The Best of Bhutan 2016

Posted on 26/January/2016

The Kingdom of Bhutan, “The Last Shangri-La”, is known for its rich history and guarded ancient traditions, but few know of its immaculate valleys and majestic natural landscapes. It is located on the edge of the Himalayas and is the home of the last Vajrayana Buddhist nation. The Bhutanese wholly believe in Karma, so it is a safe and beautiful place to visit. Isolated from the world, Bhutan is covered in culture and is populated with many ancient ruins.

Taj Tashi is the Best Business Hotel

Wake up to magnificent mountain views and majestic valley landscapes at the Taj Tashi Thimphu. It is the best business hotel in Bhutan because it is located in the heart of the capital city of Thimpu and is awash in Bhutan’s historic architecture and history. The hotel is embellished with beautifully designed hand-drawn Buddhist murals and unique artworks.

There are plenty of places to eat and enjoy the Thimpu valley. Named after a Bhutanese liquor, the Ara is the hotel’s bar. Rimps, the tea lounge is a great place to try a Suja, salted butter tea. Chig-ja-gya serves up traditional Bhutanese cuisine surrounded by gold-leaf paintings and dhungs, Bhutan horn instruments. The Thongsel is an all-day coffee and dining restaurant, which serves European and Bhutanese cuisine.

Uma Punakha is the Best 5-star Hotel

The Uma Punakha by COMO is the best 5-star hotel in Bhutan because it is located in the ornately beautiful green Punakha Valley. Secluded on a hilltop, Uma by COMO Punakha overlooks the winding snake-like Mo Chu River. The Uma Punakha offers luxury suites on a remote valley with private terraces. The hotel’s restaurant serves traditional menus and international cuisines.

Le Méridien Paro is the Best New Hotel

With majestic views and luxurious landscapes, Le Méridien Paro is the best new hotel in Bhutan. The hotel offers spacious bathrooms, down pillows, robes, double sink basins, bottled waters, mini bars, 24-hour in room dining service, coffee and tea amenities, and much more. Relax at the hotel’s calming spa or take a few laps in the indoor heated pool. You will have everything you need for a relaxing experience in the new Le Méridien Paro. Guests can enjoy the exclusive menus of Le Méridien Sparkling and Éclair. Le Méridien Sparkling provides a fruitful arrangement of sparkling cocktails at the Le Méridien Hub. Éclair offers a delectable gallery of tasty éclairs from all around the world.

The Best Book on the History of Bhutan

Dr. Karma Phuntsho, the first Bhutanese Oxford scholar, compiled research on Bhutan’s lavish history, exclusive traditions, and ancient cultures. He used this information to create the best book on the history of Bhutan. Published by Random House, “History of Bhutan” was launched in Bhutan and India. This book gives a modern perspective on the rich culture of Bhutan and its people.

The Best Hamburger in Bhutan

Located in Downtown Thimpu, Cloud 9 Gourmet Burger and Milk Bar serves the best hamburgers in Bhutan. It is within walking distance of most of the Thimpu’s hotels. All of their meals are made from foods grown locally. Their juicy gourmet burgers are the best in town. With hand-cut French fries and classically spun milkshakes, Cloud 9 offers guests a mouthful of flavor. The restaurant is a cozy place to eat after a long trek in the valley.

The Best Looking Dzong

Dzong is a type of architectural building built as fortresses in the Kingdom of Bhutan. The best looking one is the Punakha Dzong. Built in 1638 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the “Palace of Great Happiness” was used as a fortress to prevent attacks on Tibetans in the early 17th century. The great palace was damaged by fire, flooding, and an earthquake over the centuries and was recently rebuilt by the current King.

Visiting the Punakha Dzong is an enlightening experience, but proper respect should be bestowed on the visage. You must have the proper permits with you and a licensed tour guide must be present. You cannot wear hat, shorts, or umbrellas in the Dzong. You can take photographs, but not in the temple. It is a sacred place.

The Best 3-Star Hotel in Bhutan

Hotel Norbuling is the best 3-star hotel because it is a boutique resort located in the heart of the capital city of Thimpu. The family owned and operated hotel gives each guest a personalized touch with every visit. Hotel Norbuling has a traditional Bhutanese design a mixture of modern influences. The hotel offers large rooms at affordable rates with free Wi-Fi, room heating, elegant baths, a flat screen TV, and a choice of a king or 2 twin-sized beds.

The Best Hotel with Asian Food

The Bhutan Metta Resort and Spa has the best Asian cuisine in Bhutan. Metta means “loving kindness”, so the resort’s staff will definitely be courteous to visitors. The hotel is equipped with spacious rooms all surrounded by floor and ceiling wood paneling. You will have all of the comforts of home including a flat screen TV, hair dryer, bath, room and laundry service, daily housekeeping, and water boiler with coffee and tea. The hotel’s restaurant has the best Asian food offering Chinese, Indian, Continental, and traditional Bhutanese meals.

The Best Medium Trek

Firstly, you must have a trekking pass before you travel the Soi Yaksa, which is the best medium-sized trek in Bhutan. The trek covers the center of Paro through the beautiful countryside of Thimpu.

The trek starts at the Drugyal Dzong in Paro. You will travel downhill alongside of the Pachhu River. Eventually the terrain begins to rise and you will barely notice the altitude change as you revel in the beauty of the land. The highest peak is Bonte La, which is 4980m, with extraordinary views of the Basingthang and Chatarake mountain ranges.

Bhutan’s Best Overnight Hike

Take a guided tour around the Bumdra Temple on the best overnight hike, the Bumdra Monastery Trek. The hike begins at the Sang Choekor Buddhist College and ends at the Yak Pasture below Bumdra Monastery in Paro. A qualified tour guide, an assistant, a cook, and a horse that carries your belongings will escort you on the hike. The trek will take you either 2 or 3 days through the flat easy terrain. You will see mysterious caves, ancient temples, and gorgeous valley views. The campgrounds come complete with tents.

The Best Looking Monastery

Taktsang Palphug Monastery, the Tiger Nest is the best-looking monastery in Bhutan. It sits comfortably on the cliff’s edge of the Himalayas. It was built in the 17th century and was almost destroyed by fire, but the monastery is resilient. It is considered to be one of the holiest places in Bhutan. The Tiger Nest is completely isolated and can only be accessed by one of three mountainous paths. Once inside, the experience is unbeatable, with a gold-plated dome and gold idols. A large tiger statue is in the hall of Thousand Buddhas.

The Best Gift to Buy in Bhutan

Bhutanese lemongrass spray made by Bio Bhutan. It is the best gift to buy because it is an inexpensive spray perfect for your house or car. Lemongrass is a plant that grows in dense clumps that look like grass. The lemongrass oil is extracted from the plant. It is an essential natural oil that can be used as an air freshener, insect repellent, or a calming stress reliever. Bio Bhutan creates only natural products from the local area of Bhutan.

The Best Beer in Bhutan is the Red Panda

Located in the remote regions of Bumthang, Bhutan, the Red Panda is artfully brewed. The Red Panda is the best beer in the Bhutan because it is micro brewed and made in small batches. There are only 3000 bottles that are produced each month. The bottles are capped, labeled, and filled one-by-one. The brewery also makes a selection of Swiss cheeses. Tour the brewery and stay for a drink and a cheese plate.

K5 is the Best Whisky in Bhutan

The best whisky in Bhutan is K5 Himalayan Whisky because it is a premium smooth spirit. This great whisky is distilled at the The Gelephu Distillery in the mountains of southern Bhutan. With tons of flavor, this drink is made of a combination of beer and grains. After it is heated and the alcohol is separated from the mixture, the whisky is aged in wooden barrels. The wood adds flavor to the alcohol, giving it a distinctive taste.

The Best Hotel for Yoga

Yoga requires a peaceful atmosphere and the Uma Paro by COMO Paro Hotel has all you need. It is the best hotel for the tranquility needed to improve your yoga skills. Uma Paro is a 29-room resort retreat with magnificent views of the private Paro Valley. Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and exhilarating views, Uma Paro embodies the Bhutanese calming spirit. The exclusive hotel offers a Shambhala Retreat, which provides a variety of calming spa treatments, hot stone bathhouse, a gym, and a yoga studio.

Mojo Park is the Best Bar for Live Music

In 2011, Mojo Park became the only music bar in Thimpu, Bhutan. Now it is the best place to listen to and enjoy live music. The club sits across from the Changlimithang Stadium, which is also known as the National Stadium, used for football games. Mojo Park is an outstanding bar, grill, and lounge in Thimpu. The venue has a friendly and exciting atmosphere. Get a drink, grab a chair, and listen to the cool sounds of Sangay Lhaden, the Back Beads, or the Flying Kik.

The Most Beautiful Valley in Bhutan

Commonly referred to as Gangtey, named after the monastery that inhabits the hill above the valley, the Phobjikha Valley is the most beautiful valley in Bhutan. On the edge of Black Mountain National Park, Phobjikha Valley is one of Bhutan’s last glacial valleys. The valley is one of the largest and flattest landscapes in the kingdom and harbors two rivers, Nakay and Gay Chhu. Rare black necked cranes, Grus nigricollis, flock from the Tibetan Plateau to this magnificent landscape in the winters. Gangtey/Phobjikha Valley is now a conservatory for these beautiful rare birds. The Crane Festival and the Mask Dance Festival occurs in the winter and honors the cranes in the Phobjikha Valley.

The Best Way to Enter Bhutan is Drukair, Royal Bhutan Airline

Experience the spirit of the Bhutanese culture and tradition and enter Bhutan through Drukair, the Royal Bhutan Airlines. Drukair representatives can create a customized travel plan that can give you all you need for an exciting adventure while visiting the Kingdom of Bhutan. Explore the best foods, nightlife, architectural sites, monasteries, beautiful landscapes, and rich ancestry. You can hike majestic mountains, tour awe-inspiring cultures, or relax in luxury and style at the best hotels in Bhutan. Drukair can plan the trip of a lifetime. It is the best airline choice to enter Bhutan.

Planning to travel to Bhutan during a festival?

On popular dates of travel such as during festival time, flight tickets tend to get fully reserved 5 months prior. Due to limited flight and seats available, we recommend you to reserve your ticket as early as possible. You can reserve your ticket for free with us and plan your trip to Bhutan with a peace of mind knowing that you will have a spot on your flight to Bhutan.