Exploring Bhutan’s Hidden Gem: Homestay Experience in Jongthang Village

Tucked away in the remote corners of Nubi Gewog in Trongsa lies the quaint Jongthang village, a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by travelers seeking an authentic Bhutanese experience. Here, amidst the rustic charm and tranquility of rural Bhutan, Sangay Dorji’s homestay opens its doors to welcome visitors from far and wide.

Jongthang Village, located just a scenic two-hour drive from Trongsa Dzong, offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich culture and traditions of Bhutan. Sangay Dorji, a 70-year-old resident of Jongthang, recognized the potential to share his village’s beauty with both local and international tourists.

Sangay’s one-storey farmhouse, built three years ago, stands as a haven for travelers seeking a blend of comfort and cultural immersion. Unlike the traditional mud-built homes of Jongthang, Sangay’s homestay boasts eight well-equipped rooms and modern amenities, including toilets—a luxury uncommon in the village.

The homestay experience goes beyond mere accommodation. Sangay treats guests to authentic Bhutanese cuisine sourced locally from the village farm, offering dishes like puta, jangbali, and khuley, abundant in the region. Visitors also get to witness the making of Ara—a local drink—and indulge in traditional songs and dances, fostering meaningful connections with the villagers.

While Sangay’s homestay has yet to receive certification, it has already garnered attention from local officials and tourists alike. However, Sangay remains optimistic about the future, as he believes in the potential of tourism to uplift his village and its residents.

Tourism in Jongthang is steadily growing, with three to four groups of tourists visiting annually to experience the village’s culture and embark on trekking adventures. Last year, tourists even contributed essential items like rice cookers and radios to each household—a testament to the warm hospitality they received.

Affordable rates ranging from Nu 500 to Nu 1,600 per night make Sangay’s homestay accessible to all travelers, ensuring that cultural immersion remains within reach for everyone. Nubi Gup, Pema Lhamo, highlights Jongthang’s unique culture and traditions as a major draw for tourists, envisioning the village as a bustling tourism hotspot in the near future.

Challenges remain, however, particularly concerning infrastructure. The construction of essential bridges along the ecotrail to Dur Tshachhu is underway, with funding from various organizations including the Tourism Council of Bhutan and the gewog grant. Once completed, the ecotrail promises to benefit both tourists and locals, shortening travel distances and enhancing accessibility.

As travelers seek authentic experiences off the beaten path, places like Jongthang Village offer a glimpse into Bhutan’s rich cultural tapestry. With Sangay Dorji’s homestay leading the way, Jongthang is poised to become a must-visit destination for those eager to explore the untouched beauty of rural Bhutan.

Related Posts