Your Bhutan Trip can not be considered complete without a hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Paro Taktshang). For us, it was a dream come true and we penned down our experience on our blog – – Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. You may refer our blog to know more about the hike and can also write us in case you require any additional inputs. To assist you plan your trip better, we have also compiled key details below in Q & A format. We hope that this will be helpful for you –
Q.1 What are the timings for visiting the Tiger’s Nest Monastery?
- Winter (Oct – Mar): 8 AM to 5 PM (Bhutanese Time)
- Summer (Apr – Sep): 8 AM to 6 PM (Bhutanese Time)
- Lunch Break: 1300 to 1400 Hrs (Bhutanese Time)
Q.2 What is the best time to hike for the Tiger’s Nest Monastery?
Morning hours are the best for hiking up to the monastery as temperature rises in the afternoon. Weather is quite cold and comfortable for hike in the morning. We had started at 7.30 AM and reached monastery at around 11.30 AM. You may even consider to start early so as to reach monastery by 8 AM when it opens.
Only flip side of early start would be that you will be surrounded by clouds and your views of monastery would obscure. However, you can enjoy the same while coming down by when sun will be out piercing through fog and clouds.
Q.3 How should we reach the base point of the hike?
Base point (Ramthangkha) is around 12 KMs from Paro and it is highly recommended to book a cab for return trip from Paro to the base point (return fare – Nu 600). Cab will return after dropping you and come again to pick once you come down. Just give a call 30 minutes in advance to the cab driver.
We had booked a cab for drop only and could not get any when we came down. We had to walk another 2 KMs from base point to the highway before we could find a cab. You will never want to walk another 2 KMs after a treacherous 10 kms hike 🙂
Q.4 How much time does it take both ways.
It takes around 4 hours to hike up to the monastery (at normal pace), 1.5 hours inside the monastery and another 2.5 hours to come down. This is a treacherous hike and you should go for it on last day of your trip unless you are comfortable with hiking.
Q.5 What facilities are available at the base point?
Parking, Drinking water from a spring, Toilet and a market from where you can buy the cheapest souvenirs in Bhutan.
Q.6 Is Hike suitable for children and elderly people? Are horses available to ferry people?
No, will not recommend unless they are fit to walk by themselves. In few old blogs, we read that people can take horses till the mid point. However, when we inquired at the base point, all people denied the availability of horses.
Q.7 What all should we pack for this hike?
Whatever you want but pack light:) Few recommendations –
- Chocolates & Fruits: You will not find any restaurants except at the mid point of hike.
- Drinking water (1 bottle will suffice): There are taps (with clean water supply) and fresh water streams en route.
- Cap: Temperature may soar in the afternoon.
- Camera: To capture your moments
- Medical Kit: For any emergency
- Full sleeves shirt or a cloth to cover your shoulders: You are expected to cover your shoulders and sleeves as a mark of respect for entry to monastery
- Documents: Your entry pass/visa is checked by Bhutan Army before entry to monastery.
Q.8 Should you purchase a walking stick from the base point?
Affirmative. In case, you are not regular to hikes, you should buy one. This stick is going to help a lot both while going up and coming down.
Q.9 Is photography permitted?
- Yes: For the hike trail and you can capture all your moments till you enter the monastery.
- No: Inside the monastery. Your mobile and camera will be deposited at the entrance. Photography is strictly prohibited at all places of worship in Bhutan.
Q. 10 Is cycling allowed on the hike trail?
No. Cycling is strictly prohibited on the trail.
Q.11 Can we enter to different temples situated outside the monastery?
Exercise your judgement or ask your guide. Usually, monks mediate in these temples and it is highly recommended to maintain silence both inside and outside the monastery.
Q.12 Do you require any documents for entry to the monastery
Q.13 Is guide must for visit to the monastery?
Yes. Only Indian tourists are allowed to go without guide. All other tourists must be accompanied by their guides.
Q.14 Should one shop souvenirs from market at the base point?
Yes. Actually we found the lowest prices over here after visiting 4 Bhutan cities over 7 days. This market is managed by locals. A slight negotiation will help you to strike the right price. You may consider to buy souvenirs from Paro also. Prices in Paro were cheaper compared to Thimphu.
We hope that this information will come handy to you while planning your hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Please feel free to write us in case you need any additional inputs.