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Paro Tourism And Travel Guide
-4° C / 24.8° F
March to May
4 to 6 Days
Paro International Airport (6 kms)
Hasimara (179.5 kms)
Bhutan was the first country in the world to switch from Gross National Product to Gross National Happiness to measure the country’s success. The Bhutanese are some of the happiest people in the world and a visit to Paro, complete with its snow capped mountain peaks and green fields of rice and rhododendrons would make you want to share their happiness.
The Paro Valley is one of the widest and most fertile valleys in the little Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. Bhutan’s only International Airport is in Paro, which gives you the additional lead to unhurried, hassle-free travel to any part of the Paro Valley. There are hundreds of monasteries and temples in and around Paro and you can reach some of them by trekking up steep mountains peaks.
This Paro travel and tourism guide will tell you about how to reach Paro, the best seasons for travel and the places you must visit.
How to Reach
Paro International Airport lies about 6 km away from Paro City. Surrounded by 5000 m high peaks and with a single runway, Paro International Airport is one of the most dangerous airports in the world. DrukAir and Royal Bhutan flies directly from New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangkok, Mumbai, Gaya, Guwahati, Kathmandu and Dhaka. From the Paro International Airport, you can hire taxis to Paro City.
Bhutan connects with West Bengal in India at the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing Border. If you fly to Bagdogra Airport or take a train to Siliguri or Hasimara in West Bengal, there are buses and private taxis that will take you to the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing Border. You would be expected to submit documents and get entry passes into the country at the Border. From Phuentsholing you can reach Paro in about 4 hours. The easiest way to reach Phuentsholing is by road from Hasimara, which lies about 17 km from the Border.
You can board a train from Kolkata to Hasimara. You will find plenty of taxis or regular buses to take you from the Hasimara railway station to the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing Border.
Weather and the Best time to Visit
Spring is the season Paro finds an occasion to celebrate one of Bhutan’s most popular Paro Tschechu festival. Visit Paro in spring to revel in the joy and happiness that the people of Bhutan share with their family and friends. Explore the wilderness of Paro’s valleys for the burst of wildflowers.
Summer is pretty hot in the southern parts of Bhutan with occasional monsoon rains making inroads into the slopes and causing mudslides. Bhutan in summer is beautiful, with apple trees in bloom and a variety of flowers dotting the countryside. Euitgel Metog Hoem is the National Flower of Bhutan. They are in fact Blue Poppies that carpeted the Chelela Pass during summer. But the Blue Poppies have become a rarity. If you do visit Paro in summer, look out for these beautiful flowers.
Mountain peaks are covered with snow, though the valleys get a light snow that melts as quickly as it comes. Winter does not get many tourists, so it’s a good time to explore the valleys and get a decent off-season in accommodations. Winter is also a good time for photography.
Autumn is another good season to visit Paro. The skies are clear and the weather is pleasant. You can see flowers under your feet and the alpine peaks overhead. Autumn is a good time to go trekking to the Tiger's Nest Monastery.
Things to Do
There are ancient fortresses, ruins, monasteries and temples you can visit while in Paro. A trip to Paro never seems to be complete without trekking across the mountainous slopes or rafting and kayaking along the bubbling streams. Visit the souvenir shops. You never know what little trinket you might find to take home from the Kingdom of the Dragon Kings.
Bhutan has a range of habitats - alpine mountains, broadleaved forests, scrubland and wetlands. There are about 600 species of birds in Bhutan. You can spot a variety of birds near Paro Chuu that meanders through Paro valley.
Trek to the Taktsang Monastery perched on the edge of a cliff. Trek across Mt. Joholmori or Druk Path. Take long trekking poles, put on trekking shoes and sensible clothes for the season, for Bhutan’s weather is unpredictable.
Kayaking and Rafting:
The Paru Chuu is a magnificent watercourse and rowing a kayak or raft along this winding mountain stream is delightful.
Paro is one of the major shopping hubs in Bhutan. There are many tiny nondescript shops and markets across Paro that sell a variety of local and imported things for the tourists. Lama Tshering Dorji General Shop is best for Khuru darts, incense sticks, amulets, prayer flags etc; Yuesel Handicrafts for antiques, ceramics, masks and dried mushrooms.
Paro's Weekend Market at the Paro Town Centre should be in your To-do list as well. You can buy prayer wheels, dry fruits, hand-woven bags, handmade Bhutanese boots and clothes, handicrafts and Bhutanese stamps. These stamps are collectors’ items.