The Kathmandu Valley

Paro

  • Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery
  • Historical shrines and temples
  • Breathtaking vistas

The Paro valley of Bhutan is the embodiment of the country’s cultural essence and scenic beauty. Standing tall on a cliff overlooking Paro valley is the Taktshang monastery, Bhutan’s holiest shrine, said to have been anointed by Guru Padmasambhava who flew into the region on the back of a tigress. Credited with introducing Buddhism in Bhutan, Guru Padmasambhava is the chief deity of the region and a temple dedicated to him was built here in 1692. The Tsechu festival is celebrated in Paro in his honour every year in March and April. Other ancient sites in the Paro valley are the Rinpung Dzong, known as the impregnable fortress, the venue of the Paro festival and Ta Dzong, a cultural museum.

Read MoreView Less
Bardiya National Park

Phobjikha Valley

  • Historical villages and ancient shrines
  • Skilled craftsmen and artisans

The Phobjikha valley is an immense U-shaped glacial valley, also called the Gangteng valley after the famous Gangteng Monastery located in Phobjikha village. In winter, the valley is the roosting spot of the endangered Black-necked Cranes that arrive here from Tibet and are considered sacred, with a festival being held to celebrate their arrival every October. The Gangteng Monastery complex has been beautifully renovated and restored to its former glory, a testament to the craftsmen and artisans of Bhutan. There are several other ancient temples and villages to explore in this beautiful valley, which is famed for the spectacular views and vistas it offers visitors.

Read MoreView Less
 
Pokhara

Bumthang

  • Centre of Buddhist spirituality
  • Walks and treks into the surrounding valleys

The Bumthang valley is said to be where Buddhism took hold in Bhutan and is the country’s spiritual hub. Many ancient temples and monasteries dot the undulating landscape of this scenic spot, primary among them being the Jambey Lhakhang, one of a 108 monasteries said to have been built to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayas in the 7th century, and Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most holy monuments of Bhutan. There are several easy day walks from Bumthang to explore other, less frequented valleys in the area.

Read MoreView Less
The Annapurna region

Thimphu

  • Bhutan’s capital, a showcase of Bhutanese life
  • Historical museums and monuments

The capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, has a medieval style of architecture, with narrow streets of tiny shops, each laden with local produce and a bustling weekend market. Visit the Tashichho Dzong, which serves as the seat of government and the central monastic body. The School of Arts and Crafts, where children are taught painting and woodcarving; the museum of folk heritage; the textile museum; the institute of traditional medicine and a papermaking factory are places that must be visited when in Thimphu.

Read MoreView Less