Incredible Things to Do in Bhutan

Adventure Travel Tips

The ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ – Bhutan nestles in the mountainous regions of the Eastern Himalayas and is one of the cleanest countries in the South Asian territory. A government-sponsored country observing Tantric Buddhism and following Vajrayana Buddhism as the state religion. Bhutan has a number of highly detailed Dzongs and temples. But apart from this, there's a lot more to Bhutan than just Buddhism. Here's what shouldn't miss when in Bhutan:

Here is the list of 20 Incredible Things to Do in Bhutan

1. Hike Up the Tiger's Nest

Total Distance: 6.4 kms
Elevation: 3,120 metres (10,240 ft)
Time Required: 3-5 hours depending on your pace.

The trekking trail which leads to Paro Taktsang is considered a bit challenging, but all it takes is the determination to reach the destination. The trail starts from the nearest road and the total length up to the monastery is around 4 kilometres. There are colourful flags all along the way, which makes the trail beautiful and vibrant.

2. Taste the Authentic Bhutanese Cuisine

What the Bhutanese are essentially in love with is spice which comes across so boldly in a variety of their dishes. Vegetarian tourists could breathe a sigh of relief about their food options. What is interesting to note is that despite the existence of many popular meat-based dishes, a significant number of Bhutanese people are vegetarians. A lot of Indian and Chinese food is also available throughout the country.

3. See the National Animal of Bhutan

The crown jewel of Thimphu, Motithang Takin Preserve is a protected area where the national animal of Bhutan, Takin, is preserved. A half an hour walk here would unveil many exotic birds and animals to you, who wander around the area freely and in the most natural of habitat. Overflowing with serenity, the wildlife here is exquisite and should be seen once.

4. Attend the Vibrant Festivals of Bhutan

The Kingdom of Thunder Dragon, with its rich culture and spirituality, celebrates numerous festivals with great vigour and fervours. The best way to experience Bhutan’s rich culture is by being a part of its celebrations. Although not all festivals of Bhutan are celebrated with the same zeal, each festival is equally enthralling. Every month, at least one festival is celebrated in this country so make sure you coordinate your travel dates with these interesting festivals!

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5. Stay at a Homestay & Get to Know the Locals

Bhutan is known for its people's hospitality and generosity. By spending time with locals in their village and home, you learn a lot about the culture of that country, the lifestyle of its people, and how we are all so similar, yet so different. It gives you a glimpse and insight into their cuisine, their livelihood and their ancestral history.

6. Shop All the Souvenirs from This Beautiful Country

From fruits and vegetables to organic products, Paro Weekend Market and Thimphu Weekend Market provide the visitors with everything under one roof. Bustling with vendors and buyers, the vibrant market has Bhutanese stamps, antiques, prayer wheels and whatnot, sold away at throwaway prices. It is worth making a visit to this area before leaving the city, watching the dynamics of this beautiful city.

7. Go Trekking in the Mountains

For the ones who look for rush and for the ones who lean toward going to places that aren't run-of-the-mill, trekking in Bhutan is the best thing to enjoy! Situated in the lap of the eastern Himalayas, this most joyful spot on earth is a heaven waiting to be explored by the travellers worldwide. It has the ideal climate, the most inspiring environment, and the truly flawless mountains and valleys that will take away your heart and captivate your eyes!

8. Experience Rafting in the backdrop of the Himalayas

With a number of rugged, untamed rivers meandering through its map, Bhutan offers the perfect destination for river rafting. Mo Chhu, Paro Chhu in Punakha, Sankosh River, Mangde Chhu, Wang Chhu, Puna Tsang Chhu and the Dangme Chhu are considered to be the best for rafting due to their easy access and safe course.

9. Explore the Camp Sites of Bhutan

Camping in Bhutan is undoubtedly the best way to connect with mother nature, given the abundance of nature here. There are a few remote villages where you can camp with your friends, family or even solo. These areas are mostly untouched by infrastructural development and you will get the true essence of camping in Bhutan.

10. Rejuvenate Yourself with a Hot Stone Bath

A visit to Bhutan would be incomplete without experiencing a hot stone bath, and hence this must feature on every visitor's itinerary. A Bhutanese hot stone bath is the perfect way to relax and wind down after a long day of sightseeing and is also believed to have numerous health benefits.

11. Try Archery - Learn More about the National Sport of Bhutan

The glory of Bhutan is not hidden from anyone. The country, as beautiful as heaven itself, is known for its vivid culture, vibrant festivals and its richness in sports. It is true that no matter how developed or beautiful a country is, it never becomes complete until its citizens have an unleashed spirit for sports. And it is the royal sport of archery or "Da" (as it is called in Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan) which completes Bhutan.

12. Find Solace at the Mesmerising Monasteries

Dominated by a large number of Buddhists, it is only natural to find many beautiful monasteries in Bhutan, all of which are sacred and as gorgeous as one can possibly imagine. Almost every little town has its very own monastery, where people visit out of religious faith. And being a beautiful country in itself, its monasteries are also a mesmerising sight to watch.

13. Bike Through the Mountainous Landscape

Speeding up your bike en route to the top of the hill and playing with wind and speed while enjoying the beautiful sights from there is one of the best experiences that a man can fathom in his lifetime. And what's a better way to get your adrenaline racing than mountain biking in Bhutan? With its vivid landscape and mountainous roads, Bhutan is rapidly becoming one of the favourite places to try one's hand in mountain biking.

14. Climb the Highest Rock of Bhutan

If you thought that the trip to the ‘Land Of Thunder Dragons’ was only about exploring the monasteries or the national parks, you are highly mistaken. Adventure junkies looking for new extremities and unconventional tour programs can try out the various outdoor sports like hiking, rafting, and rock climbing. While many tourists love conquering the high cliffs by hiking, some take the adventure a few notches higher with rock climbing which take mental and physical determination, body strength, agility, perfect balance, endurance and also control over the mind.

15. Explore the Suspension Bridges of Bhutan

The second-longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, Punakha Suspension Bridge is perched over the Mo Chhu and Po Chhu (river) and is about 160-180 meters in length. It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world that connects Punakha Dzongkhag to the rest of the valley. The bridge is beautifully draped with prayer flags and makes a perfect spot for bird watching and photography. Although it is built sturdily, it shakes when winds blow strongly, and that is when the thrill is at its zenith.

16. Understand the Architecture in Bhutan by Visiting the Dzongs

The first things that come to one's mind when talking about Bhutan are probably the architectures, the closeness to nature and its strong association with the Buddhist culture. And it is just to say that a huge part of the country's architecture has a strong Buddhist influence. One such distinctive architecture that you will see all around Bhutan are the Dzongs, they are beautiful and hold a very important religious position in the country.

17. Explore Bhutan's Natural Beauty

Located at the foot of the majestic Himalayas, the kingdom of Bhutan boasts of incredible flora and fauna. Its dense forests present an exquisite experience for anyone seeking out nature at its finest. Much of the land is made of protected areas set aside since the 1960s. It comes as no surprise that Bhutan is truly the land of parks and sanctuaries – the constitution even mandates that it maintain at least 40% of land under forest cover!

18. Relax in the Beautiful Valleys of Bhutan

The valleys of Bhutan have been the centre of attraction in the country since time immemorial. With green and tall trees, blue rivers and surrounding mountains, the valleys are known to provide tranquillity to one's mind. Although the country has no dearth of beautiful valleys, the following Valleys in Bhutan should definitely be visited.

19. Awe at the Colourful Cham Dances

Dances in Bhutan, like every country in the world, has its unique forms and styles which define its culture. The dancers do not just perform to entertain the audience or to win an award, but they do it with all of their heart. Each dance form requires a meticulous effort and complete faith. So, what are all the unique dances of Bhutan and how is that different from the rest of the world is what this blog is all about! So, let's have a peek into the fascinating culture of the hill-locked country!

20. Learn More about the Bhutanese Form of Art

The attention to detail, the extensive use of bold colours, the choice of themes and the symmetry of objects in Bhutanese art is known worldwide. The Land of the Thunder Dragon blends Indian, Chinese and Tibetan artistic traditions into their artforms. Art has always remained an essential part of the daily life of a Bhutanese because it represents internal and external spirituality.

As for protecting the environment, it is a constitutional obligation that 60% of Bhutan remains covered with forest and it is among the first ‘Carbon Negative’ countries in the world where Tobacco selling is banned. With its sustainable growth of natural resources, protected natural environment, cultural heritage and good governance, Bhutan achieved “Gross National Happiness” by switching from ‘Gross National Product’ ideal of the western countries. So while in Bhutan, be a responsible tourist and continue their legacy.

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