- Experiences: Top 3 things to do in Bhutan
- 1. The Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan, Paro Taktsang
- 2. Chimmi Lhakhang Temple
- 3. Punakha Dzong
- When to visit Bhutan
- Sleep: Where to Stay in Bhutan
- 1. Amankora Bumthang Hotel
- 2. Amankora Hotel Thimphu
- 3. Hotel Amankora Punakha
- 4. Bonus: Six Senses Bhutan will open in 2022-2023
Looking for a Millennial digital detox experience that will be the envy of all your Instagram friends after you return? Think Bhutan. Known for its happiness index, Bhutan has a lot to offer adventurous travelers looking for a modern and luxurious return to nature. And with new luxury luxury hotels scheduled to open in 2022-2023, you’ll be sure to travel to Bhutan in style and comfort.
Bhutan is famous for two things: his happiness index and Tiger’s Nest temple (more on that later). The country has indeed chosen to focus on measuring the quality of life of its residents instead of an index of trade growth. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck named it the National Gross Happiness Index in 1972. Every successive famous Bhutanese leader has adopted the measure as a way to grow without sacrificing traditions and values.
For visitors to Bhutan, this emphasis on happiness is an opportunity to explore a country that approaches modernity in a different way. A trip to Bhutan is sure to leave you wondering how you can improve your own happiness index.
Due to restrictions on the number of visitors to Bhutan, we advise you to plan and book your trip with an agent to ensure a smooth experience. Luxury luxury travel company Scott Dunn will help you design a custom trip with a unique selection of premium luxury lodges and hotels. Packages include a private local driver and guide to ensure your experience is smooth and hassle-free so you can focus on enjoying what the country has to offer.
Experiences: Top 3 things to do in Bhutan
Wondering what to do in Bhutan? Wonder no more because we’ve done the research for you. Here’s our list of the 3 best things to do in Bhutan to experience a digital detox while also providing perfect moments to post on social media when you get back.
1. The Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan, Paro Taktsang
Made famous by the movie Batman Begins, the Tiger’s Nest temple is undoubtedly the most famous tourist attraction in Bhutan. Fortunately, Bhutan’s restriction on the number of tourists who can visit the site each day ensures that the experience remains very enjoyable.
Also known as Paro Taktsang or Taktsang Palphug Monastery, the site is a sacred monastery. Your bag and phone will need to be left at the entrance when you check in for your visit. However, you will have plenty of photo opportunities on the way to and from the Tiger’s Nest.
The Tiger’s Nest is perched 900 hundred meters above the Paro Valley. A steep and rocky track is the only way to reach the monastery. And it’s only on foot, so you’ll have to work for this view, but it’s totally worth it, and probably helps keep the flow of visitors under control, too.
2. Chimmi Lhakhang Temple
Chimmi Lhakhang Temple is a picturesque monastery dedicated to Lama Kunley, also known as the Divine Fool, a Buddhist saint popular with Bhutanese couples looking to start a family.
Legend has it that Lama Kunley subdued a demon with his “magic lightning of wisdom.” It is certain that the Divine Fool would use unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism in Bhutan. He advocated, for example, the use of phallus symbols to ward off the evil eye and malicious gossip.
As a result of Lama Kunley’s influence, the Chimmi Lhakhang Temple is now decorated with phallus symbols and paintings. A wooden phallus decorated with a silver handle is also used to bless visitors to the monastery, especially women seeking blessings to bear children.
The temple sits on a picturesque hill surrounded by rice paddies and makes for a perfect short afternoon walk through the paddies.
3. Punakha Dzong
Not far from the Chimmi Lhakhang Temple, the impressive Punakha Dzong is undoubtedly Bhutan’s most beautiful fortress. Dzongs in Bhutan serve not only as religious sites, but often as the military, administrative and social center of their district.
Punakha Dzong was the second to be built in Bhutan and served as both the capital and seat of the country’s government until the mid-1950s. Every king of Bhutan has been crowned at Punakha Dzong, and the citadel is still used as the official winter residence of the monks in the country.
But the historical importance of Punakha Dzong is not the only reason visitors come to see it. The complex was built at the confluence of the Mo (Mother) and Pho (Father) rivers and consists of 21 temples. The largest of his designs is known as the Great Assembly Hall with hundreds of pillars.
When to visit Bhutan
You can visit Bhutan all year round. The weather in the western, central and eastern parts of Bhutan resembles the cold weather of Europe. Winter stretches from November to March. The summer months between June and August will usually see some monsoons with heavy rains and temperatures between 8° and 21°C.
October and November are some of the best months to visit Bhutan. The monsoon has mostly passed by then, the sky is clear blue and festivals are popping up all over the country. The spring months between March and May are great for visiting the beautiful spring flowers, but the weather can be stormy before the monsoon season starts in July.
Sleep: Where to Stay in Bhutan
Here is our list of the top 3 luxury hotels to stay in Bhutan while you explore the country’s many wonders.
1. Amankora Bumthang Hotel
Located in a stunning valley known as the spiritual center of Bhutan, Amankora Bumthang is the perfect hotel for relaxation and disconnection. The region is relatively less visited than other parts of the country, but still benefits from new daily flights from Paro, making it more accessible.
Amankora Bumthang Hotel is organized around 16 exclusive guest suites in 4 separate buildings. Each suite has a wood-paneled interior, king-size bed, terrazzo-clad gift, double sink, and most importantly, day bed with views of the courtyard and nearby Wangdicholing Palace.
Amankora Bumthang Hotel also includes a spa center offering a wide range of treatments and massages. Guests at the Amankora Spa can also access the free steam rooms. The hotel’s restaurant serves both Western and cuisine.
More information and reservations at Amankora Bumthang Hotel.
2. Amankora Hotel Thimphu
You’ll likely spend a few days in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, as you explore the country. Our favorite place to stay in Thimphu is the Amankora Hotel. Perfectly situated in a quiet location on a ridge overlooking the capital, Amankora Thimphu Hotel remains within walking distance of the city. Things to do in Thimphu include shopping and sightseeing, as well as trekking in the region’s wilderness.
The hotel comprises 16 suites, each offering their guests an uncompromised view of the landscaped courtyard or the nearby stream and pine forest. Each room at Amankora Hotel Thimphu has wood paneling and chocolate brown walls, with a king-size bed and terrazzo-clad gift.
More information about Amankora Hotel Thimphu.
3. Hotel Amankora Punakha
Probably the best place to experience a total digital disconnect, the Amankora Punakha Hotel is built around a traditional Bhutanese farm and offers fantastic views of its surroundings. Located a short drive north of the grand Punakha Dzong and Puntsho Pelri Palace, the Amankora Punakha Hotel can be accessed via a suspension bridge over the Mo Chhu River.
The hotel offers eight suites with king-size beds, terrazzo bathrooms and daybeds. On the first floor of Amankora Punakha Hotel there is a living room and a library with internet connection. There is also a traditional shrine hall for meditation, a courtyard restaurant, a tea pavilion and a spa with a steam room and yoga room.
More information about Amankora Punkaha Hotel.
4. Bonus: Six Senses Bhutan will open in 2022-2023
Due to open in late 2022-2023, Six Senses Bhutan is one of Asia’s most anticipated hotel openings of the year. Six Senses Bhutan will be located in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang, offering guests a ‘Six Senses Journey’ between each lodge to explore Bhutan in style and comfort.
Each Six Senses hotel will offer incredible views, especially the Punakha Lodge, which will overlook the Mo Chhu River. Six Senses combines local Bhutanese architecture with modern luxury design to reflect the kingdom’s reputation as the happiest place on earth.