Watching the airport landing and taking-off from a designated viewpoint along the highway seems to be the favorite past time among locals and of great interest to a lot of foreign visitors. After all, it takes a highly qualified and specially trained pilot to fly in and out the tiny airport, dubbed as one of the world’s most dangerous.
With the airport surrounded by steep Himalayan mountains with sharp peaks, airplanes need to weave through the mountains to avoid clipping the roof of the houses scattered among the mountains. I was sitting on the window side for my flight going to Bhutan and I can literally see the airplane wings almost touching the mountain side.
But Paro is more than a location for one of a kind air travel experience, it is a beautiful valley of many historic sites and home of the sacred mountain Jomolhari (7,300m) whose glacier water forms the Pachu (Paro river) flowing in the valley.
In Paro, is where you find the oldest temple in Bhutan, the Kyichu Lhakhang.
More than the decorations and paintings on the wall, this small temple exudes such peaceful atmosphere and visiting it feels like you are part of the neighborhood whose residents often visit for prayers and offerings.
If Paro is the last town you are going to visit in Bhutan, don’t dismiss the idea of going to another dzong, for Paro Dzong or also known as Rinpung Dzong/ Rinchen Pung Dzong , which means “Fortress on a Heap of Jewels”, though smaller in size as compared to Punakha Dzong is an equally impressive dzong that towers over Paro Valley.
Going a bit walk uphill to the ridge immediately above is the Ta Dzong which is now the country’s first National Museum. The dzong is originally built as a watchtower and its elevated location provides a great overlooking view of the Paro valley.