Bhutan’s valleys

The Bhutan traveller’s game: pick your favourite valley. Each new one you descend into from another panoramic high pass invariably wins. First is Punakha, where two rivers meet amidst the country’s most fertile plains and the grand Punakha Dzonglooks on. Then on to Bumthang Valley, Bhutan’s Switzerland, where copses of conifers shroud the hills, while wheat and barley bloom on the valley floor. Bowl-shaped Phobjikha Valleylies to the west, and is home to one of Bhutan’s most elusive sights – the endangered black-necked crane. Look out for it amidst the valley’s lush greenery. All beautiful and each with their own distinct identity, Bhutan’s valleys share much of what makes the country so special – the sweeping views of Himalayan peaks, undisturbed villages and colourful, friendly locals. The world’s final Shangri-la? Make your way through Bhutan’s blessed valleys and it’s difficult to disagree.

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