Camping in Punakha Bhutan – An incredible experience to remember

Punakha is a tiny town in Bhutan’s western province. Camping in Punakha along the banks of the Mo Chu River is a dream come true. The golden dunes and flowing water create such a stunning scene that one is left speechless. Around the river are tiny establishments where you may spend time with the locals. You may also witness the perfect Bhutanese architecture at Punakha Dzong in the twilight.

Punakha Campsite - early morning
Punakha Campsite – early morning

How to reach Punakha Campsite

The journey from Thimphu to Punakha can take long as there are multiple tourist places on the way. Firstly, start early from Thimpu and stop for the lovely mountain view at Dochula. Have a cup of coffee at the cafe, visit the monastery, and the meditation cave at the Dochula pass. Further ahead, visit the Chimi Lhakhang – A unique monastery in Bhutan, the fertility temple by taking a short hike in the middle of the paddy field. The drive will end with a length along the Po chu Mo chu river. Visit the Punakha Dzong, Bhutan’s second oldest and second-largest Dzong, just before arriving at the Punakha campground if you are camping in Punakha.

Ravindra Joisa at Punakha Dzong

Cultural Program and Traditions

Expect folk dance and other traditional activities at the campsite. The cultural performance was enjoyable, and after dinner, a number of us went out for drinks and lingered around the campfire talking about our trip experiences until late at night. Best place to enjoy the evening and early morning sunrise. Also, an ideal place to celebrate the new year if you are an outdoor lover.

Folk Dance while camping in Punakha
Folk Dance while camping in Punakha, Note: Face blurred for safety reasons.

While camping in Punakha, the people around play the customary Khuru game in the morning. Bhutanese Khuru is a traditional sport. It entails firing darts outside at a distance of around 20 meters. Competitors take turns throwing two darts, one after the other. Performing singing and dancing before and after the game is common. It is fun to watch and the locals are super cool to invite you. However, you need to be careful when you throw the darts.

Bhutanese Khuru a traditional sport
Bhutanese Khuru is a traditional sport

Take a tour when you are camping in Punakha. This wonderful countryside campground is so nice that it is nearly human-free. Enjoying the morning walk all along the banks of the river. The riverbank is full of pebbles and the water source is from the glaciers and Himalayan mountains. The water here is quite pure, and you can see the gravels sitting on the river bottom.

Every home in Bhutanese traditional architecture is a combination of nature and Bhutanese traditional architecture. Traditional Bhutanese architectural residences. It is a necessary regulation in Bhutan to build dwellings in accordance with traditional architecture. Even the shop names are in a single color that varies solely according to the size of the display board. A fancy colored nameplate or a display board are not permitted. The historic flour mill may be seen in the neighborhood. You may choose to speak with the locals, who will be pleased to explain in detail the material and colors that they are expected to wear, as well as their importance.

Places around if you are camping in Punakha

Punakha Mo Chu River early in the morning, view from campsite
Punakha Mo Chu River early in the morning, view from the campsite

Have breakfast and cross the river. Visit the Punakha suspension bridge – the longest in Bhutan. Then, to the cafe on the opposite side of the bridge before returning to the Punakha Dzong. Moreover, Punakha Dzong is Bhutan’s second-oldest and largest Dzong.

When you are camping in Punakha, you might want to try rafting. The place is also a good spot to try the famed Punakha river rafting. You may not find too many rapids and is ideal for beginners as it is less dangerous. The river is ideal if you are into kayaking.

Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Also, watch the video below to view more photos and the local folk dance and music. Moreover, support my work by SUBSCRIBING to my YouTube channel.

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