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Bhutan

Bhutan, a small kingdom nestled in the Eastern Himalayas between India and China, is renowned for its rich Buddhist culture, dramatic landscapes, and commitment to preserving its environment and traditional way of life. It measures its progress through the unique concept of Gross National Happiness, prioritizing the well-being of its citizens over economic growth.

Bhutan is famed for its majestic fortresses (Dzongs), monasteries, and a policy that protects its forests and wildlife, making it a sanctuary for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring Thimphu

morning:Start the day with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, a serene and beautiful religious monument. Then, enjoy a hearty breakfast at Ambient Cafe, known for its delicious coffee and pastries. Next, immerse yourself in Bhutanese art and culture at the National Textile Museum.

afternoon:After a traditional Bhutanese lunch at Folk Heritage Museum, take a leisurely stroll through the Tashichho Dzong, a stunning fortress that also houses the throne room and government offices. Finish the afternoon with a visit to the Takin Preserve, a sanctuary for Bhutan's national animal.

evening:For a relaxing evening, head to Benez Restaurant & Bar for a delightful dinner and live music performance. Later, experience the vibrant nightlife at Space 34, a popular club in Thimphu.

day 2

Hiking in Paro Valley

morning:Embark on a scenic hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery, perched on a cliff with breathtaking views of the Paro Valley. Indulge in a traditional Bhutanese breakfast at Tashi Namgay Resort to fuel up for the hike. Afterward, explore the Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.

afternoon:Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Sonam Trophel Restaurant, offering delectable Bhutanese and Tibetan dishes. Visit the National Museum of Bhutan to learn about the country's history and culture through its impressive exhibits. Then, take a leisurely walk in the charming Paro town.

evening:Experience a cozy dinner at Bukhari Restaurant and unwind in the tranquil ambiance. For a night-out, head to the X-clusiv Pub & Karaoke for an entertaining evening of music and karaoke.

day 3

Cultural Delights in Punakha

morning:Begin the day with a visit to Punakha Dzong, an architectural marvel set against the backdrop of mountains and rivers. Savor a delightful breakfast at Meri Puensum Restaurant, offering a variety of local and international dishes. Afterwards, explore the serene Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.

afternoon:Treat yourself to a satisfying lunch at Chimi Lhakhang Cafeteria, known for its delectable Bhutanese cuisine. Explore the fascinating fertility temple, Chimi Lhakhang, and soak in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Visit Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery to witness the daily life of Buddhist nuns and enjoy panoramic views.

evening:Indulge in a delicious dinner at Dhungsel Home Restaurant and experience the warmth of Bhutanese hospitality. Conclude the day with a visit to Zomlha Bar, where you can enjoy drinks and conversations in a cozy atmosphere.

day 4

Nature and Wellness in Haa Valley

morning:Start the day with a tranquil nature walk around Haa Valley, enjoying the serene surroundings and fresh mountain air. Rejuvenate with a wholesome breakfast at Karma's Coffee, known for its organic and locally sourced ingredients. Next, visit Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple) to experience the spiritual and cultural heritage of Bhutan.

afternoon:Treat yourself to a nourishing lunch at Mandala's Cafe & Bar, offering a variety of healthy and delicious dishes. Explore the Haa Wangchulo Dzong, an impressive fortress surrounded by scenic beauty. Afterwards, take a relaxing walk near the Haa River and indulge in the peaceful atmosphere.

evening:Relish a delightful dinner at Dromadary Hotel & Restaurant, known for its delectable international cuisine with a Bhutanese touch. For a serene evening experience, visit Juniper Lounge and Bar for a cozy ambiance and refreshing drinks.

Bhutan Famous Food

Must-Try local dishes

Ema Datshi

A popular Bhutanese dish made with chili peppers and cheese. It is known for its spicy and rich flavors and is often served with rice.

Must-Try!

Phaksha Paa

This is a savory dish of pork cooked with red chilies and radishes. It's a hearty and flavorful dish often enjoyed with the staple red rice.

Momos

These are Tibetan-style dumplings filled with meat or vegetables, and often served with a fiery dipping sauce. They are a popular street food and can be found in local eateries.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Changlimithang Market

Located in Thimphu, this vibrant market offers a variety of fresh produce, local snacks, and street food. Visitors can enjoy popular street food items like momos, deep-fried snacks, and sweet treats.

Paro Weekend Market

This bustling market in Paro is a great place to sample local street food, such as dumplings, noodles, and traditional Bhutanese snacks. The market also showcases a range of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Dietary Restrictions

Navigating dietary restrictions locally

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

While Bhutanese cuisine traditionally features meat, many restaurants and cafes in urban areas offer vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. Look for dishes like Kewa Datshi (potatoes in cheese sauce), Shakam Datshi (mushrooms in cheese sauce), and various vegetable dishes.

Vegetarian, Vegan

Gluten-Free Options

As rice is a staple in Bhutanese cuisine, it is relatively easy to find gluten-free options. Dishes like red rice, buckwheat pancakes, and roasted corn are naturally gluten-free and commonly available.

Gluten-Free

Restaurants & Cafés

Best places to eat and drink in Bhutan

Babesa Village Restaurant

This restaurant offers a cozy ambiance and serves delicious Bhutanese dishes like Ema Datshi along with other international cuisines. It's a great place to experience traditional flavors in a comfortable setting.

Ambient Café, Thimphu

A popular café that offers a variety of dishes ranging from traditional Bhutanese to Western favorites. The cafe is known for its warm hospitality and relaxing atmosphere.

Popular cities in Bhutan

Explore local food, attractions and more!

ThimphuParoSamdrup JongkharWangdue PhodrangPunakhaJakarSamtseMongarTrashigangTrashi YangtseTrongsaZhemgangDagaTsirangHaaSarpangPemagatshelTsimashamLhuentseGasaPhuntsholingGeylegphug