To many Westerners, Bhutan is a total mystery. Even those travelers in the know tend to gravitate toward the country’s most popular attractions, like Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery and Thimphu’s spice market. But there’s a lot more to see and do during your trip to Bhutan, if you know where to look.
Changlimithang Stadium & Archery Ground
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan, and locals can often be found showing off their talents at the archery grounds in Thimphu’s Changlimithang stadium. The site itself has historical significance (a critical battle was fought there in 1885), but it’s the archery grounds that are really a treat. Some tourists are lucky enough to visit during a tournament. On other days, you might spot locals practicing both their archery and victory dances.
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten
This chorten (or monument) might look ancient, but it’s actually a recent addition to the Punakha landscape. Visitors love Khamsum Yulley Namgyal because of its intricate beauty, position high above the Punakha valley and the short, scenic hike that’s required to reach it. You might feel good energy all around you: this chorten was built to combat negative forces in the surrounding area.
Although you might love visiting Chimi Lhakhang, you might not love the experience of describing it to your loved ones when you get home. Located in Punakha, this monastery – which was built in 1499 – is also known as “The Fertility Temple.” It’s decorated with phalluses, although it’s not as tawdry as some visitors might fear. The site is actually sacred for some: women struggling with fertility visit Chimi Lhakhang for blessings.
Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan
Because Bhutan is so known for its landscape and religious sites, visitors might not think to seek out the country’s museums. If you can visit just one, the Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan in Thimphu is a good choice. It houses a weaving school and a textile museum with both a permanent gallery and rotating exhibits, where you can learn about the history and cultural significance of weaving in Bhutan. The gift shop is also the perfect place to pick up souvenirs.
The beauty of Bhutan is waiting, and few travelers are lucky enough to experience the country’s rich culture. Will you be one of those travelers? Contact FS Travel today!