Bhutan is characterized by a lively and orthodox culture. Visitors to this magical land that is nestled in the Himalayas will find that it is completely surrounded by mountains, some dotted with evergreen trees while others remain barren.
In addition, as you journey from one Bhutanese town to another, you will encounter numerous streams and waterfalls that are inundated with azure-blue waters. Other sights you are likely to enjoy as you traverse the land of the last Shangri-La include dzongs (forts), monasteries, and flags perched across hilltops signifying prayer. The top attractions of Bhutan are cultural as well as natural:
1. Paro Valley
Home to some of the oldest Bhutanese temples and monasteries, the Paro Valley offers stunning views. This tourist site is easily accessible from any part of the country thus transportation is not a problem. In addition, Paro Valley can be accessed from the air as the area has an airport. It is renowned as the red rice producing region of the country.
Also referred to as the Wangdi Dzong, this Bhutanese attraction was built in the early 17th century and is situated 1350 meters south of Punakha where the rivers Tang-chu and Punakhachu meet. Here, visitors are sure to be awed by the majestic lands that provide pasture to the natives' livestock.
3. Thimpu Valley
Located at an altitude of 2,300 meters, the Thimpu Valley is home to many buildings the most famous of which is, arguably, the Taschichho Dzong which houses the district's main secretariat. It is one of the most visited sites in Bhutan.
4. Bumthang Valley
Buddhist adherents and anthropologists in general cannot afford to give the Bumthang Valley a miss as it is home to the oldest Buddhist temples across all of Bhutan. It is a vital reference point that chronicles the growth of Buddhism and should consequently be penciled in a trip to this inspiring land.
This historical site is important to the people of Bhutan as it is the place where unification efforts were cemented thus ensuring a unified land. A crucial cog in Bhutan's storied history.
Besides being the largest district in Bhutan, Thashigang is also home to the body of monks. This attraction also boasts of dzongs (forts) that were built in the early 17th century.
Undoubtedly one of the best tourist attractions in Bhutan, Mongar is famous for its somewhat recent dzongs that were built in the 1930s. It is popular with visitors as it offers an insight into the history and development of the architecture that has flourished and been a hallmark of this land for thousands of years.
8. Chalela Pass
The Chalela Pass is popular with tourists as it offers one of the highest vantage points in the country. It is a two hour uphill drive from the Paro Valley and during winter, travelers to the pass experience the scenic views of frozen waterfalls, rivers, snow, and alpine flowers. The magnificent views of the surrounding valleys and mountains as you make your way up the breezy pass are sure to last long in the memory.
9. Flora and Fauna
Bhutan is widely acclaimed as a botanist's utopia. Some of the rich floral species that are found in Bhutan include tropical trees, junipers, pines, rhododendrons, carnivorous plants, gentian, rare orchids, high-altitude plants, oak, magnolias, giant rhubarb, daphne, edelweiss and the blue poppy which is also the national flower of Bhutan. Conversely, exotic and rare fauna include red pandas, snow leopard, musk deer, takin, golden langur, black-necked crane, mountain goats, hornbills, timid blue sheep, tigers, Himalayan marten, pheasants, and the Himalayan brown bear.
Bhutan continues to attract large tourist numbers owing to its amazing man made and natural attractions. There is no limit to what you can see and the chances are that you will visit again as it is almost impossible to take in Bhutan's incredible sights in a single trip. This explains why the country still continues to draw impressive visitor numbers each year.