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7 Best Things To Do In Punakha, Bhutan

Punakha, Bhutan

There are innumerable experiences to have in Bhutan but if you’re really visiting Punakha, then here are 7 things to do that you must add to your itinerary!

1. Visit Punakha Dzong

The Punakha Dzong was built in 1637 and holds high value in the life of the royal family of Bhutan. Located right at the confluence of the Mo and Pho Chhu, the palace of great happiness, as it is called, is the most picturesque of all of the dzongs in Bhutan, built in a unique style of Bhutanese architecture.
Timings of visit: 9 AM to 4 PM
Entry fee: No charge

2. Hike to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten

The temple of the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten was commissioned by the Queen Mother of Bhutan Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. The temple was designed based on Buddhist scriptures and was built to bring peace and prosperity to the Kingdom as well as the world. However, it is the trek to the temple that invites a lot of people to the place. The trek takes about an hour and is one of the best Punakha things to do. Be sure to go to the top of the temple for the best views of the entire valley.
Timings of visit: 6 AM to 6 PM

3. Cross the Punakha Suspension Bridge

Suspension bridges are actually a common sight over the hilly terrain and quick rivers of the valleys in Bhutan. There is no record for how old the Punakha suspension bridge is, but it certainly is high. Built high above the swift Pho Chhu, you will encounter the Punakha Suspension Bridge if you elect not to hike to the Chimi Lakhang Temple. It is one of the longest suspension bridges in all of Bhutan, about 160-180 meters long, and crossing it is one of the best things to do in Punakha.

4. Bird Watching in Jigme Dorji National Park

The Jigme Dorji National Park is the site of tremendous biodiversity, primarily because it encompasses areas with elevations ranging from 1400 to 7000 meters. Consequently, the reserve houses some of the world’s rarest species. Birdwatchers are especially excited by the kind of birds that one can spot inside the reserve and this is one of the best things to do in Punakha, Bhutan.

Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM from Monday to Friday

5. Shopping in Local Market of Punakha

On your Bhutan trip, shopping is really fun and the gorgeous stoles and woolens made in the local style out of material that is sourced from local sheep are available in little shops and markets everywhere. Dry fruits are also available in ample supply here, and local artisan work including statues, jewelry, and other quirky home decor items are commonly available in Punakha shops.

6. Eat at the Dochula Resort Restaurant

While making your way to Punakha from Thimpu, you will pass through the Dochula pass that separates the two valleys. The pass has exquisite views of the Bhutan Himalayas, especially the Gangkar Puensum which is Bhutan’s highest peak. The Dochula Resort restaurant is a great place to enjoy this. The restaurant, besides the world’s most surreal setting, offers great local cuisine and beverages for your culinary pleasures. One of the top things to do in Punakha.

7. White Water Rafting

If you are an adventure lover then white water rafting on the Mo and Pho Chhu river in Punakha is for you! A popular attraction for thrill-seekers.

Timings: 8 AM – 5 PM
Cost: INR 2000-2500(peak seasons), INR 1000-1500(off-season) [Prices may change]

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