Are you seeking for one of a kind travel destination for the next year? We know how stressful this year was. Giving yourself a break is a great reward. If you’re an adventurer who is seeking unique wonders on this earth – Bhutan is the best place to be. Discover this exotic country that is often known to be one of the happiest countries in the world. Start your discovery with one of the most beautiful places in Bhutan – Paro. With its iconic monasteries, Dzong architectures, temples, museums and a lot of scenic views, you will surely enjoy the landscapes and get impacted by the happy and peaceful vibes.
Here’s a special feature of the must visit places in Paro, Bhutan.
1) Paro Taktsang or the Tiger’s Nest
When you are in Paro, one of the top spots that you shouldn’t miss is the iconic Paro Takstang also known as the Taktsang Palphug Monastery or the Tiger’s Nest. A perfect destination for those who are spiritual or enjoy hiking up mountains for breathtaking views. This monastery is one-of-a-kind that is perched atop the mountain cliff making it one of the most special religious sites.
You may be familiar with the Tiger’s Nest since it’s one of the top tourist spots in Bhutan. This majestic sacred site can also be seen all over the social media and travel magazines. And it’s one of the most visited places even by royalties from all over the world. But there is something special about this monastery.
What’s Special about the Tiger’s Nest?
The monastery is sitting at 3,000 feet above the Paro valley. A 2km hike that will take you approximately 2 hours to 3.5 hours to reach the peak depending on your pace. You may take your time to enjoy the lush greenery and the majestic mountain views along the journey. It’s a paradise for nature lovers and for those who would like to take a breather from all the hustle and bustle of city life. Another refreshing sight of the hike are the colourful fluttering prayer flags that you will see along your trail.
This sacred Buddhist site was constructed in the 17th century. And just to give you a little bit of spoiler, there is a legend that says the Indian Buddhist master Guru Rinpoche flew to this place on the back of a tigress which is why it is called the Tiger’s Nest. Guru Rinpoche then spent 3 years 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days meditating in this very cave and after his meditation, this place became a holy site. You should hear the stories first-hand from the locals, it’ll be an interesting experience.
Read and discover more about Taktsang Monastery.
2) Rinpung Dzong Monastery
Bhutan is famous for its Dzongs Architecture. It’s a distinct and traditional architecture that is mainly found in Bhutan. And, when you are in Paro, you shouldn’t miss another picturesque site – the Rinpung Dzong Monastery. It’s full name is Rinche Pung Dzong which is literally translated as ‘Fortress on a Heap of Jewels’ since it houses a large collection of treasures.
Rinpung Dzong, also known as Paro Dzong, is a large monastery and ancient fortress in Paro. It consists of a complex of courtyards, temples, offices and administrative area. It’s also surrounded by towering walls which are visible all throughout the valley. It was previously a meeting hall for the National Assembly but now it became the preservation of the monastic body and government offices.
Why should you visit Paro Dzong?
The Rinpung Dzong Monastery is an absolutely picturesque location with traditional Bhutanese architecture – a symbol of creativity and artistry in Bhutan. One amazing thing is that this ancient fortress was built without the use of a single nail. Once you see it, you will be astonished by its precise symmetry.
If you are visiting Paro during spring festival, you shouldn’t miss the first day of Paro Tshechu. This most popular annual masked dance festival in Bhutan will be held on the courtyard of Rinpung Dzong. The festival is held to honor Guru Rinpoche who brought Buddhism to Bhutan. You will be able to see the performers dancing in colorful masks and costumes. It is one of the most important religious festivals for the Bhutanese.
The Paro Tshechu Festival is a must-visit event if you want to get a glimpse of the Bhutanese Royals who attend the festivals religiously.
The fortress also houses a huge collection of wall paintings and beautiful temples. The architectural feat of the dzong is definitely a treat for the photography buff. Another great location for a photoshoot is the Nyamai Zam wooden bridge which is just below the Dzong.
Discover about the prominent Dzong in Bhutan.
3) Paro Airport Bird’s Eye Viewpoint
When you’re planning your visit to Bhutan, the airport will definitely come up in your research. You may read that it’s one of the most dangerous airports in the world and only few pilots can land on it. Paro Airport is unique because it is located in the middle tall mountains with peaks as high as 5,500 m or about 8,000 ft. The rough terrains makes it one the most challenging airports in the world to land. That’s why many travellers find flying into Bhutan a memorable experience. Truly an extraordinary experience for those who like the adrenaline rush.
What’s noteworthy about this viewpoint?
One awesome thing about this international airport is that it has Paro Airport Bird’s Eye Viewpoint where you can see the stunning Paro valley, which is considered as one of the most beautiful views in all of Bhutan. This beautiful landscape will welcome you when you arrive in the Land of Thunder Dragon, the happiest place on Earth.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy your flight to Bhutan!
Drukair (Royal Bhutan Airlines) flies directly to Bhutan from:
You may check the Drukair flight schedule here and Druk Air flights to Bhutan.
4) The National Museum of Bhutan
If you’re thinking of going to Paro, don’t forget to put the National Museum of Bhutan in your must-visit list. Paro Ta Dzong (ancient watchtower) was built in 1969 to house the national museum. It was reopened in June 2020 following renovation due to damage from the earthquake in 2011. This is the best place for you to learn more about the history and culture of Bhutan. It’s definitely worth a visit as it makes you feel like you are transporting back to the early days of Bhutan.
Cameras are not allowed in the museum but you can photograph the Ta Dzong and its surrounding area.
Why is the National Museum worth your time?
The museum is amongst the educational sites that houses a massive collection of artifacts and artworks including the traditional costumes, armour weapons and handicrafts. You’ll also discover more about Bhutan’s architecture and rich cultural tradition.
You will notice that Bhutan is a country that is filled with many folklores and mystical tales.. Seeing these artifacts and treasures with your own eyes will help you better appreciate the history of the Kingdom. The museum also displays Bhutan’s must-kept and sacred treasures including a stone egg laid by a mule and the ritual dagger of the protector Dorje Lekpa.
5) Kyichu Lhakhang
Kyichu Lhakhang (also known as Lho Kyerchu or Kyerchu) is the oldest and one of the most beautiful temples in Bhutan. It’s also revered as a sacred jewel of Bhutan. The original temple was said to have been built overnight and used to be a smaller structure prior to the expansion. This spectacular temple has a very quiet and serene ambience that fosters a contemplative state. You are sure to feel more calm and relaxed as you stepped foot into this sacred site. You can also see many elderly circumambulating the temple spinning the prayer wheels.
What’s interesting about Kyichu Lhakhang?
There is a magical extraordinary orange tree outside the courtyard that is said to bear fruits all year round! The main chapel has roots as far back as the 7th century with additional buildings being added later on. A golden roof was also built in 1939 by the governor of Paro and the 25th Chief Abbot (Je Khenpo). Kyichu Lhakhang is undoubtedly one of the holiest sites in Bhutan and one of the most charming spots in Paro district.
Just remember to circumambulate in clockwise direction if you want to spin the prayer wheels.
Drukgyel Dzong The ancient ruins of Drukgyel Dzong is a famous archaeological site in Bhutan, located on a ridge in the upper Paro valley. It was constructed in 1649 and served as an important defense base in the region until 1951 when it was almost completely destroyed by fire. Unlike the other ancient fortresses in the country, Drukgyel Dzong is the only dzong used for defensive purposes without any religious or administrative functions. The existing ruins and original defense structure of the dzong are well preserved and protected.
The fort is located on top of a hill with steep cliffs on three sides with a single entrance to ensure that it is not vulnerable to attacks. It is heavily guarded by several Ta Dzong (watchtowers) situated between the entrance and foot of the hill. There also used to be secret tunnels providing protected passages for people to fetch water from the river below the hill but these tunnels are now sealed.
Why visit the Drukgyel Dzong?
The dzong is currently undergoing reconstruction and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022. Visit the dzong to witness the ruins of this historical site before it is completely restored. It is the place to visit for fascinating stone work of fortresses in the past.
7) Chencho Weaving House
Seeing the locals in their traditional costume, the kira for women and gho for men is a daily sight in the streets of Bhutan. The Bhutanese takes great pride in wearing their traditional attire. These bright and colourful costumes are an integral part of the Bhutanese culture. It is mandatory for the locals to wear the national costume in official government buildings and dzongs.
At Chencho Weaving House, you’ll get to witness the woman weavers applying their impeccable weaving skills. You’ll also get a first hand experience of the weaving process of those beautiful Bhutanese textiles. There is a wide range of handwoven textiles for you to admire. It is a good experience for travellers to learn more about the strong weaving culture in Bhutan. This handicraft centre is located in the heart of Paro town and can be easily accessible.
If you travel with Druk Asia, you will be provided with a set of traditional costumes that you can return at the end of your trip! We know that beautiful photos are important for a memorable trip.
And here’s a bonus…
Aum Choden Homestay
Aum Choden Homestay is a two storey traditional Bhutanese house that is 108 years old. It has a rustic charm that will leave you feeling rejuvenated. One of the most authentic Bhutanese experiences you can have in Bhutan is definitely pampering yourself with a hot stone bath!
Soaking in a medicinal hot stone bath is recommended for those who would like to immerse themselves in the local culture. The locals usually soak themselves in hot stone baths once or twice weekly and it is believed that the hot stone bath has healing properties. Stones are fire-roasted and plunged into the wooden bath tub. Medicinal hot stone baths can help to alleviate some health issues such as stomach ache, hypertension, arthritis or joint pains.
Aside from hot stone baths, some of the activities you can do there include archery, darts, trying out the traditional costumes, Gho and Kira, and demonstrations of Bhutanese cooking.
Do visit this homestay for some cultural exchange activities.
And if you are craving for some southeast asian cuisine after spending 7 to 10 days in Bhutan, you can head over to Metta Resort, a 5 minutes drive away from Aum Choden Homestay. The beautiful resort is well known for its yummy Bhutanese, Chinese, Indian and continental cuisine. It’s also a perfect venue in Bhutan to organise MICE events for corporates.
Are You Ready to Take an Amazing Break in 2021?
If you are planning for a perfect trip to Bhutan, you should consider taking a 7 Day Essential Bhutan Travel Plan, a 5 Day Uma Paro Himalayan Adventure or spend 10 day to discover Bhutan. You may also check the best time to visit Bhutan. Don’t forget to also check out our tips when you’re planning a trip to Bhutan. Also, remember to read the dos and don’ts when travelling in Bhutan. When you arrive in Bhutan, enjoy your trip and remind yourself that Happiness is a Place! So, be the happiest traveller and soak in the breathtaking sights of the Kingdom! Don’t forget to sign-up to our regular newsletter at drukasia.com. If you have any enquiries, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.