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Bhutan Tourism

Why Bhutan Is A Must Visit Tourist Destination

Bhutan is one of those countries which are very reserved in order to protect their culture and heritage. But nonetheless, thousands of tourists visit Bhutan every year. People are not only attracted by its unsoiled environment, but also by the sacred Buddhist monasteries. This may be the reason why government keeps a little control over the number of tourists that visit here in large numbers. The most important Centre for tourism in Bhutan is the city of Thimpu, which lies near the capital of Bhutan. It has one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in the world. A must visit place for the first-time tourists has to be the Tiger’s nest monastery or the Paro Taktsang. It is situated on top of a cliff in the upper Paro Valley of Bhutan. It was the spot where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for 3 years.

Punaka dzong is another famous destination for tourists. It is a majestic dzong (or Fortress). It is placed at a beautiful spot between two rivers, which are surprisingly of different colors. This place is just a delight to see…

The Uma Paro Hotel is just 10 minutes’ drive away from the Paro Airport. It offers elegant hotels, exquisite food, a pampering spa and pool adjacent to which there is an astonishing landscape of Himalayas. The hotel takes care of everything that is related to the preferences of tourists. So, you can choose the rooms according to the part of Himalayas you want to see.

Bhutan is called the happiest nation on the planet for a reason. The productivity of this country is not measured on the basis of a GDP but GNH (gross national happiness index). This is because the government is really concerned about its citizens’ health and education.

The Valley of Gangtey is one of the most stunning valleys in the world. It is also called ‘The last ShangriLa on Earth’. It sets wide and flat in the lap of Himalayas and one of the rarest valleys in Bhutan as it is spread vastly, whereas most valleys in Bhutan are closely packed. Besides the magnificent meadows and fields, there are flowers such as Juniper, Rhodendrons and Magnolia that bloom to life in the month of April. Also, if you want to catch the glimpse of Black-necked crane as they head for their roost ‘Sessions’!

A fun fact about Bhutan: It is worlds only country where there is negative carbon emission, which means it absorbs more carbon than it produces it!

There is also something inside the box for wildlife lovers too. About seventy percent of Bhutan’s surface area is covered with forests with wildlife reserves. It does not take one much effort to spot some fabulous wildlife including snow leopards, cranes, tigers, and a Tibetan goat called ‘Takin’.

The best time to visit Bhutan is the springs (from April-July) and autumn (September to November). These seasons attract a lot of tourist due to Tsechus festival, which is called the festival of dance. The month of May is the season where flowers bloom to life in the mountains. so if you are an adventure junkie, you can head to Bhutan for trekking too. The Zuri Dzong Hike is the perfect spot for trekkers. It gives a bird-eye of the entire Paro Valley. Those who want to soak in the beauty of Bhutan and just sit and relax at a point, can come here for the trek. It takes not more than an hour to complete the trek. The south Asian country’s natural and cultural aspect is what makes it different from other countries. If one takes the flyer route to Bhutan, he/she gets to see the top 7 highest peaks of the world including the great Mt. Everest from the plane!

The most exciting part of travelling to Bhutan is that most peaks here are over 7000m of altitude and that too with the tropical plains by its side. This is a very rare topography to see in the world. The mighty Himalayas protected Bhutan from the rest of the world for centuries. The people of Bhutan wanted to hide and protect their sacred heritage and unique identities. They did it really well for centuries until modern world found its extraordinary treasure.

Very near to this country is the city of Kathmandu (capital of Nepal). So, when tourists visit to Bhutan, they also get a chance to see Kathmandu!

Bhutan has taken a step back in terms of modernization so that it can preserve its pristine history and culture. It was one of the last countries to remove the ban on the internet.  Tourist in Bhutan is just a half-century old. The arrival of tourists began in 1974 and since then, the number has been constantly increasing.

People not only find the history and architecture of this country to be unique, they also find the lifestyle of Bhutanese people to be unique too. There is a national dress code set for both men and women. A traditional dress called Gho (for men) and Kira (for women) are compulsory to be worn at all official programs.

Bhutan, also called the ‘The Land of Thundering dragons’, is the best place to visit if one wants to see its rich heritage, ethnic dances and delightful cuisines (including chilies which is commonly taken as ‘Food’!). Therefore, soak yourself in rich culture and Buddhist traditions. Take your family with you because everyone deserves a glimpse of this beauty. So, pack up your bags and head for the adventure to Bhutan this season!

Why One Should Travel Bhutan?

Why you have to go on a Bhutan Trip once in a lifetime, here are the reasons:

  • Bhutan was declared by Lonely Planet as No.1 Travel Destination in 2020.
  • Bhutan is the coolest Summer Holidays destination (average temperature between 100C and 180C).
  • Bhutan is the world’s only Carbon Negative Country where you can rejuvenate your mind and body with pure, pollution-free nature.
  • Indians do not need a Visa to Travel Bhutan, the only thing required is an entry permit at the Phuentsholing license office.
  • It is less expensive to travel Bhutan compared to other international destinations.
  • Bhutan is the only country to be calculated as Gross National Happiness by the index of men.
  • 72 per cent of the total land area of the country is covered by forests.
  • It is the only country in which Red Rice and Chile can be used as the staple food.
  • Bhutanese people are kind enough to greet you with a nice smile and “Kuzo Zangpo La” means Hello. 

Some Important Questions During Bhutan Tour

1.What is the best time to Plan for Bhutan Tour?

The autumn to spring cycle is suggested to be the best time to visit “Dragon’s Land.” September to May is the time you’re having clear weather and blue skies all over. December may be a bit harsh because of the snowfall, but if that’s what you love, then go ahead and visit Bhutan’s fairy tale country.

2. How Many Airports are in Bhutan?

There are Total 4 Airports in Bhutan. Those are Paro International Airport (Paro), Bathpalathang Airport (Jakar), Gelepu Airport (Gelepu), Yongphulla Airport (Trashigang).

3. Do Indians need Visa for Bhutan Tour?

For Indian tourist visa is not required. For tourists traveling by road, an entry permit is required which is available at the Phuentsholing license office. Visa is on arrival for tourists who travel by flight.

4. What to wear during Bhutan Tour?

The sort of attires you will wear depends on the amount of time you want to stay. Light to moderate warm clothing should do the trick during the summer months while heavy jackets and woolens should be worn in the winters. Comfortable footwear as you would walk down rough terrains is a must.

5. What amount of snowfall to expect during Bhutan Trip?

During the winter months (December-February) it snows heavily in Bhutan. Given the snowfall, during this period Bhutan’s landscapes cater well to its visitors. You’re sure to enjoy the white paradise because it’s a vision you shouldn’t forget.

6. Is smoking allowed in Bhutan?

Bhutan remains the world’s only country that totally restricts smoking on its citizens. It has banned tobacco production and sale and so smoking is prohibited in public places. Many hotels and restaurants do however have other smoking areas where visitors are allowed to smoke.

7.How safe is Bhutan for Indian tourists?

Bhutan is a totally safe destination to choose for your next vacation, along with its stunning beauty. Crimes are kept at bay, and wherever you stay in Bhutan you are sure to feel safe.

What You Should Do During Your Bhutan Tour?

  • Respect Bhutanese Culture-although Bhutan welcomes foreigners but people are extremely aware of their culture
  • Always greet with “Kuzu Zangpo la” for “Hello” and “Tashi Delek” for “Good Bye” or “Good Luck”
  • Visitors need proper VISA to enter Bhutanese except Indian and Bangladesh citizens
  • VISA should be issued at least 30 days before you plan to visit Bhutan. Both are permitted in Bhutan
  • You must get the route permit at the Immigration Office at Thimpu.
  • Either bring Nu (Bhutan’s currency) or INR (Indian Rupees INR 50 and INR 100) helps one to fly in Bhutan.
  • Use your right hand while you give or receive something. Pass the holy sites keeping them on your right side.
  • US dollars are fairly widely accepted in Bhutan, but it is advisable to exchange some of your currency with Bhutan’s currency i.e. Ngultrum (Nu) or Indian Rupee.
  • Do bring MasterCard-NO Visa or other credit cards. Banks, ATMs will NOT give cash on a Visa credit card in Thimpu or Paro.
  • If visitors wish to tip the Hotel Staff / Tour Guide / Driver, they should always be included in the envelope.
  • While Bhutan is free, particular attention should be paid to luggage, wallet, camera, mobile phone and other valuables.
  • Please follow proper instructions / authorizations before taking pictures and videos.Visitors should take off hats and shoes while visiting Dzongs, Monasteries etc 

What You Shouldn’t Do During Bhutan Tour

  • In Bhutan tobacco is absolutely forbidden. Tourists may be using it, but extra care should be taken.
  • Make sure you take off your footwear before entering any religious place.
  • Visitors are advised to dress discreetly and modestly in Bhutan.
  • Foreign nationals are not allowed to carry Indian rupees across the border to and from India.
  • Purchasing and selling antiques in Bhutan is strictly prohibited

How to Reach Bhutan?

Entry into the Kingdom of Bhutan was too complicated until 1960. In the South, the dense jungles and the high frozen passes in the North made the entrance extremely difficult. Yet now, due to planned economic development, it is much more accessible through many international and multiple domestic airports.

Bhutan is easily reachable from various countries by air, train and road. There are many countries which have direct flights to Bhutan. There are two entrance roads, by land, through Phuentsholing and Gelephu, linking with the West Bengal and Assam Indian states respectively. Read here about Air, Road and Train to reach Bhutan easily:

By Air: Paro International Airport is the one and only airport to enter Bhutan by plane. Paro is surrounded by mountains, at an altitude of 7300 ft above sea level. Other domestic airports include southern Bhutan’s Gelephu Airport, eastern Bhutan’s Yonphulla, and central Bhutan’s Bathpalanthag Airport. However, airports in Yonphulla and Bathpalathag have closed their operations.

By Car: Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu are the only land frontiers open to world tourists. Tourists may choose to get to Bhutan by bus, private taxi or any other local transportation.

Phuentsholing is located in the south-west of Bagdogra, West Bengal (India), about 170 km from the Indian National Airport. It is the nearest airport from Phuentsholing which takes about 5 hours ‘ drive.

By Train: There are no direct train to reach Bhutan. The nearest railway stations are New Alipurduar, Siliguri, New Jalpaiguri Station and Hasimara. These are all easy and best options from India to enter Bhutan.

Hasimara is located just 17 km from Phuentsholing in West Bengal. The train from here is run by Indian Railway.

The railway station of’ New Alipurduar’ is 60 km from Jaigaon. Bus and taxi services from New Alipurduar to Jaigaon are also available. At this railway station the trains going toward Guwahati stop. This is where visitors can stop and catch the bus or taxi to enter Bhutan.

New Jalpaiguri Station in Siliguri is one of the convenient options for travelers traveling by land to Bhutan. There are direct shared taxis and bus service from Siliguri to Jaigaon.

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