Samdrup Jongkhar town holds the distinct honour of being the oldest town in Bhutan. This border town is a bustling little settlement packed to the brim with shopkeepers and hawkers from across the border.
The gateway to eastern Bhutan, Samdrup Jongkhar is situated in the southeastern region of the country and shares borders with the Indian state of Assam. It is by far the largest urban centre in eastern Bhutan. It lies at elevations ranging from 200 m to 3,500 m. In the past, British Political Officers stationed in Sikkim took the route from Samdrup Jongkhar to enter into Bhutan. Historically, the region was administered by the Gyadrung stationed at Dewangiri. Today, the road from Trashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar, completed in the 1960s, connects the eastern and southern regions of the country. This allows them to benefit from trade, especially through trade across the Indian border. Samdrup Jongkhar used to be the main trading centre for the Bhutanese and it is still a convenient exit town for tourists who have arranged to visit the neighbouring Indian state of Assam.