This is a photoblog. Nothing too fancy or professional. Just a vibrant collection of our cherished memories.
You could read about our road trip (Siliguri – Phuentsholing – Thimphu) to Thimpu, the Royal Bhutanese capital. We had spent around 4-5 days at Thimpu before heading to the mystic Paro valley. We had stayed at the Hotel Norbuling on Changlam Street (Pincode- 11001). Read our TripAdvisor review of the hotel here.
Paro valley is another popular, yet less visited town in the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan. Wonderfully serene, peaceful and perfect for a cozy vacation. You can hire a Taxi from Thimpu, the Bhutanese capital and reach Paro in about two and a half hours.
Particularly known for its rich heritage, historical sites and buildings, Paro is home to the only International airport in Bhutan. Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines, both provide flights that connect Bhutan to many cities in India. Visitors are issued tourist visas right at the Paro airport. Most hotels accept Indian currency notes of smaller denominations. It is however recommended to exchange your Indian Rupees for Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN). A Ngultrum has the same valuation as an Indian Rupee.
You will find numerous sites providing updated information, in case you are planning a trip.
Sonam Trophel Inn: Large Rooms with Great Indian Food
We had no prior hotel reservations at Paro. The Taxi driver took us to Hotel Sonam Trophel Inn, one of the moderately good hotels at Paro. Right in the middle of the town. Well-connected and easily accessible. You would find many resorts and villas on the outskirts of the town. However, transportation might be a challenge after it gets dark, considering the extreme cold and very sparse population. I personally prefer walking around the city, exploring local cuisines, visiting local shops and all that. So hotels that are centrally located, within the town, are my obvious choice.
Special Note: This hotel has an excellent Indian cook and serves affordable, piping hot homely Indian food. Rice, Roti, Dal, Aloo Masala and all that. It’s hard to find regular Indian food in Thimpu. And most hotels serving Indian food are exorbitantly priced.
We reviewed this hotel on TripAdvisor. Here’s the link to the review page.
Day Tour Sight-Seeing Spots: In and Around Paro
Owing to time limitations, we only managed to visit a few of the numerous wonderful sight-seeing options around Paro. Many of the 15th and 16thcentury Dzongs and monasteries ooze out architectural brilliance and heritage.
Kyichu Lhakhang, Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Rinpung Dzong, Druk Choeding, etc. to name a few.
The Tiger’s Nest Monastery
The Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Paro Taktsang, is one of Bhutan’s most recognized spots.
Chimi Lhakhang or Monastery (Buddhist monastery in Punakha District)
Chimi Lhakhang, also known as Chime Lhakhang or Monastery or temple, is a Buddhist monastery in Punakha District, Bhutan. Located near Lobesa, it stands on a round hillock and was built in 1499 by the 14th Drukpa hierarch, Ngawang Choegyel, after the site was blessed by the “Divine Madman” the maverick saint Drukpa Kunley (1455–1529) who built a chorten on the site.
From here you can see the meditation cave of Pha Drun Drung who was the founder of the Dzong.
Druk Choeding (Tshongdoe temple or Tshongdoe Naktsang)
Kyichu Lhakhang important Himalayan Buddhist temple situated in Lango Gewog of Paro District
Kyichu Lhakhang, (also known as Kyerchu Temple or Lho Kyerchu) is an important Himalayan Buddhist temple situated in Lango Gewog of Paro District in Bhutan.
The Cabbie: A True Gentleman
The Taxi driver who took us from Thimpu to Paro was in his mid-40s. A true gentleman who was in immense love with his birthland Bhutan. Most Bhutanese shared an amazing passion when it comes to loving their country. Undoubtedly one of our best trips so far.