Best Bhutan Tour, supported by Triip.me | Tiger’s Nest

The majority of tourists choose cultural tours when they travel Bhutan. The popular destinations are: Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue, and Jakar. Further afield, the unexplored region of Zhemgang (birders paradise, excellent wildlife viewing) and Eastern Bhutan have just been opened up to tourism. If you are an adventurist and want to explore the unexplored lands, east of Bhutan is perfect for you. This unique and yet untouched part of the country offers the ultimate experience.

  • Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), Paro. This is one of the most important Buddhist sites in the world, and Guru Rinpoche visited here in the 8th century on his second visit to Bhutan. It is the most recognized and visited monument in Bhutan. It is believed that he arrived on the back of a winged tigress, hence the name, Tigers Nest. The temple is built on a 1,200 meter cliff and was built in 1692. The hike up to the Tiger’s Nest can be very strenuous and you can rent a horse to bring up the mountain for about USD $10. The horse ride is a one-way trip and you have to make your way down the mountain by foot.

For independent travellers, taxis can be arranged to reach Taktsang Monastery. As on May, 2014, a reserved small car will cost you Nu 500 for a round trip and takes about 20 minutes one way. The car will drop you at the site and then will come to pick you up at a later fixed time.

You can visit Kyichu Lhakhang Monastery on your way to Taktsang.

Hundreds of monasteries dot the landscape in some of the most pristine and remote areas.

Kurje Lhakhang

  • Kurje Lhakhang, Jakar. A temple built around a cave with a body print of Guru Rinpoche embedded in the wall. Guru Rinpoche practiced meditation here on his first visit to Bhutan and as such it is the earliest Buddhist relic in the country.

Dzongs/Fortresses

Tashichho Dzong is a Buddhist monastery and fortress on the northern edge of the city of Thimpu in Bhutan, on the western bank of the Wang Chu. It has traditionally been the seat of the Druk Desi (or “Dharma Raja”), the head of Bhutan’s civil government, an office which has been combined with the kingship since the creation of the monarchy in 1907, and summer capital of the country.[1] The main structure of the whitewashed building is two-storied with three-storied towers at each of the four corners topped by triple-tiered golden roofs. There is also a large central tower or utse. Built in 1216, Semtokha Dzong in the Thimphu Valley was the first dzong built in the country.

Dzong in Bhutan

The dzongs are ancient fortresses that now serve as the civil and monastic administration headquarters of each district. Apart from the architecture, which in itself makes a dzong worth visiting, they also hold many art treasures.

Dzongs dot the countryside and were built without the use of cement, nails or plans. Dzongs which you can visit are:

  • Punakha Dzong
  • Trongsa Dzong
  • Jakar Dzong
  • Lhuentse Dzong
  • Simtokha Dzong
  • Gasa Dzong
  • Rinpung Dzong
  • Gonggar Dzong
  • Gyantse Dzong
  • Shigatse Dzong
  • Tashichho Dzong
  • Kagyu-Dzong
  • Lingzhi Yügyal Dzong
  • Drukgyal Dzong
  • Changchukha Dzong
  • Tsechen Monastery and Dzong
  • Shongar Dzong
  • Singye Dzong

Trekking path

Hiking in Bhutan

Trekking is also extremely popular. The Druk path is the most commonly trekked from Paro, to the capital Thimphu. However, many other more impressive treks are available, see the complete list below. The Jomolhari, and Laya Gasa trek are also very popular and the Snowman Trek is reported to be one of the toughest treks in the world, taking a approximately 30 days. The recommended season for this trek is mid-June to mid-October.
Other treks include:

  • Bumthang Cultural Trek
  • Bumthang Owl Trek
  • Chelela Trek
  • Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
  • Dongla Trek
  • Druk Path Trek
  • Dur Hot Spring Trek
  • Gangjula Trek
  • Gangkar Puensum
  • Gantey Trek
  • Jomolhari Trek
  • Laya Gasa Trek
  • Lingmithang – Zhemgang Trek
  • Merak Sakteng Trek
  • Nabji Korphu Community Based Trek
  • Nubtsona Pata Trek
  • Punakha Winter Trek
  • Rigsum Goenpa Trek
  • Royal Heritage Trek
  • Sagala Trek
  • Samtengang Trek
  • Sinchula Trek
  • Snowman Trek
  • Wild East Rodungla Trek

Scenery

Mornings in Bhutan

Bhutan pristine environment offers ecosystem which are rich and diverse, due to its location and great geographical and climatic variations, Bhutan’s high, rugged mountains and valleys boast spectacular biodiversity, earning it a name as one of the world’s ten most important biodiversity hotspots.

Recognizing the importance of environment, conservation of its rich biodiversity is one of its development paradigms. The government has decreed that 60% of its forest resources will be maintained for all time through a recently enacted law passed by government. Today, approximately 72% of the total land area is under forest cover and about 26% of the land area fall under protected areas comprising of four parks. As a result, Bhutan offers a wonderful raw and unexploited environment that is generally very much appreciated by international travellers.

Wilderness in Bhutan

35% of Bhutan is made up of protected national parks. Namely, Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (1,300 sq.km), TrumshingLa National Park (768 sq. km), Royal Manas National Park (9,938.54 sq. km), Jigme Dorji National Park (4,349 sq. km), Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary (1,545 sq. km) and Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (650 sq. km).

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