Chhukha: A New Destination in South

Chhukha

Imagine riding your Bianchi or Breezer bike among the untouched canopies of deep subtropical forests to a pristine lake in the wilderness. This is now possible in the southern district of Chhukha, located 90 kilometers south of the capital city, Thimphu.

The Phaktshoding Cylcing Trail is the first cycling trail in  the country that leads to a lake.  It is about 4.5 kms away from Gedu town along the Thimphu-Phuentsholing Highway.  

As part of Chhukha district’s tourism development initiative, a wide range of tourism products and services have been developed in the past two years, making it one of the hottest tourist attractions in the southern belt of the country.

Phaktshoding Cylcing Trail is just one of the major attractions in Chhukha! There is more.

Phuentsholing, a border town in Chhukha district, is the main gateway to Bhutan and the most popular entry and exit point for visitors. More than 55% of the tourists who entered Bhutan through land used Phuentsholing as the entry point as of 2019.  Not only is Chhukha easily accessible, it is also the main thoroughfare for tourists visiting Bhutan.  

Located in south of the country  with hot summers and warm winters,  many places in Chhukha serve as the most preferred winter destination, the most favorable months being from October till March.

Camping at Jigmechu Campsite in Bongo Gewog is a highly recommended tourist activity, for both locals and foreigners as well.

Even within a short period when Jigmechu first opened to visitors in 2021, more than 200 locals visited the place in a month. Jigmechu is a major eco-tourism site in Chhukha. In Chapcha and Bjabcho gewogs, you will get to soak in menchu (medicinal hot stone bath) to help you relax your sinews. Menchu is believed to have healing properties.

The mushroom cultivation and training centers in Bjabcho offers the opportunity to learn about mushroom cultivation, and of course, enjoy delicious mushroom dish. You can also experience traditional village life in the area.

If you are interested in fishing, you can engage in fly-fishing in Wangchhu river. 

For those on spiritual quests, you can visit the famous Ami Ney (sacred cave). You can also visit Dokhachu Goenpa in Chapcha, which is one of the most visited destinations. The principal deity of the Goenpa, Lhamo Ekajati, is a wish-fulfilling goddess.

A hotstone bath located just below the Goenpa and Village Homestays in the area provide amazing local accommodation services with a touch of Bhutanese hospitality – making it a perfect  weekend getaway for locals and tourists alike.

The trek to the thousand lakes in Dagala can be extended on the return journey to exit at Dokhachu Goenpa. The return trek from Dagala to Dokhachu Goenpa is the most scenic, taking up to eight hours to reach Chapcha.

Sangay Thinley

He is the Economic Development Officer and Tourism Focal Person of Chhukha Dzongkhag. He promotes youth entrepreneurship and youth skilling to create jobs and oversees rural development projects to uplift the livelihood of rural communities in Chhukha. He can be reached at sthinley@gmail.com