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Sightseeing

Thimphu

This is the capital and a significant place and is situated in a lovely valley which is shaped by the river Thimphu Chuu. Thimphu provides a home to the Royal Family here in addition to several civil servants as well as expatriates. The schedule of Bhutan tour packages will include showing you the several temples, dzongs, museums, chortens, and handicraft stores that can be seen here. Nunneries, and parks and others are filled with tourists throughout the year.

Thimphu Chorten or Memorial Chorten: This popular landmark embellished with bells and spires is located in Thimphu and dates back to 1974 and is always shown by Bhutan tour operators, to tourists.

Changangkha Lhakhang Monastery:

This is a very old monastery here. Its origins trace back to the 15th century. The statue of Avalokiteswara is the main attraction here. Moreover,the courtyard provides a splendid view of Thimphu city and is usually never missed by any tour operator!

BBS Tower:

This is situated in Thimphu Valley. This offers a truly remarkable view of the valley and should definitely be explored by all nature lovers.

Folk Heritage Museum:

A tour is offered here which can provide you with invaluable insights into the traditions of a typical lifestyle of Bhutanese around a century ago. The design as well as several other aspects depicts how the current rural people live. Bhutan tour operators make sure you do not miss out on these unique visits.

Arts And Crafts school or painting school:

A course that demands 8 years to complete trains many boys in the traditional Bhutanese arts. Tour packages can show you the various products produced by these talented individuals here.

(Visiting hours include Mon-Fri: 2 PM– 4 PM. Sat: 9 AM– 12 PM, Sundays, National holidays: closed)

Traditional Medicine Institute (built in 1978):

Traditional herbal medicines are prepared here. It includes remarkable labs and facilities through which you can obtain tablets, ointment etc. Bhutan tour operators make sure you get a chance to see their products and give you the opportunity to purchase any during your Bhutan tour.

Jungshi Paper Factory:

You can find impressive watermark paper, cards, envelopes, calendars, and lampshades here.

The National Library 

The National Library created in 1967 preserves several ancient Dzongkha as well as Tibetan texts. 

Visits can be made from 9 AM – 4 PM any day except Sundays, Mondays and National Holidays

The National Zoo

The National Zoo lets you spot Takin, a goat-antelope and the national animal.

National Textile Museum:

A trip to this museum during your Bhutan tour will form a worthwhile visit since it exposes you to weaving which is their national art. Exhibitions take place which include the techniques as well as the styles of textiles.

Opened:
Mon- Fri: 9AM – 4PM
Saturday times: 1PM– 4PM
Sunday times: 10AM– 3PM
Closed :
Mondays, National Holidays
Optional (requires additional cost)

Tashichho Dzong (or Fortress of the Magnificent Religion):

This marvellous building used to house the National Assembly. At the moment, the throne room can be located here along with the offices belonging to the King. The exact added costs can be obtained from the particular Bhutan tour package you are interested in.

To visit this building, you should try after their office hours (around 4– 5PM) during the winter season since these times the monks are not here in Thimphu.

Weekend Market (Saturdays and Sundays):

Agricultural products are sold by several Bhutanese from far and near. Tour operators can let you know how much time you might have to make this trip at your own cost if you are interested.

Paro

Mount Chomolhari 

Mount Chomolhari (7300 meters.) is located here. Its glacier melts to form Pa Chu which is seen in the valley.

Ta Dzong:

A national museum that is home to Bhutanese culture and art and is situated within a fort that dates back to the 7th century.

Opens9 AM- 4 PMonly from Tuesday - Saturday

Rinpung Dzong:

The massive 350 year old fort is the centre of governance for Paro. Governor, chief judge and other officials work from here. 200 monks reside here too. A very big religious festival takes place here annually, in spring, the details of which can be provided by your tour package.

The Ruin of Drukgyel Dzong is a fort which provides protection from Tibet. It offers a breathtaking view due to its location. Bhutan. The famous route for trekking in Bhutan starts here in Drukgyel.

Kitchu Monastery

Kitchu Monastery is a very old monastery that dates back to 7th century! It was constructed by the King Songsten Gampo from Tibet.

Taktsang Monastery:

Located at 3000 m height, this monastery is often called "Tiger's Nest". Legend has it that in 8th century, Guru Rimpoche flew back on a tigress. He practiced meditation for 3 months thus marking the beginnings of Buddhism here in Bhutan.

Optional (requires additional cost)

Bhutan tour operators and tour packages are happy to show you plenty more of Bhutan. However, since there are so many options that can be added to your Bhutan tour, you are given the following options and they have their associated costs.

Chele-La-Pass (13,088 ft):

A very high pass which gives a splendid view of valleys and forests filled with rhododendron and pine. Excellent views of mountains of Jichu Drake and Jomolhari can be enjoyed here.

Punakha:

This place was the capital before 1955. The seat of Chief Abbot during winter, this place faces a temperate type of climate while soils are rich, fertile and replenished by the rivers of Pho Chu and Mo Chu.

Dochu-La-Pass (10,170 feet):

Situated 16 km from Thimphu, this pass provides remarkable postcard perfect views of the Himalayas as well as the countless prayer flags. Furthermore, around 108 chortens and stupas are located here and prove to be the chief attractions of Bhutan as well as several tour packages.

Chimi Lhakhang:

This popular temple of fertility is devoted to Lama Drukpa Kuenley and it lies close to the Lobesa valley. Here, Thimphu shares its borders with Punakha as well as Wangdue and Phodrang districts.

Punakha Dzong or “palace of happiness”:

It has stood the test of time since its creation in 1637 as well as the damage which was caused by fire almost 6 times! Nature has certainly not been kind to it either considering it has faced both a flood as well as an earthquake.

However, it is still one of the most significant dzongs here since it was the second one to be built here. It has also served as the seat of Bhutan government. Now, this is a winter home to the clergy.

The spectacular assembly hall here can be visited by tourists. Note that it is not open during winter since the monks reside in Punakha.

Wandgue Dzong:

This large dzong with its wood roofing and splendid architecture contains a monastic place of learning and belongs to the 17th century. Around 200 monks reside here.

Phobjika and Gantey Gompha Valley:

This monastery belongs to 17th century. Phobjika is in fact the winter domicile of the beautiful cranes. These black neck creatures arrive from the Tibet plateau to enjoy the relatively mild temperature during Tibet’s cold seasons.

Trongsa

Trongsa Dzong:

This was constructed in the 1640s and it shelters the noble Royal family. In fact, the first as well as the second kings have occupied this seating and carried out their rule from here.

Ta Dzong:

This landmark was once a watch tower which lies above Trongsa Dzong. However, now it is being converted into a museum.

Bumthang:

Tour operators can show you the many old temples, monasteries can be seen here. Honey, cheese, yathra and apple production is also carried out here.

Jambay Lhakhang:

Built by a King named Songtsen Goenpo, this monastery dates back to 8th century.

Kurje Lhakhang:

Situated close to Jambey Lhakhang, this monastery is devoted to saint Guru Padmasambhava.

Tamshing Lhakhang:

Situated close to Kurje Lhakhang, this monastery is relatively recent and was constructed in 1501 to honor Terton Pema Lingpa.

Jakar Dzong:

Built in 1549 as a monastery, it is now serving as an administrative center in Bumthang district. Here, watch out for the popular festival of Bumthang Tsechu.

Mebar Tsho:

This translates to the lake of Burning Fire and is held sacred by Bhutanese because it is believed to have disclosed its religious insights to Pema Lingpa around the 12th century. Butter lamps are a common sight on auspicious and holy days.

Ura Village:

Situated in Tang valley, here sheep pastures are a common site. Moreover, you are blessed with a spectacular view of Mount Gangkar Puensum that is never missed by tour operators and tour packages.