Wandiphodrang or Wangdi, in short, is another valley at an altitude of 1,300 meters in western Bhutan about half an hour further south of Punakha a three hours drive (70km) southeast of Thimpu. This ancient town lies at the confluence of the Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers. The valley is comparatively warmer than others, so the royal family of Bhutan also makes their stay at Wangdiphodrang during winter. The Wangdiphodrang Dzong is considered to be the most picturesque of all Dzongs in Bhutan. The founder of Bhutan Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal built the Dzong in 1638 on a hilltop at the confluence of the Punakha Chu and Tang Chu Rivers. The Wangdue Festival is celebrated here in the autumn. The Dzong is open for visitors during Wangduephodrang Tsechu Festival.
The Wanngdue region is famous for bamboo and stone artifacts. Bhutan’s biggest Nyingmapa monastery, the Gangtey Gompa, lies on the way from Wangdi to Tongsa. A two hours drive from Wangdue Phodrang takes one to the glacial valley of Phobjikha at an altitude of around 3,000 meters. Bhutan Government has declared the valley as a conserved region under the Black Mountain Conservation Area. The species found in the valley include barking deer, wild boar, sambar, Himalayan black bear, leopard, red fox, and the migratory birds from Tibet such as cranes that come to the valley in the winter.
The Wangdiphodrang region observes a typically windy climate. The villagers enjoy playing their local sports, the archery competition.
Places to visit in wangdiphodrang: