The word “Bhutan tourism” always lights up my mood as Bhutan happens to be the underrated masterpiece around Asian tourism that has long stayed concealed within the magnificent Eastern Himalayan peaks.
Also, it lays a lot of significance on the fact that Bhutan tourism did not happen to open till the 1960s. There happens to be a unique element that makes Bhutan different. It is – within the settlement of the State, the nation is not being converted into the contemporary hub of tourism, including all the standard modern attractions.
Bhutan tourism somewhere embraces the customs, cultures, plus legends that continued sustaining the nation. Moreover, they did not trade it for shoddy attractions expected of modern tourism.
The appeal and beauty of Bhutan take observation and time to understand because it happens to be rooted under the chronicle of thousands of decades. Furthermore, if you can afford either of them, the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” will not disappoint you at all. At least, it did not in my case. So, let’s start!
Bhutan Tourism – Cities in Bhutan
Bhutan signifies a spotless and clean South Asian nation with two beautiful cities snuggled within it. Lined with slouching green valleys, imposing dzongs, divine monasteries, plus snow-covered peaks, the Buddhist kingdom happens to be a dream tourist stop for commuters.
Paro signifies an artistic, postcard-worthy borough, huddled within the Paro valley in Bhutanese Himalayas. The two significant ideas behind visiting Paro when planning for Bhutan tourism are – it remains home to the exclusive international airport of Bhutan plus has the Tiger’s Nest, the most well-known monastery. The international airport welcomes flights daily from influential neighbouring capitals like Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Mumbai, Kathmandu, plus Bangkok, and it is something that makes Bhutan the first stop behind the influx of Paro tourism.
Trekking in Paro
Monasteries and pagodas are not just the exclusive things to witness in Paro. The mystery of Paro signifies its progressive nature. Plus, staying faithful to it, the borough with its surroundings endeavour some striking trekking courses for going to an adventure.
A trip to the Chele La Pass happens to be necessary, to acknowledge the charm of Green valley from above 13,000 ft. It signifies the highest off-soundings pass within Bhutan, and therefore, it implies an informal picnicking and travelling stop.
The Snowman Trek also indicates one of the most breathtaking trails within entire Bhutan tourism, plus it begins from Paro. People who do not like walking while travelling, mountain biking remains quite a traditional adventure activity in Paro.
Distinct Activities in Paro
A Paro trip is incomplete without indulging in the regional cuisine and some shopping near the Paro Craft Market. I found the best locally sourced products and handicrafts in the market, while I also enjoyed savouring a dish of Ema Datshi and different Bhutanese delicacies. While on my tour to Paro during my Bhutan tourism plan, I did visit the Bukhari restaurant, one of my best-recommended eateries in the borough. My list of famous food joints in Paro contains Authentic Pizza, Sonam Trophel Restaurant, Champaca Cafe, Brioche Cafe, and more.
Culture of Paro
Paro happens to be famed concerning its famous festival, known as the Paro Tsechu. It takes place in April. Decked in bright dresses and masquerades, people commemorate this carnival for consecutive five days with vibrant music, great enthusiasm, drama, and dance performances. Maize, red rice, and buckwheat remain the staple menu of the regionals.
Thimphu city did not always portray the same picture as now. Before 1960, Thimphu had nothing except a bunch of hamlets within the Valley of Raidak River within the Himalayas. However, ever since Bhutan tourism observed its transformation with the Wangchuck dynasty taking over the nation as its lawful rulers, Thimphu embraces every visitor with full arms. However, Thimphu still does not own an airport; it depends entirely on the International Airport of Paro when it comes to its air transportation.
Hiking in Thimphu:
Hiking in Thimphu signifies the choicest way to explore the typical areas of the stop. The sole location of Thimphu and Bhutan tourism within the hills has inspired several personalities to provide adventure sports assistance by marketing the precious aspect of Thimphu nestling so adjacent to nature. Sports like hiking and trekking in Thimphu have turned out to become the favoured leisure time activity for visiting sightseers because the provisions in the town simultaneously with excursion destinations happen to be perfect for sightseeing. Furthermore, the cold climate considerably adds to the charm of trekking trips.
Distinct Activities in Thimphu
Among the distinct things incorporated in the tourism of Thimphu is the Takin Preserve, the Buddha point stature, including the Folk Heritage Museum. A lesser-known site signifies “Simply Bhutan”, which means a museum constructed on the idea of a Bhutanese hamlet. It highlights demonstrations and illustrations of the daily life of pastoral Bhutan, their ideas, and their enrichment to the nation. Also, heart-warming artistic presentations to learn and understand well.
Culture of Thimphu:
There happen to be three distinct ethnic cultures within the Drukpa- the Sharchops, Ngalops, including the Lhotshampas. The national language of Bhutan implies Dzongkha. The residents of Thimphu, which signifies Bhutan’s capital, remains 50,000. Bhutan indicates a primarily Buddhist nation, following a tantric custom of Mahayana Buddhism; its religion is ubiquitous within the town. Every family needs to commit one son to turn into a monk for some times. All these are the beauty of Bhutan Tourism
Additionally, Dzongs remain in the head throne, and it is why the government controls are essential in temples. For example, Bhutan remains accessible now concerning several of its Buddhist festivities. Presently, Bhutan is commanded by a king plus remains in the development to a representative monarchy; now, Bhutan tourism is remarkably restrained.
Things to do in Bhutan
Bhutan is the last of the Himalayan kingdoms, and no place on Earth is like Bhutan. Well, that’s how I like to define its beauty. Here’s to tackling treks, travelling its monasteries, and getting ultimate happiness. Are you wondering what? Check out the things to do in Bhutan.
1. Enter the Tiger’s Nest In Paro
Sticking to a cliff front, 900m over the Paro Valley, Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Taktsang Lhakhang ) remains Bhutan’s Machu Picchu. Various organizations launched postcards to adorn the beauty of the place through and words and emotions. It highlights in each brochure, book, plus website regarding the nation, but due to Bhutan’s limitations on tourist numbers, it does not seem overrun.
The pagoda has been reconstructed twice, after desolating fires during 1950 and 1998. Furthermore, you’ll be left with no choice but to walk on foot. However, the view beyond the channel to the stupa assures that as a place worth visiting. Additionally, a holiday to the Tiger’s Nest may signify the highlight of Bhutan tourism because of the peaceful aura of representation within.
2. Explore The Switzerland Of East In The Bumthang Valley
Among the most enjoyable things to do in Bhutan remains taking the Bumthang Cultural Trek. Also, by taking a trail, you can explore much more than just the picturesque landscapes of the majestic valley. The inspirational trek renders scenic panoramas of the temples, monasteries, and colonial villages. You additionally get to hunt the charming towns and feel exceptional conviviality.
Until the 1970s, the region was solely accessible by soggy trails and burros. Other than the breathtaking peaks and the intrinsic appeal, Bumthang valley remains blissful with the best Buddhist temples in Bhutan tourism. Bumthang remains the spot where Buddhism was initially introduced, plus saint Pema Lingpa was born.
3. Rediscover Your Lost Self Inside The Memorial Stupa
If you desire to lose yourself in the state of harmony, then go to The Memorial Stupa that was established in 1974 under the premise of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the third king. The stupa remains one of the most notable attractions in Bhutan tourism by its beautifully carved figures of goddesses, gleaming finial, expressive paintings, and ultimate reconciliation. Some ascetics and faithful Buddhists usually wander into the hills for ages to meditate.
4. Try Archery At Changlimithang Archery Ground
If you plan for Bhutan tourism, you need to visit the archery tournaments that happen to be one of the most notable performances of Bhutan and the national sport further. While travelling the interstates and byways in Bhutan, you’ll discover picturesque gatherings of men covered in their customary robes practising turns to release arrows. Moreover, the archery competitions attract many people to their social events, and tournaments are arranged between cities, communities, and amateur clubs. It’s an incredible sight to their lifestyle.
5. Click Postcard-Worthy Shots At The Punakha Suspension Bridge
Adjacent to Punakha Dzong, you can witness the majesty of the longest suspension bridge within Bhutan. It is one of the most memorable things to do in Bhutan. Surrounded by the peaks of Bhutan, the perfect environment of the cable bridge is attractive for any backpacker. You will be astounded to apprehend that the deck of the bridge does not waver at all despite being a 160 metres long bridge.
What and where to shop in Bhutan
Bhutan remains a little Asian nation secured away within the grand Himalayan range. The Bhutanese remain appreciated for their vibrant lifestyle and culture, and the government prioritizes the satisfaction of the tourists. With this assertive approach, Bhutan tourism possesses a lot to contribute in terms of festivals, natural forests, experience, and religious monasteries.
Shopping in this nation has turned out to be a modern trend as sightseers hoard worthy items and take a piece of Bhutan home with them. If you wonder what and where to shop in Bhutan, I will guide you through the most charming alleys and locations to invest worthily.
Bhutan tourism is recognised concerning its textiles throughout the globe. Moreover, the prettiest scarves and shawls are intertwined in this Himalayan nation. Besides, many of them remain hand-woven from natural silk and cotton. Bhutan possesses a diversity of conventional textiles belonging to a distinct area. Bura textiles remain woven in hamlets of Bildung and Rahi.
Furthermore, Adang Village offers Mathra, Adang Rachu, and Khamar. The textiles like Yathra or Bumthap are formed out of yak hair and sheep wool. You can also dress up adorning their traditional attire of Gho and Kira or purchase one to gift your family and friends as a keepsake. I got myself a woollen jacket that’s warm and soft.
Where to Buy
- Norzin Lam Street: The central market of Bhutan; it possesses shops on either side and stays open till 9:00 PM.
- National Textile Museum: National Textile Museum comes with a compilation of antique textiles and a little retail store to buy authentic Bhutanese textiles.
- Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre: It is well-known concerning hand-woven textiles plus you can purchase both unstitched and stitched material.
- Adang Village: Adang village remains the core for worldwide commercial Adang textiles like Matra, Adang Rachu, and Khamar.
- Tashi Industries Carpet Factory: A hand-carved carpet industry in Phuntsholing, Tashi markets beautiful rugs dyed in vibrant colours and braided from Indian wool.
2. Local Paintings or Thangkas
The Thangka depicts historical Bhutanese artwork plus is considered holy amongst the regionals. The term Thangka denotes rolled up, plus they happen to be scroll pictures. The paintings signify formed with various background tones and are block printed or embellished. They are pictured on fabric or silk applique. They act as a happy memory of Bhutan tourism for a keepsake, plus you can purchase one from the School of Arts and Crafts within principal towns of Bhutan.
Where to Buy
- Bhutan Art Gallery: To purchase innovative Thangka arts and Buddhist murals, go to the Bhutan Art Gallery for astonishing deals!
- National Institute of Zorig Chusum: Established in the principal city of Thimphu, the National Institute of Zorig Chusum happens to be a painting academy and illustrates the history of thangkas. They own a retail terminal that markets paintings created by their disciples.
Bhutanese crafts incorporate items like wall hangings, decorative vases, bags, statues, prayer flags as well as bamboo plus paper goods. These handicrafts interpret the artistic culture of the community of Bhutan tourism.
Handmade paper happens to be widespread among travellers and local people because Bhutan possesses a vast forest reserve and approximately 75% of the nation is concealed in woods. Paper remains a quintessential shipping item, plus it is shipped to Japan, the US, China, etc. You can also purchase journals, decorative notebooks, or greeting cards from Bhutan and take back home the essence of the nation. Do not buy any antique creations as Bhutan tourism does not allow taking antique pieces out of their land.
Where to Buy
- National Handicraft Emporium: It remains well-known for Yethras, masks, and bamboo items.
- Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory: It possesses all lovely paper merchandises like notebooks, diaries, and wrapping paper.
- Cheencho Handicraft: This is one of Paro’s most prestigious handicraft stores, it has attractive decorative goods that act as keepsakes and you can take back home.
4. Postal stamps
Bhutan is recognised as Philatelist’s Paradise. It happens to be the dream destination concerning a traveller who loves to assemble postage stamps from all around the globe. Bhutan’s Post Office happens to be celebrated for producing stamps in individual styles and bright colours, and it is something you must not miss when going for a Bhutan tourism.
Where to Buy
- Thimphu Post Office: It possesses a worthy collection of postage stamps and also comes with a convenience of buying personalized stamps.
5. Buddhist Sculptures
Buddhism signifies a style of life within Bhutan. Furthermore, Bhutanese people are proud of their history and Buddhist culture. Also, there exist a lot of old monasteries with classical Buddha sculptures. If you want to know what and where to shop in Bhutan, you need to know that Bhutan tourism is deficient without buying yourself a gorgeous Buddha sculpture concerning your religious well-being.
Clay happens to be the elemental material utilised in creating these statues, plus many of the famous shops market them. You can likewise purchase Ihazo, a familiar Buddhist painting created from mineral colours.
Where to Buy
- Authentic Bhutanese Crafts: Near Thimphu, you will find a spectrum of products at the crafts bazaar and uncommon Budhha statues with sculptures at affordable costs.
- Norzin Lam Street: It happens to be the core for shopping during Bhutan tourism and is also one of the safest places to purchase statues and carvings.
Bhutan Tourism – Best Time to Visit Bhutan
October to December signifies the Bhutan visit best time. During that time, the air remains clean and fresh with bright atmospheres. January and February remain colder, however, from then to April the weather stays dry and comfortable, plus during late spring the magnificent rhododendrons blossom spectacularly, engulfing the valleys with vitality.
My Views On Bhutan Tourism
To be precise, I loved Bhutan as I found it one of the cleanest places I have ever travelled to. It is one of the best places for architecture and history lovers as the magnificent stupas, temples and pagodas carry a rich essence along with vibrant construction and quality of talented hands.
You may plan for Bhutan tourism as soon as the lockdown lifts. As the place is restricted to travel now, you can at least plan for your future trips to the land of mystery and magic. Here are some of the snaps for my travel gallery.
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I am a Sr. Content Expert by profession and love to write about my travel and other life experiences. Be it any niche, I enjoy writing as much as I enjoy eating.