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Best Things to Do in Bumthang,Explore Bumthang While Trekking or Hiking,Explore Bumthang While Pedalling,Red Panda Brewery and Cheese Factory,Nomad Festival,Tour to Sheep Breeding Farm,How to Get to Bumthang,Stay in Bumthang,Where to Eat in Bumthang

14th July 2024

19 Best Things to Do in Bumthang: Experience the Magic (2023)

Are you ready to unlock the hidden treasures of Bumthang? If so, get ready to embark on a journey filled with enchanting temples, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering culinary delights.

In this blog post, we’ve curated the best things to do in Bumthang, based on our past experience of leading group trips and our recent visit to this captivating region.

With our firsthand knowledge and passion for travel, we’re here to share the inside scoop on the most fascinating attractions, off-the-beaten-path experiences, and local secrets that will make your visit to Bumthang truly unforgettable.

Whether you’re seeking spiritual solace at Jakar Dzong, yearning for a taste of local honey at the bee farms, or eager to explore the cultural heritage of the Ogyen Choling Museum, we’ve got you covered.

So, join us on this adventure as we dive into the vibrant tapestry of Bumthang’s sights, flavors, and traditions.

5 Facts about Bumthang

  1. Bumthang, located in central Bhutan, is a district renowned for its cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty.
  2. The district is home to several sacred temples and monasteries, including Kurjey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang, which showcase intricate frescoes and ancient relics.
  3. Bumthang is known as the spiritual heartland of Bhutan, attracting pilgrims and devotees seeking solace and enlightenment.
  4. The region offers a range of outdoor activities, such as trekking, hiking, and cycling, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the unspoiled beauty of its valleys and mountains.
  5. Bumthang’s traditional craftsmanship, including the production of high-quality textiles and intricate woodwork, is highly regarded, making it a great place to witness Bhutanese artistry firsthand.

Best Things to Do in Bumthang

1. Kurjey Lhakhang

Kurjey Lhakhang

Located in the picturesque Jakar Valley, Kurjey Lhakhang is one of Bumthang’s most revered religious sites.

Best known for its three temples, the complex houses sacred relics and ancient murals that depict the life of Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism.

  • Location: Jakar Valley, Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Sacred temples and Guru Rinpoche relics

2. Tamshing Lhakhang

Tamshing Lhakhang

Step into a world frozen in time at Tamshing Lhakhang, a hidden gem that preserves Bhutan’s ancient religious traditions. This 15th-century temple is adorned with exquisite frescoes and houses a collection of ancient Buddhist scriptures.

Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance and witness the devout monks engaging in their daily rituals.

  • Location: Jakar Valley, Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Ancient frescoes and religious scriptures

3. Kenchosum Lhakhang

Best Things to Do in Bumthang,Explore Bumthang While Trekking or Hiking,Explore Bumthang While Pedalling,Red Panda Brewery and Cheese Factory,Nomad Festival,Tour to Sheep Breeding Farm,How to Get to Bumthang,Stay in Bumthang,Where to Eat in Bumthang

Tucked away in a tranquil setting, Kenchosum Lhakhang offers a serene escape from the bustling world. As you wander through its sacred halls and peaceful gardens, the tranquility envelops you.

Marvel at the intricate woodwork and statues that depict the Buddhist pantheon, and don’t miss the annual masked dance festival that brings this place to life.

  • Location: Jakar Valley, Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Serene ambiance and annual masked dance festival

4. Attain Mental Solace at Jakar Dzong

Jakar Dzong

Perched atop a ridge overlooking the valley, Jakar Dzong stands as a testament to Bumthang’s architectural grandeur. Built in the 17th century, this fortress monastery offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Step inside its hallowed halls and witness the serene monastic life unfolding amidst ornate murals and sacred relics.

  • Location: Jakar Valley, Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Architectural splendor and panoramic views

5. Seek Solitude Near Mebar Tsho

Best Things to Do in Bumthang,Explore Bumthang While Trekking or Hiking,Explore Bumthang While Pedalling,Red Panda Brewery and Cheese Factory,Nomad Festival,Tour to Sheep Breeding Farm,How to Get to Bumthang,Stay in Bumthang,Where to Eat in Bumthang

Prepare for a spiritual journey as you make your way to the enchanting Mebar Tsho, also known as the Burning Lake. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Bhutan, concealed sacred treasures in its depths.

Take a moment to soak in the tranquil atmosphere and witness the flickering butter lamps illuminating the dark waters, creating an ethereal sight.

  • Location: Tang Valley, Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Spiritual significance and flickering butter lamps

6. Bumthang Cultural Trek

Bumthang Cultural Trek

Lace-up your boots and embark on a captivating journey through Bumthang’s pristine landscapes. This multi-day trek takes you through ancient villages, verdant valleys, and majestic mountain passes, offering a glimpse into the region’s rural way of life.

Immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the locals and savor the breathtaking beauty that unfolds with every step.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan 
  • Best Time to Visit: April to May, September to October 
  • Famous For: Scenic beauty and cultural immersion

7. Enjoy the Natural Beauty While Sightseeing

Natural Beauty While Sightseeing

Bumthang’s natural wonders are bound to leave you in awe. Marvel at the majestic snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear rivers, and dense forests as you explore the valley.

Don’t miss the stunning views of the Choekhor Valley from the Tharpaling Monastery or the picturesque Swiss Farm area, where rolling hills and meadows create a picturesque setting.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Scenic landscapes and breathtaking views

8. Explore Bumthang While Trekking or Hiking

Bumthang While Trekking

Strap on your hiking boots and set out to conquer Bumthang’s rugged terrain. From short hikes to challenging treks, there’s something for every adventure enthusiast.

Traverse the picturesque valleys, cross pristine rivers, and breathe in the fresh mountain air as you immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of this region.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan 
  • Best Time to Visit: April to June, September to November 
  • Famous For: Trekking routes and untouched wilderness

9. Explore Bumthang While Pedalling

Bumthang While Pedalling

For cycling enthusiasts, Bumthang offers a unique opportunity to explore the valley on two wheels. Ride through quaint villages, past vibrant farmlands, and along winding roads that unveil stunning vistas at every turn.

Discover hidden temples, interact with friendly locals, and indulge in the breathtaking beauty of the landscape while pedaling through this captivating region.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan 
  • Best Time to Visit: April to June, September to November 
  • Famous For: Cycling routes and scenic countryside

10. Take a Tour to Sheep Breeding Farm

Sheep Breeding Farm bhutan

Delve into Bumthang’s agricultural heritage with a visit to a traditional sheep breeding farm. Learn about the intricacies of sheep farming, witness the skilled herders in action, and even try your hand at traditional wool weaving.

Immerse yourself in the rural way of life, surrounded by rolling meadows and the gentle bleating of sheep.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round  
  • Famous For: Traditional sheep breeding and wool weaving

11. Enjoy the Hospitality of a Homestay

homestay in one of Bumthang's

To truly experience the warmth and hospitality of the locals, opt for a homestay in one of Bumthang’s charming villages. Immerse yourself in the daily routines, savor homemade Bhutanese delicacies, and gain insights into the age-old traditions that have shaped the region’s culture.

Interact with your hosts, share stories around a crackling fire, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Location: Various villages in Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Authentic cultural experiences and warm hospitality

12. Go for Shopping Around the B-COOP Shops

B-COOP Shops Bumthang 

Bumthang is known for its high-quality handicrafts, and the B-COOP shops provide the perfect opportunity to support local artisans. From intricately woven textiles to handmade wooden crafts, these shops showcase the finest examples of Bhutanese craftsmanship.

Take home a piece of Bumthang’s heritage and contribute to the preservation of traditional arts and crafts.

  • Location: Jakar Valley, Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Handicrafts and traditional artworks

13. Visit Bee Farms for a Honey-mix Experience

Bee Farms Bumthang

Bumthang’s pristine environment and abundant flora make it an ideal destination for beekeeping. Visit a local bee farm to witness the ancient art of honey production and indulge in the golden nectar of Bumthang’s bees.

Learn about the intricate process, sample a variety of honey flavors, and gain a newfound appreciation for these small but vital creatures.

  • Location: Various bee farms in Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Local honey production and beekeeping traditions

14. Relive Childhood Days by Flying a Kite

Kite Bumthang 

Experience the joy of simpler times as you fly a kite against the backdrop of Bumthang’s azure skies.

Feel the wind in your hair, watch your kite soar high above, and immerse yourself in the childlike wonder that this activity evokes. Head to open fields or join locals during festive occasions to partake in this age-old Bhutanese tradition.

  • Location: Various open fields in Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Kite flying and festive kite competitions

15. Sample Home-made Jams

Home-made Jams Bhutan

Bumthang’s fertile valleys are renowned for their bountiful harvests, and the homemade jams made from fresh local fruits are a true delight for the taste buds.

Visit local markets or roadside stalls to savor a wide array of jams bursting with flavors, from tangy citrus marmalades to sweet berry preserves. These delectable treats are the perfect way to bring a taste of Bumthang back home.

  • Location: Various markets and stalls in Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Homemade fruit jams and preserves

16. Red Panda Brewery and Cheese Factory, Bumthang

Red Panda Brewery and Cheese Factory

Embark on a gastronomic journey at the Red Panda Brewery and Cheese Factory, where the flavors of Bhutan come alive. Sample a variety of locally brewed beers, paired with delectable artisanal cheeses made from the freshest ingredients.

Take a guided tour to learn about the brewing process and indulge in a unique tasting experience.

  • Location: Jakar Valley, Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round 
  • Famous For: Craft beers and artisanal cheeses

17. Go for a Beer Tour

breweries Bumthang 

Beer enthusiasts will find their haven in Bumthang, with its burgeoning craft beer scene. Embark on a beer tour to visit local breweries, taste a range of handcrafted beers infused with unique flavors, and learn about the art of brewing from passionate experts.

From traditional Bhutanese recipes to innovative brews, this tour will delight your taste buds and introduce you to the vibrant beer culture of the region.

  • Location: Various breweries in Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  • Famous For: Craft beer scene and brewery tours

18. Nomad Festival

Nomad Festival

Step into the world of Bhutan’s nomadic herders at the Nomad Festival, a vibrant celebration of their unique lifestyle and traditions. Witness traditional horse riding competitions, archery contests, and colorful masked dances.

Immerse yourself in the festivities, interact with the locals, and gain a deeper understanding of the nomadic culture that thrives in Bumthang.

  • Location: Bumthang Valley, Bhutan
  •  Best Time to Visit: February or March (Dates vary each year) 
  • Famous For: Nomadic traditions, horse riding, and masked dances

19. Rediscover History at Ogyen Choling Museum

Ogyen Choling Museum

Step back in time at the Ogyen Choling Museum, housed within a beautifully preserved traditional Bhutanese mansion. Explore the extensive collection of artifacts, relics, and artworks that offer insights into Bumthang’s rich history and the lives of its noble families.

Take a guided tour to uncover the hidden stories behind each exhibit and appreciate the cultural heritage that has shaped the region.

  •  Location: Tang Valley, Bumthang 
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round
  •  Famous For: Historical artifacts and traditional Bhutanese architecture

Best Time to Visit Bumthang

  1. Spring (March to May): Spring is a beautiful time to visit Bumthang as the valley comes alive with blooming flowers and lush greenery. The weather is pleasant, with moderate temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor activities like trekking and sightseeing. The famous Nomad Festival is usually held during this time, offering a unique cultural experience.
  2. Summer (June to August): Summer in Bumthang brings occasional rainfall and a slightly warmer climate. It is a good time to visit if you don’t mind the occasional showers and wish to witness the vibrant monsoon landscapes. The countryside is at its greenest, and the valleys are teeming with life. However, note that heavy rainfall can affect road conditions and outdoor activities.
  3. Autumn (September to November): Autumn is considered the best time to visit Bumthang. The weather is mild and pleasant, with clear skies and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The autumn foliage paints the valleys with vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold, creating a breathtaking sight. This season is perfect for trekking, hiking, and enjoying outdoor adventures.
  4. Winter (December to February): Winter in Bumthang brings chilly temperatures and occasional snowfall, transforming the region into a winter wonderland. While the cold weather may limit some outdoor activities, it is an excellent time for experiencing the peaceful ambiance of Bumthang. The clear skies offer stunning views of snow-capped mountains, and the lack of crowds allows for a more intimate exploration of the cultural sites.

How to Get to Bumthang

1. By Air

The easiest way to reach Bumthang is by flying to the domestic airport in Bathpalathang, also known as the Bumthang Airport. The airport is served by flights from Paro, Bhutan’s international airport.

You can book a flight with Drukair, the national airline of Bhutan, or Bhutan Airlines. The flight offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain ranges and takes approximately 30 minutes.

2. By Road

If you prefer a scenic journey through Bhutan’s picturesque landscapes, you can opt for a road trip to Bumthang. The most common route is to drive from Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.

The road journey takes around 8-9 hours, covering a distance of approximately 268 kilometers. The route passes through the picturesque towns of Wangdue Phodrang, Trongsa, and Chumey before reaching Bumthang.

3. By Bus

Bhutan’s bus network connects major towns and cities, including Bumthang. You can take a bus from Thimphu or other neighboring towns to Bumthang.

However, it’s important to note that bus services may not be as frequent or as comfortable as other modes of transportation. It is advisable to check the schedules in advance and plan accordingly.

Where to Stay in Bumthang

Jakar Village Lodge: Experience the warmth of Bhutanese hospitality at Jakar Village Lodge. Surrounded by lush greenery, this cozy lodge offers comfortable rooms with traditional décor. Enjoy the serene ambiance and indulge in delicious Bhutanese cuisine.

Dekyil Guest House: This family-run guesthouse is located in the heart of Bumthang town. It is a great option for budget travelers, as it offers clean and comfortable rooms at a reasonable price. The staff are friendly and helpful, and the breakfast is delicious.

Hotel Ugyenling: Located in the heart of Bumthang town, Hotel Ugyenling provides a convenient base for exploring the region. The hotel features well-appointed rooms, a restaurant serving local and international dishes, and attentive service.

Where to Eat in Bumthang

  1. Cafe Perk Bumthang: This cafe is a great place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. They also have a variety of snacks and light meals, such as sandwiches, pastries, and noodles.
  1. Momo Corner: It is a popular spot for momos, a type of steamed dumpling that is a popular dish in Bhutan. They also have a variety of other Bhutanese dishes, as well as some Western options.
  1. Rai Restaurant: It is a family-run restaurant that serves traditional Bhutanese cuisine. The food is made with fresh, local ingredients and is cooked to perfection.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Respect local customs and traditions, such as dressing modestly and removing your shoes before entering temples or sacred sites.
  • Carry warm clothing, as Bumthang’s weather can be unpredictable and chilly, even during the summer months.
  • Stay hydrated and carry a reusable water bottle, as drinking water is readily available and safe in Bumthang.
  • Engage with the locals, who are known for their warm hospitality, and learn about their customs and way of life.
  • Hire a local guide to gain a deeper understanding of Bumthang’s history, culture, and natural attractions.
  • Take precautions against altitude sickness if you plan to embark on high-altitude treks or visit remote areas.
  • Respect the environment by practicing responsible tourism, such as avoiding littering and respecting wildlife.
  • Be prepared for limited internet connectivity in certain areas of Bumthang.
  • Plan your visit around the festival dates to witness the vibrant cultural celebrations that take place throughout the year.
  • Carry cash, as credit card acceptance may be limited in some establishments.

Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Bumthang

In conclusion, Bumthang is a destination that captivates the soul with its spiritual allure, natural splendor, and warm hospitality.

Whether you seek tranquility amidst the ancient monasteries, embark on a cultural journey through the valley’s rich heritage, or savor the delectable flavors of local cuisine, Bumthang offers a tapestry of experiences.

Soak in the breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in the vibrant festivals, and let the charm of this hidden gem leave an indelible mark on your heart. With its mystical ambiance and awe-inspiring beauty, Bumthang is a true haven for those who seek a journey beyond the ordinary.

Explore, and discover the best things to do in Bumthang to create lifelong memories in this enchanting realm.

FAQs – Best Things to Do in Bumthang

What are the must-visit attractions in Bumthang?

Some of the must-visit attractions in Bumthang include Jakar Dzong, Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Mebar Tsho (The Burning Lake), and Ogyen Choling Museum. These sites showcase the spiritual allure and rich cultural heritage of the region.

What is Bumthang famous for?

Bumthang is renowned for its spiritual and natural splendor. It is famous for its ancient monasteries, traditional handicrafts, artisanal cheeses, and local honey production. The valley’s breathtaking landscapes and vibrant festivals also make it a sought-after destination for those seeking a journey beyond the ordinary.

What activities can I do in Bumthang?

In Bumthang, you can engage in a variety of activities such as trekking or hiking in the picturesque valleys, attending cultural festivals like the Nomad Festival, exploring historical sites and museums, indulging in the local cuisine, and experiencing the warmth of Bhutanese hospitality through homestays.

What is the best time to visit Bumthang?

Bumthang can be visited year-round, but the best time depends on your preferences. The spring months (February to May) offer pleasant weather and vibrant landscapes, while the autumn months (September to November) provide clear skies and colorful foliage. Winter (December to February) is ideal for those who enjoy snow and want to witness traditional winter festivals.

What should I pack for a trip to Bumthang?

It is recommended to pack warm clothing, as Bumthang’s weather can be chilly, especially in the evenings. Layered clothing, sturdy walking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and a reusable water bottle are essential. Don’t forget your camera to capture stunning landscapes and cultural experiences.

Are there any local delicacies to try in Bumthang?

Yes! Bumthang offers a gastronomic adventure with its local delicacies. Don’t miss trying artisanal cheeses like Red Panda cheese, traditional Bhutanese dishes like momo dumplings, and homemade jams made from fresh local fruits. The region is also known for its distinct variety of honey, which you can sample and purchase at local bee farms.

Is it necessary to hire a guide in Bumthang?

While not mandatory, hiring a local guide can greatly enhance your experience in Bumthang. They provide insights into the cultural significance of the sites, navigate the less-explored areas, and share fascinating stories and local legends. A guide ensures that you make the most of your visit and gain a deeper understanding of the region’s history and traditions.
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