Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan is a small country with a big reputation for stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and a unique approach to measuring its prosperity. Known as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon,” this kingdom is a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic travel experience.
Despite being a small country, Bhutan offers a vast array of experiences for travelers, from trekking in the mountains to exploring ancient monasteries, and from sampling local cuisine to soaking in the hot springs. Best of all, Bhutan can be surprisingly affordable for travelers on a budget. In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the top places to visit in Bhutan that won’t break the bank, making it the perfect destination for budget-conscious adventurers.
Here are some top places to visit in Bhutan:
Dochula Pass, Thimphu
Dochula Pass: A Majestic Mountain Pass and Popular Tourist Spot in Bhutan
Nestled in the Himalayas, Bhutan boasts breathtaking landscapes and Dochula Pass is one of the most stunning mountain passes in the country. Situated on the road from Thimphu to Punakha, Dochula Pass is located at an altitude of 3100 meters, around 30 km away from the capital city of Thimphu. One of the main attractions at Dochula Pass are the 108 memorial stupas, built by the eldest Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk. Additionally, a prominent monastery is also located here, built in memory of the fourth head of the state of Bhutan.
Each year, Dochula Pass hosts the Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival, attracting a large number of tourists and locals alike. Visitors come to Dochula Pass to witness the majestic snow-blanketed mountain peaks of the Himalayas that are visible from here. Due to its popularity, Dochula Pass is considered one of the top tourist destinations in Bhutan.
If you plan to visit Dochula Pass, the best time to go is during the months of March to May or September to November, when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear. So, don’t miss the chance to experience the beauty of Dochula Pass and add it to your list of places to visit in Bhutan.
Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Paro
Perched on a cliff 3120 meters above sea level, Taktsang Palphung Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is a fascinating place to visit in Bhutan. With its unique location and stunning architecture, the monastery attracts photographers, adventurers, and pilgrims alike. The temple complex was built in 1692 and is considered the cultural icon of Bhutan.
Surrounded by hills covered in lush green forests, the monastery seems to hang precariously to the cliff, adding to its charm and allure. Despite the challenging climb to get there, the experience of visiting this wonder of Bhutan is truly unforgettable. It’s no wonder that the Tiger’s Nest Monastery is one of the most popular places to visit in Bhutan.
Location-wise, the monastery is situated in Paro, about 10 kilometers away from the city. The best time to visit is from March to May and September to November when the weather is pleasant, and the views are breathtaking.
Punakha Dzong, Punakha
Discover the Splendor of Punakha Dzong, the Palace of Great Happiness in Bhutan. Renowned for its stunning architecture and rich history, Punakha Dzong is a must-visit attraction for travelers seeking a glimpse into Bhutan’s cultural heritage. This iconic dzong has served as the coronation site for all Bhutanese kings, and currently serves as the administrative center of Punakha District.
The dzong’s construction began in 1637 and blends the architectural styles of Bhutan and Tibet. Spring is the ideal time to visit when the dzong’s surroundings burst into color with the blooming of jacaranda trees and lush green hills in the backdrop.
With a sparse population, this valley in Bhutan is abundant in flora and fauna, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. It is a haven for hiking and biking enthusiasts with its numerous trails spread across the valley. Away from the tourist crowd, the journey to the valley offers a breathtaking view of the Chomolhari mountain. Explore the wilderness and experience the tranquility of this hidden gem in Bhutan.
Soi Yaktsa Trek
If you’re an adventure seeker, then trekking is undoubtedly one of the best activities you can experience in Bhutan. With a plethora of trekking trails and tours to choose from, Soi Yaksa Trek stands out as a must-try adventure. This trek involves climbing up to elevations as high as 4700m, providing unbeatable views of the Jumolhari Peak and Jichu Drake up close.
Starting from Paro, the Soi Yaksa Trek takes you through various destinations like Soi Thangkha, Jangothang Basecamp, where you can witness the stunning beauty of Jichu Drake and Jumolhari mountains. You’ll then continue on to Tshophu Lake, Bhonte La Pass before ending your trek at the historic Drugyal Dzong. Don’t miss out on this exciting and unforgettable experience.
These are just a few of the top places to visit in Bhutan. Whether you’re interested in exploring the country’s rich cultural heritage or trekking through its stunning natural beauty, Bhutan has something for everyone.