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Paro Valley

Paro, the winter capital of Bhutan, is 52 km far away from Thimphu. With patchwork fields, willow glades, murmuring trout filled streams and scattered hamlets, Paro is one of the most attractive of Bhutan's valleys. Bursting with colour and tradition, this tiny town is overlooked by a dramatic Dzong, while hamlets and isolated farms dot the countryside. The houses here are considered to be among the most beautiful in the kingdom.



Situated at 2285 m above sea level, the capital city of Thimphu is an engaging blend of the old and the new civilization. Just over 30 years ago, it was built by the late ing Jugme Dorje Wangchuk replacing the ancient capital of Punkakha. The capital's most striking visual landmark is the magnificent Tashichhodzong, which is the seat of the Royal Government and Central Monastic Body. A number of institutions in Thimphu such as the Royal School of the Performing Arts, the School of Traditional Painting, the National Textile Museum and the Institute of Traditiona Medicine offer the visitor an insight into Bhutanese culture.



Located at an altitude of 4430 ft above sea level, Punakha had once been the winter capital of Bhutan. It is still being used as the winter home to Bhutan's spiritual leader and the monks of Thimphu and Paro. Blessed with temperate climate and fed by Pho-Chu (male) and Mochu (female) rivers, it is the most fertile valley and best red rice grower in the kingdom. During a clear weather one can have a splendid view of the distant Himalayan snow-capped peaks at Docha La (pass) on Thimphu Punakha road. It takes about two and half hours to reach from Thimphu.



The valleys of Trongsa and Bumthang are separated by Yutola pass. Bumthang has its own unique geographical feature that separates it from all other regions. Composed of four smaller valleys, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in religious legend. The valley is home to sacred Jampa and Kurjey monasteries. Bumthang is also the traditional home to the great Buddhist teacher Pema Lingpa to whom the present monarchy traces its central lineage. Bumthang Tsechu (festival) along with the Paro and Thimphu Tsechu are the most popular festivals in Bhutan.


Wangdue Phodrang

This is the last town on the highway before entering central Bhutan. Sitting on the top of a hill, the formidable Dzong is the town's most visible features. In the 17th century, Wangdue played a crucial role in unifying western, central and southern Bhutan. The town itself is little more than an enlarged village with well-provided shops and hotels. The road from Wangdue to Trongsa is one of the prettiest in Bhutan passing through streams forest and villages before climbing the Pelela Pass on the Black Mountain ranges into the Trongsa valley. South of the highway is the Gangtey Gompa, an old monastery dating from the 17th century.

This beautiful valley is home to some of Bhutan's oldest Temples & Monasteries as well as Bhutan's only Airport. To the north of the valley Mt. Chomolhari (7300 m) reigns in white glory and the glacier water from its peak plunge through deep gorges finally forming Paro River. Major attractions include: Drukgyal Dzong, Taksang Monastery, Ringpung Dzong, Ta Dzong and