Best Places To Visit in Bhutan
Bhutan tour is an experience of a lifetime. Without any doubt, it is one of the most fascinating tourist destinations to visit in Asia. It is the last Himalayan kingdom, shrouded with mysteries and magic. Bhutan places to visit always mesmerize every traveler with its beauty and ambiance.
During your Bhutan tour, it will unfold many surprises. This is the country where the rice is red and chilies aren’t just used for seasoning. Moreover, it is the main dish. Furthermore, this is a deeply Buddhist land and don’t be surprised to see the penises painted beside most of the house. Yet while Bhutan preserves its age-old tradition, it is not a museum.
Bhutan is one of the expensive destinations you can travel to. So why spend your money to come here? Firstly, there is an amazing Himalayan landscape, the snow-capped mountain rises above the shadowy gorges. Furthermore, fortress-like dzong and monasteries take the prime position. This spectacular architecture sets the stage for terrific festivals attended by the mostly medieval-looking audience. Then there are textile and handicrafts, high-height trekking, over-the-top archery competition, and stunning flora and fauna. This is how Bhutan gets as close to the “Shangri-La”.
Check out these top things to do and best places to visit in Bhutan that you shouldn’t miss at all:
1. Taktshange Goemba or Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Located in the sheer cliff soaring above the whispering pine forest is one of the most famous monasteries and ideal places to visit in Bhutan. This is one of the top attractions during the Bhutan tour. Reached via a steep trek along the rutted mountain track, Taktshang Goemba which translates as Tiger’s Nest Monastery, is the most photogenic, hanging onto what looks from afar like a sheer vertical cliff.
This site of Taktshang Goemba is a holy place for the Bhutanese. Guru Rinpoche flew to this site on the back of tigresses to subdue a local demon. He then meditated in the cave for three months. The precarious walk to this monastery is well advantageous, giving a tempting look at the monastery, perspective on the Paro valley, and sprinkles of red-bloom rhododendrons. All these reasons make it one of the best places to see in Bhutan during your upcoming tour.
2. Punakha Dzong
Punakha Dzong in Punakha lies superbly on the confluence of two rivers. It is one of the most sought-after Bhutan tourist attractions that you must add in your final itinerary. This dzong is the most dramatic and magnificent example of Bhutanese architecture. Without any doubt, Punakha Dzong is the most beautiful dzong in the country. This is a second built dzong and it served as the capital and the seat of government. The coronation ceremony of all lings of Bhutan happens here. The fortresses-thick walls are intimidating one moment and silent the next. Further, visit this place during spring is fabulous when the famous jacaranda tree splash lilac flowers down the whitewashed walls and red-robed monks wander on a sea of purple petals.
3. Paro Dzong
Bhutan tourist places are recognized for their uniqueness and you will recognize this only you visit these places personally. This dzong in Paro ranks as a high point of Bhutanese architecture. These massive walls that tower over the town are visible throughout the valley. Although most of the chapels are off-limits, however, it is worth a visit for its stunning architecture and views.
The dzong’s right name Rinchen Pung Dzong (typically abbreviated to Rinpung Dzong), implies ” Fortress on a Heap of Jewels”. The dzong sits on a precarious slope. Outside the dzong, toward the upper east of the passageway, is a stone-cleared celebration ground where conceal artists play out the principle moves of the tsechu (celebration).
Below the dzong, a traditional wooden covered bridge called Nyamai Zam spans the Paro Chuu (river). From the west bank of the river just downstream this wooden bridge takes the most. The dzong courtyard is open daily, but on weekends the offices are deserted and most chapels are closed.
4. National Museum
Perched above the Paro Dzong is ta Dzong (watchtower), who worked in 1649 to verify the undefended Dzong and redesigned in 1968 to house the National Museum. The strange round structure is said to be looking like a conch shell. Besides, the showcases incorporate an amazing assortment of Thangkas, both old and present-day portraying Bhutan’s significant holy people and educators, as well as fearsome festival masks grouped accordingly to their tsechu dances.
Besides, there is a characteristic history exhibition with a 3D guide of Bhutan, while the Heritage Gallery contains such peculiarities as an egg laid by a mule and a horse horn credited to Guru Rinpoche. The museum has been an integral part of Bhutan tourism and every year thousands of visitors come here to discover its charm.
Cameras are not permitted inside the historical center, yet you can photo the ta dzong and encompassing grounds.
5. Thimphu Valley
Thimphu Valley is one of the prime Bhutan holiday vacation spots that attract several adventure lovers. The capital of the country delights with its museums and cultural attractions. This is a relatively board valley dotted without-of-town sights. If you love hiking, there are several hiking routes not far from Thimphu Valley.
Truly, this capital is one of the intriguing destinations in the world. The vehicle and traffic are unheard of. Moreover, there are no traffic signals in this capital. This shows the inclination of Bhutanese towards environmental protection by limiting carbon emissions. For the visitors, this valley offers to briefly break away from the tour itinerary. In addition to its traditional Buddhist sights and attractions, it offers cafes, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. All these offerings will surely make your Bhutan trip memorable.
6. Changangkha Lhakhang
This famous sanctuary preached like a fort on the edge above central Thimphu, murmurs with pilgrims’ prayers. Parents traditionally come here to get an auspicious name for their newborn. Children are blessed by a phurba (traditional dagger) and given a sacred thread.
The interiors of this temple are fine. Give the astrologer there your birth date. He will counsel the divination charts to figure out which sort of protective prayer flag banner will be good for you. Do not leave without checking out the shrine in the central courtyard. Further, there is an excellent view from the back kora (pilgrimage path), with its lovely black-and-gold prayer wheels. No wonder, Changangkha Lhakhang is recognized as a must-visit travel destination that you should add in your every trip to Bhutan.
7. National Textile Museum
During the Bhutan tour, visit Thimphu’s best museum, which is a part of the Royal Textile Academy. This is a place to learn about Bhutan’s national art of weaving. Museum’s ground floor focuses on a traditional and national dress for men of Bhutan. Furthermore, the wedding clothes worn by the fourth King and his four wives were made here. Further, the upper floor introduces major weaving techniques. The museum shop offers some interesting books and fine textiles. Please note, photography is not allowed.
Further, across the museum, visit the Royal Textile Academy conservation center, where a small group of weavers working their looms. National Textile Museum is one of the most overlooked tourist places at Bhutan which is getting a bit of attention in recent times.
8. National Memorial Chorten
This Tibetan- style temple is one of the best tourist attractions in Bhutan that you must add in your upcoming tour. Furthermore, it is the most visible religious site in Thimphu. It is also a focal point of daily worship for the Bhutanese.
The whitewashed temple, with its golden finals, which is sun-catching, is decorated with richly painted annexes face all four directions. Furthermore, it features elaborate statues and a shrine dedicated to the popular king. you will see the people circumambulating the Chorten. Whirl the prayer wheels and pray at the small shrine inside the gate. These are some of the reasons why the National Memorial Chorten is listed in the highly recommended places to visit in Bhutan.
9. Buddha Dordenma
This famous 51m- tall steel Buddha statue commands the entry to the Thimphu Valley. This massive statue houses a large chapel. Furthermore, the body itself is filled with 125000 smaller statues of Buddha. This site is best to visit during morning lights, or during the evening when it is illuminated.
Moreover, this statue was built in China, then cut into pieces and shipped and trucked to Thimphu. This site is also popularly known as “Buddha Point” and is a very much attraction in Bhutan tourism.
10. Paro’s Weekend Market
Although this market isn’t very large, but has a traditional feel and introduces to fine Bhutanese local products. The products range from organic honey to the square of dried jellied cow skin. This market is the busiest on Sunday mornings. However, the vegetable stalls remain open throughout the week. Shopping is one of the top things to do in Bhutan and you will get all exposure to do so at Paro’s Weekend Market.
11. Kyichu Lhakhang
One of the famous attractions during the Bhutan tour is Kyichu Lhakhang. Just a small drive from Paro, it is one of the oldest and most beautiful temples. You will find the elderly pilgrims constantly walking around the temple, spinning its prayer wheels.
The inner courtyard is intimate and is a historic chapel. Further, there are murals to the right of the doorway of King Gesar of Ling, the popular Tibetan warrior-king whose poem is said to be the world’s longest. Furthermore, housed within is 5m high statue of Guru Rinpoche and statues holding a bow-and-arrow made up of flowers. Just outside the temple complex is a museum full of the Rinpoche’s photos. Further, the Rinpoche’s Mercedes and his throne lie on the ground. It is one of the ideal Bhutan places to visit that attracts pilgrims in huge numbers.
12. Haa Valley
This Valley is listed in one of the best places to visit in Bhutan all the time. This isolated valley lies in southwest of the Paro valley, behind the ridge of Cheli La. This picturesque valley is ideal for mountain biking and hiking. At least, a dozen of monasteries are in this valley. The best way to spend the day in this valley is a day of cycling to the nearby sights which is also one of the best things to do in Bhutan. However, yet only 10% of the visitors make it to Haa.
13. Chimi Lhakhang ” The Fertility Temple”
Chimi Lhakhang, referred to the English world as The Fertility Temple, is a Buddhist religious site, in the Punakha District of Bhutan, charmingly set on a stout slope. The monastery is prestigious all through Bhutan as a fertility actuating magnet, swearing that all who wish to conceive will discover direction at the temple.
Thousands journey to The Fertility Temple with expectations of having a child, just as accepting a wang, favoring, from the holy person with the ‘Magic Thunderbolt of Wisdom.’ Couples with newborns regularly visit the temple so a neighborhood lama, Buddhist educator, can offer a resonating forename on the kid, while anxious explorers can move toward lamas for their one-of-a-kind Bhutanese name and special meaning.
14. Phobjikha Valley
Bhutan visiting places cover several natural sightseeing destinations and Phobijika valley is one of them. It is a bowl-shaped valley is situated on the western slopes of the Black Mountains. Flanking the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, at an elevation of 3000m above sea level, and thus nearly cooler. It brags being the winter home to dark necked cranes that fly from Tibet to get away from the unforgiving winter and furthermore one of the most unmistakable traditionalist destinations of Bhutan. Moderately immaculate by outcasts, the utilization of power in the valley started just a couple of years prior.
15. Gangte Goemba
The Gangteng Monastery, also known by Gangtey Gonpa or Gangtey Monastery, is a religious monastery of the Nyingmapa school of Buddhism, the primary seat of the Pema Lingpa custom. Situated in the Wangdue Phodrang District in focal Bhutan.
Gangte town that encompasses it, is in the Phobjikha Valley, where winter guests – the dark necked cranes – visit focal Bhutan to perch, circumnavigating the cloister multiple times on appearance and rehashing this revolving around when coming back to Tibet. The Monastery’s history follows to the mid-seventeenth century and back to the predictions made by the notable Terton (treasure discoverer) Pema Lingpa in the late fifteenth century.
What’s next waiting for you?
These are some of the unique things to do and the best places to visit in Bhutan that you should not skip at all. You will find Bhutanese well-educated, fun-loving and well-informed about the world around them. Moreover, it is this blending of ancient and modern that makes Bhutan endlessly fascinating. Now you know where to go and what to do in Bhutan, go ahead and pack your bags. If you are planning to visit a few more countries in Asia then check out our other travel guides.