Bhutan is a landlocked Buddhist Kingdom in South Asia, bordering with Tibet in the north and India in the southwest (Sikkim) and southeast (eastern Indian states like Assam, Nagaland. Situated at the far-eastern edge of the great Himalayan range. This Buddhist Kingdom is often revered as the "Land of the Dragon" regarded as one of the last Shangri-La in the Himalayan region because of its remoteness, beautiful alpine valleys, its spectacular mountain terrain, varied flora and fauna and its unique ancient Buddhist monasteries. It is one of the reactively unspoiled pockets of Asia which allow only limited number of discerning travelers to enter the country with a special visa permits. The name of the country since the 17th century has been Drukyul (Dragon country). This Kingdom is still maintaining and preserving its traditional, religious and cultural values, becoming a model and unique country in the region.
Bhutan has a perfect environment, almost no pollution, and a living culture where festivals steal the heart of world travelers with its breathtaking scenery, stunning architecture and welcoming atmosphere. This hidden treasure is often called "The Last Shangri-La" and in this region it seems that religion and nature have come together in harmony to work their magic upon the face of the land. Also known as The Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan is a deeply religious region, and is the only Buddhist kingdom in the world. For adventurers looking to experience the Himalayas firsthand, Bhutan would be the best destination.
Bhutan has four seasons. The best seasons are spring season: March to May, and autumn: September to November. Autumn is the best to enjoy the view of mountains and surrounding landscapes. Summer season: June to August, the monsoon (rainy season). Winter season: December to February. Heavy snowfall is expected in winte
During the journey, one will experience breath taking views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other famous Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Mount Jomulhari and Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro Airport, you will be received by representatives of our tour operator who will escort you to the hotel.Lunch at the hotel.Afternoon : Visit the National Museum ( Ta-Dzong ). This was originally the Watch Tower of the Paro Rinpung Dzong. It was converted into the National Museum in 1968. It is located on top of a hill above the Paro Dzong overlooking Paro valley and river. On the way back from the Museum, take a leisurely stroll in the Paro market and along the beautiful Paro River.
Although in ruins, this Fortress of great historical importance. It was here that the Bhutanese finally defeated the invading Tibetans and drove them back. From here, the peaks of Mount Jomulhari (Alt. 7329m) "Mountain of Goddess" can be seen on a clear day.Visit the Rinpung Dzong. This massive fortress is located in the Paro valley and is approached by a gently sloping flagstone road and a beautiful wooden bridge roofed with shingles and abutted by two guard houses. Today, this fortress houses the Administrative seat of the district of Paro and the district Monk Body with about 200 monks. The central tower ( Utse ) of the fortress, is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan with its superb woodwork. The Dzong ( fortress ) was built in 1645 AD
Picnic lunch at the river bank or in the hotel.
Afternoon : Drive to Thimphu ( capital ). The drive to Thimphu through the winding road along the Paro and Thimphu river takes about 2 hr. ( 65 Kms. ). Check in at the hotel. After tea at the hotel, take a leisurely stroll in the Thimphu town.
Morning : Visit the Memorial Chorten ( a huge stupa ) built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned the country from 1952-1972. Visit the Painting and Wood Craft school where traditional art and craft is still kept alive. Visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Visit the Handicrafts Emporium where Bhutanese textiles and other arts and crafts are displayed and can be purchased. Lunch at the hotel.Afternoon : Visit Simtokha Dzong. This is one of the oldest fortresses in Bhutan located about 6 Kms. from Thimphu town. It houses the largest Monastic schools in the country.
Visit Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building. This massive fortress houses part of the government Ministries, the office of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body and the office and the living quarters of the Chief Abbot.
Evening : Free to do some shopping in the town.
After an early breakfast, drive up to Dochula pass ( 26 Kms. ). From the pass, you can enjoy the most spectacular view of the Eastern Himalayan mountain ranges. Tea/coffee at Dochula and return to Thimphu.Drive up to Dechencholing ( 5 Kms. from Thimphu town ). At Dechencholing, you can view the palace of the Queen Mother where all the luncheons and banquets for the Head of the States and other important guests are hosted. Also, visit a beautiful private monastery on top of the hill. Lunch at the hotel.Afternoon : Drive to Paro. Check in at the hotel. After Tea/coffee, Drive up to Satsam Chorten ( 10 Kms. from Paro town ). From there, you can view the picturesque Taktsang Monastery " Tigers Nest "perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 800 ft.
Final departure to airport by our tour operator or your guide.
Food in Bhutan
Variety of meals are available in most of the hotels – the most popular being Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental food which you can choose as per your wish. Emadatse - spicy chilies mixed with a cheese sauce is the national diet of Bhutan. Bhutanese eat chilies as vegetables rather than spices. Red and white rice are served at all meals. Non vegetarian dishes - pork, beef, chicken, and fish are generally available in most parts of Bhutan. Vegetarian foods are also available. Better ask the hotel or restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season.
Accommodation in Bhutan
Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. These government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels located throughout the globe. Western Bhutan (Thimpu, Paro,Wangdue and Punakha)has the best hotels but as you head to eastern and central regions, the quality decreases a little bit. All the hotels/lodges/guest houses in the western Bhutan have pretty good electrical heating systems. While the hotels in the central and eastern part of Bhutan has wood-stoves for heating.
Transportation in Bhutan
We use comfortable and luxury transportation during the Bhutan Tour. Vehicles what we are using are well maintained and cleaned 4WD car and Hiace. If for some reason you are not comfortable with your vehicle you can request for the change.
Currency in Bhutan
The currency of Bhutan is ngultrum. As it is linked and equal to Indian rupee, ngultrum is also accepted in Bhutan. You cannot buy ngultrum prior arriving to Bhutan, but you can purchase it at the Paro International Airport, Bhutan National Bank, Bank of Bhutan and at major hotels in Thimpu and Paro, all of them accepts traveler’s cheque, US dollars and various other currencies. However, while visiting smaller town you should have ngultrum to purchase, as it is not possible to exchange your currency.
Bhutan Visa process
Bhutan Visa is essential for every foreigner who is planning to enter Bhutan. The visa has to be processed by local tour operators, such as our company Mount Trails Trekking and Adventures . No foreign mission or embassy abroad grants tourist visa. For the visa, a passport is required which must be valid for at least 6 months after you leave Bhutan. The Druk Air allows boarding only if it has got your visa clearance from the Bhutan Government.
Book Tour in Advance
As earlier as you book your trip, the better selection of available departure dates you will have. Moreover for holiday trips, you'll want to reserve several months out to find the best selection. Thus, to gain more advantage you can book as fast as you can.
It is mandatory for all tourists (other than Indian, Bangladeshi & Maldivian nationalities) to obtain a Bhutan visa clearance before travelling to Bhutan. The Bhutan visa has to be processed via a government approved travel agency such as Mount Trails
To obtain the visa, you need to tell us how long you will be staying in Bhutan and from where you will fly. We will then book your flights and hotels accordingly. After this, you must send us a scanned copy of your passport. As soon as we receive these, we will send you the tour invoice so that you can make payments following which we will forward the same to the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) and Department of Immigration (DOI). These agencies will process the visa online.
Next we will send you the visa confirmation code. You must carry a printed copy of the visa confirmation code and your flight tickets as this need to be produced at the check-in counter at Paro International Airport. Your actual Bhutan visa will be stamped on your passport upon your arrival.
Visa/Permits for Indian, Bangladeshi & Maldivian nationalities can be obtained at the Immigration Check Points, at the port of entry, upon production of a valid Passport (Indian Nationals can also use their Voter Identity Card).
There shall be no charge for CHILDREN up to the age of 5 years. However, those between the ages of 6-12 years accompanied by elders or guardians shall be given 50% discount on daily rates.
A discount of 50% on daily rates shall be given to one person in a group of 11 to 15 people.
100% discount shall be given to one member in a group exceeding 16 persons.
Tour Programs booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to charges as follows:
Before 30 days or more of start of program~ no charges.
50% cancellation charges will be applicable if a tour gets cancelled between 30 – 10 days of start of tour program.
100% cancellation charges will applicable if a tour gets cancelled within 10 days or less of start of tour program.