Bhutan is a small country but rich in natural picturesque landscapes and religious sites. People who choose to have a Bhutan tour should be someone who loves nature, adventure, as well as the culture of different countries. It is to say that Bhutan can offer opportunities to its distinguished visitors to discover this country in multiple ways. If you are ready to set foot in this unique place, you'd better get to know what you can do in Bhutan to maximize your time here.
1. Hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery
This extraordinary place in Bhutan is one of the most famous spots among tourists. It is said to be the must-visit attraction in every Bhutan tour itinerary. Perched on a cliff that is 900 meters off of the ground, the Tiger's Nest Monastery will amaze all tourists with its beauty and location. A tour to Bhutan is an awesome experience, and a visit to Tiger's Nest Monastery will be the key to making this trip complete. The last part of this visit requires tourists to hike or hire a horse to carry them to the monastery.
Tiger's Nest Monastery
2. Visit dzongs in different places
In Bhutan, there are so many dzongs in every district. Those dzongs are built for defending the country from invasion in the past. Apart from their religious functions, most of those dzongs serve as regional administration centers. If you are interested in visiting dzongs in Bhutan, you can customize your tour route before booking one with your agency. Those beautiful dzongs, like Punakha Dzong, and Trash Chhoe Dzong will make your Bhutan tour more meaningful. You also get the chance to know more about this great country.
3. Stand in awe of Buddha Dordenma
You should know that you are not looking at one Buddha standing in front of the Buddha Dordenma Statue. You are actually looking at 125,000 Buddha statues since they are encapsulated inside of the chest of this big Buddha. Constructed in the year of 2015 to honor the 60th birthday of the fourth king of Bhutan - Jigme Singye Wangchuck, it stands atop a hill in Thimphu with a height of 169 feet. Those bronze Buddha statues are all gilded, which cost almost $100 million to build.
4. Go to a festival
If you want to witness and learn Bhutanese culture in an easy way, throw yourself into the biggest festival in Bhutan. Different places in Bhutan will celebrate Tshechu at different times. The Paro Tshechu in March and the Thimphu Tshechu in October are the grandest ones in this country. During the festivals, people will wear amazing traditional outfits to sing and dance with each other with sacred masks to present spiritual meanings. Be prepared to feel the vibrant celebratory atmosphere if you are lucky to be in Bhutan during the festival.
5. Try archery
Archery is the national sport in Bhutan that was declared in 1971. Long before this time, archery has been practiced in this country by its people. It is not more than just a sport in Bhutan. Bhutanese see it as a way of life because they are all enthusiastic about archery. You will feel extremely joyful when seeing an archer firing an arrow at the target from about 100 meters away. It is a social event in Bhutan because of dancing, food, and drink along with the game.
6. Get a taste for chili
Bhutanese love chili. Spicy food can be found everywhere in Bhutan. If you love to have a taste for chili, then Bhutan is the best country you should go to. But just be careful that chili in Bhutan will be spicier than chili in western countries. Apart from chili food, there are some other dishes in Bhutan that are waiting for you to have a taste.
7. Shop at local stores
There are some markets in Thimphu, Paro, and other places that offer kinds of local products to tourists to purchase. And buying souvenirs and some unique products of Bhutan is definitely one of the most important activities of a Bhutan tour. You can find whatever you want in some big markets, including colorful textiles, fine thangkas, wall paintings, statues, bags, etc. But just don't blindly buy lots of products that you don't need.
8. Walk over a suspension bridge
The longest suspension bridge in Bhutan is perched above the river of Po Chhu. It connects the Punakha Dzong with the town of Punakha. This bridge is 524 feet long and adorned with colorful prayer flags. You can visit Punakha Dzong and walk over this suspension bridge at once.
9. Go river rafting or kayaking
Adventurous tourists will never be disappointed after they have tried river rafting and kayaking in Bhutan. There are six major rivers in the kingdom that provide various courses of rivers with pristine natural environment. If you are touched by those adventure sports in Bhutan, you can ask your travel agency to arrange one or two activities for you. No matter you have tried river rafting or kayaking before or not, you can always find one route that suits your needs.
10. Biking in the countryside
Cycling in a different country is very tempting for those who love this activity. There are paved roads for tourists who only want to experience cycling to see the countryside of Bhutan. However, you can choose off-the-road trails to enjoy your time if you prefer an adventurous way.