Camping in Punakha Bhutan

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.

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.

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Folk Dance while camping in Punakha
Folk Dance while camping in Punakha

The people around the campground 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.

Bhutanese Khuru a traditional sport
Bhutanese Khuru is a traditional sport

This wonderful countryside campground is so nice that it is nearly human-free. Every home in Bhutanese traditional architecture is a combination of nature and Bhutanese traditional architecture. 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.

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. This is also a good spot to try the famed Punakha river rafting.

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.