Many tourists visit in the West because of the accessibility of entry and exit by air. The west includes Haa, Paro, Thimphu and Punakha.
Paro valley extends from the confluence of the Paro Chhu and the Wang Chhu rivers at Chuzom upto Mt. Jomolhari at the Tibetan border to the North. This picturesque region is one of the widest valleys in the kingdom and is covered in fertile rice fields and has a beautiful, crystalline river meandering down the valley.
Accentuating the natural beauty are the many elegant, traditional-style houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills. Paro town has been growing rapidly in recent years and there are plenty of restaurants, bakeries and cafes to choose from.
- Drukgyel Dzong: Drugyel dzong or The Fortress of the Victorious Bhutanese. This dzong was constructed by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 to commemorate his victory over marauding Tibetan armies. Though the fortress was destroyed by fire in 1951, the ruins remain an impressive and imposing sight.
- Paro National Museum: Paro National Museum, the museum is set in Paro Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower that now displays hundreds of ancient Bhutanese artifacts and artwork including traditional costumes, armour, weaponry and handcrafted implements for daily life. The collection at the National Museum preserves a snap-shot of the rich cultural traditions of the country.
- Takshang Monastery: Tiger’s nest is one of the holiest places on the planet. The Tiger’s nest is strategically perched on a hill overlooking Paro valley. This place is especially venerated because of its association with Guru Rinpoche, who is said to have flown to Paro Tiger’s nest in the form of DorjiDrolo, mounted on a flaming dakini-tigress in the 747 A.D
Guru Rinpoche visited Bhutan for 3 times. His first visit to Bhutan in 746 A.D from India was when he was invited to Bumthang to treat the Sindhu Raja, the ruler of Bumthang, who was seriously ill. The king was cured and was converted to Buddhism. He promised to return to Bhutan again to further propagate the Buddhist teachings.
A year later, Guru Rimpoche was invited to Tibet by King ThrisongDuetshen to assist him in the construction of the Samye Monastery. He travelled to Tibet and by his tantric powers he cleared away the demonic forces that were disturbing the construction of the monastery and so the monastery was successfully completed.
During this visit in 747 A.D to Tibet, Guru Rimpoche decided to visit Bhutan again with his Tibetan consort khandroYeshiTshogyel and DenmaTsemang. He travelled all over the country and blessed the people.
While in SingyeDzonginKurtoe, Guru is believed to have flown to ParoTakshang( Tiger’s Nest) in the form of Guru DrojiDrolo, the 8th and the final aspect that he assumed, mounting on a dakini-tigress. Before his arrival, the whole country was believed to have been inhabited by hostile evils spirits. On his arrival he subdued eight categories of evil spirits and bounded them by solemn oath to be the protectors of teaching for all times to come.
- Paro Festival: Paro Festival which falls in March and April according to Bhutanese calendar. The Tsehchu is considered a major attraction and people travel from neighboring districts to participate in the festivity. Early in the morning on the last day of the celebration the monks display a gigantic thangkha (embroidered painting) , the Guru Throngdel, inside the dzong. Thongdrols are especially impressive examples of Buddhist art and never fail to amaze viewers. They are considered so sacred that simply seeing a Thongdrol is said to cleanse the viewer of sin.