Hotel Shivling

Hotel Shivling in Punakha district's Kuruthang town offers simple, functional accommodations for travelers on a budget who don't require any luxurious touches. Its 9 rooms have all the basic facilities needed for a night's stay, including cable TV and hot water, and the rooms and the in-house restaurant that serves standard Bhutanese fare and drinks behind the bamboo bar make use of solid bright colors to keep the place cheery.

Shivling is easy walking distance to all the restaurants and shops of Kuruthang and the taxi stand is close by for jaunts further afield. Just 5 km north is regal Punakha Dzong, hulking winter residence of the central monastic body and fortress home of Bhutanese government more than 300 years prior before being transferred to Thimphu's Tashichho Dzong in 1955. Also easy striking distance from here are Talo monastery and Chimi Lhakhang, popularly known as the “fertility temple” where couples seeking children come for blessings on the site once blessed by the “Divine Madman,” Drukpa Kunley.

Those feeling a bit more adventurous can take on the steep two-hour hike up to Geon Tsephu, a sacred cave site where Guru Rinpoche (who established Buddhism in Bhutan) extended his practice of Amitayus, the Buddha of Boundless Life. From the same trailhead, hikers also can get to the three bathing pools of Koma Tsachu hot springs.