Bhutan is all about rolling green hills, mist-covered forests, snowy mountains, and paddy fields which are ideal for day hikes. Most of the ancient temples and monasteries are located deep inside forests or cliffs and can be reached by taking a pleasant or grueling hike. Village and nature walk also lets you experience the real Bhutan.
With a rich Buddhist culture spanning centuries, the Himalayan kingdom is home to some of the ancient Buddhist monasteries and temples (lakhangs) in South Asia. These ancient monuments are located in peaceful surroundings far away from human habitation. To explore these cultural treasures, one usually has to drive from the city and hike a good distance on a picturesque trail dotted with traditional farms, forests of blue pine, and grazing pastures of yaks and blue sheep.
Tiger's Nest or Taktshang Monastery is the most popular destination for a day hike and cultural tour in Bhutan. The monastery can be reached by driving away from the Paro city center and climbing a hill. The monastery which is built on the side of a cliff is a human-made wonder. This amazing piece of architecture is a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists and can be reached by taking a steep hike up a hill covered with pine trees and prayer flags.
The hike to Chimmi Lakhang, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Bhutan can be reached by leaving the road and hiking across green paddy fields and traditional farms. There are small streams en route and the pastoral scene fills your heart and mind with peace and harmony. The temple is built in the traditional style using wood and is adorned by colorful frescoes and carvings.
The hike to Lungchutse Monastery takes you from the highway at Dochula Pass to forests of blue pine filled with birds and butterflies. To reach Kila Gompa one needs to take an adventurous trail from the Chele La Pass, the highest motorable pass in Bhutan. The views of the Himalayan mountains en route are breathtaking and fantastic. Panoramic sights of Jomolhari, Gangkar Puensum, Table Mountain, and Masang Gang, some of the tallest peaks in Bhutan, can be enjoyed during these hikes.
Nature walks in the Gangtey or Phobjika Valley takes you to the marshlands and the endangered Black-Necked Cranes' nesting sites. You can walk the Gangtey Gumba Nature trail which involves a delightful walk to the hilltop Gangtey Monastery past villages, fields, and meadows. Gangtey Gumba or Monastery is one of Bhutan's oldest monasteries. The gumba is the venue for the popular winter festival, the Black-Necked Crane Festival.
Combining day hikes with cultural tours lets you experience the pristine nature and mountain views while acquainting you with Bhutan's rich culture. Find below the popular tours in Bhutan that are a wonderful mix of walking adventure and cultural exploration.
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I am Werner Berger and my "claim to fame" is probably best defined as being in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person in the world to have climbed the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, including Mt. Everest.
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