PUNAKHA 
 
A good three-hour drive through the mountains and valleys from Thimphu will bring the guests to Punakha, once the capital of Bhutan. Along the way you'll cross the Dochu La (pass at 3300 meters), from where, on a clear day, the guests will have a spectacular view of the snowcapped mountains in Bhutan such as Jumolhari, Gangkar Puensum, Gang Boom, Tsherim Gang ad Jichu Drake.  Before reaching Punakha, you can stop in Metsina and take a 20-minute hike through the rice fields to Chimi Lakhang buily by Lam Drukpa Kuenlay (popularly known as the Devine Mad Man).  The monastery is well known as the temple of fertility, where a couple who could not have a child after many years of marriage can take the blessing of the phallus of Lam Drukpa Kuenlay and the couple will be blessed with a child. 

The main attraction in Punakha is the Punakha Dzong. It is the winter residence of the Chief Abbot and the Central Monk Body, who migrate there from Thimphu every winter. This dzong is noteworthy both for being one of the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan and also for having been built by the first Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel in 1637.  The dzong is building in between two rivers called the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu (male and female rivers).  One can walk on the wooden cantilever bridge that has been rebuilt few years ago with the financial assistance from the Government of Germany.  Punakha is also considered as a warm place where people from Thimphu normally migrate during the winter months in the olden times.  Some of these traditions are still practiced today although they travel by motor roads rather than the mule tracks crossing another mountain called the Sinchula.