Located in South West of Paro and covering an area of roughly 1706 sq. km. Haa is the smallest Dzongkhag in the country. This tiny region is one of the most beautiful and isolated areas in the kingdom, adorned with pristine alpine forests and tranquil mountain peaks.
Haa is the ancestral home of the Queen Grandmother and the illustrious Dorji family. This valley remains one of the least visited areas in the country and retains the air of an unspoiled, primeval forest. The wooded hills of Haa provides an ideal location for hiking and mountain biking. Biking around the valley to visit the dozen or so local temples is an enjoyable way to spend the day when visiting.
Haa is home to a number of nomadic herders and hosts an annual Summer Festival that showcases their unique lifestyle and culture. The festival is an ideal occasion to immerse yourself into the traditions and unchanged lifestyles of nomadic Bhutanese herders, as well as to sample some delectable Haapi cuisine.
The town has been developed along the Haa Chu River and can be divided into two distinct sectors; the Northern part of town has the central bazaar, main shops and restaurants while the Southern half of town is occupied by an IMTRAT (Indian Military Training Team) camp and a Bhutanese army training camp. Rather uniquely, Wangchulo Dzong is located inside the IMTRAT compound. This is one of the newer dzongs having been constructed in 1913.
Set among pristine lakes and high alpine valleys, the Haa summer festival is a lively and uplifting celebration of traditional living-culture, nomadic lifestyles, unique Bhutanese cuisine, traditional sports and religious performances.
It provides unparalleled insight into the lives and traditions of Bhutan’s nomadic herders. Immerse yourself in this one of a kind experience by playing the local sports, sampling the delicious home-cooked cuisine and enjoying traditional songs and dances all while imbibing the heady local liquor (Ara).
Haa valley is located very close to the international airport at Paro. To get to Haa you must travel two hours by road and cross the Chelela mountain pass, Bhutan’s highest road pass.
With its pristine forests and rugged hills Haa is an excellent location to enjoy some of the best hiking to be found in the Himalayas. Walk along centuries old trails through mountain slopes covered in Primula Pedicularis, Ranaculus, Aster and several varieties of ferns. You’ll lose yourself amidst fields of white poppies, dense forests of fir trees and crystalline streams brimming with rainbow trout.
At the Haa Summer festival you will be able to see the rare White Poppy (Meconopsis superba). This flower typically grows to 1-1.5m in height at high altitudes around 4000m. The White Poppy is endemic to Haa and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.