Must-see attractions in Bhutan

  • Punakha Dzong located at the junction of the Mo Chhu (Mother River) and Pho Chhu (Father River) in the Punakha Valley, Bhutan, Asia

    Punakha Dzong

    Western Bhutan

    Punakha Dzong is arguably the most beautiful dzong in the country, especially in spring when the lilac-coloured jacaranda trees bring a lush sensuality to…

  • Trashi Chho Dzong


    This splendid dzong, north of the city on the west bank of the Wang Chhu, dominates the valley, looking out over a cascade of terraced fields. It's…

  • Taktshang Goemba(Tigers Nest Monastery), Bhutan, in a mountain cliff

    Taktshang Goemba

    Western Bhutan

    The 'Tiger's Nest Monastery' is one of the Himalaya's most incredible sights, miraculously perched on the side of a sheer cliff 900m above the floor of…

  • Scenic view of the Trongsa District, Trongsa Dzong, Trongsa, Bhutan

    Trongsa Dzong


    This commanding dzong, high above the roaring Mangde Chhu, is perhaps the most spectacularly sited dzong in Bhutan, with a sheer drop to the south that…

  • Kyichu Lhakhang

    Western Bhutan

    Kyichu Lhakhang is one of Bhutan's oldest and most beautiful temples. The main chapel has roots as far back as the 7th century, with additional buildings…

  • Changangkha Lhakhang, Thimphu, Bhutan, Asia.

    Changangkha Lhakhang


    This traditional Bhutanese temple perched like a fortress on a ridge above central Thimphu hums with pilgrim activity. It was established in the 12th…

  • Thimphu, Bhutan - AUGUST 13, 2014: The National Textile Museum of Bhutan; Shutterstock ID 610666673; full: 65050; gl: 65050; netsuite: poi; your: Barbara Di Castro

    National Textile Museum


    Thimphu's best museum is part of the Royal Textile Academy. It features a stunning display of ancient and modern textiles, and explores the rich…

  • A local guide standing still while wearing a traditional clothing for men called Gho a knee length and kimono-like cloth held in place by a belt called Kera. Rinpung Dzong is an architectural feat housing a network of courtyards, temples and offices. Its full name is Rinche Pung Dzong which literally means Fortress on a Heap of Jewels.

    Paro Dzong


    Paro Dzong ranks as a high point of Bhutanese architecture. The massive buttressed walls that tower over the town are visible throughout the valley,…

  • Gom Kora Monastery in Trashigang in East Bhutan

    Gom Kora

    Eastern Bhutan

    An extraordinarily picturesque temple, Gom Kora is located 13km north of Chazam. The lush green fields, the monks' red robes and the temple's yellow roof…

  • Simtokha Dzong


    About 5km south of Thimphu on the old road to Paro and Phuentsholing, the handsomely proportioned Simtokha Dzong was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang…

  • Watchtower Ta Dzong now houses the National Museum.

    National Museum


    Perched above Paro Dzong is its ta dzong (watchtower), built in 1649 to protect the undefended dzong and renovated in 1968 to house the National Museum…

  • Gangte Goemba (Monastery), Phonbjikha Valley.

    Gangte Goemba

    Phobjikha Valley

    Gangte Goemba enjoys prime real estate, on a forested hill overlooking the green expanse of the entire Phobjikha valley. The extensive complex consists of…

  • At a strategic vantage point perched high over Trongsa Dzong, rises its watch tower, Bhutan.

    Tower of Trongsa Royal Heritage Museum


    This watchtower (ta dzong) overlooking the dzong now houses an excellent museum. The five floors of displays tell the history of the monarchy through such…

  • Jakar Dzong in mountains.

    Jakar Dzong


    Jakar Dzong is in a picturesque location overlooking the Chokhor valley; the current structure was built in 1667. Its official name is Yuelay Namgyal…

  • Masks on display at Handicraft Market

    Weekend Market


    Thimphu's Weekend Market fills a maze-like pavilion on the west bank of the Wang Chhu, just north of Changlimithang Stadium. Vendors from throughout the…

  • Peace Memorial Stupa.

    National Memorial Chorten


    This large chorten is one of the most visible landmarks in Thimphu, and for many Bhutanese it is the focus of daily worship. The Tibetan-style stupa was…

  • Tango Goemba


    Tango is the residence of Gyalse Rinpoche, recognised as the seventh reincarnation of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, founder of Taktshang Goemba. The original…

  • Man moulding miniature clay mask at National Institute for Zorig Chusum.

    National Institute for Zorig Chusum


    This institute, commonly known as 'the painting school', operates four- to six-year courses that provide instruction in Bhutan's 13 traditional arts…

  • Black-Necked Crane Information Centre

    Phobjikha Valley

    Your first stop in Phobjikha should be the information centre of the Royal So­ciety for Protection of Nature (RSPN), which has informative displays about…

  • Dumtse Lhakhang


    Just north of town, by the road leading to the National Museum, is Dumtse Lhakhang, an unusual chorten-like temple that was built in 1433 (some sources…

  • Kurjey Lhakhang means "Body Imprint Temple" is located in Bumthang, central Bhutan. It was built in the 8th century. Guru Rinpoche, the tantric master of Bhutan Buddhism, meditated in this temple for three months and left his body imprint inside the cave. "Kurjey" means body imprint. At the side of the temple there is a tall cypress tree that is believed to have sprouted from the walking stick of Guru Rinpoche.

    Kurjey Lhakhang


    This large, active and important temple complex is named after the body (kur) print (jey) of Guru Rinpoche, which is preserved in a cave inside the oldest…

  • Tamshing Goemba


    This goemba, formally the Tamshing Lhendup Chholing (Temple of the Good Message), is 5km from Jakar. It was established in 1501 by Pema Lingpa and is the…

  • Landmark of Thimphu City, Kuenselphodrang, statue of Lord Buddha

    Buddha Dordenma


    The huge 51m-tall steel statue of Buddha Dordenma commands the entry to the Thimphu valley. The massive three-storey base houses a large chapel full of…

  • Chorten Kora

    Eastern Bhutan

    Chorten Kora is large, but not nearly as large as the stupa of Bodhnath in Nepal, after which it was patterned. It was constructed in 1740 by Lama Ngawang…

  • Konchogsum Lhakhang


    Just 400m below Tamshing, this towering, recently constructed and brightly painted building completely envelops the restored remains of the original…

  • Chumphu Ney

    Western Bhutan

    For a fabulous trip into the dreamlike miracle world of Bhutan's sacred geography, budget a day for a hike up to one of Bhutan’s most famous ney (sacred…

  • Dzongdrakha Goemba

    Western Bhutan

    The visually splendid but little-visited cliffside retreat of Dzongdrakha Goemba is one of several local sites where Guru Rinpoche did battle with local…

  • Chimi Lhakhang

    Western Bhutan

    The famous Chimi Lhakhang is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kunley, the 15th-century Tibetan magician, saint and exponent of 'crazy wisdom'. It is for him that…

  • Archery Ground


    After a visit to Paro's weekend market or Druk Choeding temple, it's well worth wandering down to this local archery ground to see if there's a…

  • Cheri Goemba


    From the river confluence at Dodina, a steep trail climbs for 45 minutes through a forest adorned with prayer flags to Cheri Goemba, established by…

  • Kila Nunnery

    Western Bhutan

    Established as a meditation site in the 9th century and reputedly the oldest nunnery in Bhutan, Kila Nunnery is reached via a dirt road and short walk…

  • Changlimithang Archery Ground


    Most days of the week you'll find arrows flying at the city's most important archery ground, just down from Changlimithang Stadium. Teams compete to hit…

  • Dechen Phodrang


    Beyond Trashi Chho Dzong at the north end of town, Dechen Phodrang stands on the site of Thimphu's original 12th-century dzong. Since 1971 it has housed…

  • Royal Manas National Park


    Royal Manas is Bhutan's oldest national park and occupies territory in the biodiverse southern foothills of three dzongkhags: Zhemgang, Sarpang and…

  • Zuri Dzong


    Zuri Dzong was built in 1352 as a fort and the five-storey main building is still well protected by double walls and a bridge. There are some particularly…

  • Chhoekhor, Bhutan - November 9, 2015: Pilgrim is praying at the Jampey Lhakhang temple, Chhoekhor, Bhutan with the image of the 5th King of Bhutan in the background. It is one of the oldest temple in Bhutan. It is said to date back to 7th century

    Jampey Lhakhang


    Up a short side road about 1.5km past Sey Lhakhang, this fabulous temple is believed to have been built in 659 by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo, on the…

  • Drametse Goemba

    Eastern Bhutan

    The biggest and most important monastery in eastern Bhutan, Drametse is an 18km, hour-long drive on a dirt track off the main road at Thungari. The rough…

  • Ngang Lhakhang


    A bumpy 10km drive up the Chokhor valley from Thangbi Goemba is the small region known as Ngang-yul (Swan Land). The site was visited by Guru Rinpoche,…

  • Juneydrak Hermitage

    Western Bhutan

    About 1km north of Haa, just before the main bridge, a paved road branches east 1km to Katsho village, from where you can take a lovely 40-minute hike to…

  • Thimphu, Bhutan, Asia.

    Motithang Takin Preserve


    Off the road leading to the BBS Tower, this preserve for Bhutan's curious national animal was originally established as a zoo, but the fourth king decided…

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