Five must-see destinations in Asia's happiest nation

punakha
Punakha Monastery
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With extremely beautiful Himalayan landscapes and rich cultural traditions, Bhutan is termed the happiest country in Asia. There are certain places in this happy land which no traveller should miss.

Paro

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With an expansive valley with fertile land, a river with copious water and a long heritage, Paro is the perfect travel destination. There are over 155 noted places of worship and monasteries built in the fourteenth century in the valley and the arrival of tourists is witnessing a steady increase. Moreover, at Paro is located Bhutan's first international airport.

Thimphu

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Bhutan's capital, Thimphu is the biggest city in the country. It also has the honour of being the third highest capital in the world at 8,688 ft above the sea level. The city greets visitors with fine restaurants, night clubs and other attractions. Travellers can experience a mix of tradition and modernity in Thimphu. Important spots include Changangkha Lhakhang, National Folk Heritage Museum and Simtokha Dzong.

Haa Valley

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A region blessed with nature's beauty, Haa Valley is Bhutan's smallest district and is also the most popular tourist attraction. A number of picturesque spots where alpine forests cover the peaks, clean mountain air and paths ideal for trekking as well as mountain biking make Haa Valley a big draw. Visitors can also learn about the local culture by visiting the local shrines.

Phobjikha Valley

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A valley in the shaped of the letter 'U,' Phobjikha is also known as 'Gangteng Valley.' During the October-February months, the migratory black-necked cranes arrive in the valley. An endangered species, the bird is treated with reverence by the local people. It is said that every time the cranes arrive and leave the valley, they fly thrice around the Gangteng Monastery in the clockwise direction. According to Buddhist belief, this symbolizes relief from negative energy. Apart from the cranes, 13 other endangered species can be sighted in the valley.

Punakha

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The capital of Bhutan from 1637 to 1907, Punakha stands at an altitude of 1,200 m above sea level. Two major rivers of Bhutan, Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu, flow through this area. It is also the place where the renowned fortress Punakha Dzong stands. Incidentally, the wedding of Bhutan king Jigme Khesar Namgyel took place here.

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