Bhutan is one of the most beautiful countries located in South Asia tucked high up in the Himalayas. It has it’s unique culture and traditions mainly Buddhist religion. In fact Bhutan is the only Buddhist country in the world. Many Buddhist monasteries, temples, shrines, dzong fortresses are scattered all over the country. Bhutan is known as the ‘Land of the thunder dragon’ and also the happiest country in the world. Besides having the best alpine beauty, dazzling valleys, untouched landscapes, there exits the great Himalayan series that goes as high up to 7,570 meters ‘Mt. Gangkhar Puensum’ – Bhutan’s highest peak. Visiting Bhutan one will be mesmerized by it’s mystical natural beauty, spectacular Himalayan views, meet Bhutan’s nicest people, discover it’s ancient art and architecture, hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’.Taktsang monastery hike is one of the most popular touristic activities and not to be missed on any Bhutan visit.
What is the capital of Bhutan and why?
Thimphu at 2,350 meters is the capital of Bhutan and a tiny township. The old capital of Bhutan was Punakha up until 1955 where in 1961 Thimphu was declared as the new capital of Bhutan. There are many touristic hotels and lodges in Thimphu including world-class five-star hotels. One interesting fact about Thimphu is there are no traffic lights and all the traffics is controlled manually i.e. by traffic police. Thus Thimphu is also known as the capital with no traffic lights. Thimphu can be reached by flying to Paro International Airport in Paro town, the only international airport of Bhutan, and approx. one hour drive to Thimphu from Paro.
Best places to go in Bhutan
These include Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang, Takstsang Monastery-Paro etc. All these locations are considered top tourist places in Bhutan. best tours to Bhutan revolves around all of these locations visiting many monasteries, shrines and temples. Another great thing to do in Bhutan is trekking. Trekking routes in Bhutan are blessed with great landscapes, beautiful valleys, and remote villages not to forget the most spectacular Himalayan views. The best trekking places in Bhutan are Druk Path Trek, Jumolhari Trek, Laya Gasa Trek, Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek, Snowman Trek to name a few.
Best tourist places in Bhutan
Best places in Bhuta to visit are Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest, Paro Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang in Paro. Around Thimphu, you can visit King’s Memorial Chorten, Buddha’s point atop a hill with the largest Buddha’s statue, Cenetary market, Tashichho Dzong. Driving from Thimphu to Punakha is Dochula pass at 3100 meters which offers great Himalayan views of the eastern mountains. Getting closer to Punakha is Chimi Lhakhang temple also known as fertility temple. In Punakha, one can visit probably the most beautiful monastery in Bhutan ‘Punakha Dzong’. Getting further away from Punakha one can visit another popular tourist destination Bumthang. Bumthang is the cultural heartland of Bhutan with some of the ancient monasteries and temples. En-route Gangtey to Bumthang is a small town of Trongsa where the enormous monastery fortress ‘Trongsa Dzong’ is located. Best travel tours to Bhutan is all about exploring Bhutan’s enormous natural beauty and discovering it’s culture and traditions. It can be a shorter duration from 3 days coving Paro, Thimphu, Punakha or a longer duration extending to Gangtey, Bumthang etc. In no particular order below are some of the top tours in Bhutan.
Paro and Thimphu Tour – 2 Nights/3 Days
Paro and Thimphu Tour a quick tour of Bhutan visiting the prime tourist locations like Paro and Thimphu towns. The highlight of the tour is the hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ located in the outskirts of Paro town. Besides Taktsang you will visit other touristic sites like Paro Rinpung dzong, Kychu Lhakang in Paro and Buddha’s point, King’s Memorial Chorten, Centenary Farmers etc in Thimphu. Overall the tour gives you a quick glance at Bhutanese culture and traditions.
Enter the Dragon – 3 Nights/4 Days
As the name suggests the tour thoroughly explores the land of the thunder dragon. It’s a circuit tour revolving around three towns Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. Many interesting and fascinating sites are visited during Enter the Dragon tour. Your personal guide will take you to the beautiful Paro Rinpung Dzong in Paro, glimpse over Thimphu town from the hilltop from Buddha’s point where a massive Buddha’s statue is also located. Witness great Himalayan view from Dochula pass (3140m) en-route Thimphu to Punakha. Also, visit the fertility temple dedicated to Drukpa Kunley. Getting back to Paro hike to the ever-popular Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ located just outskirts of Paro town.
Bhutan Encompassed Tour – 4 Nights/5 Days
Bhutan Encompassed Tour also whirls around Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. The only difference is you get to spend more days at the particular places exploring and discovering what the best Bhutan has to offer. During the course of the tour visit many monasteries, temple, dzong fortresses and shrines, and immerse yourself in Buddhist culture and traditions. Paro Rinpung Dzong is must visit while in Paro. As well as hike to Taktsang Monastery where foreigners including the locals like to hike. Sightseeing places in Thimphu include Buddha’s point, King Memorial Chorten, Takin Preserve, Tashichoe Dzong, Centenary Farmers Market, the new authentic craft bazaar, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, the Folk Heritage Museum. sightseeing around Punakha takes you to the beautiful Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang ‘fertility temple’. The tour ends with Taktsang Monastery hike which is not to be missed activity in Bhutan.
Bhutan Tour with Bumthang Extension
Bhutan Tour with Bumthang is the complete tour of Bhutan visiting most of the important locations in Bhutan. These include Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang. Tourist places in Paro Bhutan are Paro Rinpung Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang and the ever-popular hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’. local sightseeing in Thimphu takes you to Buddha’s point, King Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong etc. Sightseeing around Punakha is visiting the beautiful Punakha Dzong on the confluence of Pa-cho and Mu-chuu rivers, male and female rivers. In Gangtey hike one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan ‘Phobjikha Valley’ During winter around December Phobjikha Valley is the winter home of Black Necked Cranes that fly all the way from Tibet to make the valley as it’s winter home. After Gangtey drive to what is considered as the cultural heartland of Bhutan ‘Bumthang’. top sights in Bumthang are Zakar Dzong, Kurje Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang. After Bumthang, the tour ultimately traces it’s route back to Paro following Gangtey, Punakha, Dochula pass, Thimphu. The tour ends with Taktsang Monastery hike outskirts of Paro town and it’s one of the best highlights of any Bhutan tour. Taktsang monastery trek distance is about 6 km (4 miles).
Besides, above there are many tours and trips around Bhutan that includes cultural tour to Bhutan as well as Bhutan Festival Tours, mountain biking in Bhutan, trekking in Bhutan. Festivals of Bhutan are very colorful and attended by foreigners and locals alike. major festivals of Bhutan are Thimphu Tshechu Festival, Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival, Punakha Tshechu, Paro Tshechu Festival, Black necked crane festival. Paro Tshechu Festival Tour probably is the most famous Bhutan festival tour. Best trekking places in Bhutan are Druk Path Trek, Jomolhari Circuit Trek, Bumdra Trek, Gangtey Valley Trek etc.