How to Plan a trip to Bhutan?

by Jenn

Perhaps it is time to plan another holiday! How about Bhutan?  An excellent choice and if you have been ignoring magical Bhutan until now or ignoring it on your itinerary list, it is time to start planning.  Do not suppress that urge to visit Bhutan, especially if it has been lingering in your mind for some time now. After all, something is mesmerizing about Bhutan, its majestic monasteries, those breathtaking views and not to forget the salubrious climate. Get ready for a wonderful experience in this gorgeous country that boasts of being the happiest place on earth!

How to Plan a trip to Bhutan?

Bhutan is referred to as “The Land of the Thunder Dragon” by the locals, and it is because of the fierce storms that descend here during the summers from the Himalayas. The mysterious country is landlocked between India and China and is closed to the outside and untouched by the modernity. Bhutan has evolved over time and follows Tantric Buddhist beliefs. Still, do not have any confusion about this fascinating country and follow a complete guide that can help you plan your trip there.

Your Bhutan travel guide
Although you may have planned your trips and vacations several times before, you will need some guidance with Bhutan trip. One can, of course, browse Bhutan Tourism to know more about the country, its people and the top attractions.

How to reach Bhutan
One can reach Bhutan by air as it is well connected due to its international airport at Paro. However, the most convenient way is to reach Bhutan via India as many flights connect Bhutan to major cities of India.  You can also reach Bhutan via rail or road if in India. Mos6t of the international visitors arrive here either via Singapore or Bangkok.

When to go?
Although Bhutan can be visited any time of the year, there are off and on-seasons. , and September – November are the peak periods. Thus, if you are thinking of flying to Bhutan during these months, make sure to book early to get booking on flights and hotels. Many tourists avoid the peak season to get more deals and to avoid the peak tourist period. Many travel to Bhutan during the months for festivals and trekking. A major advantage of visiting the country during the non-peak periods are the lower costs. As it is, it is hard to backpack in Bhutan so staying away from high season can be a big advantage for your wallet. Weather should be another consideration for tourists going to Bhutan. Monsoon months should be avoided because of landslides, and it can be difficult traveling during those months, and you will not be able to explore the country or enjoy it.

What to pack
Do warm pack clothes when planning a trip to Bhutan, and it is a must to carry a jacket and shawl, especially if in Bhutan during the colder months. If you are here during the monsoons, do carry raincoat and umbrella. Pack light clothes for summer and comfortable shoes as well as do not forget to pack motion sickness medicine.

Documents to carry
Once you enter Bhutan, you would need to show certain documents so as to get the permit. Those who fly to Paro can get their tourist permit from Paro International Airport. You need your passport, itinerary, the hotel’s voucher and a passport size photo. In case you are traveling solo, you need to show an undertaking letter. The regular Tourist Permit will allow you to visit Thimphu, Paro, and Punakha, but you will need a separate permit to visit Bumthang and other tourist places. There are no charges to get the permit.

Food, accommodation, currency, and language
Dzongkha is the official language of Bhutan, but most Bhutanese are fluent in English. Ngultrum is the currency used in Bhutan, and one INR is equal to 1 Ng.  One can book hotels or even consider a homestay. While the comfort of a hotel room cannot be ignored, it is indeed enjoyable to look forward to the authenticity of staying with a local family. There are also other accommodations available on a shoestring budget. Bhutan’s diet is simple but hot and spicy and offers a selection of dishes such as pork dumplings, momos, yak meat, beef or chicken. Ara is Bhutanese rice wine that is similar to Japanese sake.

Places of attraction in Bhutan
Bhutan is a tiny country with changing landscapes and culture, and there is so much to enjoy and explore in the incredible land. Exploring Bhutan means getting in touch with heritage and traditions and enjoy nature meditation and landscapes with the right balance.

Here are some of the leading places of attraction to explore in Bhutan.

  • Punakha- Explore the green valleys and tropical weather of Punakha and trek across orchards and rice paddies.
  • Tiger’s Nest –  Trek to Tiger’s Nest and visit the monks that live in the monasteries above. It is a must to climb up to Tiger’s Nest.
  • Trongsa – Trongsa Dzong is the largest fortress and a strategic point by a river. It is surrounded by a sheer drop that only adds drama to its beauty.
  • Thimpu-  Explore the sleepy and peaceful capital of Bhutan and enjoy looking at the preserved arts of Bhutan. Drive to Dochula Pass to enjoy fantastic views over the Himalayas.
  • Gangtey –  Explore the idyllic small village with beautiful landscapes and monastery. It is indeed the most tranquil part of the country.
  • Temples and museums – Numerous religious buildings, temples, monasteries, and stupas are a must to see because of the exquisite architectural feats.
  • Trekking And Hiking- Bhutan’s proximity to the Himalayas allow the locals and visitors to enjoy plenty of hiking and trekking trails through valleys and forests.
  • Rich in culture and heritage – Bhutan is famous for its art and craft skills like weaving textiles, paper making, painting, carpentry, carving, bronze casting, and bridge building.

Now that you have a fairly good idea on how to plan a trip to Bhutan, get ready for an unforgettable experience of your life. Bhutanese approach life based on the principles of Buddhism and with a sense of spirituality. It is not just your body but also your mind and the soul that gets treated here!

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