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People living in India may refer a vacation to Bhutan as ‘foreign trip’. You may laugh at this thought, but this is a reality. From a geographical aspect, Bhutan is the neighboring country of India where the GDP is not measured in economic terms but as Gross National Happiness. There are more such surprises waiting for you at the kingdom of Bhutan. Majestic Himalayas, beautiful valley, breathtaking surroundings and serene monasteries will stick a smile on your 6 days trip. Here are some of the places you can check out on your vacation to this landlocked country.
If you are travelling to Bhutan via flight then you need to get down at Paro Valley, which is the only International airport in the country. The sight of Himalayan ranges from the top is almost mesmerizing. But even if you are coming via road, the Himalaya smiles to you all the way taking you to a charming town by the banks of Paro Chhu. If you love walking, this is place you got to visit in Bhutan. Surrounded by hill and breathtaking beauty, you ought to trek Paro Taktsang, a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site, also known as Tiger’s Nest. But as a word of caution, make sure you can walk because the distance to reach this temple complex is long enough!
What if you could drive in a city where there are no traffic lights? Welcome to the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, where your car will not be stopped at every interval and where every Sunday is known as the pedestrian day. The bustling city, though tagged as village, is very friendly where you will come across people both in modern outfit as well as in their national wear. You can be at Memorial Chorten and feed the local pigeons, praising the golden spires, elaborate mandala paintings and so on. Visit the National Folk Heritage Museum to know about their life and 17th century Tashichho Dzong to witness the rich woodwork and mandala paintings.
Ever wondered, how the hilly people grow their rice? You need to go to Punakha for this reason and see the terraced rice fields grown in an organic way employing age old methods. The old capital of Bhutan grows both red and white rice along the rivers of Pho Chu and Mo Chu. Punakha Dzong is a must see for all the travellers, especially in spring, when lilac jacaranda trees add more beauty to the monastery. While you are travelling to this destination, you will be crossing Dochula Pass at an elevation of 3100m. The fluttering Buddhist flags with the blue range of Himalayas at the backdrop will give you a wonderful feeling.
If you are travelling to Wangdue, there is an enchanting bowl-shaped glacial valley that you will be crossing and this place is known as Phonjikha. This is the marshland of Bhutan and is very popular for its scenic splendour and cultural uniqueness. Don’t miss the 15th century Gangteng Monastery, where black-necked cranes flies down in winter. The valley is also filled with rich wild life that includes barking deer, leopards, sambar, wild boars, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan serow, foxes and 14 vulnerable species of birds.
No vacation is complete without the local cuisines. So, when you have selected a Bhutan Tourism Package, make sure you have been to all these places and tasted its national dish Ema Datsi, which is prepared using chillies and cheese. You can have any kind of meat (chicken/pork/beef) and vegetables like mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, spinach, along with locally brewed alcoholic drink, arra. So, make your way to Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge and cherish the beauty of Mother Nature.