Highlights of Bhutan
Bhutan’s capital and commercial hub represents an intriguing confluence of modern townships and historical monuments. Restaurants, internet cafes, nightclubs, bars, and shopping centers throng the region, as do Buddhist temples, art galleries and dzongs (fortresses). The capital with breathtaking scenery, mild weather, no traffic lights and luxurious accommodations is filled by monks in their traditional garb, friendly locals and enthusiastic tourists, thus making the city a Shangri-La for visitors.
Paro is situated in one of Bhutan’s most verdant regions. With ancient fortresses and monasteries dotting the region, discover Paro’s essence through its monuments and sacred sites, myths and legends. Bhutan’s culture is rooted in Buddhism and Taktsang Lhakhang (The Tiger’s Nest), above the Paro Valley, is its most noteworthy specimen. Towards the valley’s north, Mount Chomolhari (7,314 meters) reigns in all its white glory and its glacial water plummets and falls through deep gorges to form Pa Chhu (Paro river). Adventure seekers can indulge in rafting and kayaking in the Pa Chhu and Mo Chhu Rivers, while trekking and mountain biking will take them to those nooks and crannies that is not often frequented and offers breathtaking panoramas. Explore Paro’s temples, dzongs, ruins, serene lakes and glaciers on walking tours. Paro, which is one of the most fertile valleys in Bhutan, produces the locally famous red rice from its iconic terraced fields.
The verdant Punakha valley is symbolized by Punakha Dzong, built in the confluence of Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu rivers. But this is not the region’s only draw. The chortens and lhakahangs dotting the region are important monuments dedicated to Buddhism. Visitors can explore the region’s trails on treks and hikes as well as while mountain biking. Adventure seekers can partake in rafting along the two rivers.
Adorned with prayer flags, the broad U-shaped glacial valley of Gangtey, also known as Phobjikha, is a must-visit due to its stunning scenery, gumphas, temples, chortens and the Black-necked Cranes who migrate to the region from the Tibetan Plateau during winters. Apart from this, diverse wildlife in the form of deer and wolves are also found in this region.
Decked in magnificent monasteries, stunning panorama and abundant flora and fauna, Bumthang for tourists signifies plenty of culture to submerse in, mysterious trails to explore and solitary rambles in and around the villages of the region. The history of the region is as rich as its culture, with centuries-old lhakhangs, dzongs, and chortens. Guru Rinpoche’s legacy is expressed through these religious structures and is worth a visit.