Places To Visit In Paro
A perfect blend of unsullied wilderness and traditional customs
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Tourist Places In Paro
Paro is the only place in Bhutan with an international airport, which increases the demand for travelling in the town manifold times. The places to visit in Paro are mostly significant historical or cultural sites.
Here are the best places to visit in Paro. It will not take longer than 2 days to complete a Paro sightseeing trip.
1. Taktsang Monastery or the Tiger’s Nest
Paro Taktsang Monastery is the most iconic structure of the town, and thus also the most popular tourist attraction. Located 10 km away and uphill from the town of Paro, this monastery is said to be the ancient abode of Guru Rinpoche, or Padmasambhava – the precious lord of Tibetan Buddhism. The legend says that Guru Rinpoche first came here in the 7th century AD, flying on the back of a tigress (hence the name Tiger’s Nest) and meditated here for 3 years, 3 months, 3 days and 3 hours. Reaching this majestic, 326 year old monastery involves trekking to the remote location through the East Himalayan wilderness for 3-4 hours, making the experience even more treasurable.
2. Drukgyel Dzong
Dzongs are fortress-monastery complex used as a residence, administrative ground and educational institution by Tibetan Buddhists. The name Drukgyel Dzong translates to the Fortress of Victory. It is now a reminiscence of a fortress, set against the magnificent green of the mountains beyond. The popular belief is that the Drukgyel was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory of Bhutan over the Tibetan forces in 1649. The place has served as a military outpost for years. Even in its ruins, it reminds of the first roots that led to the country’s sovereignty. Drukgyel Dzong is one of the best Paro attractions to visit.
3. National Museum
Moving away from history and spirituality, the National Museum of Paro is a must-visit tourist attraction in Paro, Bhutan. From the outside, the Museum looks like a dilapidated house with lots of colourful Buddhist prayer flags around. Inside, there are well-preserved artefacts, fine arts, paintings, stamps, traditional dresses, jewellery, weapons and handicrafts. The National Museum preserves the country’s transition and evolution from as early as 4000 BC. The building also provides a panoramic view of the entire Paro valley from up top.
4. Dungtse Lhakhang
Dungtse Lhakhang is a Buddhist temple, with Kagyu lineage arts and Tantric Buddhist paintings inside. But what sets this apart and make it an inseparable part of Paro-Bhutan sightseeing is its architecture in the form of a Chorten and the myth attached with it. One legend says that Dungtse is one of the five temples built worldwide on different parts of a demoness. This one falls on the head which lied in Bhutan. Another says that there was a great serpentine force present here, and to subdue it the temple was built by the saint Thangtong Gyalpo.
5. Kyichu Lhakhang
The Jowo Temple of Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, originally built by Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo as part of the many temples built to defeat an enormous ogress that was preventing the spread of Buddhism, as per the legend. The temple is said to have been visited by Rinpoche himself. After many change of hands over thousands of years, it is still standing as an important place for art and culture, and one of the most rewarding places to visit in Paro, Bhutan.
Taktsang Monastery In Paro
Situated in western Bhutan, Paro Taktsang is perhaps the most significant Buddhist site in the country. The elaborate complex of this monastery, with red and golden peaks perches along a hanging cliff-side in the upper Paro valley, surrounded by the lushest of greens. Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, is belie...
- Taktsang Monastery
Rinpung Dzong In Paro
Rinpung Dzong is the main fortress-monastery of Paro which houses the monastic body and the governmental and administrative departments in its complex. This is the basic characteristic of any dzong in Bhutan, and Rinpung Dzong of Paro is no exception. It belongs to the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu School, and the stories of ...
- Rinpung Dzong
Kyichu Lhakhang In Paro
Only 4.7 km away from the centre of the Paro town is the temple of Kyichu Lhakhang – the Sacred Jewel of Bhutan. Inside the complex of this temple lies the oldest shrine that stands in Tibet – the Jowo Temple. The first temple in the Kyichu Lhakhang premises was built by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet in 659 AD. The legend my...
- Kyichu Lhakhang
Drukgyel Dzong In Paro
Drukgyel Dzong stands in the upper part of Paro district as a reminiscence of a glorious past and a tragic present, much like most constructions of the medieval age. The other dzongs that one can see in Bhutan are fully or partially functional, with monastic bodies and government departments operating from within the comple...
- Drukgyel Dzong
Paro Airport Bird's Eye Viewpoint In Paro
A town in the Paro Valley of Bhutan, Paro is a place of many sacred sites and historical monuments throughout the place. With streets rich in decorated buildings, small houses and traditional architecture, Bhutan’s sole international airport, Paro is definitely is a significant part of Bhutan. “The most difficult commercial...
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Trip to BhutanI was talking with Mr. Damber and Mr. Gurung, both were very helpful and outstanding. I found the experience very memorable without any problem throughout the trip. All arrangements were made as per the discussion and requirement. Hotels and given transportations were the best.
Trip to BhutanIt was a memorable trip for us..we really enjoyed the place and the driver was really professional. Bit disappointed with one of the hotel, else everything was just perfect!
Trip to BhutanReally enjoyed the perfect holiday at Bhutan and thank u for all the arrangements and planning out our holiday so meticulously. I do would like to add that the driver Ugyen was a very courtious person but we were not very pleased by the fact that he lacked the knowledge as a guide and that was a slight drawback! We also were disappointed by the rude staff of hotel City at Paro and we had to change the hotel and pay for it extra and on our own as we did not want to spoil our new years. Apart from this the trip was fantastic and memorable! The visit to the dochula pass and the budha statue
Trip to BhutanI started searching for my Bhutan trip in July and travel triangle helped me get in touch with Bhutan INC. My experience with Bhutan INC was amazing. I was in touch with Miss Khina Maya who was available 24X7! I could contact her through whatsapp and she would always respond to my queries. The booking process was as per my needs - four installments. Coming to the trip - Both my wife and I were really excited as it was our first anniversary on December 3. I made a mistake by booking my flight from Mumbai to Siliguri for December 1. While you can enter Bhutan on any day, you can cross Phuentsholing (the border town) only on weekdays. That meant I had to stay back either in Siliguri or Phuentsholing on Saturday and Sunday. I chose to stay at CHAS Rajdarbar Hotel in Siliguri on Saturday and took an early morning cab to Phuentsholing on Sunday. Bhutan INC took care of all my travel from India to Bhutan and within Bhutan. Bhutan INC also helped in booking hotels of my choice - 3 star or 4 star on a budget. Note: If you are ever in Siliguri, do visit the Mahabir Bhojnalaya for it's epic vegeterian food. Hongkong market is just across the road if you want to purchase some cheap Chinese goods (only for non-Mumbaikars as we get everything here). December 2 - First day in Bhutan A WagonR picked us up from Siliguri and drove us to the border town Phuentsholing. India and Bhutan are separated by a very simple gate and you can immediately recognize the difference - clean roads devoid of any filth. The less said about the Indian border town Jaigaon, the better. We stayed at Hotel Damchen - best place to stay if you want to see the centre of Phuentsholing. It is right opposite Zangto Pelri Lakhang - a monastery and a park. There is a crocodile breeding centre not far away but you can skip it. Places to eat: Kizom Cafe and Pizzeria (the best, very expensive), Asian Kitchen (cheap beer, good food), Zen Restaurant, Tshering Phuensum Hotel (cheap beer and cocktails, purple lighting) December 3 - Drive from Phuentsholing to Thimphu This was the day we met our driver and guide - KINLEY! His car, a blue colored Hyundai Tucson, was BEAUTIFUL!! We reached the immigration office at 9 am. However, there was a huge line (only Indians) and we had to fill a form (which we should have done the previous day but sadly, we were not informed). We completed the form and stood in the line. It underwent a first-level verification and then we went on the first floor. There were around 20 immigration counters, all full! Also, agents are a big pain as they will get 10-20 passports at one go and the line wont move at all. We were done at around 10.30 am and Kinley was waiting for us downstairs. Phuentsholing to Thimphu is around 5 hours drive and we have to get down at the checkpost once for verification and stamping. The drive is as picturesque as it can be. Do stop at Gedu - you will either find fog moving upwards or you will find snow. We stopped at a local restaurant on the way for lunch. That's where we tasted Kewa Datshi (Potato with Cheese) and Ema Datshi (Chilli with Cheese) for the first time! Ema Datshi is Bhutan's national dish and it lives up to its name. It was AWESOME! We reached Thimphu at 4 pm and checked into Hotel Galingkha. If you are ever in Thimphu and want to stay in a 5-star type hotel on a budget, Galingkha is the one for you. Right in the middle of the town, it is surrounded by all night-life must-visit places of Thimphu. Do not, I repeat Do not, stay near the highway. You will be screwed! There is not much to talk about the local transport. Places to visit: Clock Tower Square - there is a maggi place here. You will also find a host of other restaurants and bars, Centenary and Coronation Park - Do visit Mojo Park on Wednesday for a live gig and Cloud 9 cafe and bar for its amazing ambience! Other places: Bhutan Kitchen, Ambient Cafe (closes at 8.30 pm) December 4 - Thimphu Sightseeing Memorial Chorten (entry is 300 Rs. per head): Just a tick-mark on places to visit, nothing out of the world. Was built in the memory of the third king. Buddha view point: 169 ft bronze statue of the Buddha Textile museum and craft bazaar (total entry is 150 Rs. per head): In my opinion, can be skipped Takin Reserve (entry is 300 Rs. per head): One, it's huge. Two, there are other animals. Three, we didn't find a TAKIN! (Takin is the national animal and Ema Datshi is the national dish) We tried Hoentae - a Bhutanese buckwheat momo - Tastes amazing! Note: You always have to talk about the King respectfully - people love him and his family and you should love them too! December 5 - Drive from Thimphu to Punakha We started at 9.30 am for a 3 hour drive through Punakha through the Dochu La Pass - the most famous pass in Bhutan. There are 108 chortens (buddhist structures) and the temperature is around 0-5 degrees Celsius in December. From here, you can see the mighty Himalayas and if you are lucky, the Kanchenjunga! Our next stop was the Chimi Lakhang (temple of fertility). We had chosen the hike option so Kinley left us near a field which we had to cross to reach the temple. It was a 30 minute hike. The ever gracious Kinley took us to a riverside hotel and arranged a seat for us in the balcony. The view was breathtaking - emerald clear waters, white sand, huge mountains. We finally checked in at our hotel - Damchen resort. The room was again 5-star like and the view was amazing. The river was so close to our balcony that we could almost feel it. It was so silent that you could hear the river flowing through the beautiful town. There was not much to do in Punakha that day. However, we went around the market and came back to our hotel for dinner. Day 6 - Drive from Punakha to Paro Our first stop was the mighty Punakha Dzong. It is the administrative centre that also houses a monastery. The head monk lives here during the winters as Punakha is a valley town and is slightly warmer than Thimphu during winters. Entry for the Dzong is 300 Rs. per head. Our next stop was the longest suspension bridge. It is long, and it is very high! You can click beautiful pictures of the valley and the river from the bridge. There is another monastery on the way to Paro that you may choose to skip. We arrived at Dewachen resort during lunch time. Now, the resort is nestled on a hill and is around 4 km away from the city centre. You can see planes land at Paro from your room. At night, you can see a sky full of stars. The view is breathtaking. You feel as if you are standing on top of a cliff! The room was huge and the feeling was again like a 5-star. This hotel is frequented by foreigners so expect top quality service and food. Their restaurant was amazing. Places to visit in Paro: You can visit the Paro market for handicrafts. Eat at Mountain Cafe, Champaca Cafe (a personal favorite), Brioche Cafe, and Sonam Trophel. Paro is a sleepy town so dont expect any nightlife here. Thimphu is the place for nightlife. Day 7: Tigers Nest Hike It is a 5-hour hike. 2.5 hours each way. This is because the climb ends and the reverse begins with a set of harrowing steps. Winter or summer, these steps will suck the life out of you! While the maximum journey is on an inclined path, the last leg and the initial part of the return leg would have you climb up and down steps. After you reach the monastery, you have to do a registration. So carry your permits. You will have to remove your cap / anything covering your head. You will have to submit your bags and your mobile phones at the locker counter. No photos allowed inside. It is one of their most sacred places. You can read about the hike online and trust me, it is all true. Just a note: Avoid if you are too old or if you avoid taking stairs. The steps / stairs are the most harrowing part of the journey that can break a weak heart! Day 8: Drive from Paro to Phuentsholing This is where we had our last journey with Kinley. He had become our family. Just to tell you a bit more about Kinley: He has been to India and even studied at LPU, Jalandhar! He has done his masters in tourism and hotel management. You cant and shouldnt treat them as drivers. Treat them like your family! National museum was shut because of renovation so we could not visit it. We arrived at Phuentsholing at noon. Hotel Royal Orchid overlooks Phuentsholing's football stadium and we could watch a live match between two schools! Royal Orchid is a 10 min walk from the centre of the town. But the location is great. A note: While coming back, you will stop at a checkpost again for 'Exit' stamp. Must visit: Mr. Sharma's army dhaba. Indian Army runs this dhaba on the highway. Do try their masala maggi and samosa! Indian army has a lot of presence in Bhutan due to infrastructure projects. Day 9: Drive from Phuentsholing to Bagdogra Airport Bhutan INC had included this in the cost as well. A few notes: 1. Alcohol is available everywhere in Bhutan but Tuesday is a weekly dry day everywhere 2. Beers to try: Red Panda (unfiltered wheat beer), Druk beer (premium quality), Thunder 15000 (super strong). Beers are dirt cheap 3. Popular whiskeys: K5 whiskey (most expensive), Misty Peak, Bhutan Grain Whiskey 4. Popular rums: XXX Rum at Rs. 100 for 750 ml! 5. Do try their peach wine - Zumzin 6. Popular vodkas: Raven 7. All types of alcohol are prepared using Himalayan spring waters 8. Thimphu has no traffic signals - please spare some time and observe their traffic police. The way they control their traffic is like a choreographed dance performance. Galingkha had a great view of Thimphu's main junction. 9. While temperatures are extremely low in December, the sun can burn your skin 10. Phuentsholing average temperatures in December - +25/+17 11. Thimphu average temperatures in December - +16/-2.1 12. Punakha average temperatures in December - +19/+2.5 13. Paro average temperatures in December - +15/0 14. Do not opt for the hot stone bath after Tigers Nest hike - it's expensive. Try hot water in your bathtub instead! 15. Avoid Taktsang cafeteria after Tigers Nest - It is expensive. Plus, there are better options in Paro town that is 25 mins away. 16. ALWAYS RESPECT THE ROYALTY! 17. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE ZEBRA CROSSING WHEREVER YOU GO! 18. DO NOT LITTER! 19. ALWAYS BARGAIN! 20. Try their red rice and buckwheat momos 21. Dont worry about your safety; Bhutan is safe at night 22. Always be courteous 23. Everyone speaks and/or understands Hindi 24. Everyone accepts all denominations of Indian currency 25. If you are a vegetarian, carry some cup noodles 26. Please write to me in case you need Kinley's contact. He can help you plan the trip as well!
Trip to BhutanHaving been to several remote and mainstream locations in a DIY mode, it was an experiment to check out how a travel agent made it better. Thankfully, our first travel agent experience was wonderful. Khina was personally involved in planning, replanning, rereplanning and postponement by 8 months after all bookings were done. Despite that we had some last moment changes which she tried her best to accomodate. Saran, the driver, was wonderful to say the least. He knows the land at the back of his hand and suggests hacks which make the trip interesting. Hotel checkins, sightseeing and impromptu detours were all very smooth. Bhutan INC should be the next best thing to DIY. No complaints whatsoever. Dewachen Resort, Paro
Trip to BhutanBhutan INC is the best in providing the services with great quality of driver, car and guide. They helped us each and everytime we asked for. Their people are trustworthy too. i would definately recommend Travel Triangle and Bhutan Inc. to all if anyone would like to go to Bhutan. Thanks.
Trip to BhutanA big thank you to Travel Triangle and Bhutan INC for organising such a memorable trip for my parents..You guys are simply perfect in making memories and trip worth remembering for years. From being available for all my questions and modifications in itenary ,to taking care of my parents .Everything was just perfect . Special thanks to Akash and Kharka for the trip guides and amazing driving skills too. And lastly A big thank you to Bhutan INC esp.Khina and Leela for being so supportive . And Travel Triangle team- Sushmita and Varun. Once again thanks for organising the amazing trip and making it memorable for my parents.
Trip to BhutanVery much liked the driver. But was not impressed with the agent. Because while we went to stay at the Phobjika Valley, the hotel provided single room for me and my wife, as rest of the rooms were booked with the same agent. Then we were shifted to Dewachen after I agreed to pay half of the additional cost of Dewachen. Although it was agents responsibility, I had to pay. The agent should have been penalized. I never saw snowfall in my life. While going to Bumthang, I experienced it on the way.
Trip to BhutanMy Bhutan trip was exceptionally organized by team Bhutan INC. Leela and Prakash from the team made sure all my requirements were fulfilled. Guide Tenzin was too informative and drove amazingly throughout. Hotels provided were above my expectations. Covered all major things in Bhutan. Thankyou guys for making it so memorable❤️ cheers!!
Trip to BhutanI found it good. It was one of my memorable trip in Bhutan because of memory vacation.
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FAQ's of Paro
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Yes, there are roadways to Paro from India via Phuentsholing border. There are buses and cabs from the border area that drop passengers to Paro.
One can visit all the other monasteries like Rinpung Dzong, Dungtse Lhakhang and the National Museum. In activities, there are trekking and biking routes to explore the wilderness of Bhutanese Himalayas.
Paro has the sole international airport of the country, as well as the significant monastery of Taktsang. Together, these two make Paro very important in Bhutan tourism.
The Bhutanese Ngultrum (Nu) is the official currency of Paro and rest of Bhutan. However, Indian rupee notes and coins other than the newest 500 and 2000 rupee notes are not accepted.
The springtime from March to May and the autumn season from September to November are the best seasons to visit Paro.
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