Get surprised in the land of mystery and magic
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About Bhutan Tourism
Bhutan is the underrated gem of Asian tourism that has long stayed hidden within the majestic peaks of the Eastern Himalayas. And, that has a lot to do with the fact that Bhutan tourism was not open until the 1960s. The country is one of the cleanest South Asian countries. Dotted with sacred monasteries, elaborate dzongs, sprawling green valleys and snow-covered crests, the Buddhist kingdom is a dream destination for travelers. The unique thing about Bhutan is that by the decision of the State, the country has not been transformed into a modern hub of tourism with all the typical contemporary draws. Bhutan tourism has somewhere held on to the cultures, customs, and traditions that have sustained the country and they did not exchange it for cheap attractions typical of the contemporary tourism. The beauty and the appeal of Bhutan take time and observation to appreciate, as it is rooted in the history of thousands of years. And, if one can afford both, the Land of the Thunder Dragon will not be a disappointment at all.
History of Bhutan
Oddly enough, in spite of being right in between two colossal empires – British India and the Chinese Empire, Bhutan has never been colonized in its history. Buddhist theocracy is what gave Bhutan its primary identity, which was reunited by the Wangchuck dynasty following the civil war of the 19th century. They are still the monarchs of Bhutan and known as the Dragon King. However, the monarchy itself has been constitutionalized, and Bhutan is now run by a parliamentary democracy.
Their age-old heritage is still Bhutan’s number one source of pride, and that is what makes this small landlocked country so gracefully unique.
Exchanging Money in Bhutan
The official currency of Bhutan is Ngultrum. The Indian currency and US dollars are used as legal tender in Bhutan. Most of the ATM’s in Bhutan only accept Bhutanese bank cards. It is recommended to carry traveler's cheques in US Dollars or Indian Rupees.
Culture of Bhutan
The culture of Bhutan is a perfect amalgamation of Buddhism and Bonism traditions. The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha and other languages spoken in the country are Nepali, Hindi, English, and Sharcop Kha. You will also find many people dressed in traditional attires in Bhutan.
Customs of Bhutan
The greetings in Bhutan is as per their traditions, they join palms and greet each other. Even people follow the tradition of giving and receiving money with both hands. Many rules are followed inside the monasteries and temples, such as one needs to dress decently, smoking is not allowed, one can’t enter temple with their shoes.
Nightlife in Bhutan
Besides sightseeing, adventure and festivities to savour in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, one will never be deprived of nightlife, here. The city has some of the best nightclubs, visitors can enjoy the best of nightlife in Bhutan. The list of some recommended nightclubs include: Vivacity, Club Ace, Mojo Park, Space 34, Om Bar, Khuju Luyang, Benez Bar and more.
Honeymoon in Bhutan
Bhutan tourism gets maximum contribution from honeymooning couples. There are many gorgeous places to explore in Bhutan with your partner. The most famous places are Paro Valley, Thimphu, Trongsa Village, Bumthang, Punakha, Gangtey, Phobjikha, Phuentsholing, Wangdue Phodrang, Haa Valley, Lhuntse, and Mongar.
Shopping in Bhutan
One can find small stores in the hotels selling local handicrafts and souvenirs such as textile items, jewelry, herbs, and magnets. One of the most visited places for shopping is the base of Tiger’s Nest Monastery trek.
Festivals in Bhutan
Being one of the most spectacular destinations on earth, Bhutan is famed for its religious festivals, like: Paro Tshechu, Thimphu Tshechu, Jambay Lhakhang Drup, Wangduephodrang Tshechu, Black-Necked Crane Festival and more. Attend these festivals while on Bhutan tourism.
Food of Bhutan
Have mouth-watering food in Bhutan which comprises of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. The most popular dishes are Datshi, Ema Datshi, Kewa Datshi, Shawa Datshi, Tshoem, Eue chum, Sha Kam, Hoentoe, Jasha Maru, Goep, Ara, and Chang. Taste the delicious food on Bhutan tourism.
Sightseeing in Bhutan
Taking a step back from fun and frolic, if you look around the country, the impact of Buddhism will be only too evident. There is a dzong – a fortress-monastery complex, or a simple monastery shrine or just a chorten in almost every nook and corner of Bhutan. Although the cities like Thimphu or Paro are much more urbanized now, if you dig deep and explore into the roots, you will stumble upon the religion propagated by Guru Rinpoche thousands of years ago.
The popular destinations are Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Paro, Punakha Dzong, Tashicho Dzong, Gangteng Monastery and many more such Buddhist spiritual institutions scattered around the country.
Facts About Bhutan (bullets)
Tourists will have an opportunity to see rare animal species of animals such as Clouded Leopard, Red Panda, Tibetan Wolf, Blood Pheasant, Black-necked Crane, and Golden Langur.
See the beautiful architecture on a travel to Bhutan. You will see impressive architecture where rammed earth, wattle, and daub is used in construction.
You will be surprised to see the roads in Bhutan without any traffic lights. The officers regulate and manage the traffic.
The highest unclimbed peak Gangkhar Puensum stands in Bhutan.
Trekking in Bhutan
A travel to Bhutan will be as spiritually rewarding as it would be adventurous and exciting. Replete with many glacial rivers flowing down from the Himalayan peaks, there are lots of adrenaline-filled activities, including whitewater rafting and kayaking, waiting in the Land of Dragons. However, water activities are not your thing, but you still love to be outdoors, trekking is the best thing to go for. Bhutan tourism is sure to include numerous trekking trails, of which Jomolhari Trek is the most famous one. Dochula Pass, the Druk Path, Snowman trek routes I and II and Dagala Thousand Lakes, there are many such trails all around the country with exciting paths and scenic beauties.
Trekking in Bhutan:
A Bhutan trip will be as spiritually rewarding as it would be adventurous and exciting. Replete with many glacial rivers flowing down from the Himalayan peaks, there are lots of adrenaline-filled activities, including whitewater rafting and kayaking, waiting in the Land of Dragons. However, water activities are not your thing, but you still love to be outdoors, trekking is the best thing to go for. Bhutan trip is sure to include numerous trekking trails, of which Jomolhari Trek is the most famous one. Dochula Pass, the Druk Path, Snowman trek routes I and II and Dagala Thousand Lakes, there are many such trails all around the country with exciting paths and scenic beauties.
Festivals in Bhutan:
Being one of the most spectacular destinations on earth, Bhutan is famed for its religious festivals, like: Paro Tshechu, Thimphu Tshechu, Jambay Lhakhang Drup, Wangduephodrang Tshechu, Black-Necked Crane Festival and more.
Nightlife in Bhutan:
Besides sightseeing, adventure and festivities to savour in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, one will never be deprived of nightlife, here. Crammed with some of the best nightclubs, visitors can enjoy the best of nightlife in Bhutan. The list of some recommended nightclubs include: Vivacity, Club Ace, Mojo Park, Space 34, Om Bar, Khuju Luyang, Benez Bar and more.
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Places To Visit In Bhutan
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Taktsang Monastery In Paro
Situated in western Bhutan, Paro Taktsang is perhaps the most significant Buddhist site in the country. The elaborate complex of this monastery, with red and golden peaks perches along a hanging cliff-side in the upper Paro valley, surrounded by the lushest of greens. Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, is belie...
- Taktsang Monastery
Rinpung Dzong In Paro
Rinpung Dzong is the main fortress-monastery of Paro which houses the monastic body and the governmental and administrative departments in its complex. This is the basic characteristic of any dzong in Bhutan, and Rinpung Dzong of Paro is no exception. It belongs to the Drukpa Lineage of the Kagyu School, and the stories of ...
- Rinpung Dzong
Kyichu Lhakhang In Paro
Only 4.7 km away from the centre of the Paro town is the temple of Kyichu Lhakhang – the Sacred Jewel of Bhutan. Inside the complex of this temple lies the oldest shrine that stands in Tibet – the Jowo Temple. The first temple in the Kyichu Lhakhang premises was built by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet in 659 AD. The legend my...
- Kyichu Lhakhang
Drukgyel Dzong In Paro
Drukgyel Dzong stands in the upper part of Paro district as a reminiscence of a glorious past and a tragic present, much like most constructions of the medieval age. The other dzongs that one can see in Bhutan are fully or partially functional, with monastic bodies and government departments operating from within the comple...
- Drukgyel Dzong
Paro Airport Bird's Eye Viewpoint In Paro
A town in the Paro Valley of Bhutan, Paro is a place of many sacred sites and historical monuments throughout the place. With streets rich in decorated buildings, small houses and traditional architecture, Bhutan’s sole international airport, Paro is definitely is a significant part of Bhutan. “The most difficult commercial...
Things To Do In Bhutan
Your list of the best things to do, compiled on the basis of actual traveler experiencesView All
Hiking In Thimphu
Hiking tour Thimphu is one of the best ways of exploring the natural locales of the destination. Thimphu is the summer capital of Bhutan and is surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful surroundings. The town is located in the Thimphu valley, and the beauty of the surrounding area is incomparable. The unique location of Bhu...
Changlimithang Stadium In Thimphu
Changlimithang Stadium is the national stadium of Bhutan and was inaugurated in 1974. The stadium has a total capacity of 15000 and has been renovated time and again to add facilities and features to the stadium with the most recent renovation being in 2016. Located in the city of Thimphu, the stadium was built to commemora...
- Unlimited Fun
Dochula Pass In Thimphu
Situated at a height of 3100 meters, Dochula Pass is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bhutan. In a broader sense, it is a route that lies between Bhutan’s present capital Thimphu and older royal capital Punakha. This pass was once part of a couple of ancient trade tracks, like Dochula Nature Trail or Lumitsawa A...
- Dochula Pass
Druk Trek Path In Paro
One of the finest treks in Bhutan, Druk path trek is a must try for all the tourists. Among the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas, find yourself some peaceful time and make way for trekking. With the Druk path trek map in one hand, go ahead and explore the hidden beauty of a place with temples and landscapes around you. ...
Chele la pass trek In Paro
In order to experience the Bhutanese landscape, you must your presence in the thrilling atmosphere of Chele la pass trek. At an altitude of 13000 ft, Chele la is one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan. With sightseeing activities followed by trekking and hiking, Chele la pass has beautiful and breathtaking views to o...
Travel to Bhutan
Read about the best & quickest routes to save time & money, as suggested by our travelers
Located in Paro district at a height of 7300 ft. above sea level, Paro International Airport is the nearest airport to Bhutan. It is the only airport to enter the country from India by air. Druk Air is the only airline that operates regular flights to and from Bhutan to India. People also take flights from Bagdogra airport near Siliguri, West Bengal. Being one of the closest airports to Bhutan, one can take also avail a cab or car service across Phuentsholing, and enjoy a tour to this enticing place.
Although, there are no direct rail routes to reach Bhutan from India, one can board a train from Hasimara station or New Alipurduar stations, which are 17 and 60 kilometers away from Phuentsholing, the border town of Bhutan. From there, tourists can book shared taxis, individual cabs, and buses to reach Bhutan.
One can also choose to go to Bhutan by road. Unlike other foreign countries, going to Bhutan by roadways from India is quite an easy task. There are only three land borders which are open for entry – Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. While Phuentsholing shares a border with the Terai region of West Bengal, the other two are along the Assam border. It takes around three hours from Guwahati to Bhutan by road and same from Siliguri as well.
One can take a private car or hire one to travel from India to Bhutan, and enjoy a tour while navigating through its alpine zones and sub-tropical regions. However, one needs to show some documents at the border.
One can also choose to travel via bus from Kolkata to Bhutan. It takes around 18 hours to reach Phuentsholing from Esplanade Station and 4 hours from Siliguri.
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FAQ's of Bhutan
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The main currency of Bhutan is Ngultrum. But Indian currency is accepted all over Bhutan except the new 500 and 2000 notes.
Indians do not need a visa to enter Bhutan. Traveling in Phuentsholing area is open for any Indian upon producing authentic ID card. However, to travel the rest of the country, permission is needed which can be retrieved by any agency for the same.
People in Bhutan eat dishes like ema datshi, red rice, maru (spicy chicken), phaksha paa (pork with red chilies), Bhutanese butter tea, and ara which is a traditional alcoholic beverage.
One should wear comfortable clothes as per the weather along with comfortable sports shoes.
Bhutan is spread in 38,394 square kilometers and has a population of around 8.08 lakhs.
Singaporean need valid visa to visit Bhutan.
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