Bhutan Tourism & Travel Guide

Bordering Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar (Burma), the magical country of Bhutan (aka Kingdom of Druk Yul) is dotted with fluttering prayer flags, kaleidoscopic monasteries, candyfloss clouds and apple orchards. Even though Bhutan offers an array of things to do for travellers, sitting for hours on end, deluged by monastic hymns across the motley of beautiful monasteries is the way to go to really soak in the serenity that laces the air of this Himalayan kingdom. The capital city of Thimpu can be seen from the 12th century old Changangkha Lhakhang monastery, one of Bhutan’s many glorious attractions. The Buddha of Compassion or Avalokiteshvara is housed inside the main chapel of this monastery. The monastery of Trashicho Dzong, dating back to 1641 also attracts large numbers of tourists every year. A ginormous effigy of the Shakyamuni Buddha lies inside the monastery. But if you’ve travelled to Bhutan, seeking adventure then the country’s valleys and peaks offer biking, kayaking and rafting activities nearly all year round. You could trek through the spectacular Dochu La pass, at an elevation of 3,088m, where 108 stupas stand guard. This pass also greets you with a breathtaking view of the Eastern Himalayas, including Gangkar Punsum, Bhutan’s highest peak. Another very popular trek is the one to Paro’s illustrious Tiger’s Nest, wherein Guru Padmasambhava meditated for over three years in the 8th century. And while you are here, don’t forget to gorge on some Bhutanese delicacies, especially that of Ema Datshi, a spicy preparation of chillies and cheese and chhang, the local beer made from rice or millet.
Best time to visit

Peak Season is from March to May and September to November. During March - May, Bhutan experiences spring, and from September to November, autumn. The eastern Himalayan peaks can be viewed clearly during the month of October.

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Budget
For Budget Travellers: INR 2000 - 3000 a day
For Mid-range Travellers: INR 3000 to INR 5000 a day
For Luxury Travellers: INR 5000 and upwards

 

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Visa Info

Indian nationals need to have any of the two valid travel documents – (a) Valid Indian Passport having validity of minimum 6 months; and/or (b) Voter Identity Card, issued by the Election Commission of India. Visa is not required to travel to Bhutan.

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Trips and Itineraries for Bhutan

Bhutan had been on my bucket list for a few years now....

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Top Places To Visit in Bhutan 20 Spots

Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,October,November,December
One would assume that Thimphu is still settling into its role as the capital of one of the happiest countries in the world, Bhutan. Simple at heart, grappling with growing commercialisation, Thimphu is bustling with energy and is the heart of the country. Thimphu is a delight to explore if history interests you and also if you want a break from the quiet and serenity of Bhutan. Brimming with cafes, nightclubs and restaurants, the city welcomes people from all over the world with open arms. While here, do check out Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the National Folk Heritage Museum which offers a peek into the life of the Bhutanese people, especially the rural way of life. There are tons of parks, gardens and galleries in and around Thimpu and you cover most of these in a single day depending on your interests. The exhibits here range from archaic to contemporary and are definitely worth taking a look at.
Best time to visit - March,April,May
Bhutan has gradually become a popular tourist destination. And if you are visiting Bhutan, you can't possibly miss the lovely city of Paro. Considered to be one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan, it is definitely a must visit! A perfect mix of culture, beauty, nature and history, Paro offers you an experience unlike another. Do visit the unofficial Taktsang Monastery or Tiger's Nest, which is a delight for trekkers and explorers! Located on a hill, the trek to this monastery is something you'll always remember. Do carry water, wear proper shoes before you start your trek lest the number of halts increases your trek time. Another wonderful place to visit is the National Museum of Bhutan which is located in a former watch tower and hosts a collection of artefacts tracing the history of Bhutan. Among other places to visit, Rinpung Dzong and Drakhapo are definitely worth visiting. The Paro market is also a great place to explore and makes for a perfect location for an evening stroll. If you don't want to stay in the city, Paro is where you should head to. The lush valleys here are a delight to explore and the streams and meadows are nothing less than a postcard.

Hotels and Homestays in Bhutan   60 Hotels



Best Time to Visit Bhutan

Peak Season is from March to May and September to November. During March - May, Bhutan experiences spring, and from September to November, autumn. The eastern Himalayan peaks can be viewed clearly during the month of October.

Shoulder Season: December to February usually sees hotel tariffs dropping and during the months of December and January, the tourist numbers start dwindling. But if you can brave the winter, this is a good time to travel to Bhutan.

Off-season: June to August in Bhutan brings heavy downpour, making it impossible to venture out for treks or hikes in the valley. But one can visit during these months to make the most of the tourist-free streets and revel in the serenity, that the numerous monasteries offer.


Budget for Bhutan

For Budget Travellers: INR 2000 - 3000 a day

  • Accommodation in basic hotels: INR 1000-1500
  • Food in local tiffin-houses and street eateries: INR 200-300
  • Public Transport in metro and buses: INR 20 - 60
  • Sightseeing (Entry-tickets): INR 10 - 100

For Mid-range Travellers: INR 3000 to INR 5000 a day

  • Accommodation in mid-range hotels and homestays: INR 1500 - 2500
  • Food in cafes and restaurants: INR 650 - 1000
  • Local transport in local taxis (1km): INR 25 - 80
  • Treks: INR 500 - 600

For Luxury Travellers: INR 5000 and upwards

  • Accommodation in 4* or 5* hotels: INR 4000 and upwards
  • Food in upscale restaurants: INR 1000 and upwards
  • Local transport in cabs (with waiting, over 1km): INR 100 and upwards

Visa Information for Bhutan

All tourists must obtain a visa before arriving in Bhutan, except India, Bangladesh & Maldives nationals.Tourists have to book their trip through a local licensed tour operator, who will apply for the visa online, thus making it unnecessary to go through a Bhutanese embassy or consulate. Before being granted the tourist visa, the complete cost of your travel must be paid to the Tourism Council of Bhutan via wire transfer. During peak tourist season, the cost of a Bhutanese visa is $250 a day and $200 a day during the shoulder season, which comprise of accommodation, transportation, meals, water bottles and special entry fees. Until your travel is complete and the tour operator is paid in full, the money remains with the tourism council. Once the council receives the full payment, visa clearance can take anywhere up to 72 hours. On arrival, the visa is stamped on your passport upon payment of USD40 (this has already been paid by the operator before). Because there’s hardly any direct flight to Bhutan, ensure beforehand that you meet the visa requirements of the stopover countries.



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