Don’t be surprised if you have never heard of Bhutan because this country located in the South Asian region was once isolated from the rest of the world until the 1960s! Also known as the Land of Thunder Dragon, Bhutan is a small, landlocked country sandwiched between India to the south and China to the north.
Listed as Best in Travel 2020 by Lonely Planet, this small Himalayan nation has much to offer to travellers, after all, it is the birthplace of the popular National Gross Happiness (GNH) philosophy. Spirituality and Buddhism is an integral part of the Bhutanese life, and even all the government policies and plans have to be aligned with the key tenets of the Gross National Happiness.
If you are looking to embark on a journey that resembles the adventures out of Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, Bhutan is definitely the place you will want to check out! Its distinctive Bhutanese culture, architectural design, food, hiking trails and places of attractions will definitely leave a memorable impact for travellers.
Below are some of the things to take notes if you are planning for a trip to Bhutan.
1. How much does it cost
Travelling to Bhutan is a hassle-free and luxurious experience. Within the travel packages includes all essentials like your meals, accommodations and your private guide and driver.
There is a fixed daily charge for all tourists, as the government of Bhutan strictly adheres to a ‘High Value, Low Impact’ tourism policy in order to preserve it’s national culture, identity and the natural environment.
Below is the daily tariff:
Peak season (March – May and September – November) – USD 250 per day
Non-peak season (December – February and June – August) – USD 200 per day
The daily tariff covers the following services.
A minimum of 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star may require an additional premium).
A licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay
All internal transport (excluding internal flights)
Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
2. Things to do in Bhutan
There are plenty of things to see in Bhutan that caters to the different types of travellers. For the cultural buff, you can indulge in the architectural magnificence of the different ‘dzongs’ (fortresses), visit centuries old Buddhist monasteries and check out the textile museum. There are also different local festivals happening in the different months. For the adrenaline junkie, you will definitely want to check out the different stunning Himalayan trails or try out the white water rafting in Punakha river.
For the foodies, you will want to savour and get a taste of the their local dishes such as the ema datshi (chilli cheese), red rice, local vegetables and dry meats. For the shopaholics, you can quench your shopping thirst by visiting the Paro Town, Thimphu Town or The Craft Gallery (at Thimphu) for a range of high quality products from the local artisans. Or if you simply just want to escape the city life to experience some peace and tranquility, well, Bhutan is definitely the place for you! Its lush green mountains and valleys will definitely provide you with the environment you need to simply relax and connect with nature.
3. Popular attractions in Bhutan
Takstang Monastery, popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest, the national icon of Bhutan is definitely a must-see when you are in the Kingdom! The majestic sacred Buddhist monastery perched on the cliff top, 2950m above sea level provides an unforgettable hiking experience with awe-inspiring sceneries to all travellers. Other places of attractions include Buddha Donderma, Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong, Punakha Dzong, Punakha Suspension Bridge, Chimi Lhakang, Kyichu Lhakang, Dochula Pass, Bumthang valley, Gangtey (Phobjikha valley) and many more.
4. How to get to Bhutan from USA
Getting to Bhutan is relatively easy. There are no direct flights to Bhutan from USA but there are 5 countries in the Southeast Asian and South Asian region – Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, India – that provide direct flights to Paro International Airport in Bhutan.
If you are considering to do a South Asian tour, you might want to fly to Bhutan from either Bangladesh, Nepal or India. South Asia consists of 8 nations including Bhutan, and it’s home to 24% (1.89 billion) of the world’s population, making it the most densed populated geographical region in the world. Some of the popular tourist destinations in the South Asian region include Nepal (for travellers who aspire to climb Mount Everest), Maldives (for beach lovers) or India (for its culture and renowned architecture) .
If you are planning to explore the Southeast Asian region, you might want to consider flying to Bhutan from Bangkok in Thailand or Bhutan from Singapore. Southeast Asia is definitely the more popular region for tourists, especially backpackers. Southeast Asia is a melting pot of cultures and a region rich in history and human diversity. It has a wide offering of cuisines with plethora of flavours, and attractions ranging from the beaches, mountains to skyscrapers.
There are daily Druk Air flights from Bangkok to Bhutan and Druk Air flights operate every Thursday and Sunday from Singapore to Bhutan.
5. Get in touch with a travel consultant
Travelling to Bhutan can only be arranged through a licensed tour agency. If you are keen to find out more information or book your trip to Bhutan, you can reach out to Bhutan Travel Specialist, Druk Asia, Drukair’s official representative. Their dedicated consultants will be able to assist you with the visa application, travel arrangements and planning your most memorable trip to Bhutan. Druk Asia has served more than 16,000 travellers from more than 50 countries.
Whether you are seeking for a cultural tour, a trekking tour, a luxurious getaway, or an adventurous trail, just let your travel consultant know and they will be able to whip up an itinerary customised to your needs.