Holiday in Bhutan

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I am so excited to pen down this post and tell you guys about my recent holiday in Bhutan. Bhutan is this magical country that is totally shrouded in Buddhism! It is beautiful, mesmerizing and mystical! Memories of this holiday in Bhutan are always going to stay fresh in a corner of my heart.

 

Prayer Flags on Tiger’s Nest trek

 

The three of us (me, my brother and sister) ventured on this beautiful vacation by taking a flight via Bhutan Airlines. You won’t believe but the magic of Bhutan starts mid -air itself, when the pilot announces the names of different Himalayan mountain peaks that you can see through the plane window. There is Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Jomolhari, amongst others. The views are breathtaking! We landed on the cutest airport of all times. The Paro airport is small and traditional, with loads of colorful wooden carvings. Nestled in the middle of mighty mountains, the airport itself is a part of sightseeing.

 

View on flight to bhutan

View on flight to bhutan

 

Paro Airport Paro Airport

We were soon greeted by our guide- Raj who took us to our hotel – “Naksel Boutique Hotel and Spa”. I am so glad I chose this place for our holiday in Bhutan. The property itself is so picturesque and royal, that you wouldn’t want to venture outside at all. The cobblestone path lit by lanterns, the beautiful waterfalls and the cute cottage style rooms, made me fall in love with Naksel at first glance. The resort also houses an amazing Spa, a cozy himalayan cafe with a fireplace, a library and a restaurant that dishes out some amazing food. I was so moved by their hospitality and service – I felt so special and loved! Just next to the reception, there is this huge quote on the wall – “A Time for Everything”. As I read through it, I felt humbled and warm inside. I knew, this holiday in Bhutan was the best way to end 2017.

 

Naksel Hotel and Spa, Paro Naksel Hotel and Spa, Paro

Naksel Hotel and Spa, Paro Naksel Hotel and Spa, Paro

Our vacation included sightseeing in Paro and Thimphu. I loved Paro over Thimphu for it’s laid back vibes and beautiful views!

 

Sightseeing in Paro

As we entered the Rinpung or Paro Dzong, we were amazed by the stunning architecture of the monastery. The Dzong houses a justice court, the main temple and several rooms for Monks that stay here and attain the various teachings of Buddhism. From this Dzong, you can get a beautiful view of the entire city including the beautiful Paro Chhu river.

 

Rinpung or Paro Dzong Rinpung or Paro Dzong

 

The Kyichu Temple is also very beautiful with huge prayer wheels and orange trees in the courtyard.

 

Kyichu Temple, Paro Kyichu Temple, Paro

But the best part about Paro has to be the Trek to Tiger’s Nest. The Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest Monastery is the most sacred Buddhist Monastery. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche meditated here and thereafter brought Buddhism in Bhutan. The Monastery can be accessed after a long and arduous trek through beautiful pine forests. To be honest, I found the hike to be really difficult and the only thing that kept me going was the glimpse of the beautiful Monastery every now and then.

Ponies are available to help you with the hike, but only half way up. We didn’t take any. Also, there is only one cafetaria midway – The Taktsang Cafeteria. We had hot coffee and biscuits here to fuel us up!  The rocky muddy uphill road was followed by a fleet of downward stairs – which finally brought us to the foot of the Monastery! The atmosphere up there is mystic and mesmerizing. The Monastery houses several beautiful temples. The Tiger’s Nest was the highlight of our trip. It took us about 6 hours to complete the whole trek (going up and coming down). Once we came down, we had a quick lunch and toured the local town market.

 

Tiger’s Nest Trek Tiger’s Nest Trek

Shopping in Paro

The Paro market is small and can be easily covered in half a day! You will find lots of jewellery made with precious stones here. If you must buy, I recommend picking up a Pashmina or Yak wool shawl. Apart from these we picked up incense sticks, local noodles and small souvenirs. I also brought their local wine for experimenting in my kitchen.

 

Eat in Paro

The Olive restaurant at Naksel took care of most of our meals. And we were delighted with the food there. Apart from that, my favorites would be the Mountain Cafe and Champaca Cafe. Both are next to each other in the city market. People in Bhutan use a lot of cheese and butter in their cooking. Red rice is the local rice here. After trying it out at one of the cafes, I picked up a few packets to take back home with me.

 

Mountain Cafe

 

Mountain Cafe, Paro

 

Mountain Cafe, Paro Mountain Cafe, Paro

 

Champaca Cafe

Champaca Cafe

 

Champaca Cafe Champaca Cafe

 

Champaca Cafe Champaca Cafe

 

Sightseeing in Thimphu

Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan. The city is populated as compared to Paro and has more of a town vibe.

First we went to the Buddha Point that houses the biggest Buddha statue in the country. The view of the valley is magnificent from here. Next, we went to the Memorial Chorten which was built like a huge white Stupa. We also visited the National Textile Museum and the local bazaar.

 

Buddha Point, Thimphu Memorial Chorten, Thimphu

 

My favorite part from our visit to Thimphu, was a trip to the Central Post Office, where we got our picture printed on stamps. It was so much fun! If you go here, definitely get these custom stamps and try the amazing coffee from Lavazza.

 

Central Post Office, Thimphu Central Post Office, Thimphu

 

Eat in Thimphu

We had pizza and a grilled vegetable platter for lunch at The Seasons Restaurant, Pizzeria. The food was decent. The outdoor seating and ambience of the cafe was lovely.

Post lunch, we headed to the dainty Art Cafe for dessert and coffee. The brownie, peanut butter slice and Vietnamese coffee were amazing. The sweet decor of the cafe added to it’s vintage vibe and went paired perfectly with the wholesome food.

 

The Seasons Restaurant, Pizzeria

 

The Season’s Restuarant, Pizzeria at Thimphu The Season’s Restuarant, Pizzeria at Thimphu

 

Art Cafe

 

Art Cafe, Thimphu Art Cafe, Thimphu

 

In short, I would highly recommend a holiday in Bhutan once in your lifetime. Infact, I plan to travel there again to visit it’s other popular cities – Punakha and Bumthang.

Did you enjoy reading about my amazing time in Bhutan? Or did I go overboard and bored you with a long post? :P. 

Also, a very Happy New Year guys!! Have a blessed  year full of love and happiness :).

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57 Comments

  1. Wow! How breathtaking your journey was! So what are all those colorful things hanging up on the clotheslines? All the photos are so lovely and the food, yum! I want that pizza. I am so happy that you got to go on a such a wonderful trip. Very nice Deepika!!

    1. Thank you so much Kim😍😍 I am so happy you read through the entire thing😬 Those are Prayer flags, Buddhists believe that prayers on from these flags are blown by wind and travel everywhere and promote compassion 🙂

    1. Thank you Camila😍 It was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience! Thanks for the love💖

  2. Deepika – I love your descriptions and your photos! I previously knew nothing much about Bhutan and you’ve made me want to go! That monastery is beautiful – hopefully worth the long hike! It sounds like the trip of a lifetime! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Aww Laura😍 I am so happy you like it! Bhutan is really such a sweet place to go to! And that Monastery was one of my favorite things from there!

  3. Such a wonderful post. Loved reading about Bhutan and seeing the beautiful pictures. They have such a wonderful architecture and loved the cafe’s you have captured. These small places have great food. Sounds like your trip was super fun with hiking, great food, shopping and sight seeing.

    1. You are so right about these small dainty cafes Neetha! The food is prepared with so much love💖 Thank you for reading all of it😘

    1. We do a sibling trip every year Kathy! It’s a great way of bonding.. although we fight all through the vacation on silly things..but it’s so much fun too! Thanks for the love😍

    1. Thank you so much😍😍 I am glad you like it! It’s kind of you to read all of it and leave some love!

  4. Wow Deepika!! What an incredible trip! Absolutely loved reading this post, and hats off to you for the 6 hour trek up to Tigers Nest, looks like it was worth every step 🙂 All the photos are stunning!
    I will definitely put this on my bucket list of places to see. Thanks for sharing xx

  5. This place looks amazing. You’ve captured all the best views and explained them so well. I would want to travel their someday.

    Ps : I saw your blog at the wrong time , it’s 1 am and I am hungry.

  6. What a lovely way to end the year! I very much enjoy living vicariously through other people’s travel posts, since I myself don’t get to take trips very often. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thank you Mara😍😍 I am sure the baby is keeping you up on your toes! Thanks for stopping by and appreciating 🙂

    1. I am so happy, you guys liked reading it!! Bhutan was definitely captivating as a place! Thank you for the love 😍😍

  7. Wow, what a lovely place with great recipes. It seems you have enjoyed a lot… Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures…

  8. WOW, I love this post Deepika! Your pics are beautiful and your descriptions and info were on point! Sounds like a fabulous holiday and yes, the perfect way to end 2017! Thanks for sharing all this!

    1. We did only two cities and 5 days were more than enough! If you wish to do entire Bhutan in one go, I would suggest going there for at least 2 weeks🙂 Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!

    1. I am so happy to see you here Jyo😍😍 Thank you for taking out time to read my blog! A big hug😍

  9. Wow! Just wow. I absolutely loved this post, Deepika…you should make sure to write more travel posts like this whenever you go on vacation. 🙂 Even the airport there in Bhutan is gorgeous! And that outdoor room at your hotel? I’m pretty sure I would’ve spent every night curled up on one of those chairs. The photos are wonderful, and I definitely need to keep Bhutan in mind for a vacation one day…I don’t think I’ve ever even considered going to Bhutan before. But I will now!!

    1. Thanks for making my day David😍😍 Thanks for reading through a long post and appreciating the effort! I hope you go to Bhutan someday and recall reading this post of mine!

  10. Heyyy it’s uuuu D, nice to meet u up here😊… beautiful and magnifique shots…hope u had much fun in Bhutan….and u look FAAAB ❣❣

  11. Where should I start Deepika! First of all, I enjoyed reading this beautifully written article so much, your excitement and love for Bhutan resonated in every sentence. It’s a wonderful account of a country so rich in beauty and culture. Stunned by the architecture and the riot of colours. And of course, no dearth of natural beauty there….the pictures are mindblowing! Thank you for this virtual tour sweetheart!Loved your resort and its cosy rusticity. Good on you for making the climb too…it must take immense will power.
    Also, you look so pretty!
    Many hugs

    1. This is my favorite comment 😍😍. I can’t write so well like you, but I have tried. And I am so glad you can read through my excitement and happiness associated with this trip! Thank you for all the love Divya💖 I so want to hug you in person 😄

  12. I have always wanted to visit this special place in the world ever since i was young, thank you for this post it has reignited that flame of wanting to go there so badly! Your photos are just spectacular. And you are simply amazing for doing that climb!!

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