Take a full day to explore Paro’s Rinpung Dzong and its watchtower, or Ta Dzong. On a knoll that rises from the river’s edge, Rinpung Dzong has a commanding view of the Paro valley and is a true testament to Bhutanese architecture. Centuries ago, it was an impregnable fortress that repulsed successive invasions from Tibet and since then has also survived the 1897 earthquake. Today it houses the Paro monastic body and the office of the Dzongda (district commissioner). A guided walk around the many quarters and chambers offers an insight into the culture and secrets of this impressive Dzong. A visit during the last two days of Paro Tsechu are regarded as the best time to visit, and on the last day you can witness the raising of the impressive giant Thangka with pomp and festivity. The unfurling of the Thangka is done before sunrise, but is worth getting up for. The nearby Ta Dzong is a watchtower built to protect the Rinpung Dzong; renovated in 1968, today it houses the National Museum of Bhutan.