Bhutan Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things to Do in Bhutan

Bhutan Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things to Do in Bhutan

Bhutan is situated in the Eastern Himalayas in South Asia. It is quite tiny and borders India in the west and Tibet in the North as well as Nepal and China. Despite its small size, Bhutan still manages to attract tourists with its rare and naturally beautiful landscapes. However, the country has a restrictive policy of $250 per person per day, which makes it harder for people to spend more days in the country.

Amazing Things to do in Bhutan

Nevertheless, Bhutan is a great place to visit and explore its rugged countryside, numerous monasteries, and discovering why its people are consistently ranked among the happiest in the world. Looking for the best activities to include on your itinerary? Here’s our list of the Best Things to Do in Bhutan:

Visit Taktsang Monastery

Taktsang Monastery - Tigers Nest Bhutan by Rahul Viswanath via Unsplash
Taktsang Monastery – Tigers Nest Bhutan by Rahul Viswanath via Unsplash

There’s a handful bucket list things to do in Bhutan and one of them is a visit to Tigers Nest. Taktsang Monastery or Tiger Monastery is one of the most popular attractions in Bhutan. It is located a few minutes from Paro and was sanctified as one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan.

Tourists love the Taktsang Monastery because of its closeness to the airport since most spend less than 4 days in the country. It is also easy to climb.

The walk up the site takes four to five hours for a round trip in addition to one more hour for touring the monastery.

You can climb up on foot or horseback ride.

Learn Bhutan’s history at Trongsa Dzong

Inner view of Trongsa Dzong, one of the oldest Dzongs in Bumthang, Bhutan via DepositPhotos
Inner view of Trongsa Dzong, one of the oldest Dzongs in Bumthang, Bhutan via DepositPhotos

Trongsa Dzong is the ancestral residence of Bhutan’s Royal Family and visiting it is one of the best things to do. The residence is believed to have been built around 463 years ago under the reign of Trongsa Penlop Chogyal Minjur Tempa.

The fortress offers visitors a chance to dig into the country’s past and learn of the key events that shaped up Bhutan.

Discover your Gross National Happiness

Buddhist Monks in Bhutan by Adli Wahid via Unsplash
Buddhist Monks in Bhutan by Adli Wahid via Unsplash

The concept of the Gross National Happiness has been practiced in Bhutan for a long time since the era of King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 1972. This notion focuses on a better quality of life instead of a better economic index.

Visiting Bhutan provides you with a rare chance to figure out new concepts and approaches to community and life where the well-being and happiness of the people is the most important and sole purpose of t government.

Score a bullseye

Archery, Bumthang Valley, Bhutan photo via Depositphotos
Archery, Bumthang Valley, Bhutan photo via Depositphotos

Bhutan is known for its passion for archery. In almost every corner of the country, you will find a group of men in their traditional roves (ghos) taking turns to fire arrows at a small silver target some 460 feet away.

Hike to Trashiyangtse

Chorten Kora in Trashiyangtse, Eastern Bhutan via Depositphotos
Chorten Kora in Trashiyangtse, Eastern Bhutan via Depositphotos

The whole country of Bhutan is beautiful, but Trashiyangtse is a piece of heaven on earth. Sitting in the mid of a small gorge with a river running through, this secluded district is an ideal spot for long energizing strolls.

This place is also a preferred starting point for several nature reserve walks, monasteries walk, and wood carving walks.

Get in touch with your inner self at the Memorial Stupa

The Memorial Stupa, Thimphu, also known as the Thimphu Chorten by Bernard Gagnon via Wikipedia CC
The Memorial Stupa, Thimphu, also known as the Thimphu Chorten By Bernard Gagnon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

Built-in memory of King Dorji Wangchuck in 1974, Memorial Stupa is a nice place to rediscover your inner self by practicing meditation.

The monastery is one of the top attractions in Bhutan thanks to its magnificent and stunning sculptures of different gods.

The bright painting induces a sense of peace, allowing you to rediscover yourself.

Shop at the many local stores

Masks Souvenirs from Bhutan photo via Depositphotos
Masks Souvenirs from Bhutan photo via Depositphotos

Most of the country’s indigenous products can be found at the Norzin Lam Market. It is located in the capital Thimbu and lined with cafes, restaurants, hotels, shops, and many other stalls. If you want to buy a Bhutanese item, this is the right place to be.

You can find almost everything at this market, including colorful masks, hand-woven bamboo products, and many other traditional items.

The market is also picturesque, making it perfect for taking photos.

Walk over a suspension bridge

Suspension Bridge in Bhutan by Jaanam Haleem via Unsplash
Suspension Bridge in Bhutan by Jaanam Haleem via Unsplash

Located near Phunaka Dzong is the 525 feet suspension bridge, the longest in the country. It connects the Phunaka Dzong with the small town of Phunaka, which are separated by Po Chhu River.

The bridge is adorned with colorful prayer flags along its length. Tourists visit the town of Phunaka just to walk across the bridge.

Go river rafting

Explore Bhutan on motorbike
Explore Bhutan on motorbike

Rafting down a river in Bhutan is one way for exploring its countryside. The rivers are not as rough as other rivers you may have rafted before.

Though you can undertake this activity pretty much at any time of the year in Bhutan, the best period for maximum satisfaction is between October and November when the river has swelled.

The most popular rivers for rafting are the Mo Chu River and Po Chu River.

Kayak down the rivers

If rafting is not your thing, kayaking is also a popular activity in Bhutan, but instead of doing it during monsoon season; you can try it between March and April, though October and November are also perfect months.

There are several rivers in Bhutan where you can kayak, especially near Punakha and Paro Valley.

Enjoy a dance festival during Tschechu

Masked dace at Dochula in Thimphu by Pema Gyamtsho via Unsplash
Masked dace at Dochula in Thimphu by Pema Gyamtsho via Unsplash

The highlight of the year in Bhutan is the Tschechu festival which is celebrated on the tenth day of every Tibetan lunar month.

It is one of the liveliest times in the country, with ritualistic dances brisk trade, and some family and community getting together.

During this time, monks put on costumes and formidable masks and dance to boisterous traditional music.

Go in a wildlife expedition

Bhutan is of the most naturally blessed countries in South Asia. Its wildlife is among the most diverse.

The forests across the country are home to unique animals such as tigers, golden langurs, black bears, and Asiatic lion.

Forests of Mo Chhu River are perfect for a wildlife safari.

Explore the countryside on a motorbike

Explore Bhutan on motorbike
Explore Bhutan on motorbike

Bhutan’s verdant forests cover wide ranges of mountains and valleys, which have well-maintained roads with magnificent views.

For an exciting adventure, rent a motorbike and head over to the countryside and explore its magical scenes.

Visit Dochula Pass

Dochula Pass
Dochula Pass

This auspicious destination is one of the tourist hotspots in Bhutan. It is situated atop an elevation some 10,100 feet above sea level between Punakha and Thimbu.

Dochula Pass is perfect for adventure freaks.

Relish the dishes

Ema datshi with rice by Thejinan via Wikipedia CC
Ema datshi with rice By Thejinan – Bhutanese_hemadatsi_and_rice.JPG, CC BY 2.0, CC

Bhutan is known for its plentiful of non-veg cuisine. When you are there, make sure you try some of the country’s best dishes such as Datshi, a staple food of Bhutanese.

To help you plan out your visit to Bhutan, we listed places to visit and other amazing activities to do in Bhutan. We also listed some of the best travel and tour packages, as well as excellent flight deals and accommodation.

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Bhutan hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new tourist attractions in Bhutan? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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Paul Taka

Paul Taka