Bhutan, which is kind of lost in the mountains, has kept its original identity throughout centuries. The European touch to this small Asian country seems to be in minimal measures, as its lifestyle is simply not Europeanized. Earlier, it was even prohibited to travel to Bhutan. This was long ago and as for now it’s pretty safe and secure to have a journey in this amazing country. The main touristy charm of the country is its architecture. There are various local churches and monasteries, which are simply appealing due to their iconic character.
Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan. Being located at an altitude of 2500m above the sea level, the place is in a green valley. The population of the city is not as large as one can expect, reaching only 50,000 people. The city is contradicting in terms of its age and scenes. Some believe that it’s one of the most unusual capitals ever. It has around half a century history, but also a large list of modern buildings. The main center of the city is full of glass and concrete buildings, but the touch of the local architecture is obvious even here. The colors used for the houses and their overall appearance resemble the historical buildings, thus giving the city a Medieval look. There’s even a law prohibiting building modern style buildings here.
Thimpu is mainly the cultural city of the country, which is evident from the abundance of various type of institutions here, including National Textile Museum, Thangka Art School, Royal School of Art and many other cultural and historical institutions. There is a factory for the production of paper from plant fibers. At the same time it produces the local world known colorful stamps, which are the pride of the kingdom. In case you got interested, you can purchase some at the city Post Office. Around the small town, you can find many shops selling textiles here and there and similar to other non-European countries, you can also find the craftsmen of the locals, being sold by the creators themselves in the open air. The picturesque streets of the city are noteworthy, as you can wander endlessly among unique low houses carefully decorated with traditional national motives. And those are surrounded with tiny parks and small gardens.
Around 7 km from the town of Paro the only international airport of the country is located, which is known by the locals as the “gateway of the country.” The city is located in the heart of the fertile valley of Paro. This place is known for its unique landscapes, a large list of amazing buildings and picturesque villages nearby. And the exclusivity of the place is that many monasteries and houses here are ornamented and intricately carved by local craftsmen.
Among the sights here, you should visit Taktsang Lhakhang-Dzong Monastery, which when translated will be something like “Tiger’s Nest”. It’s the main attraction of the city standing on a cliff top, towering 900 meters above the valley.
In addition to this, there are 8 other churches here. And there’s a waterfall, which is believed to be associated with the local legend and has a great importance for the believers. And next to it there are a few monastic huts. On the same slopes of the mountain above the monastery, there are smaller monasteries, which are more convenient to visit for the tourists.
The village of Laya, located at the north-west of Bhutan, is one of the highest villages in the country: it lies at an altitude of 3700 m, on the hillside of Tsenda-Ganges. The contrast of the cold mountain weather with the local bamboo productions is just amazing. Here lives one of the least known ethnic groups. Though their group consists of only 800 people, they have their own language, traditions, culture and even costumes. Women mostly wear bamboo hats and bamboo made clothes on top with beaded woolen jackets and long skirts, and use a large number of silver jewelry. Here you can get only by helicopter or long caravan trails through the most impassable mountain passes in the world.