Kinley Tenzin Home Stay

Kinley Tenzin home stay in Haa valley's tiny Wangsa village offers guests a friendly, comfortable family atmosphere in a district that opened to foreign tourists only in 2002 and remains largely undeveloped, with endless trails to explore. The family reserves the best spot for guests — a large shrine room housing colorful brocades and deity statues, where three visitors can stay at a time.

The hosts for your stay are Kinley, his wife, and their three children, who personify normal family life, Bhutanese style. The couple serves endless cups of milk tea around the wood-burning bukhari stove in the central gathering area, their pre-teenage sons watch American-style wrestling on the TV, a nearby windowsill stashes their young daughter's collection of dolls and Disney goods.

The bathroom shared with guests has a standard toilet with a wash basin just outside. The meals eaten together are hearty traditional Bhutanese fare. In the adjoining living area, yak paraphernalia believed to bring good luck are hung on the walls. (Kinley keeps a herd of 40 or so yaks in the Haa hills and will be happy to tell you all about their ways.) Kinley is also an avid birder and he's very knowledgeable about the protected parks and wildlife refuges that cover over half the land of Bhutan; several large posters detailing their flora and fauna are hung on the living room walls.

Just outside is the path leading down to the village center and Wangsa Lhakhang (temple) — worth a visit as the site of a modern-day miracle, an occurrence even reported by Bhutan Broadcasting Service, the national media outlet.