The Trongsa district in central Bhutan is the ancestral home of the Wangchucks, Bhutan’s royal family. The kingdom’s first king Ugyen Wangchuck was actually the twelfth governor of Trongsa. He managed to bring the whole country under his control and was elected as the first Druk Gyalpo or Dragon King of Bhutan. So, in a tradition that is continued to this day, the crown prince of Bhutan serves as the governor of Trongsa, until he becomes the king.
|The Mangde Chhu river flowing through Trongsa|
It took us about 3 hours to drive to Trongsa from Phobjikha. As we approached the town, the majestic Trongsa Dzong (fortress) came into view, nestled in the middle of lush greenery.
|The Trongsa Dzong|
The town of Trongsa has just about two small streets, and they are crammed with tiny restaurants, bars and grocery stores.
We stayed at the Tashi Ninjay guesthouse run by a wonderfully warm family.
|Tashi Ninjay Guesthouse|
The room was adorable, and the view from the balcony was just jaw-dropping.
The dzong is Trongsa’s main attraction, and we didn’t even have to step out of our room to see it! It was surreal to stand in the balcony with a cup of tea, watching the dzong disappear every now and then as clouds BELOW us ran in and engulfed it.
|The most perfect balcony ever!|
|The view of the dzong from our room on a sunny morning|
|The dzong all lit up at night|
|Shot from the room – notice the rainbow? 🙂|
Some pictures from the inside of the fortress, featuring Tenzin, our awesome guide 🙂
The Royal Heritage Museum housed in a watchtower close to the fortress is amazing – a must-visit if you’re a history buff, or just want to quickly understand the history of Bhutan. We took a small walk on the outskirts of the town, and found fiddlehead ferns (delicious ferns used in Bhutanese cuisine) and hundreds of wild strawberries growing all along the trail.
While Phobjikha was my favourite destination in Bhutan, Trongsa was a very close second. We managed a short day trip to the Bumthang district, and that was as interior as we went. I wish we could have gone further east – I bet the remote eastern districts are even more spectacular, but I’m glad we left ourselves a reason to go back to Bhutan 🙂
|The mountains of Trongsa in the late afternoon sun|