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Top 10 Places to visit in Bhutan

 Why Bhutan is a must-visit Place

 From its pristine forests to sacred mountains, to thrilling trekking opportunities, Mystical Buddhist festivals, ancient culture and age-old traditions, visiting in Bhutan is sure to leave you speechless!

Bhutan – the land of National Happiness! Get ready to explore pristine forests, sacred mountains, thrilling treks & more! Check out these top 10 must- visit places in Bhutan & get ready to book your next flight.

1. Dochula Pass 3050m

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Dochula pass, take a breath of fresh air and calm your mind!

Adorned with stretches of old forests of Rhododendron, Magnolia, and wildflowers, the Dochula Pass serves as a gateway from the west to east of Bhutan and is an integral part of the one and only “Bhutan National Highway”.

 Dochula Pass was also the only way to go west to east in the past? Without it, the region of Bhutan would be completely isolated. As difficult as it must have been to walk the paths, our Buddhist ancestors and saints tirelessly walked these paths and left an incredible legacy. 

To commemorate this, part of the Transbhutan Trails, aptly named Drukpa Kinley Heritage Trail, retraces the footsteps of our predecessors. Experience the same journey of spiritual insight that these Buddhist saints took centuries ago. Take the original path and immerse yourself in the true essence of Buddhism!

2. Dochula Festivals – Get A Tour Operator

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Dochula Festival- combat dancers dressed in historical combat attire

We celebrate Buddhist spiritual traditions and combat dancers dressed in historical combat attire at the annual Druk Wangyel Festival with temperatures freezing and snow on the ground. What makes this festival extra special is the way we Bhutanese keep the spiritual fire of traditional wisdom alive. The event pays homage to the valiant soldiers of war through the combat dancers who perform meditation dances from the eleventh-century Buddhist saint Jetsun Milerapa while dressed in period combat garb.

Contact your local Bhutanese Tour Operator. Join us at the Dochula festival this year to be witness to a similar moment of pure bliss and unwavering faith!

3. Punakha

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Punakha Valley- perfect place to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasure.

Fancy a relaxing country getaway? It’s a truly rustic country location, the perfect place to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Unlike Thimphu and Paro, Bhutan’s Punakha is adorned with fields of Bhutan’s famous organic red rice. 

Punakha is also an important meeting place for the inhabitants of the northern highlands to exchange the products of the mountain peoples for lowland rice and other everyday items. 

 Check it out! Contact a tour operator in Bhutan and book one of your top 10 fun places to visit. A trip to Punakha will be unforgettable, filled with great hospitality, ancient traditions and organic food!

4. Punakha Dzong

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Rafters ready for their rafting ride near the Punakha Dzong

Travel in childhood! I still remember my high school days in Punakha when I was a kid! Today I think of one of the most special places in Bhutan, the Punakha Dzong – a living legacy of Bhutan’s history! This ancient 16th-century fort has been an important part of Bhutan’s history and culture, serving as the former capital and the current winter residence of the chief abbot and his supporter of Buddhist monks.

Punakha Dzong protected Bhutan from Tibetan invasions for centuries – a feat of determination, ingenuity and strategy that still stands today. While it is humbling to honor Bhutan’s brave ancestors and witness the power of their work, history is just as powerful today. Take time to explore the places where Bhutan’s collective past, present and future lie.

5. Phobjikha Valley

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Enjoying a slow walk through the Phobjikha Valley

Phobjikha is not just any place – its home to some of Bhutans most content people, with minimal possessions and little outside influence. The resilient people here grow potatoes for a livelihood, and with vast land pastures in the valley floor comes some of Bhutan’s most healthy cows and therefore abundant dairy produce.

Did you know that taking a few moments of mindfulness to connect with your inner self in places like the ancient Gangtey monastery can bring positive energy into your life? This special monastery provide consecrated space that offer good health, wisdom and contentment to all who visit here. Soak up the therapeutic healing hot stone baths, and eat healthy home cooked Bhutanese meals at cozy wood stove heated mountain family homes.

Explore some of the most beautiful hiking trails from a wide selection of challenging mountain hikes to easier cultural village walks down the valley floor. And you’ll even help support the community by exploring this tranquil yet resilient place.

Local tour operators are now open for business and ready to help you visit your dream places, whatever your interests.

6. Paro Taksang (Tiger’s Nest)

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A poised dog posing for the picture with Paro Taksang at the Background

From its traditional architecture, to its historical relics, to the numerous wish- fulfilling prayer flags and magnificent views — for an unforgettable inner experience, no visitor to Bhutan returns home without taking out time to visit the famed cliffside hanging Taksang Monastery in Bhutan. 

Taking the Bhutanese example, our pilgrimage to the Taksang monastery is more than a physical journey—it’s a practice of conscious awareness. Walking with full presence to the monastery instead of being weighed down by pain or physical tiredness, makes for a richer spiritual experience that leads to inner peace.

Contact a tour operator and start planning your visit to these stunning places in Bhutan.

7. Punakha Suspension Bridge

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Punakha Suspension Bridge- connecting generations of local people!

There’s something magical about this bridge connecting generations of local people from the upper Punakha valley to the Dzong, from years ago to present day people from all over the world that travel the globe to visit us and connect with us in Bhutan. 

Standing in the middle of the bridge each time I pass by, I can’t help but think of all the many generations of Bhutanese people that crossed this same bridge hundreds of years before me – What were they feeling? Who were they? And why did they cross it? 

Message a tour operator in Bhutan. Let us know if we can tailor an itinerary of places to visit.

8. Trongsa – Druk Yul – Royal Monarchy

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The paranomic view point of Trongsa Dzong

Did you know? There’s an iconic Bhutanese town full of incredible culture & grand stories waiting to be told. Trongsa historically served as the home of Bhutan’s largest Dzong and many impressive palaces, and is steeped in the stories of its royal monarchy who originated from this majestic location.

And, Bhutanese vocalists originating from this area have strong, melodious voices – renowned throughout Bhutan! This truly special town has spring water sources, thought to be the source of their singing power, giving the singers an eloquently deep resonance.

9. Bumthang – Spiritual Land of the Thunder Dragon

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Bumthang- the land radiates with spirituality and traditional Buddhist Values

Bumthang, Bhutan’s spiritual heartland, has a rich history dating back to the 8th century. It is a region of stunning natural beauty and Buddhist cultural heritage, with some of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred temples filled with relics of iconic Buddhas sculpted in the times of Guru Rinpoche. The whole of Bumthang radiates with spirituality, and the traditional Buddhist values have been preserved for centuries, making it one of the most sought-after places to visit in Bhutan for spiritual quests and religious enlightenment.

Bumthang’s spiritual significance is further enhanced by its local produce, particularly its popular red panda beer, gourda cheese, and local honey. All these local products, combined with its Buddhist sites and mythological Buddhist festivals serve to make Bumthang an ideal destination for spiritual seekers looking to combine their inner journey with a unique cultural and culinary experience

 Take the express route to Bumthang—hop on a flight and arrive in just 35 minutes! 

10. Bumdra Trek – The Responsible Traveler

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Bumdra Trek- Experience peace and serenity like never before

Trekking up to Bumdra never gets old! On each visit, I experience peace and serenity like never before. Going above the clouds, counting each step of the journey and being aware of every move I make — it’s so much more than just a hike. I’m filled with a deep gratitude for life and for my Bhutanese heritage. 

One of our most unique heritage sites is the Bumdra monastery, located 4000m high and steeped in an incredible history. Did you know there were even 3 sky burials in Bumdra, where dead ones were left to peacefully transition to the afterlife? We can still visit those sacred places even today and it’s truly a humbling reminder of how we are all part of this beautiful, connected world. Have you experienced something like this? 

The challenge brings with it joy, accomplishment and so much more — that’s why we keep on coming back for more! 

11. Soi Yaksa Trek

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Soi Yaksa- discover unspoiled meadows and stunning Lakes

On the 7 days, 6-night Soi Yaksa trek, discover unspoiled meadows and stunning lakes, hike through high mountain passes and spot wildlife amidst a wealth of beautiful flora above the tree line.  With all its ups and downs, meanders and climbs, from the valley floor at 2200m up to the sacred Jumolhari base camp at 4050m, rising further up to the Bonte La pass at 4700m takes us through places untouched!   

Reach out – Local Bhutanese Tour Operator

Bhutanese tour operators are now back in business after a three-year pause. Are you looking for a truly unique and special vacation experience? Bhutan has the perfect answer! Local tour operators are now open and ready to help you create your dream getaway, whatever your interests. 

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