Paro with a population of 20,000, is one of the most historic valleys in Bhutan. Both trade goods and invading Tibetans came over the pass at the head of the valley, giving Paro the closest cultural connection with Tibet of any Bhutanese district. Important cultural sites include:
- Taktsang, or Tiger’s Nest, the most famous monastery in Bhutan.
- Kyichu Lhakhang, which along with Jambay Lhakhang in central Bhutan is the oldest temple in Bhutan, dating to the 7th century.
- Drukgyel Dzong, at the upper end of the valley, built to protect against invading Tibetans, but in ruins since a fire in the 1950s.
- Paro Dzong, the massive fortress/monastery which is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag. Scenes from the movie Little Buddha were filmed in and around this dzong.
- The National Museum of Bhutan, where visitors can learn about the culture of Bhutan.
- Paro contains the only active international airport in Bhutan, the Paro Airport, a beautiful small green-roofed facility in a valley, served only by Druk Air (Bhutan’s National Airline) from India and other countries in Southeast Asia.
Paro is bordered by Haa to the west, Tibet to the north, Thimphu to the east, and Chukha to the south.