This post is part of our DAI Travelers Say… series, made up of client testimonials and personal experience of their adventures.
As fortunate as I am to have traveled to some amazing places around the world, Bhutan will always rank among the standout trips that I have experienced. Tiger’s Nest specifically stands out for a whole host of reasons.
During the trek up to the site, one encounters a variety of fellow travelers ranging from devout Buddhists on pilgrimage to other tourists curious and determined enough to hike four-hours uphill. While the hike isn’t grueling, it is clearly steep enough for you to feel like you earned the snacks and tea offered at the half-way point.
Upon approaching the main monastery’s entrance, one will notice a smaller monastery built into a crevice of the mountain’s wall and sitting at the top of a steep, damp staircase. Within this precariously placed and rarely noticed building is the original place of worship for the father of Bhutanese Buddhism, Guru Padmasambhava. Though the steps are slippery and steep, carefully entering this monastery was a special addition to Tiger’s Nest.
Tiger’s Nest’s reputation speaks for itself, but to view it in person defies logic. Perched on the side of fog-dusted cliffs, the monastery’s striking colors and spectacular placement provide a view rarely seen outside of fantasy movies. Within the red, gold, and white walls, monks pray within the various rooms and corridors. The actual cave from which Tiger’s Nest derives its name sits at the bottom of a wooding ladder under the building itself. The interior of Tiger’s Nest provides true exposure to the core of Buddhist beliefs.
Visiting this sight feels less like a traditional tourist stop and more like a privilege. All the aspects of this experience, from the trek to the views and deeply religious sentiment, make Tiger’s Nest a must-visit for world travelers.