms with modern amenities. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, indulge in delectable Bhutanese cuisine at the on-site restaurant, and relax in the peaceful ambiance of this charming resort.
  2. Wangchuk Hotel – Situated in the heart of Mongar Town, Wangchuk Hotel provides cozy accommodations for budget-conscious travelers. The rooms are clean and comfortable, featuring essential amenities for a pleasant stay. The hotel’s central location offers easy access to nearby attractions, markets, and dining options.
  3. Yugarling Hotel – Experience warm Bhutanese hospitality at Yugarling Hotel, an upscale accommodation option in Mongar. The elegantly appointed rooms offer a blend of modern comforts and traditional Bhutanese aesthetics. Indulge in delicious cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant, unwind in the garden area, and enjoy a memorable stay in this charming hotel.

Where to Eat in Mongar

  1. Mongar Food Corner – Satisfy your taste buds at Mongar Food Corner, a local favorite renowned for its delectable Bhutanese cuisine. Indulge in the fiery flavors of Ema Datshi, a spicy cheese chili dish, or savor the aromatic Jasha Maroo, a hearty chicken stew.
  2. Himalayan Delights – Experience a fusion of flavors at Himalayan Delights, a charming restaurant offering a blend of Bhutanese, Tibetan, and Indian cuisines. Delight in the steaming hot momos, filled with a variety of succulent fillings, or warm up with a comforting bowl of Thukpa, a hearty noodle soup.
  3. Tashi Phuntshokling Restaurant – Immerse yourself in the flavors of Bhutan at Tashi Phuntshokling Restaurant, a charming eatery offering authentic Bhutanese dishes. Indulge in the staple Red Rice, a nutritious and flavorful grain, paired with the delightful Kewa Datshi, a dish featuring potatoes cooked with cheese and chili.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Dress modestly and respectfully when visiting religious sites and monasteries.
  • Carry a good pair of walking shoes for exploring the hilly terrain and trekking trails.
  • Pack warm clothing, as the weather can be cool, especially in the evenings and at higher altitudes.
  • Stay hydrated and carry a water bottle with you, as the mountainous region can be physically demanding.
  • Respect the local customs and traditions, and seek permission before taking photographs of people.
  • Plan your visit during local festivals to witness the vibrant cultural celebrations.
  • Carry essential items such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit.
  • Learn a few basic phrases in the local language, Dzongkha, to communicate with the locals.
  • Support the local economy by purchasing handmade crafts and locally produced goods.

Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Mongar

In conclusion, Eastern Bhutan’s Mongar District is a treasure trove of cultural, natural, and spiritual wonders. From the majestic Mongar Dzong to the serene Kurizampa Monastery, each destination offers a unique experience steeped in tradition and beauty.

Whether it’s witnessing the vibrant festivals, embarking on breathtaking treks, or immersing in the warmth of rural village life, Mongar captivates with its diverse offerings.

With its scenic landscapes, rich heritage, and welcoming locals, a journey to Mongar promises an unforgettable adventure that will leave you with memories to cherish. Discover the hidden gems of this enchanting region and let the spirit of Eastern Bhutan embrace your soul.

FAQs – Best Things to Do in Mongar

What are the best things to do in Mongar?

Mongar offers a plethora of exciting activities. Explore the ancient Mongar Dzong, immerse in the spiritual aura of Kurizampa Monastery, or embark on adventurous treks in the Bathpalathang Circuit. You can also experience the vibrant local culture by visiting Mongar Town and its bustling markets. Don’t miss out on the scenic beauty of Kurichu Dam View and the organic delights at the Integrated Horticulture Farm.

When is the best time to visit Mongar?

The ideal time to visit Mongar is during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and nature comes alive. These seasons offer comfortable temperatures for exploring outdoor attractions, enjoying treks, and witnessing local festivals. However, Mongar’s beauty can be experienced throughout the year, so plan your trip based on your preferences.

What is Mongar famous for?

Mongar is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, exemplified by the majestic Mongar Dzong, ancient monasteries like Kurizampa, and vibrant festivals. The district is also known for its scenic landscapes, offering panoramic views of mountains, rivers, and valleys. Additionally, Mongar embraces sustainable agriculture, and the Integrated Horticulture Farm showcases organic farming practices.

Are there any off-the-beaten-path attractions in Mongar?

Yes, Mongar has hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Visit the ruins of Zhongar Dzong, a historical site with fascinating stories. Aja Ney, a sacred pilgrimage site, offers a serene spiritual experience. You can also explore the beauty of Phrumsengla National Park, home to diverse flora and fauna. These lesser-known attractions provide a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience in Mongar.

How can I immerse in local culture in Mongar?

To immerse in Mongar’s local culture, visit Mongar Town’s traditional markets, where you can interact with locals, find unique handicrafts, and taste local delicacies. Engage in a traditional archery session, a beloved Bhutanese sport, to connect with the locals. Consider staying in a rural village to experience authentic Bhutanese life, participate in farming activities, and learn traditional crafts from skilled artisans.

Is Mongar suitable for adventure enthusiasts?

Absolutely! Mongar offers thrilling adventures for adrenaline junkies. You can conquer the rapids of the Kurichu River through exhilarating rafting. The Bathpalathang Circuit Trek provides a challenging yet rewarding experience amidst stunning mountain landscapes. The district’s rugged terrain is ideal for nature hikes and wildlife spotting. Adventure awaits in Mongar for those seeking an adrenaline-fueled escapade.

How can I make the most of my trip to Mongar?

To make the most of your trip, plan your itinerary to include a mix of cultural, natural, and adventure activities. Allocate ample time to explore the major attractions like Mongar Dzong, Kurizampa Monastery, and the Integrated Horticulture Farm. Interact with locals, attend festivals, and try local cuisine to immerse in the vibrant culture. Don’t forget to capture the breathtaking landscapes and cherish the memories of your Mongar adventure.
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