What are the top five things to do in Bhutan?
An ambiance of serenity, friendly people, majestic monasteries and stunning mountain views – there is a wealth of experiences on offer in Bhutan. The region is steeped in Buddhism, evident in its Dzong architecture (a dzong is an example of typical fortress architecture) and cultural practices, there is abundant wildlife to savor and the cuisine is delicious – so many places to visit and things to do in Bhutan make it a must-visit travel destination!
The capital city of Thimphu, (also spelled Thimpu), attracts with its popular Tashichho Dzong and the Memorial Chorten as well delicious Bhutanese cuisine! Other popular cities and regions include Punakha with its Dzong architecture, Paro Valley with its beautiful monasteries and serene charm, and famous landmarks such as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Wangdue Phodrang with its dzong, as well as popular treks like the Jomolhari trek.
If you are wondering when is the best time to visit Bhutan, and how you should plan your itinerary, our destinations experts are waiting to assist you. Here is a list of the top things to do in Bhutan curated by our Enchanting Travels specialists, which should definitely be part of your Bhutan travel guide!
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1Sample a Slice of Buddhist History in Bumthang
The spiritual monastery town of Bumthang is one of the most important religious centers in the country. The numerous temples and monasteries are impressive testimonies of the country’s Buddhist history.
The walls of the Tamshing Lhakhang temple are adorned with some of the oldest historical Buddhist paintings. The ‘Kurje Lhakhang’ is one of the holiest places in all of Bhutan. The popular dzong in this region is the Jakar dzong, which overlooks the Chamkhar valley in the region.
2Spot a Black-necked Crane in Gangtey Valley
Watch the rare black-necked cranes in Gangtey Valley, also known as the Phobjikha Valley, which is part of Black Mountains National Park, There are also tigers, leopards and Asian wild dogs to spot in this most important game reserve of Bhutan.
The hallmark of this beautiful valley its the rich biodiversity – there are marshes, green pastures, coniferous forest, unique dwarf bamboo and apart from the rare crane, it is also home to 13 other globally threatened species. The region attracts with its scenic beauty as well as its cultural significance, with the Gangtey Monastery a big draw.
The best way to reach the Phobjikha Valley would be to drive from Thimphu.
3Visit the Taktsang Monastery in Paro
The impressive Taktsang Monastery in Paro Valley is located at an altitude of 3,000 meters and is one of Bhutan’s landmarks. It is often said that the monastery, known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery, is the most beautiful in the entire Himalayan region, making it one of the top attractions in Bhutan.
Embark on a steep hike amid thick oak and rhododendron forests, surrounded by scenic vistas as you make your way to the entrance of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. It is here that Buddhism began and Bhutan and spread to other parts of the country, making it a key landmark in Bhutanese culture.
4Savor Views of the Himalayas from Punakha
The most beautiful view of the Himalayas is from Punakha. The Punakha Dzong is an impressive monastery building that stands majestically in front of this breathtaking backdrop. The Punakha Dzong is one of the oldest and largest dzongs in the region. This six-stories Dzong was built in the 17th century. A combination of timber, stones and earth add to the stately appeal of the Dzong.
Apart from stunning views of the mountains, Punakha’s rice-fields add to the charm of the region. Punakha is a must-visit on your Bhutan trip!
5Explore the Capital City of Thimphu
The Tashichho Dzong in the capital of Thimphu (or Thimpu) is a Buddhist monastery, fortress and also seat of the government of Bhutan. This imposing Dzong in the north of the city houses over 30 chapels, temples and shrines. What will strike you most about the dzong is not only its massive structure but also the beautiful gardens that surround it!
One of the more popular attractions in the city is the Memorial Chorten. The Memorial Chorten is instantly identifiable because of its golden spire and bell. Fun fact: Did you know that Thimphu is the only capital city in the world without traffic lights?
Enjoy Thimphu’s diverse sights – from monasteries and museums to tiny streets with shops displaying a variety of colorful local crafts. Learn how to cook traditional Bhutanese dishes at the home of a local and while you traverse the streets of Thimphu, make sure you sample Ema Datshi or a stew made of chilies and cheese along with the famous Bhutanese red rice!
The national sport of Bhutan is archery, so don’t be surprised if you see people practicing the sport across Thimphu!
Discover all the best things to do in Bhutan by booking your vacation with our experts at Enchanting Travels. Contact us for your tailor-made and obligation-free tour itinerary.
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