Bhutan is the last Himalayan kingdom, surrounded by stunning mountains with snow peaks and shady forests that create picturesque landscapes. But that’s not all; the unique and best thing about Bhutan is that it’s the only country that’s 72 per cent covered in forests, making it the only carbon-neutral country in the world. Besides this, Bhutan is a place where traditional Buddhist culture meets majestic fortifications like dzongs and monasteries, it is undoubtedly a magical and mystical place to be. Its unique monastic architecture and the graffiti on the walls bearing penis paintings as a sign of driving away the evil make Bhutan a destination sui generis. This one of its kind countries, reputed to be the last of Shangri La, is surely the best place to visit for family vacations, honeymoon tours and even adventure vacations. And to be part of this fascinating place, through this guided list of the top tourist attractions you need to see and do, you can have your own share of Bhutan experience.
Thimphu is a beautiful city, and Bhutan’s capital. Nestled in the higher ranges of the Himalayas, the city offers amazing sights from its emerald forests and beautiful views over the Raidak or Chuu River. Culturally, Thimphu is a must-visit place with old-world charms and modernity. You might just be shocked to be a traffic policeman seeing their red light. Ironically, the red light lasted only three days in the city until the locals hated and considered the light very disruptive, replacing it with the human traffic controller. Today the city is filled with camera-wielding visitors discovering Bhutanese history, cuisine and lifestyle’s unique treasures. Essentially, Buddha Dordenma, Memorial Chorten, Dechencholing Palace, Clock Tower Square, Motithang Takin Preserve are the top sightseeing places popularly explored at Thimphu. Thimphu also offers charming cafés and bars, as well as nightclubs and restaurants for socializing and meeting people of the same mind.
It’s quiet, serene beauty and clean air, surrounded by unleveled mountains, lush green fields and historic buildings make Paro the most popular Bhutan destination. It’s here in the city, where one can find the only international airport. Paro thus receives the highest number of tourists during the whole year. The beautiful dzongs such as Paro and Zuri are frequently visited; monasteries and palaces such as Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest Monastery), Pelri Goemba, and Ugyen Pelri Palace. Some of the best places for tourism are temples and museums, such as Bondey Lhakhang, Khangkhu Lhakhang, Tago Lhakhang, Druk Choeding and the National Museum. Paro is a historic city with a quiet atmosphere, and is best explored on foot. It’s worth a walk seeing the local people’s everyday life that ultimately makes it a must-visit spot in Bhutan.
Punakha is another breathtaking destination in Bhutan is Punakha and adventure seekers frequently visit this location. The best place to be’ for those experiencing river rafting’s adrenaline rush in the two rivers / chhus-Mo and Pho. Punakha, however, is widely renowned for the Punakha Dzong fortress of the 17th century which sits majestically beside the Pho and Mo Chhu. During Punakha Tshechu, a Bhutan religious festival, this Himalayan town hosts masked dances and traditional music. The feeling that the place provides is magical, so many people visit here primarily to understand the culture and history of Bhutan as well as to admire the natural beauty of God. Surrounding the Punakha Valley area, it has some must-see attractions such as Chimi Lhakhang and Namgyal Chorten. From these points one can get a great view of mountains and rivers. While in Punakha, Punakha Dzong and Limbhukha are also the best places to see.
Trongsa is located in central Bhutan and its lush flora creates a beautiful place to encircle your senses and just meditate. This must-see place in the center of Bhutan with a strategic junction connecting roads to Bumthang, Gelephu and Punakha. The Trongsa Dzong is a notable attraction at Trongsa. This is one of the best Buddhist monasteries beautifully overlooking a gorge, with red roofs and white wash walls set above. Trongsa is a quiet little town, and apart from sightseeing, the thing you can do here to spend the sometime is to walk along the shops which are beautifully decorated with pot plants and crowded with happy locals.
Bumthang, situated in the eastern regions of Bhutan, felt like a world when you first arrived there at night, passing several remote villages, green fields and enchanting. If you feel like Bhutan is peaceful, and you feel like traveling back in time, wait until you visit Bumthang. Blessed with the abundance of nature, Bumthang Valley and its enigma, quiet and warm people allure its tourists. At least to me it did. If you are heading to Bhutan, Bumthang should be one of Bhutan’s most visitable places to visit. Here’s what you can do about Bumthang Bhutan.
A modern-day Shangri-La in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in Bhutan is composed of four main Chokhor, Tang, Chhume and Ura valleys. Growing valley is strikingly majestic, dotted with thriving fields and farms consisting of wheat, rice, potatoes, apples and orange orchards. Many significant monasteries and temples are in Chokhor Valley, which is also the largest of them all.
Chokhor Valley is normally referred to as Bumthang itself and this valley is made up of cottage industries where cheese, honey, spirits, woolen work and more are produced. These fertile valleys are encompassed in buckwheat, rice and potato fields. Apple orchards are common sight and dairy farms are common.
Phuentsholing is the second largest city in Bhutan and shares its boundaries with the West Bengal Indian Government. It is an important economic center of Bhutan, acting as an entry point for travelers from Kolkata and Siliguri. An urban centre, it is more developed than most Bhutan cities, yet it has a perfect touch of nature. It provides an experience like no other. Home to various communities, this is a must-visit location in Bhutan.
Phuentsholing, known for its modern architecture, is a town on the southern border of Bhutan. It is a famous Bhutan trading hub where Indians, Nepalese and Bhutanese all come together in this city to live and trade in peace.