Monks on the Bridge

A Journey through Bhutan in Photos

Julie Bhutan 10 Comments

Bhutan is a tiny country nestled away in the Himalayas. This is the land of dramatic mountain scenery, Buddhism, prayer wheels, dzongs, ancient traditions, chilies and cheese, rice terraces, and some of the most beautiful woodworking you will ever see. We spent an unforgettable week here and fell in love with this country. Come journey through Bhutan in photos.

Bhutan in Photos

 

The colors in this country are amazing. This is Thimpu, the capital city of Bhutan.

Thimpu

 

Did you know that Bhutan is the only country in the world that does not have traffic lights? Instead, traffic officials wave cars on with their white gloved hands. How cool is that?

No traffic lights in Bhutan

 

This is Trashi Chhoe Dzong and its stunning setting amidst the mountains and the rice terraces.

Dzong in Bhutan

 

Inside of the dzongs, you can tour the courtyards and temples. Massive buildings adorned with intricate, colorful woodworking is the norm here.

Looking into the courtyard

 

These courtyards are amazing, and this one in Trashi Chhoe Dzong is one of the best we saw while in Bhutan.

Dzong in Bhutan

Buddhist monks

 

While in Bhutan, you have a chance to spin hundreds of prayer wheels. The more prayer wheels you spin, the more good karma you accumulate.

Spinning the prayer wheels

Prayer Wheels Bhutan

 

You gotta love this guy!

Look at the guy

 

We also journeyed out to Punakha Dzong, said to be the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan. It’s location is stunning and it is well worth the long drive to visit this place. Punakha was a highlight for us while we were in Bhutan.

Dzong on the river

 

Buddhist monks and more magnificent woodwork inside the Punakha Dzong.

Doorway in Bhutan

Amazing woodwork

 

We were in Bhutan in October, one of the best times of the year to visit this country. The weather is clear and crisp and relatively warm, without any real threat of rain. It’s also the harvest season and the rice terraces turn a brilliant golden color.

Rice terraces

Field of rice

 

For many people, a highlight while in Bhutan is a visit to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. This monastery is clinging to the cliff hundreds of meters off of the ground. If you are up for an adventure, it’s a slightly strenuous climb to this viewpoint, and well worth it for the effort.

Tigers Nest in Bhutan

 

Finally, this is Dochula Pass, with 108 stupas memorializing the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed fighting insurgents from India in 2003.

Stupas in Bhutan

Visiting Bhutan: Picking a Tour Operator

All tourists visiting Bhutan must book their holiday with a Bhutanese tour operator. We used Bridge to Bhutan and had an awesome experience. For seven days, we toured Thimpu, Paro, Punakha, and the Tiger’s Nest. Bridge to Bhutan helped us plan a custom itinerary, since we flew in from Kathmandu and then traveled overland into India. We dream about returning to Bhutan again in the future, and we would not hesitate to use Bridge to Bhutan again.

Post updated March 2018.


 

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Bhutan in photos

Comments 10

  1. I am planning for a trip to Tiger’s nest monastery this year. My start place will be Kolkata, West Bengal, India. I will be alone. Can you help me with:
    1. The best time to visit
    2. The itinerary that fits me
    3. Total number of days to complete the trip in and out
    4. Where to stay safe.
    5. Approx cost of the trip.

    1. Post
      Author

      Take a look at our Bhutan itinerary post. It answers most of your questions.

      To visit Bhutan, you have to fly into or out of Bhutan (unless they changed the rule). In 2014, we were not permitted to travel overland from India into and out of Bhutan. One of these border crossings had to be done by plane (we flew in from Kathmandu and then crossed the border into India at Phuentsholing). If you only want to visit Tiger’s Nest, you only need about 3 days in Bhutan, each day costing you $200 – 250 depending on the time of year you visit. You access Tiger’s Nest from Paro. Bhutan is very safe.

      If you are from India, the rules are different. You can visit Bhutan visa-free. Check out this information on the Visit Bhutan website.

      Cheers, Julie

  2. I loved your photos. We want to go next year. However we are only available in August.

    I’m not sure if it’s worth the gamble to go during monsoon season…

    1. Post
      Author

      I don’t know what Bhutan would be like in August (we were there in October). You could email Bridge to Bhutan (our tour company) and get their opinion. But it may be worth waiting to another time to catch Bhutan in better weather if it might be rainy during most of your visit. Cheers, Julie

  3. I LOVED Bhutan. So peaceful, so beautiful. It is not cheap, but is actually less expensive than many luxury vacations I have priced. I have travelled extensively and this is the one place I would return to. The people are incredible and the sites fantastic. Our guide and driver were first class, and all the hotels very comfortable.

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      Author
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      Author

      Yes, it is worth every penny. And the tariff isn’t outrageously expensive, because it does pay for your guide, accommodations, and food. I would LOVE to go back to Bhutan again someday. Cheers, Julie

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      Author

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