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Overview of Bhutan

Bhutan is a small Himalayan Kingdom known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon located in the eastern Himalayas in the continent of Asia between two big nations China to the north and India to the south with a population of just over 817,054. which makes it the 164th most populous country in the world. Bhutan "The Last Shangri-La" is our effort to introduce you to the rich cultural heritage of this tiny Himalayan kingdom also known as the Last Shangri-La. The country’s nascent economy is offset by its rich cultural heritage in strengthening its sovereignty. Its proximity to India and Tibet, and the consequent use of Bhutan as a route by merchants and Buddhist practitioners from Tibet influenced the spread of Buddhism and the inception of early trade with Tibet and India. Bhutanese people speak Dzongkha as their national language and official language. The subsequent rise in the significance of Buddhism in society shaped its culture to a great extent. We begin our tour in Bhutan from Thimphu, where we visit the Memorial Chhorten, mini-zoo, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, folk heritage museum, and the majestic Tashichho Dzong (fortress). Next, we travel to Punakha via Dochu La pass (3,100m) and tour the Chimi Lhakhang temple on the way. We also visit the Punakha Dzong and explore the amazing Gangtey village before heading to Paro. In the beautiful Paro Valley, we visited Rinpung Dzong and Kichu Lhakhang temple. Our tour ends with a hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery which is a perfect way to end one's journey in the last Shangri-La.


Bhutan Travel Guide

Bhutan Travel Guide



Paro Airport is the only international airport in the country with two Airlines operating flights to and from a few destinations like India, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Singapore. The national carrier Druk Air and the privately owned Tashi Group of Companies, Bhutan Airline are the only two airlines in Bhutan. We can get direct international flights to Bhutan from Singapore, Bangkok, Dhaka, Mumbai, Kolkata and Kathmandu. But the flight between Kathmandu and Paro is one of the greatest flights with the best views of the highest mountains in the world. Since Bhutan is a mountainous country, the districts are only connected by roads. Bhutan is also connected to India by road through Phuntsholing town which is linked to Jaigoan, West Bengal India. Phuentsholing, Gelephu, and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists. The town of Phuentsholing in southwest Bhutan is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian National Airport at Bagdogra. Most tourists wish to travel to Thimphu via Nepal by air.



Some nationalities as Indian, Bangladeshi, and Maldivian nationals can get a visa at the port of entry with a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card VIC). For other nationalities, we have to process the visa in advance and process it through our licensed Bhutanese tour operator in the online permit system. After sending photos of the passport and payment cost for the visa via wire transfer, the Tourism Council of Bhutan will proceed with the visa process and send us the visa clearance letter, when we enter the production of the clearance letter, the visa then be stamped into our passport. For other tourists, you will need to acquire visa clearance in advance. Visas are processed through an online system by licensed Bhutanese tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent. Tourists are also required to book their holiday through a Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners. The tour operator will take care of Visa arrangements for visitors.



Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) It is at par with the Indian rupee which is widely accepted in the country. In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicraft stores. Please take note that USD 50 and USD 100 notes are given a better exchange rate than USD 20 notes or less. The smaller USD notes fetch about 5% less. Tourists can exchange cash at the foreign exchange desk at Paro Airport and Bank of Bhutan branches in major townships such as Paro and Thimphu.



Electrical sockets (outlets) in the Kingdom of Bhutan usually supply electricity between 220 and 240 volts AC. All major towns are well connected with electricity that runs on 220/240 volts with round hole two-pin and three-pin power outlets. It is recommended that you bring flat-to-round pin converters for your electronics if necessary, however, most hotels offer multi-plug sockets. Bhutan is a carbon-neutral destination. Bhutan's energy is clean and green generated by hydro power.



The country has a good network of telecommunication facilities. Most hotels and cafes offer Wi-Fi internet access. Bhutan has a comprehensive mobile (cell) phone network with global roaming also accessible.



Avoid drinking tap water that has not been boiled or ice cubes in drinks at all times as most water sources in Bhutan are untreated. One can easily acquire affordable treated and bottled water. 



The northern part of the country with the Himalayas gets snowfall almost throughout the year. The southern Bhutan has a tropical temperature as eastern which is much warmer than the western part of the country. Hence the best time to travel to Bhutan depends upon the part of the nation will be travelling in. For clear skies and photo opportunities, the best time to visit Bhutan is October through December. December is cold but the valleys are sunny with clear skies. The period between January and February is the coldest time of the year with occasional road closures, but Losar celebrations will warm you up. March and April are relatively dry and warm with an abundance of mesmerizing flowers in the valleys. From May on, temperatures start to rise, leading to the monsoon season from June to September.



Thimphu is the capital of the Country with most of the population inhabiting the city. It is home to almost 100,000 of the country’s population. It may be the only capital city in the world without traffic lights and an airport of its own. It is an hour's drive from the Paro International Airport. It is also the trade hub of the country.



Bhutan local time is 6 hours ahead of GMT.



The climatic weather of Bhutan varied from region to region depending on the difference in the altitude and the air pressure from North Indian Monsoons.



Bhutan experiences 4 different Seasons in a year; spring, summer, autumn, and winter.  The months of March, April, and May are considered spring and during this period, the entire country is in full riot of the beautiful spring blossoms. The months of June, July, and August are considered summer and the monsoon season also falls during the summer. The months of September, October, and November are considered autumn and also the fall season. And lastly, the months of December, January, and February are considered winter.  The central and northern parts of Bhutan experience snowfall.



Bhutan has over 800 million trees and over 71% of the total land area is under forest coverage the constitution mandates that at least 60% of the land be under forest coverage for all times to come.  The protected areas of Bhutan consist of national parks, nature preserves, and wildlife sanctuaries. The protected areas cover more than 42% of the kingdom consisting of five national parks, four wildlife sanctuaries, and one nature reserve, and an additional 3307 sq km is designated as a set of connections of biological corridors linking all nine protected areas, hence placing 52% of the country’s area under some form of protection.



Bhutan opened its doors for tourism only a few decades ago after remaining in isolation for many years fearing exploitation of cultural and environmental values. Bhutan still seeks to preserve its unique culture and conserve its natural environment by mandating a tourism policy of high value and low impact so it imposes a daily fee of US$250 on tourists that covers tours, accommodation, transportation, and food. The industry accounts for 1.8% of GDP.

Facts of Bhutan

Capital City : Thimphu
Total Area : 38,394
Total Population : 784.9 thousand
Official language : Dzongkha(Bhutanese)
Currency : Bhutan Ngultrum(BTN)
UNESCO Sites : Ancient Ruin of Drukgyel Dzong, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, Dzongs, Jigme Dorji National Park, Royal Manas National Park,, Sacred Sites of Phajo DrugomZhigpo, Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary Tamzhing Monastery

Popular Packages in Bhutan