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Best Places to Visit in Bhutan of 2017

  • 01 Changangkha Lhakhang

    Changangkha Lhakhang
    Image Credit : Changangkha Lhakhang
    Perched on top of a ridge above Thimphu, Changangkha Lhakhang is the oldest temple in Thimphu. The temple was built in 12th century and houses the central statue of Chenrizig, a manifestation of Avolokitesawara with eleven heads and thousand arms.

    It offers a stunning view of the surrounding Thimphu valley from the top. The structure is a fine example of Bhutanese faith, tradition and architecture. There are a number of black and golden coloured prayer wheels in the temple. The prayer book in this temple is larger than other Bhutanese manuscripts.



    Highlights
    : In the evening, this place offers an opportunity of witnessing the spectacular sight of setting sun on the city. Drop by the paper workshop on the way to temple to view the process of making papers.

    Location
    : Located in Thimpu, it is just 10 minutes drive from the main market.

    Timing
    : 08:30 AM - 05:00 PM

    Prices
    : N/A


  • 02 Chimi L hakhang Temple

    Chimi L hakhang Temple
    Image Credit : Chimi L hakhang Temple
    One of the most revered temples of Bhutan, Chimi L’hakhang is considered as the temple of fertility, dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, popularly known as the Divine Madman. Lama Drukpa Kuenley is a legendry saint in Bhutan, who is much revered in the country but because of his unusual way of teaching, he is considered an eccentric.

    People from all across the country come to the temple to pray for children. The couples visiting the temple are sanctified with a wooden phallus, the imitation of the saint’s iron bow and arrows and his scriptures. Surrounded by the abundant paddy fields this temple is a must visit.



    Location
    : The temple lies on the edge of the Lobesa valley on the confluence of the borders of Thimphu, Punakha and Wangduephodrang.

    Best time/season
    : The best time to visit the Chimi L'hakhang Temple is spring and autumn.

    Approx Price
    : N/A

    Difficulty Level
    : N/A


  • 03 The Folk Heritage Museum

    The Folk Heritage Museum
    Image Credit : The Folk Heritage Museum
    Established in 2001, The Folk Heritage Museum is a three-storey timber building that looks like a traditional farmhouse and seems like it has been furnished about a century ago. It provides the tourists, an insight into the Bhutanese lifestyle and material culture.

    For the ones who are keen to have a glimpse of interesting rural life of Bhutan, this place is probably the best for them to visit.This almost living museum is included in the guided tour and has many interesting facts that one might love to be familiar with.


    Highlights
    : Brokpa yak-hair spider hats, antique noodle express leopard skin bags and the restaurants serving Bhutanese cuisine.

    Located in: Pedzoe, Lam in Thimphu, Bhutan, it opens from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm (Monday to Friday) and 10:00 am to 1 pm (Saturday and Sunday).

    Price
    : It costs Nu 25 for SAARC nationals and Nu 150 for adults.


    Top Things To Do in The Folk Heritage Museum

  • 04 Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

    Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
    Image Credit : Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
    Standing regally on the hill above the Punakha valley, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten is a classic example of beautiful traditions and architecture of Bhutan. The temple was built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother for warding off the negative forces and bringing peace and harmony for all the living beings. The thing that sets this Chorten apart is that it was built on the principals described in the Holy Scriptures rather than modern engineering manuals. The golden spire and intricate wall patterns are fine example of art and tradition of Bhutan.



    Highlight
    : Enjoy the panoramic view of the valley from the top of the Chorten. The little hike to reach the Chorten will take you to the adventurous suspension bridge and the lush green rice fields.

    \Location
    : Located in Punakha Valley the hill at which the Chorten is standing is half hour drive from Punakha Dzong.

    Timing
    : N/A

    Prices
    : N/A


    Top Things To Do in Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

  • 05 Motithang Takin Preserve

    Motithang Takin Preserve
    Image Credit : Motithang Takin Preserve
    This Preserve was basically a zoo but in the later years became the largest preservation of a very unusual mountain animal, Takin. The origin of the animal involves a myth that includes a religious backround. It states that a saint with an epithet, who was considered ‘a divine mad man’, created this animal with head of a goat and body of a cow.

    The 4th king did not believe in enclosing animals in zoo hence he established a natural preservation for this special creature. The preserve also shelters barking deer and sambar deer.



    Highlights: A perfect way to capture endangered species as photographers are allowed to click pictures of the wilds from a close proximity. This preserve is most suitable for wildlife enthusiast.

    Location
    : Motithang Dist.,Thimpu

    Timings
    : Early mornings are perfect to spot and capture Takins as that is the hour they come out;

    Hours
    : Every day, except Sundays



    Top Things To Do in Motithang Takin Preserve

  • 06 Jigme Dorji National Park

    Jigme Dorji National Park
    Image Credit : Jigme Dorji National Park
    The exotic park was built by the 3rd king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorgi in 1974 and is approx 4, 316 km in area. The park is second largest in the country and is a dwelling to many endangered animals such as snow Leopard, Himalayan musk deer, Asiatic wild dog, Red Panda etc.

    The national park is an ideal place for trekking because of its magnificent spread of flora and fauna. Hence, it is also known as Trekker’s Paradise. The park is also the dwelling of the Semi Nomadic Community, Layap. Four rivers Mocchu, Pocchu,Wangchu, Pachu originate from this park; therefore is one of the largest contributors of Bhutan’s economy.



    Highlights
    : Largest collection of medicinal baths and hot springs; only place where the Snow leopard meets the Royal Bengal tiger; views of majestic peaks namely Jomolhari, Tsherimgang and Jichu drakey

    Location
    : Gasa

    Cost
    : N/A

    Best season
    : March to October


    Top Things To Do in Jigme Dorji National Park

  • 07 Matsutake Festival

    Matsutake Festival
    Image Credit : Matsutake Festival
    Matsutake Festival is a festival of the people of Ura Valley in celebration of mushroom season. This is the time to celebrate the harvest of Matsutake mushrooms of Bhutan, enjoy mouth melting Bhutanese cuisine and get a peek inside the lifestyle of people in the Bhutanese villages. Ura valley is quite famous for its pictorial setting and the people here are extremely warm and hospitable. Visitors attending the festival can enjoy the mushroom picking excursion and the panoramic forests and hilly areas.

    One can enjoy the delicious dishes out of this mushrooms picked and can dance and do absolute merry making with the locals. In the backdrop of awe striking scenic location this festival gives an excellent experience to remember forever



    Highlights
    : Picking Matsutake mushrooms and relishing special local dishes from it.

    Festival time
    : In the month of August


    Top Things To Do in Matsutake Festival

  • 08 Gomphu Kora Festival

    Gomphu Kora Festival
    Image Credit : Gomphu Kora Festival
    Gomphu Kora festival is a three day religious festival which is popular not only for the local tribes but also among Dakpa tribe from the neighboring Arunachal Pradesh. Gomphu means Meditation Cave. According to the locals the name came into existence from a cave made of rock face where there is also a temple which is built to pay tribute to this location.

    The festival comprises of many local tradition and customs. According to a popular song played here by the locals one should go round the cave today or may be tomorrow would be too late. It is a symbol of the victory of good over evil. The place seems too come alive during the festive days and the blessing at this time is considered extremely pious and that is why thousands of devotees travel during that time.

     

    Highlights
    : Sight of Meditation cave

    Festival time
    : In the month of March


    Top Things To Do in Gomphu Kora Festival

  • 09 Trashigang Tshechu Festival

    Trashigang Tshechu Festival
    Image Credit : Trashigang Tshechu Festival
    Trashigang Tshechu is one of the prominent festivals which gets held in Trashigang Dzongkhag which is the largest district of Bhutan. The Trashigang Dzong was based on one of the maximum elevated ridges which overlook Dangmechu and Gamrichu. Though all the villages have their own distinctive annual festivals but it is the Tshechu held in Trashigang Dzong which is more attractive. This is a 3 day affair and usually the festival is attended by people from all kinds of communities from various corners of Bhutan.

    Usually the preparation of the festivals starts 2 days prior to actual date of the festival. The three day affair consists of ceremonial ablution, rehearsals, preparation and on the last day it concludes with the display of Thongdrol. The celebration is made grander with mask dance performance.



    Highlights
    : Sight of Guru Tshengyed, Thongdrol.

    Festival time
    : In the month of December


    Top Things To Do in Trashigang Tshechu Festival

  • 10 Merak Sakteng Trek

    Merak Sakteng Trek
    Image Credit : Merak Sakteng Trek
    Merak Sakteng Trek offers you an opportunity to have a unique experience unlike any other trek. The Sakteng valley is one of the most picturesque valleys with vast expanse of lush pastoral lands and the trek lies within the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary.

    The trekker can experience the semi nomadic life and rich traditions and culture navigating through the nomadic villages. Follow the trail along the river bank, enjoy the spectacular view of mountains, with flourishing rhododendron trees, rest in one of the idyllic villages and enjoy the hospitality of the villagers.

     

    Location
    : This unique trek begins at Chaling and takes you to Damnongchu, Merak, Miksa Teng, Sakteng, and Jyonkhar Teng and Terminates at Phongmey.

    Best Time
    : The best time to take this journey is between March to June and September to November.

    Approx Price
    : The approximate price per person for the 7 day trek is 350,000 BTN.

    Difficulty Level
    : Moderate.


  • 11 Deer Park

    Deer Park
    Image Credit : Deer Park
    Deer Park of Thimphu is a Center for Art and Contemplation. It was established in the year 2007 under the auspices of Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche.

    Highlights: The park commemorates the revered event in Sarnath, India. During this event, Buddha turned the Dharna wheel for the benefit of all the sentiment beings. This name helps one reflect on the meaningful significance of all the precious teachings as well as acts which are a reminder of the spirit of compassion and openness in which these are presented.

    Location: Deer Park is located in Genyen Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan.

    Pricing: All the Deer Park events are free and open for all who come here with a sincere interest of exploring the sacred path shown by Buddha.


  • 12 Mongar and Lhuntse

    Mongar and Lhuntse
    Image Credit : Mongar and Lhuntse
    As many might see it as, the Mongar and Lhuntse are two of the most preferred places in Bhutan by the travellers.

    Highlights: The journey leading you from the Bhumtang to Mongar is definitely one of the most visually appealing in the Himalayas which is arrived after crossing the 3800 meter high Thrumshing La. Mongar Dzong is the newest of the Bhutan’s Dzongs and was built in the 1930s. During the time it was built, it came up to replace the Zongkar Dzong which was then only in its ruins. It is built keeping in view the tradition of Bhutan where no nails or drawings are used. Lhuntse is a rural and an isolated district of Bhutan. Lhuntse’s kurtoe region is the ancestral home of the Royal Family.

    Location: Mongar is located in the eastern Bhutan. It lies on top of the hill. Lhuntse on the other hand is located at an elevation of 1460 meters.

    Timings: Open 24 hours.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


    Top Things To Do in Mongar and Lhuntse

  • 13 Phuentsholing

    Phuentsholing
    Image Credit : Phuentsholing
    Phuentsholing is a town in Bhutan which shares its border with the Indian town of Jaigaon. The place became popular due to the assassination of its Prime minister in this region in the year 1964. It is one of the major places where trade happens in Bhutan and you can also spot various headquarters of banks and companies.

    Highlights: You can visit the Indian-Bhutan border in this town and witness two starkly different cultures across the border. Towns such as Jaigaon and Siliguri in India are easily accessible from the city. Shopping is one of the major activities that tourists indulge in as it is home to cross border goods from India and they are available at very low prices.

    Location: Phuentsholing is located at Chukha District in Bhutan.

    Timings: The place is open for visiting all throughout the year.

    Pricing: There is no cost for anyone visiting the town. "


  • 14 Gangtey Monastery

    Gangtey Monastery
    Image Credit : Gangtey Monastery
    It is one of the largest Monastries in western Bhutan. Perched on top a hill and overlooking the stunning Phobjikha Valley, the Monastery of Gangteng Gompa was built in 1613 by Gyalse Pema Thinlay. He is considered the reincarnation of renowned Pema Lingpa. Villages of Hermits surround the Monastery.

    The place is one of the main centers of Nyingmapa School where Buddhism is being taught. The history of the Monastery traces back to 17th century during the period of Pema Lingpa who was a treasure finder. Many of his prophecies are still alive at the monastery.



    Highlights
    : Techu, a traditional Mask dance is hosted in the monastery during September and early October. It is worth to visit the place at the season and witness beautiful dance performances. Also, Phobjikha Valley is native to many Blacked neck cranes that migrate there during November to roost.

    Location
    : Wangdue

    Best Season
    : September to November


  • 15 Royal Manas National Park

    Royal Manas National Park
    Image Credit : Royal Manas National Park
    Royal Manas was entitled as a wildlife sanctuary in 1966 and became a National Park officially only in 1993. The park shelters more than 365 species (recorded) of birds and grows 900 classes of plants and trees. Most of the trees have religious and medicinal values and are commercially used for the same.

    The Royal Manas is situated in the southern part of Bhutan and borders the Manas Tiger Reserve, India which is a world heritage site. It also connects the Singye Jigme Wangchuk National park.

    .

    Highlight
    : Royal Bengal tiger, one –horned rhinoceros, leopards, Himalayan black bears are few of the wilderness you can spot. Birds which are almost extinct in other part of the world such as Pallas fishing eagle, emerald cuckoo, blue headed rock thrush etc take refuge in this park; elephant and jeep safari, and boat trips are part of the park’s entertainment.

    Location
    : Thimpu

    Best Season
    : November to March

    Cost
    : N/A


    Top Things To Do in Royal Manas National Park

  • 16 Lhuntse Tshechu

    Lhuntse Tshechu
    Image Credit : Lhuntse Tshechu
    Bordering the Tibetan region Lhuntse is the easternmost district of Bhutan. The place is filled with various sacred monuments but it is Lhuntse Dzong the fortress that attracts all eyes of the visitors. Almost all the villages of Lhuentse have their own festivals and customs which are unique and extremely attractive but what catches the eye most is the elaborate annual three day festival which is celebrated to honor the deities and suppress the misfortunes.
     
    It is a religious celebration and that is why huge devotees gather here to visualize the masked dance and fetch blessings from the pious relics that remain publicly displayed. It is one of the colorful festivals of the country along with Cha and Ha festivals.


     Highlights: Colorful attire of Kushithara, which makes the festival more famous.

     Festival time: In the month of November


    Top Things To Do in Lhuntse Tshechu

  • 17 Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag

    Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag
    Image Credit : Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag
    Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag is a town and seat of the Samdrup Jongkhar District in Bhutan. It is one of the 20 Dzongkhag which comprise Bhutan. Some of the dominant languages in the district include Nepali in the east and Tshangla (Sharchopkha) in the west and north.

    Highlights: Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag has a population mix which largely comprises of the Lhotshampas and in Bangtar. This is regarded as a quintessential economic center of the country where coal mining is an important activity leading which forms a vital part of the country’s economy.

    Location: Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag is located in the south eastern part o Bhutan which borders Assam which is an Indian state.

    Timings: Can be visited at any hour of the day.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


    Top Things To Do in Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag

  • 18 Gangtey Valley

    Gangtey Valley
    Image Credit : Gangtey Valley
    Gangtey Valley is one of the most spectacular valleys of the Himalayas. Many even refer to the valley as the Shangri-La of Bhutan.

    Highlights: The very element of surprise that comes from exploring such a wide and flat valley without any trees post a tiring climb through the forests is amplified by an impression of the vast space that is actually a very rare experience in Bhutan since most of the Bhutan’s valleys are tightly enclosed. It is a moderate trek which leads you to the villages of Khotokha and Gogona while passing you through the fields and meadows followed by rhododendrons, juniper and magnolia that are in full bloom especially in the month of April. Besides the beautiful scenic valley as well as the mountain trails which pass through the scenic forest you can also make a visit to the blacked necked crane information centre and the Gangtey monastery.

    Location: The Gangtey Valley is located in Bhutan.

    Timings: Open round the year.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


  • 19 Tiger’s Nest Monastery

    Tiger’s Nest Monastery
    Image Credit : Tiger’s Nest Monastery
    The majestic Tiger’s Nest Monastery also recognized as the Taktsang Monastery hangs on a cliff. It stands above a captivating forest of rhododendrons and blue pines.

    Highlights: This exceptionally beautifully monastery is a climb up the hill to 900 meters. You can hire a pony to help you with the ride up. However, the pony will only take you up till the cafeteria. Post that you are on your own. There you’ll have to undertake a steep walk. The steps leading you to towards the monastery tend to narrow down as you move forward. The trail also passes through the chapel of butter lamps and further descends by the Snow Lion Cave. From here on, the view of the Paro Valley is breath taking and the atmosphere is holy. Every Bhutanese would at least once wish to come and visit the place once.

    Location: Tiger’s Nest Monastery is located on Taktsang trail in Bhutan.

    Timings: 8 AM to 1 PM and then 2 PM to 5 PM everyday.

    Pricing: Horses till the cafeteria: Nu 500/800


    Top Things To Do in Tiger’s Nest Monastery

  • 20 Clock Tower Square

    Clock Tower Square
    Image Credit : Clock Tower Square
    Clock Tower Square is a famous landmark in the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. The tower has total of four clocks one on each side and has some interesting and beautiful artistic carvings and paintings.

    There are dragons which are crafted by hands, truly depicting the Bhutan as Land of Thunder Dragon. Intricate flower designs add to the beauty of the tower. The structure is a splendid example of the country’s find architecture, traditions and artwork. Small three storied buildings surround the structure with shops and restaurants.



    Highlight
    : Spend some time on the square to watch and admire the life of Bhutanese people. Savour the cuisines served at food joints nearby. Concerts keep happening in the square and if you are lucky, you will get to enjoy one.

    Location
    : The tower is located below Norzin Lam in the centre of the national capital of Bhutan, Thimphu.

    Timing
    : N/A

    Price
    : N/A


    Top Things To Do in Clock Tower Square

  • 21 Choki Traditional Art School

    Choki Traditional Art School
    Image Credit : Choki Traditional Art School
    This is no ordinary school, but this institute teaches under privileged children from different background and age. The school was established by Dasho Choki Dorji in memory of the 4th King of Bhutan. The school teaches skills like weaving (ThagZo), Sculpting (Jinzo), Lhadri (Painting), Carving (Pap) and embroidery (Tshem Zo). Bhutan nurtures its culture and heritage with care and passion.

    Choki Art School is an example of this kingdom’s fine tradition. The dedication and harmony the school management portrays is worth praising. The school runs mainly on donation and the education, food and lodging are free.



    Location
    : Thimpu

    Highlights
    : you can observe how the handicrafts are being made; the students there act like guides and tours with you around the institute. It also has an authentic gift shop, where art products made by the students are sold.

    Working hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday), 8:30 – 4:30pm (Saturdays)


    Top Things To Do in Choki Traditional Art School

  • 22 Wildlife Safari

    Wildlife Safari
    Image Credit : Wildlife Safari
    Being isolated from the outside world and its modernization for too long and the deep seated Buddhist value of preserving and respecting the nature have made Bhutan one of the finest places in the world to witness the biodiversity of flora and fauna. Unarguably, this land of Himalayan kingdom is a paradise for those who love to connect with the wild.

    Asiatic elephants, black bear, leopards, tiger and golden langur among other mammals can be seen in their natural habitat. You also have the chance to get the glimpse of the mighty beast, Tiger. The wildlife safaris, tiger safaris and bird watching tours are held through the dense forests.



    Location
    : The dense forests of Mo Chhu River and various hills and mountains of Bhutan.

    Best time/season
    : April to June and September to November

    Approx Price
    : For 15 days Tiger Safari tour, the approximate price is 250,000 BTN.

    Difficulty Level
    : Easy.


  • 23 Jakar

    Jakar
    Image Credit : Jakar
    Located near the foothill of the Chokhor Valley, Jakar is the principal trading centre of the region.

    Highlights: Jakar is a town that lies in the heart of the Bhutan. It is the district capital of the pivotal Bumthang district as well as the location of the Jakar Dzong which is the regional fortress of the dzong. Roughly, Jakar translates to ‘white bird’ which is in reference to the foundation myths. According to a prevalent myth here, a roosting white bird signalled the auspicious and proper location to locate a monastery here in 1549.

    Location: Jakar is located in the Bumthang or the Choekhor Valley. It lies within the Choekhor Gewong in the central Bumthang.

    Timings: Open all year round – 24/7.

    Pricing: Entry to the place is absolutely free of Pricing.


  • 24 Tashichho Dzong

    Tashichho Dzong
    Image Credit : Tashichho Dzong
    Tashichho Dzong is a remarkable architectural structure which currently is the house of the throne room and seat of the government. More commonly known as the Thimphu Dzong, it is also called the ‘fortress of glorious religion’. The impressive structure with white washed walls, golden, red and black wood and lush gardens on a backdrop of blue sky and flourishing green valleys, emanates a look of splendour.

    The Dzong was built in 1641 by Zhabdrung on the grounds of Dho Ngon Dzong which was earlier built by Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa. The Dzong caught fire a few times in the history first in 1968 and later again in 1869, which could be considered a mystery.



    Location
    : The Tashichho Dzong is located near the Thimphu town on the west bank of Wangchhu River and offers magnificent view.

    Best time/season
    : March to May and September to November.

    Approx Price
    : N/A

    Difficulty Level
    : N/A


  • 25 Punakha Dzong

    Punakha Dzong
    Image Credit : Punakha Dzong
    Bhutan is renowned for its marvellous ancient architecture scattered throughout the land. Punakha Dzong is one such beautiful architecture and offers a stunning sight of the luminous aura of the white washed walls on a bright sunny day. Golden, red and black painted woods add to the charisma of this striking architecture.

    The Dzong is surrounded by the splendid natural beauty with lush green hills and clear blue sky as a backdrop. The Dzong is also of historical and traditional importance in Bhutan. For a long time it served as the capital. It also preserves the remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and holy artefact Ranjung Karsapani.

     

    Location
    : Located at the confluence of beautiful rivers of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu in Punakha & Khuruthang , Bhutan.

    Best time/season
    : The best time to visit the Punakha Dzong is mid-May when lavender coloured jacaranda trees blossom.

    Approx Price
    : N/A

    Difficulty Level
    : N/A


  • 26 Trashichhoedzong

    Trashichhoedzong
    Image Credit : Trashichhoedzong
    First built in 1216 AD by Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa, Trashichhoe dzong is above Thimphu where Dechen Phodrang now stands. This splendid city is on the west bank of the Wang Chhu and fits perfectly into valley providing the city both monastic weights as well as splendor. It hosts the biggest annual bash of the city and the sight is next to a carnival spreading colorful festivities all around.

    The outer structure is two-storey and has three-storey towers at the four corners bulging out over the walls and covered by golden red roofs that present a view that is worth watching. Beautiful gardens and well-maintained lawns surround the impressively large structure.



    Highlights
    : It is the venue for famous Buddhist celebration and

    Open
    s From: 5-6pm, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday and till 5pm in the winter season and is located in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.


    Top Things To Do in Trashichhoedzong

  • 27 Simtokha Dzong

    Simtokha Dzong
    Image Credit : Simtokha Dzong
    Built to subdue an evil spirit that was harassing the travelers of the region, Simtokha Dzong was made after the Gyal Gyad Tshel Institute of Ralung(Tibet). Its central tower has 12 sides, contains the bedchambers of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and Jigme Namgyel, who are two of the most important figures of Bhutan history.

    The houses of Dzong posses countless paintings and statues of Buddha, religious figures, and other deities including the eight manifestations of Shakya Gyalpo- the Buddha of Compassion, Guru Rimpoche, Jampelyang- the Bodhisattava of Wisdom and many others.



    Highlights
    : There is a monastic school, a storeroom, and a chamber to store weapons. To the left, there is a water fortress called Chu Dzong, which is used as a prayer hall for the students. At the junction, there is a Chorten from Zhabdrung’s

    Time:
     Open from 9am to 5pm and spring and autumn season is the best time to visit this place.


    Top Things To Do in Simtokha Dzong

  • 28 Handicrafts Market

    Handicrafts Market
    Image Credit : Handicrafts Market
    The handicrafts market of Thimphu is also known as the Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar. The shops crafted from bamboo are lined neatly in row at a mile’s stretch, selling colourful and beautiful authentic handicraft of Bhutan. There are almost hundred shops in the market selling various souvenirs, authentic handcrafted apparels, bags, masks and many more items.

    The shopkeepers mostly are Bhutanese women who welcome you with a warm smile. The products are all procured from the local villages. The market aims to preserve the Bhutanese culture and promote their traditions and handicrafts.. It is a market where you can spend hours in shopping.



    Highlights
    : Look for beautiful attires with embroidery, souvenirs like carved wooden items, scroll painting, decorative items woven from bamboos, and beautiful jewellery made of gold, silver and precious stones.

    Location
    : The market is located at the centre of Thimphu below Norzin Lam.

    Timing
    : N/A

    Price
    : N/A


    Top Things To Do in Handicrafts Market

  • 29 Taktsang Palphug Monastery (Paro)

    Taktsang Palphug Monastery (Paro)
    Image Credit : Taktsang Palphug Monastery (Paro)
    Taktsang Palphug Monastery or more popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery is one of the most revered pilgrimage place in the Himalayan province. It is also one of the most visited tourists destination in Bhutan and is a place that showcases the great traditional values of the country.

    Uniquely located on top of the mountain 1200 meters above the Paro Valley, this monastery is surrounded by the scenic beauty. This white building topped with the golden roof on the back drop of blue sky and lush green hills look stunning. The centuries old legend of this monastery makes it more mystical. The isolated location of Tiger’s Nest can only be reached by following the gruelling mountain paths.



    Location
    : The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is located in Paro, approximately 10 kilometres away from the city.

    Best time/season
    : March to May and September to November.

    Approx Price: N/A

    Difficulty Level
    : Moderately challenging.


    Top Things To Do in Taktsang Palphug Monastery (Paro)

  • 30 Ura Yakchoe Festival

    Ura Yakchoe Festival
    Image Credit : Ura Yakchoe Festival
    Ura Yakchoe is referred to a famous dance performance shown in the Ura Valley of Bumthang. In this festival the sacred dance is performed along with other popular folk dances with a sacred relic on display so as to have blessings from the same. According to the historic reference, a lama visited one local woman in her house suddenly and asked for a glass of water.

    She went to fetch water and after coming back found the lama gone leaving the sacred relic behind. It is this relic before which the Ura Yakchoe dance is performed. This relic has been passed on for generations after generation of the woman’s family. This is one of the pious and religious festiuvals of Bhutan and many devotees visit the place to take part in worshipping the relic.

     

    Highlights
    : The sacred relic

    Festival time
    : In the month of April


    Top Things To Do in Ura Yakchoe Festival

  • 31 Takin Festival

    Takin Festival
    Image Credit : Takin Festival
    Takin Festival held in Jigmi Dorji National Park of Gasa Dzongkhag, is one of the most celebrated and popular festivals in Bhutan. Infact it is a one time opportunity for every visitor to enjoy the sight of the national animal of Bhutan which is a rare and endangered species. The magnificence of their physique and laden agility is an experience to be treasured.

    However the festival is not only concentrated over the majestic animal as in this festival one gets the opportunity to engage in good trekking, enjoy hot spring baths and do shopping of exclusive handicraft items like dresses, carpets, bamboos, leather products, tents etc. Once can also enjoy the lip smacking delicious cuisine served here in popular eateries based here. It is worth every penny to visit Bhutan during this festival and enjoy the charms of it.



    Highlights
    : Performance of Bhutan Takin up close.

    Festival time
    : In the month of February


  • 32 Mongar Tshechu Festival

    Mongar Tshechu Festival
    Image Credit : Mongar Tshechu Festival
    If you are in Bhutan, you should definitely visit Mongar, especially during Tshechu, the three day annual event which is organized every year in November. This is one event you will really not want to miss, especially if you are someone who loves the culture and tradition of Bhutan.

    The event is so popular that people from all over Bhutan come to see it. In fact, you will be able to see people coming from Lhunentse and even Trashigang. The most incredible thing about this event is the number of traditional dances and performances you get to se. Although many traditional festivals keep happening in different parts of Bhutan, this one is easily the most exquisite and unforgettable one. Come and visit this event to get the true essence of Bhutan in every way.



    Location
    : Mongar, east of Bhutan

    Timing
    : November, during the day

    Price
    : No special fee is applicable


  • 33 Duer Hot Springs Trek

    Duer Hot Springs Trek
    Image Credit : Duer Hot Springs Trek
    One of the most challenging treks in the land of Bhutan is the Duer Hot Springs trek, which partially cross roads with Snowman trek which is ideally the most difficult trekking track in the whole world. Duer Hot Springs is the destination of this trek which has a breathtaking beauty worth the grueling challenges on the trail. Ranging from 3000 meters to 4700 meters, the track moves through multiple difficulties, steep heights and low descents.

    However after this bone breaking challenge the sight of Duer Hot springs is indeed a reward. Apart from this on the trail one can see beautiful landscapes forested regions with prominent hemlock, maple and juniper trees.


    Highlights
    : Hot Springs

    Duration
    : 4 days trekking tour.

    Best Season: March - April, October to November


    Top Things To Do in Duer Hot Springs Trek

  • 34 Wild East Rodung La Trek

    Wild East Rodung La Trek
    Image Credit : Wild East Rodung La Trek
    Wild East Rodung La Trek is a short trekking trail and comprises of low altitudes but quite steep climbs and descents. It is challenging trail especially for those who does not possess much experience in trekking. The beautiful trail passes through prominent Bhumthang and reaches Trashiyangtse.

    From ancient times this trail bears huge importance since this was considered as the trade road but with time this has lost its usage and charm and today it is only used as a hiking trail. Mountain passes, pastures and meadows, and dense forest of bamboo and alpine trees makes the beauty of the location absolutely eye arresting.

     

    Highlights
    : Ancient trade road

    Duration
    : 10 days trek

    Location
    : Near Jakar, Bhutan

    Best Season
    : April to May, October to November


  • 35 Nabji Korphu Trek

    Nabji Korphu Trek
    Image Credit : Nabji Korphu Trek
    Nabji Korphu Trek is a small and enjoyable trek that offers an easy and pleasant excursion to the trekker. The trek offers an opportunity to experience the diverse topography, flora and fauna of Bhutan with surrounding scenic beauty. It also offers plenty of opportunities to spend time in peaceful villages, enjoy the kindness and generosity of villagers, and learn about their traditional culture.

     Nabji and Korphu are such relaxing villages surrounded by lush paddy fields. Partake in the traditional ceremonies and enjoy the traditional dancing and signing of local women while soaking in the beauty of nature.



     Location
    : This pleasurable trek begins at Riotala village and takes you to Nimshong, Nabji, Korphu, Kubdra, Jangbi and terminates at Tongtongfey.

    Best Time
    : The best time to take this journey is between October and April.

    Approx Price
    : The approximate price per person for the 6 day trek is 200,000 BTN.

    Difficulty Level
    : Easy


    Top Things To Do in Nabji Korphu Trek

  • 36 Trashi Yangtse

    Trashi Yangtse
    Image Credit : Trashi Yangtse
    Trashi Yangtse also known as Trashiyangtse is a small town in the Yangtse Gewog. It is the district headquarters of the Trashiyangtse District in the eastern Bhutan.

    Highlights: Not too densely populated, Trashi Yangtse has a little population of 2735. Given the fact that the population is low, the place is unadulterated and is still beautiful as ever. In the year 1997, a dzong was inaugurated in Trashi Yangtse. Further, the other attractions of the Trashi Yangtse includes a huge art school - The School of Traditional Arts which is a sister school of the School of Traditional Arts in Thimphu. A visit to the school can be a life changing experience for many.

    Location: Trashi Yangtse lies in the of the Chorten Kora that is located towards its west.

    Timings: Can be visited at any hour of the day.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


  • 37 Weekend Market

    Weekend Market
    Image Credit : Weekend Market
    With stalls on both the sides of the Wang Chhu river, the Weekend Market hails vendors from all over the region who start arriving here on Thursday or Friday and remain till Sunday night which is why it has been popularly named as Weekend Market. There is a wide variety of fatty pork, dried fish, and homemade soft cheese.

    Not only can this, but also during the winter months, shoppers even pick up a leg of Yak. Seasonal fruits like Jackfruit, curly fem fronds called nakey or bananas are available as well. Also, look out for the cereals like tsampa, red rice and ground roasted barley in the cereal segment.



    Highlights
    : Incense area, filled with different aromatic raw ingredients, pink cubes of saffron used to flavor the holy water used in the pilgrims. It is one of the famous markets of Thimphu, Bhutan and opens on Saturdays and Sundays.


  • 38 National Library

    National Library
    Image Credit : National Library
    National Library of Bhutan or NLB was established in 1967 and possesses a wide collection of 6100 Bhutanese and Tibetan books, xylographs and manuscripts as well as 9000 printing boards and wooden printing blocks for religious books. It has one of the largest holdings of Buddhist Literature in the entire world.

    It has a dedicated collection and promotes religious and cultural heritage of Bhutan in the form of ancient printed resources related to history, religion, traditions, and culture of Bhutan.



    Highlights
    : The building is two-storied with staff accommodations, administrative offices along with technical equipments like computers, microfilm section, separate room for wooden books and much more.

    Located in: 
    Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.

    Open from :
    9:30 am to 5:00 pm (Monday to Friday) in March to October and 9:30 am to 4:00 pm in November to February and remains closed on government holidays and weekends. It is a complete representation of Buddha.


    Top Things To Do in National Library

  • 39 Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery

    Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery
    Image Credit : Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery
    The magnificent and tranquil Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery sits atop a hill and commands the view of the gorgeous Punakha valley and Wangduephodrang valley. Standing amidst the lush pine trees, this structure is a beautiful demonstration of fine architecture and tradition of Bhutan.

    The gleaming white washed walls are complemented by the richly carved woods painted in black, red and golden colour and decorated with illustrious designs. The temple is home to a colossal 14 feet bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara. There are several other statues inside the temple. Inside the complex there is a meditation centre of nuns.


    Highlights
    : The temple provides a gorgeous view of the surrounding value and tranquil environment for peace and meditation. You also get an opportunity for bird watching and witnessing river smoke, an interesting and rare natural phenomenon.

    Location
    : The temple complex is located in Wangdue.

    Timing
    : 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Prices
    : N/A


    Top Things To Do in Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery

  • 40 Thimphu Chorten

    Thimphu Chorten
    Image Credit : Thimphu Chorten
    Memorial Chorten is one of the most important religious places for Bhutanese people where they worship daily. Throughout the day people walk round the perimeter of the Chorten as a holy ritual. Built in 1974, it is an outstanding illustration of Buddhist culture and architecture.

    The whitewashed structure is crowned by a golden spire and is carved with intricate patterns. The spire emanates with the golden glow with the first ray of morning sunlight. The Chorten houses detailed paintings and numerous Buddha statutes.



    Highlights
    : On going inside the Chorten, you can climb to the top to go out on the third floor terrace which is quite a tranquil place.

    Best time to visit
     : The Chorten is in the morning with the golden spire glowing in the sun rays.

    Location
    : The Chorten is located on Doeboom Lam in Thimphu near the Indian Military Hospital.

    Timing
    : 07:00 am - 09:00 am

    Price
    : N/A


    Top Things To Do in Thimphu Chorten

  • 41 National Folk Heritage Museum

    National Folk Heritage Museum
    Image Credit : National Folk Heritage Museum
    If you want see a glimpse of Bhutanese traditional lifestyle, their values and heritage, Folk Heritage Museum is the ideal place for you. The museum was established in 2001 and is set in a 3 storied timber and rammed earth building which still hold its authenticity. The museum artefacts transforms seasonally. Every time you visit, you will get to see something unique and new.



    Highlights
    : Demo of different practices such as Markhu Tsene (oil extraction), Ara Kayne brewing, Zaw Ngowni, Tham Dhungi (pounding and roasting rice) and lot more. Ambience takes you back to 150 years old Bhutanese life with millet, paddy and wheat fields surroundings, vegetable gardens and 100 years old Kitchen.

    Location
    : Thimp

    Price
    : Others- nu 150 and SAARC nationals – nu 25 Working hours: weekdays – 10:30 am to 4:30 pm; Saturdays – 10:30 am to 1 pm; Sundays: 11:30 am to 3:30 pm

    Extra info
    : Lunch and dinner buffet provided for group of 5 and more


    Top Things To Do in National Folk Heritage Museum

  • 42 Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary

    Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary
    Image Credit : Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary
    The Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the stunning landscapes of alpine meadows and encompasses gorgeous alpine lakes. Bumdelling conservation area was merged with Kulong Chhu Wildlife Sanctuary and therefore, was officially established in 1994. The Bumdelling Valley situated here is one of the two wintering spots for the Black Necked Crane.

    The Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 1, 545 sq. km among which 1/3rd is occupied by human civilization. The villagers are sweet and friendly. The area is an idyllic ground for trekking as the routes are covered with lush meadows and towered by alpine forest.



    Highlights
    : Cultural and heritage sites that has significance internationally; Known as the paradise of butterflies for it has more than 120 recorded species of Butterflies inhabiting there. Handicrafts such as wooden bowls, handmade papers and Buddhist painted scrolls can be bought in the village

    Location
    : North Easter Bhutan,

    Best Season
    : March to September


    Top Things To Do in Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary

  • 43 Torsa Strict Nature Reserve

    Torsa Strict Nature Reserve
    Image Credit : Torsa Strict Nature Reserve
    Torsa is one of the most famous tourist attractions for it is the only Nature Reserve in the world which has not been destroyed by human inhabitation. It is adorned with beautiful alpine and broad leaves tree forests, making it a favoured trekking route in Bhutan. The name came to existence from the River Toorsa which penetrates from Tibet.

    The Nature Reserve is situated at this Junction is bordering both Sikkim and China. The Nature reserve is also a dwelling to many species of endangered flora and fauna, Rufous necked Hornbill being one of them.



    Highlights
    : Excellent climate, landscapes include deciduous forests, alpine meadows, scrublands and temperate forests. A small lake, Sinchulunga, which is the source of fresh water stream is part of the Reserve; undisturbed by human settlement, this place showcases a unique tranquillity and serenity.

    Location
    : Western Haa

    Best season
    : March to September and Jan to March


    Top Things To Do in Torsa Strict Nature Reserve

  • 44 Nimalung Festival

    Nimalung Festival
    Image Credit : Nimalung Festival
    Bhutan is famous for its colourful festivals. Nimalung Festival is one of the most important festivals of Bhutan. For those who love the Bhutanese cultures and traditions and want to enjoy the traditional folk dances and performances of the locals clad in vibrant outfits, there is no way they can miss this festival. During the festival time, you will also see the locals clad in their finest dresses.

    Come here to enjoy, relax, and get lost in the beauty of Bhutan. The communities participate in a number of performances and shows. Mask dance is one of the major attractions of this festival. While dancing in masks, the locals beseech their gods for the blessings and to get rid of their misfortunes.



    Location
    : Happens at Chumey, which is in Bumthang. It is at 15 minutes drive from the road that forks off from Chumey.

    Timing
    : During the day.

    Price
    : Part of the package


  • 45 Druk Path Trek

    Druk Path Trek
    Image Credit : Druk Path Trek
    Trek amidst the dazzling natural landscape with snowy mountains, lush valleys, dense forests of fir, blue pine and rhododendrons, long stretches of pastureland and clear blue lakes on Druk Path trek in Bhutan. It is a six day trek which lets you spend adventurous time in the lap of the abundant nature. The trek connects the valleys of Paro and Thimpu and offers the glorious view of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, the world’s highest unclimbed mountain peak. Experience the unique culture and ancient architecture of Bhutan on your way with visits to sleepy hamlets and ancient monasteries and temples.

     

    Location
    : The journey starts from Paro, the historical valley, and ends at Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.

    Best Time
    : The best time to take this excursion is between March-June and September-November.

    Approx Price
    : The approximate price per person for six day trek is 135,000 BTN.

    Difficulty Level
    : Easy to Moderate.


  • 46 Trashi Chhoe Dzong

    Trashi Chhoe Dzong
    Image Credit : Trashi Chhoe Dzong
    Trashi Chhoe Dzong is a fortress and a Buddhist monastery that lies on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu in Bhutan.

    Highlights: Trashi Chhoe Dzong has long been the seat of the Dharma Raja or the Druk Desi who happens to be the head of Bhutan’s civil government. It has been amalgamated with the kingship ever since the creation of the monarchy in the year 1907. The principal structure of the white washed building is two storied. Further, the three storied towers on all the four corners is towered by the triple-tiered golden roofs. It also has a central tower or UTSE.

    Location: Trashi Chhoe Dzong is located in Chhagchhen Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan

    Timings: Open 24 hours.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


    Top Things To Do in Trashi Chhoe Dzong

  • 47 Thimphu

    Thimphu
    Image Credit : Thimphu
    Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan is one of the culturally rich places that is a must see when you are in Bhutan.

    Highlights: It is a charming capital city that is nestled in the Himalayas with the magnificent sites of the Chuu River which passes through it. Interestingly, this is also the only city in the world that has no traffic lights. The city has very well retained its old world culture and charm as the modern development here is very intricately monitored. The new buildings here can be built only in the Bhutanese style and only up to a certain height. You can take the Last Shangrila Tour to explore the renowned landmarks of the capital. Some top attractions here include the National Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong and Motithang Takin Preserve.

    Location: Thimphu is located in the constricted and the linear valley of the River Raidak which is often called as the Thimphu river.

    Timings: Open round the year

    Pricing: Entry is free.


  • 48 Buddha Dordenma

    Buddha Dordenma
    Image Credit : Buddha Dordenma
    One of the largest Buddha statues in the world, Buddha Dordenma is a masterpiece of architectural wonder. The massive bronze statue is more than 50 meters in height and is gilded in gold. Apart from this it also houses 125,000 other Buddha statues that are placed surrounding the Buddha Dordenma statue. Sitting royally atop a great meditation hall, this Buddha statue exudes peace and tranquillity.

    The project has been believed to be prophesized as early as eight century in a sacred treasure kept by Guru Padmasambhava. It is a representation of manifestation of human faith and everlasting peace and happiness for all human beings.



    Location: The Statue is on top of a mount in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and marks the southern entrance to the valley of Thimphu.

    Best time/season
    : The early morning light makes it best for clicking photographs and enjoying the beauty.

    Approx Price
    : N/A

    Difficulty Level
    : N/A


  • 49 Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary

    Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
    Image Credit : Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
    It can be one of the most interesting tourist attractions in Bhutan because this Sakteng Sanctuary was apparently established to shelter the infamous snow mountain men ‘Yeti’ or ‘Migoi’. Albeit the character has not yet been witnessed by the tourists, the villagers claim to have seen their footprints at night. The landscape is shadowed by broad stretch of rhododendrons trees.

    The park looks spectacular during the spring season when the landscape is adorned with colourful blooms of Blue Poppy, rhododendrons, gentia etc. Satkeng wildlife sanctuary preserves the most isolated semi nomadic tribe, Brokpas who are not very friendly with tourists.



    Highlights
    : Capture with your camera snow leopards, red fox, barking deer, Hoary Bellied Himalayan Squirrels during your traverse in the forest; bird watching is allowed and you shall get to see blood pheasants, grey headed woodpecker, dark breasted rose finch, grey backed shrike during your jaunt.

    Location
    : Trashigang.

    Best seasons
    : March to September


  • 50 Merak Tshechu Festival

    Merak Tshechu Festival
    Image Credit : Merak Tshechu Festival
    In Trashigang Dzongkhag district of eastern Bhuta, Murak valley is a pristine destination with unmatched scenic beauty and remains inhabited with people referred as Brokpas. The Brokpas are exceptionally rooted to their traditions and are quite secluded from the happenings of outside world. The culture of this place is unique and quite different from any other communities of Bhutan.

    The Merak Tshechu is celebrated at Merak Lhakhang for a continuous three days and it provides a much needed break to the Brokpas from the monotonous life of cattle herding. Traditional dances and music are performed by the locals here to celebrate the occasion. Famous dance performance AcheLhamo is also performed during this festival. It is a unique spectacle and many visitors from other communities and travelers visit the festival to enjoy the beauty of the festival.

    Highlights
    : Yak Dance performance

    Festival time
    : In the month of November


  • 51 Wangduephodrang Tshechu Festival

    Wangduephodrang Tshechu Festival
    Image Credit : Wangduephodrang Tshechu Festival
    Wangduephodrang Tshechu is an annual festival introduced by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal after the Dzong was completed. As per history, the dzong which served as the administrative centre got constructed in 1639 by the disciplined effort of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal near Puna Tsang Chu. To celebrate this occasion, a 3 day festival was organized which is majorly attended by the natives of Thimphu and Punakha.

    One of the most celebrated activities on this festival is Raksha Mangcham which is also named as the dance of the ox. Huge gathering assembles to see the beautiful act which concludes with the display of the Guru Tshengye Thongdrol where every onlooker fetch blessings and wash away their sins.



    Highlights
    : sight of Guru Tshengye Thongdrol

    Festival time
    : In the month of June


  • 52 Thimphu Tshechu Festival

    Thimphu Tshechu Festival
    Image Credit : Thimphu Tshechu Festival
    Thimphy Tshechu is one of the oldest and most popular festivals of Bhutan. Celebrated for 3 days, this festival first got introduced Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 which later suffered some changes by the third Bhutan king in 1950. Usually celebrated in Tendrel Thang, in front of Tashichhoedzong this is a festival which is attained by masses of people from all parts of the country. Even the farmers take a break from their farming life and join hands to worship night and day and play rituals to invoke God.

    During this festival Cham dancers perform and provide great details about Buddhism and marks the right way towards honest living and blissful life. It is believed that these dance performances increases good luck and removes misfortune. It is also a social gathering for the people of Bhutan where they celebrate with fine clothes, jewellery and good cuisine



    Festival time
    : In the month of October


  • 53 PemaGatshel Tshechu Festival

    PemaGatshel Tshechu Festival
    Image Credit : PemaGatshel Tshechu Festival
    Based in the eastern part of Bhutan, Pema Gatshel Dzonkhag is a well known district inhabited with Tshanglas, known for its religious involvement, traditions, festivals and folk music. The celebration of Tshechu has started in this region from the early 1980’s with the construction of Dzong. This is a three day affair where people from neighboring place and far away locations come here and celebrate the social gathering and contemplate religion.

     It is believed that one can attend merit by only being a part of this religious celebration. Folk dances and music is quite common during this period. Cham, a popular mask dance is performed during this festival which narrates ways of Buddhism. It is believed to protect from harmful influences and misfortune.


    Highlights
    : Folk dances by the natives.

    Festival Time
    : Usually in October


  • 54 Punakha Winter Trek

    Punakha Winter Trek
    Image Credit : Punakha Winter Trek
    Having an altitude of 3400 meters this is one of the easiest and the most popular trekking journey among amateur trekkers through the ancient capital of Bhutan, Punakha. The trekking trail commences from Thimphu and concludes in the beautiful Punakha valley. Being a short trek, the gradual slopes on the trekking trail does not seem to be too much concern for the hikers.

    The old foot trail snakes through luscious valleys, green landscapes, dense forestlands and golden rice fields. The trail crosses through Phajoding Monastery and beautiful Sinchula Pass. Due to low altitude and much warmer climate, the trek is often preferred during winters.



    Highlights
    : Phajoding Monastry

    Duration
    : 4 days/3 nights

    Location
    : Punakha, Bhutan

    Best Season
    : March to May, September to November are considered as ideal time, however it can be done during December to February too.


  • 55 Gangtey Trek

    Gangtey Trek
    Image Credit : Gangtey Trek
    For all those people who love to venture on an easy trek and enjoy natural serene surroundings up close without having any prior experience of trekking, Gangtey Trek is an ideal option. Gangtey trek is to Phobjikha Valley one of the fascinating glacial valleys of Bhutan, at an altitude of 3000m, nestled at the eastern side of Wangduephodrang. The great monastery of Gangtey is based just crossing the pass, which was built during 17th century.

    During winters these isolated valleys forms the home for rare species of black necked cranes from Tibetan plateau. Outstanding views of mesmerizing natural surroundings with juniper and magnolia forest and green landscapes highlight the trekking trail. Villages like Gogona and Khotokha falls on the road.



    Highlights
    : Thrung, the black necked crane

    Duration
    : 3 days/3 nights

    Location
    : Near Tabiting, Bhutan

    Best Season
    : September to May

    Things to carry
    : Baseball cap for strong sun


  • 56 Snowman Trek I

    Snowman Trek I
    Image Credit : Snowman Trek I
    An extension to the challenging Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek, the 25 day Snowman Trek I is not an excursion to be taken by weak hearted. The challenges of trekking amplify as you reach the unscaled heights of Himalayan Mountains. But you will be compensated by the magnificent beauty and grandiose of nature at 23,100 feet above sea level.

    Jhomolhari is the third highest peak of Bhutan and Snowman Trek I gives you the opportunity to scale it if you are up for some challenges. It also offers you to trek amidst the pristine landscape and give you a chance to interact with local villagers from close.

     

    Location
    : The trek begins at Gunitsawa Village and takes you to some of the remotest areas of Bhutan to end at Maurothang.

    Best Time
    : October. Approx

    Price
    : The approximate price per person for the 25 day trek is 900,000 BTN.

    Difficulty Level
    : Extremely Difficult.


  • 57 Punakha

    Punakha
    Image Credit : Punakha
    Punakha is the Punakha Dzong’s administrative centre which is the second largest and the second oldest dzong in Bhutan. Some may even refer to the Punakha Dzong as the Palace of Great Happiness or the Pungthang Dewachen Phodrang.

    Highlights: Punakha is one of the 20 districts of Bhutan. Until 1955, Punakha was the capital of Bhutan. Post that the capital was changed to Thimphu. Known for the Punakha Dzong which is the most majestic and gorgeous dzong of the country, the place is a must visit. It is accessible via a 3 hour drive east of the capital city of Thimpu. You can reach the dzong after crossing a pass in the mountains. This place is glorious and breath taking right from the first glimpse of it from the road. Nestled strategically between the two rivers Mo Chu (females) and Pho Chu (male), you’ll see noticeable color difference between the river’s waters. Punakha is affixed to the mainland by an arched wooden bridge. It comprises of several precious relics from the times when successive kings resigned from the kingdom over Punakha.

    Location: It is located 72 km away from Thimpu.

    Timings: Open round the year.

    Pricing: Entry is free


  • 58 Punakha Suspension Bridge

    Punakha Suspension Bridge
    Image Credit : Punakha Suspension Bridge
    The Punakha valley of Bhutan is offers a mesmerizing view of natural beauty to the beholder. Amidst this natural setting lies the second longest suspension bridge of the country. Built high on the river Po Chu, this arched wooden bridge connects the Punakha Dzong with Punakha City and the smaller villages scattered in the valley. A visit to this Bridge is must if you are seeking a bit of thrill and adrenaline pump in your body while surrounding amidst natural beauty.



    Highlights: Crossing the bridge is a fun in its own way. However, do not forget to make a visit to the nearby Punakha Dzong, a beautiful ancient fortress which houses valuable relics of time immemorial.

    Location
    : Located 10 minutes drive away Punakha Dzong, the bridge connects the mainland and the nearby villages and Dzong.

    Timing
    : The best time to visit it is 9 AM in the morning.

    Price
    : N/A


  • 59 Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen Festival

    Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen Festival
    Image Credit : Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen Festival
    A popular annual festival, Punakha Tshechu and Drubchen gets celebrated in Punakha which is located in the western side of Bhutan. The festival has great historical importance which makes it more popular among natives. In 17thcentury, Tibetan forces invaded Bhutan from where Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the Buddhist saint, led the victory of the country.

    This auspicious occasion was celebrated with the introduction of the celebration of Punakha Drubchen which is continued till date once every year. In 2005, Punakha Tshechu was introduced to preserve Buddhist documents and his teachings. Usually these festivals occur simultaneously and in both of them much entertainment is provided by performances in folk dance. Religious customs are performed in both the festivals in the same manner as done in earlier times



    Highlights
    : Folk dances by the natives.

    Festival Time
    : Usually in the month of March


  • 60 Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

    Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
    Image Credit : Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
    Providing an excellent view of the Bhutanese Himalayan Range Dagala Thousand Lakes trek (4520m) is a journey through pristine beauty that remains adorned with natural green landscape and high altitude shimmering mountain lakes. In this journey, it is not only the crystal clear lakes that catches the eye but one can also enjoy the breathtaking views of the highest mountains, Mt. Everest, Jomolhari, Masang Gang, Jichu Drake, Gangche Ta and many more.

    Though this is strenuous trek but prior experience on the Alpine is not mandatory. Apart from travelling through picturesque lakes and devour natural beauty at its best, one also gets the chance to travel through various traditional Bhutaneese villages which gives a good idea about their lifestyle here.


    Highlights
    : High altitude lakes

    Location
    : Near Thimpu, Bhutan

    Best Season
    : April- June, September- October


  • 61 Sakteng Festival

    Sakteng Festival
    Image Credit : Sakteng Festival
    Sakteng festival is celebrated in Sakteng valley which is located in the eastern part of Bhutan at an elevation of 3000 meters. The people based here are semi nomadic and they are often referred as Brokpas. This is one of the secluded places of Bhutan where influence of the modern world is yet to reach. The Sakten Tshechu Festival stretches for 3 days almost next to the village grounds.

    Apart from being a festival where the natives come together in religious influence for worshipping, it also serves as a occasion for social gathering and merry making. The festival is quite colourful where every person remains adorned in traditional clothes and celebrates with Ara, the local wine. Music and folk dances are essential part of festivity.

    Highlights
    : Yak dance and Ache Lhamo.

    Festival time: In the month of June


  • 62 Jomolhari Mountain Festival

    Jomolhari Mountain Festival
    Image Credit : Jomolhari Mountain Festival
    Celebrated for two days, Jamolhari Mountain Festival is one of the most exquisite things that you will ever get to see. The magnificent theme and the amazing people define the soul of this festival which is celebrated at the heels of Mt. Jomolhari. This festival is pretty important for the local communities living around this area. There are a number of amazing shows but one in particular will surely overwhelm you.

    It is called the snow leopard show. The show aims at making people aware of the declining numbers of snow leopards, which used to be a very common sight at one time. During the festival, you will see the locals clad in colourful traditional dresses. They do the traditional folk dance on the folk songs. The show is something you will never forget your entire life.

     

    Location
    : At the base of the Jamohhar Mountain.

    Timing
    : Usually during the day

    Price
    : Part of the package


  • 63 Snowman Trek II

    Snowman Trek II
    Image Credit : Snowman Trek II
    Reach the higher altitudes of Himalayan Mountains of Bhutan with Snowman Trek II that traverse through the challenging trekking routes to take you to the remote and unspoiled parts of Bhutan. This 25 days trek is one of the most difficult treks that you can take. However, at this altitude with stretches of pristine landscape you will be awestruck with the natural beauty. An extension of Laya Gasa trek it offers you the opportunity to reach the farthest parts of the country while traversing through the treacherous trails, profound valleys and majestic mountains. The landscape is dotted with sleepy hamlets and ancient architectures.



    Location
    : The trek begins at Gunitsawa Village and takes you to some of the farthest areas of Bhutan to end at Duer village.

    Best Time
    : June to October.

    Approx Price
    : The approximate price per person for the 25 day trek is 950,000 BTN.

    Difficulty Level
    : Extremely Difficult


  • 64 Zangdo Pelri Temple

    Zangdo Pelri Temple
    Image Credit : Zangdo Pelri Temple
    Zangdo Pelri Temple is a religious and holy place of Bhutan that lies in the Phuntsholing town. It represents the abode of the revered Guru Rinpochey.

    Highlights: Zangdo Pelri Temple is a magnificent place in Bhutan that definitely deserves your attention. On the earth level of this temple, you can find the statues of Guru along with his eight Manifestations. The wall is enclosed with several paintings taken from the life of Buddha. On the second floor of the temple, you can find statues of Avalokiteshwaram, eight Bodhisattavas and Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal. Finally, on the top floor you can see the main statue of the Buddha Amitabha.

    Location: Zangdo Pelri Temple is located near the weekend market in Phuntsholing in Bhutan.

    Timings: Can be visited from dawn to dusk each day.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


  • 65 Chokhor Valley

    Chokhor Valley
    Image Credit : Chokhor Valley
    Chokhor Valley is a spiritual heart land in the Bhutan. It is brimming with several precious and ancient Buddhist sites.

    Highlights: Bumthang is a religious hub of Bhutan and comprises of some of the oldest temples of Buddhists. Apart from the Jakar, the principal town in the Chokhor Valley along with its undulating terrain with its numerous temples and the apple trees is a sheer delight for the tourists. The visitors who come here can marvel at the scenic Trongsa Dzong that lies on the top of the steep ridge which drops off amidst the clouds in the southern end. This scenic town is often regarded as an overnight destination for the travellers who come here all the way to the eastern and central Bhutan.

    Location: Chokhor Valley is located at an elevation of 2600 meters in Bhutan.

    Timings: Open round the year.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


  • 66 Drametse Goemba

    Drametse Goemba
    Image Credit : Drametse Goemba
    One of the largest Nyingma monastery in Bhutan, Drametse Goemba is a place of religious significance. The Drametse literally translates into ‘a peak without enemy’. It was founded in 1511 Ani Choten Zangmo.

    The complex houses a gold funeral Chorten and a statue of Pema Lingpa. It also consists of a thondrol depicting Pema Lingpa in a box which only opens up during a yearly festival. Apart from that there are also chapels in remembrance of Palden Lhamo and Tamdrin.


    Highlights
    : Partake in the sacred ritual where you can receive a holy thread on making an offering and get blessings by the holy dagger. If you want, you can roll a dice to get the divine reading from their ancient book of divination.

    Location
    : The monastery is an eighteen kilometre detour and hour drive from the road that takes you to Trashigang from Mongar.

    Timing
    : N/A

    Price
    : N/A


  • 67 Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival

    Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival
    Image Credit : Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival
    Celebrated at the Druk Wangyal Lhakhang Festival Ground, near Dochula Pass, the Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival got established in 2011 in memorial of His Majesty the Fourth Druk along with the auspicious occasion of achieving victory over Indian forces in southern Bhutan. One of the main attractions is the scenic beauty of panoramic Himalayan range encircling the Pass. The festival is usually a one day affair but it depicts the rich tradition, custom and culture of the Bhutanese people. The festival honors the service of the courageous and spirited Fourth king who actively participated in the Armed forces of the country. The Druk Wangel Lhakhang is a beautiful temple built here in memory of the fourth king. One can enjoy various murals and Bhutanese work of art depicting important events of the country on the walls of the temple.

    Highlights
    : Sight of Druk Wangel Lhakhang.

    Festival time
    : In the month of December


  • 68 Salt Trek Route

    Salt Trek Route
    Image Credit : Salt Trek Route
    If you have a knack for trekking then you might tour to Bhutan. The whole of Bhutan is a soulful place, and visually pleasing. The salt trek route is a very popular trekking expedition in the kingdom.

    Years back when Trashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar national highway was not laid, the villagers use to travel via this route to gather salt and silk from the Samdrup Jongkar town border.The voyage used to take 8 days and thus the trek expedition originated. The journey takes you to through spectacular landscapes of broadleaved forests and alpine pathways.



    Highlights
    : Low altitude trek amidst mountain valleys, cute villages and breathtaking fields and meadows. Overnight camping under the Bhutanese air is just what you need to activate your inner soul.

    Difficulty level
    : Above moderate (highest altitude – 1442 M); steep ascents and descents included

    Location
    : Cheya (Bhutan)

    Best Season
    : Late summer (June to September)


  • 69 Bumthang Owl Trek

    Bumthang Owl Trek
    Image Credit : Bumthang Owl Trek
    To enjoy unspoiled natural beauty and pictorial scenic vista in Bhutan, one of the best options is to set out for the short yet fascinating Bumthang Owl trek. The trek starts from Manchung and travels through Dhur village, Drangela Pass and reaches Tharpaling monastery. On the trekking trail one can enjoy unlimited and undisturbed scenery with dense forests on both sides with blue pine, birch, maple, spruce, juniper, bamboo and famous rhododendron trees.

    One can visualize the exceptional beauty of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, which is ideally the highest unclimbed peak in the world. Avian wildlife is a key attraction of this trek. The trekking trail is filled with an array of fascinating flora and fauna and multiple ancient Buddhist temples.



    Highlights
    : Old Buddhist temples, Himalayan black bear

    Duration
    : 3 days trek

    Location
    : Bumthang, Bhutan

    Best Season
    : March to May, September to November


  • 70 Paro

    Paro
    Image Credit : Paro
    Paro is the first must see location in Bhutan. It is a beautiful and magnificent valley that is enveloped by lush green rice fields.

    Highlights: Paro is a historic town of Bhutan. It has several historic buildings and sacred sites that are scattered all across the area. Along with the Punakha and Jakar, Paro forms a ‘golden triangle’ of the prominent destinations of Bhutan. Undisturbed scenic beauty, craggy mountain hills, peaceful atmosphere and clean air definitely make it a must visit place in Bhutan. One thing that attracts several visitors to Paro is the Rinpung Dzong which is one of the most striking examples of a typical monastery of Bhutan. Dzong is known to host the festival of masks which is locally known as the Paro Tsechu. Making a visit during this time can be fruitful. Apart from this, the National Museum of Paro is another must see attraction which attracts several visitors.

    Location: Paro is a small town situated in the Paro District in the Paro Valley of Bhutan.

    Timings: Open 24 hours.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


  • 71 Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory

    Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory
    Image Credit : Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory
    Making use of the traditional methods of producing paper, The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory manufactures the most authentic and the best quality Bhutanese paper, which is popularly known as Deh-sho. The raw material used here for making paper is the bark of two species of trees i.e. the Daphne tree as well as the Dhekap tree.

    Another interesting fact to know is that the entire process making this handmade paper is done with ancient traditional procedures that are being practiced since ages. The visitors have an advantage to try their hand on the paper making craft and make some paper of their own. Other than Bhutanese paper, this factory also produces greeting cards and stationery.



    Highlights
    : This factory also produces lampshades, cards, watermark paper, envelopes, and calendars, all made from the traditional Bhutanese paper and is located in Khuju Lam, Thimphu.

    Open from:
    8:30am to 5pm, Monday-Saturday.


  • 72 Chorten Kora Festival

    Chorten Kora Festival
    Image Credit : Chorten Kora Festival
    Celebrated in the easternmost district of Bhutan, Trashiyangtse, this festival is famous for its religious significance. Chorten Kora is a notable stupa created by Lama Ngawang Lodrö in 1740 to subdue a demon which used to live in the place where at present the Chorten is based. Dakpa Kora a popular ritual takes place during the Chorten Kora festival.

    The festival remains crowded by people from various regions of the country. The brilliant designs of the stupa often remains compared with the Boudhanath stupa based in Nepal. According to the legends here, the stupa took about twelve years to complete and after its construction, the village people lived peacefully. One can enjoy many age old traditions of Bhutan in this festival.



    Highlights
    : Sight of Chorten Kora and enjoy traditional performance by natives

    Festival Time
    : In the month of March


  • 73 Samtengang Winter Trek

    Samtengang Winter Trek
    Image Credit : Samtengang Winter Trek
    Starting from Punakha, Samtengang Winter Trek is a short and considerably simple and easy trek to Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag with average altitude rising not more than 1900 meters. The climate is excellent and due to low altitude preserves warmer climate which is pleasant and soothing. The trekking trail is devoid of uncomfortable steeps and heights making the trail quite smooth for the amateur hikers.

    The trail passes through rhododendron forest which is a delight to see especially in monsoon times. The region also posses dense vegetation with oak and maple trees and also the longest foot bridge of Bhutan. Villages like Sha and Chungsakha also falls on this trail. It is approximately 54 km in length.



    Highlights
    : Sha viilage and lifestyle of Bhutanese people based there.

    Duration
    : 3 days trekking tour.

    Location
    : Near Punakha, Bhutan

    Best Season
    : March - April, October to November. However due to low altitude it can be visited in winter too.


  • 74 Phajoding Temple

    Phajoding Temple
    Image Credit : Phajoding Temple
    There is possibly no one in the world who isn’t aware about the rich and prosperous culture of Bhutan. So, when you are here how can you miss out on one of the best temples of Bhutan? One such temple is the Phajoding Temple.

    Highlights: Phajoding Temple is a 15th century temple. Built by a saint named Shacha Richen, the temple lies at an elevation of 12,138 feet. It is enveloped by the mixed conifer forests that offer you a magnificent look. To reach the temple, you’ll have to undertake a 3 hour hike from the nearest road that is located above the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. This once used to the most decorated and richest monasteries in the country.

    Location: Phajoding Temple lies on the Phajoding-Pumola Trail in Phajoding, Bhutan.

    Timings: Open everyday from dawn to dusk.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


  • 75 Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

    Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
    Image Credit : Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
    The Khamsam Yulley Namgyal Chorten is a beautiful monastery which is situated at a ridge above the Punakha Valley. It's a four storey majestic temple which was built by Bhutanese carpenters, painters and sculptors in a period of 9 years.

    Highlights: If you want to have a view of the splendid architectural and artistic vision of the Bhutanese culture, this is the perfect place to visit. The place has become a huge tourist attraction place as it is one of its kind in the world. The extensive rice fields and miniature chortens that surround the temple also add up to the nice aura.

    Location: It is located in the region of Punakha in Bhutan

    Timings: There is no timing as such but since it’s a temple, the ideal timings are from early morning to evening.

    Pricing: Visit to the temple and surrounding regions is completely free of cost.


  • 76 Dochula Pass

    Dochula Pass
    Image Credit : Dochula Pass
    Dochula Pass is a scenic spot located more than ten thousand feet above sea level, while going from Punakha to Thimphu. It is one of the most renowned destinations for tourists in Bhutan. The place offers a panoramic view of the surrounding snow laden mountains and the breathtaking view of the colourful flags fluttering in the wind and 108 Chortens. Druk Wangyal Chorten was constructed by Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk.

    The chortens and Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple with beautiful ornate details against the lush green forest backdrop make this spot famous among locals and tourists alike. The Dochu La Wangyal Festival where the colourful mask dance can be witnessed also makes this place illustrious.



    Location: The Pass is located at a height of 10,171 ft on east-west Road from Thimpu to Punakha.

    Best time/season: March to May and September to November

    Approx Price: N/A

    Difficulty Level
    : N/A


  • 77 Drukgyel Dzong

    Drukgyel Dzong
    Image Credit : Drukgyel Dzong
    The remnants of once flourishing Drukgeyl Dzong echo many stories. The Dzong sits on a path that connects Paro Valley to the Tibet through the Tremo La pass. In the past, it was a significant trade route and the Dzong was a major administrative centre. In 1951, the Dzong was destroyed by a fire and the charred walls and beams are still visible.

    The complex consists of a Chorten, chapel and ruins of big towers. An adventurous climb leads you to the ruins where you can admire the once proud and regal building.



    Highlight
    : There is something mystical about taking a walk in the historical ruins of the Dzong. On the way you can get a view of the majestic Mount Jhomolhari's snow laden peak, on a clear day.

    Location
    : The Dzong is located in Paro valley and is about 25 minutes drive away from Paro International Airport.

    Price
    : N/A


  • 78 Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge

    Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge
    Image Credit : Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge
    Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge is an iron chain bridge built by Drupthob Thangtong Gyalpo and is the access route to the famous Tachogang Lhakhang Dzong. Built in early fifteenth century, the bridge has stood the test of time.

    Built on the mighty Paro Chhu River, the bridge offers a small adventurous ride to the Tachogang Lhakhang Dzong amidst the beautiful hilly sight, gushing river water underneath, lush green Paro Valley and the spectacular view of the Dzong above. To visit the Dzong, you must cross this iron bridge. At first you may feel a bit apprehension but walking on the bridge is quite a fun activity.



    Highlights
    : Built to make the remote parts of Bhutan accessible, this bridge offers a fun trip. The brightly coloured prayer flags and stunning natural beauty makes the trip worth.

    Location
    : The Bridge is located along Paro-Thimphu highway, in the Paro Valley

    Timing
    : N/A

    Prices
    : N/A


  • 79 Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park

    Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park
    Image Credit : Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park
    The National park was established in the year 1995 and is around 1723 sq. km. in area. The park borders over 31 cute little villages and shelters one of the oldest founding tribes of Bhutan, Oyleps. The Jigme national park was originally named as the ‘Black Mountain Park’ as it is situated in the Black Mountain, separating the eastern and western Bhutan.

    20% of the park is ruled by the gorgeous yet dangerous animal, Tiger.
    Apart from it, the golden langur, musk deer, red panda and Asiatic elephants are few wild animals you might see moving around in the forest.



    Highlights
    : Trekking in the exotic Phobjheka valley where the mystic Black Necked crane dwells; a sanctuary of more than 450 species of birds; third largest park in the country;

    Location
    : Near to Trongsa Dist, central Bhutan

    Best Season
    : Between November and March

    Cost
    : N/A


  • 80 Nomad Festival

    Nomad Festival
    Image Credit : Nomad Festival
    If you are planning to visit Bumthang, then the best time would be when the annual Nomad Festival is being held. Bumthang is the part of central Bhutan and less than 10 hr drive from Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. This is the time of the year when you get to see the real nomadic people coming together from all parts of Bhutan. However, primarily the nomads from North West and North East Himalayas dominate the festival with their presence.

    During the festival you get to witness the unforgettable shows when the nomads put on the traditional performance. You get to understand their culture, traditions, and way of living. The colourful outfits, cheerful environment, and all in the backdrop of incredible landscape make the experience overwhelming.



    Location
    : Bumthang – 10hr drive from Thimpu

    Timing
    : From late in the morning till late in the evening.

    Price
    : No special pricing to visit the festival


  • 81 Haa Valley

    Haa Valley
    Image Credit : Haa Valley
    Haa Valley is a relatively new yet a must see attraction of Bhutan. It is a prominent virgin beauty of the nature.

    Highlights: Haa Valley is a scenic beauty in itself. However, besides the scenic sights you will also come across several fortresses and temples around the valley. Lhakhang Nagpo – Black Temple and the Lhakhang Karpo – White temple are also a popular attraction here. Another unique temple here is the Shekhar Drak. If you are one of those trekking lovers, you can embark on the famous ‘The Haa Planters’ Trail’ walk. This route will lead to to an archaic path by the rice planters passing from the Haa Valley to the Paro during the plantation season. It is one relatively simple trek that rarely has high altitudes.

    Location: The Haa Valley is located in Haa in Bhutan.

    Timings: Haa Valley is open round the year however the most suitable time to visit the valley is during the spring season i.e. between Mid March to June.

    Pricing: There is no admission fee to make an entry to the Haa Valley.


  • 82 Bumthang Valley

    Bumthang Valley
    Image Credit : Bumthang Valley
    Bumthang Valley is a spiritual heart land in the Bhutan. It is brimming with several precious and ancient Buddhist sites.

    Highlights: Bumthang is a religious hub of Bhutan and comprises of some of the oldest temples of Buddhists. Apart from the Jakar, the principal town in the Bumthang Valley along with its undulating terrain with its numerous temples and the apple trees is a sheer delight for the tourists. The visitors who come here can marvel at the scenic Trongsa Dzong that lies on the top of the steep ridge which drops off amidst the clouds in the southern end. This scenic town is often regarded as an overnight destination for the travellers who come here all the way to the eastern and central Bhutan.

    Location: Bumthang Valley is located at an elevation of 2600 meters in Bhutan.

    Timings: Open round the year.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


  • 83 Dzongdrakha Temple

    The Dzongdrakha Temple is a popular temple complex which has around 4 temple monasteries and is situated on a cliff side. The view of the temple is just amazing and along with its surroundings, it offers a nice panoramic view. The four different shrines are dedicated to lord Tara, Tsheringma, Guru and Jowo Jampa.

    Highlights: There is an annual festival known as the Dzongdrakha rejoice and if you can schedule your trip during this time of the year, you must definitely be a part of the ongoing festivities. Ensure to visit all the four shrines that the complex consists to witness how beautiful and majestic all of them are.

    Location: It is located very near and towards the western side of the Paro Valley in Bhutan.

    Timings: No official timings are given but for the best experience visit here from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening.

    Pricing: Visiting the main temple complex along with all the four shrines are free of cost.


  • 84 Kichu Lakhang

    Kichu Lakhang
    Image Credit : Kichu Lakhang
    The Kichu Lhakhang temple is one of the most iconic Himalayan Buddhist temple in Bhutan and attracts a huge tourist footfall owing to how old and beautiful it is. The temple was built in the 659 AD but its grandeur is still very visible.

    Highlights: Since Bhutan is famous for its temple, you can't miss out on the Kichu Lhakhang which is just a short drive from the city of Paro. There are various additional buildings and a highly noticeable golden roof all of which was made in the year 1839 by the Governor of city Paro. There are prayer wheels around the temple and you can try spinning around the temple to worship the idol.

    Location: Lango Gewog, Paro, Bhutan.

    Timings: No official timings given by the temple but ideal to visit during early morning or evening.

    Pricing: Visiting the temple is completely free of cost for everyone.


  • 85 Kurje Lhakhang

    Kurje Lhakhang
    Image Credit : Kurje Lhakhang
    One of the most sacred sites in Bhutan, Krje Lhakhang consists of three temples which are surrounded by 108 Chorten walls. The first and the oldest structure of the three, was constructed on the rock where Guru Rinpoche meditated. The second building is also called the Sampa lhundrup temple and houses a colossal statue of Guru Rinpoche.

    The third building is known as Ka Gon Phur sum lhakhang dedicated to the happiness of all living beings in the kingdom.



    Highlights
    : It is one of the most beautiful and sacred sites in Bumthang. It offers much to explore and learn about Guru Rinpoche and the culture, tradition and faith of Bhutanese people. Explore various images, statues and elaborate paintings of deities.

    Location
    : Located 5 kms from Bumthang district on the bank of Chamkhar River. It takes 12 minutes drive from Bathpalathang Airport.

    Timing
    : 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

    Price
    : 600 BTN.


  • 86 Trongsa Tshechu Festival

    Trongsa Tshechu Festival
    Image Credit : Trongsa Tshechu Festival
    Celebrated annually in the courtyard of Trongsa Dzong in Trongsa which is the ancestral home for the Royal family, in Central Bhutan, the Trongsa Tshechu is an ancient festival with rich traditions of the country. As per the history of Bhutan, the first and the second king of Bhutan ruled the country from this ancestral throne. The festival is an elaborate affair for 3 continuous days and attracts people from all walks of life. It acts as a social gathering where people meet friends and relatives and together participate in merry making.

    Traditional mask dance is a common affair in this festival. On the last day a sacred Throngdrol is displayed by monks. As per locals, visualizing the Throngdrol, itself is a pious affair and it washes sins done by onlookers.



    Highlights
    : Blessings of sacred Throngdrol

    Festival time
    : In the month of December


  • 87 Chhukha Dzongkhag

    Chhukha Dzongkhag
    Image Credit : Chhukha Dzongkhag
    Unless you are taking an overland crossing to or from India, most of the Western trekkers tend to give Chhukha Dzongkhag a vast berth.

    Highlights: People who wish to take a land route to visit the district that effectively comprises of the winding road which drops from the mountains through the green tropical foothills of the Southern Bhutan to the Phuentsholing which is a burgeoning town on the international border. Jaigaon which is its twin Indian settlement lies on the other end. This indeed is a dramatic road trip which gives you an assurance of the geographical continuity which you may not get on flying into Paro. En route to the Chhukha Dzongkhag, you’ll come across the humongous ‘Lost World’ ferns which spill onto the road along with the dozens of waterfalls which cascade from here into the mist.

    Location: Chhukha Dzongkhag lies in the Chhukha District of Bhutan.

    Timings: Open round the year.

    Pricing: Entry is free.


  • 88 Trongsa Dzong

    Trongsa Dzong
    Image Credit : Trongsa Dzong
    Not many would be familiar with Dzong fortress until they see the Tongsa Dzong before their own eyes. It is the largest fortress in the country of Bhutan and holds a huge historical significance. It has been renovated many a times since it was built due to natural disasters as well as general maintenance.

    Highlights: For all those interested in how administration of a country took place in the past era must visit the Tongsa Dzong to witness it. The place is also a major monastic complex with over 200 monks with whom you can interact. You can also visit the Ta Dzong which is a watch tower and was initially built with the purpose of watching enemies.

    Location: It is located at the Trongsa District in Bhutan.

    Timings: You can visit the place as and when you like, there are no timing restrictions.

    Pricing: It is completely free of cost.


  • 89 National Museum, Paro

    National Museum, Paro
    Image Credit : National Museum, Paro
    If you want to learn about the Bhutanese culture, history and traditions, there is no other place better than the National Museum of Bhutan. The current national museum used to be a watchtower.

    In 1968 the tower was renovated and converted into the National Museum of Bhutan. There are various galleries in the museum showcasing the impressive history and culture of Bhutan. There are collection of thangkas, stone carvings, religious statues and other artefacts of significant importance.



    Highlight
    : Enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding valley. Photography inside the museum is not allowed, however, you can click beautiful pictures of the valley.

    Location
    : The museum is located at a hill above Paro Dzong. Paro Dzong is a 15 minutes drive from Paro market.

    Timing
    : 09:00 AM - 04:30 PM

    Price
    : For adults the price is 150 BTN. For monks, nuns and children below ten years, the entry is free.


  • 90 Haa Summer Festival

    Haa Summer Festival
    Image Credit : Haa Summer Festival
    Haa valley is one of the pristine locations where one can enjoy the various charms of nature in Bhutan. The Haa summer festival is a pleasant occasion which conducts a celebration of the living culture the exclusive lifestyle, the religious performances, tradition, heritage, customs, sports and undoubtedly native Bhutanese home cooked cuisine. The festival almost serves as an insight to the tradition of Bhutan.

    The celebration is conducted in Haa valley which can be reached by crossing Chelela Mountain pass, the highest road pass of the country. This is an extremely scenic location where the mind gets rejuvenated with a simple walk on the mountain slopes. Traditional dances and popular songs are performed by natives in this festival and onlookers may enjoy the same with Ara, local liquor.



    Highlights
    : White Poppy, a flower which is about 1.5 m in length. This flower is not available in any other parts of the world.

    Festival time
    : In the month of July


  • 91 Bumthang Cultural Trek

    Bumthang Cultural Trek
    Image Credit : Bumthang Cultural Trek
    A trek through the “cultural heartland “of Bhutan, is always a precious one. This short and simple trek is one of the preferred trekking trails to enjoy the natural beauty of Bhutan with its trout- filled rivers and verdant valleys. Apart from this the trekking trail also provides a fascinating glimpse of some of ancient Buddhist temples and age old monasteries.

    Passing through the countryside of Bumthang, one can enjoy the scenic pleasure of blue pine forest and scrub bamboo along with several small villages displaying their traditional lifestyle. For all those nature lovers this is a splendid trail to visualize the beauty of Thimphu, Paro valleys and Punakha.



    Highlights
    : old Buddhist temples

    Duration
    : 3 days trek

    Location
    : Bumthang, Bhutan

    Best Season
    : March to May, September to November


  • 92 Jomolhari Trek

    Jomolhari Trek
    Image Credit : Jomolhari Trek
    Jomolhari Trek is the longer version of the Jomolhari loop trekking route that put up the trekkers against marvelous heights, unfathomable valleys, and challenging trekking routes. It also offers the trekkers to experience the breathtaking view of Himalayan Mountains, flourishing valleys, lush green yak pasturelands, lakes, rivers, dense forests and fruit orchards and the spectacular views of Mountain Jichu Drakey, Tshering Gang and Jho Drakey await you. It provides a superb opportunity to experience Bhutanese village life closely and marvel at the ancient architecture.



    Location
    : Starting from Paro the trek passes through Sharna Zampa, Thangthangkha, Jangothang, and Linghsi from where the route diverge from Laya Gasa Trek to reach Shodu, Barshong, Dolam Kencho, Doden to reach Thimphu.

    Best Time
    : The best time is from March to May and September to November.

    Approx Price
    : The approximate price per person for the 9 day trek is 300,000 BTN.

    Difficulty Level
    : Moderately difficult.


  • 93 Jomolhari Loop Trek

    Jomolhari Loop Trek
    Image Credit : Jomolhari Loop Trek
    The shortest of Jomolhari trekking route, Jomolhari loop lets the trekkers experience the diverse beauty of the Bhutanese landscape, flora and fauna even for beginners. This short trek is one of the most popular trek routes in Bhutan, and gives you an opportunity to see the majestic beauty of Mt Jomolhari without having to take the difficult and longer path.

    Cover an altitude difference of 2500 meters to witness the changing scenery from dense forests, to stretches of pasturelands, sleepy hamlets, valleys dotted with ancient Bhutanese architecture in the backdrop of pristine mountain peaks.

     

    Location
    : Arrive at Paro and traverse the trek that passes through Sharna Zampa, Thangthangkha, Jangothang, Soi Yaktsa, Thombu Shong to reach back to Paro.

    Best Time
    : The best time is from April to May and September to November.

    Approx Price
    : The approximate price per person for the 8 day trek is 250,000 BTN.

    Difficulty Level
    : Easy


  • 94 The National Memorial Chorten

    The National Memorial Chorten
    Image Credit : The National Memorial Chorten
    The National Memorial Chorten is a Memorial Stupa of Thimphu which is also known as the Thimphu Chorten. It is a stupa located on the Doeboom Lam in the southern-central end of the city.

    Highlights: The National Memorial Chorten is a stupa that was built in the year 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It is one of the quintessential landmarks of the city given its golden bells and spires. Regarded as the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan, it is a must visit for all. Highlights:

    Location: The National Memorial Chorten is located in Chhoten Lam in Thimphu, Bhutan.

    Timings: You can visit the place from dawn to dusk everyday.

    Pricing: Entry to the National Memorial Chorten is free.


  • 95 Ta Dzong

    Ta Dzong
    Image Credit : Ta Dzong
    Ta Dzong is a landmark building of Bhutan. It is most prominent known for the Ta Dzong museum which is also known as the National Museum of Bhutan.

    Highlights: The Ta Dzong museum is a cultural museum that is situated in the Paro town in western Bhutan. Established in the year 1968, the refurbished Ta-dzong building lies right above the Rinpung Dzongunder. It has some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art which includes some masterpieces paintings and fine examples of the Bhutanese art including bronze paintings and statues. The place is a must visit for art lovers.

    Location: It is located in Paro in Bhutan.

    Timings: The museum in the building stays open from 9 in the morning to 5 in the evening.

    Pricing: Local Nu. 10 SAARC Country Citizens Nu. 25 Non-SAARC Country Citizens Nu. 150 Bhutanese Students Nu. 5 Monks, Nuns, and Children under 10 yrs. Free


  • 96 Zuri Dzong

    Zuri Dzong
    Image Credit : Zuri Dzong
    In the year 1352, Zuri Dzong was built as a fort with a 5 storey main building. This is very well protected even today by a bridge and double walls.

    Highlights: Zuri Dzong has some phenomenally fine murals in the upper chapels. One of these murals is dedicated to the protector Zaa. You can undertake a hike from Gönsaka Lhakhang to the Zuri Dzong. The peak of the Zuri Dzong is an ideal spot to have a bird eye view of the complete Paro Valley. This is the oldest Dzong of Bhutan. Here you can come across a cave where Buddha once came in the 8th century to meditate. This peaceful pace allows both the tourists and Bhutanese to soak in the tranquil which radiates from the extraordinary view. It is something that you can stare at for hours in absolute awe and wonder.

    Location: It is located in Paro in Bhutan.

    Timings: Can be visited anytime

    Pricing: There is no entry fee to Zuri Dzong.


  • 97 Wangchu River

    Wangchu River
    Image Credit : Wangchu River
    The mighty rivers of Bhutan offer great opportunity for various water sports. Wang Chhu River is a Himalayan river and tributary of majestic Brahmaputra River. The Bhutan river tours are designed to let you enjoy the adventurous sports of kayaking and rafting in the rivers of Bhutan. The bustling capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu is located on the banks of Wang Chhu.

    On the east side of the river, you can see the striking SAARC building. Samtenling Palace, the resident of king, can also be sighted from the river. Fluttering colourful flags on the banks make a beautiful sight.



    Highlights: Look for kayaking and rafting opportunities. The 4 Km run from Wang Chhu to lower run offers challenging water course suitable for experts. You can also try for trout fishing in the river.

    Location
    : The lively capital city of Thimphu is situated at the banks of Wang Chhu.

    Price
    : N/A


  • 98 Phobjikha Valley

    Phobjikha Valley
    Image Credit : Phobjikha Valley
    A perfect getaway for nature and wildlife lovers, Phobjikha valley in Bhutan is one of the most spectacular natural settings one may find in Bhutan. Located on the incline of Black Mountains Park, this bowl shaped glacial valley an important wildlife preserve land of the country as it sits on the edge of the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park.

    With an assortment of flora and fauna species, this valley provides an excellent opportunity to experience the wildlife from close. The biggest draw to the valley is black-necked cranes. Apart from that one can also see Himalayan black bears, sambars, leopards and red foxes among other mammal species.

     

    Highlights
    : Visit to the Gangte Goemba, a magnificent Bhutanese architecture that provides a spectacular view of the entire valley. Get all the information you need about the black necked cranes at Black-Necked Crane Information Centre.

    Location
    : Wangdue district.

    Timing
    : N/A

    Prices
    : N/A


  • 99 Kurjey Festival

    Kurjey Festival
    Image Credit : Kurjey Festival
    Kurjey Tshechu is a popular festival celebrated in Kurjey temple in Chokhor valley of Bumthang district. There is huge historical significance attached to this temple as well as the festival. According to the legends Guru Rimpoche meditated here for the suppression of evil spirits in this region. There are three major temples in Kurjey.

    The first temple was built in 1652 on the location where Guru Rimpoche meditated, the second one on the place where Guru left his body imprint and the third built in 1990 which holds images of Guru Rimpoche. The Kurjey festival is one of the important religious occasions for the locals of the place. It is a social gathering as well as a time to seek blessing and enjoy victory of good over evil. It is a festival that displays the golden traditions of Bhutan and the rich cultural heritage.



    Highlights
    : special mask dance

    Festival time
    : In 10th day of 10th month of lunar calendar


  • 100 Jambay Lhakhang Festival

    Jambay Lhakhang Festival
    Image Credit : Jambay Lhakhang Festival
    Located on the way to Kurjie Lhakhang, in Bumthang, Jambay Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples founded in 7th century by Songtsen Gampo, a Tibetan King. As per legends, the king was destined to construct 108 temples in a single day, to suppress a demon in the Himalayan region. This temple is one of those 108 temples. Legend Guru Rimpoche is believed to visit this destination and considered it a sacred and extremely pious destination.

    The temple got renovated again in 8th century AD. The temple has more than hundred statues of Gods and Goddesses but the main attraction is the relic of future Buddha. This is a spectacular festival which is celebrated for five days.



    Highlights
    : A ritualistic naked dance on the fire that attracts huge crowd from all over the country.

    Festival time
    : In the month of November


  • 101 Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek

    Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek
    Image Credit : Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek
    Take the adventurous Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek in Bhutan that takes you to the splendid heights and lets you experience the great diversity of landscape. Pass through the dense pine forests, lush meadows, pasturelands while soaking in the beauty of snow capped mountains of Mt. Jomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake. It is a long and difficult trek which challenges the most experienced and physically fit trekkers.

    You will also pass through the beautiful hamlets and interact with the friendly Bhutanese villagers. The landscape is dotted with Dzongs, temples and monasteries which offers the glimpse of ancient architecture of Bhutan amidst unspoiled tranquillity of nature.



    Location
    : The trek starts at Gunitsawa and passes through Sharna Zampa, Soi Thangkha, Jangothang, Lingshi, Chebisa, Shomuthang, Robluthang, Limithang, Laya among others to end at Thimphu.

    Best Time
    : April-June & September- November.

    Approx Price
    : Per person price 13 day trek is 400,000 BTN.

    Difficulty Level
    : Difficult


  • 102 The Annual Black-Necked Crane Festival

    The Annual Black-Necked Crane Festival
    Image Credit : The Annual Black-Necked Crane Festival
    The Annual Black-necked Crane Festival –is a popular festival celebrated in the Gangtey Gompa courtyard in Phobjikha valley, with a purpose of passing a massage to all human races. The motive behind this festival is to conserve and protect the endangered black necked cranes. In this festival the locals rejoice on the arrival of the majestic bird in their lives during the winter months.

    In this festival one can view several cultural programs, celebration with folk music and dances based on the theme of conserving the species and dramas on the same content. The drama is usually shown by school children to create awareness on environment conservation. Phobjikha Environment Management Committee (PEMC), organizes the event which became almost a part of the culture in Phobjikha valley



    Highlights
    : sight of crane dance

    Festival time
    : In the month of November


  • 103 Cheli La

    Cheli La
    Image Credit : Cheli La
    Located at a height of 3,810 meters above sea level, Cheli La Pass is the highest pass in Bhutan that can be accessed by road. The pass separates the valleys of Haa and Paro and offers stunning views of surrounding area with picturesque beauty. On the way you will get to see he roadside drub chuu with beautiful paintings of Guru Rinpoche with his two wives.

    On a bright and clear day of October and November, you can have a spectacular view of the Mt. Jumolhari, Jichu Drake and other neighbouring peaks, covered in snow and glittering in sunlight.



    Highlights
    : A small 2 kilometre detour leads you to Dzongdrakha Goemba, an architectural complex perched on a high ridge and consists of four chapels and a Chorten.

    Location
    : Between Haa and Paro Valleys in Bhutan.

    Timing
    : Best time to visit is October to November when the skies are clear.

    Prices
    : N/A


  • 104 The Tower of Trongsa Museum

    The Tower of Trongsa Museum
    Image Credit : The Tower of Trongsa Museum
    This artistic cylindrical 5 storey tower with two smaller towers at each side was built in the year 1652 by the first governor of Bhutan. The tower was strategically built above the Trongsa Dzong on top of a hill to protect the town folks from attacks. Now, the tower is converted into a Museum for the public. The tower has two temples dedicated to Gesar of Ling and Meitreya (Jampa).



    Highlights
    : The museum has in total 11 galleries exhibiting various artefacts of Buddhist culture and reminiscence of the royalties of Bhutan. The museum displays the remains of the Wangchuck Dynasty, and works of historical significance of Trongsa Dzong. There are dungeons in the tower where British soldiers were kept during Duar War.

    Location: Trongsa

    Working hours
    : Monday to Saturday (9 am to 5 pm) and between November to March till 4pm

    Extras
    : Lunch (booked in advance) and refreshments are provided


  • 105 Wangchuck Wildlife Sanctuary

    Wangchuck Wildlife Sanctuary
    Image Credit : Wangchuck Wildlife Sanctuary
    The sanctuary was officially announced and opened to the public in June 2008. Prior to this, the place was a Contennial Park. It is the largest wildlife park in the Kingdom of Bhutan and is one of the greatest resources of Bhutan’s economy. The park typically shows the characteristics of the Himalayan ranges, blue pine and alpine being the major vegetation of the landscapes.

    It covers an area of 4919 sq km and borders 5 districts of Bhutan namely Bhumthang, Gasa, Dzongkhags, Trongsa and Wangduephodrang. Like all other national parks of the country, Wangchuck also inhabits few of the greatest endangered species of Flora and Fauna.



    Highlights
    : Occasional encounters with Himalayan Black Bear, Royal Bengal tiger and snow leopard. Stunning views of the alpine and blue pine landscape making the park a perfect spot for trekking and mountaineering.

    Location
    : Gasa

    Best Seasons
    : March to September and January


  • 106 Paro Tshechu Festival

    Paro Tshechu Festival
    Image Credit : Paro Tshechu Festival
    Held in Paro Dzongkhag district, the Paro Tshechu is one of the sought after festivals and a major attraction in the land of Bhutan. It is one of the biggest religious festivals here. The history of the festivals travels back to 17th century when the founder of Bhutan Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel conducted it annually. The festival continues for 5 days usually during spring time on the 2nd Bhutanese lunar month. It is an opportunity to visualize the rich tradition, culture and custom of Bhutan.

    The locals rejoice with both religious dance performances as well as folk dances performed by monks and natives. The last day of the festival is special as on this day a gigantic thangka or embroidery painting is shown to all. The Guru Throngdel shows Buddhist art and it is believed that looking at it also cleanses many sin of viewers.



    Festival Time
    : March every year


  • Nearby Getaways from Bhutan
  • 01 Paro

    Paro, also called as Dzongka, is a town located in the Paro Valley of Bhutan. It is a town of historic importance with many sacred religious sites and historical buildings. Situated in the only carbon negative country in the world, there is no doubt that you are going to get a sheer experience of nature’s serenity at its best.

    A trip to Paro is one of the most unforgettable experiences you will ever have, because it is not like other tourist and sight-seeing destinations, which are jam-packed with crowd. Paro is a place where you will get to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city and over-crowd and you will cherish every moment spent here, in the most tranquil atmosphere you will ever experience.

    Located in the backdrop of a range of mountains and nestling in the lap of one of the best landscape views in the world, Paro is indeed an epitome of heaven on earth. Paro has to offer a lot to different types of travelers. Right from calm atmosphere, fresh weather, adventure trekking routes, water sports, religious sites, rich culture, traditions and vibrant festivals, there is a lot in Paro for every type of vacation seeker.