Punakha and Wangdue district is the close district and located both at an altitude of 4430ft/1350m. It is only 13 Km drive from the main Khuruthang town of Punakha to Wangdue town. The route from Punakha takes you along the Puna Tshang Chhu River which later joins by Dang Chhu River to form the Sunkosh River in the south. Both Punakha and Wangdue are much warmer compare to other western districts of Bhutan. Punakha was served as the capital of Bhutan and was the seat of the government 1955 when the capital was moved to Thimphu. Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most monometers events in the Bhutanese history and deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful and significant provience at the heart of Bhutanese culture. Wangdue is another province in the western Bhutan bordered by Punakha in the north. Wangdue is one of the largest districts with an area of 4308 square kms with an elevation ranging from lowly as 800m and rise up to 5800m. With its large area cover from the northern snow-capped mountains to the cold damp glacier valley of Phobjikha, to the warm and breezy town of Wangdue. The province is also one of the important gateways to the further central, eastern and southern districts of Bhutan.
Both Punakha and Wangdue because of its low elevation and rich fertile soil, the region are famous for rice farming. Both red and different types of white rice are grown along the valley of Pho Chhu, Mo Chhu, Puna Tshang Chhu and Dang Chhu. The scattered village’s houses are made up of beaten mud with stone foundation and with pattern of woods, which is used in decorative looks of the windows and doors with height of two to three storied.
- Location: Punakha, Western Bhutan
- Distance from Thimphu: 77 Km 03 hours 15 minutes
- Elevation: 4430ft/1350m
- Location: Western Bhutan
- Distance from Thimphu: 70 Km 03 hours
- Elevation: 4480ft/1400m
- Paro: 142 Km 05 hours
- Thimphu: 77 km 2 ½ hours
- Wangdue: 13 Km 30 minutes
Scenery: The beautiful valley of Punakha and Wangdue provides immense opportunity through its rich natural environment for adventure activities of all kind. The valley is rich and abounds with terrace rice crops and orchards with steep valley, golden topped monasteries, and temple scattered throughout.
What to bring: We suggest you to bring bathing suits, shoes that best fit for rafts & kayaks, towel, waterproof camera, sunscreen, bug spray, string to hold your sunglasses, sandals to use after the rafts (can keep in the car), and flop flops.
Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park: The Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park is one of the fully operated parks in the country with its location range from Punakha, Gasa, Thimphu and Paro, covering around 434950ha. Having the largest protected areas of conservatory of glaciers, alpine meadows, scrublands, sub-alpine, temperate conifer forests, warm and cool temperate broad-leaved forests, major rivers and streams, and the flora and fauna that inhabits the ecosystem. It is also home for many endangered animal species like- Takin, Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, Musk Deer, Himalayan Barking Deer, Red Panda, Marmots and several bird species. There are several medicinal plants found in the park used for commercial, medicinal, traditional and religious values.
Black Mountain National Park: The Black Mountain National Park consists of three province of Wangdue, Trongsa and Zhemgang covering an area of 172,760 ha. This huge park represents a wide range of ecosystem and different habitat like- Snow covered areas of Dorshing La Peak (4925m), alpine lakes, pastures, coniferous and broad leaf forest.
Available Kayaks & Rafts
Puna Tshang Chhu – The Canyon
- Location: Western Region (below Wangdue Phodrang)
- Rafts & Kayaks Location: Kami Chhu – Waklaytar
- Sports Length: Approximately 15 km (04 hours for kayaks with scouting and bit longer for rafts due to portages)
- Difficulty: Class IV – V at low to medium flows, solid vat-high flows
- Flows: 5000 – 7000 cfs
- Best Season: April, November – December (Caution: a high water on this stretch can be extremely difficult, not recommended for amateurs)
- Craft: Kayaks (Rafts possible with strong crew)
Puna Tshang Chhu
- Location: Western Bhutan (below Wangdue Phodrang)
- Rafts & Kayaks Location: Waklaytar – Sunkoshtar
- Sports Length: Approximately 17 Km (04 hours)
- Difficulty: Class III – IV at most flows
- Flows: 5000 – 7000 cfs
- Season: March – April, November – December (Tips: High water makes this run more difficult but reasonable as well)
- Crafts: Rafts & Kayaks