22nd April 2024

13 Best Things to Do in Samdrup Jongkhar on Your Next Bhutan Trip (2023)

Are you looking for the best things to do in Samdrup Jongkhar? If you’re wondering about the best things to do in this enchanting town, look no further!

In this blog post, we’ve got you covered with a curated list of the 10 best experiences that will make your visit truly memorable.

Why should you listen to us? Well, let us tell you about our past experiences leading group trips and our recent visit to this incredible destination.

We’ve witnessed firsthand the awe-inspiring beauty and cultural richness that Samdrup Jongkhar has to offer.

Let’s dive into the vibrant tapestry of Samdrup Jongkhar and discover the wonders that await you!

5 Facts about Samdrup Jongkhar

  1. Samdrup Jongkhar is a town located in southeastern Bhutan.
  2. It is the gateway to Bhutan from the Indian state of Assam.
  3. The town is known for its vibrant market where locals from both Bhutan and India trade goods.
  4. Samdrup Jongkhar is surrounded by lush green hills and offers scenic views of the Himalayas.
  5. It serves as an important commercial and trading center in the region.

Best Things to Do in Samdrup Jongkhar

1. Zangto Pelri Lhakhang

Zangto Pelri Lhakhang

Step into the realm of divine beauty at Zangto Pelri Lhakhang. This splendid temple, located in the heart of Samdrup Jongkhar, showcases remarkable Bhutanese architecture.

As you enter, marvel at the intricate carvings and vibrant murals that adorn the walls. Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance and witness the devotees engaged in their spiritual practices.

Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the traditional rituals that bring this sacred place to life.

  • Location: Zangto Pelri Lhakhang, Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Exquisite architecture, sacred religious rituals

2. Bhairav Kunda Shiva Mandir

Samdrup Jongkhar

Discover the spiritual fervor at Bhairav Kunda Shiva Mandir. This revered temple is a testament to the devotion of the locals.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it attracts devotees from far and wide, especially during the vibrant Maha Shivaratri festival.

Witness the grand celebrations and immerse yourself in the rhythmic chants and melodious bhajans. The temple’s serene surroundings and the soothing aroma of incense will transport you to a realm of tranquility.

  • Location: Bhairav Kunda Shiva Mandir, Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: During Maha Shivaratri festival
  • Famous For: Shiva temple, religious festivals

3. Hanuman Mandir NK Darranga

Samdrup Jongkhar

Embrace the divine aura at Hanuman Mandir NK Darranga. This temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman offers a tranquil retreat for spiritual seekers.

Situated amidst lush greenery, it provides a serene ambiance for meditation and introspection. Engage in prayer and witness the profound faith of the devotees.

The temple’s charming architecture and picturesque surroundings make it an ideal spot for immersing oneself in the serenity of nature.

  • Location: Hanuman Mandir NK Darranga, Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime during the year
  • Famous For: Hanuman Mandir, spiritual significance

4. Notable Landmarks and Scenic Spots

Samdrup Jongkhar

Embark on a journey to explore the remarkable landmarks and scenic spots scattered throughout Samdrup Jongkhar.

From the picturesque Dewathang Bridge to the majestic Samdrup Jongkhar Dzong, each location offers a unique glimpse into the town’s rich history and natural splendor.

Take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, capture memorable photographs, and immerse yourself in the local culture as you wander through the vibrant streets.

  • Location: Various locations across Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Landmarks, scenic beauty

5. Dzong Visits


Delve into the fascinating world of Bhutanese architecture and cultural heritage by visiting the dzongs in Samdrup Jongkhar.

Begin your exploration at the iconic Samdrup Jongkhar Dzong, a magnificent fortress that stands as a testament to the town’s historical significance.

As you wander through its intricately decorated halls and courtyards, absorb the rich cultural tapestry woven into every corner.

Additionally, venture further to discover other notable dzongs in the region, each with its unique charm and historical significance.

  • Location: Samdrup Jongkhar Dzong and other dzongs in the region
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Bhutanese architecture, cultural heritage

6. Indulge in Local Shopping

local shopping bhutan

Immerse yourself in the vibrant local markets of Samdrup Jongkhar, where a treasure trove of unique handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs await.

Explore the bustling stalls and interact with friendly local vendors, who will gladly share stories behind their creations.

From intricately woven textiles to intricately carved wooden artifacts, you’ll find a wide array of authentic Bhutanese crafts.

Don’t forget to bargain and secure yourself a memorable memento to cherish from your visit to Samdrup Jongkhar.

  • Location: Various markets in Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Local handicrafts, textiles, souvenirs

7. Experience Wildlife Tours

Embark on an exhilarating wildlife adventure in Samdrup Jongkhar, a region renowned for its rich biodiversity.

Explore the lush forests, pristine rivers, and verdant valleys that provide a natural habitat for an abundance of wildlife species.

From the majestic Bengal tigers to the elusive clouded leopards, Samdrup Jongkhar offers a chance to spot these remarkable creatures in their natural habitat.

Engage in guided tours led by experienced naturalists who will enlighten you about the local ecosystem and its conservation efforts.

  • Location: Various wildlife reserves, sanctuaries, and parks in Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: Depending on the specific wildlife species and their migratory patterns
  • Famous For: Diverse flora and fauna, rare wildlife species

8. Embark on Heritage Tours

Heritage Tours

Unveil the captivating historical and cultural heritage of Samdrup Jongkhar through enthralling heritage tours.

Visit ancient temples, monasteries, and palaces that stand as a testament to the region’s glorious past.

Explore the ruins of historical landmarks and immerse yourself in the stories etched within their walls.

Engage with local guides who will narrate fascinating tales of kings, queens, and the traditions that have shaped the town’s identity.

  • Location: Various heritage sites in and around Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Historical landmarks, cultural heritage

9. Immerse in Local Cuisine

Local Cuisine

Savor the authentic flavors of Bhutanese cuisine as you indulge in the local delicacies of Samdrup Jongkhar.

From fiery Ema Datshi (chili and cheese stew) to hearty dishes like Phaksha Paa (pork with red chili), every bite offers a culinary adventure.

Don’t miss the opportunity to try Jasha Maroo (spicy chicken) or the delectable Momos (dumplings) that will tantalize your taste buds.

Pair your meal with Ara, a traditional Bhutanese rice wine, for a complete gastronomic experience.

  • Location: Various restaurants and eateries in Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Enjoy: Anytime during your visit
  • Famous For: Traditional Bhutanese dishes, unique flavors

10. Enjoy Outdoor Adventures

Samdrup Jongkhar water falls

Experience the thrill of outdoor adventures in the picturesque surroundings of Samdrup Jongkhar.

Embark on treks that lead you through pristine forests, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayas.

Hike along scenic trails and encounter hidden waterfalls that invite you to take a refreshing dip.

For adrenaline enthusiasts, river rafting in the fast-flowing rivers is an exhilarating experience not to be missed.

Engage in these activities and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and adventure that Samdrup Jongkhar has to offer.

  • Location: Surrounding areas of Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: Depending on the activity and weather conditions
  • Famous For: Trekking, hiking, river rafting

11. Discover the Mystical Bjamdrak Pemako

Bjamdrak Pemako

Embark on an extraordinary adventure to Bjamdrak Pemako, a mystical and remote Himalayan region near Samdrup Jongkhar.

This untouched paradise offers a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in pristine natural beauty.

Traverse through dense forests, cross gushing rivers, and witness cascading waterfalls as you explore this hidden gem.

Encounter unique wildlife, including rare bird species and elusive mountain goats, amidst the breathtaking landscapes.

Bjamdrak Pemako is a haven for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience.

  • Location: Bjamdrak Pemako, Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: April to June, September to November
  • Famous For: Remote Himalayan region, pristine natural beauty

12. Attend Festivals and Cultural Celebrations

Festivals  Samdrup Jongkhar

Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural tapestry of Samdrup Jongkhar by attending colorful festivals and cultural celebrations.

From the lively Tshechus to the captivating Cham dances, these events showcase the essence of Bhutanese traditions and customs.

Adorned in elaborate costumes and masks, dancers perform mesmerizing routines accompanied by traditional music.

Join the locals in the festivities, savor traditional delicacies, and witness the joyful atmosphere that permeates the air during these cultural extravaganzas.

  • Location: Various locations in Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: Depending on the festival calendar
  • Famous For: Vibrant cultural festivities, traditional dance performances

13. Explore the Hot Springs of Samdrup Jongkhar

Hot Springs

Indulge in a rejuvenating experience by exploring the natural hot springs in and around Samdrup Jongkhar. These geothermal wonders offer a therapeutic escape from the rigors of travel.

Immerse yourself in the warm, mineral-rich waters and let the soothing properties work their magic on your body and mind.

Whether you seek relaxation, relief from fatigue, or a serene retreat amidst nature, the hot springs of Samdrup Jongkhar provide a blissful sanctuary to unwind and rejuvenate.

  • Location: Various hot springs in and around Samdrup Jongkhar
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Natural hot springs, relaxation, and healing properties

Best Time to Visit Samdrup Jongkhar

  1. Spring (March to May): Spring brings pleasant weather with blooming flowers and vibrant landscapes. The temperature is mild, making it ideal for outdoor activities like trekking and exploring the natural beauty of Samdrup Jongkhar.
  2. Summer (June to August): Summers in Samdrup Jongkhar can be warm and humid, with occasional rainfall. The lush greenery is at its peak during this time, and wildlife sightings are more common. It is a great time for wildlife tours and enjoying the natural splendor of the region.
  3. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is considered one of the best seasons to visit Samdrup Jongkhar. The weather is pleasant, with clear skies and moderate temperatures. The landscapes are beautifully adorned with golden hues, and it is a great time for outdoor activities, cultural events, and festivals.
  4. Winter (December to February): Winter in Samdrup Jongkhar can be cold, especially in higher elevations. However, if you can handle the chilly temperatures, you’ll be rewarded with clearer views of the mountains and a quieter atmosphere. It’s a good time for cultural exploration, visiting temples, and enjoying the local cuisine.

How to Get to Visit Samdrup Jongkhar

1. By Air

The nearest airport to Samdrup Jongkhar is Guwahati International Airport in India, approximately 110 kilometers away. From Guwahati, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to reach Samdrup Jongkhar. The journey takes around 3 to 4 hours, offering scenic views of the countryside along the way.

2. By Road

If you prefer a road trip adventure, you can reach Samdrup Jongkhar by road from various neighboring towns and cities. The road network connects Samdrup Jongkhar with places like Phuentsholing, Thimphu, and Paro. Buses, private taxis, and shared cabs are available for travel between these destinations.

It’s important to note that road conditions may vary, so it’s advisable to plan your journey accordingly.

Where to Stay in Samdrup Jongkhar

  1. Mountain Hotel: This small hotel is located in a peaceful setting on the banks of the Mangde Chhu River. It offers basic but clean rooms, as well as a restaurant and a bar.
  2. Tashi Gasel LodgeTashi Gasel Lodge provides comfortable and affordable accommodations with well-appointed rooms. Conveniently situated on the main road, it offers easy access to local markets, cultural sites, and dining options.
  3. Dungsam Trashiling Resort: This guesthouse is located in a quiet setting on the outskirts of Samdrup Jongkhar. It offers comfortable rooms with private balconies, as well as a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool.

Where to Eat in Samdrup Jongkhar

  1. Tashi Yoedling Restaurant – Located in the heart of the Main Market, Tashi Yoedling Restaurant is a popular choice for locals and tourists alike. Step into a cozy ambiance where the tantalizing aroma of Bhutanese cuisine fills the air.
  1. Bhutan Kitchen – Situated on Lungtenphu Road, Bhutan Kitchen beckons with its warm ambiance and an extensive menu of Bhutanese culinary delights. Delight your taste buds with their flavorful Jasha Maroo (spicy chicken), Kewa Datshi (potato and cheese stew), and a variety of mouthwatering Momos (dumplings).
  1. Druk Sampa Restaurant – Nestled along Zangtopelri Road, Druk Sampa Restaurant invites you to savor the rich flavors of Bhutanese cuisine in a charming setting. Indulge in their delectable dishes like Shakam Datshi (beef and cheese stew), Phaksha Shamu (pork with mushroom), and a wholesome Bhutanese Thali.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  1. Obtain a valid Bhutanese visa before travel.
  2. Pack weather-appropriate clothing.
  3. Respect local customs and traditions.
  4. Carry sufficient cash as ATMs are limited.
  5. Use taxis or hired cars for transportation.
  6. English is widely spoken, but learn a few Dzongkha phrases.
  7. Consult a doctor for necessary vaccinations.
  8. Obtain travel insurance for medical emergencies.
  9. Seek permission before taking photographs.
  10. Practice responsible tourism and respect the environment.

Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Samdrup Jongkhar

In conclusion, Samdrup Jongkhar is a captivating destination that seamlessly blends cultural heritage, natural beauty, and exhilarating experiences. From exploring the magnificent dzongs and indulging in local shopping to embarking on wildlife and heritage tours, every moment in this Bhutanese town is filled with wonder.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant festivals, relish the local cuisine, and venture into the wilderness for unforgettable adventures. With its mystical allure and warm hospitality, Samdrup Jongkhar promises to leave a lasting impression and beckons travelers to uncover its hidden treasures.

Embark on a journey to this enchanting town and create memories that will forever resonate in your heart.

FAQs – Best Things to Do in Samdrup Jongkhar

What are the must-visit dzongs in Samdrup Jongkhar?

Make sure to explore the iconic Samdrup Jongkhar Dzong and other notable dzongs in the region. They offer a glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of the town.

Where can I find the best local handicrafts and souvenirs in Samdrup Jongkhar?

Head to the bustling local markets in Samdrup Jongkhar to discover a wide range of authentic Bhutanese handicrafts and textiles. You’ll find intricately woven textiles and handcrafted wooden items that make perfect souvenirs.

What are the popular wildlife tours available in Samdrup Jongkhar?

Samdrup Jongkhar is known for its diverse flora and fauna. Engage in guided wildlife tours that take you through lush forests and allow you to spot rare species like Bengal tigers and clouded leopards.

What are the popular local delicacies to try in Samdrup Jongkhar?

Don’t miss the chance to savor traditional Bhutanese dishes like Ema Datshi (chili and cheese stew), Phaksha Paa (pork with red chili), and delicious Momos (dumplings). Pair your meal with Ara, a traditional Bhutanese rice wine.

What adventure activities can I enjoy in Samdrup Jongkhar?

Outdoor enthusiasts can embark on thrilling adventures like trekking, hiking, and even river rafting in the surrounding areas of Samdrup Jongkhar. The stunning landscapes and scenic trails make for unforgettable experiences.

Any travel tips for visiting Samdrup Jongkhar?

Remember to obtain a valid Bhutanese visa, pack weather-appropriate clothing, respect local customs, carry sufficient cash, and explore transportation options like taxis. It’s also recommended to learn a few basic Dzongkha phrases and practice responsible tourism during your visit.
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