Haa valley is situated to the south west of Paro in a temperate region in the Blue Pine forest. The route through Haa used to be the main trade route with Tibet and on your walks you may still come across the odd person smuggling goods over the border!
This district was only opened to tourists in 2004, and there is a slightly backwater feel to the town and surrounding hamlets. Buckwheat and barley are the main crops here and there are a lot of yak herds and cattle. If you would like to try yaks meat or cheese – this is the place to do so!
The central shrine in Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple) is said to be almost identical to that of the Jowo temple in Lhasa. Legend has it that local deities assisted in the construction of Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple). As a result, the place came to be locally known as ‘Hay’ (meaning ‘surprise’) which later became ‘Haa’ due to varying interpretations and pronunciations over time.
Haa is a perfect walking or cycling destination. Wander through meadows and small hamlets in this rural valley where you may see farmers tending their fields or herders grazing their yaks or cattle. You may be invited into one of the houses where you can see first hand how rural Bhutanese live. The unexplored side valleys provide hidden villages, temples and hermitages.