10 things I wish I knew before going to Bhutan

Ruchi Singla 13 November 2020 691 views 6 min. read

Bhutan is a small Buddhist country with no coast, bordered by India to the south and China to the north- two of the world's most populous countries. Many wonders what is the capital of Bhutan. In that case, Timbu is Bhutan capital. Bhutan has a reputation as an exclusive and remote location that only opens the door to a small number of people who are lucky with money. Its unique tourism regulations mean that planning a trip to Bhutan involves overcoming a series of obstacles. If a traveller decides to do that, this article will explain everything you need to know to travel to Bhutan. From where is Bhutan, what is the capital of Bhutan, best time to travel to Bhutan to interesting facts about Bhutan, we have covered almost everything about Bhutan.  You will know what is special about Bhutan, and why going to Bhutan is worth the money even though it's expensive. In this article, we will tell you- is going to Bhutan expensive? Bhutan's tourism mantra is high value, low impact, and its goal is simple. It is about maximizing the economic benefits of tourism by reducing its impact on the environment and culture. This is a perfect example of a "gross national happiness" policy that governs the country and one of the interesting facts about Bhutan

10 Things to consider before planning a trip to Bhutan

paro international airport

To obtain a visa to Bhutan, you must arrange your trip through an official Bhutan travel agency. The Bhutan Tourism Board website has an extensive list of agencies. The trip follows a pre-determined itinerary and requires a guide. It is possible to visit monasteries and temples not listed on the first itinerary, but accommodation and entry and exit dates must be decided in advance. Going to Bhutan, which may be geographically isolated, recognizes a small country that has succeeded in maintaining its usage, traditions, customs, and religious beliefs, as it did centuries ago. One of the most significant interesting facts about Bhutan is its first and only airport opened in 1983, and television and the Internet were not introduced into the country until 1999.  Here are 10 things you need to know before going to Bhutan to help you understand the value of your trip to Bhutan.

1. Gross National Happiness

bhutanese children

So, what is special about Bhutan? Bhutan is the only country that is more interested in Gross National Happiness than Gross National Product. According to numerous statistics, Bhutan is at the top of providing an intangible podium called happiness and obviously among the happiest countries in the world.

2. The charm of the Himalayas

buddhist shrine in the himalayas

From the moment you land in Paro during travel to Bhutan, travellers will be fascinated by these mountains that have shaped Bhutan's history and way of life. For its inhabitants, the barrier of this colossus that separates the northern border of the country is the address of the gods.

3. A huge forest country and Various flora and fauna

animalA visit to Bhutan

will discover one of the countries with the largest forest area on the planet. It is similar in size to Switzerland, and 70% of its area is covered with forest. And 60% are part of national parks or protected natural areas. Local flora and fauna are one of the attractions of the country, especially of Bhutan Capital. Its diverse habitat is home to very different species, many of which are endemic or endangered: monkeys, deer, bears, buffalos, wild boars, snakes, leopards, sai, yaks, takins, barrales, and even tigers and mythical snow leopards.

4. Diverse landscapes


on the road for a few hours can be ecstatic to the alpine regions of the north, as you climb 2000 meters high and admire the tropical landscape of the south.

5. Sustainable tourism development

tourist sitting on his back watchingBhutan Capital

has defined a successful model of sustainable tourism development that applies to anyone who wants to know what is special about Bhutan, based on the motto of adhering to environmental protection and allocating most of its benefits to cultural protection. It guarantees not only the heritage but also the well-being of its inhabitants.

6. Punakha's "Dzong"


With the appearance of a fortress (mixed monastery and castle), these enormous architecturally valuable buildings were built in the 17th century and now house both the administrative headquarters and the monks and llama communities. Many of them host chapels and works of art of great beauty. This is why Punakha Dzong is one of the most significant places to visit in Bhutan

7. Festival

festival in bhutan

The rich cultural diversity of the country reaches its full splendour during festivals, religious celebrations deeply rooted in the inhabitants of the kingdom, which takes place all year round. This is also the best time to travel to Bhutan

8. Climb the "Tigers Nest"

tigers nest

Probably the best answer to the question of what to see in Bhutan and the best time to travel to Bhutan. Few travel experiences in Asia are better than a visit to Taktsang Monastery, which hangs dizzyingly from the side of a 700-meter-high cliff above the Paro Valley. It is a wonderful place of dedication in a unique natural environment and makes you remember for years where is Bhutan. This is also considered as one of the best places to visit in Bhutan

9. Mahayana Buddhism


In the 8th century, the Indian saint Padmasambhava brought Buddhism to the region, where he absorbed many elements of the indigenous Shamanist religion, Bonn. The new religion was unity. Tibetan lama Ngawang Namgyal named the country Duk Yuru, which means the land of thunder dragons. Bhutan is the only country in the world to have the Mahayana Buddhist Tantric style as a state religion. Buddhism is deeply rooted in a changing society, but the temptation of modern life and the collateral damage it creates are increasing.

10. Your independent people

bhutanese childVisiting Bhutan

involves visiting a country that has never been colonized. And it gave them a healthy dose of independence, a clear identity, and optimism for life. Kindness is an implicit rule. Bhutanese often laugh, enjoy life, convey their happiness to their visitors, and feel happy.

When to go? 

bhutanThe best time to travel to Bhutan

is between September and November when the weather is the most comfortable and the temperatures are mild. Avoid travelling during the monsoon season, i.e., June-August.

How Much Does It Cost to Travel to Bhutan? Is Going to Bhutan Expensive? 


Regardless of whether you choose a circuit or a route, the cost of travel to Bhutan is fixed by the government, and there is a US $ 250 tourist tax per day during the high and mid seasons. During the low winter months (December-February) and monsoon months (June-August), prices drop to the US $ 200. A group of one or two people will pay an additional fee of US $ 40/30 per person. Children up to 5 years travel free of charge, and children 6 to 12 years pay only 50% of the daily tourist tax. Unless you are a Bhutanese resident or a reputable travel agency, there is no way to skip this step. This daily tourist tax means that there is almost no price difference between agencies.

Bhutan Itinerary Planning

punakha suspension bridge

Travel must be arranged through an agency, but vacations can be fully customized to explore the best places to visit in Bhutan. Most people use the agency's itinerary as a starting point and then change it according to their interests. It's always worth including some of the less-visited temples by knowing what is the capital of Bhutan and some of the day's excursions to get off the secluded roads a bit. It's also a good idea to organize your route around one of Bhutan's finest festivals. When planning your travel itinerary, it's time to consider additional charges such as hot stone buses, stays in private homes, or a day's mountain bike route to see if there are any additional charges.  Accommodation is usually selected by an agency, but if travellers are thinking of a particular location, they can request a stay at a 3-star tourist facility. You will have to pay an additional fee to stay in a luxury hotel. This is the answer to the question - is going to Bhutan expensive? If you're travelling to Bhutan by plane (most commonly by plane from Delhi, Bangkok, or Kathmandu), the agency will suggest buying a ticket on your behalf. This is very practical, but you can also buy tickets online from the website of the state airline Druk Air.

Bhutan Travel Payment

bhutan currency

Once the itinerary and price are agreed upon, the next step is to make the payment. This is the most logistically complex part of the process. The agency will send the details of your bank to the traveller, who will need to transfer the total amount of the trip through the account of Bhutan Bank. You need to patiently explain to your local bank office that the transfer has been transferred to your Standard Chartered Bank account. A "recipient" is an account held by a travel agency at the National Bank of Bhutan (BNB). If you're lucky, this means only one visit to the bank. But be prepared to explain what "Bhutan" is.

Get a Bhutanese visa

passport and flag of bhutan

Upon successful completion of the transfer, the agency will confirm the deposit and request a traveller's visa. Therefore, travellers must fill out an application form and scan and send their photos and data to their digital photo and passport pages. Obtaining a Bhutanese visa is just a procedure, and the agency will email you a copy of your visa approval a few days later. The visa costs the US $ 40, and that price is already included in the travel price. It is important to print a copy of your Visa certificate as you will need to check-in for your flight to Paro and answer where is Bhutan. Upon arriving at Paro Airport or the border with India, simply present this approval, and the Immigration Bureau will stamp your visa on your passport.

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