Top 5 Places to Visit in Bhutan

Overview of Bhutan

Bhutan, a small, landlocked country in Asia between China and India, is often known as the “land of the dragon.” It lies between Sikkim in the west, West Bengal in the south, and Assam in the east. It also shares borders with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region in the north. There are a lot of places to visit in Bhutan.

Bhutan is smaller than Switzerland and around half the size of the US state of Indiana, with a total area of 38,394 square kilometers. Bhutan’s flag is distinctive compared to other nations’ flags. The yellow portion of the national flag represents action and the king’s secular authority, while the orange lower part symbolizes the spiritual strength of Buddhism.

Similarly, the country is named after the dragon present on the flag. The white color represents purity. The dragon is holding gems in his claws representing the nation’s prosperity.

Bhutan : The Country of Happiness

Bhutan is best known for emphasizing Gross National Happiness (GNH) over Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 1972, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck introduced the concept of Gross National Happiness. According to him, it is more important to achieve gross national happiness than to attain gross domestic product.

GNH is measured based on four factors: good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. Regarding Bhutan’s geographical features, Bhutan’s terrain is primarily mountainous, with some fertile valleys and savanna, which offers many places to visit in Bhutan.

The geographical distribution of Bhutan consists of three regions: the Great Himalayas, the Lesser Himalayas, and the Duars Plain. Likewise, hospitality and food are the main attractions of this country. Every restaurant and home serves dishes made from red rice, butter, buckwheat, chilies, and cheese made from yak or cow milk.

The preferred vegetable of the country is chili, which comes in all possible varieties and forms (red or green, dried, in pastes or sambals). Bhutan is a cultural diversity country where people of different castes reside in different parts of the country. Bhutanese speak nineteen different languages, including English. Most Bhutanese schools teach in the English language. It is best to visit Bhutan during the spring and winter seasons.

From March to June, it is possible to see a full flowering of jacaranda and rhododendron trees in the springtime. Similarly, during winter, from October to December, a clear sky with little to no rain makes it possible for visitors to enjoy unobstructed views of the snow-capped Himalayan range that borders Bhutan.

List of Top Five Places to Visit in Bhutan

Below we have listed some of the top places to visit in Bhutan. We have explained in detail the places and why they are on the top list of places to visit in Bhutan.

1. Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery

Tiger's Nest or Taktsang Monastery

Tiger Nest, also known as Paro Takstang, is the most popular location for hiking and capturing the beauty of nature. It is set on a steep cliffside, 3120 meters above sea level and 900 meters off the earth, and it is an amazing, wonderful, and stunning place. Even those on the fastest tours of Bhutan manage to make it to this location, which makes it extraordinary.

Without question, visiting Bhutan for the first time would be incomplete without witnessing the Tiger’s Nest. On a Himalayan cliff, a small group of structures known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery is present, which is a holy place for Buddhists. And one of Bhutan’s most stunning locations is this perched temple. This monastery has a lengthy history.

It was constructed somewhere in the year 1962 AD. Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye built the innovative temple, which went on to become the national symbol of Bhutan. Guru Padmasambhava meditated in Taktsang Senge Samdup cave for three years, three months, three weeks, and three days where Paro Taktsang was later built.

The optimum times to go to the tiger’s nest are in the summer (June to August), winter (December to May), and monsoon seasons (September to November).

2. Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong is also called Pungtang Dewa Chhenbi Phodrang. The meaning of Pungtang Dewa Chhenbi Phodrang is the palace of great happiness or bliss. It serves as Punakha District’s administrative hub in Punakha, Bhutan. Ngawang Namgyal built the dzong in 1637–1638.

It is one of Bhutan’s most beautiful buildings and the country’s second-oldest and largest dzong. It is a six-story building with a central tower situated at an average elevation of 1200 meters (3900 feet) against a beautiful mountain backdrop. Compacted soil and stones were used to construct the building, while wood was used to construct the Dzong’s doors and windows.

The Dzong is 180 meters long, 72 meters wide, and has three courtyards. Punakha Dzong is perhaps the most stunning dzong in the nation, particularly in the spring when the deep purple jacaranda trees bloom flowers and add a rich beauty to the dzong’s distinctively tall white walls. Additionally, every year in either February or March, the dzong hosts the Dromche Festival, also known as the Punakha Festival Dromche Festival.

It is a thrilling experience for all viewers because it features some outstanding exhibits from Buddhist teachings and Bhutanese history. Travelers who arrange a trip to Punakha during Dromche will thus have the opportunity to experience both the stunning dzong and the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan.

The best time to visit Punakha Dzong is between October to April and May to June. It is not possible to visit Punakha Dzong on Sundays. It’s open to visitors from 11-1 PM and 2-4 PM on Saturday and from 9 AM to 5 PM from Monday through Friday.

3. Paro

Paro valley with river

One of the most populated regions in Bhutan and the most popular travel destination in this nation is the Paro valley. Verdant natural surroundings and rice fields surround it in all directions. Paro is also known as the Rice Bowl of Bhutan. There are as many as 155 temples and monasteries in this place, all of which carry ancient values and beliefs.

Furthermore, the only international airport in the nation is at Paro. This place is for you if you like to learn about the local culture while traveling. Paro is also home to Bhutan’s national monument. There are amazing things on every street in Paro.

On every street corner, we can smell the regional specialties, which makes us more hungry. On the street, local sellers regularly sell dishes made with cheese, red rice, butter, buckwheat, and other local and foreign ingredients. Ema Datshi, a dish created with cheese and chilies, is among the most popular dishes in Bhutan.

Additionally, there are a lot of small shops where we may buy souvenirs. Several activities in Paro, Bhutan, can transform your trip into an immersive cultural experience. It’s also a fantastic location for hikers as there are many areas to explore for day walks, like hiking to Drakarpo, Dzongdrakha, Taktsang Monastery, and other nearby monasteries.

4. Thimphu

Thimphu valley places to visit in bhutan

Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is situated in the west-central region of the country. It is also the biggest city in Bhutan. There is no direct flight to Paro, but it is only an hour’s drive from Paro. Although Thimphu is regarded as the nation’s most vibrant city, much traditional Bhutanese art, architecture, and culture are still alive and well there.

In addition, the only national capital city in the world without traffic lights is Thimphu. Throughout Thimphu and Bhutan, people wear only their traditional dress code. Talking about the weather of Thimphu, Thimphu experiences damp and humid summers and an extremely chilly, dry winter season.

The best periods to visit Thimphu are from March to May and from the middle of September until the end of October. While in Thimphu, you can visit various locations, including the Tashichhoe Dzong, the Golf Course, the National Library, the Memorial Chorten, and Dechencholing Palace.

5. DochuLa Pass

DochuLa Pass palces to visit in Bhutan

Bhutan’s Dochula Pass, which connects Thimphu and Punakha, is a stunning mountain pass. It is roughly 20 kilometres from Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital. It is a historical site constructed to recognize the heroism and sacrifices made by the fourth king and the soldiers who died in the 2003 conflict with Assamese rebels.

This pass is famous among travellers because it provides a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the Himalayan mountain range. Typically, the weather at the pass is cool and misty. However, one can witness a stunning view of the Bhutan Himalayas between October and February. All year round, the Dochula Pass is stunning.

You could occasionally experience snowfall at Dochula Pass and snap the gorgeous mountain spectacularly coated in snow. We at Attractive Travel Nepal will be honored to help you with the various tour services of Bhutan that we provide, as there are many indescribably beautiful places to visit in Bhutan.

Also Read: Bhutan Cultural Tour and Nepal and Bhutan Tour

FAQ on Places to Visit in Bhutan

Q: Is Bhutan a safe place to visit?
One doesn’t need to worry about visiting Bhutan because it is one of the safest countries with very low crime rates.

Q: How can we go to Bhutan?
We can go to Bhutan by airway. There is only one international airport in Bhutan which is Paro International Airport. The total flight duration from Kathmandu, Nepal, to Bhutan is about 1 hour.

Q: What is the best time to visit Bhutan?
It is best to visit Bhutan during the spring and winter seasons. From March to June, it is possible to see a full flowering of jacaranda and rhododendron trees in the springtime. Similarly, during winter, from October to December, a clear sky with little to no rain makes it possible for visitors to enjoy unobstructed views of the snow-capped Himalayan range that borders Bhutan.

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