Bhutan is the last Himalayan kingdom, surrounded by spectacular snow-capped mountains and dense forests that form a beautiful scenery. But that’s not all; Bhutan is the only country in the world with a forest cover of 72 percent, making it not only carbon-neutral but also carbon-negative. Apart from that, Bhutan is a fascinating and mystical country where ancient Buddhist culture collides with spectacular fortresses such as dzongs and monasteries. Bhutan is a one-of-a-kind destination due to its unique monastic architecture and graffiti on the walls depicting penises as a message to ward off evil. This one-of-a-kind country, believed to be the very last Shangri-La, is undoubtedly the greatest place to visit for family vacations, honeymoon tours, and even adventure getaways. And, to be a part of this fascinating region, you may have your own Bhutan experience by following this guide to the top tourist attractions that you must see and do in Bhutan.
Bhutan’s top 8 must-see attractions:
Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, is a fascinating place. The city, which is located in the Himalayan upper peaks, offers breathtaking views of the emerald forests and the Raidak or Chuu River. Thimphu is a culturally important destination that combines old world beauty with modernity. Today, the city is swarming with tourist’s eager to capture the unique gems of Bhutanese culture, food, and way of life. Buddha Dordenma, Memorial Chorten, Dechencholing Palace, Clock Tower Square, and Motithang Takin Preserve are the most famous tourist attractions in Thimphu. Other tourist attractions include Tashichho and Simtokha Dzongs, as well as Dechen Phodrang, Tango, and Cheri Monasteries. Thimphu also has attractive cafes and bars, as well as nightclubs and restaurants, where you may socialize and meet like-minded people as an expedition breaker.
Paro is Bhutan’s most popular tourist destination due to its tranquil, serene beauty and clean air, which is surrounded by unleveled mountains, lush green meadows, and historical structures. It is in this city that the city’s only international airport is located. As a result, Paro attracts a large number of tourists throughout the year. Visits to picturesque dzongs like as Paro and Zuri, as well as monasteries and palaces such as Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest Monastery), Pelri Goemba, and Ugyen Pelri Palace, are common. Temples, monuments, and museums such as Bondey Lhakhang, Khangkhu Lhakhang, Tago Lhakhang, Druk Choeding, and the National Museum are among the top tourist attractions. Paro is a medieval town with a tranquil ambience that is best discovered on foot. It’s worth taking a stroll to see how the inhabitants go about their daily lives.
Punakha, another gorgeous place in Bhutan, is a popular destination for adventurers. For those who appreciate the adrenaline thrill of river rafting in the two rivers/chhus – Mo and Pho – here is ‘the ideal spot to be.’ Punakha, on the other hand, is well-known for the 17th-century castle Punakha Dzong, which stands majestically alongside the Pho and Mo Chhu. During Bhutan’s religious festival, Punakha Tshechu, this Himalayan town hosts masked dances and traditional music. The atmosphere is strange, and many people come here to learn about Bhutanese culture and history as well as to enjoy its breathtaking natural beauty. The Punakha Valley, which surrounds the town, includes some must-see sights like as Chimi Lhakhang and Namgyal Chorten. From these vantage positions, one can see rivers and mountains in all directions. Punakha Dzong and Limbhukha are two other must-see attractions in Punakha.
Trongsa is located in central Bhutan, and its lush greenery makes a great setting for simply meditating. This must-see spot in Bhutan is centrally located, with a key intersection connecting highways to Bumthang, Gelephu, and Punakha. The Trongsa Dzong is a must-see site in Trongsa. This is one of the most magnificent Buddhist temples, with red roofs and whitewashed walls rising over a valley. Trongsa is a tranquil little town where the only way to pass the time, aside from sightseeing, is to meander through the stores, which are tastefully decorated with pot plants and populated with happy people.
Jakar, also known as Chamkhar, is located near the Choekhor Valley’s foothills. The Jakar Dzong is the most prominent site in this region, which is recognized for its trading center. This popular dzong, located above the town in the Chamkhar Valley in Bumthang, is most likely the largest in Bhutan. A thorough exploration of the neighboring valleys in Jakar is likely to take many days. Apart from the Jakar Dzong, Wangdicholing Palace, which was built in 1857, Bumthang Brewery, Lhodrak Kharchu Goemba, founded in the 1970s by Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche; Cheese Factory, which is Bhutan’s only commercial cheese factory; and the 14th-century Jakar Lhakhang are all popular tourist attractions.
Jigme Dorji National Park:
Jigme Dorji is a National Park in Bhutan that is one of Asia’s best wildlife vacation destinations. Gasa District, Thimphu District, Paro District, Punakha District, and Wangdue Phodrang Districts make up the second largest national park in Bhutan. Jigme Dorji National Park is well-known because it combines the best of both worlds, offering wildlife as well as cultural monuments. In fact, the park is home to approximately 6,500 people who work in agriculture and animal husbandry; it has been designated as a tentative site by UNESCO. The aforementioned national park, on the other hand, is home to a diverse range of vegetation and fauna. There are about 37 known species of mammals here, including the clouded leopard, snow leopard, takin, Bengal tiger, Himalayan blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, black musk deer, red panda, and Ussuri dhole, as well as endangered species such as the clouded leopard, snow leopard, takin, Bengal tiger, Himalayan blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, black musk deer, red panda, and Nonetheless, the sambar, serow, barking deer, marmot, goral, pika, and more than 300 species of birds call this national park home. Jigme Dorji National Park is the only place in the world where the national mammal Takin, the national flower Blue Poppy, the national bird Raven, and the national tree Cypress all coexist. The park is one of the best places to visit in Bhutan because of these attributes.
Another must-see in Bhutan is Phuentsholing, a little town with a pristine environment. Amo Chuu, the Crocodile Breeding Center, the Chukha Hydrothermal Project, the Bhutan Gate, and Karbandi Monastery are the main tourist attractions in Phuentsholing. You are captivated by Phuentsholing’s natural splendor. It is an ideal area to visit for those who enjoy nature and prefer to be alone.
Phobjikha and Gangtey Valley:
Both Phobjikha and the Gangtey Valley are must-see destinations in Bhutan. The Gangtey and Phobjikha valleys are glacier valleys with a stream running through them, creating one of Bhutan’s most magnificent sceneries. The endangered black necked crane can be found there. Nearby is the famed Black Mountain National Park, which is home to a rich range of vegetation and fauna. Thimpu is about a 6-hour journey away. The drive between Dochula Chortens and Rhodos is spectacular. Gangtey is a name given to the entire region. Visitors to the region are familiar with Gangtey Monastery and Jigme Singye National Park.
Things to do in Bhutan:
Rafting in Paro Chhu:
River rafting is an exhilarating water sport that entices all thrill seekers to take on a new current each time. Rafting in Bhutan’s Paro Chhu, on the other hand, is a once-in-a-lifetime event. You can glide down the gurgling river surrounded by beauty and spectacular rapids, in addition to racing against the rapids shouting with joy and zest. Along with the rafting, you will be surrounded by a beautiful lush green valley with uncommon birds flocking around it, as well as the majestic Paro Dzong. Rafting at Paro Chhu is rated as moderate, thus adventure seekers can now participate in this popular water sport activity while visiting Bhutan.
Trekking in Mt. Jomolhari:
Trekking is the ultimate adventure sport, and the Jomolhari Mountain will provide the ideal trip experience for endurance travelers. This is Bhutan’s most popular trekking path, and you’ll be surrounded by a diverse range of gorgeous vistas, animals, and vegetation as you trek through the emerald forest. The virgin forest and soaring peaks are the attractions of this magnificent Jomolhari trip; you’ll pass high pastures where yaks graze and ancient dzongs that house red-robed monks who chant prayers. In reality, from the same-named base camp, you may obtain a beautiful view of Mount Jomolhari. Surrounded by stunning solitude, the Jomolhari trip offers a one-of-a-kind journey through the mesmerizing splendor of blue poppies and other wildflowers.
Kayaking in Paro Chhu:
After rafting, kayaking is another adventurous sport in Bhutan that attracts adrenaline addicts. Bhutan’s river tributaries offer a range of courses for both novice and experienced kayakers. And the Paro River, also known as Paro Chhu, has a heady combination of rapids where one may enjoy the thrill of the river while also seeing the magnificent forest and the gorgeous Paro Dzong. Despite the fact that water adventure tourism is a relatively new kind of tourism in Bhutan, it is appreciated by every tourist who visits the nation. With the currents of the rivers gradually shifting from slow to fast, it provides an ideal opportunity to traverse and encounter the fort, meandering woodlands, uncommon birds, and eventually savoring the scenery.
Climbing rocks is a fascinating pastime that is full of excitement and a relaxing atmosphere. In Bhutan, rock climbing is a must-do adventure sport that you can do in the midst of the country’s magnificent scenery. The Vertical Bhutan Climbing Club was the first to bring this fascinating sport to Bhutan. This club also provides a full climbing session by instructing climbers. The climbing rock provided by this club is known as the Nose, and it is located not far from Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu. There are multiple climbing routes on this rock, ranging in difficulty from moderate to challenging. Some of the climbing paths are Dead Man Walking, Reach N Preach, Easy Peasy, Wedding Present, and Half Moon
Archery competitions staged during festivals are a must-see for anybody visiting Bhutan. Every year, during tournaments and celebrations, Bhutan’s national sport, archery, is practised with vigour. Archery acquired popularity in the late 1920s, long before it was declared a national sport by government in 1971. Today, archery is a popular activity in Bhutan, and tournaments are organized every year as a form of celebration and competitiveness. In fact, archery is frequently held as a competition for amusement during the celebration of any holiday in Bhutan. Traditional archers are formed of bamboo arrows and bows, and there are two sorts of archers. During the competition, however, the competitors employ modern equipment composed of laminated carbon-fibre and a synthetic-fiber bowstring.
Birding is a popular and enjoyable recreational activity for people of all ages. Also, if you visit Bhutan, you will have the opportunity to see some rare and beautiful animals. This mystical country is endowed with abundant natural beauty, and as a result, it is home to over 600 bird species. Some endemic and endangered species, such as Cuckoos, Swifts, Bee-eaters, Warblers, Flycatchers, Imperial Heron and Black-Necked Crane, as well as Nuthatch and Blyth’s Kingfisher, may be seen during your Bhutan birding tour. Bhutan is a bird watcher’s delight and an essential biologically significant location on the planet. In places like the Phobjikha Valley, Bomdeling, Trongsa, Bumthang, Tingtibi, Punakha, and Thimphu, uncommon bird species and flora and animals can be found. These are excellent spots for bird watching.
Hot Spring Therapy ‘Gasa Tshachus’:
It’s always reassuring to relax in the hot springs while soaking in the gorgeous scenery. Fortunately, Bhutan has a plethora of such locations where one can restore his fatigued body. There are many hot springs in Bhutan, which are locally known as Tshachus, and all need minor treks through the surrounding magnificent forests to reach. The inhabitants of Bhutan have been visiting the hot springs for generations in order to seek or cure health problems. These hotsprings are obviously thought to have healing effects. The hot springs are best visited in the winter months, and they can be found in sites like Dur Tshachu in Bumthang, Gelephu in Tshachu in southern Bhutan, and Duenmang Tshachu on the Mangde Chu riverbank. Gasa Tshachu, for example, is a prominent hot spring in Bhutan that requires a ten-hour hike from Punakha. Hot Spring Therapy is a unique experience to have in Bhutan and should not be missed.
Bhutan Travel FAQs:
The best time to visit Bhutan is from October to December.
Travelling Bhutan can be considered as one of the world most expensive destination, as per the government rule you need to spend minimum $200 USD per day in low season and $250 in high season.
Bhutan is considered as one of the safest place to travel.
Yes alcohol is allowed in Bhutan.
Bhutan Trip is considered to be one of the expensive destination for tourist all around the world. The average budget is in between USD200-250/Day depending upon the season.
Bhutan is a country full of various tourist attractions which takes more than 30 days to explore however minimum 5 days is the most to explore main destinations in Bhutan.
With its cheap hostels, simple and inexpensive travel charges, low-cost cuisine, and breathtaking Himalayan treks, Nepal may be the more budget alternative, but Bhutan cannot be surpassed for the level of service you get for your money. Bhutan is unquestionably the best value for money when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck.
Bhutan is a fairly safe nation to visit; even petty crime is rare! There are no traffic lights in the nation; instead, there are traffic wardens, whom the residents adore. Tobacco cultivation and sale, as well as hunting and fishing, are prohibited.
To enter and leave Bhutan, you’ll need a Bhutanese visa. Before visiting Bhutan, all travelers must receive visa clearance from Thimphu. Visa clearance takes at least 7 days to process, and plane tickets to Bhutan are not available without it.
Bhutan visas are valid for six months from the time of entrance.
Dzongkha is the official language in most part of the Bhutan, However Bhutan is a multilingual country.
It is very safe to travel alone in Bhutan. You must make a reservation with a local TO, who will offer you with a guide and driver. To tour Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro, you’ll need at least 5 nights and 6 days.
Bhutan is a popular honeymoon location because it offers a hill station environment, the last Shangri-la, spectacular sunsets and sunrises, a cool and comfortable ambiance, old temples and forts, and much more.
Meats such as beef, chicken, pork, yak, and goat are served, but vegetarian dishes are also popular among Buddhists. Butter tea, cereal grain brews, and rice wine are among the beverages available. Snack foods such as dumplings and noodles are popular. Bhutanese cuisine has been heavily influenced by Indian and Chinese cuisines.
Wearing pants, wrapping your jacket over your waist, or having your jacket undone or unzipped are all prohibited. Hats, shorts, short skirts, flip-flops, and t-shirts are not permitted on the premises. Visitors are not required to wear the traditional kira, but they should wear attire that covers their arms and legs.
Mango is the national fruit of Bhutan.
Thimpu is the capital city of Bhutan.
Bhutan is a country where religion, culture, and traditions have mostly remained unchanged over time. The majority of its rituals and ways of life are centered solely on religion. The majority of its customs are Indo-Nepalese in origin. Before entering any dzong, goemba, or holy structure, shoes must be removed.
Tobacco is banned in Bhutan; Tourists can carry maximum up to 200 cigarettes but you must ask your guide for the place to light it up.