Paro (alt. 2200m/7218ft) - The beautiful valley of Paro encapsulates within itself a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myths and legends. Paro is a historic town with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered through the area. In addition, the Paro Valley is wide and verdant and is recognized a one of the most beautiful in all Bhutan. Prefer to stay in Paro if you are someone who is fond of nature and would like to spend quite and peaceful time. However, apart from the main street (which is constructed of traditional wooden structures), the bazaar area is a nondescript hodgepodge of concrete buildings that is totally bereft of charm and character. Along with Jakar and Punakha, Paro forms the 'golden triangle' of popular tourist destinations in Bhutan.


Paro Airport: An international airport located in a deep valley.
Druk Air, (Royal Bhutan Airlines): It is the main airline serving Paro Airport, and offers flight to from Bangkok, Delhi, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Kolkata.
Buddha Air: Now serves Paro every day from Kathmandu.
Car: Can hire a taxi from Thimphu and reach Paro in approx. 45 mins. The drive of 30kms is very pleasant and roads keep on unfolding with every turn.

Tourist attraction in and around Paro

Taktsang Monastery, (Tiger's Nest)
Precariously perched on the edge of a 1,200 meter cliff, this monastery creates an impressive sight, and is the unofficial symbol of Bhutan. It is about 2-3 hour, totally up-hill hike from the parking lot to the monastery, though there is a cafe located on ridge across from the Taktsang (about 90 minutes into the walk) that provides a welcome opportunity to take a rest and purchase refreshments and snacks. The hike up to the Tiger's Nest can be very strenuous and you can rent a horse to bring up the mountain for about USD $10. The horse ride is a one-way trip (this is recommended if you are not very fit and may face altitude sickness) and you have to make your way down the mountain by foot. Taktsang was established as a sacred place for meditation by Guru Rinpoche who visited the site on his second visit to Bhutan in 747 CE, though the first monastery was not constructed until 1694. In 1998 a tragic fire destroyed most of the original buildings, but these have since been painstakingly restored to their former glory.

National Museum of Bhutan
Located in a former watch tower (which itself is a museum piece) above the dzong, the museum displays artifacts from Bhutan's history as well as examples of indigenous flora and fauna.

Rinpung Dzong
Constructed in 1646.

Drukgyel Dzong
This dzong (fortress) was built in the 16th century to commemorate a victory over the invading Tibetan forces. The fortress today lies in ruins, the elements and a fire in the 1950s having taken a toll on the site. Drukyel dzong is about 15 kms from Paro.

Above Shaba (keeping Shaba School to the right, follow the dirt road to end. The complex is a five minute walk from here). Drakhapo is a monastic complex perched on a cliff. Guru Rinpoche spent two months here after completing a retreat at nearby Taktsang, and during his stay placed many treasures (terma) into the cliff. The area also has several hand and foot prints embedded in the rock.

Kichu Lhakang
Kichu Lhakang is one of the 108 monasteries that were miraculously constructed by King Songten Gampo in one night. It is located just off the road running between Paro bazaar and the Taktsang.

Jangsarbu Lhakhang

Located behind Paro Dzong. This small and insignificant looking temple is home to a magnificent statue of Sakyamuni Buddha that was carried all the way from Lhasa, and also houses the protector deity of Paro. Legend has it that the statue of Sakyamuni was destined for Paro Dzong and merely placed in the temple for overnight safe keeping. However, when the time came to move the statue, it proved impossible to lift. As a result, it became a permanent feature of the lhakhang.