Bhutan is situated in the eastern end of the Himalayas. It’s a beautiful landlocked country. The moment you think of Bhutan, you can imagine artistically designed monastries, amazing looking dzongs, and scenic treks. Here are a couple of things that you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Bhutan.
1. Paro Taktsang or Tiger Nest Monastery
Paro Taktsang is commonly known as Tiger Nest Monastery. This could be one the most the most awe-inspiring treks ever. The view of Paro Valley from the monastery is absolutely surreal and this is one of the places that is not to be missed. The monastery is 3120 meters above the sea level and it clings to a cliff. Although it takes an entire day, this trek to the monastery is totally worth it.
2. Punakha Dzong
Punakha Dzong now serves as the administrative centre of Punakha district. It is located at the confluence of two rivers which makes it all the more alluring. The location of the Dzong makes it picture perfect and makes for a good place for relaxation.
3. Buddha Dordenma
Visit Buddha Dordenma to see the gigantic statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. It is situated atop a hill that offers spectacular view of Thimpu. This statue can be seen from many places in Thimpu. The statue is so very well done and is a perfect getaway to see the panaromic view of Thimpu.
4. National Memorial Chorten
This is one of the religious centers in Bhutan. The memorial is in the heart of Thimpu and is constructed in Tibetian style. It would definitely serve as a good place to capture some portriats and also to witness the culture.
5. Crafts Bazaar
Authentic Bhutanese art and craft Bazaar is situated in Thimphu and this is where you can shop for authentic Bhutanese craftwork. They do not sell anything here that has been imported. This place is your window to witness excellent Bhutanese workmanship.
6. Khamsum Yulley Namgal Chorten
Khamsum Yulley namgal Chorten stands on a ridge above the Punakha Valley. It takes about an hour for the hike to be completed. You even get to walk through paddy fields tor each this 4-storeyed temple. It is a splendid example of Bhutanese architecture.
7. Zorig Chusum
This school promotes Bhutanese arts and crafts. If you wish to shop for exquisite painting, embroidered clothing, woodcarvings amongst other things, this is your go-to place. This is very close to the city center in Thimpu.
8. Ema Datshi
This dish is considered as the National dish of Bhutan. It is made out of chillies [Ema]and cheese [Datsi]. If you like spicy food, then this one is for you. It is usually eaten with rice. You can perhaps eat it as a dip too. For cheese lovers too, this is a must eat!
9. Zuri Dzong Hike
If you like hiking then Zuri Dzong hike is for you. It is a 2 hour hike from the National Museum in Paro. You get to hike along the hillside and you will be enchanted by the breathtaking views of Paro.
10. Phobjikha Valley
If you plan to visit from late November to January, you could get to see the migratory “Black Necked Cranes”. These cranes actually come from Tibet and it is definitely worth visiting for the splendour of this valley. To celebrate the arrival of the endangered Black-necked Cranes, the locals have a festival called as The Black-Necked Crane festival that takes places in the courtyard of Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha Valley.
Tshechu, meaning tenth day, is a religious festival that takes places in different places and in various temples, monastries, and dzongs. The month of the celebration varies from place to place and is good to find out details before going if you’re interested in catching this vibrant mask dance festival. Stories from the times of Guru Padmasambhava are depicted in the dances.
12. Tashichho Dzong
This is where you can find the administrative headquarters, royal palace, and also a monastery. This is place that should be visited in the evenings to witness the beauty and sheer brilliance.