While the residents of Zhemgang district's Panbang town make the most out of the motor bridge that connects them to the rest of the country, a pedestrian-only suspension bridge located beside it continues to shine in all its not too distant historical glory. The bridge has been preserved in the memory of the late Dasho Keiji Nishioka, a Japanese expat credited for developing agriculture in Panbang as well as other parts of Bhutan.
Currently the longest in Bhutan, the 152m steel arch bridge was inaugurated by His Majesty the King on April 10th, 2014 and graced by Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen. Thousands of people from Panbang and its surrounding communities attended the occasion to witness the ushering in of a new era for the these remotely located communities and an end to the hardships of having to take great risks just to cross over to the other side of the river.
Panbang in Zhemgang is rapidly becoming a tourist hotspot with facilities like rafting, biking and an ecolodge, introduced by Bhutan Foundation as a Community Based Sustainable Tourism. The bridge is the entryway to this natural haven.