The frontier town, it is a thriving commercial centre, situated directly at the base of Himalayan foothills. It is a fascinating place where different ethnic groups mingle prominently Indian, Bhutanese and Nepalese. Being the border town, Phuentsholing serves as the convenient entry/exit point for Bhutan and also the important link to visit the Indian state of West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam.
2. Thimphu Valley
Thimphu is the capital, administration, religion and commercial city of Bhutan situated at a height of over 7,600 ft on a hillside in a fertile valley on the banks of the Thimphu Chhu River. The town of Thimphu is nothing like what a capital city is imagined to be. One interesting fact about this city is that it is the only world capital without any traffic lights. The wooden houses stand side by side with concrete buildings, all painted and constructed in traditional Bhutanese styles. For most part of its history, Bhutan has tried consciously to save its culture from the blunt influences of the western world. It is not that modernity has not reached this region, but they are being introduced in a phased and balanced manner that is unheard of at any place in the world. All these make Thimphu and other parts of the country a unique destination. Thimphu valley has many interesting places for visitors including the Trashichho Dzong, Simtokha Dzong, Memorial Chorten, The Textile and Folk Heritage Museum, Handicraft Emporiums, Weekend Market, Changangkha Lhakhang, Painting School and other excursion places around Thimphu.
3. Paro Valley
The beautiful valley of Paro encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. It is home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries, National Museum and country’s only airport. Mount Chomolhari (7,314m) reigns in white glory at the northern end of the valley and its glacial water plunge through deep gorges to form Pa Chhu (Paro river). Paro is also one of the most fertile valley in the Kingdom producing a bulk of the locally famous red rice from its terraced fields. Beside that, the Taktsang Monastery (also known as Tiger's Nest) is the most famous and popular location which is situated at the north of Paro Valley. This monastery was built at the edge of a 1,200 m cliff, creating an unique and impressive sight, and is the unofficial symbol of Bhutan.
4. Haa Valley
Haa was the ancient centre of trade with Yatung in the Chumbi valley in Tibet. In 2002 the valley was opened to tourism, its tourist resources remain largely undeveloped compared with Paro, Thimphu, and Bumthang. The main attractions are the journey up and over the pass and the picturesque valley itself and famous monasteries, Lhakhang Karpo (White Temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black Temple) The central shrine in Lhakhang Nagpo is said to be almost identical to that of the Jowo temple in Lhasa. Legend has it that local deities assisted in the construction of Lhakhang Karpo.
5. Punakha Valley
Located at an altitude of 4,430 ft above sea level, Punakha had once served as the winter capital of
. A three-hour winding mountain drive from Thimphu will land you in Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan . The route climbs past the forestry research station at Yusupang, then through apple orchards and forests of blue pine. A temperate climate and natural drainage from the Phochu (male) and Mochu (female) rivers, the fertile Punakha Valley produces abundant crops and fruit. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1907. The Punakha Dzong and the two rivers add exclusively to the scenic beauty of Punakha valley. Bhutan
6. Phobjikha Valley
Phobjikha is a wide and beautiful glacial valley with a central stream meandering through the open grassland and thickets of dwarf bamboo. Farmlands occupy the peripheral slopes where potatoes and turnips are grown. The forests beyond the farms are mostly coniferous. The general vegetation is composed of mainly blue pine, birch, maple and several species of rhododendrons. The Central Valley inhabited by the Cranes in winter has mostly dwarf bamboo. The repeated grazing of the bamboos by the local cattle and houses in summer prepares the ground for the wintering Crane. The magnificent Black-necked Cranes heighten the breathtaking scenery of Phobjikha Valley in winter respiratory.
7. Bumthang Valley
The Bumthang, one of the most beautiful valley in Bhutan consists of four valleys - Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura - ranges from 8,528 to 13,120 ft in altitude, and has an impressive concentration of dzongs and temples to visit. In the same style as Kyichu Lhakhang, in the region of Paro, Jambey Lhakhang is one of the first temples built in Bhutan by the Tibetan king Songtsän Gampo, in the 7th-century. The site of Kuje in the same region is considered particularly sacred, as Guru Rimpoche left the impression of his body there after meditating in one of its caves. Sculptures depicting the life of this holy figure can be admired in one of the temples built after his visit. In the valley of Choekhor, the monastery of Tamshing Gonpa, which dates from the beginning of the 16th Century, has some extraordinary paintings, among the oldest in the country.
8. Trongsa Valley
Ancestral home of Bhutan's ruling dynasty and site of Bhutan's most impressive fortress, Trongsa is a strategically located town on the east-west route. Sloping down the contour of a ridge stands the many-levelled Trongsa Dzong, built In 1648. The Dzong acts as a defensive fortress, stepping down into the valley and its bright golden yellow roof occupies most of the view from Trongsa. The Crown Prince of Bhutan traditionally becomes Penlop or Governor of Trongsa before being crowned King.
In the far east of Bhutan, on the bank of Gamri Chhu river lies Trashigang, the country’s largest district. Trashigang, once the centre of a busy trade route with Tibet, is today the junction of east-west highway with road connecting to Samdrup Jongkhar and then to the Indian States of Assam. This town is also used as the market place for the semi nomadic people from Merak and Sakteng whose costumes are unique in Bhutan.
10. Trashiyangtse Valley
Previously Trashiyangtse Valley was a drungkhag (Sub district) of Trashigang. Trashiyangtse became fully fledged Dzongkhag (District) in 1993. It borders the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The old trade route between east and west Bhutan used to go through Trashiyangtse, over the mountains to Lhuentse and then over Rodang La (4,200 m) to Bumthang. The Trashiyangtse Dzongkhag lies at the headwaters of the Kulong Chhu. Trashiyangtse is also a centre of paper making. They use the Tsasho technique with a bamboo frame, which produce a distinctive on the paper. The town is known for the excellent wooden cups and bowls made here using water driven and treadle lathes. You can find them on sale in a small shops and local restaurant.