Summer is upon us, and this calls for an exciting vacation. How about beating the scorching heat in a place known for its unadulterated nature and picturesque beauty? Yes, we are talking about the happiest country in the world – Bhutan. Since it’s a neighbouring country, Indian citizens need not get into the hassle of getting visa and passport formalities done. Bhutan opens its doors even if you show your voter’s card. Heave a sigh of relief if you haven’t gone on an international trip before. Our Bhutan tour packages are designed in a way that you can explore the best places including Paro, Thimphu and Punakha without burning a hole in your pocket.
Here is what you can do on your trip to Bhutan.
The beautiful valley of Paro delights the aura around you. It is dotted with traditional-style houses and a multitude of bakeries restaurants and cafes.
Top places to visit in Paro
- Taktsang Monastry
Perched on the side of a rocky cliff 3000 feet above the mesmerising valley of Paro, Taktsang Monastery is the holiest site in Bhutan. Popularly known as Tiger’s Nest (UNSECO World Heritage Site), the monastery has a strong cultural and religious significance because it is where Buddhism first came into the country.
2. Kyichu Lhakhang
One of the oldest temples in the Himalayan Kingdom, Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the most frequented attractions in Paro. The entire interior is accentuated with the colour blue which goes very well with the murals inside the temple.
3. Paro Dzong
The finest example of Bhutanese architecture, Paro Dzong is one of the most impressive and renowned dzongs in Bhutan. Approached by an attractive wooden cantilever bridge and flagstone road, the entrance of the dzong is aesthetically appealing and makes for the best place to click pictures of the dzong.
4. National Museum
Sitting atop the hill above Paro Dzong, the National Museum is an unusual round-shaped watchtower, which has an underground tunnel that leads to a water supply below. The various galleries in the museum exhibit some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art, including paintings and bronze statues. Don’t miss out on the sunset view of Paro town from the museum.
End your day in Paro by taking a leisure stroll along the tranquil streets and enjoying the mesmerising views and sights. If you start your sightseeing in Paro on a Sunday, pay a visit to Paro Sunday Market, which gives a traditional feel and sells Bhutan’s local products.
Top places to eat in Paro
1. Bhukhari Restaurant
Considered one of the best restaurants in the valley, Bhukhari serves traditional Bhutanese food and Indian cuisine. Their menu changes every three days.
2. Sonam Trophel Restaurant
At Sonam Trophel, you can taste home-style Bhutanese food adapted to foreign taste. Their dumplings, boneless chicken and ginger potatoes are a must try.
The capital and the largest city of Bhutan, Thimphu is one of the two national capitals in the world that do not have traffic lights. You will need at least two days to explore the best sites of Thimphu.
Top places to visit in Thimphu
Trashi Chhoe Dzong
Situated north of the city on the west bank of the Wang Chhu, Trashi Chhoe Dzong is the most popular site of the city. It also hosts the city’s biggest annual bash, the colourful Tsechu Festival.
2. Weekend Market
Held on the banks of river Wang Chhu every Saturday and Sunday, weekend market is a great opportunity to mingle with local people. You can buy local food, handicrafts and clothes.
3. National Memorial Chorten
Take a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy at Memorial Chorten, a large Tibetan-style chorten and the most religious structures in Thimphu. The beautiful architectural marvel was built in the memory of Bhutan’s third king, who was also regarded as the father of modern Bhutan.
4. National Institute for Zorig Chusum
Commonly known as ‘the painting school’, the institute is one of the most popular sightseeing destinations in Thimphu. Teaching students traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan, the institute offers a 6-year course on 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan.
5. Changangkha Lhakhang
Located on a ridge above central Thimphu, Changangkha Lhakhang is a fortress-like temple that regularly hums with pilgrim activity. The back kora (pilgrim path), accentuated with beautiful black and golden wheels, is the most attractive part of the temple.
6. Changlimithang Stadium and Archery Ground
Famous for archery tournaments and football matches, Changlimithang Stadium is one of the most frequented attractions in Thimphu. Traditional songs and victories dances are all part of the fun here.
Top places to eat in Thimphu
1. Bhutan Kitchen
With traditional seating and a standout kitchen, the elegant restaurant serves traditional Bhutanese cuisine in a spacious and warm setting.
2. Seasons Restaurants
The restaurant is popular for the variety of food it serves. Specialises in pizza, it offers daily specials including spare ribs, salads, smoked beef and steaks.
3. Karma’s coffee
Hot, iced or frappe, every conceivable version of coffee is available at Karma’s coffee. The seating is comfy, and there are plenty dishes on the menu, including burgers, fried chicken and delicious brownies.
Situated at the confluence of Mo Chhu (Mother River) and Pho Chhu (Father River), Punakha Valley is famous in Bhutan for rice farming.
Top places to visit in Punakha
1. Punakha Dzong
Strategically positioned at the river confluence, Punakha Dzong is arguably the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan. The carved woods painted in gold, red and black add to the aesthetic appeal of the structure.
2. Radak Neykhang
Dedicated to an ancient warrior king, Radak Neykhang is a 17th-Century temple standing by the tall cypress trees of the district court. Make an offering and roll the chapel dice and the resident monk will read your future.
Top places to eat in Punakha
1. Phuenzhi Diner
Well-known to travel guides, the “Four Friends” restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Khuruthang. Four kilometres from Punakha, the restaurant serves the delicious and reliable food. If you get lucky, you might get pancakes on the menu.
Bhutan holidays are all about exploring and getting acclimatise with nature. If this itinerary has inspired you to embark on this amazing journey, book one of our Summer Special Bhutan holiday packages under 35 k and feel elated in the happiest country in the world.