Nobgang Community Tourism

The Department of Culture sent us to experience a unique taste adventure at a fascinating new community restaurant (first of its kind) created in an ancient hermitage structure and renovated by DoC for the community members to showcase their food and also earn an income from the project. This experience made me rethink everything I thought I knew about my country’s cuisine. 

Welcome to the quaint little village on a hilltop called Nobgang in Punakha district, western Bhutan. Come with us on this whole new journey as we taste new flavours, listen to the stories of how these unique dishes came to be and interact with a passionate community of people working hard to put their local food on the foodie adventure map for both local and international tourists.

Basket full of nature’s goodness at aum Pema’s homestay in Nobgang

Fruit Orchard Tours & Tasting Nature’s Goodness

Before the food shoots, I decided to explore the gardens of my host aum Pema’s homestay.

Punakha’s warm subtropical climate is every gardener’s dream. I had heard of residents in Punakha abundantly growing the most delicious of tropical fruits I could only dream of indulging in. When Aum Pema took us on a tour in her kitchen garden (more like a forest haven) the next morning, my fruit-picking dream came true.

Aum Pema grows everything, and I mean exactly that.

Nature’s basket full after a kitchen garden tour at Aum Pema’s homestay in Nobgang
Tree tomatoes

From oranges, pears, bananas, grape fruit to avocados, persimmon, figs, cardamom and pomegranate, the morning walk into her kitchen garden turned into a forest adventure exploring and discovering the best of what nature has to offer.

“Anday kambey zhimm la,” (dried persimmon is delicious) she tells me as we pick a few fresh from the tree. 

Aum Pema says because of her abundant growth of fruits and vegetables, she didn’t worry about food shortages during covid (unlike us city folk who had scramble for a small bag of onions and cabbage). “It is a lot of work but when I see the trees bearing fruit, it makes me very happy.” 

Read more blogs about my food adventure in Nobgang