Mepham Guest House

Set in a pine forest on the eastern slope of Chhoekhor valley, Mepham Guest House offers great views over Jakar town and the ancient castle fortress that once guarded the area from outsiders. The simple, comfortable accommodation and superior staff service make Mepham popular with travelers who prefer to be a little outside of Jakar. A stay here also promotes sustainable tourism: nearby Kharchu Monastery owns and operates the guest house, so selecting Mepham as your hotel helps to cover the daily living expenses of Kharchu's 400 monks.

The guest house is relatively new and has 18 large, clean double rooms in a concrete structure. All rooms have varnished wood plank floors, walls lined in pinewood, an attached bathroom, and a traditional wood-burning stove (bukhari) for warmth. The staff is happy to light the stoves and can also bring in radiators and extra blankets. (At 2,800 m (9,190 ft), Bumthang is colder than most valleys to the west, especially in winter.) Ask for a room at the far end for the best views over the valley. Hot stone baths and massages can be arranged on request.

Mepham's bar and dining room sports couches, a big wood-burning stove, free wifi, and a patio with valley views. The kitchen serves meals prepared fresh — pancakes, porridge, toast, and eggs done your way for breakfast; rice, potatoes, vegetables, and chilies for dinner.

Karchu Monastery is a five minute walk from the property. A Nyingma monastery built by Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche in the 1970s, Karchu's huge assembly hall can host 500 monks and has larger-than-life statues of Sakyamuni Buddha, Guru Rinpoche, and Avalokiteshvara. Jakar is a 20-minute walk away and hiking trails are close by. The many treasures of this land of legends and spiritual heroes are short drives away, and Mepham's staff is happy to pack lunches for your day's sightseeing to neighboring valleys.