Before Bhutan established its hereditary monarchy, Samtse split into two regions: Eastern and Western for administrative purposes. West region: Norbugang, Ugyentse, Yoeseltse, Tashicholing, Tendruk, Norgaygang, Namgaycholing, Pemaling gewogs under Raja Sab Gongzin Sonam Tobgay Dorji. East region: Samtse, Tading, Pagli gewogs, 4 Dorokha Dungkhag gewogs under Dewan and Kazi controlled by Paro penlop. Dewan & Kazi used Saurini Kothi (52 doors) as the summer office and Dorpani as the winter office.
Every two villages had a Mandal (gup) responsible for collecting rural taxes and other revenues, enforcing laws and regulations, and resolving local disputes. Civil and criminal cases were directed to Dewan and Kazi and then to the Paro Penlop.
Raja Sab Gongzin appointed Babu Tshewang as the first DC of Samtse (HQ for 5 sub-divisions) in the 1950s. By the 1970s, Samtse had become the Dzongkhag Headquarters.
The region also borders Chukha Dzongkhag in the east, Haa Dzongkhag in the north, and the Indian states of West Bengal and Sikkim in the south and west respectively. The district has an elevation of 600-800m above sea level and lies in the subtropical monsoon climate zone with good forest cover. It experiences a temperature range of 15 degree Celsius in winter to 30 degree Celsius in summer and receives an annual rainfall of 1500-4000 ml. It has hot and humid summers and dry, moderately cool winters.
About 64% of the total area is under forest cover, 8% under agricultural cultivation, and 16% falls under the “others” category which includes snow glaciers, eroded lands, water spreads, and marshy areas. In the foothills of Yoeseltse, Ugyentse, Norbugang, Samtse, Tashicholing, and Tendruk gewogs, farmers cultivate rice and mustard in wetland areas. In northern gewogs such as Denchukha, Dungtoe, and Dorokha, practice dry land cultivation and grow maize, orange, and cardamom. People sell the main cash crops of the Dzongkhag, including areca nut, ginger, orange, and cardamom, in the local town and in West Bengal in India. They even export some orange crops to Bangladesh.
Samtse is home to 3 distinct ethnic groups: Lhotshampas, Adibashi, and Doyaps. The Bhutanese language, Dzongkha, is the main language spoken in Samtse, while Nepali and other regional languages are also spoken. The main religion is Buddhism, with Hinduism also practiced by some residents. The main festival celebrated in Samtse is the annual Samtse Tsechu.