Just like its name, Bhutan is a great Kingdom in the Himalayas which is dominated by a Buddhist culture. The kingdom of Bhutan can be said to be a Buddhist kingdom as it is quite difficult to know where culture ends and religion starts. Although in reality, Bhutan is an ancient kingdom in the Himalayas, it is politically regarded as a country which shares borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, the Chumbi Valley of Tibet in the west, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, both of India in the east and west respectively.
With over 60% of its landmass reserved as forests, Bhutan is the second least populated country in the world. Bhutan might actually be one of the least populated countries in the world. It, however, is one country that can be said to be synonymous with tourism. With a minimum fee of $250 per day for tourists, Bhutan might well be said to be the most expensive tourist destination in the world. However, when the fact that this fee covers an official guide, transportation, accommodation, and feeding for a day are considered it can be said to be an amazing deal and putting into consideration all the amazing surprises that Bhutan has to offer its visitors, this amount is really worth it.
Bhutan is one of the tourist destinations in the Himalayas and might not actually be the most famous. Nevertheless, there are lots of reasons why it is a great tourist destination. Unlike what a lot of people have in mind, the indigene of this country is not backward and uninformed about the world. They have been able to maintain their culture, and still mix up perfectly with the outside world. Bhutan is a place where the monks make use of smartphones and chilies are available all year round. Come to think of it, Bhutan is surrounded by the Himalayas and is made up of 60 percent forest. This provides a view of amazing wildlife and snow covered mountains.
Major Cities to Cover for the Best Bhutan Tours
Bhutan is still not a very famous tourist destination. As a result of this, a lot of its must-visit tourists’ destinations are unknown by many tourists. Just like every other tourist attraction in the world, there are cities in Bhutan that have to be visited by every tourist especially those that are touring Bhutan for the first time. Some of these cities are Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha.
Paro is a city in Bhutan which plays host to the country’s only international airport. It is a city in a valley and houses lots of historical buildings as well as ancient sites. While there are lots of historical buildings that are worth seeing in Paro, Rinpung Dzong is one building in Paro that is worth the time of every tourist. Built in the tenth century, Rinpung Dzong played the role of a monastery as well as a fortress. It played a major role in defending the place against the invasion of Tibetans. Although constructed with stones, this structure was destroyed by fire in 1907.
Also in Paro is the famous Tiger’s Nest. The Tiger’s Nest is one of the most sacred sites to the people of Bhutan. This is because they generally hold the belief that the founder of Bhutanese Buddhism, Guru Rinpoche arrived Paro at this site riding on a tigress. While Paro does not exactly house the Tiger’s nest, it is one of the easiest ways to get to this point. This can be done in a three hours long trek. In addition to being the closest tourist destination to the Tiger’s nest and housing Rinpung Dzong, Park is also home to the tallest building in Bhutan.
Thimphu might be popular as the political capital of Bhutan. Nevertheless, there is a lot more to this city than the average person knows about. This city is one that every tourist that is coming into Bhutan for the first time has to pay a visit. If you have only seen a traditional Asian palace in movies, then, Thimphu is the place to see one in reality. Apart from being the centre of government of Bhutan and the 5th most elevated capital in the world, Thimphu is home to the Bhutan Royal family. Although contrary to what a lot of tourists expect, there is not gigantic castle housing the royal family in Bhutan, unlike the palace that houses the British royal family.
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and is characterised by an amazing blend of monks moving about in their garments and the sound and sight of traffic which is associated with any modern city in the world. Also worthy of attention in this town are the many government officials who unlike in other towns are clad in their traditional attires and the many tourists from various parts of the world with their cameras hung around their neck.
If you are in search of a city with a blend of European lifestyle and the ancient lifestyle that monks from Asia are known for, then, Thimphu is that city. Most tourists that are coming to Bhutan will love to see statues of Buddha, and Thimphu houses one of the biggest Buddha statues in the world. The Buddha Dordenma statue, one of the biggest Buddha statues in the world is 51.5m tall and was completed just in 2015. This statue was built with bronze and gold and is a fulfilment of prophecy. After a close look at the Buddha statue, tourists can also have a look at the biggest published book in the world. This book has a mass 60kg and is 5 by 7 feet. This city is not just home to lots of temples, monasteries and other religious sites, it is also a city which comfortably accommodates cafes, and nightclubs. With this, residents can live the modern lifestyle in an ancient location.
Punakha used to be the capital of Bhutan until it was moved to Thimphu in 1955. This city is about 2 hours from Thimphu by car or bus. Once in Punakha, every interesting site that is worth seeing can be accessed on foot.
There are quite a lot of places to see in Punakha. Some of them are Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery which is considered to be one of the most scenic in Bhutan. The monastery is sited a little far from the heart of the city and can be accessed by a walk of about an hour. There is also a suspension bridge in this city. This bridge is a must visit for tourists to Bhutan and is a vantage position to stay and watch the river. After visiting the pedestrian suspension bridge and Chimi Lhakhag, the hot spring can also be visited for as many that want a place to relax and stay free from the crowd without having to pay anything.
Top Experiences to Enjoy from Paro to Punakha
As a tourist that is visiting Bhutan for the first time and will be spending just 7 days, to make the best out of your visit to Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha, ensure that you do the following
1. Visit Tiger’s Nest
2. Visit the National Museum
3. Check out Buddha Dordenma
4. Visit Changlimithang Stadium
5. Enjoy the view at Dochula pass
6. Take part in white-water rafting.
As a result of the policy which states that tourists have to pay $250 every day, it might not be easy to spend so much time in Bhutan. However, with this guide, you can make the best out of your short stay in Bhutan. And to help you work out a wonderful trip to Bhtuan, we, Tibet Vista team, would like to offer you the most useful Bhutan travel advice as followings:
>> How Much Does It Usually Cost to Visit Bhutan?
>> Best Time to Visit Bhutan: monthly guide to Bhutan and interesting festival
>> How to Get a Bhutan Visa and Permit Successfully
>> Top 10 Things to Do for Bhutan Travel
>> How to Plan Your Bhutan Travel Cost
>> Ultimate Bhutan Travel Map: Bhutan tourist attraction map, Bhutan travel season map, etc