What to see in 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. 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.
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.
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.
Picture src: paro.gov.bt