Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, between the gigantic peaks of Tibet and the plains of the Ganges, Bhutan is home to priceless treasures and unspoiled nature. It reigns a perfume of happiness, its landscapes of an extraordinary beauty, its architectural marvels, a perfectly intact traditional culture, but especially to its population of an exceptional hospitality. This city has kept its charm and attractive culture to the delight of travelers. Discover the beautiful country, Bhutan, jewel preserved from the Himalayas, where wealth is measured by the smile of its inhabitants.
What to do in Bhutan
Discover the monastic life
A visit to the monasteries can provide you with unique and peaceful experiences. Lhohdrak Kharchhu Monastery is located on a hill overlooking the city of Bumthang (3 hours from Thimphu, the capital).
After a half-hour trek, you will reach the quiet premises of the monastery. On arrival, the atmosphere is calm. The monks, about a hundred, are preparing for their regular morning ceremony based on songs and music. A divine experience that makes you forgets your worries of everyday life and plunges you into an extreme serenity.
Take a tour of the local market
The local market can be a good opportunity to soak up Bhutanese culture and get in touch with its people. It is also a place to hunt and bring back wonderful memories of your trip. We go to the craft market of Thimphu where a wide range of hand-made products (such as woven bags, ashtrays, bracelets) stands on stands next to each other.
The local market of Punakha, 72 km from the capital, is a true palette of colors. The villagers display their fresh produce on the ground, on a tablecloth or wicker baskets. There are fresh fruits picked the same day, red and green peppers, different varieties of rice, but also children’s toys, textiles.
Visit the animal park
The fauna and flora of this country nestled in the heart of the Himalayas is a must see. To be closer to nature, you must at all costs visit one of the many national parks and its sanctuaries. Jigme Dorji National Park, north of Thimphu, is one of the largest protected areas in Bhutan with important landmarks, including sacred sites such as Jomolhari, Tsherimgang and Jichu Drakey.
The opportunity is also to see the national animal and venerated Bhutan, the Takin, a mix between the cow (the body) and the goat (the head) and which feeds exclusively on grass.
Go up to Taktshang Monastery
A trip to Bhutan without stopping at Taktshang Monastery remains incomplete. Taktshang, translated as “Tiger’s Nest”, is Bhutan’s best-known and most perched monastery. 10 km from Paro, it is more than 3,000 m above sea level and seems suspended on the cliff, ready to fall into the abyss it faces.
To access it, it takes about two hours of trekking and takes your time because, despite a path in good condition, some places are pretty dizzying. But the stakes are worth the candle because the view from the monastery is spectacular.
Taste the local cuisine
While visiting Bhutan, it is imperative to taste the local cuisine. The most typical dish is “Ema Datshi”, a kind of gratin made from yak milk cheese or cow and peppers (Ema means pepper, Datshi means cheese). It can be prepared with potatoes, eggs, meat or vegetables.
When to go
The months of October and November, as well as the periods of the big holidays, are the ideal. At this time, the climate is particularly pleasant, with a clear sky and clear masses: a good time to practice treks for example. We avoid at all costs the months of June to August, the period of monsoon where waterspouts generally fall on Thimphu and the hills of the east.
How to get there
Unfortunately, there is no direct flight from a European city to Bhutan. To get there, just take a flight to Delhi or Kathmandu and then take a plane that will take you to the only airport in the country that is located in Paro, two hours from the capital Thimphu. If you pass through Kathmandu, you will enjoy a magnificent view of the mountains.