Are you planning to visit Bhutan and Tibet for this year’s holidays? Then get ready to explore the glories of the magnificent Himalayas and definite Buddhist cultures.
On your vacation, you will be covering the Himalayan kingdoms in Tibet and Bhutan. Visiting these fascinating kingdoms has been on the bucket list of many travelers. And every year people travel here for some relaxing and quality time.
So finally, you have decided to fulfill your dream of visiting Tibet and Bhutan. These kingdoms are very close to each other. And there are many things to do in Bhutan and Tibet for travelers.
Are you searching for things to do in Bhutan and Tibet during your visit? Then you have come to the right place. We have made a list of things you can do in these beautiful kingdoms during your stay.
While you travel to Bhutan and Tibet, you will not only be astounded by the beauty of nature. But also get a chance to experience a whole new world. If this is your first time visiting these nations then be ready to be awe-struck by their beautiful culture and tradition.
You can begin your travel from Tibet and end it in Bhutan or vice versa. You can read further to know more about things to do in Tibet and Bhutan.
Before knowing about things to do in Tibet here is a short introduction about this country:
Tibet is a beautiful region that is located in East Asia and covers most of the Tibetan Plateau. This kingdom is home to the Tibetan people. But various other ethnic groups are also found living here. Such as Monpa, Sherpa, Lhoba, Tamang, and others.
Nowadays the Han Chinese and Hui people have also inhabited this region. In recent decades the tourism industry has been growing here. Most of the people here follow Tibetan Buddhism which is the primary influence in music, art, and festivals.
As for the architects, they show the influence of Chinese and Indian designs. This country is a perfect holiday destination to spend time in the beautiful mountain areas.
There are many things to do in Tibet. Such as exploring various marvelous monasteries, listening to soothing music, and many more. You won’t be disappointed during the entire trip.
Here is a short introduction of this kingdom before you read further about things to do in Bhutan:
Bhutan is a peaceful nation and the last of the Himalayan Kingdoms. There is no other place similar to Bhutan. It is an isolated land that is popular for being magical and mysterious. People are drawn to its well-preserved ancient lifestyle and Buddhist culture.
The kingdom of Bhutan is also a landlocked country located in the eastern Himalayas. And the place is bordered by Tibet on the west and north side. The country has been gifted with great landscapes and beautiful scenarios.
There are various wonderful things to do in Bhutan. You can go Bike riding or try out archery, a national game. This country also has many beautiful monasteries and chortens to visit and explore.
What to Do When you are Bhutan and Tibet?
Tibet and Bhutan have many common things such as its characteristic rooted in Buddhism, festivals with eternal dramas, and many more. These two kingdoms still haven’t lost their own unique feature which still blooms in this modern world.
There are various things to do in Bhutan and Tibet during your stay. And we have listed out a few things which are written below:
Things To Do in Tibet
Tibet is also known as the roof of the world that is situated at an altitude of 4900 m above sea level. For centuries, the land has kept its old tradition and mysterious culture alive. Mentioned below are a few things to do in Tibet:
Explore the Beautiful Potala Palace
You might have seen the Potala Palace many times on television. But the up-close view will awe-struck you with its beauty. This palace is situated in the 35 Beijing Middle Rd of the Chengguan district in the city of Lhasa.
It is at an altitude of 3750 m above sea level that overlooks the holy city of Lhasa. Potala Palace is one of the UNESCO heritage sites and winter palace of the 5th Dalai Lama.
This palace is on top of the red hill and was built over another palace made by Songtsen Gampo. It is also a symbol of Tibet. The beautiful red and white building looks majestic against the grey and green mountain under the blue sky.
The house is a huge treasure that contains rich articles and materials of the Tibetan religion, history, arts, and culture. It also has various sculptures and statues of Buddha. As well as antique and religious jewelry that is quite precious for the people.
Only a limited no. of travelers can visit the Potala Palace in a day. And the tour hour is limited to an hour per group. It is done to protect the marvelous complexity of the building. Exploring the beautiful Potala Palace is one of the things to do in Tibet.
Visit the Holy Jokhang Temple
Jokhang Temple is also known as Qoikang Monastery which is a Buddhist Gompa situated in Barkhor street. This temple is one of the most sacred and holy temples for the Tibetan people.
Currently, the Gelug school is maintaining the temple and they accept Buddhism followers from any sect. The architecture of the temple is a mixture of Tibetan, Vihara, and Nepalese style.
This temple is also one of the UNESCO heritage sites and the spiritual heart of Tibet. The temple was built by King Songtsen Gampo for his two brides. Visiting this place gives a classical Tibetan experience.
While walking through the temple you can sense the holiness filled in the air. The entire temple focuses on devotion and worshipping. Pilgrims from all around the world, young or old line up to worship the life-size statue of Sakyamuni Buddha.
Hearing the exciting stories related to king Songtsen Gampo. You explore the marvelously made artworks and walk-through religious chambers that are dimly-lit.
Climbing the gold-gilded rooftop of Jokhang is an attraction not to be missed. You get the wide-angle view of the Barkhor Streets and Potala Palace from there.
Circuit the Barkhor Street
Barkhor Street is the Heart of Lhasa that lies in the old town of Lhasa. This is the oldest street in the city and the holiest pilgrimage circuit. It is a popular bazaar and paradise for souvenirs bustling with locals and tourists.
Earlier, the street was a single circuit around the Jokhang Temple. And the local people named it as the Holy road. But slowly it expanded and became a large old-fashioned neighborhood. The neighborhood consists of the east street, west street, south street, and north street.
The circuit has 35 back streets and alleys that have preserved the traditional lifestyle and appearance of the old Lhasa city. Walking in clockwise in these paths you feel like you have come back in time. As you catch a glimpse of how life was centuries ago.
The markets here sell various traditional and exotic costumes plus handicrafts bought from the surrounding countries. Also, the mouth-watering food is not to be missed on this street.
The birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism – Samye Monastery
Visiting Samye Monastery is one of the exciting things to do in Tibet. This is the first monastery that established Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet. It is an important monastery located on the south side of the Lhasa city.
The architecture of the Gompa is made out in the shape of a giant Mandala. And has the main temple in the center while other buildings are at the corner and cardinal points.
While touring inside the monastery, you can see various types of sculptures and prayer wheels. The monastery is surrounded by sand dunes and barren mountains. The alluring scenarios will astound you.
Tibet Train Ride
This Tibet train is also known as the Qinghai-Tibet railway which is the world’s highest railway. The railway stretches about 2000 km making an inland bridge between China and Tibet.
Tibet train is one of the best man-made wonders that is crowned with the name Celestial Road. You get a rare chance of viewing the scenarios of the unparalleled plateau.
As you view outside from the train, you can see snowy peaks, alpine lakes, yaks grazing, and many more.
Visit Lake Manasarovar
The name Lake Manasarovar means invincible lake which is the highest freshwater lake in the world. It is at an altitude of 4583 m above sea level and covers an area of 412 sq km.
Located in Burang county about 20 km away on the southeast side of mount Kailash. According to history, bathing in this lake drives off past sins and troubled thoughts.
Thus many pilgrims circle and drink the water from this lake. It is one of the three holy lakes of Tibet. Visiting Lake Manasarovar is an adventurous things to do in Tibet.
Things To Do in Bhutan
Bhutan is a land of scenic views, beautiful monasteries, and various natural wonders. As this country lies in the Himalayas it is the hub for various adventurous sports.
There are many things to do in Bhutan that will take your breath and give you thrills. Some of the things to do in Bhutan is mentioned below:
Visit the Taktsang Monastery
Visiting the Taktsang Monastery is one of the several things to do in Bhutan. The other name for this monastery is the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. It is located in Paro about 10 km away from the city.
This is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Bhutan and a revered pilgrimage place in the Himalayas. The monastery showcases a great number of traditional values of Bhutan.
It is at an altitude of 1200 m above the Paro valley on top of the mountain. The building is white in color and topped with a golden roof. It looks magnificent under the blue sky and on the backdrop of the green hills.
The monastery is at an isolated location that can be reached only after traveling through exotic paths.
Rafting is a thrilling and challenging water sport that sends a chill down one’s spine. The rivers of Bhutan have rapids and strong currents that are perfect for rafting. It makes the ride joyous and adventurous.
As you float down the river soaking in the water surrounded by beauty is quite an experience. While rafting you go under suspension bridges and view various chortens and dzongs.
It is a cool way to refresh your day and have some exciting adventures in the mountain. Some popular destinations are Po Chu River, Mo Chu River and many more.
Biking around the mountains
Biking in Bhutan is a must things to do in Bhutan. Visiting Bhutan and not riding on the rugged routes of this country is quite a disappointment. The landscape and routes are just perfect for biking.
You can go biking expeditions on the roads or off-road choice is yours. Depending on your experience and capability you can decide the adventure. Almost every trail passes through paved roads.
If you are seeking adventure then biking in the mountains is a great journey for you. Some popular cycling routes are from Thimphu to Dochula pass, etc.
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. You will see men in their traditional robe-wearing multicolor throngs taking turns to shoot the arrow. They shoot it to hit the tiny silver target positioned about 140 m away.
While shooters are focusing, the villagers surround them and cheer for the ones they are supporting. Group of Women wearing silk outfits sing and dance encouraging the players.
Watching them is as entertaining as the game. In Bhutan, every village has an archery field. In the calendar of Bhutanese archery, Yangphel and Coronation National Archery tournament are two main events. These events are held during Bhutanese new year and Loshar.
The stadium of Changlimithang is the premier field for archery located in Thimphu.
Visiting Bhutan and not going trekking in the Himalayas is like having food without salt. It will leave a sore taste in your memories. Trekking is one of the things to do in Bhutan.
The treks in Bhutan range from 2 to 25 days long. The treks are easy to difficult depending upon the trekker. You need to be relatively fit both mentally and physically to trek in these routes.
One of the popular destinations is hiking from Gaza to Laya. It is about a 4 days hike to Laya, a remote village. It is at an altitude of 4000 m above sea level. You can add extra days for this trek if you have enough time in hand.
Similar articles you may like:
We hope our article Things to do in Bhutan and Tibet was helpful for you. So, if you are visiting these kingdoms the above list can be useful for you. We sorted out and wrote some of the best things to do in Bhutan and Tibet.
We the members of Great Adventure Treks hope you have a great vacation in Bhutan and Tibet. Two beautiful Buddhist kingdoms home to many marvelous monasteries, chortens, dzong, etc.