Visit the Phajoding Monastery — one of Bhutan’s most sacred meditational sites and home to a number of sacred Buddhist artefacts.
The Phajoding Monastery is located above Bhutan’s capital of Thimphu and is once considered as one of the richest and most decorated monasteries in the country. However, it was included in a 2010 World Monuments Fund watchlist as one of the five endangered cultural monuments that need help in the world because of years of neglect. Nevertheless, the monastery remains as one of the must-visit attractions in Thimphu thanks to its sacred Buddhist artefacts, an open complex that consists of a number of holy buildings, and a State monastic school that houses more than 80 monks (the Dratshang). Aside from being a monastery, the Phajoding can also be considered a place of refuge, compassion, belonging, and hope, as the monks try to empower, care for, and educated disadvantaged young boys from all over the country.
The Phajoding Monastery is located in Phajoding-Pumola Trail, Thimphu, Bhutan.
Opening Days and Hours
Guests can visit the monastery every day, during the daytime.
Entry Fee and Bookings
Entrance to the monastery is free although you can also give a donation, which can help improve the monks’ living conditions. It is also included as a stop in some tours, albeit it can be costly at around USD 1,000+ per person.
How to Get There
- You can fly into Bhutan via the country’s sole international airport in Paro.
- Travel via bus or taxi from Paro to Thimphu. You can also travel via taxi to the Phajoding-Pumola trail, then hike for around 3-hours to the monastery.
- Backpackers/solo travelers
- Group of friends
Time to Spend
You can explore the monastery in 2 to 3 hours.
Popularity and Best Time to Go
The most popular time to visit the monastery is from 13:00 to 14:00. You can also opt to visit earlier than these times if you’re not keen on big crowds.
No restaurants are located near the monastery so you might have to bring enough snacks and meals for your trip. Restaurants located around 7 kilometres away include The Zone, Ambient Cafe, Seasons Restaurant, and Zombala.
- Taschichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong)
- Buddha Dordenma
- Changangkha Lhakhang
- Choki Traditional Art School
The nearest hotels are located more the 6 kilometres away, which include Khang Residency, Bhutan Suites, Hotel Phuntsho Pelri, Hotel Bhutan, and Taj Tashi. Prices range from USD 54 to USD 572 per night.