Places to see in Bhutan

Places to see in Bhutan : with a small population of 700,000, Bhutan had been protected from outside world by its rich natural flora & fauna. This isolation has created a diverse language and culture within short range of distance.


ThimphuThimphu is the capital city of Bhutan since 1961 with a population of approximately 100,000 people. Thimphu, perhaps the most unusual capital city in the world, is a bustling town on the banks of the Wang chhu. The culture of Bhutan is fully reflected in Thimphu in respect of literature, religion, customs, and national dress code, the monastic practices of the monasteries, music, dance, literature and in the media. Places of interest for sightseeing include:

  • Changangkha Monastery
  • National Memorial Chorten
  • Zilukha Nunnery and the Dupthop Lhakhang
  • Takkin (national animal) Preserve Center
  • Sangyegang view point
  • National Library
  • Folk Heritage Museum
  • Zorig Chosum (Painting School)
  • Traditional Medicine Institute
  • Tashichhodzong, the central secretariat of Bhutan
  • Buddha Point (Statue of Buddha Borderma)
  • Gold & Silversmith
  • Handmade Paper factory
  • Textile Museum
  • Craft Bazaar and the Handicrafts Emporium
  • Philatelic Office for view of Bhutanese stamps
  • Weekend Vegetable Market
  • Simtokha Dzong
  • Phajoding Monastery (day hike)
  • Cheri Monastery (day hike)
  • Tango Monastery (day hike)


Paro valley: Generally visitors enter the Kingdom at Paro by the National Airline Druk Air. Due to the location of the International airport, Paro valley is well developed in terms of infrastructure like road network, hotels and other tourist facilities. Paro is one of the most populated areas of the country and a home to number of religious sites and monasteries.  Important cultural sites of visit include:

  • Takshang or Tiger’s Nest, the most famous monastery and ancient highlights for the people of Bhutan. It was founded as a meditating cave by the famous saint Guru Padmasambhava in the early 8th century upon subjugating a demon and forcing him to take an oath to be the local protector of the region towards the very end.
  • Kyichu Lhakhang, which along with Jambay Lhakhang in central Bhutan is the oldest temple in Bhutan, dating back to the 7th century.
  • Drukgyel Dzong, at the upper end of the valley, built to protect against invading Tibetans, but in ruins since a fire in the 1950s.
  • Paro Town, the single market town in the dzonghag which is booming (by Bhutanese standards) due to influx of tourist.
  • Rinpung Dzong, also known as Paro Dzong, the massive fortress/monastery which is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag. Scenes from the movie Little Buddha were filmed in and around this dzong.
  • Ta Dzong, former watch tower of the Dzong is now converted as The National Museum of Bhutan
  • Dungtse Lhakhang
  • Chelila Pass, an hour drive for mountain view
  • Drakarpo, 2 hours hike


Haa is the smallest Dzongkhag in the country. This tiny region is one of the most beautiful and isolated areas adorned with pristine alpine forests and tranquil mountain peaks. This valley remains one of the least visited areas in the country and retains the air of an unspoiled, primeval forest. The place is an ideal location for hiking and mountain biking; biking around the valley to visit the local temples is an enjoyable way to spend the day when visiting. Places of interest to visit:

  • Lhakhang Karpo (White Monastery)
  • Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Monastery)
  • Chelila Pass, 3900 Mtrs.
  • Haa Town
  • Jamtey Goempa
  • Dobji Dzong


Punakha: It is the old capital of Bhutan and the seat of government until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. It is about 72 km away from Thimphu and it takes about 3 hours by car.  Unlike Thimphu it is quite warm in winter and hot in summer. Punakha valley is famous for rice cultivation; both red and white rice are grown along the river valley of Pho and Mo Chu, two of the most prominent rivers in Bhutan. Places of interest for sightseeing include:

  • Dochula Pass (Alt.3050 Mtrs.) for mountain view
  • Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal
  • Chime Lhakhang, a ‘Temple of Fertility’ regarded as a pilgrimage site for barren couple
  • Khamsung Yulley Monastery
  • Khuruthang town


Wangduephodrang is one of the largest Dzongkhag in the country which experience extremely varied climatic conditions ranging from Sub-Tropical forests in the south to cool and snowy regions in the north. This region is famous for bamboo and stone artifacts. A two hours’ drive from Wangduephodrang takes to glacial valley of Phobjikha at an altitude around 3,000 Mtrs. which is a home to a rare and endangered bird species ‘Black Necked Crane’. The residents of the valley have garnered much acclaim for their conservation efforts to preserve the habitat of these beautiful birds. In order to sensitize and spread awareness among the local inhabitants towards protection of the cranes, the local authorities hold ‘Black Necked Crane Festival’ annually in Phobjikha. The Festival includes songs, masked dances and plays by the local school children. This event is one of the most unique and popular festivals in the country. Places of interest to visit:

  • Wangduephodrang Dzong (now in ruins)
  • Bajothang town
  • View of Rinchengang village
  • Gangtey Monastery
  • Phobjikha valley
  • Crane Information Center supported by RSPN
  • Bhutanese Farm House


Trongsa: About four hour’s drive from Wangduephodrang is the central district of Trongsa The Trongsa dzong holds a historic importance for Bhutan’s royal family, being a 350-year old massive fortress made in 1644 atop the hill – the ancestral home of the Royal Family and  from where the first two kings ruled the kingdom. Every crown prince is given the title of governor of Trongsa before ascending to the throne. The scenery is beautiful, lush valleys filled with trees, with the Dzong, chortens, prayer flags and high snowy mountains in the distance. One can also see yaks and a species of vultures.

The Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park lies inside the valley which is home to world’s rare and endangered species, such as common langur, sambar, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, tiger, leopard and some 449 species of birds. The Park also protects a larger variety of flora including the conifer in the north to chirpine or broadleaf forest in the south. The ethnic indigenous tribe of Bhutan, the Monpa, inhabits the lower park regions. Places of interest to visit:

  • Trongsa Dzong
  • Ta Dzong, the Monarchy Museum
  • Trongsa town


Bumthang: It lies in the central Bhutan and is often described as the spiritual heartland of the Kingdom. There are numerous monasteries and spiritual sites in this charming valley where history and mythology help to bring alive much of Bhutan’s culture and traditions. Bumthang is a picturesque valley of beautiful houses, and fields of buckwheat, barley and apples.

A strong sense of spirituality pervades the atmosphere and, at auspicious times of the year, the valley resounds with the chants of the spiritual community as temples all over offer prayers for the well being of all sentient being. Places of interest to visit:

  • Jambay Lhakhang, built by Songchem Gampo of Tibet in the 7thcentury
  • Kurjey Lhakhang (body print of Guru Rimpoche), built in 1652
  • Tamshing Lhakhang (temple of good message), established in 1501
  • Kenchosum Lhakhang
  • Chakhar Lhakhang (Iron Castle)
  • Jakar Dzong, built in 1667
  • Membartsho, popularly known as the Burning Lake
  • Lhodrak Kharchu Dratshang
  • Kunzangdrak Goemba, built in 1488
  • Tang Rimochen Lhakhang
  • Ugyenchholing Palace, built by Deb Tsokye Dorje
  • Ura Temple, day drive
  • Weaving center at Chumey
  • Swiss Farm
  • Lhodrak Goemba, day hike
  • Domkhar Tashichholing Dzong (palace of the 2nd King, H.M. Jigme Wangchuck)


Mongar is a small town built on the top of hill and is emerging as the eastern commercial center. The people love to decorate their houses with traditional paintings, and potted flowers and plants. Weaving cloths on the looms is the traditional profession of the people of Mongar region. Often the colors used in the clothes are also obtained from the natural sources such as tree bark, leaves and flowers. Places of interest to visit include:

  • Mongar Town
  • Mongar Dzong
  • Kadam Lhakhang,  2 hours hike
  • Yadi Lhakhang
  • Jarung Khashor Choeten
  • Yagang Lhakhang
  • Dramitse Lhakhang
  • Aja Ney
  • Zhongar Dzong


 It lies in the remote district of Bhutan. Although the region is accessible, there are fewer roads than in other parts. The place is increasingly getting isolated, as more and more people are attracted by the urban limelight and modern lifestyle. Lhuntse is perhaps the least developed Dzongkhag of Bhutan. The town of Lhuntse has a series of concrete terraces lying just above the collection of wooden shops and bars. The region is rich in forests, gorges, and cliffs. There is also a 113 ft tall statue of Guru Rimpoche atop Takela Hill of Lhuentse. Khoma Village in Lhuntse is known throughout the country for its production of Kishuthara, an extremely intricately patterned silk textile.

Places of interest to visit:

  • Lhuntse Dzong
  • Statue of Guru Rimpoche, Takela
  • Weaving Centers
  • Bhutanese Farm House


Trashigang: Trashigang, the largest and the most populated districts of Bhutan is a 3 hour drive from Mongar. The historic Trashigang Dzong, atop a vertical hill above the Sherichu river is a fine example of the strategic role that these monastic fortresses played in keeping enemies out in ancient times.  Trashigang has been traditionally used as an important trade route connecting Assam (Indian state) with Tibet (China). The Sharchops are the indigenous people of the region. Trashigang is used as market place for the hill people from Merak and Sakteng who are known for their exceptional features and for their costume which is brightly coloured and different from customary Bhutanese clothing. Places of interest to visit:

  • Trashigang Dzong
  • Trashigang Town
  • Rangjung Monastery
  • Khaling Blind School

Trashi Yangtze

Trashi Yangtze is located in the Far East a 3 hour drive from Trashigang; the place boarders to Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh in the east and China to the north. The town has developed around Chorten Kora, one of only two Chortens built in a style prevalent in Nepal, a spot where Guru Rimpoche is believed to have had a vision that a temple and Chorten would be built. Both Bhutanese and local tribes from across the border enjoy the Chorten Kora festival at Trashiyangtse. Trashiyangtse offers exciting trekking opportunities and is one of the two locations where the black necked crane migrates. The area is also known for its exceptional woodcraft. Places of interest to visit:

  • Chorten Kora
  • Gom Kora
  • Trashiyangtse Dzong
  • Woodcraft centers

Samdrup Jongkhar

Samdrup Jongkhar: It is the South Eastern Dzongkhag of Bhutan bordering with the Assam and Arunachal Pradesh states of India. The region lies on the subtropical range with elevations ranging from 200 meters to 3,500 Mtrs. above sea level.

Lack of motorable road makes the smaller settlements in the Dzongkhag remains isolated and remote. However, with the reopening of the Samdrup Jongkhar Border, visitors to eastern Bhutan can receive their visas at immigration there. The Indian city of Guwahati is just about 100 km from Samdrup Jongkhar about 3 hours drive by car. The place is a small border town with few hotels and restaurants; the infrastructure needs to be upgraded to the standard requirement of international tourists. Although Samdrup Jongkhar region is not a popular destination, the town’s proximity with Indian town makes it an important place. The market is an interesting mixture of Bhutanese and Indian shops and eateries. Places of interest to visit:

  • Samdrup Jongkhar town
  • Zangtopelri
  • Dewathang Town


Phuentsholing: To the southwest lies Phuentsholing, a bustling industrial town and a business hug that is the southern gateway to IndiaIt is an important border town and can also be used as the entry or exit point to Bhutan. The town lies on the southern border of Bhutan with India. The Indian border town opposite to Phuentsholing, ‘Jaigaon’ is a continuous settlement along the border. Phuentsholing also serves as a major entry/exit point for the travelers heading for Bhutan, and it is an important linking point to the India states of West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam. The place has few 3 Star category hotels for tourists and a plenty of hotels for standard accommodation. Places of interest to visit:

  • Kharbandi Lhakhang
  • Zangtopelri Monastery
  • Phuentsholing Town
  • Crocodile Park

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