Top 8 Things to Do in Bhutan
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a country where ancient traditions and the modern world coexist in harmony. Traveling to Bhutan is a profound and mysterious experience. This is a relatively small country and it will bring travelers a unique adventure. Top 8 things to do in Bhutan lists the most major activities in Bhutan.
1. Climb to the Tiger's Nest Monastery
Paro Taktshang, or the Tiger's Nest Monastery, is one of Bhutan's most famous landmarks. The monastery is on the edge of a steep cliff in the Paro Valley. According to legend, a tiger brought Master Rinpoche (an important figure in Buddhism) here to conquer the local demons. It takes two hours on foot to reach the Tiger's Nest Monastery. During this time, you can stop in the middle of the mountain to take a break and enjoy the wonderful scenery on the road. You can also rent a horse to ride up the mountain but the rest of the time you have to walk. In addition, remember to wear comfortable shoes!
Tiger's Nest Monastery
2. Live with a host family
In Bhutan, travelers can spend time with local families on farms in the Paro Valley. You can relax on a hard mattress with pink blankets and taste local butter tea and cheese. The friendly homeowner prepares a traditional hot stone bathtub or a wooden bathtub in the outbuilding and puts the heated large stone in the water. The relaxing soaks will allow travelers to sleep better at night until they are woken up by farm animals in the early morning.
3. Participate in traditional festivals
The Tshechu Festival is a festival for Buddhists and is a display of Bhutanese life and culture. Like other countries, the festivals in Bhutan are full of national colors and mysterious legends. The religious festival Tshechu takes place all over Bhutan and is considered a special spiritual festival. Locals gather to watch masked dancers and singers while taking this opportunity for social activities. In addition, some dramas about good and evil were performed. You may even be asked to take part in a scene that will make everyone happy!
4. Visit Punakha Dzong
Dzong is a castle temple in all of Bhutan. Its importance lies not only in its particular structure, but also in its role as the administrative and religious center of the Bhutanese community. One of the most beautiful Dzongs is Punakha Dzong, also known as the "Palace of Luck". Punakha Dzong is located at the confluence of the Po Chhu River and Mo Chhu River, which is one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. In addition, Punakha Dzong has typical detailed Buddhist symbols and murals, some of which depict the life of the Buddha.
Bhutan is a paradise for hikers. When you admire the magnificent scenery at high altitude, hiking is more memorable than traveling by means of transport. Compared to other countries, trekking in Bhutan is more primitive and closer to nature. 72% of Bhutan's land is covered by forests, which is a dream land for environmentalists.
Horse with Luggage
When trekking in Bhutan, all travelers will accompany by guides, cooks, horse breeders or cattle herders. These locals are a reliable base to guide the trekking team through the mountain trails. All necessary camping equipment, cooking utensils and food are carried by the cattle.
Bhutan's Tourism Office has planned more than 20 formal trekking routes across the country. The time required for different hiking routes is different. Relatively classic and popular hiking routes are: Druk Path (4 days), Jhomolhari Trek (7/11 days), Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek (5 days), Gangtey Trek (3 days) and so on.
Trekking in Bhutan
The best time for hiking is from mid-March to mid-May and from mid-September to early November. In April and May, you can see deep red and orange azaleas in full bloom in the Himalayas. However, there are also hiking routes that are suitable for summer or winter. For travelers, it is best to consider the opportunity and the best time for each trekking route before hiking.
6. Ride a mountain bike
Travelers who enjoy outdoor activities may fall in love with exhilarating mountain bike tours in Bhutan. The rugged mountains of Bhutan are great places for mountain biking. People can cycle through important cultural sites as well as through the villages and small towns of Bhutan. There are various cycle routes in Bhutan, from smooth asphalt roads to difficult off-road routes. Most cyclists choose paved roads because the traffic in Bhutan is not too busy. Whether it is on asphalt or off-roads, it's a new adventure for the driver. If you have enough physical strength and enjoy mountain biking, then mountain biking in Bhutan should not be missed.
Ride a mountain bike
7. Watch or learn archery
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and is very popular all over Bhutan. From regional competitions between friends to national competitions, this activity has received considerable attention. Archery is not only just a sport, but a social event in Bhutan. The archers of Bhutan will wear traditional costumes and there will be plenty of liquor next to their quiver. Song and dance performances will be added during the competition. Archery often lasts for several days and the content is extensive.
8. Take part in Bamboo rafting and kayak rafting
It's difficult to find a destination like Bhutan, which has a variety of bamboo rafting and kayaking options. The turbulent rivers and calm streams can cater to the diverse needs of travelers. There is short and easy bamboo rafting for beginners and crazy adventures for real rafting lovers. The best times for bamboo rafting and kayaking in Bhutan are from March to April and November to December. The river level is high from May to October and many rivers are not suitable for rafting during this time. In winter, the water level is low from January to February and some rivers cannot carry ships.