In the centre of Bhutan and four hours by drive from Wangdue Phodrang, Trongsa offers a welcome rest to travellers. The approach to the town involves a trip around Trongsa valley. A vantage point from the opposite side of the valley, still 14 km from town, provides an exciting view of the Dzong and the town.
The secular and religious centre, the Dzong, dominates the horizon, dwarfing the surrounding buildings.
The royal family's ancestral home is Trongsa. Both his majesty king Ugyen Wangchuk, the Penlop of Trongsa, who was elected the country's first hereditary monarch, and his successor king Jigme Wangchuk, ruled the country from Trongsa's ancient Dzong. The crown prince of Bhutan normally holds the position of the Trongsa Penlop prior to ascending to the throne - the present king continued this tradition as he appointed Penlop in 1972 shortly before he ascended the Throne of Bhutan.
Trongsa Dzong is an impregnable fortress. The Dzong itself is a labyrinth of temples, corridors, and offices holding court over the local community. It is built on many levels into the side of the hill and can be seen from every approach to the town, heralding its strength as a defensive stronghold.
Trongsa can also be a good shopping stop. The local population weaves its own textiles from hand-dyed wool and the Tibetan-origin Bhutanese shopkeepers sell them at more competitive prices than those found in Thimphu. They also sell machine-woven carpets in the traditional style. These are also sold at more reasonable prices than those found in Thimphu.