Embark on a scenic road trip from Phuentsholing to Thimpu

Phuentsholing is a no major tourist hotspot of Bhutan like those of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. But still the place remains usually packed with tourists and that is because Phuentsholing is the most preferred gateway to Bhutan. Most visitors prefer to this route for entry/exit to Bhutan. Not many but Phuentsholing of course has some interesting places to arrest the attention of the travellers who halt a stay in this bustling city of Bhutan. Few sightseeing places that Phuentsholing offers are the Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, Crocodile Farm, Bhutan Gate of course, the lush tea gardens, ornate monasteries and shopping hubs.

Top sightseeing places in Phuentsholing

1. Zangto Pelri Lhakhang:

Zangto Pelri Lhakhang

The Zangto Pelri Lhakhang stand exactly at the heart of the bustling town of Phuentsholing. It is a small spiritual temple which contains fine examples of Buddhist drawings.

2. Karbandi Monastery:

Karbandi Monastery

Situated on a small hillock, the Karbandi Monastery is a well-known religious site which houses huge statues of Guru Rimpoche, Shakyamuni Buddha and Shabdrung Ngawang.

3. Amo Chhu Crocodile Breeding Centre:

Amo Chhu Crocodile Breeding Centre

Just a few minutes from the main town, The Crocodile Breeding Centre is a major tourist attraction. If you are an animal lover then, this is the best place for you to get close to some of the most dangerous reptiles like the crocodile and alligators.

4. Bhutan Gate:

Bhutan Gate

The gate is the main entry to Bhutan. You can click a photograph in this huge ornated gate to mark the beginning og your Bhutan journey.

Journey from Phuentsholing to Thimphu

Journey from Phuentsholing to Thimphu

After availing permits and processing all the necessary travel formalities, your road journey to Thimphu thus starts. The first thing you need to do is make arrangements for a proper Bhutanese guide who can speak good English and secondly, you need to hire a car. Distance between Phuentsholing to Thimphu is basically 180 km but depending upon the road conditions and stops, it will take approximately 6 to 7hours. Leaving the town, your car will drive you through some lesser known trails of the Himalayas where you`ll be able to witness the tropical jungles, spectacular scenery of landscapes, beautiful waterfalls, small villages, passes, rivers, lakes and a few temples and monasteries. On the other hand, drivers in Bhutan are so courteous that they will comfort you with a relaxing journey. There are a plenty of shops in the middle of the journey for getting snacks and stretching legs. Thus, your overall journey will prove to be really worthy and savory.

Hire a car in Phuentsholing, Bhutan at cost effective charges

Hire a car in Phuentsholing, Bhutan at cost effective charges

Now that you are ready for a road journey to the Last Shangri-La then, you must also be clear at your head about hiring a proper car rental in Bhutan which is effectively important. Starting from Phuentsholing, though the place does not offer you with too many sightseeing places but the best thing you can do to cover its tourist places  in one day is by availing the best cars in Bhutan. For the next day, if you wish to extend your road trip up to Thimphu then, you can simply hire Bhutan cars from the nearest travel agency or even the Haragach Auto Stand. Phuentsholing being the second largest city in the country and gateway to Bhutan, car hire in this area is quite easy. In fact, it won`t even cost you a hefty amount. Car hire charges in Bhutan is affordable, if you wish to take shared jeeps up to Thimphu then,  it will only cost you Rs. 650/- but if you book a whole taxi, it will cost you about Rs. 2400/-

Coming to the end, hope the above information will be able to deliver a wee bit of help for the ones planning a road trip to Bhutan and also availing car rentals services.

10 Best Handpicked Tourist Places To Visit in Thimphu Bhutan

Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan secures a sound place in the bucket list of the wanderlusts. Explorers get to appreciate the aesthetic beauty by exploring the top places to see in Thimphu. The largest city of Bhutan is free of traffic lights and maintains a bizarre blend of traditions and modernity. Sauntering around the city renders the sight of old fortresses co-existing with cafeteria and restaurants.  On visiting the monasteries you will see crimson-robed monks and traditionally clad nationals circling around the monastery by chanting mantras and counting prayer beads in absolute devotion.

So this holiday season, make sure to add these top places to visit in Thimphu Bhutan for a delightful experience-

1. Changangkha Lhakhang:

Changangkha Lhakhang

Built-in 12th century, Changangkha Lhakhang is the oldest temple in Thimphu. The temple houses the central statue of Chenrezig, a manifestation of Avalokiteshvara with eleven heads and thousand arms. Perched on the ridge, it offers a mesmerizing view of the enclosing Thimphu valley. The structure is a fine example of Bhutanese faith, tradition, and architecture.

Location: Thimpu, 10 minutes drive from the main market.

Timing: 08:30 AM – 05:00 PM.

2. National Library:

National-Library

Established in 1967 National Library of Bhutan promotes the religious and cultural heritage of Bhutan in the form of ancient printed resources related to history, religion, traditions, and culture of Bhutan. It owns one of the largest holdings of Buddhist Literature in the entire world. It has 6100 Bhutanese and Tibetan books, xylographs and manuscripts, and 9000 printing boards and wooden printing blocks for religious books.

Location: Thimphu.

Open from: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (Monday to Friday)

3. Dochula Pass:

Dochula Pass

Based at an altitude of 10,171 ft on east-west route from Thimpu to Punakha, it is one of the best tourist places in Thimphu. The ravishing 108 chortens with beautiful adorned stands against the lush green forest backdrop, while a clear day, offers a jaw-dropping view of snow-decked mountains and the colorful flags fluttering in the wind.

Location: Drive to east-west Road from Thimpu to Punakha.

Best time: March to May and September to November.

4. Memorial Chorten:

Memorial Chorten

The outstanding illustrations of Buddhist architecture, the whitewashed structure is crowned by a golden spire and is carved with intricate patterns. The spire emanates with the golden glow with the first ray of morning sunlight. Built in 1974, it is an important religious place for Bhutanese for daily worship. People walk around the perimeter of the Chorten throughout the day as a holy ritual.

Location: Doeboom Lam in Thimphu near the Indian Military Hospital.

Time: 07:00 am – 09:00 am.

5. Weekend Market:

Weekend Market

One of the gaieties Thimphu tourist places draws vendors from all over the region. They start arriving at the banks of Wang Chhu River on Thursday or Friday and remain until Sunday night, which is why it is called as Weekend Market. The market abounds with freshest organic produce, a wide variety of fatty pork, dried fish, homemade soft cheese, leg of Yak, seasonal fruits, curly fern, etc.

Location: Thimphu.

Time: Saturdays and Sundays.

6. Motithang Takin Preserve:

Motithang Takin Preserve

Motithang Takin Preserve is the dwelling place to Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. It is famous for interesting wildlife and its scenic beauty. Initially, the place was a small zoo which was disbanded by the fourth king of Bhutan. However, when the mammals were released in the wild, they avoided dwelling in the woods and kept coming back to streets. Therefore, the whole area was declared as a preserve.

Location: Thimphu.

Timing: 09:00 AM – 06:00 PM

7. Tashichho Dzong:

Tashichho Dzong

This impressive structure with whitewashed walls, golden, red and black wood and lush gardens on a backdrop of blue sky and flourishing green valleys, emanates a look of splendor. This remarkable architectural structure is the administrative seat of the monks.  This Thimphu places to visit is commonly known as the Thimphu Dzong, it is also called the ‘fortress of glorious religion’.

Location: Thimphu, on the west bank of Wangchhu River.

Best time: March to May and September to November.

8. Buddha Dordenma:

Buddha Dordenma

Buddha Dordenma is a masterpiece of architectural wonder and one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. Glided in gold, this massive bronze statue is more than 50 meters in height and houses 125,000 other miniature Buddha statues. Sitting royally atop a great meditation hall, this Buddha statue exudes peace and tranquility, representing a manifestation of human faith, everlasting peace, and happiness for all human beings.

Location: In the southern entrance to the valley of Thimphu.

Best time: Morning.

9. The Folk Heritage Museum:

The Folk Heritage Museum

If you are keen to have a glimpse of the interesting rural life of Bhutan, this place is probably the best for you. The Folk Heritage Museum is a three-story timber building, established in 2001. Similar to the traditional farmhouse, it appears like it has been furnished about a century ago. It provides the tourists, an insight into the Bhutanese lifestyle and culture.

Location: Pedzoe, Lam in Thimphu.

Time:  9:00 am to 4:45 pm (Monday to Friday) and 10:00 am to 1 pm (Saturday and Sunday).

10.  Simtokha Dzong:

Simtokha Dzong

Simtokha Dzong is one of the important Thimphu Bhutan places to visit, and was made after the Gyal Tshel Institute of Ralung to subdue an evil spirit that was harassing the travelers of the region. It owns countless paintings and statues of Buddha, religious figures, and other deities including the eight manifestations of Shakya Gyalpo- the Buddha of Compassion, Guru Rimpoche, Jampelyang- the Bodhisattva of Wisdom and many others.

Location: Thimphu.

Time: 9am to 5pm.

If you’re planning a trip to Bhutan this holiday season, then make sure to add these mentioned above places to see in Thimphu Bhutan.  Besides, you can avail for the Thimphu Bhutan tour packages that cover all the travel necessities under one-time cost. Your customized travel packages cover Ticket booking, airport/railway transfer, Hotel booking, meals, booking cabs, Thimphu Bhutan travel guide, sightseeing, visas, permits, and all the travel related problems.

Indulge in Some Advanced Water Based Sports in Punakha

While thinking of Bhutan, the first thing that comes to mind is its ornately decorated monasteries, the colourful fluttering flags, it`s spicy cuisine and masks dance festivals. But besides all these, one key factor that contributes to its growing popularity is the country`s  famous adventure sports such as trekking, mountain-biking, mountain-cycling, hiking, white-water rafting, and kayaking, etc.

Punakha, the former capital of the Himalayan Buddhist kingdom- Bhutan is an outstanding tourist destination which invites countless tourists every year. This quaint city is a treasure trove of some alluring landscapes which attributes to the serenity of mountains and roaring hills, lush- green rain-washed slopes, magnificent dzongs and furious rivers. It is the home to Bhutan`s second largest and oldest Punakha Dzong which is located at the confluence of rivers Po Chu and Mo Chu.

Rafting- A Famous Adventure Sport in Punakha:

Rafting- A Famous Adventure Sport in Punakha

Po Chu and Mo Chu are the two major rivers which offer wide opportunities for the travelers to raft through its rapid trails. River Po Chu stretches for approximately 16 km course with about 15 rapids of class 2-4 and river Mo Chu has a 10 km course with 10 rapids of class 2-2+. Thus, with the reference of rafting experience in these two main rivers, most tourists have also designated Po Chu as the Male River with regard to its high rapids and the little calm and gentle Mo Chu as the Female River.

Punakha river rafting not only takes you to an adventurous river trip but also allows you to delve into the valley`s most scenic and appealing landscapes featuring the flawlessly flowing blue water, charming view of the world`s rarest birds, captivating alpine scenery and the magnificent sight of the centuries-old Punakha Dzong.

Rafting Itinerary in Punakha:

There are several rafting companies and tour operators in Bhutan which specializes in organizing be-spoken rafting itineraries. Starting from arrival and adventure to departure, rafting in Punakha itinerary also includes accommodation in top hotels and sightseeing of the Bhutan wonders too. They also provide an experienced guide who will guide you throughout the river trip and also give you some related information and tips.

Best Season for Rafting In Bhutan:

Best Season for Rafting In Bhutan

Though rafting in Punakha can be enjoyed throughout the year but considering few facts like weather condition and temperature of water, the best rafting season in Bhutan is March to May and September to November.

Cost of white-water rafting in Punakha, Bhutan:

Most travelers generally view in their mind that rafting in Punakha is quite expensive but this is totally wrong. There are Bhutan rafting service providers who conduct rafting trips in many places of the kingdom and the prices are also quite reasonable. Cost of rafting in Punakha, Bhutan is completely dependent upon the seasons. During peak seasons, it costs Nu.2000 to Nu.2500 per head whereas, during the off-seasons, the price falls to Nu.1000 to Nu.500 per head.

Punakha is an ideal place to quench the wanderlust of adventure lovers as well as nature admirers because the rugged and untamed waterways of the valley have so much to offer to its visitors in order to justify their trip.

The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life. It bubbles up in pools and eddies to remind you who you are. By- Lynn Culbreath Noel