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Four Travel Destinations

Bhutan has tour packages that run through the whole of Bhutan, namely the Western, Eastern, Central and Southern Bhutan. Below is a description and information on the many tour sites that visitors to Bhutan can enjoy.

WESTERN BHUTAN: Western Bhutan has the following Districts and Places of Interest while in Bhutan:

THIMPHU: Thimphu is the Capital of Bhutan and is situated at 2,320 metres above sea level.Thimphu became the capital in 1961 and is the largest town in Bhutan,having a population of around 1,00,000 people only.Thimphu is the urban hub and so its also the most densely popuated place in Bhutan.

Places Of Interest in Thimphu:

  • Tashichhodzong: Main Secretariat building in Thimphu which houses both the Government administrative offices and the Central Monastic Body in Bhutan. This Dzong was initially erected in 1702,Sherab Wangchuk,the 13TH Desi. The Dzong is open to Visitors after office hour which is after 5pm(Summer) and after 4pm (winter)
  • The National Textile Museum: This Museum was opened under the Royal Patronage of Her Highness the Queen Mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck. The Museum opened its exhibition on SIX Major Themes of Wrap Pattern Weaves, Weft Pattern Weaves, Role of Textiles in religion, Achievements in Textile Arts,Textiles fom Indigenous Fibres and The Royal Collection. In this Museum,one can find the Crowns of Bhutan Kings, The Namza or the Royal dresses of the Kings, the First version of the Royal Raven Crown and many more items related to the Royal Family. Open through out the week except SUNDAYS. Now this Museum has be shifted to a new building thus able to hold fashion shows to showcase new products.
  • The National Memorial Chorten: This Stupa was built by Her Majesty Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck in 1974 in memory of her son,the THIRD KING of BHUTAN,King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. This stupa is in the heart of Thimphu city and within walking distance.
  • The Semtokha Dzong: This Dzong(fortress) was built in 1629,by Shabdrung Nawang Namgyel,the founder of Bhutan. It is the oldest Dzong in the Country and currently houses the School for Buddhist studies. The site to build this Dzong was chosen,to guard over a Demoness that had vanished into the rock nearby,and hence the name SIMTOKHA,where SIM stands for the Demoness and TOKHA stands for the stone or rock.
  • The National Institute of Zorig Chusum: Here visitors can watch the students learn and work on the crafts. (Institute of 13 arts and crafts of Bhutan):This Institute was opened in 1971 by the Royal Government of Bhutan to preserve the rich Heritage of Bhutan and promote the arts and crafts of Bhutan.The 13 Arts and Crafts are, Painting, Carpentry, Carving, Sculpture, Casting, Blacksmithing, Bamboo Works, Gold and Silver smithing, Weaving, Embroidery, Masonery, Leather Work and Paper making.
  • The National Institute of Traditional Medicine: All Bhutanese Traditional Medicines, Incense, and Ointments are made in this Institute, and medicine is practiced in this Institute. The Bhutanese Traditional Medicine Doctors are trained here. Tourist to Bhutan can avail the services of this institution at a nominal fee. There is also traditional hot bath with herbal medicines to cure the ailment.
  • The National Library: This library was established in 1967 with the primary purpose of collecting and preserving Ancient Bhutanese written and printed literarure. This Museum houses a large collection of scriptures and other documents,and a number of old printing blocks used in printing ancient religious scriptures.
  • The Folk Heritage Museum: This structure which houses the Folk Heritage Museum is its self a restored 19th Century three storied traditional building. Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck initiated the whole project of having a Folk Heritage Museum,so that he present day people can relate to how their fore fathers lived in the past,like what food they ate,how they prepared their food,how they lived their lives, what utensils and tools were used etc…
  • Royal Academy of Performing Arts: This Institute has 4 sections namely,Mask Dance Section,Music Section,Folk Dance section and the Drama section. All sections are geared towards preserving and practicing the traditional mask dances,drama,songs etc. The students and performers of this institute perform at local events and for Government Guests.
  • The Zangto Pelri Lhakhang(temple): This temple is in Thimphu Town and is a replica of the Guru Rimpoche’s celestial abode.
  • The Changangkha Lhakhang(temple): This temple was built in the 12th century and houses the unique statue of the Avalokiteshvara(The Buddha of Compassion). This temple is built like a fortress and is beleived that the day this temple gets covered with water then this world will come to an end.
  • Handicraft Emporium: This Emporium is Government run and all handicrafts are the produce from Rural Bhutan,all made by the far flung rural villagers, many of whom have never even stepped out of their villages. This is one of the initiatives of the Royal Government of Bhutan to help the Rural Folks. All products are genuine Bhutan made.
  • Royal Botanical Garden: This is a garden located about 15 minutes drive out of main Thimphu town. Usually people go here to enjoy the beautiful garden or to picnic with family and friends. This garden is popular for its varities if Orchid species.
  • Tandin Nye: It’s a Day Hike’s place to reach,but presently a rough road has opened so we can reach the Monastery faster,but nothing replaces a walk to this place. This temple is perched on a cliff,very similar to the Tigers Nest or taktsang Monastery in Paro. This Monastery lies just above the oldest Government school of Bhutan,the “Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School”, and this school is where the King of Bhutan did his schooling.
  • Phajoding Monastery: Day Hike OR part of DRUK Path Trek. This Monastery overlooks the entire Thimphu Valley,as it is located on a hill above Thimphu. If you trek,the Druk Path Trek ends at Phajoding or if your start the same trek from Thimphu then Phajoding is the starting point.
  • Cheri Monastery: Day Hike: It’s a day’s hike in Thimphu. This Monastery was built in 1620. The hike to this monastery starts by crossing a traditional wooden bridge and on the way to the Monastery,you can see Mountain Goats and meet local people.
  • Tango Monastery: This is the Buddhist University of Bhutan where the highest studies in Buddhism is completed here. Day Hike: It’s a day’s hike in Thimphu and is usually combined with the hike to the Cheri Monastery. This Monastery was founded in the 12th century,and is a place for higher education for monks or religious persons who are associated with Lama Drukpa Kunley and Zhabdrung Nawang Namgel.The name Tango refers to “Head of a Horse”and you can witness a rock that resembles the Head of a Horse.
  • Dochula View Point: This is the Pass that you will cross when traveling to the Punakha and Wangdue Valleys. Here there are 108 stupa built by the Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck for the long life and happiness of the King of Bhutan and all sentient beings. From this Pass,on a clear day,one can see the beautiful Mountain Range and the low lying valleys below. It’s a perfect place for a perfect picture irrespective of how the day is.You will see many prayer and wind flags too.
  • Lungtsutse Monastery: This is a day hike. This is a beautiful monastery built on top of a hill. Once you are on top,you will see the beautiful whole mountain range. While on the path to the Monastery,especially during the spring season,you will pass by many many Rhododendron flowers.
  • Dochula Botanical Garden: This is a garden full with many species of flora . There is a sacred lake where one makes a wish by throwing a coin in the sacred lake. People go for picnics here or visit this place for calmness and peace.

PARO: Paro is at an elevation of 2280 meters above sea level. Paro is the entry point for all visitors flying into Bhutan. It’s a beautiful valley,still very rural,with many villages and paddy fields.

Places of Interest in Paro

  • Taktsang Monastery:
  • Kichu Lhakhang
  • Ta-Dzong
  • Rinpung Dzong
  • Drugyel Dzong
  • Tamshing Lhakhang (Temple)
  • Sangchhoked Monastery
  • Dungtse Temple

PUNAKHA: Punakha is at an elevation of 1300 meters above sea level,and was the ancient capital of Bhutan.

Places of Interest:

  • Punakha Dzong
  • Khamsum Yulley Stupa
  • Chimmi Lhakhang: The Temple of fertility built in the 15th century
  • Local Market

WANGDUE PHODRANG: Wangdue Dzong: Wangduephodrang Dzong is 372 years old (as of 2010)and built in 1638 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.Presently this Dzong lies in ruins after the tragic fire incident.

Places of Interest:

Phobjikha Valley: Home to the endangered Black Necked Cranes . Gangtey Goenpa

NOTE: for more detailed information on any of the mentioned places,Please contact Bhutan Jewel Travel

EASTERN BHUTAN has the following Districts and Places of Interest:

MONGAR:

TRASHIGANG: Situated at an elevation of 1151 meters above sea level and is the largest district of Bhutan.

Places Of Interest:

  • Trashigang Dzong built in 1659
  • Radhi: The rice bowl of Bhutan and a weaving centre.

TRASHI YANGTSE: Situated at an elevation of 1830 meters above sea level,and the eastern home for the endangered Black Necked Cranes.

Places of Interest:

  • Gomkora Lhakhang: A whole lot of Myth surrounds this stupa and your Guide will narrate the stories to you.
  • Chorten Kora:
  • Old Yangtse Dzong
  • Bomdeling Valley: where the Black Necked Cranes roost during the winter.You will have to walk to this valley. The walk is easy and there are no harsh undulations.
  • National institute of Zorig Chusum: Institute of Traditional Arts and Crafts
  • Khaling: Visit the Handloom Development centre.

NOTE: for more detailed information on any of the mentioned places,Please contact Bhutan Jewel Travel

CENTRAL BHUTAN  has the following Districts and Places of Interest:

TRONGSA: Trongsa is at an elevation of 2316 meters above sea level and is the ancestral home of the Royal Family of Bhutan.

Places of Interest:

  • Trongsa Dzong
  • Ta Dzong
  • Chendebji Stupa

BUMTHANG: Situated at an elevation of 2600 to 4000 meters above sea level. Bumthang is know as being the religious hub of Bhutan.

Places of Interest:

  • Jakar Dzong: The castle of the White Bird
  • Jambay Lhakhang
  • Kurjey Lhakhang
  • Membar Tsho
  • Ura Valley
  • Tang Valley
  • Tharpaling Goempa: It’s a day hike

Wangdicholing Palace: this is the palace used and resided by the Father of the First King of Bhutan.

NOTE: for more detailed information on any of the mentioned places,Please contact Bhutan Jewel Travel at info@bhutanjewel.com

SOUTHERN BHUTAN has the following Districts and places of interest.

Phuentsholing: Situated at an elevation of 1829 meters above sea level. If you are travelling via Road and through India,then your entry point is Phuentsholing Or Samdrup Jongkhar.

Places Of Interest:

  • Zangto Pelri Lhakhang
  • Kharbandi Monastery

NOTE: for more detailed information on any of the mentioned places contact Bhutan Jewel Travel