Haa, a remote district near to Paro, is the second least populated district in Bhutan (after Gasa). It is a predominantly rural district and the main crops grown in the valley are wheat and barley, although some rice is also grown in the lower reaches of the valley. Potatoes, chillies, apples and other cash crops are grown by farmers and almost every household in the district owns livestock of some type, most commonly yaks and cattle, but also chickens, pigs, and horses. 78% of Haa is covered with forest, and forestry plays an important part in the local economy.
The valley was only opened to tourism in 2002 and resources here remain largely undeveloped compared with other districts more usually visited. There is little to see in Haa town (apart from imported goods from China and some basic hostelries) but its attraction is in the beautiful rural valley itself where life is still lived very much in the traditional way.
The drive into the valley over Chele La pass provides the opportunity for great views of the Himalayan range from the top of the pass as well as a beautiful view down into the valley itself. Although Haa town has only basic accommodation available, there is a recently renovated heritage farmhouse for those who wish to stay overnight in the valley and a series of day hikes that we can suggest for those who have time to linger longer.
There are two important temples in the valley (Lhakhang Karpo and Lhakhang Nagpo – the “black” and “white” temples) and also the remote Juneydrak Hermitage which can be visited on a day hike.
The Indian Army maintains a military base in the valley to maintain security against incursions from China and the Dzong is contained within an army camp making it inaccessible to visit.