Bhutan's former capital, Punakha is often seen on a long day trip from Thimphu. It offers superlative views of the Himalayas and can be used as a base to visit the nearby Wangdiphodrang Dzong and Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong is the winter home of the largest group of monks in the country (some 500) and the Je Khempo (Buddhist religious leader).

The drive over the Dochula Pass to Punakha is breathtaking.

The Punakha Domche festival is in late February-March.

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