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Bhutan Cities

Cities in Bhutan developed slowly with a small population. It is divided into four districts and 20 dzongkhags. The capital Thimphu is the largest city and the hottest destination in Bhutan tour.


Housing one of the most impressive dzongs of Bhutan – Paro Dzong, and the most famous historic site – Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), as well as the only one international airport of the country, Paro, an old-line town located in the southwest of Bhutan, not far away from Thimphu, stands on an elevation of about 2250 metre in the Paro Valley along the bank of Pa Chhu River, adorning the picturesque valley with its splendid historical remains and religious atmosphere. It used to be the administrative centre of Western Bhutan and had trading relationship of long standing with Tibet so that its culture is influenced by some Tibetan elements, such as Kyichu Lhakhang built in Tibetan structures.

In addition, Paro impresses tourists with the whimsical appearance: the verdant and tranquil Paro Valley is decorated by trees and orchards lining on the roads, as well as farmhouses and temples scattered on the terraced fields; the main street is lined with traditional wooden buildings and colorfully painted shops, apart from which bazaar area presents a hodgepodge of concrete buildings that shows a kind of nondescript distinction.

Recommended Tours with Paro


Thimphu, as the political and economic centre of Bhutan, has a dominant agricultural and livestock base, which contributes to 45% of the country's GNP.[8] Tourism, though a contributor to the economy, is strictly regulated, maintaining a balance between the traditional and development and modernization. Thimphu contains most of the important political buildings in Bhutan, including the National Assembly of the newly formed parliamentary democracy and Dechencholing Palace, the official residence of the King, located to the north of the city. As a metropolis and capital city, Thimphu is coordinated by the "Thimphu Structure Plan", an Urban Development Plan which evolved in 1998 with the objective of protecting the fragile ecology of the valley. This development is ongoing with financial assistance from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

The culture of Bhutan is fully reflected in Thimphu in respect of literature, religion, customs, and national dress code, the monastic practices of the monasteries, music, dance, literature and in the media. Tsechu festival is an important festival when mask dances, popularly known as Cham dances, are performed in the courtyards of the Tashichhoe Dzong in Thimphu. It is a four-day festival held every year during Autumn (September/October), on dates corresponding to the Bhutanese calendar.

Recommended Tours with Thimphu


As the administrative centre of Punakha Dzongkhag, Punakha used to be the old capital of Bhutan until 1955, which is situated in the confluence of Pho Chhu River and Mo Chhu River. With warm weather all over the year and adequate water-land resources, the Punakha valley of two prominent rivers cultivates abundant crops so that rice farming is dominant and becomes more mature in Punakha. It is home to Punakha Dzong, the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan, which features the sacred relics of the southern Drukpa Kagyu school, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Terton Padma Lingpa.

Punakha is amongst one of the most beautiful destination in Bhutan, where peace and hospitality govern the land. Here you can escape from the bustle and pressure of large city, and immense in the unadorned nature and placid village life. The village is decorated with two-storey houses made of pounded mud and stone, which are surrounded by gardens and rice fields. The extensive terraced paddies have supported the living of villagers for a long time.

Recommended Tours with Punakha


Trongsa is the ancestral home of the royal family of Bhutan, with an altitude of 2286 meters. Located in central Bhutan, along the Trongsa River, bordered by Wangdue Phodrang District to the west and Bumthang District to the east, it is of strategic significance in position. 

Most of Trongsa is environmentally protected. Wangchuck Centennial Park in the north and Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park in central, western, and southern Trongsa are connected by biological corridors, all of which are well protected in Bhutan. Biological corridors also occupy substantial portions of the southeast and northeast, leading to Thrumshingla National Park in neighboring districts.

Recommended Tours with Trongsa


Bumthang, officially known as Jakar, is the district capital of Bumthang District, which houses Jakar Dzong, the regional dzong fortress. It is located in Bumthang (Choekhor) Valley within Chhoekhor Gewog in central Bumthang with a domestic airfield under construction. The name Jakar roughly translates as "white bird" in reference to its foundation myth, according to which a roosting white bird signaled the proper and auspicious location to found a monastery around 1549.

Bumthang is the perfect place for daytime hiking due to the verdant valley and woods. From Trongsa it is about 2.5 hours’ drive. At the right season, you can appreciate view that many yaks leisurely get together to eat grasses. They make Bumthang become a popular tourist destination.

Recommended Tours with Bumthang


The Phobjikha (Phobjika), is an immense U-shaped glacial valley, also regarded as Gangteng Valley named after the spectacular Gangteng Monastery of the Nyingma sect in central Bhutan, where the graceful Black-necked Cranes in Bhutan from the Tibetan Plateau visit the valley during the winter season to roost. It is said that on arrival in the Phobjikha Valley in the last week of October, the Black-necked Cranes circle the Gangteng Monastery three times and also repeat the process while returning to Tibet.

With its best-known marshland in Bhutan, Phobjikha Valley is popular for its scenic splendor and cultural uniqueness. The valley is rich in faunal biodiversity and has, apart from the globally threatened Black-necked Cranes Grus nigricollis, 13 other globally threatened species. So it is well protected by Bhutan. In the Gangten Monastery courtyard, Tsechu, the Mask Dance Festival and the Crane Festival are frequently held to welcome the Black-neck Cranes in winter months are held every year.

Recommended Tours with Phobjikha