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to visit in Bhutan
How do you get "off the beaten track?" Bhutan has very few roads and didn't have any until the 1960's. Bhutan tourism only began in the 1970's and its development and impact is strictly controlled. So, with limited road access and controlled tourism (e.g. Bhutan tourist accommodation), Bhutan "off the beaten track" essentially means trekking. So, do please visit our Bhutan Treks section to explore "off the map" Bhutan possibilities. Our Bhutan Cultural Tours and Bhutan Luxury Holidays focus on Western & Central Bhutan and primarily on the places below. Here you'll discover magnificent Dzongs, atmospheric monasteries, "drop dead gorgeous" scenery and be able to experience the rural delights of Bhutan too.
Want to combine a Bhutan holiday with a festival? Our Bhutan Festivals page will help you choose which festival and when to visit.
We'd also recommnend you take a look at the official Bhutan Tourism Council website for information on some of the more difficult to reach places in Bhutan. As tailor made Bhutan specialists, we are always happy to create a lesser visited places in Bhutan itinerary for you.
Perched precariously on a cliff face, the Takstang Monastery is the No.1 "must see" place in Bhutan. All our Bhutan trips include the rather stiff hike up to the Tigers Nest, which is just a short distance from Paro.
Considering Paro has Bhutan's only International Airport, Paro township is more like a large village and the delightful Paro Valley means that rural Bhutan is right outside your hotel door. The National Museum and Drugyel Dzong are well worth a visit.
With just 70,000 or so inhabitants, Bhutan's largest urban area is a capital like no other. There are no traffic lights for starters, the locals didn't like them! The giant Buddha statue and the stunning Tashichho Dzong are amongst the many attractions.
The mighty fortress of Punakha Dzong is rightly the "star", but there's more to the Punakha Valley. A walk up to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten is highly recommended. Great views, farmsteads, tiny villages and friendly locals.
The four valleys of Bumthang, the heartland of Bhutan may just be some of the most beautiful in the world. As well as containing some of Bhutan's most ancient monasteries and temples, there are carefully tended fields and apple orchards to wander through.
"Off limits" until just recently, the verdant Haa Valley with its steep-sided, forested mountain slopes still remains one of the least visited places in Western Bhutan. Home to nomadic herders and the odd "across the border with Tibet" smuggler, the splendid isolation of Haa is hard to beat.
Also known as the Phobjikha Valley, this wide and beautiful valley system is perhaps most famous for being the wintering grounds of the rare and revered Black Necked Crane that migrate across the Himalayas from the Tibetan Plateau. If you're coming to see the cranes, then late October to early Spring is the time to visit Bumthang.
Located on a steep hillside with stunning views of the valley below, Trongsa Dzongkha is dominated by the amazing Trongsa Dzong. There's also the Thruepang Palace and the Ta Dzong watchtower, which contains a small, but fascinating museum. Nearby is the Chendebji Chorten that bears a resemblance to the Swayambunath Temple in Kathmandu.
The people of the mountain village of Laya and surrounding area are ethnically distinct. Visiting Laya (at the moment) does involve a couple of days trekking, but a jeep road is under way, so do please contact us for the latest. Our Laya Trek and the formidable Snowman Trek also visit Laya.
See our hand-picked Bhutan Accommodation for informative suggestions as to where to stay at all of these fabulous locations