In the northeastern corner of Bhutan lies the ancient region of Kurtoe or Lhuentse as it is known today. It is the ancestral home of our Kings and hosts several of the sacred sites of pilgrimage in the country. It is located 77km from Mongar (3 hours’ drive) and is one of the most isolated districts in Bhutan.
The landscape is spectacular with stark cliffs towering above river gorges and dense coniferous forests. The region is famous for its weavers and their distinctive textiles are generally considered to be the best in the country. Kurtoep women are especially adept at weaving a textile called Kishuthara. Eastern Bhutanese culture is distinctive in its high alcohol consumption in relation to other parts of Bhutan. Ara, the traditional alcohol of Bhutan, is most often home made from rice or maize, either fermented or distilled. It may only be legally produced and consumed privately.
Some of the attractions in the region include the Lhuentse Dzong, Khoma village (famous for weaving), Singye Dzong, the beyul Khenpajong and the Phunying Pass. The textile products of Khoma village in Lhuentse are stated to be the best in the country. The weaving handicraft looms are common sight in almost every household.
Most of Lhuentse district is part of the environmentally protected areas of Bhutan. The district contains parts of Wangchuck Centennial Park in the north, Thrumshingla National Park in the south and Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary in the east. These three parks are connected by biological corridors that crisscross the central and southern regions of the district.