Bhutan is a hiker’s paradise, perhaps best known for its dramatic landscapes, steep cliffs and Himalayan peaks. Sometimes referred to as ‘the last great Himalayan kingdom’, the country maintains a mysterious, sacred history that you simply won’t find anywhere else, even in its neighbouring countries. Enriched with Buddhist culture, Bhutan is great for travellers looking to take a mindful holiday with a spiritual connection. Unique cultural experiences abound in Bhutan, from incredible monasteries to dozens of year-round festivals.
- Trek to Taktshang Goemba (Tiger’s Nest Monastery), an impressive 7,000 feet above sea level
- Attend Thimphu Tshechu, a three-day festival starting the 10th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar
- Visit Punakha Dzong, the crowning place of Bhutan’s kings
- Snap a photo of a Takin, Bhutan’s national animal
- Cross the iron chain bridge at Tachog Lhakhang
- Don’t expect to do much swimming on your visit to Bhutan. The country of Bhutan is completely landlocked, and its lakes are considered sacred.
- Be courteous and respectful when visiting monasteries, temples and other religious places. Be sure to remove your shoes and hat before entering. Many of these sites also forbid photography, so never take photos without first asking permission.
- No, you’re not seeing things - those certainly are paintings of penises you see everywhere in Bhutan. These paintings are meant to dispel evil and act as a protection against malice. They’re also meant to encourage fertility and were originally encouraged by Drukpa Kunley, or the “Madman from Kyishodruk”, Bhutan’s fertility saint.
- The Bhutanese love spicy food. Red and green chilis can be found in nearly every local dish. In fact, the national dish, ema datse, not only contains chillies, it is also served with dried chillies on top!
- If you come across the royal family during your trip to Bhutan (which is likely to happen, given the country’s small population of about 800,000 people), do not take their photo without permission. Be sure to show respect as the Bhutanese truly love their monarchy.
Bhutan has seasonal weather so please do check up on the best time to visit Bhutan before planning your tour to the country. And if you’re still hunting for more things to do and places to explore in the country, do check out our Bhutan Travel Guide for more information.