Dochula Pass View

There are many awesome places to visit in Bhutan. You have to plan very well if you wish to cover all the below places in a short time. Bhutan is the land of thunder dragons, beautiful fortresses, monasteries, great landscapes. While exploring Bhutan, you will come across many mountains, valleys, forest, and rivers every day. Many athletes prefer trekking and cycling to increase stamina and fitness level for preparation of competitions like Olympic. Here I am listing down all the best places to visit in Bhutan to make your Bhutan trip awesome.

Places to visit in Bhutan

Punakha Dzong

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Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan, situated at the confluence of two major rivers of Bhutan, the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, which converge in this valley. Punakha Dzong is one of the second oldest and second largest Dzongs of the country. Most of the portion of fortress is open for tourist and some area is used for administration office purpose. A part of the Punakha Dzong also hosts Kings Summer palace where the tourists are not allowed. Guide is available at the entrance, which will take you through history of Punakha Dzong.

Chele La Pass

Chele la Pass

Chele La Pass

Bhutan is a country of mountains and valleys linked with a series of beautiful passes. Such is the Chele La Pass located at 3810m (13,000ft) connecting Paro and Haa is the highest road pass in the Country. This beautiful pass is a major attraction among bike riders and tourist. Drive to Chele La Pass is through dense forest and twisty roads which makes it more worth visiting. Waterfalls, rivers, rhododendron forest, and yaks grazing can be seen easily on the way to Chele La Pass. One can view Mt. Jumolhari (sacred peak of Bhutan at 22,000 ft), along with the many other adjoining peaks. The atmosphere at the point is more refreshing and windy. One can spot hundreds of prayers flags at the Chele La Pass.

Buddha Dordenma Statue

Buddha Dordenma

Buddha Dordenma

One of the largest statues of Buddha in the world, Buddha Dordenma statue is located on a hillock near Thimphu. Do you know that this big statue hides 1,25,000 smaller Buddha statues inside it? The population of Thimphu is 1,00,000 and more than that there are smaller Buddha statues in 169 ft. Thus Buddha Dordenma Statue is one of the best places to visit in Bhutan. Like the main huge Statue, all miniature statues are also gilded and made of Bronze. This Statue cost almost $100 million to build and constructed in the year 2015 to honor the 60th birthday of the fourth king of Bhutan – Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Buddha Dordenma Statue is said to spread peace and happiness in the world.

Dochula Pass, Bhutan

Dochula Pass View

Dochula Pass View

The perfect example of great history resulting in inspiring architecture at Dochula Pass in honor of 108 Bhutanese soldiers who died in 2003 military operation. Thus making it one of the best places to visit in Bhutan. 1-hour drive from Thimphu on beautiful roads will take you the Dochula Pass.

Dochula Pass

Dochula Pass

During summer, one can actually be on top of the world by witnessing clouds in the valley. Many snow-capped mountains are visible from the vantage point. The 108 chortens and Druk Wangyal Lhakhang Temple are the structures to be explored at Dochula Pass.

Tiger’s Nest Monastery or Paro Takstang

Paro Takstang

Paro Takstang

If you are planning a trip to Bhutan, don’t forget to add this amazing trek to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Paro Takstang. It is one of the famous places to visit in Bhutan. A beautiful monastery built on cliff fascinates all the tourist from all over the world. It is also a sacred place in Bhutan. Tiger’s Nest Trail goes through hill forest just before the last ascend one can spot a huge waterfall.

Taktsang Monastery Hike

Taktsang Monastery Hike

There are guides available at the base. Also, If you are not in a condition to walk or trek to Takstang, you can opt for a horse ride to a point.

Phobjikha Valley

Phobjikha Valley

Phobjikha Valley

Another beautiful valley to be explored in Bhutan is said to be backpackers paradise. Phobjikha is a small village in the flat land of the valley without any trees. It is located at 2900 m, under Wangduephodrang district of Bhutan. Valley is the winter home of black-necked cranes. Gangtey Goempa is the monastery one can explore. Great place for backpackers.

Punakha Suspension Bridge

Punakha Suspension Bridge

Punakha Suspension Bridge

While exploring Punakha Dzong – the former capital of Bhutan, one can easily spot two big rivers of Punakha. Out of two, It is built on the above river Po Chhu. It is the second longest suspension bridge of Bhutan with the length of 160-180 meters. Walking across the bridge is really a thrilling experience. This hanging bridge is draped with the colorful prayer flags. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best locations for photography and thus the best place to visit in Bhutan.

Memorial Chorten

Memorial Chorten

Memorial Chorten

The Memorial Chorten is a white national monument with golden spire built in Thimphu city of Bhutan. It is dedicated to world peace and was built in the memory of Third Druk Gyalpo. You will find Bhutanese people taking walk around Chorten throughout the day.

Thimphu Lakhang Dzong

Lakhang Dzong

Lakhang Dzong

It is situated on the outskirts of Thimphu city, on the banks of River. This is also a very old monastery. One has to climb 3 floors to explore where in pictures are not allowed as continuous prayers are going on. The surrounding scenery is mesmerizing.

Semtoka Dzong

Shabdrung First Dzong

Places to visit in Bhutan

 

Semtoka Dzong

Semtoka Dzong – One of the top places to visit in Bhutan

It is said to be the first Dzong built of Bhutan built in 1629. There were Dzong even in 1153, but this is the first dzong built by the Shabdrung and also the oldest that has survived as a full structure. It is been now used as a study center for languages and culture; the students are monks and lay people as well. If you are in Thimphu, then it is one of the must-visit places in Bhutan.

Thimphu Street Market

Thimphu street market is a great place to know the local culture and by some souvenirs. Most of the time, the market remains close in the afternoon but evening time seems to be crowded.

Daily flag ceremony at Tashichho Dzong, Thimphu

Bhutan flag

Bhutan flag

One can reach Tashichho Dzong to watch amazing daily flag ceremony at 5 PM. There is a lot of open parking space available. The group of soldiers performs the ceremony step by step. Beautifully packing of the flag is the sight to behold.

Night View Point

Tashichho Dzong Night View

Tashichho Dzong Night View

A walk in talk point, to be explored leisurely after dinner. Located on a hill, it is a small halting space to watch beautiful lit up Dzongs of Thimphu city. Tashichho Dzong takes different fluorescent colors for the night.

Paro Airport

Paro Airport

Paro Airport

Do you know that Bhutan is the country where capital doesn’t have an airport? The nearest airport is Paro Airport, where landing and takeoff are challenges for pilots due to close mountains. The airport is visible from most of the city area located on surrounding hills.

All the above are the best places to visit in Bhutan according to many tourists from all over the world. If you have more time or you have booked more stays in Bhutan then following is the extended version of top places to visit in Bhutan.

Royal Takin Preserve

Royal Takin Preserve Thimphu

Royal Takin Preserve Thimphu

Takin is the national animal of Bhutan. Unlike other countries, Bhutan maintains most of the land as forest area for which they get funding from the UN. Though they have created safe zones for the Royal Takin. Do visit but don’t expect much like any zoo as limited animals are seen.

Awesome Road Views

Road in Bhutan

Road in Bhutan

Awesome Roads of Bhutan

Awesome Roads of Bhutan

If you are planning for Bhutan Trip. Any Bhutan travel guide will suggest entering Bhutan territory by road. Bhutan Bike ride & trips are most famous amongst Indian bike riders. Bhutan Roads offer you amazing Himalayan landscapes views. Check out my Goa Bike Ride Experience here.

India Bhutan Gate

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India Bhutan gate is open in the day time from 9 AM to 10 PM. Indians can easily cross the border if you have a valid passport then can obtain permits from Bhutanese officials. Phuentsholing village is on the Bhutan side of the gate whereas Jaigaon village on India side.

Phuentsholing Crocodile Zoo

Zoo in Bhutan

Zoo in Bhutan

Phuentsholing Crocodile Zoo

Phuentsholing Crocodile Zoo

A beautiful small zoo in Phuenstholing accommodates different types of a crocodile. It is operated by Bhutan Govt. You need to buy tickets to visit the zoo which takes max half an hour to explore.

Zangtopelri – Buddhist Temple

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Beautiful temple amidst Phuentsholing market attracts tourist in numbers. Evening time is a pleasant time to visit and capture clicks. This is the easily accessible place from all the best places to visit in India and that too without a permit.

Haa Valley – Best places to visit in Bhutan

Haa Valley

Haa Valley

One can visit a very calm valley of Bhutan i.e. Haa valley to be in nature.

Haa River Bhutan

Haa River Bhutan

Just to conclude, the road journey is more beautiful than airway. Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, and Haa Valley are the top cities of Bhutan. Minimum 6 days to 8 days are enough to plan Bhutan Trip. Do visit the land of thunder dragons with my given places to visit in Bhutan. Please let me know if there are updates or changes required so that everyone refers to this as Bhutan Travel Guide. In case of any clarification, one can check details on Bhutan Tourism site.

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Written by Yogendra Patil
Just an Indian Travel Blogger. I left my corporate job & IT business to explore locations and adventure activities. Now, my job is to travel to unique destinations. Sometimes I lead adventure trips of Small Steps Adventures. You can join SSA trips or you can virtually experience those tours through my Blogs. I am always ready to hear from you. Drop me a comment. Share your experiences. You can be in touch with me on Instagram @thewandereryogi.