Bucket List for Bhutan
If Bhutan is on your bucket list, here is a list of must-see and must-do when you arrive:
1. Taktsang Monastery
Guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism to the Himalayas in 746AD and flew to this monastery on the back of winged tigress. A beautiful hike delivers you to a jaw-dropping monastery, clinging to a craggy cliff 2,500 feet above the valley floor.
2. Paro Dzong
Dzongs serve as the religious and administrative headquarters in each district and their imposing presence is a feat of architecture brilliance.
3. Watch an Archery Match
Bhutan often feels like a "living museum. That is, until you watch a spirited archery match where the locals use bows that seem straight out of futuristic movie like "Blade Runner." Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and, let me tell you, the locals have great aim!
4. Tsechu Dance
These colorful masked dances celebrate Buddhisms victory over evil and are a cultural attraction not to be missed.
5. Get on the Trekking Trail
Hop off your tourist bus and hike the hiking trail. The 5-day Druk Path Trek, 9-day Chomolhari Trek and epic 24-day Snowman Trek are some of the highlights.
6. Experience Thimphu's Nightlife
Mingle with the locals at Om Bar or Space 34, drinking Bhutan's famous Hit Beer or Druk 11,000.
7. Thimphu Weekend Market
A great place to mingle with the locals and buy souvenirs like statues, textiles and...yak tongue!
8. Punakha Dzong
Like Paro Dzong, this fortress along the banks of the Pho Chhu (river) is not to be missed.
9. Arrange a Home-Stay
Ask your tour guide to arrange a home-stay where you can experience life as a true Bhutanese citizen. The village of Haa is perfect for this.
10. Druk Air Flight in/out of Paro
The flight into Bhutan can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster with wings but the pilots are the best in the World and you'll get to see the world's tallest mountains, including Mt. Everest!
Beneath Blossom Rain: Discovering Bhutan on the Toughest Trek in the World
Bhutan: A Trekkers Guide
Lonely Planet Bhutan
Radio Shangri La
Married to Bhutan
Written and contributed by Kevin Grange