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Things to do in Bhutan

As a beautiful tourist destination, tourists have many things to do in Bhutan. They have a chance to see the spectacular architectures with religious tones, to shuttle between quiet allies, to blend in with the locals, to taste the local snacks and delicious food, to go mountain climbing and hiking, or to wander in the street to explore why this country is known as one of the top ten happiest countries all over the world.
Must-go Cities
Although it is the capital city, Thimphu is rather like a small town for tourists. There is no tall building or bustling street like other metropolises. Tourists can only see clean streets, green mountains, clear water, as well as simple and pleasant locals. It's more of beautiful idyllic scenery. Traveling around the city, tourists can visit National Memorial Chorten, Dochula Pass, Tango Monastery, Trashi Chhoe Dzong, Simtokha Dzong, etc.

Paro, a gateway leading to Bhutan, is the starting point to explore this mysterious land. As one of the 20 Dzongs in the country, it is a valley with a long history. Standing atop the Taktshang, a renowned temple around the world, tourists can overlook the charming scenery of the whole Paro valley. Also, the only international airport - Paro Airport is located here. After arriving Paro by air, tourists can take buses to Thimphu, which takes about 2 hours.

After entering Punakha which was once the capital city of the country, numerous terraced fields will come into sight. Looking beyond, tourists can see Buddhist temples looming in mountains. Punakha is located in low-lying area, so the weather is nice and warm here. It makes this place a winter resort.

Aside from those cities mentioned above, Bumthang, Trongsa, Phuntsholing, Trashigang, and Mongar are also top destinations in the country.

Must-see Attractions
Taktshang Temple
Located on a cliff 3,000 feet (914 meters) above Paro valley ground, Taktshang is extremely spectacular. It is one of the ten largest temples in the world. It is said that Padmasambhava, the Indian eminent monk who found the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism, once came here by a tigress to cultivate himself. Afterwards, this place became a holy land attracting many Buddhism followers to worship the master. There are many halls inside Taktshan Temple, where bronze Buddha statues are stored. Exquisite paintings describing Dharma Protectors can be found on the walls. From the foot of Taktshang Mountain, you need to climb for 2 hours to reach Taktshang Temple. Please note that matches, lighters, cameras and phones are forbidden when visiting Taktshang Temple.

Trashi Chhoe Dzong
Located to the north of Thimphu, Trashi Chhoe Dzong with an altitude of 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) is at the west bank of the Wang Chu River. It is not only a well-known Buddhist temple but also the government center of Thimphu. Originally built in the 13th century, Trashi Chhoe Dzong has a two-storey white building with four higher golden-top towers built at each corner. Trashi Chhoe Dzong is the summer resort of Je Khenpo, the lama leader, who lives at the central square building. The King's throne, office and reception room still remained inside the temple. Tourists need to go through security check when going there. They can take photos inside, but no loud talking should be made.

Punakha Dzong
Punakha Dzong, located at the junction of Mo Chu River and Pho Chu River, was first built in 1637. It is now the second largest and second existing oldest temple in Bhutan. It was once the capital city and government center of the country before the 1950s. Punakha Dzong has become the winter resort (from October 1st to the next April 1st based on Bhutanese calendar) of Je Khenpo. The rectangular central tower, 600 feet (183 meters) in length, 23 feet (7 meters) in width, and 118 feet (36 meters) in height, is one of the most beautiful place in this mysterious land. Inside the Punakha Dzong, tourists can see numerous Buddhist scriptures, sacred Buddhist relics, various religious paintings, and vivid portraits of religious figures.

Dochula Pass
About 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Thimphu, Dochula Pass with an altitude of 10,300 feet (3,150 meters) is a good place to visit the beautiful landscape of Himalaya Mountains in sunny days. Meanwhile, tourists can see 108 chortens there known as "Druk Wangyal Chortens", which were built to commemorate those who were killed when fighting the Assam anti-government armed force and to pray for peace. Colorful prayer flags around the chortens blowing in the wind make this place spectacular and mysterious.

Rinpung Dzong/Paro Dzong
As the most famous temple in Bhutan, Rinpung Dzong may be the best representative among all Bhutanese architectures. Originally built in 1644, Rinpung Dzong meaning the jewelry clusters above fortress was once used as the fortress to protect Paro Valley. Rinpung Dzong is not only a Buddhism temple but also a government office. Tourists can still find the remains of government offices here. The temple provided some settings for the famous Bhutanese movie Little Buddha. Each spring, many locals and tourists are attracted here to attend the grand Tshechus.

Best Cuisine to Taste
Bhutanese mainly feed on wheat, roasted highland barley flour, mutton and beef. They also eat pork, cheesecakes, cookies, cream puff, and drink Suja, buttered tea, cream tea and highland barley wine. What they favor most should be hot peppers and pepper products.

Ema Datshi (Boiled Chili and Cheese)
It is one of the most typical foods in Bhutan. As its name shows, it is made of cheese and peppers. The peppers covered with cheese look like vegetable curry. It's worth a taste when you go to the country.

Phaksha Paa (Pork with Radish)
Phaksha Paa is a famous stew made of pork, radish, ginger, and chilies. Bhutanese usually eat the stew with rice.

Momos (Dumplings)
When traveling to Bhutan, tourists are advised to taste momos, which is similar to Chinese dumplings. It is a popular food in the country. The fillings of momos are different depending on personal favor, but the typical ones include minced pork, chicken, beef, cheese mixed with ginger, garlic and coriander.