Paro the city which has the only international airport of the country is where you land when you fly in. Green lush landscape, a valley with settlements and some Dzongs emerging out here and there make this an ideal place for a relaxing getaway.
Paro Travel Guide
Being Bhutan’s very own valley town is one of the widest valleys in Bhutan and is home to a large number of rice fields. It’s also a very religious town, with as many as 155 temples and monasteries located here. That and the many luxury resorts in the area make Paro one of the best travel destinations in Bhutan
Things To Do In Paro
Tigers Nest Monastery
This is by default the must visit place and most known attraction of whole of Bhutan. Having great religious significance and serving as one of the prime tourist destinations of the country, Tiger’s Nest Monastery offers beautiful and splendid views of the surroundings.
For more information about this place visit Tigers Nest Monastery
Photo: The splendid Tigers Nest Monastery / CC0
One of the finest examples of architecture, the Rinpung Dzong, also known as the Paro Dzong, has a very spiritual environment. Beautifully lit-up at night, the dzong has many illustrations portraying the life of Buddha. A hike to the top of the fortress welcomes you with the spectacular view of the valley.
Photo: Ringpu Dzong with Paro Valley/ Art of Travel Partners
National Museum of Bhutan
It’s always a good thing to learn about the history and culture of any place you visit, so head over to Bhutan’s National Museum, located in Paro. It houses depictions of some of the greatest saints and leaders in Bhutan, as well some of the historically significant traditional masks and costumes.
Photo: National Museum building at Paro / CC0
Now in ruins, Drukgyel Dzong was built in 1649 to mark the victory of Bhutan over Tibet. If you want to see the fascinating stonework of the Dzongs of the past, then this is the place to go to. On climbing to the top of the ruins, an amazing view of the valley greets you, making it worth the effort.
Built in the 7th century, Kyichu Lhakhang is a beautiful monastery of great significance. A perfect example of serenity, this is the kind of place where one finds solace. Believed to be blessed by many Buddhist saints including Guru Rinpoche, the special prayer wheels are truly mesmerizing.
Photo: The calm Kyichu Lkakhang / CC0
Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge
The first bridge to have ever been built in Bhutan, Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge greets its guests with a fantastic view of the surroundings. This is the site where history meets adventure to give you a cherishable once-in-a-lifetime experience. Made up of iron and wood, one can walk to the nearby hill.
An example of architectural perfection, Paro welcomes its visitors with the glorious six chortens at the town’s border. Spending some time here and clicking pictures of the beautiful chortens would add splendor to your photo album.
Photo: Chortens at Paro / CC0
Reflecting the colorful city in its crystal clear water, walking along the shores of Paro Chhu is quite an experience in itself. The gentle breeze and colorful of birds create an environment of peace and tranquillity. The lifeline of Paro, this picturesque river is a place worth spending some time and have a picnic
Photo: River flowing by the Dzong / CC0
Chele La Pass
A 2 hours drive from Paro will take you to Chele La pass, which is the highest motorable pass of Bhutan. The pass connects Paro to the lesser known valley of Bhutan, known as the Haa Valley and is beautiful view point. You can also trek here.
Photo: Prayer flags at Chele la Pass / CC0
One of the many sacred monasteries in Paro is Dra Karpo which means splitting of rock. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche split a rock into pieces, revealing an evil spirit hiding in it. The legends say that taking 108 rounds around the monastery in a clockwise direction can help cleanse one’s sins.
Paro Weekend Market
From fruits and vegetables to organic products, Paro Weekend Market provides the visitors with everything under one roof. Bustling with vendors and buyers, the vibrant market has Bhutanese stamps, antiques, prayer wheels and every souvenir you can think of sold at throwaway prices
Paro Craft Market
For all you shopaholics who want to do some shopping in Paro, don’t expect three-story malls or designer boutiques here. However, you can shop or some locally made handicrafts like handbags, lanterns, clothes, and wall decorations as well, either for your own home or as souvenirs. There are also a few cafes nearby where you can enjoy some sweet tea and pastries.
Nightlife Hot Spots
Paro being a calm city doesn’t have many night party scenes. But you can take a walk on the calm streets of the city watching the starry skies and lit up Dzongs. You get peaceful nights here, whereas Thimphu is where you need to go for the parties.
Best Time to Visit Paro
October to December is the ideal time to visit Paro as the air is clear and fresh with sunny skies. January and February are colder, but from then until April the climate remains dry and pleasant and in late spring the famous rhododendrons bloom spectacularly, flooding the valleys with color.
If you love street food, almost every street has some street vendors selling delicious piping hot momos, along with their special soup, a Bhutanese Specialty.
If you’re looking for a finer dining experience, you can check out some of the best restaurants in Paro, like the Bukhari Restaurant, which has a sophisticated menu that focuses on healthy eating, and Tou Zaiga Restaurant, which has some of the best local flavours of Bhutan, like Ema Datshi, as well as some western food.
Photo: Bhukari in Paro / CC0
Taxi is the main means of transport for tourist. You have shared cabs, taxis for private people and the bus organized by your tour operator. If you happen to be an Indian who can enter the country without Visa and tour operator you can even use the local bus to move from one city to the other.
Where to stay
Generally, your stay will be organized by tour operators when you book the tour. If not you can always check out online options like booking.com and other sites to give you a good offer. Airbnb can also be tried.
There are a few luxury hotels too in the city if you are in the mood to splurge.
How Safe is Paro
Thimphu is a very safe city and, though crime rates are rising, they are still at very low levels. Barking dogs are an annoyance at night and you should bring earplugs if you want to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
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February 28, 2019 8:29 am
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