It was over a decade ago that I first saw the famous image of the striking Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan that captured my attention. I was paging through a National Geographic Traveler magazine and there it was, the iconic Taktshang Goemba, more commonly known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest Monastery’ astoundingly perched on a sheer cliff face 900 meters (2,950 feet) above the Paro Valley. The image took my breath away and I knew someday I’d have to hike up to see it for myself. Fast forward to December 2022 and there I was in Bhutan, at the foot of Tiger’s Nest finally able to realize my dream.
Per my guide Singay, Tiger’s Nest is astonishing. When I asked why, he replied, “Sometimes words are better left unsaid. You have to see it for yourself.”
The Tiger’s Nest is undoubtedly Bhutan’s most famous sacred site and a must-see for anyone visiting Bhutan. Given its location (it is only 15 km northwest of Paro, home of Bhutan’s only international airport) the hike is generally done on the day before leaving the country. The monastery is only accessible on foot via a relatively strenuous one-and-a-half to two-hour hike up the mountainside, so it also was good to do after overcoming jet lag and doing some hiking to get my legs in shape.