Entry & Exit Points

Visiting Dzongs & Lakhangs of Bhutan

  • During times when there aren't festivals, tourists are allowed to visit the courtyards of dzongs and, where feasible, the tshokhang (assembly hall) and one designated lhakhang (prayer hall) in each dzong, but only when accompanied by a licensed Bhutanese guide. This provision is subject to certain restrictions, including visiting hours, dress standards and other rules that vary by district.
  • The Tourism Council of Bhutan has a small list of places tourists cannot visit, with the assumption that all other places can be visited. You can generally visit any lhakhang (prayer hall)that is private or village run. Dzongs are open to all during the time of a tsechu (religious festival), when you may visit the courtyard, but not the lhakhangs. Your tour company will deal with all the necessary paperwork, so let them know in advance if there are specific goembas or monasteries you wish to visit.
  • If you are a practicing Buddhist, you may apply for a permit to visit certain dzongs and religious institutions usually off-limits. The credibility of your application will be enhanced if you include a letter of reference from a recognized Buddhist organization in your home country.
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