Bhutan Tourist Attractions

Bhutan Tourist Attractions

Bhutan, also known as the Last Shangri La, is one of the best travel destinations in the world.

The dzongs, Buddhist relics, trekking, and magnificent landscapes make Bhutan Tour absolutely tempting.

This Land of thunderbolt offers plenty of rare fauna, flora, panoramic valleys, and the majestic Himalayas.

Although a small country, Bhutan offers a kaleidoscope of sceneries and experiences. This small, beautiful and landlocked country has something on offer for everyone.

To find out more about the Bhutan Tourist Attractions, keep on reading.

Paro

paro

Paro is where your journey begins to Bhutan if you come here by flight. It has the only international airport in the country.

Besides this, Paro offers a peaceful atmosphere and great mountain peak views. This historic town is worth exploring on foot to witness the historical places and everyday life of the locals.

Some of the places you can visit during Paro tour are as follows:

Tiger’s Nest

Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery is one of the most popular tourist attraction of Bhutan in Paro. It is a beautiful and one of the most sacred monastery. The locals make a pilgrimage to this monastery at least once in their lifetime.

The beautiful and exceptional Tiger’s Nest Monastery hangs on a cliff. It provides a breathtaking view of the Paro valley. It stands above an enchanting forest of blue pines and rhododendrons.

A chapel of butter lamps on the trails emphasizes the serene and holy atmosphere of the place.

Highlights:

  • The tiger’s nest monastery, the Snow lion cave and cave temple inside the monastery.
  • The majestic views and many small temples inside the premises of the monastery.
  • Waterfall

Rinpung Dzong

Rinpung Dzong gives the tourist a classic example of Bhutanese architecture and culture. Built in the 16th century, this beautiful dzong (fort) houses 14 shrines and chapels.

It rests on a steep hillside which offers breathtaking views and is a great spot for photography.

This dzong with towering walls is also the seat for the Supreme Court of Bhutan.

Highlights:

  • Classic Bhutanese architecture
  • 14 shrines and chapels
  • Breathtaking views of the surrounding valley

Chele La Pass

On the way to Haa Valley, you can pass through Chele La Pass. Located at 3, 989m, this pass will flatter all your senses.

You can drive or trek through dense spruce and larch forests to reach this pass. This is the highest motorable pass and a picturesque spot. It gives you views of both Paro and Haa Valley along with panoramic views of mountain peaks.

Highlights:

  • Magnificent panoramic view of two valleys, snow-capped mountain peaks.
  • Gushing waterfalls, alpine flowers.
  • Clouds drifting above the hills

Zuri Dzong

The oldest Dzong in Bhutan, Zuri Dzong offers a bird-eye view of the entire Paro valley. In this dzong lies a cave where locals believe that Buddha meditated in the 8th century.

You can also choose to do a hike here. You can do the short hike while enjoying the tranquil atmosphere and amazing view.

Highlights:

  • Amazing view of Paro valley
  • A peaceful place to relax, meditate
  • An ancient cave where Buddha meditated

National Museum

One of the best ways to learn about the culture and history of Bhutan is through a visit to its best museum. Located above Paro Dzong, this interesting place also offers stunning views.

It consists of 6 floors, each one dedicated to a different category. This beautiful building contains interesting collections of arms, rituals objects, scroll paintings, etc.

Highlights

  • Glimpse into the history, lifestyle, and culture of Bhutan.
  • A mule’s egg.
  • Collection of various things like ancients scripts, paintings, ritual clothing, jewelry.

Uma Paro Hotel

This hotel rests proudly on a Himalayan mountain with thick pine forests all around it. It provides you with an amazing view of the Paro district.

One of the only boutique hotels in Bhutan, it lies around 10 minutes drive from Paro airport. It offers elegant interiors, exquisite food, a spa, and a cool pool with enchanting scenery.

Highlights:

  • Mesmerizing Himalayan landscape
  • Choices of rooms based on different sceneries and facilities you can enjoy.

Main Street

The main street of Paro stretches across two lanes. You can find some unique souvenirs on offer on this street. These include antique Buddhist souvenirs and prayer related materials.

Highlights:

  • Scrumptious local food
  • A wonderful bounty of nature.
  • Unique souvenir shopping

Do you have any question about trip to Nepal?

Tell us about your trip to Nepal and what you expect from it. We will answer your questions in 24 hours and help you design a trip with a comfortable itinerary to best meet your needs.
1 Group Size
2 Travel Dates
3 Trip Details
4 Contact Details

Thimphu

thimbu

Thimphu is the capital and a fascinating tourist destination of Bhutan. This beautiful, no traffic light city offers astonishing sights of emerald forests and a beautiful view of the Raidak or Chuu River.

Thimphu is a must visit place with preserved typical charms and modernity. Thimphu gives you the chance to explore the unique treasures of Bhutanese culture, cuisine, and lifestyle. This city also offers charming cafes, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.

The places you can explore while in Thimpu are

Buddha Dordenma Statue

The Buddha Dordenma Statue is a 169 feet tall gold and a bronze statue of Buddha. Built at the foot of the hills in Thimphu, it is visible from almost anywhere in Thimphu.

Highlights:

  • 169 feet tall Buddha statue.
  • 125000 smaller bronze and gold statues of Lord Buddha
  • The surrounding Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park

Motithang Takin Preserve

This zoo-turned wildlife reserve is home to the national animal of Bhutan- Takin. Hence the reserve got its name as Motithang Takin Preserve.

Takin is also called cattle chamois or gnu goat. It is a goat-antelope. You can witness the famous species of Takin in a natural habitat.

Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong)

It is the current house of the throne room and seat of the Government. Tashichho Dzong is a remarkable architectural structure.

Commonly known as Thimphu Dzong, it is also referred to as the ‘fortress of glorious religion’.

The impressive structure has whitewashed walls, gold, red and black colored wood, and lush gardens. It offers a splendid backdrop of blue sky and flourishing green valleys.

Highlights:

  • Splendid views of the green valley and Wangchhu River of the Government of Bhutan

Norzin Lam Street

The main street of Norzin Lam has shops selling various items. You can buy souvenirs, woolen clothes, crafts, and the local wine here. If you are not visiting Bumthang, then buying your souvenirs here is a great choice.

Highlights:

  • Textile building and the textile shops in the middle lane of Norzin Lam. You can find the best handmade textiles here. This includes the traditional attires of Bhutan for men and women- Gho and Kira.

Tango Buddhist Institute

One of the most revered Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan, Tango Monastery or Tango Buddhist Institute lies upon a cave.

This institute/monastery serves as an educational institute for monks to study religious texts.

Associated with many legends and beliefs, this institute is only 14 km away from the city.

Highlights:

  • Caves for meditation. The locals believe that the meditators and saints from the 12th century meditated in these caves.
  • Engraved slates.
  • A gallery illustrating the leaders of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage.

Thimphu Chorten (Memorial Chorten)

The Chorten is a whitewashed structure with a golden spire on top. The spire has intricately carved patterns. It was built in 1974 with an outstanding illustration of Buddhist culture and architecture.

Memorial Chorten is one of the most important religious places for Bhutanese people. You can watch the locals worshipping and circumambulating around the chorten.

Highlights:

  • A peaceful and tranquil atmosphere
  • The golden glow that emanates from the spire with the first ray of sunlight
  • A glimpse of local culture.

Changangkha Lhakhang

Perched on top of a ridge above Thimphu, Changangkha Lhakhang is the oldest temple in Thimphu.

Built in the 12th century, it houses the central statue of Chenrezig. Chenrezig is a manifestation of Avalokiteshvara. This particular statue has eleven heads and a thousand arms.

Changangkha Lhakhang is a fine example of Bhutanese tradition and architecture. You also get a stunning view of the surrounding Thimphu valley from the top.

Highlights

  • Statue of Chenrizing
  • Many black and golden colored prayer wheels
  • One of the largest prayer books (Bhutanese manuscripts) of Bhutan.

Philatelic Bureau

Philately is the hobby of collecting and studying stamps. The main post office of Thimphu acts as a unique center of philately. It will amaze you with a personal gift that you can give yourself at a nominal cost.

You can convert your personal picture into your own personalized stamp. You can use these as stamps to post your cards and letters as well.

Highlights

  • Create your own personalized stamps at a minimal cost
  • Great collection of unique stamps from all over Bhutan

Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory

The local art and handmade artifacts of Bhutan never fail to take your heart away. In this factory, you can see the process of making renowned handmade paper of Bhutan. You can see the entire process from the beginning to the finished product.

You can also buy locally made paper sheets, cards, and notebooks.

Highlights:

  • The process of preparing the bark of Daphne trees to make handmade paper
  • The entire process of papermaking from the beginning to the finished product
  • Supporting the local business by buying any of the finished products and visiting the factory.

Handicrafts Market

It is also known as the Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar. You can shop through almost a hundred shops lined neatly in a row for around a mile.

These shops are mostly managed by Bhutanese women. These shops sell authentic, made-in Bhutan products. These include handcrafted apparels, bags, masks, scroll paintings and many others.

Highlights

  • Shop authentic Bhutanese handmade products
  • Support the local arts and traditions.
  • Try traditional Bhutanese dress for both men and women.

Punakha

Punakha

Punakha is another breathtaking destination in Bhutan and is a must visit for adventure lovers everywhere. With beautiful rivers, chortens, and Lhakhangs, this is a must visit place of Bhutan.

You can take a visit to the following destinations while at Punakha:

Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong is the second largest and 2nd oldest Dzong in Bhutan. It is also known as the Palace of Great Happiness or Pungtang Dechen Phodrang in the local language.

The Punakha Dzong is the most beautiful and majestic of all the dzongs in the country. It has a brilliant structure and offers breathtaking views of Punakha.

It lies between two rivers, Pho Chu (male) and Mo Chu (females). These river waters have noticeable color differences. It also enjoys a temperate climate and blooms of lilac-colored jacaranda trees.

Highlights:

  • Intricate paintings and the architecture of the Dzong(fort).
  • Sacred relics of the Southern Drukpa Lineage of Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism
  • Sacred remains of Ngawang Namgyal and the tertön Pema Lingpa.
  • Blooms of jacaranda trees in spring.

Punakha Suspension Bridge

160m long, this bridge is one of the longest of such bridges in Bhutan. It spans over Po Chu river and offers amazing views of the river flowing below and the surrounding lush green hills.

This bridge connects the town of Punakha with Punakha Dzong. Decorated with colorful prayer flags, it makes for great photographs as well.

Highlights:

  • Colorful prayer flags adorning the bridge
  • Adrenaline rush while crossing the bridge

Khansum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

Standing lordly on the hill above the Punakha valley, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten is a unique chorten. Its architecture follows principles described in the Holy Scriptures rather than modern engineering manuals.

Built by Her Majesty the Queen Mother to ward off the negative forces and bring peace and harmony for all the living beings.

Highlights:

  • Panoramic view of the valley
  • Adventurous suspension bridge and lush green rice fields.

Trongsa

Trongsa

Trongsa is a sleepy little town perfect for sightseeing, meditation and relaxing.

It is a beautiful place with lush greenery. It provides a strategic junction of connecting roads to Bumthang, Gelephu and Punakha. You can spend the day walking along the shops decorated with pot plants.

The most-visit places in Trongsa are

Trongsa Dzong

A noteworthy attraction, this is one of the best Buddhist monasteries set down above a valley. It has beautiful red roofs and white-washed walls.

The Tower of Trongsa Museum

This watchtower-turned museum offers an interesting collection of Buddhist art and relics. It also has artifacts reminiscence of the royalties of Bhutan.

The circular, 5 storey tower is famous for its brilliant and unique structure.

Highlights:

  • The 500-year-old jacket of Ngagi Wangchuk
  • 11 galleries exhibiting various arts and artifacts of Buddhist culture and Bhutanese royalty.
  • Remains of Wangchuck Dynasty
  • Dungeons for the British soldiers during the Duar War.

Bumthang Valley

Bumthang

Bumthang Valley is the spiritual heartland of Bhutan. Located at an altitude of 2600m, it is full of ancient and precious Buddhist sites.

Top Tourist Attractions in Bumthang Valley are

Jakar

Located near the foothills of Chokhor Valley, the locals refer to Jakar as Chamkhar. This trading center is the main town in Bumthang valley. It has undulating terrain filled with apple trees and many temples

Kurje Lhakhang, Bumthang

Kurje Lhakhang is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Bhutan which rests on the banks of Chamkhar river. It boasts a majestic complex consisting of three temples built at different times.

Highlights:

  • Guru Lhakhang- the oldest temple of the complex. Built in 1652, it displays brilliant architecture and offers a glimpse of the cultural history of Bhutan.
  • Beautiful statues in all 3 temples.

Phobjikha

Phobjikha

Phobjikha is an enormous and enchanting U-shaped glacial valley. It borders the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park.

This place is a picturesque and quiet abode on the western slopes of the Black Mountains. It offers spellbinding views of beautiful valleys, marshy land, and grassy pastures.

Top Tourist Attraction In Phobjikha is

Gangtey Valley

Gangtey Valley is one of the most stunning valleys in Bhutan. It got its name after the impressive Gangteng Monastery of the Nyingma sect in central Bhutan.

This valley is home to the graceful black-necked cranes during winter. These birds arrive here in the last week of October. As per folklore, on arrival, these black-necked cranes circumambulate the Gangteng Monastery thrice. They also repeat the process while returning to Tibet.

To reach the valley, you pass through meadows, fields, forests of juniper, magnolia, and rhododendrons. To witness the colorful blooms of these you can visit during spring. Yet, if you are a bird watcher, then winter is the right time for you.

From the valley, you get amazing views of beautiful valleys, marshy land, and grassy pastures. While here, you can visit the Gangtey monastery as well.

Highlights:

  • Home to the black-necked cranes
  • Colorful blooms of magnolia and rhododendron
  • Amazing view
  • Gangtey Monastery

Haa Valley

Haa Valley

A paradise for nature lovers, this valley has a rich diversity of animals and plants. It is also one of the least populated places of Bhutan.

This valley is a hotspot for hikers and biking enthusiasts. It offers off-the-beaten and amazing trails. It also gives you gorgeous views of Chomolhari. This valley is also home to Lhakhang Karpo and Nagpo-the famous White and Black temple.

You can also visit the Sekhar Drake and Taguchi Goemba-a100 year old temple here. There is also a dzong called Dobji Dzong- a five-storeyed fortress in Haa Valley.

Highlights

  • Paradise for biking and hiking enthusiasts
  • Amazing views of Chomolhari

Adventure Activities to Indulge In

Treks

Trekking is one of the best ways to explore Bhutan. It takes you through tiny villages and remote areas of Bhutan which you may miss during your tours.

You can choose from a wide variety of treks. These include a simple one-day trek to multi-day hikes, easy-difficult level treks.

Treks also offer chances to spot gorgeous mountain ranges, sparkling lakes, and exotic wildlife.

Some of the trekking routes are the Druk Path Trek, the Jomolhari Trek, the Snowman, the Dagala Thousand lakes Trek and many others.

Chomolhari Trek

Chomolhari trek which begins at Paro is one of the more challenging treks of Bhutan. You will trek to 5000m on this trek. This trek takes anywhere between 7-15 days to complete.

Jomolhari trek offers a unique experience of trekking. It takes you through the spellbinding beauty of emerald green forests, blue poppies, and whispering winds. This trek has something to offer for every and all trekkers.

Highlights:

  • The glacial lakes and emerald green virgin forest
  • Ancient dzongs
  • Splendid views of the snow-capped mountains and surrounding landscapes.

Wildlife Safari

Bhutan offers a unique opportunity to witness rich, diverse, and rare natural heritage.

Almost 26% of the total land area of Bhutan fall into protected areas. These include Wildlife Sanctuaries, Nature Reserves, National Parks, and Conservation areas. Bhutan is truly a nature lovers’ delight.

The wildlife safaris compete for the fascinating Buddhist Culture and the jaw-dropping Himalayan view.

There are a lot of popular parks where you can enjoy these safaris. Jigme Dorji National Park, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, Torsa Strict nature reserve, and Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park are to name a few.

Jigme Dorji National Park

Jigme Dorji National park is the 2nd largest national park in Bhutan. It covers various districts including Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, and others.

Listed as a tentative site by UNESCO, this park is home to various flora and fauna. It has 37 known species of mammal and about 6500 people.

If luck favors, you can see many endangered species residing in this park. This includes animals such as clouded leopard, snow leopard, red panda, Bengal tiger and many more.

Jigme Dorji National Park is the only park that has 4 of the national symbols of Bhutan existing together in the same place. The national animal (Takin), National Flower (Blue Poppy), National Bird (Raven) and National Tree (Cypress).

Highlights:

  • 37 known species of mammals including many endangered, threatened or vulnerable species.
  • A wide variety of flora and fauna
  • Lingshi Dzong and Gasa Dzong
  • Glacial lakes including Thorthormi, Lugye, Teri Kang

Royal Manas National Park
Located in the south central part of Bhutan, Royal Manas National Park covers an area of 1023 sq km. It is the oldest protected area in Bhutan. It was established as early as 1966 and declared as National park in 1993.

The park covers three districts of Zhemgang, Sarpang and Samdrup Jongkhar. It has a record of over 362 species of birds. It is also home to various species of mammals.

Some of the popular ones to look for are- rhinos, buffalos, tigers, leopard, gaurs, bears, elephants and several species of deer. Some of the rare species you may encounter here are- the golden langur, capped langur, pygmy hog and a hispid hare.

Highlights:

  • Over 300 species of birds.
  • Home to a wide variety of animals like tiger, leopard, rhinos, barking deer, golden langur, and others.

Royal Manas National Park
Located in the south central part of Bhutan, Royal Manas National Park covers an area of 1023 sq km. It is the oldest protected area in Bhutan. It was established as early as 1966 and declared as National park in 1993.

The park covers three districts of Zhemgang, Sarpang and Samdrup Jongkhar. It has a record of over 362 species of birds. It is also home to various species of mammals.

Some of the popular ones to look out for are- rhinos, buffalos, tigers, leopard, gaurs, bears, elephants and several species of deer. Some of the rare species you may encounter here are- the golden langur, capped langur, pygmy hog and the hispid hare.

Highlights:

  • Over 300 species of Birds
  • A wide variety of animals like rhinos, tigers, elephants, golden langur, barking deer and others.
  • Oldest Protected Area of Bhutan

River Rafting

River Rafting is a thrilling and adventure water sports. In Bhutan, you can choose rafting for fun or adventure. With the abundance of rivers to choose from, there is a river suitable for everyone- beginners to the experienced. Some of the popular ones are Po Chu, Mo Chu, Paro Chu, Mangte Chu, and Wangchu River.

Paro Chhu

Paro Chu offers a unique experience. Graded as moderate, it is suitable for every adventure lover. You will race against the rapids of the river along followed with slow glide along the river.

This rafting experience offers you all the excitement and thrill of river rafting. Along with this, you can also enjoy the beautiful views of lush green valleys, Paro Dzong and bird watching.

Note: You can also enjoy kayaking in this beautiful river.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is an adventurous eco-friendly sport. Bhutan is home to outstanding trails with vivid landscapes suitable for this sport.

You will bike through the rugged terrain, climb, and descent through many villages. This activity can take you through beautiful and remote places of Bhutan. Some of them include Paro Valley, Phobjikha Valley, Punakha, Tongsa and others.

During your tour, you will also catch glimpses of the rich culture and nature of Bhutan. It gives you a sneak peek into the lives of the local Bhutanese people.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a thrilling and adventurous activity. In Bhutan, you can experience this through the various rock climbing trails. These come in categories from easy to difficult.

Some of the popular ones are The Nose, Dead Man Walking, Reach N Preach, Easy Peasy, Wedding Present and Half Moon.

The “Nose”

This climbing rock is perfectly placed just above Bhutan’s capital Thimphu. It offers 13 different safely bolted climbing routes in different difficulty degrees. You can choose difficulty levels from 4B up to 7B in lengths between 12 and 27 meters.

Archery

Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. You can witness the locals indulging in archery competitions and tournaments during the festivals as well.

The traditional archers use bamboo arrows and bows. Yet, during the competition, the participants use modern equipment. The bows and arrows of laminated carbon-fiber fitted with a bowstring.

The traditional game is quite unique and different to tournaments seen in the Olympics. You can try your hands in archery in the many archery fields scattered around the country.

Festivals to Attend during Bhutan Tour

Festivals in Bhutan are quite unique and offer tourists a glimpse of the rich culture of Bhutan.

These festivals usually have traditional mask dance, gastronomic delights, and archery contests.

Most of the festivals are closely linked to Bhutanese culture, tradition, and religion. These festivals celebrated are with much rigor and gusto.

Some of the biggest and most popular ones are lavishly celebrated throughout the country.

These include Thimphu Tsechu, Paro Tsechu, Jambay Lhakhang Drup. It also includes Punakha Drubchen and Haa Summer Festival.

Villages and towns around Bhutan also have their own local festivals and tsechus. During the festivals, temples, monasteries, and dzongs get a makeover.

Thimphu Tshechu is one of the biggest festivals of Bhutan. It is a 3-day religious event.

Locals from all over Bhutan gather to participate in this tsechu. The locals believe that attending this tsechu and getting blessings here will cleanse themselves of the bad Karma.

You can see the locals dressed in their finest outfit and jewelry partake in the festivities.

Unified by the common culture, tradition, and beliefs, the locals enjoy sacred mask dance and picnics in Tashichho Dzong.

These festivals offer tourists with a glimpse of the local culture and ancient tradition of Bhutan.

Final Say,

This small, landlocked country is one of the true paradises on Earth. You will find something to be happy in the country that measures ‘Gross National Happiness’.

Bhutan is a great getaway for anyone and everyone. You can plan to do numerous activities for your preferred time period.

You can create your own personalized itinerary depending on places you would prefer to visit and things you would like to do in Bhutan.

Please contact us for any further queries or questions.

Do you have any question about trip to Nepal?

Tell us about your trip to Nepal and what you expect from it. We will answer your questions in 24 hours and help you design a trip with a comfortable itinerary to best meet your needs.
1 Group Size
2 Travel Dates
3 Trip Details
4 Contact Details