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Bhutan Travel Guide 2020/2021

High-valued Travel Experience in Real Shangri-La

Several nations strive for the title of real-life Shangri-La, but Bhutan’s claim has more effectiveness than others. Located in the eastern Himalaya between Tibet of China and India, Bhutan is a unique Kingdom both culturally and environmentally. It’s the world’s last remaining Buddhist country, the world’s only carbon-negative country, as well as the world’s only country using GNP (Gross National Happiness) instead of GDP to measure the society’s progress. Its well-preserved tradition and culture exert a strong influence in all aspects of local people’s life and make them live happily. Its unexploited environment which offers rich and diverse nature, plus its culture, mystery and happiness, make travelers deeply longing for. Lonely Planet even recognized it as the No.1 of Top 10 Countries with Best Value to Visit in 2020.

To protect its fragile environment, Bhutan operates a strict “high value, low impact” tourism, compelling every tourist to pay a daily fee of USD250 in peak season and USD200 in off season per day to set foot into its attractive land. It covers most travel expenses in your Bhutan trip, including hotel, food, tour guide, transfer, etc. Thanks to the daily fee, all travelers are able to enjoy the less-crowded holiday and appreciate the primitiveness of this beautiful piece of Himalayan paradise. Besides, the daily fee will be kept in the National Tourism Department and your travel organization will receive their service charge only after you complete your tour with satisfaction. Therefore, you get guaranteed to have a high-quality experience. So why still hesitate? Check our detailed Bhutan travel guide to plan your Bhutan experience now!

Where to Go in Bhutan - Top Bhutan Destinations

In spite of its tiny scale, Bhutan has many popular destinations with picturesque landscape and cultural attractions. Paro, owning Bhutan’s only international airport, is the tourist distribution center. It is a classic route to travel from Paro, western Bhutan to central Bhutan. Other top destinations along the way include Thimphu (capital city), Punakha, Wangdue, Trongsa and Bumthang. Each destination has its own highlight. No matter you want to experience natural beauty, culture charm, colorful festivals, challenging trek or winter birding, you can realize your ambition in one of them easily. Check the regional travel guide to learn about attractions, transportation, weather, hotel, maps and other helpful information.

What to See in Bhutan - Top Bhutan Sightseeing

Different destinations offer different attractions for your visual feast and cultural savory. In Bhutan, what attracts travelers’ eyes first must be the fortress-like building - dzong - the combination of local government and monastic body. Each district has its own dzong with featured appearance and charm. Besides, different monasteries also show the Buddhist essence of Bhutan. Moreover, there are various attractions with different themes to discovery. Here is the list of top attractions in Bhutan for your reference.

Taktsang Monastery

Type: Religious Sites, Landmarks

Recommended Length of Visit: one day

Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, is Bhutan’s foremost sight perched on a sheer cliff side about 900 meters above the floor of Paro Valley. It needs a 2~3 hours hike to reach the monastery and admire the best landscape of the whole valley.

Punakha Dzong

Type: Mountain, Natural Park

Recommended Length of Visit: 2~4 hours

Situated at the juncture of Phochhu and Mochhu Rivers, Punakha Dzong is surrounded by scenic scenery. It features in Tibetan-style architecture complex of white walls, red woodcarving decorations and gilded roofs.

Buddha Dordenma Statue

Type: Monument & Religion

Recommended Length of Visit: 1~2 hours

Great Buddha Dordenma is a gigantic statue of Sakyamuni located in the mountains of Thimphu Valley. In this 51.5 meter tall statue, there are over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues made of bronze and gilded in gold.

Dochula Pass

Type: Viewing Deck of Nature, History

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

On the road between Paro and Thimphu, travelers won’t miss Dochula Pass where you can see 108 stupas which are built tin memory of soldiers died in the war. From Dochula Pass, you can admire the spectacular views of Himalyan Ranges in clear days.

Phobjikha Valley

Type: Nature & Wildlife Areas, Valleys

Recommended Length of Visit: half day

Phobjikha Valley is a vast bowl-shaped valley with primitive scenery. It is a pleasant experience to hike through the forests and wildflowers. When the winter comes, you can see lots of black-necked cranes from Tibet.

Rinpung Dzong

Type: Sights & Landmarks

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 ~ 2 hours

Best time to visit: Summer

Rinpung Dzong, also called Paro Dzong, is the politic and religious center of Paro. It is available to see its massive buttressed walls through the whole valley. Its round watchtower now houses National Museum where many treasures are collected.

Tashichho Dzong

Type: Architecture & Culture

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Tashichho Dzong, also refered as Thimphu Dzong is the seat of government and summer palace for the leader of Bhutan’s Buddhism. Visiting this dzong allows you to admire the grand architecture and religious atmosphere.

Trongsa Dzong

Type: Religious Sites, Valleys

Recommended Length of Visit: half day

Built on a spur overlooking the valley of Mande River, Trongsa Dzong is Bhutan’s largest dzong. The scenic backdrop of Black Mountains on its southwest makes it as the most spectacularly sited dzong. Its old watch towers now houses the Royal Museum.

Wangdue Phodrang Dzong

Type: Sacred & Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings

Recommended Length of Visit: 1~2 hours

Overlooking the convergence of the Dangchhu and Punatsangchhu, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is a centuries-old architectural wonder dramatically standing on a ridge. It was damaged in a fire and predicted to be reconstructed in 2021.

National Memorial Chorten

Type: Sacred & Religious Sites, Monuments

Recommended Length of Visit: 1~2 hours

The white landmark monument is built in central Thimphu to honor memory of his majesty, the 3rd king Jigme Dorji Wangchuck of Bhutan and pray for world peace. It is also the most sacred stupa where locals gather to make prostrations, kora walking...

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Useful Bhutan Travel Advice

Though Bhutan is just a tiny piece of Himalayan Kingdoms, it offers much to see and experience. A Bhutan tour can be simple and easy, but getting prepared ahead will help you make full of your holidays. Here we list other travel tips you need to know before your Bhutan trip, like how to plan your tour, how to reach Bhutan, Bhutan weather, Bhutan maps, Bhutan accommodation, etc. Check the below practical Bhutan travel information and plan your tour accordingly.

    The major tourist destinations of Bhutan located in lower area are suitable to travel all the year around. However, the best time for whole Bhutan is spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is most mild and pleasant. In the spring, you can feast on colored flowers. When the autumn comes, you will enjoy the amazing Himalayan views. If you like birds, just travel in winter.

  • Best Time to Visit Bhutan
  • Best Time to Visit Paro
  • Best Time to Visit Thimphu
  • Best Time to Visit Punakha

    Bhutan is developed with different types of hotels to meet the needs of different international tours. The accommodation in Bhutan ranges from 5-star deluxe hotel to budget hostels. In Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, you can easily find a great hotel with fully-equipped facilities and superb service. In central Bhutan, there are less choices but the accommodation is comfortable as well.

  • Where to Stay in Bhutan
  • Where to Stay in Paro
  • Where to Stay in Thimphu
  • Where to Stay in Punakha
Bhutan Travel Guide and Tips 2020/2021 Helpful Bhutan Articles

    Here are some important things you should know before or during your Bhutan travel, such as how to apply for Bhutan visa, what Bhutan daily fee includes, discounted travel expenses of the children, etc. Just read our most helpful Bhutan travel articles to find an answer to your question. Feel free to contact us if you have any other problems. We are always waiting to help you make a more enjoyable Bhutan tour for you.

  • Bhutan Visa
  • Bhutan Daily Fee
  • Bhutan Travel FAQ

Recommended Bhutan Tour Packages

Bhutan has too much to offer. And our aim is to bring you the best experience in Bhutan. First comers always focus on the west part including Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, which offer convenient access, better accommodation as well as most landmarks. If you want an in-depth discovery, central Bhutan is perfect to provide a dreamier journey to the hidden valleys and historical monasteries. Following are some other recommended Bhutan tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Bhutan tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want or check more Bhutan Tours>

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