Best Things To Do In Bhutan

Best Things To Do In Bhutan

Experience Bliss with the Best Things to Do in Bhutan

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WRITTEN BYDarlene Aberin
PUBLISHED ONFebruary 6, 2024

Bhutan is a fascinating country in the Himalayas. It's perfect for people who love adventure, relaxing times, or learning about rich cultures. This guide is here to help you plan your dream trip to Bhutan. It's great for all kinds of travelers and interests.

In this guide, you'll find everything you need for your trip. We'll show you exciting adventures and cool places in Bhutan that differ from anywhere else. We also help with useful things, like renting cars and finding places to stay. We aim to make your visit to Bhutan fun and something you'll always remember.

Discover Bhutan

Bhutan, sitting in the Eastern Himalayas, is a magical place. The country is rich in culture, and its traditions make it unique. Despite the world becoming globalized, Bhutan has stayed true to its roots.

The Values of Its People

In Bhutan, people really care about their traditions. They think living in peace and respecting each other is important. They also love nature; these beliefs are a big part of their daily life. Even the special things they do and their traditions are based on these beliefs.

People in Bhutan are friendly and care about their community. These beliefs bring them close together, like a big family. This close feeling also helps them live peacefully with nature around them.

Unique Culture and Dress

Bhutan has a rich and varied culture, with a deep respect for their traditions. They've done a great job preserving their heritage, including their music, dance, art, and language. These elements are a big part of what makes Bhutan unique.

In Bhutan, the traditional clothes are really special too. Men wear a type of robe called 'gho,' and women wear a long dress called 'kira.' These clothes are often bright and colorful, showing off Bhutan's lively culture.

The 'gho' men wear is fastened around the waist, while the women's 'kira' goes down to their ankles. Women also wear a jacket and a piece of cloth shaped like a rectangle. This traditional clothing is not just about style; it's a way to show pride in their culture.

Experience Bhutan

Visiting Bhutan is a rich experience. It helps you dive deep into their preserved culture. It lets you see community life firsthand. To know Bhutan, you need to appreciate its roots. This is what makes Bhutan a unique country to visit.

Journey to the Land of Bhutan

Visiting Bhutan offers a wonderful experience. It allows you to really get to know their well-preserved culture. You'll get to see up close what life in their communities is like. Understanding and appreciating Bhutan's deep history and traditions is key to truly experiencing what makes it a special place to visit.

Flying Into Paro Airport

Your Bhutan adventure starts by flying to Paro Airport. It's the country's only international airport. Paro Airport is in the beautiful Paro Valley, surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains. Flying into Paro is a fantastic sight for travelers.

Airlines Serving Bhutan

Bhutan has a unique location, with just two airlines flying there. There's the national airline Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines. They both fly to Paro Airport from big Asian cities like Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, and Kathmandu.

  • Druk Air is Bhutan's main national carrier. It offers a small number of flights with great service.
  • Bhutan Airlines is a private airline. It provides more routes to Bhutan for the growing number of travelers.

Average Price of Flights

Flying to Bhutan can be pricey. This is due to the limited number of flights and routes available. But remember, the unique experience of visiting Bhutan makes it worth the cost.

Stunning Views During Flight

The flight to Bhutan is an amazing experience itself. You get great views of the Himalayan Mountain Range. As you approach Paro Airport, you can even see Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga, the world's highest peaks.

Taking a journey to Bhutan offers a mix of beautiful landscapes and vibrant culture. It's a trip that creates lifelong memories you'll cherish.

Choosing the Perfect Time to Visit Bhutan

Bhutan is a paradise for every traveler. But it's important to pick the best time to visit Bhutan. What you want to do and see in Bhutan should influence your decision.

Best Times to Visit

Bhutan looks amazing every month of the year. However, many people like to visit in the springtime, which is from March to May, or during the autumn months, from September to November. The weather is really nice during these times. You can expect to see blue skies, feel comfortable temperatures, and see Bhutan's landscapes looking their most beautiful.

  • Spring: Spring in Bhutan is a sight to see. The valleys burst with colorful flowers and fresh greenery.
  • Fall: The air in fall is crisp. The skies are clear and bright blue. You can enjoy stunning views of mountains covered with snow.

Experiencing Traditional Festivals

Plan your trip around traditional festivals if you want a taste of Bhutan's culture. These include mask dances and the famous Paro Tshechu.

  • Mask Dances: These dances take place in late fall and winter. Monks and laymen perform in fancy costumes and masks. These dances celebrate good winning over evil.
  • Paro Tshechu: This is one of Bhutan's biggest religious festivals. It takes place in spring. You can watch masked dances, religious enactments, and local gatherings.

Taking Part in Pilgrim Activities

For pilgrim activities, winter is a good time. Although it's colder, there are fewer tourists. This makes for a peaceful environment, perfect for spiritual experiences.

Choose your timing carefully when you plan your trip to Bhutan. It can make your travels all the more rewarding. Bhutan has charming landscapes and lively festivals. It promises a magical journey to its visitors.

Locations to Visit in Bhutan

Going to Bhutan? This place is simply magical. Bhutan has lots to offer, from wildlife to culture. Let's find out the best places to visit in Bhutan.

  • Paro Taktsang: This location lets you enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree view of the beautiful Paro Valley below. It’s also a sacred place for Bhutanese people.
  • Chele La Pass: Known as the highest driveable point in Bhutan, it offers splendid views of valleys, snow-covered peaks, and ancient hidden monasteries.
  • Punakha Dzong: Located in the Punakha Valley, this fort with lovely architecture gives you a deep dive into Bhutan's history.
  • Haa Valley: This valley remains unspoiled and less visited. It’s one of the most scenic places in Bhutan, close to the attractive Paro Chhu.
  • Tashichho Dzong: This 17th-century palace is worth seeing. It showcases Bhutan's amazing traditional architecture.

Bhutan's spiritual vibe can be felt in its ancient Buddhist monasteries. Some popular ones include:

  • Jambay Lhakhang: This is one of the oldest monasteries around. It's believed to be one of the 108 temples Tibet's King Songtsen Gampo built in a day to subdue a demoness.
  • Kyichu Lhakhang: This temple is historically important. It’s a symbol of the arrival of Buddhism in Bhutan.

Top Things to Enjoy in Bhutan

Bhutan is famous for its landscapes, tasty cuisine, and exciting sports. It's known as the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon.' Let's look at the best things to do in Bhutan.

1. Try Adventure Sports: Bhutan has a varied landscape perfect for sports. Activities like
mountain biking, motorbiking, and trekking are popular.

2. Taste Bhutanese Food: Bhutanese dishes like Ema Datshi and Kewa Datshi are a
must-try.

3. Relax at Hot Springs: Visit Gasa Tshachu and Duenmang Tshachu for a rejuvenating
therapy. Their mineral-rich waters are known to heal various ailments.

4. Go Fishing: Enjoy the calm setting for fishing in Bhutan, especially for brown trout.
Remember the fishing seasons and get permits.

5. Discover Ancient Fortresses: Explore Bhutan's cultural richness through its historic
fortresses or dzongs. Visit Punakha Dzong and Paro Dzong for a glimpse into the
country's history.

6. Join Bhutan's Lively Festivals: Festivals, or Tshechus, preserve Bhutan's vibrant
culture. These events are full of masked dances, music, and rituals. It's a once-in-a-
lifetime experience.

7. Shop at Local Markets: Find unique traditional handicrafts in Bhutan's markets. Buy
Bhutanese souvenirs like thangkas, Gho and Kira clothing, wooden masks, and
handmade paper.

8. Go Wildlife Watching: Bhutan has many national parks filled with diverse wildlife. It's
famous for its 670 species of birds. Spot elusive creatures like the snow leopard or the
Himalayan black bear in parks like Jigme Dorji National Park.

9. Visit Sacred Temples: Bhutan is rich in spirituality. Tigers Nest Monastery and
Drukgyel Dzong are well-loved temples.

10. Try Archery: Archery is Bhutan's national sport. Join in a local competition if you get
the chance.

11. Explore Thimphu: Spend some time in Bhutan's capital. Check out the local food,
goods, and historical places in Thimphu.

12. Walk Around Phobjikha Valley: This valley is known for its stunning beauty. It's a
wonderful place for a calm, scenic walk.

13. See Taktsang Monastery: Also known as Tiger's Nest, this monastery is a sacred site.
It sits on a cliff over 900 meters high.

14. Go on a River Rafting Adventure: Bhutan's rivers offer thrilling rafting experiences.
Mo Chu River has rapids that are perfect for beginners and experts.

15. Visit Buddha Dordenma Statue: This giant Buddha statue sits on a hill in Thimphu.
It overlooks the city and is a must-see site.

16. Learn Bhutanese Art at Zorig Chusum: This school in Thimphu teaches Bhutanese
art. They offer short courses where you can learn about traditional crafts.

17. Take a Bike Ride to Haa Valley: The ride to Haa Valley is breathtaking. Its vast
meadows and dense spruce trees are picture-perfect.

Picking Where to Dine in Bhutan

Bhutan offers many unique dining spots where you can enjoy authentic flavors and traditional cuisine. Don't miss these best restaurants to check out in Bhutan:

1. Bukhari at Uma by COMO, Paro: Named after a Bhutanese fireplace, Bukhari serves
international dishes and farm-to-table dining. Enjoy the elegant setting and beautiful
views of Paro Valley.

2. Babesa Village Restaurant, Thimphu: To taste Bhutan's local cuisine, visit Babesa
Village. The intimate ambiance in a traditional house adds to the charm.

3. Ambient Cafe, Thimphu: A perfect spot for coffee lovers. Ambient Cafe serves great
coffee and Western dishes. Relax in the cozy interior and enjoy the baked goods.

4. Chig-ja-gye at Taj Tashi, Thimphu: For a fine dining experience, try Chig-ja-gye at Taj
Tashi. The diverse menu and excellent service make it a memorable stop for Bhutanese
cuisine.

5. Sonam Trophel Restaurant, Paro: A favorite in Paro, Sonam Trophel offers delicious
local dishes like Ema Datshi and Kewa Datshi. It's a great place for comfort food in a
casual setting.

Guide to Car Rentals and Accommodations in Bhutan

Planning a smooth trip includes knowing about renting a car in Bhutan, driving rules, and finding the right accommodation.

Car Rental Tips for Bhutan

1. Booking: Rent a car from a reliable tour operator offering experienced drivers and
well-maintained vehicles.

2. Driving: Vehicles are driven on narrow, windy roads. It's crucial to have an experienced
driver who knows the area.

3. Safety: Drive cautiously, especially near cliffs. Follow the signs and your driver’s
instructions.

For payments, you may be asked to use the Bank of Bhutan for transfers. Get your account ready and check the details before sending any money.

Accommodation Booking Tips in Bhutan

1. Research: Use travel forums and blogs to find recommended places that suit your
budget.

2. Location: Choose a place that suits your travel plans, near tourist spots or quiet
retreats.

3. Booking: Book ahead, especially during peak travel season (March-May, September-
November), to guarantee your choice.

Planning your Bhutan trip with proper car hire and understanding payments. Finally, booking the right accommodations will make your trip enjoyable.

Costs for Bhutan Tours

Plan for spending at least $200 per person per day in the low season and $250 in the high season. This mandatory "Minimum Daily Package" includes accommodation, meals, and a guide, but prices might change based on upgrades or additional services.

Choosing a tour package that matches your budget and preferences will help you uncover Bhutan's wonderland. Plan well to enjoy the richness of this Himalayan kingdom to the fullest.

Guide to Driving in Bhutan

In Bhutan, public transportation is mostly for tourist spots. However, if you drive, you can see much more. Driving lets you discover Bhutan's natural beauty and local ways of life. It's important to know that in Bhutan, people drive on the left side of the road. The roads usually have two lanes and are in the mountains, so expect a lot of sharp turns.

Travel in Bhutan has some strict rules to follow. Every trip must be arranged through a tour company, including car rentals. If you rent a car, the tour company will provide you with a driver. If you wish to drive yourself, you must get special permission and have an international driver's license.

International Driving License Requirement

If you're from a different country and want to drive in Bhutan, there are specific rules you need to follow. First, you'll need an International Driving License and special permission to drive independently. Make sure to carry this license with your country's driving license. Your International Driving License in Bhutan should also have a certified translation, and you'll need a photo ID.

Bhutan is very strict about not allowing drunk driving. When driving in Bhutan, following their driving guide carefully is important. Always carry a few important documents with you: your ID, a copy of your vehicle's registration, your driving license, and your International Driving Permit.

Following these rules and having all the necessary documents will make driving in Bhutan much easier. Plus, you'll get to enjoy the stunning landscapes that Bhutan has to offer.

Conclusion

Bhutan stands out for its deep cultural roots and traditions. Its people value harmony and nature, which is evident in their daily lives and customs. With traditional dress, spiritual sites, and vibrant festivals, Bhutan offers a truly authentic experience.

Bhutan has various culinary options, from local flavors to fine dining experiences. Planning your trip carefully, including where to stay and how to get around, ensures a smooth and enjoyable visit.

Remember, a trip to Bhutan is more than just a vacation – it's an opportunity to immerse yourself in a unique culture and explore stunning landscapes. With this guide, you're all set for an amazing journey to the Land of the Thunder Dragon!

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