The valley of Haa was opened for tourism in 2002 and is one of the more rural districts in western Bhutan. A visit to the region will take you back in time to a simpler Bhutan, one that was untouched by modernisation and development. The lush untouched pine forests that cover the valley make it the perfect setting for hiking through ancient trails.

The region is home to the hardy and hardworking Haaps, some of whom still lead a nomadic lifestyle rearing Yaks. The Haa summer festival showcases the lifestyle of these nomadic herders, be sure to try some Hoentay, a rare vegetarian dumpling that was originally made only in Haa when you attend the festival. One should also plan a visit to Lhakhang Karpo (White temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black temple) when you are in the valley.

Haa may not have as much attractions as other places in Bhutan, but it does have a rare gem of a hike called the Planters Trek, that is not frequented by travellers. Gorgeous pristine sceneries abound this hike, which takes you through an old trail used by people travelling to Paro to help with the rice plantation in the olden days, hence the name Planter’s trek. It is a 3-day hike that begins in Haa and ends with a panoramic 360 degree view of neighbouring Paro valley.