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Hill Stations in Bhutan for a postcard-perfect vacation!

By Lubna H - May 15, 2020
Hill Station in Bhutan

Astounding landscapes, culture-rich dzong’s and divine palaces is the true definition of the “Land of the Thunder Dragon”, Bhutan. With a promise to stay carbon neutral, this country is a heaven on earth filled with hidden treasures of antique temples, culture-rich monasteries and beautiful scenery from teeming valleys of greenery to dense forests. For this reason, Bhutan is one of the few remaining global biodiversity hotspots in the world. 


 

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Did you know? The government of Bhutan, demands that at least 60% of the Bhutan land is to be under forest cover at all times and the abundance of hill stations is a true reflection of this. Nevertheless, the locals here have embraced the modern world without losing their authenticity and welcome tourists from all over the world to explore their fascinating hill stations, each offering a unique vibe. 

  • Paro – Land of Monasteries
  • Thimphu – Capital City of wonders
  • Punakha Dzong – the confluence of two sacred rivers
  • Trongsa – Historic Landmark
  • Phobjikha Valley – Hikers Paradise
  • Bumthang – Jakar Valley, the castle of white bird
  • Gelephu – Border town

Paro – Land of Monasteries

Paro is one of the main dzongs of Bhutan, lined up with centuries-old monasteries and temples. This valley welcomes you with spellbinding views of the dense forests and ancient history. Make sure you visit the Tiger’s Nest in Taktsang, Rinpung Dzong, Chele La Pass and the 16th century – Drukgyel Dzong. If time permits, make a quick stop to the uncrowded “Haa Valley” for a conclusive experience. 

Most recommended: Flying into Bhutan via Paro.

Just flying into Paro is quite a thrill and worth your money spent, here’s why. You fly above some of the world’s tallest mountain ranges, Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse, Mt Makalu and Mt Kanchenjunga, Mt. Gangkhar Puensum, the highest unclimbed mountain. As crazy as it sounds, the location of the Paro Airport (7332 ft) is hidden right amidst the gigantic hills almost touching the scattered roofs around the Airport

Image Credits: Google Images

Thimphu – Capital city of wonders 

Thimphu is indeed one of the cultural hotspots of the country as it is famous for its connectivity to various treks and ancient monuments. Home to the royal family, Thimphu is the right combination of leisure, spiritual and cultural sightseeing. Ensure you add a visit to Changangkha Lhakhang, relive your spiritual connections with Lord Buddha sitting on top of Kuensel Phodrang and relax while you sip a cup of coffee in Dochula Pass on your way to Punakha, another wonder.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Punakha – the confluence of two sacred rivers

A very distinctive hill station of Bhutan, Punakha is world-famous for Punakha Dzong – fondly called as the “Palace of Great Happiness or Bliss”. Commanding the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, Punakha Valley is a sight for sore eyes. Must-visit when in Punakha is the Chimi Lhakhang, popularly known as the fertility temple built to honour the Divine Madman, is quite sought-after by honeymoon couples. P.s: Don’t be surprised, when you get blessed by wooden Phallus or if you spot paintings of it on almost all doors of the houses, a chat over tea with the locals here will fetch you the answer. 

Image Credits: Google Images

Trongsa – Historic Landmark

Sitting atop a hill with soothing sounds of Mangde Chhu River, Trongsa is a quaint little town with an infectious charm. Trongsa Dzong is picturesque with the backdrop of Black mountains on guard. Come here to experience the serene feeling up-close with the locals. 

Image Credits: Google Images

Phobjikha Valley – Hikers Paradise

Nestled in the western side of the Black Mountains, Phobjikha Valley is a bowl-shaped valley, home to the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park offering excellent biking, hiking and bird watching experiences. Witness flocks of black-necked cranes migrate here from Tibet during winters in November. Locals refer to this region as Gangtey, after the goemba that rests on a cliff above the valley.

Image Credits: Pixabay

 

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Bumthang – Jakar Valley, the castle of white bird

Legends say that Jakar Valley was built by the King after spotting a white bird circling the area on top of the ridge. After a day’s walk around the town, settle for a traditional hot-stone bath to relax and rejuvenate. Some of the notable sites to visit would be Membartsho, also known as the Burning Lake, birdwatchers seek out for the 3hr-hike from Thrumshing La down to Sengor, and the 2-day onward tread from Sengor to Yong Khola.

Image Credits: Unsplash

Gelephu – Border Town

Gelephu, bordering India and Bhutan offers an adventurous way to enter Bhutan via Assam. Royal Manas National Park is a rare and top spot to visit when in Gelephu. It is home to a great mix of flora and fauna and is a haven for birdwatchers. 

Image Credits: Unsplash

Top places to stay in these Hill stations in Bhutan

Bhutan is ideal when planning a vacation with families, friends and is a blissful experience when travelling solo, get the best of both worlds where cultural heritage meets modernization. Here’s a bunch of suggestions on resorts to make your trip worthwhile. 

  1. Paro – Le Meridien Paro, NakSel Boutique Hotel & Spa, Rema Resort, Haven Resort Paro
  2. Thimphu – Terma Linca Resort & Spa, Gakyil Thimphu, Taj Tashi Bhutan, Osel Thimphu Bhutan
  3. Punakha Dzong – Mendrelgang Homestay, Hotel Zangto Pelri, Punakha Phuntshochoeling Heritage, Damchen Resort
  4. Trongsa – Mountain Resort, Chumey Nature Resort, Dekyil Guesthouse
  5. Phobjikha Valley – The Village Lodge, Mountain Resort, Chumey Nature Resort, Dekyil Guesthouse
  6. Bumthang – Phuntsho Chholing Lodge, The Valley Camp, Yue-Lo-Ki Guest House Gangtey, Dewachen Hotel & Spa
Image Credits: Unsplash

I am sure, you already feel you are in Bhutan from your armchair. Embark on the glorious tour of serenity to the hill stations of Bhutan and let nature do the magic on you. Customize your itinerary to suit your needs with Pickyourtrail and get ready to feel lost in the enchanting kingdom of Bhutan. You can also access your itinerary on our travel app.

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