Discover the cultural and natural treasures of Western Bhutan with our short and well-planned Western Bhutan Tour. Within eight days, you can explore four popular Bhutanese destinations – Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and Phobjika.
Walk around ancient lakhangs, or Buddhist shrines, dating back to the medieval period. Visit the majestic dzongs, or traditional citadels. Hike along terraced fields and forests to reach secluded gompas, or monasteries. Experience the breathtaking Himalayan landscape while traveling across cities.
The Western Bhutan Tour begins in Paro, a city with one of the quietest and greenest international airports in the world. After meeting your local tour guide and driver, you will be driven to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
In Thimphu, visit the King’s Memorial Chorten, a stupa built in memory of the third king of Bhutan, and the grand Tashicho Dzong. Drive to the hilltop shrine of Buddha Dordenma, where a gigantic statue of Lord Buddha looks down benignly on the Thimphu valley.
Leaving Thimphu, you will be driven to the glacial valley of Phobjika, the nesting site of the endangered Black-necked cranes. Nestled beneath the Black Mountains, Phobjika is home to a variety of Himalayan flora and fauna. It is also home to one of the ancient monasteries in Bhutan, the Gangtey Monastery. Explore the Gangtey Monastery and traditional villages surrounding the gompa. You can also take a nature tour and hike along the idyllic Gangtey Nature Trail, observing the wildlife and enjoying the gorgeous scenery.
At Punakha, we will take you to the Fertility Temple, or Chimi Lakhang, an important pilgrimage site for childless couples. Perched on a hill overlooking the Punakha valley, this temple was built in the fifteenth century by Drukpa Kuenley, the patron saint of Bhutan. Visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, a huge castle which houses administrative buildings, a monastery, and chapels. Located at the confluence of the Po Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers and surrounded by jacaranda trees, Punakha Dzong is probably the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan.
After a delightful tour of Punakha, you return to Paro and visit the major sightseeing spots – Ta Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, and Kyichu Lakhang. The Ta Dzong, also known as the National Museum, showcases ancient weaponry and military artifacts used by the Bhutanese warriors. In the olden days, Bhutan had to defend itself constantly from invading Tibetan armies. The dzongs, or forts, were built to defend the cities from Tibetan invasion. Walk to the holy Kichu Lakhang, one of the 108 temples built by the Tibetan emperor Songsten Gampo in the seventh century. The lakhang is one of Bhutan’s oldest temples.
You wrap up your insightful Western Bhutan Tour with a hike to the Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery. Perched on the side of a sheer cliff, Taktsang Monastery is one of Bhutan’s sacred pilgrimage sites and a popular hiking destination.
March to May and September to November are the best months for the Western Bhutan Tour. Travelers of all ages and fitness levels can do this trip. If you find the long hikes (Gangtey Nature Hike and Tiger’s Nest Hike) exhausting, you can skip those.
If you want to experience the best sites in Bhutan, then we recommend this Western Bhutan Tour.
Take this adventure and join us in unraveling the cultural treasures of this beautiful Himalayan kingdom.