10 Lesser Known Destinations in Bhutan that Deserve More Attention
Planning to explore Bhutan? If yes, then make sure to visit these 10 lesser known destinations which are beautiful destination and worth to visit. In this post, we are going to tell you 10 such tourist spot of Bhutan which are not much popular among tourist but worth to visit. Read on!!
1) Dzongdrakha Temple
It’s not a surprise that Google Image Results for Dzongdrakha Temple have more pictures of Taktsang than Dzongdrakhaitself. This gorgeous temple receives way less attention from both the visitors and tour operators.
Located on the Paro – Haa highway, this cliff side monastery bears striking resemblance to Tiger’s Nest and offers spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The 4- temple complex is an important site of worship for the locals. Being less famous than Taktsang has its benefits. Not only you don’t have to compete for space with other visitors, but you can also immerse in the tranquil atmosphere of the monastery and peacefully interact with the monks and locals. We hope that this little gem of Paro Valley receives all the love and appreciation it deserves.
2) Haa Valley
Once upon a time, Haa was known as the hidden valley of Bhutan. As it was never the part of any major trade route (and off-limits to foreigners till 90s), Haa Valley was relatively unknown in the travel community. The most frequent visitors to the country somehow missed this glorious region. Even today, ninety most visitors take a fleeting look at Haa Valley from Cheli-La and turn around. Those who venture deep into this rugged region are rewarded with untouched landscape and breathtaking vistas.
Haa and its neighbouring region are best experienced through 7-day Nub TshonaPata which takes you through a stunning landscape dotted with lakes, quaint villages and lush green forests. Those pressed for time can spend a day in Haa town where they can visit the local Dzong and ancient temples.
3) Mt. Jomolhari
Mt Jomolhari is not the highest peak in Bhutan but it is definitely the most revered and spectacular mountain of the region. Although the peak is off-limits to the climbers, 10-day trek to its base is well worth the effort as it takes you through one of the least treaded regions of Himalayas. This is the untamed Himalayan wilderness of mountaineers’ lore. Throughout the trek, you come across snow-capped Himalayan peaks, hidden valleys, ancient Dzongs, shepherds’ villages and high mountain passes.
The best time to visit the region is October during Jomolhari festival when the semi-nomadic communities of the region gather at Jangothang village at the base of the mountain to worship the sacred mountain and honourthe star resident of this region – the elusive Mountain Lion. The 3-day festival is an excellent opportunity to learn about local flora and fauna and interact with locals.
4) Laya – Gasa
Laya and Gasa are out of reach for most of the travellers. The 2-day trek from Gasa to Laya isn’t on everyone’s platter. Those wishing to experience remote Himalayan landscape must visit Laya for a unique adventure and cultural experience. Home to Layaps – one of the remotest pastoral communities of the Himalayas known for their ancient culture and dialect – Laya offers spectacular views of Himalayas an unparalleled cultural immersion. You can check Laya Gasa Trekking information here in detail.
5) Lungchutse Gompa
For those travelling beyond Thimphu, stopover at Dochu La is inevitable. While the mountain pass deserves all the attention that is bestowed on it by travellers and tour operators, its fame overshadows the lesser known sites around it. Above the chortens of Dochu La, a dirt track winds into the gorgeous rhododendron forest and continues through lichen-draped trees to Lungchutse Gompa. This solitary monastery offers stunning views of distant Gasa Dzong and GangkharPhuensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan. The 3-hour hike is a welcome distraction from the crowd at Dochu La and a great opportunity to explore the flora and fauna of the region.
6) Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Temple
In a town as historically and culturally rich as Punakha, some places justifiably grab more eyeballs than the rest. Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Temple is a relatively new addition to the list of attractions in Punakha. Perched on top of a hill above Punakha Valley, the temple commemorates the coronation of the current king of Bhutan.Though it prominently figures on most itineraries, travellers often give it a miss because the temple is accessible only through a 45-minute steep hike. Those who make the endeavour are rewarded with some of the best views of Punakha Valley, the rice terraces and winding Mo Chu river. The temple is well worth the effort and an ideal escape from the crush of tourists at Punakha.
7) Talo Village
Tourist booklets describe Talo as the cleanest village in the country but there is more to Talo than cleanliness. The village, located high above Punakha Valley, is best known for the surrounding alpine forests and spectacular views of Gasa Dzong and Bhutan Himalayas. While stunning Talo Gompa is closed to the public, monks and villagers are always ready to interact with the visitors and answer any questions about the history and unique culture of the village.
8) Merak Sakteng Villages
Eastern Bhutan receives less attention than the West on tourist itineraries. Even those who visit this region stick to the well-treaded areas and make a direct leap to the West by boarding flight from Trashigang after exploring main tourist spots. Eastern Bhutan is the land of Brokpas and no trip to the region is complete without a proper Brokpa cultural experience. Brokpas are semi-nomadic yak herders of Eastern Bhutan who have lived in isolation for centuries. As a result, they retain their ancient traditions and distinct culture. The people of the region, it is believed, migrated from southern Tibet led by AumJomo, their spiritual leader.
A 4-day trek to the villages of Merak and Sakteng not only provide excellent opportunity to interact with various highland communities but also affords a chance to experience the rugged, untouched landscape of Eastern Bhutan. These villages are the prime Brokpa turfs where you can stay in homesteads, visit local schools and temples and interact with the villagers.
9) Thrumsingla National Park
Thrumsingla National Park usually appears on the itinerary of bird-watchers and nature lovers. While anyone travelling to Eastern Bhutan definitely crosses this area of exceptional natural beauty, most visitors limit their sojourn in Central Bhutan to Bumthang and rarely go beyond it. The park is known for its lofty waterfalls, misty green hills, deep valleys and a wealth of flora and fauna. Those pressed for time can opt for a day trip from Jakar. The more adventurous travellers must camp inside the park for a day or two to appreciate its treasures.
10) Bumdrak Monastery
High above Taktsang sits legendary Namgo La, a sky burial site where dead babies are brought for burial. The surrounding area and the nearby Bumdrak Monastery are among the most isolated regions of the valley. Solitary caves and meditation spots dot the area. Monks who undertake the toughest route to enlightenment come here to meditate. Those with grit and fortitude to climb here after taxing trek to Tiger’s Nest, don’t want to leave this mystical area without spending a night here. The area is known among trekkers for gorgeous sunsets and spectacular views of Bhutan Himalayas. The trek to Bumdrak Monastery also provides a unique opportunity to view Taktsang from a different vantage point.