“If there is any country on Earth that qualifies as Eden – not just in part, but in it’s entirety ? I believe it is Bhutan.” – Harry Mashall
Bhutan Travel Guide and Tourism Information
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country in South East Asia between China, India and Tibet. Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, is no ordinary place. It is a deeply Buddhist Land which believes in Gross National Happiness instead of materialistic figures. It’s a country where buying cigarettes is illegal, rice is red and chilies aren’t just a seasoning but the entire dish.
Some Interesting Facts about Bhutan –
- Bhutan is the only Country in the World with a unique way of gauging country’s growth; through Gross National Happiness Index (Instead of GDP)
- All the meat in Bhutan is brought in from India already butchered as Bhutan is a strict Buddhist country and prohibits the killing of any animals within its borders.
- Bhutan not only generates 100% of it domestic electricity from hydro-power, but by exporting the excess to India hydro-power generates the single largest source of revenue for the government, at approximately 30%.
- Modernization including the arrival of Television did not happen in Bhutan till the last decade.
Best time to Visit Bhutan
A visit to Bhutan can be planned anytime of the year but the best period is from mid September to November and March to June. There are many festivals during these months, and visitors should take advantage of trekking and the Tsechu. Most hotels sell out during this time and it is important for us to plan in advance if you want to attend.
Top Picks for Bhutan
- Taktshang Goemba – Hike to the spectacular ‘tiger’s nest’ monastery, precariously perched on a sheer rock face
- Jhomolhari Trek – Trek to distant villages and capture spectacular views of Bhutan’s most sacred mountain
- Gasa – Spot blue sheep and soak in a hot spring – just some of the delights of Gasa
- Snowman Trek – Take Bhutan’s premier challenge – a 25-day, high altitude trek to remote Lunana
- Bumthang – Visit Bhutan’s most precious and earliest Buddhist sites in its cultural heartland
- Lhuentse – Experience the far-flung, ancestral home of Bhutan’s royalty and the picturesque Lhuentse Dzong
- Trashi Yangtse – Check out a showcase of traditional art and craft, and the fascinating Gom Kora and Chorten Kora
- Trashigang – Make eastern Bhutan’s funkiest town your launch pad for exploring the wild east
- Namling Cliffs – Brave the wildest roads of Bhutan with sheer, bottomless drop-offs
- Thrumshing La – Steel the nerves and surmount this dramatic, high-elevation gateway to Eastern Bhutan
- Trongsa Dzong – Admire the strategic, significant, and elaborate; this is one of Bhutan’s finest architectural treasures
- Phobjikha Valley – Witness the rare black-necked crane as it over winters in this serene valley
- Punakha – Be blessed by a phallus at Chimi Lakhang and gaze upon the exquisite Punakha Dzong
- Thimphu – Watch Bhutan’s friendly capital come to life during the annual tsechu at Trashi Chhoe Dzong
- Paro – Visit massive Paro Dzong and the excellent National Museum, or shop for arts and crafts along the sprawling shopping strip
Its breathtaking natural beauty of sacred mountains, holy lakes, isolated valleys and lush forests is reason enough to visit. Add to this mix the Buddhist culture that has tenaciously remained largely untouched by the outside world and it’s easy to understand why Bhutan is considered one of the most exclusive destinations on earth.
Bhutan is a haven for trekkers and hikers, a way of viewing life from simplified lenses, and completely soulful experience. It’s a country which makes you see life from a different perspective and makes you dwell on what’s really important in living.
(Information & Photo Courtesy: Lonelyplanet, Natgeo, Bhutan tourism)