Bhutan is located in the Eastern Himalayas, bordering China and India to the north and south. Bhutan is a mountainous nation known as "Druk Yul," or "Land of the Thunder Dragon."
Bhutan, filled with monasteries, romantic destinations, wildlife reserves, and beautiful green valleys, has something for everyone. If you enjoy nature, you will enjoy the natural reserves and picturesque sceneries.
Bhutan is a fascinating and mystical country where ancient Buddhist culture meets towering fortresses like dzongs and monasteries. The sites to visit in Bhutan will impress you, as they are surrounded by appealing natural beauty and attractive age-old Bhutanese architecture. Bhutan refreshes the mind and bodies of adventurous people; here is a list of sites to explore while in Bhutan.
Buddha Dordenma Statue, Thimpu
Great Buddha Dordenma is a massive Shakyamuni Buddha statue in Bhutan's highlands commemorating the 60th anniversary of the country's fourth ruler, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. It is 169 feet tall and has 1,25,000 smaller Buddha figurines. The monument was built in 2015, costing about $100 million. Buddhists see it as a holy location.
Guru Padmasambhava is said to have mentioned this statue as the "second Buddha" in the ninth century. Buddha Dordenma Statue is located on top of a mountain in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and marks the southern entrance to Thimphu Valley.
The statue shelters almost a hundred thousand lesser Buddha sculptures, each fashioned bronze and coated in gold, like the Great Buddha Dordenma. Buddha Dordenma is one of the top Bhutan tourist attractions for anybody visiting the country.
Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Paro
Paro Taktsang is a holy Vajrayana Himalayan Buddhist shrine located in Bhutan's upper Paro valley on the cliffside. Padmasambhava studied and taught Vajrayana at one of thirteen Tiger's Nest caves in medieval Tibet.
This is the monastery where photos dominate the internet. You've probably seen photographs of it on Instagram because it's one of the most popular sites to visit in Bhutan. Taktsang Palphung Monastery, often known as 'Tiger's Nest,' is one of the most notable destinations to visit in Bhutan, attracting photographers, explorers, and pilgrims alike.
Everything about the monastery is unique, from its location to its architecture. The temple complex was built between 1692 and 1693. This monastery, located 3120 meters above sea level in Paro Valley, is Bhutan's cultural emblem.
The complex is perched on a cliff, which adds to its uniqueness and allure. Taktsang Palphung Monastery is surrounded by hills covered in beautiful green vegetation. Though getting to this lovely monastery may be difficult, it is well worth the effort.
The Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong), Thimphu
A Buddhist monastery and castle called the Tashichho Dzong (also known as the Thimphu Dzong) is situated on the city's northern outskirts, close to the western banks of the Wang Chu.
Since 1952, it has served as the location of the government, and now it houses the throne chamber and several other royal offices, including the secretariat, home affairs, and finance ministries.
The monument was created in 1216 AD by Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa, and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal purchased it in 1641. The lower dzong, a new section of the monastery, was built by him. After a fire destroyed the old dzong in 1771, everything was transported to the lower dzong.
The Tashichho Dzong is one of the city's most popular tourist destinations due to its imposing size and setting among well-kept lawns and lovely gardens.
Chele La, Paro
The Chele La (Chele Pass), located between the Haa and Paro valleys at the height of 3,988 meters (13,083 feet) above sea level, is the highest motorable point in Bhutan.
The pass is situated on the Bondey-Haa Highway, 26 kilometers from Haa and 35 kilometers from Paro. Chele La will appeal to your senses if you are passionate about high-altitude mountain passes. And Chele La will gratify your eyes if you want to see a beautiful display of nature's beauty. With a height of over 4000 meters above sea level. A 36-kilometer trip will get you to this gorgeous location from Paro Town.
Chele La is a great route for a fascinating road trip. This location has breathtaking scenery that defies explanation. Haa Valley and Paro Valley are divided by this pass. Any photographer in the globe will be drawn to this location by the expansive vistas of the snow-covered mountain peaks.
On your trip to Bhutan, you must not skip the pleasure of driving through thick spruce and larch woods to reach this stunning location.
Punakha Dzong, Punakha
Punakha Dzong means "the castle of tremendous delight or bliss" in its direct translation. It is one of Bhutan's most gorgeous buildings and the country's second-oldest and biggest dzong.
The Rangjung Kharsapani, the holy remains of Ngawang Namgyal and the tertön Pema Lingpa, and other precious artefacts from the southern Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, are all kept in the dzong.
The structure of Punakha Dzong is a visual delight for onlookers as it showcases the distinctive architecture of Bhutan and Tibet. Visit the dzong in the spring when the jacaranda trees and beautiful green hills beyond it are in blossom to experience the dzong at its finest.
You will understand the significance of this dzong's name after seeing it. Due to its stunning architecture, it has enormous popularity with visitors. Without a doubt, this is one of the top tourist destinations in Bhutan.
Don't forget to reserve a bike trip to Bhutan if you enjoy travelling by bicycle. This vacation package also includes admission to the beautiful Punakha Dzong.
Rinpung Dzong, Paro
Rinpung Dzong is a significant dzong, or Buddhist monastery, belonging to the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu school in Bhutan's Paro District. The Dzong is one of Bhutan's most important religious sites since it is home to 14 temples and chapels.
The beautiful views of the hills are provided by Rinpung Dzong's location on a steep hillside. Another popular site and excellent location for photographers is the Nyamai Zam Bridge, which crosses the Paro Chhu River. The dzong's ideal location gives you one more incentive to include it on your itinerary when visiting Bhutan.
Punakha Suspension Bridge, Punakha
An old town called Punakha is three hour's drive from Thimphu, the present capital of Bhutan. Before Thimphu, it was the seat of government for Bhutan. Punakha Suspension Bridge, Punakha is one of the longest suspension bridges in Bhutan, spanning the Tsang Chu River (also known as the Po Chu) to connect the villages of Shengana, Samdingkha, and Wangkha with Punakha Dzong.
It is one of Bhutan's longest suspension bridges at 160 meters long. For tourists visiting Punakha Dzong, this picture-perfect bridge with prayer flags draping it is a tremendous treat since it provides beautiful views of the river flowing below and lush green hills all around it, with the mesmerizing Dzong in the foreground.
Walking across this bridge will undoubtedly make your heart race.
National Museum, Paro
The western Bhutanese town of Paro is home to the National Museum of Bhutan. His Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the third hereditary monarch of Bhutan, established it in 1968 in the rebuilt historic Ta-dzong structure above Rinpung Dzong.
Six stories make up the stunning National Museum Paro structure, and each floor is devoted to a certain type of collection. A preserved egg that is thought to be a mule's egg is the center of attention at the exhibit.
Additionally, this museum contains fascinating exhibits of weapons, ceremonial items, clothing, jewelry, religious items, scroll paintings, and much more that teach visitors about Bhutan's history, culture, and customs.
There is no better way to discover a place's culture and history than by going to its top museum. Overlooking Paro Dzong in the Paro district sits the National Museum of Bhutan. Whether or not you are a fan of history, this location is interesting to visit because of the breathtaking vistas it affords. Also, the structure of the building is distinct from Bhutan's other historical sites.
Jigme Dorji National Park, Gasa
The second-largest National Park in Bhutan is named after the late Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and is called the Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP).
The Jigme Dorji National Park comprises 4316 square kilometers, whose elevation spans from 1400 m to 7000 m and covers the whole Gasa District in addition to parts of the northern districts of Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, and Wangdue Phodrang.
Along with several other indigenous and foreign species of flora and fauna, among the park's main draws are vulnerable wildlife species like clouded leopards, Bengal tigers, Himalayan blue sheep, and Himalayan black bears.
Jigme Dorji National Park is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, including glaciers, snow-capped mountains, and breathtaking lakes. It also has an impressive diversity of wildlife. In addition, the park has some fantastic hiking routes that take you through some outstanding Bhutanese vistas.
Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu
The tourism sector in Bhutan is particularly well-known for its Dzongs, which are also quite well-known throughout the nation. As soon as you step inside the Simtokha Dzong, you will understand that the word's literal meaning is "temple fortress."
Simtokha Dzong, also known as Sangak Zabdhon Phodrang (Bhutanese for "Palace of the Profound Meaning of Secret Mantras"), is a tiny dzong.
It was constructed in 1629 by Bhutan's unifier, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The dzong, which is around 60 m2 (650 sq ft) in size, only has one access gate now, but it once had a gate on the west.
The façade of the three-story dzong is covered in prayer wheels at the lowest level, where there is also a collection of 300 slate sculptures that show saints and intellectuals.
Tango Buddhist Institute, Thimphu
The Tango Monastery in Bhutan is a Buddhist temple that is situated outside of Thimphu Valley. Tango Monastery, which is set on a hill, was built in the thirteenth century by Phajo Drugmo Zhigpo. In the native language, the term "Tango" means "Horse." Tango Monastery is one of Bhutan's most significant religious sites.
The monastery is surrounded by a multitude of myths and stories that add to its allure as a tourist destination. There is a path you may take to trek up to this location, which makes it a favorite among adventure seekers. Buddhists revere and value the Tango Buddhist Institute.
Dochula Pass, Thimphu
The Dochu La (Dochu Pass; la means pass in Dzongkha) is a mountain pass in Bhutan's snow-capped Himalayas on the route from Thimphu to Punakha where Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother, erected 108 memorial Chortens or stupas known as "Druk Wangyal Chortens." Dochula Pass, at a height of 3100 meters, is 30 kilometers from Thimphu, the nation's capital.
The yearly Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival is held there as well. The Dochula Pass is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bhutan. Tourists who are eager to see the Himalayan peaks covered in snow that can be seen from here frequently visit Dochula Pass.
Gangtey Monastery, Wangdue
The Gangteng Monastery, often referred to as Gangtey Gonpa or Gangtey Monastery, is a significant Nyingmapa monastery and the center of the Pema Lingpa lineage.
The history of the monastery dates back to the early 17th century and to prophecies given in the late 15th century by the well-known Terton (treasure hunter) Pema Lingpa. Gangtey Monastery is situated in central Bhutan's Wangdue Phodrang district.
Due to its architecture and picturesque setting, this Buddhist site, which belongs to the Nyingmapa school, is well-liked by both pilgrims and tourists. At the height of 16,000 feet, Gangtey Monastery provides magnificent views of the Phobjikha Valley below.
Mo Chu River
Mo Chhu is one of the significant rivers in Bhutan. In the official national language of Bhutan, Dzongkha, the word "Chhu" denotes a river or body of water. The river begins near the Bhutan-Tibet border in the Gasa Dzongkhag (district).
One of the best ways to pump up your adrenaline, besides bicycling, climbing, and trekking is to board a raft on the Mo Chu river. this river is broad and calm and offers a 10-kilometer rafting course with more than 10 class 2 or higher rapids above.
Rafting past the Punakha Dzong and some of the most tranquil views of the surrounding woodlands and greenery is an experience you won't soon forget.
Haa Town is renowned for its ancient customs and ceremonies and its sparsely inhabited valley area. The valley lies near Doklam or Zhoglam, a plateau bounded to the north by the Chumbi Valley of Tibet, to the east by the Haa Valley of Bhutan, and to the west by the Sikkim state of India.
It exudes a serene atmosphere unmatched by any other location in the world. Haa Valley is home to a wide variety of animals and plants, making it the ideal gathering location for everyone who enjoys the outdoors.
Also, due to the fantastic trails that are strewn throughout the area, this location is a popular destination for those who enjoy riding and hiking. The best thing about this place is that it is somewhat less crowded and that the route to the valley provides an unrivaled view of the Chomolhari.
Dagala Thousand Lakes
Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek is a private walk-in Bhutan's pristine Land of the Dragon, with plenty of lakes and mountain views. The Dagala Bhutan trip not only gives serenity in the surrounding natural beauty but also provides access to historic monasteries and temples that provide light on Buddhist culture.
The name of the journey, which implies that there are thousands of lakes there, is a metaphor derived from all the legends that claim that there were once thousands of lakes there.
You will be drawn in by Labatama's high mountain lakes, including Utsho Tsho, Relitsho, Sets, Hentsho, and Jagetsho. If you want to visit Bhutan, the Dagala Thousand Lakes hike is unquestionably something you must do.
Chomolhari Kang, also known as "the Kangchenjunga bride", is a Himalayan peak of 7046 meters in Bhutan's Gasa District, close to the Chinese border with Tibet. The Paro Chu (Paro river), which originates on the mountain's south side, and the Amo Chu, which originates on the mountain's north side, are both rivers.
Buddhists consider Chomolhari to be a sacred mountain, as evidenced by the temple of the same name on the Bhutanese side of the mountain, where worshippers can stay while visiting the hill. Chomolhari is breathtaking to look at, and the locations where you can see it are among the best in Bhutan for tourists.
Royal Manas National Park
Royal Manas is Bhutan's oldest national park and is regarded by the royal administration as the "conservation showcase of the Kingdom" and a "genetic repository" for valuable flora. Its area is 1,057 square kilometers (408 square miles), and it encompasses the western Pemagatshel District as well as the western part of the Zhemgang District.
Royal Manas National Park offers everything a wildlife enthusiast might desire. The one-horned rhinoceros, Royal Bengal tiger, clouded leopard, Gangetic dolphin, Himalayan black bear, and many more endangered animal species call this park home.
Here you can also find the rare golden langur. A trip to this park is a fantastic way to get a closer look at Bhutan's more untamed side. When visiting the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan, you really must check out both the trekking and elephant safari.
The Folk Heritage Museum
The Folk Heritage Museum is situated in Kawajangsa, the center of Thimphu, the country's capital. The National Institute for Zorig Choesum and the National Library of Bhutan are both accessible by foot from the Folk Heritage Museum.
The Folk Heritage Museum, through exhibitions, performances, educational initiatives, and recordings of rural Bhutanese life, the museum devotes itself to introducing people to the rich folk heritage and rural history of Bhutan.
The Museum will work to preserve the rich cultural history in many ways and convey it to future generations. The 19th-century home was opened to the general public in 2001, and it has since become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bhutan. If you're seeking anything to discover in an hour, you must go there.
Philately is the study and collection of stamps. The main post office of the city of Thimphu in Bhutan serves as a unique center for philately that will wow you with the caliber of the present that you can offer yourself at a reasonable price.
All you need to do is bring a photo of yourself or have a photograph taken there. The staff will then turn your image into a custom stamp for you and even give you a whole sheet of these stamps. All of this is for 200 Bhutanese ngultrums (Nu).
Motithang Takin Preserve
The Motithang Takin Preserve is a wildlife sanctuary for takin, the country of Bhutan's national animal, and is situated in the Motithang district of Thimphu. This 8.4-acre park is covered by trees and is about 6 kilometers from the major city.
The Motithang Takin Preserve is most likely the ideal location to see takins in their native environment. Takin resembles a cross between a goat and a cow. The Motithang Takin Preserve is a wildlife sanctuary for Bhutan's national animal, the takin.
This preserve offers a great opportunity to shoot endangered animals since photographers are permitted to take images of the wild from close range. For those who love animals, this preserve is ideal.
Choki Traditional Art School
The tourist attractions of Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, are numerous. Choki Traditional Art School is one available option. The Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS) was founded in April 1999 and is the only private traditional art school in Bhutan. Bhutanese kids who are unable to attend or finish a formal education or attend the National Art School are given free instruction in traditional arts and crafts skills.
You shouldn't skip a visit to such a fascinating destination simply because of the school's lovely location. Additionally, the school has a gift shop where you may purchase top-notch items manufactured by the students here using regional traditional arts.
Trashi Chhoe Dzong
Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery and castle on the western bank of the Wang Chu, just outside of Bhutan's capital city of, Thimphu. Since the establishment of the monarchy in 1907, it has served as both the country's summer capital and the place where the Druk Desi (or "Deb Raja"), the leader of Bhutan's civil administration, occupies his or her office.
The Trashi Chhoe Dzong in Thimphu is one of the numerous well-known tourist attractions in Bhutan. More famously known as the site of the coronation of the most recent king in 2008, this sizable monastery is located on the western bank of the Wang Chhu river, on the outskirts of the city, in the northern part. Despite this, you can't afford to miss the yearly celebrations that take place here around the time of Tsechu.
The National Library of Bhutan (NLB), Thimphu, Bhutan, was founded in 1967 with the mission of "preserving and promoting the rich cultural and religious history" of Bhutan. It is situated in the Kawajangtsa neighborhood of Thimphu, overlooking the Royal Thimphu Golf Course, close to the Folk Heritage Museum, and the National Institute for Zorig Chusum (Traditional Arts and Crafts).
The National Library, Thimpu, has some of the greatest collections of what may be referred to as a part of the rich cultural and religious history of the nation and is quickly becoming a symbol of Bhutan's tourism destinations.
Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory
The paper factory in Thimphu makes traditional paper named the Deh-sho. The Jungshi paper factory is across from the Centenary farmers market, about a kilometer from Thimphu City.
The handmade papers are produced from the bark of the Daphne and Dekap trees. The factory is well-known for a particular type of agrotourism in the area, where visitors may observe the complete papermaking process from raw materials to finished goods. Even the prepared paper sheets, cards, notebooks, and much more are available for purchase here to take home.
Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan
The Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan was established in May 2005 as a non-governmental, non-profit institution with the goal of preserving and promoting this living art under the patronage of Her Majesty Gyalyum (Queen Mother) Sangay Choden Wangchuck.
Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan combines modern architecture with traditional Bhutanese elements. The academy also displays to tourists the woven clothing it created for the Royals and screens movies all day long showing how to dress in and wear their traditional Gho and Kira. Free training is offered for the benefit of women because the school is designed to promote female emancipation.
Thimphu Chorten (Memorial Chorten)
Thimphu Chorten sometimes referred to as the Memorial Stupa, is a stupa (Dzongkha chöten, cheten) in Doeboom Lam in the southern-central part of Thimphu city, Bhutan. Memorial Chorten is one of the most significant religious sites for Bhutanese people, where they regularly attend services. People circumambulate the Chorten as part of a sacred ceremony all day long.
The whitish building is decorated with complex designs and is topped by a golden tower. With the first ray of morning sunshine, the spire emits a golden hue. Numerous Buddha statues and intricate paintings may be seen inside the Chorten. This is all that makes Thimpu Chorten a must-visit place in Bhutan.
Clock Tower Square
Clock Tower Square is a square in Bhutan's capital city of Thimphu and is the site of the well-known tower with four clock faces. It is a well-known landmark in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
The Clock-tower features intricate carvings and paintings that are typical of Bhutanese architecture. All four faces of the tower are decorated with traditionally handcrafted dragons painted in gold, signifying the county's status as a stand-alone dragon kingdom. The tower contains lovely floral carvings and paintings that increase its splendor.
Spend some time in the square to see and admire the daily lives of Bhutanese people while enjoying the local cuisine. In the square, concerts are often held, and if you're lucky, you could catch one during your visit.
National Institute for Zorig Chusum
The National Institute for Zorig Chusum was founded by the Government of Bhutan in 1971 and has locations in Thimphu and Trashi Yangtse. Its mission is to conserve and advance traditional art in modern-day Bhutan.
National Institute for Zorig Chusum historical site also goes by the name "the painting school" which teaches 13 unique varieties of art forms. The school encourages students with a talent for painting and other crafts, and It is a pleasure to visit such educational institutes because they exhibit authentic values.
The Thimphu handicrafts market is sometimes referred to as the Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar. Bamboo-made businesses offering colourful and exquisite genuine Bhutanese handcraft are carefully arranged in rows along a mile-long area.
Nearly a hundred stores in the market provide a wide variety of mementoes, genuine handcrafted clothes, purses, masks, and other products. Most of the business owners are Bhutanese women who greet you with a kind grin.
All of the items are sourced from nearby communities. The market strives to promote and maintain Bhutanese customs and handicrafts. It's a market where you may browse for hours.
Changangkha Lhakhang is a small temple complex that is situated at the end of a ridge that protrudes into the heart of Thimphu from the hills to the east. It was possibly the first temple in Thimphu to be built, maybe in the 13th or 14th century.
Changangkha Lhakhang provides an incredible view of the valley that surrounds Thimphu from the summit. The building is a beautiful representation of Bhutanese architecture, history, and religion. In the temple, several prayer wheels are black and golden. Compared to other Bhutanese manuscripts, the prayer book at this temple is bigger.
The Radek River, also known as Wang Chhu or Wong Chhu in Bhutan, is a transboundary river that flows into the Brahmaputra River. It passes through Bangladesh, India, and Bhutan. It is a significant river in India's Alipurduar District.
The Wangchu River provides excellent opportunities for a variety of water activities, including the challenging sports of kayaking and rafting. There is also river trout fishing available on the 4 Km run from Wang Chhu to the lower run.
Soi Yaktsa Trek
The Soi Yaksa Trek leads tourists to the transcendental valley of Soi Yaksa, which is tucked away amongst mysterious Bhutan's hills and mountains. This trek, which rises to heights as high as 4700m, is one such fantastic road to true experiences.
The unmatched close-up view of the Jumolhari Peak and Jichu Drake might be considered the USP of the entire hike. The walk, which begins in Paro, takes you on incredible hiking adventures to Soi Thangkha, Jangothang Basecamp, from which you can overlook the Jichu Drake and Jumolhari Mountains, Tshophu Lake, Bhonte La Pass, and ends at the Drugyal Dzong.
The Druk Path trek includes the most interesting and stunning parts of an old high-level mule path that runs through the highlands between Bhutan's two largest towns, Paro and Thimphu.
The Druk Path trek takes you across four separate high mountain passes, including the breathtaking Phume La at 4,210 meters above sea level, and goes through some of the most breathtaking views of rhododendron woods and high-altitude farm areas.
The Bumdra Monastery is regarded as one of the greatest sites to visit in Bhutan, in part because of the legend connected to it and in part due to the incredible trip that leads there.
The monastery at Bumdra is also known as the "Rock of One Hundred Thousand Tracks" because of a legend that states that a hundred thousand angels fell from the skies around 800 years ago and left their footprints here.
The "Cave of a Hundred Thousand Prayers," which is located at a height of around 3800 meters above sea level, is also a place where you may camp. The journey can be completed with a visit to Paro's stunning Tiger's Nest Monastery.
The Drukgyel Dzong historic ruin, one of Bhutan's most stunning and well-known archaeological monuments, is located on a ridge in the upper Paro valley.
Drukgyel Dzong is reachable by road and must be visited since, in addition to providing historical context, it also provides stunning views of the snow-capped mountain peak of Jhomolari. Visiting this location on your vacation to Bhutan sounds like a nice option if you have a few more hours to spend.
The Kila Nunnery, also known as Chele La Gompa, is perched atop a cliff overlooking Paro and offers stunning views of the valley and Jele Dzong. The oldest nunnery in the nation, this picturesque collection of various buildings is home to 50 nuns who attend higher Buddhist universities.
As significant as the location is, the route to one of the most well-known tourist destinations in Bhutan is equally picturesque and spectacular in its splendor. Between Paro and Haa, there is a dirt road that must be used to get here.
This location, which is surrounded by such lovely scenery, is undoubtedly one of the top tourist destinations in Bhutan. From here, you may take several additional scenic routes to view the beauty of the area nearby.