The family of Tangmachu chukpo heritage farmstay in Lhuntse has an interesting history. Chukpo designates “the rich house” and such households historically played an important role in the region. Senior villagers still know a lot about the history, alliances and connections of such households with others of their kind across the country.
Previously, this region was also the place where the Bumthaps used to flock in to barter, glean and collect food items such as maize, chili and rice. They also brought their cattle to the lower pastures here in the winter. Every Bumthap household, mostly from Ura and Tang valley, had their own host family, neypo, in Lhuntse and these familial ties were maintained over generations. The chukpo house was one of the main host households to the Bumthap.
This tradition has disappeared but the local hospitality is still warm and authentic. You are now in East Bhutan where tshogchang is a way of welcoming guests. Traditionally, villagers come to greet the guests by bringing ara, the local moonshine, and snacks. Then they will drink together and often this turns into a singing and dancing event. Customarily the guests then would remunerate with a little cash.
Tangmachu is a picturesque valley with rice terraces and farmhouses spread all over the place. Visit Kurje Lhakhang, a cave where Guru Rinpoche meditated. Wander around the valley and stroll through the villages. Hike to Takila where the largest Guru Rinpoche Statue in Bhutan towers over the valley. Hike to Tsherbung Gompa, a small and charming hermitage.