Things to do in Bhutan

Be it with family, friends or as a solo traveler, make sure you visit the land of the Thunder Dragon as it is filled with amazing activities to keep you company. With so many tourist activities to choose from, you are bound to be spoilt for choices.

Another out of the ordinary things to do in Bhutan is to visit the Changangkha Lhakhang, on a ridge above central Thimpu. It offers spinning prayer wheels, gorgeous city views and if you can give your birth date, an astrologer will give you the prayer flags that are right for you at a nominal cost.

This is also one of the off-the beaten-track things to do in Bhutan. It is located in Bumthang and, according to Buddhist folkore, it has been built on top of a demon goddess who was trying to prevent the spread of Buddhism. There were 108 temples commissioned by a Tibetan King on a single day for this purpose and not many of them remain. And this is one of the few, so it may turn out be an interesting trip

If views are what take your fancy, another one of the great things to do in Thimphu is to visit the Taschichho Dzong. Take in the magnificence of a large monastery with many shrines and the sheer beauty of its flower gardens.

There are many interesting things to do in Punakha like the Sangchin Dorji Lhendrub Choling Nunnery, a nunnery cum Buddhist college financed by Bhutan’s fourth king’s father-in-law. If you’ve had your share of Buddhist monks, here’s a novel experience for you.

 

Witness the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan that is beautifully built above the Po Chu River. What gives this bridge a breath-taking view is the mountains surrounding it.

Pay a visit to the famous Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan that was founded to promote and preserve the living art of weaving.  

There is one more landmark, which makes for one of the spiritual things to do in Punakha. It is the Punakha Dzong – or the palace of bliss and great happiness. This site is on the tentative list of Bhutan’s UNESCO heritage structures. Do ask for a guide when you visit it because it has a long and complex mythology and history which is bound to leave you enthralled.

Visiting the Tango Monastery is one of the most fascinating things to do in Bhutan as very few people have been to an actual monastery but wonder about the way of life there. The “Yarney” festival is observed here by monks as a summer retreat. This period involves fasting, abstinence from entertainment, eating meals from begging bowls and not stepping out during this period. It is also known for its history and architecture so it’s definitely a must-do.

When and if you find yourself in Thimphu, one of the fascinating things to do in Thimphu would be to visit the Bhutan Textile Museum. You can see beautiful textiles on display with their history, and you can also watch a class and take photographs of students making them. 

Tip: This visit might also give you a good idea for a shopping list as you can see the styles you like and ask store keepers to show them to you.

 

The Zangtopelri Lhankhangis are among the few things to do in Phouentsholing. It has a beautiful garden and monks spinning prayer wheels. You will pass this on your way in, and it makes for a pleasant stop and some interesting photographs. Also, if you like people watching, stop by at the local bazaar.

Bhutan is a rare country because of many things – Buddhism, mysticism, nature and festivals – but a lot of us don’t know that it is the only carbon negative country in the world. As much as 71% of Bhutan is forest land, making the Jigme Dorji National Park one of the main activities to do in Bhutan. This stunning park has a whole group of people who look after it and live there too. So along with animal husbandry, local folk, there is flora and fauna. This park is home to snow leopards and clouded leopards, the Himalayan black deer, Bengal tigers and many more. It also has 300 species of birds, the Bhutan national animal, tree, bird and national flower – making this a unique place to visit in the globe. And if that’s still not enough to tempt you, it also is home to cultural centres.

For people who love water sports, you should definitely try river rafting at Bhutan. The crystal clear waters ensure you have a wonderful experience. The most popular rafting location is Pho Chu and Mo Chu River.

If you are a shopaholic, then you will definitely love the markets of Bhutan. Filled with everything from handicrafts, sculptures, Thangkas, paintings to postal stamps, you will find everything here. If handicrafts and handlooms are what attract you, then you love every bit of Bhutan shopping.

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