Must see attractions in Western Bhutan

  • Top Choice

    Punakha Dzong

    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…

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    Top Choice

    Kyichu Lhakhang

    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…

  • Top Choice

    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,…

  • Top Choice

    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…

  • Top Choice

    Gangte Goemba

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

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    Top Choice

    Black-Necked Crane Information Centre

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

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    Top Choice

    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…

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    Chumphu Ney

    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…

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    Dzongdrakha Goemba

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

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    Chimi Lhakhang

    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…

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    Kila Nunnery

    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…

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    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…

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    Nyelung Drachaling

    Travellers with a sense of the magical will want to visit this unassuming chapel, one of eight residences (ling) built by the 14th-century Nyingma…

  • Tago Lhakhang

    In the centre of tiny Bondey village, on the east side of the Paro Chhu, beside the main road near the Bondey bridge, is this charming and unusually…

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    Drukgyel Dzong

    Drukgyel Dzong, now an imposing ruin, was built in 1649 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to control the trade and military route to Tibet. The building was…

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    Paro Weekend Market

    Paro's weekend market isn't very large but it has a traditional feel and is a fine introduction to some of Bhutan's unique local products, from organic…

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    Shelkar Drak

    A short excursion up the valley behind the Lhakhang Kharpo is Shelkar Drak (Crystal Cliff), a tiny, charming retreat centre perched on the limestone cliff…

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    Lhakhang Nagpo

    A 10-minute walk or short drive behind the Lhakhang Kharpo is the grey-walled Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Chapel), one of the oldest temples in the Haa valley…

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    Pena Lhakhang

    Lovely Pena (or Puna) Lhakhang is ignored by most visitors to Paro, but is said to have been founded by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century,…