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Bhutan travel guide - Travel S helper


travel guide

Bhutan, formally the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a sovereign landlocked state in South Asia’s eastern Himalayas. Bhutan is bounded to the north by China and to the south, east, and west by India. It is divided from Nepal by the Indian state of Sikkim to the west, and from Bangladesh by the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal to the south. Thimphu is the capital and biggest city of Bhutan, whereas Phuntsholing is the country’s financial hub.

Bhutan’s King is known as Druk Gyalpo, which translates as “Thunder DragonKing.” The geography of the nation ranges from lush subtropical plains in the south to sub-alpine highlands in the north, with peaks rising over 7,000 meters (23,000 feet). Gangkhar Puensum, Bhutan’s highest peak, is also a strong contender for the world’s tallest unplanned mountain.

Bhutan has significant cultural connections with Tibet and is situated on the Silk Road, which connects China and the Indian subcontinent. Until the early 17th century, its realm was made up of tiny fighting fans. Lama and the military commander Ngawang Namgyal, the first Zhabdrung Rinpoche, unified the area at the time and created a distinct Butan identity. Bhutan established diplomatic ties with the British Empire around the turn of the twentieth century. Bhutan signed a friendship pact with newly formed India in 1949, during the advent of Chinese Communism and its spread in Tibet. Under the fourth Druk Gyalpo, the state broke free from its historical seclusion. Bhutan transitioned from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in 2008, and conducted its first general election. In the same year, the fifth Druk Gyalpo took the throne. Bohemian democracy arose as a nonpartisan system.

Bhutan, a UN member, has diplomatic relations with 52 nations and the European Union, but not with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. It has a strong strategic relationship with its neighbor, India. He established the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He is also a BIMSTEC member. Bush’s economy is mostly reliant on hydroelectric power plant exports. Bidar has the highest per capita income in SAARC, behind only the Maldives.

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Bhutan - Info Card




Ngultrum (BTN), Indian rupee (₹) (INR)

Time zone

UTC+06 (BTT)


38,394 km2 (14,824 sq mi)

Calling code


Official language


Bhutan | Introduction

Bhutan is a culturally and environmentally distinct nation. It is the world’s last Buddhist monarchy, located high in the Himalayas. It has pioneered the concept of gross national happiness, in which progress is evaluated by a holistic approach to well-being rather than simply GDP. Ema Datshi is the national cuisine, and chilies are considered vegetables. Green chilies are combined with a Bhutanese cheese sauce to make Ema Datchi. It is still considered to be a Third World nation since most of the country is still devoted to subsistence farming. The soil is generally fertile, and the population is tiny. Furthermore, the present generation receives free education, and all residents enjoy free, although limited, medical care. Tobacco products are not for sale, and smoking in public places is against the law.

Tourism, hydropower, and agriculture are the Kingdom’s major sources of revenue.

While traditional culture is largely maintained, the country’s openness to television and the Internet in 1999 had a significant effect, and contemporary culture is mostly concentrated in pubs and snooker halls. As a result, there is little or no indication of high-quality modern art, theater, or music.

Bhutan’s culture is mostly Buddhist, with Dzongkha as the national language (though there are regional variants, such as Sharchopkha, the main language in eastern Bhutan), as well as a uniform clothing code and architectural style. The Ngalops and Sarchops, often known as Western and Eastern Bhutanese, and the Lhotshamphas (Southern Bhutanese), a Nepalese Gurkha heritage race, make up the majority of Bhutanese. The NGALOPS are mostly made up of Bhutanese who live in the country’s western regions. Their culture is quite similar to Tibet, their northern neighbor.

Gross National Happiness

This philosophy was developed by King Jigme Singhai Wanchuk, who recognized that ordinary economic prosperity did not always translate into a meaningful and happy society after receiving a modern education in India and the United Kingdom. As a result, soon after its deterioration in 1974, the young monarch started to reconsider his plan to create a new set of rules to manage the nation.

These concepts take shape over time, culminating in the establishment of the GNH indicator in 1998. The GNH stands for “gross national happiness,” and it is defined by four goals: increased economic growth and development, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, environmental sustainability, and good governance. While the GNH concept is highly regarded globally and draws tourists, visitors should be aware that the concept is still in its infancy and that there is little evidence of GNH in the country.

On July 19, 2011, 68 nations joined Bhutan in sponsoring a resolution titled “Happiness: Towards a Holistic Approach to Development,” which was unanimously approved by the 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly. The Royal Government of Bhutan held a conference on “Happiness and Well-being: Determining a New Economic Paradigm” on April 2, 2012, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, in response to this resolution. This conference marked the beginning of the next stages toward realizing the vision of a new economic paradigm based on sustainable development that successfully combines economic, social, and environmental objectives. Butan continues to advocate resolution and aggressively promotes the idea worldwide as a result of this resolution.


Bhutan’s climate varies from north to south and valley to valley depending on height, despite the country’s tiny size. It is continuously covered with snow north of Bhutan, near the Tibetan border. The majority of Bhutanese cities (Ah, Paro, Thimphu, Wanda, Trongsa, Bumtang, Trashi Yangtse, and Lunze) have a European climate. Winter lasts from November to March in this city. Punah is an anomaly since it is situated in a low valley with scorching summers and mild winters. South Bhutan, near the Indian border, has a subtropical climate that is hot and humid. While the monsoon wreaks havoc on northern India, it has little effect in Bhutan. Individual souls are typically more humid during the summer months, especially at night. The driest season is winter, while spring and fall are nice.

In contrast to Western Europe, there are four distinct stations with identical units. The temperature in the extreme south varies from 15 degrees Celsius in the winter (December to February) to 30 degrees Celsius in the summer (from June to August). Temperatures in Thimphu range from -2.5°C in January to 25°C in August, with 100 mm of precipitation. The average temperature in high-altitude regions is 0° C in the winter and may reach 10° C in the summer, with an average of 350 millimetres of precipitation. The amount of precipitation varies greatly depending on altitude. The average amount of rain falls differently in different parts of the country.


Bhutan is situated on the eastern Himalayan southern slope, between Tibet Autonomous Region in the north and the Indian states of West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh in the west and south. It is located between the latitudes of 26 and 29 degrees north latitude and the lengths of 88 and 93 degrees east latitude. The area is mostly made up of steep and high mountains that are traversed by a roaring watercourse, which forms deep valleys before draining the Indian plains. The elevation ranges from 200 meters in the foothills south to more than 7000 meters in the highlands. Bhutan’s remarkable diversity of biodiversity and ecosystems is due to its enormous geographical diversity, which is combined with a wide range of climatic circumstances.

The East Himalayan mountain forests and meadows that reach glaciated heights with a very cold environment on the highest peaks make up Bhutan’s northern area. Most peaks in the north rise over 7,000 meters above sea level; Bhutan’s highest point is the Gangkhar Puensum, which stands at 7,570 meters (24,840 ft) and is the world’s tallest unclimbed mountain. In the Drangme Chhu Valley, when the river crosses the Indian border, the lowest point is 98 meters. Snow-capped rivers run across this area, creating alpine valleys with pastures managed by a low population density of nomadic shepherds.

In central Bhutan, the Black Mountains serve as a watershed between two main river systems: Mo Chhu and Drangme Chhu. Fast-flowing rivers have formed deep canyons in the lower mountainous areas, while the peak of Black Mountain is 1500 to 4925 meters above sea level. Bhutan’s central mountain forests are made up of subalpine coniferous forests at higher altitudes in the eastern Himalayas and deciduous Himalayan forests at lower altitudes. Bhutan’s forest output is dominated by forests in the central area. Bhutan’s major rivers, the Torsa, Raidak River, Sankosh, and Manas, run through this area. The central highlands are home to the bulk of the inhabitants.

Shiwalik Hills in the south are covered with thick subtropical subtropical deciduous forests, alluvial basins, and mountains up to 1500 meters above sea level. The slopes give way to the Duars subtropical plain. The majority of duars are located in India, with a 10- to 15-kilometer stretch leading to Bhutan. Bhutan’s dukes are split into two groups: north and south duars.

Rugged topography, dry porous soil, thick foliage, and rich animals define the Northern Duars, which border the Himalayan foothills. Southern Duars has a fairly rich soil, thick forest, mixed and freshwater springs, and heavy savannah grass. Mountain rivers pour into the Brahmaputra in India, nourished by either melting snow or monsoon rainfall. According to Ministry of Agriculture data, the nation had a forest cover of 64 percent in October 2005.


In 2015, Bhutan had a population of 770,000 people. Bhutanese people are on average 24.8 years old. For every 1,000 women, there are 1,070 males. Bhutan has a literacy rate of 59.5 percent.

Ethnic groups

The Ngalops and Sarchops, who are known as western Bhutan and eastern Bhutan, respectively, make up the majority of Bhutanese. The lhotshampa, or “Bhutan southerners,” are a diverse tribe with mostly Nepalese origins. They were said to make up 45 percent of the population in 1988, and included immigration from the 1890s to the 1980s, resulting in a heated dispute with Bhutan for housing, language, and dress rights. As a consequence, there has been a huge exodus from Bhutan (both forced and voluntary), leaving hundreds of thousands of people stateless in refugee camps in Nepal.

The NGALOPS are mostly made up of Bhutanese who live in the country’s western regions. Its culture is inextricably connected to Tibet’s. The Sharchops, the main group, have historically followed the Nyingmapa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism rather than the recognized Drukpa Kagyu lineage. There were numerous mixed marriages between these tribes in recent times, thanks to better transit facilities. Marriages between Bhutanese Lhotshampas and Bhutanese general society were encouraged by the government in the early 1970s, but in the late 1980s, the Bhutan government forcibly removed approximately 108,000 lhotshampas from their homes, seized their property, and put them into refugee camps.


According to estimates, between two-thirds and three-quarters of Bhutanese people practice Vajrayana Buddhism, which is also the official religion. Hinduism is practiced by around a quarter to a third of the population. Other faiths account for less than 1% of the population. Although the present legal system essentially protects religious freedom, proselytizing is banned by a royal government decree and a court interpretation of the constitution.

Bhutan became a Buddhist country in the seventh century. Songtsän Gampo (reigned 627–649), a Buddhist convert from Tibet, ordered the building of two Buddhist temples at Bumthang, in the heart of Bhutan, and Kyichu Lhakhang (near Paro), in the Paro Valley.


  • Dzongkha. The official language of Bhutan and the mother tongue of the majority of people living in western Bhutan.
  • Sharchopkha. Eastern Bhutanese is the major regional language.
  • Bumthangkha. Similar to Sharchopkha, which is spoken in Bumthang.
  • Nepali. The Nepali language was spoken by the majority of those on the border.
  • English and Hindi. The majority of individuals in metropolitan areas can communicate in both languages.

Internet & Communications

Bhutan’s international dialing code is 975.

In most hotels throughout the country, WiFi is easily accessible. Wi-Fi is available at most cybercafés. Most major cities offer cybercafés, but they are costly and the internet connection is sluggish. If you require a connection for work, please make sure your travel agency locates a suitable cybercafé ahead of time.

In Bhutan’s major cities, telephone booths are available.

Bhutan has widespread mobile phone service, including smart phone capability. On mobile roaming, B-Mobile has agreements with nations in North America, Asia, and Europe. Another mobile phone company established in the nation is Tashi Cell.

Tourists may now register for a month on a genuine B-Mobile SIM card swiftly and simply. Simply bring your passport to a B-Mobile location. The SIM card costs 50Nu and comes with a 50Nu credit. Ask them to turn on 3G and data access for you while you’re there, and make sure it works before you leave. Although there are no specific data plans, the pricing is reasonable by international standards (0.0003Nu / KB). The normal SIM card size is the only one accessible, although some desks offer sim cutters for the iPhone 4 and 5 models (if you are worried, bring your own SIM cut). Recharge cards for B-Mobile may be found at most general shops.

The Bhutan Tourism Board is the country’s official tourism agency.


Bhutan ratified the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on June 11, 1992, and became a signatory on August 25, 1995. It then developed a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which has undergone two modifications, the most recent of which was accepted by the convention on February 4, 2010.


Bhutan has a diverse primate population, including uncommon species such as the golden langur. An Assamese macaque variation, Macaca munzala, has also been recorded, which some authorities believe to be a distinct species.

The Bengal tiger, clouded leopard, sullen bear, and lazy bear all dwell in the south’s lush tropical lowlands and green woods. Gray langur, tiger, gora, and serow may be found in mixed coniferous, broad-leaved, and pine woods in the temperate zone. The Himalayan black bear, red panda, squirrel, sambar, wild pig, and barking deer all have homes in fruit trees and bamboo. The snow leopard, blue sheep, marmot, Tibetan wolf, antelope, Himalayan musk deer, and the takin, Bhutan’s national animal, all live in the alpine environments of the vast Himalayas in the north. The endangered wild water buffalo may be found in limited numbers in southern Bhutan.

Bhutan is home to over 770 different bird species. Bhutan’s list of birds has just been updated to include the endangered white-winged duck.


Bhutan is home to about 5,400 plant species. Fungi are an essential component of Bhutan’s ecosystems, with mycorrhizal species providing forest trees with the mineral nutrients they need to thrive, and breakdown of wood and litter species recycling natural resources.


In a thorough study of global biodiversity performed by the WWF between 1995 and 1997, the Eastern Himalayas were recognized as a global biodiversity hotspot and are among the world’s 239 most remarkable ecoregions.

Bhutan is seen as an example for aggressive conservation efforts by Conservation International, based in Switzerland. The Kingdom has been recognized internationally for its dedication to biodiversity preservation. This is reflected in the decision to conserve at least 60% of the forest area, designate over 40% of the territory as national parks, reserves, and other protected areas, and designate another 9% of the land as biodiversity corridors connecting the protected areas. An vast network of ecological corridors connects all of Bhutan’s protected territory, allowing wildlife to freely traverse the country. The environment has been put in the heart of the country’s development plan, which is the middle ground. It is not regarded as a sector, but rather as a collection of issues that should be addressed in the context of Bhutan’s overall development strategy and backed up by legislative authority. Environmental requirements are mentioned in many parts of the country’s constitution.

Things To Know Before Traveling To Bhutan

  • US Dollar, The United States dollar is commonly accepted. Bhutanese money is solely required for personal expenditures and the purchase of minor souvenir goods.
  • Credit Cards Most ATMs in Bhutan, the most of which are located in Thimphu and Paro, now accept Visa MasterCard and Visa Maestro.
  • Money exchange. Major hotels and banks exchange major currencies.
  • ATM. ATMs that accept foreign cards such as Visa and MasterCard are operated by the major banks. However, since the service isn’t always dependable, it’s a good idea to have some extra cash on hand.
  • Western Union Money Transfer, Thimphu Post Office is a post office in Thimphu, Bhutan. Customers’ personal accounts cannot be used to make payments, although this facility may accept money from abroad.

The Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan has issued a notice prohibiting the use of Indian 500 and 1000 rupee notes, despite the fact that Indian money is legal tender in Bhutan. Nonetheless, as of October 2009, most people accept the 500 rupee note. Because the aforementioned notes are not accepted by government-owned businesses, it is recommended to carry enough money in Bhutanese currency or in the form of Indian 100 rupee notes. Also, keep in mind that it is unlawful for foreign nationals to import and export Indian rupees to and from India.

Entry Requirements For Bhutan

Bhutan is a one-of-a-kind location with one-of-a-kind regulations. Before visiting Bhutan, the majority of visitors will need to acquire a visa. The Tourism Council of Bhutan will issue visas upon receipt of full payment for your holiday, with set rates starting at US $ 200 per person per day. The money will stay with the Tourism Council until the end of your vacation to the nation, which will be before the end of the local tour. Bhutan no longer has any restrictions on the amount of visitors that may visit and maintains an open door policy.

Visa & Passport

All visitors from countries other than India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives must acquire a visa before leaving. All visitors must arrange their trip via a licensed tour operator in the area (or international partner). Visas are obtained online through local tour companies, and you will not be required to visit a Bhutanese embassy or consulate. Before a tourist visa may be granted, you must pay for your trip in full by bank transfer to the Tourism Council of Bhutan . Once the entire money has been received, the visa will be approved in less than 72 hours. Your entrance visa is stamped in your passport for $ 20 once you pay the US, and two passport pictures are needed. Visa extensions cost Nu.510 (1 ngultrum = 1 Indian Rupee) and may be bought at your local travel agency. For extra days, the tourist is liable to the daily charge. Only inhabitants of India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives are granted visas on arrival. With a valid passport, Indian nationals may remain in Bhutan forever.

Because traveling to Bhutan almost usually requires at least one flight change in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Singapore, or Thailand, you must ensure that you satisfy the visa requirements in each of these countries before departing. Many nations are eligible for visa on arrival or visa exemption in Nepal and Thailand. Visa procedures in India must usually be met before to arrival, which may take up to two weeks.

Visa on entry

Visas are only granted at the border to nationals of India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives. A valid picture and passport (or an electoral card for Indian residents only) are needed (along with a photocopy of both). Fill in the “Tourism” purpose on the paper. For Paro and Thimphu, you will only be given 7 days at land border crossings. Contact Thimphu at the Immigration office on Norzin Lam’s northern end for a period extension. To travel to other districts, you must apply for transit permits at the same location. They are best used in the morning, and the paperwork is delivered in the afternoon. If you are a defense officer without a passport or a student without one of the three identity papers listed above, you may request an identification document from the Indian embassy later, but this will take time.

Tourist tariff

The daily tariff for all visitors entering Bhutan is set by the Bhutan’s tourist board. Unless you are a citizen of India, Bangladesh, or the Maldives, you cannot visit Bhutan as a tourist without paying this fee.

The daily tariff covers:

  • A minimum of 3 star accommodation – Luxury hotels may incur an additional fee
  • All meals – Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • A licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide for the extent of the stay
  • All internal transport – excluding any internal flights
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • All internal taxes and charges
  • A royalty of $65 (which is included in the tariff price)

The minimum tariff is (for a group of 3 persons or more):

  • USD $250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October and November.
  • USD $200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August and December.

The prices are based on a visitor staying in Bhutan for one night. A surcharge will be applied to groups of two or fewer, in addition to the relevant minimum daily rates, as follows:

  • Individual, US $40 per night
  • 2 persons, US $30 per person per night.

Children under the age of five are admitted free of charge. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 who are accompanied by their parents or guardians get a 50% reduction on daily dues and a 100% discount on Royalty. Students under the age of 25 who have a valid ID card from their academic institution get a 25% discount on daily prices. A individual who is part of a group of 11 to 15 persons receives a 50% discount on daily prices. One member of a group of more than 16 individuals receives a 100 percent discount. After the eighth night, a 50% discount on Royalty is given, and after the fourteenth night, a 100% discount is given.

Tariff undercutting is prohibited, and any tour operators who are discovered to be undercutting will be suspended.

Only a Bhutanese citizen should be asked to visit the nation, and evidence of the connection should be provided on the application or via NGOs.

Citizens of India, Bangladesh, and Malta are excluded from the minimum tariff requirements. They will also refuse to pay tourist fees, as well as certain taxes that are included in the daily cost.

How To Travel To Bhutan

Get In - By plane

Bhutan’s sole airport, Paro International Airport (PBH), is situated in the southwest of the country, near the capital, Thimphu. Druk Air, runs two planes (two airbus) that travel to Bangkok, Thailand; Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bodh Gaya / Gaya, Bagdogra, Guwahati, India; Kathmandu, Nepal; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Singapore. Bhutan Airways started daily flights to Bangkok in October 2013, breaking Druk’s monopoly.

The Bagdogra Airport (IXB), is another alternative, serving the city of Siliguri in the adjacent Indian state of West Bengal. Bagdogra is a four-hour drive from Bhutan’s border town of Phuentsholing. Druk Air flies from Bangkok on Sundays and Wednesdays, while Bagdogra gets regular flights from India’s major cities (no flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays).

Get In - By car

Only three land border crossings with India are situated along the southern border. Phuntsholing is located in the west, Gelephu is located in the center, and Samdrup Jongkhar is located in the east. There are no open border crossings along China’s northern border. Road permits are also needed; however, they, along with your visa, are handled by your local tour operator.

Get In - By bus

  • From Kolkata: The Royal Bhutanese Government operates a service to Phuentsholing from Kolkata. These buses leave at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from Kolkata’s Esplanade bus station, and at 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from the Phuentsholing Bhutan Post office. The trip will take about 18 hours and will cost 300Rps/Nu. The buses are pleasant, but don’t expect to get much sleep on the trip to Kolkata since most of the roadway is like the surface of the moon.
  • From Siliguri: Siliguri to Phuentsholing / Jaigaon: There is a regular service between Siliguri and Phuentsholing / Jaigaon. It’ll take you approximately four hours to get there. Daily, buses run by the Royal Bhutan Government leave from the bus station outside the Heritage Hotel at 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. from the main route. Tickets cost Rs 62 and may be purchased at the bus’s entry.
  • From Phuentsholing: Private buses and shared taxis run between Phuentsholing and Thimphu, but a more comfortable alternative is to book a Bhutan Post bus (Rs / Nu 170) that departs from the post office every morning at 7 a.m. (Bhutan time).

Get In - By train

Bhutan is devoid of railroads. The following are the closest alternatives (both in India):

  • The closest station to Phuentsholing is Hasimara, which is 17 kilometers distant on the Kolkata / Siliguri main line in Assam. The # 13149 and # 4084 Indian Rail trains stop here. Some parts of the road between New Jalpaiguri / Siliguri and Phuentsholing were in extremely poor condition in October 2010. Extending your train journey to Hasimara will allow you to conserve your energy for Bhutan.
  • For tourists going to Bhutan by land, the New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP) in Siliguri is a popular option. Direct shared cabs are available from NJP to Jaigaon, or you may take the bus from the Siliguri bus station. A cab from the station to the bus terminal costs about 80 rupees at most. Alternatively, you may go to Hasimara on a local railway, which costs about Rs40 and takes around 3 hours. Because it is a popular resort among locals, NJP trains should be reserved in advance. There are no trains with a tourist quota leaving from this stop.

How To Travel Around Bhutan

Road permits are needed to travel throughout Bhutan, and there are checkpoints in most places east and north of Timbu where you must provide these papers to proceed. When applying for a visa, your local tour operator is in charge of route permits. The immigration office in Thimphu issues these permits (north end of Norzin Lam).

Get Around - By plane

Air travel is a fast and generally safe option to the difficulty of Bhutan’s mountainous roads, but timetables are limited and flights are often canceled. Thimphu to Yongphula Airport in Trashigang and Bathpalathang Airport to Jakar in the Bumthang region are served by Druk Air and Bhutan Airways (also known as Tashi Air). Although a third airport in the Center-Sud area, near the Indian border, was officially inaugurated in 2012, no regular flights are now available.

Get Around - By bus/car

The country’s roadways are marked by meanders, bends, and steep hills, yet they are well-maintained and safe despite the challenging terrain. Local and intercity bus services are inconvenient and often halt. For the duration of your stay, your local tour operator will supply you with a vehicle and driver. This cost is already included into the daily fee. Excursions may, however, be arranged by local bus, coach, or taxi. Driving in Bhutan is only advised if you have prior mountain driving expertise. With the infinite curve of the fork, the condition of the road surface varies. It’s a good idea to have some roadside medicine with you.

Get Around - Hitchhiking

  • From Kolkata: The Royal Bhutanese Government operates a service to Phuentsholing from Kolkata. These buses leave at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from Kolkata’s Esplanade bus station, and at 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from the Phuentsholing Bhutan Post office. The trip will take about 18 hours and will cost 300Rps/Nu. The buses are pleasant, but don’t expect to get much sleep on the trip to Kolkata since most of the roadway is like the surface of the moon.
  • From Siliguri: Siliguri to Phuentsholing / Jaigaon: There is a regular service between Siliguri and Phuentsholing / Jaigaon. It’ll take you approximately four hours to get there. Daily, buses run by the Royal Bhutan Government leave from the bus station outside the Heritage Hotel at 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. from the main route. Tickets cost Rs 62 and may be purchased at the bus’s entry.
  • From Phuentsholing: Private buses and shared taxis run between Phuentsholing and Thimphu, but a more comfortable alternative is to book a Bhutan Post bus (Rs / Nu 170) that departs from the post office every morning at 7 a.m. (Bhutan time).


Roads are often obstructed by landslides during the summer season due to the hilly terrain. From the beginning of June until the end of August, it is recommended to avoid long distance travel. If you must go right now, pack plenty of bottled water and food since the road may take a long time to clear if there is a landslide.

The stretch of the road linking Bumthang and Mongar that passes the Thrumshingla Pass at 3750 meters is the highest in the nation and provides an amazing view. However, due to the valley’s high slopes, it is especially susceptible to falling boulders, therefore be prepared to wait for lengthy periods of time, especially during rainy seasons.

Food and refreshment

Although there are numerous restaurants along highways connecting large cities with adequate sanitary requirements, the food quality is poor and the choice of dishes is restricted. Furthermore, the eating rooms provide an atmosphere that is no better than a bus station waiting room. As a result, it is generally advisable to have food and water ready for the journey to the starting site.

Destinations in Bhutan

Cities in Bhutan

  • Thimphu – The capital city
  • Jakar – Administrative city to the north and birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan.
  • Mongar – One of the largest cities in eastern Bhutan.
  • Paro – The location of the international airport and Taktsang Monastery.
  • Punakha – Former winter capital of Bhutan. It hosts the Monastic Body in winter.
  • Phuentsholing – A town on the Indian border. The point of entry for travelers arriving by bus from Kolkata.
  • Samdrup Jongkhar – An administrative town in the southeast, near the Indian border.
  • Trashigang – A picturesque administrative town in the east.
  • Trongsa – A small administrative town famous for its dzong and the Tower of Trongsa

Other destinations in Bhutan

National parks

  • Jigme Dorji National Park
  • Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park
  • Royal Manas National Park
  • Thrumshingla National Park

Wildlife sanctuaries/Nature reserves

  • Bomdeling Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khaling Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Toorsa Strict Nature Reserve

Accommodation & Hotels in Bhutan

Hotels may be found in all cities connected by highways, but the quality varies greatly. Five-star rooms are only accessible in Paro, Jacar, Punaka, Gangtey, and Thimphu. International grade hotels are usually situated in tourist regions or large towns.

It’s worth noting that the hotel prices mentioned in the city’s articles are only applicable for those who have a domicile, are visa-exempt (typically just for Indian nationals), or are invited guests. Other tourists may only enter the nation as part of a tour for which the Bhutanese government sets daily tariffs of about $ 250 per person per night, independent of accommodation prices (except for very expensive hotels where an extra charge is added ).

Things To See in Bhutan

The majority of visitors take “culture excursions” that take them to significant locations. Popular tourist sites include Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangdue, and Jakar. Further afield, the unexplored region of Gangung (bird paradise, great wildlife) and East Bhutan are just now becoming accessible to tourists. This is the place to go if you’re an explorer looking to explore Bhutan’s uncharted east. The greatest experience may be had in this unique and relatively unspoiled region of the nation.


Paro’s Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). Guru Rinpoche came here in the 8th century on his second journey to Bhutan, and it is one of the most significant Buddhist sites in the world. This is Bhutan’s most well-known and visited monument. He is said to have arrived at the back of the flying tigress, from whence the name “Tigers’ Nest” was derived. The temple was constructed in 1692 atop a 1200 m cliff.

In some of the most pristine and isolated regions, hundreds of monasteries dot the countryside.

Jakar’s Kurje Lhakhang. Around the cave is a shrine with a print of Guru Rinpoche’s body embedded in the wall. Guru Rinpoche performed meditation here during his first visit to Bhutan, making him the country’s first Buddhist relic.

Buddha Dordenma is a massive statue of Shakyamuni Buddha that is currently being built in the Bhutanese highlands. The statue will include over a hundred thousand (one hundred thousand) miniature Buddha statues, each of which will be fashioned of bronze and gold-plated, much like Buddha Dordenma himself. The Buddha Dordenma is located among the remains of Quensell Konchar, Sherbun Wanchuk Palace, and Thirteen Desi Durk, overlooking Bhutan’s capital, Timfha. At 51.5 meters in height, it will be one of the world’s biggest Buddha rupees when completed. Construction began in February 2014, despite the fact that it was supposed to be finished in October 2010.


The dzongs are historic fortifications that currently house the civilian and monastic authorities in each region. Dzongs contain numerous aesthetic treasures in addition to the architecture that makes them worth seeing.

Dzongs are the highest points in the province and were constructed without the use of cement, nails, or blueprints. You may visit the following Dzongs:

  • Punakha Dzong
  • Trongsa Dzong
  • Jakar Dzong
  • Lhuentse Dzong
  • Simtokha Dzong
  • Gasa Dzong
  • Rinpung Dzong
  • Gonggar Dzong
  • Gyantse Dzong
  • Shigatse Dzong
  • Tashichho Dzong – Buddhist monastery and fortress on the northern edge of Thimpu; traditional seat of theDruk Desi (or “Dharma Raja”), the head of Bhutan’s civil government (synonymous with the king since 1907) and summer capital
  • Kagyu-Dzong
  • Lingzhi Yügyal Dzong
  • Drukgyal Dzong
  • Changchukha Dzong
  • Tsechen Monastery and Dzong
  • Shongar Dzong
  • Singye Dzong


Trekking is also a popular pastime. The Druk Path is the most popular route between Paro and Thimphu. There are, however, many more, more spectacular treks available; check the list below for a full list. The Jomolhari and Laya Gasa treks are particularly popular, while the Snowman Trek, which takes around 30 days, is said to be one of the hardest treks in the world. The best time to go on this hike is from mid-June to mid-October.


Bhutan’s natural environment is rich and varied, owing to its remote position and broad range of geographical and meteorological conditions. Bhutan’s mountains and steep valleys have a remarkable biodiversity, earning it the title of one of the world’s top ten biodiversity hotspots. Recognizing the significance of the environment, one of its development paradigms is the preservation of its rich biodiversity. Thanks to a legislation recently enacted by the government, 60 percent of the country’s forest resources will be preserved in perpetuity. Currently, 72 percent of the land is wooded, with 26 percent protected in four parks.

Bhutan’s national parks cover 35% of the country. Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (1300 km2), TrumshingLa National Park (768 km2), Royal Manas National Park (9 938.54 km2), Jigme Dorji National Park (4 349 km2), Bumdeling (1 545 km2), and the Sakteng sanctuary (650 km2) are among the national parks in Bhutan.

Things To Do in Bhutan

  • Trekking:Bhutan is a popular trekking destination, but treks are usually tough since there are no facilities to stay or dine in the higher areas, necessitating the carrying of all food and camping equipment. The ideal seasons for a stroll are autumn and spring. The roads are excessively muddy in the summer, and they are snow-covered in the winter. Despite the hardships of the walks, the magnificent scenery and the very kind, courteous, and hospitable people on the route more than compensate for all of the efforts and discomforts.
  • Festivals: Tshechu is Bhutan’s biggest religious celebration, held towards the end of summer and early autumn throughout the nation (for local details, see local articles), but Thimphu Tshechu is the most renowned, attracting approximately 30,000 people. The disguised dances of the monks, which were created according to exact instructions provided by ancient Buddhist teachers, are the centerpiece of the tshechu rituals. Seeing these dances, which are filled with holy symbolism, is regarded a highly hopeful and sanctifying experience, according to Buddhist philosophy, since all experiences leave an imprint in the stream of the mind that generates a matching outcome in the future. While the occasion is not serious and there is much pleasure, guests are reminded that it is still a religious holiday that is very important to the Bhutanese people, therefore proper conduct is required.
  • Archery: This is Bhutan’s national sport, and races are held nearly every weekend throughout the country. Visitors are welcome to come watch and participate in the applauding that accompanies these occurrences.
  • Hot Stone Bath: The hot stone bath is a ceremony in and of itself; river pebbles are heated till they soften and tumble into a wooden basin filled with water and Artemisia leaves. The water is progressively heated by the burning rocks, which subsequently release minerals into the water. These baths are traditionally constructed along a riverbed with plenty of stones and water, especially at sunset outside.

Food & Drinks in Bhutan

Food in Bhutan

Rice is a basic item in every meal; historically, red rice was used, but white rice is now widely used as well. The kitchen includes vegetable or meat meals prepared with chili and/or cheese.

The main flavor in Bhutanese cuisine is chile. This tiny red spice is eaten raw as well as added to each meal. As a result, if you don’t enjoy spicy cuisine, express your dislike before ordering a meal. Otherwise, you’ll spend the next hour squeezing cold yogurt or milk into your mouth.

Vegetarian dishes

  • Ema-datsi. Ema is a kind of ricotta, and datsi is a chili, therefore ema-datsi is comparable to jalapeos with cream cheese.
  • Kewa-datsi. Potatoes, cheese, and spicy pepper on a platter.
  • Shamu-datsi. Mushrooms, cheese, and spicy pepper on a platter.

Kewa-datsi and shamu-datsi are milder versions of ema-datsi, and they’re typically eaten with rice.

  • Mutter paneer. Though not a Bhutanese cuisine, this Indian pea and cheese curry is widely accessible across Bhutan, making it a viable vegetarian choice.
  • Cheese momo. A tiny steamed bagel filled with cheese, cabbage, and sometimes onions. However, other vegetables, such as green papaya, may now be substituted for cabbage.
  • Khuli. Bumthang’s speciality is buckwheat pancakes. As a substitute to rice, they’re often eaten with ema-datsi.
  • Puta. a dish of buckwheat noodles often served with curd, a Bumthang speciality

From 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., Imtratcanteens offer delicious Indian cuisine and tea. The meal is of excellent quality and is reasonably priced. Dining rooms may be found all throughout the nation, particularly along city streets.

Drinks in Bhutan

  • Ara. A rice or corn-based native spirit. It is popular in rural regions and is often served at restaurants, particularly at the start of meals, from a specific court.
  • Tea. The beverage cup, both the suja and the sweet (cha), remains the most popular drink in Bhutan, owing to its location in the Asam and Darjiling tea producing areas. Olive tea is quite traditional, yet it has a powerful fragrance that reminds me of Tibetan tea, and sweet milk is extremely sparkling and reminds me of Indian tea.
  • Coffee. The coffee culture that has swept the globe is just now making its way into Bhutan, and there are a few excellent cafés in Thimphu. However, in Bhutan, coffee often refers to a ready-to-drink type that is offered either white or black.
  • Beer. The Bhutan brewery (established in 2006), which is part of the Tashi Group conglomerate, produces the most popular local beer, which is available in 650 ml bottles: Druk 11000 (8%) is the cheapest and includes a lot of alcohol; Druk Lager Premium (5%) and Druk Supreme (6%) are somewhat better quality and contain less alcohol; none of them are very excellent. There’s also a red panda Weissber (wheat beer) that’s very excellent. Importers are often banned from selling beer, thus imported beer may not be accessible (to preserve foreign reserves).
  • Whisky. “Bhutan whiskey” exists, but it is neither butanes nor pure whiskey. It’s more of a blended whiskey, produced with neutral spirits and imported Scotch whisky; it’s blended and bottled in Bhutan, but it’s not distilled there. The major brand is Courrier Spécial, which is surprisingly palatable, and is manufactured by the Army welfare initiative in Gelephu.

Money & Shopping in Bhutan

  • Woven cloth. Bhutanese handwoven fabric is prized throughout the globe, and it may be found stitched on clothes, rugs, and carpets.
  • Yathra. A brightly colored woven cloth composed of wool and dyed with natural hues. Jackets, purses, rugs, and tapestries are made from it, and it is sold in parts or stitched together. Yathra may be found in Thimphu and other chilly regions, although it is a Jakararea speciality.
  • Dappa. Wooden bowls created by hand. The bowl’s halves connect so that they may be used to transport prepared food, which is how they are used in Bhutan. They do, however, make great salad or cookie dishes. Dappa is a speciality of the Trashi Yangtse area, although it’s available all across the nation.
  • Bangchung. Small bamboo baskets with two parts that fit together tightly. They’re a southern Bhutan speciality, although they’re accessible all across the nation.

Festivals & Holidays in Bhutan

Tshechu (“tenth day”) celebrations are an important event in Bhutan, and they are held every year in different temples, monasteries, and dzongs throughout the nation. The Tshechu is primarily a religious celebration held on the tenth day of a lunar calendar month, which corresponds to Guru Rinpoche’s birthday (Guru Padmasambhava). The month of Tshechu, on the other hand, is determined by the location and temple. Tshechus are huge social gatherings when people from different villages come to see religious mask dances based on events from Guru Padmasambhava’s life in the eighth century and to get blessings from the lamas. There will also be colorful Bhutanese dances and other entertainment during the occasion.

To obtain blessings and wipe away sins, it is believed that everyone should attend a Tshechu and see the mask dances at least once. Each mask dance done at Tshechu has a specific significance or tale. Monks do masked dances at monasteries, while monks and village men perform them together in distant communities. Paro and Thimphu Tshechus are among the most popular Tshechus in terms of participation and audience. This distinctive, vibrant, and fascinating culture attracts visitors from all over the globe, in addition to residents.

The most popular festivals in the past have been in Paro and Thimphu, but visitors soon discover that the smaller, more rural festivals are much more personal.

Traditions & Customs in Bhutan

  • Bhutanese people hold the monarch and previous king in high regard. It’s a good idea to keep this in mind while conversing with locals.
  • Sacred objects. Turn the prayer wheels clockwise and put mani stones, stupas, and other religious objects with your right side closest to the object. Sitting atop mani stones or stupas is never a good idea.
  • Clothing. When visiting temples, take off your shoes and caps and dress in a way that reflects your respect for the site’s holy character. You must dress with long trousers and a long shirt.
  • Donations. It is common at monasteries to give a modest gift to the monks as a show of respect, as well as to Buddhist statues, as a way of cultivating a generous and expansive mindset. Each temple has a number of donation locations, and it is required that you contribute to each one. Remember to have little notes on hand for this gesture. This, however, is not required.
  • Smoking. In monasteries and public areas, smoking is banned.
  • Tobacco. Tobacco products (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, etc.) are effectively prohibited in Bhutan (which remains the world’s only nation to do so), and penalties for possession or usage may be severe.
  • Proselytizing is prohibited in Bhutan and is punishable by up to three years in jail. Vajrayana Buddhism, the official religion, should be respected.

Culture Of Bhutan

Bhutan has a rich and distinct cultural history that has mostly remained untouched owing to the country’s seclusion from the rest of the world until the mid-twentieth century. The country’s culture and traditions are one of the major draws for visitors. Bhutan’s Buddhist history is firmly ingrained in the country’s culture. Hinduism is Bhutan’s second most popular religion, with Hinduism being the most popular in the country’s southern areas. The government is working harder to protect and preserve the country’s existing culture and customs. Bhutan has been dubbed “The Last Shangri-la” due to its substantially maintained natural environment and cultural legacy.

While Bhutanese people are allowed to go overseas, many outsiders believe Bhutan to be inaccessible. Another reason for its unpopularity is the expensive cost, which is prohibitive for visitors on a shoestring budget. Citizens of India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives are admitted for free, but all other visitors must register with a Bhutanese tour operator and pay approximately $ 250 per day to remain in the nation. as well as food costs In 2011, Bhutan welcomed 37,482 tourists, with 25% of them coming for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibits.

Bhutan is the world’s first country to outlaw tobacco use. The Bhutan Tobacco Control Act of 2010 makes it unlawful to smoke or sell tobacco in public. In Bhutan, offenders are fined $ 232, which is more than two months’ pay.

Dress Code in Bhutan

The gho, a knee-length robe fastened at the waist by a fabric belt known as kera, is the national attire of Bhutanese males. The kira, an ankle-length garment with two matching snaps called koma on the shoulders and kera at the waist, is worn by the ladies. The wonju, a long-sleeved shirt worn beneath the kira, is an accessory for the kira. The toego is a long-sleeved jacket that is worn over the kira. From the inside out, the wonju and tego sleeves are folded into fists.

The texture, colors, and embellishments that adorn the clothes are determined by the social status and class of the wearer. Since Bhutan has historically been a feudal culture, handkerchiefs of various colors, known as rachu for ladies (red is the most prevalent hue) and kabney for males, are significant markers of social rank. Women wear jewelry mostly at religious festivals (tsechus) and public gatherings. Bhutanese legislation mandates all Bhutanese government workers to wear national clothing at work, and all civilians to wear national attire while visiting schools and other government offices, despite the fact that many people, especially adults, prefer to dress in traditional attire. Dress in a formal manner.


Bhutanese architecture is uniquely traditional, with rammed earth and bahareque construction, stone masonry, and exquisite woodwork around windows and ceilings. Nails and iron bars are not used in the building of traditional architecture. The dzong, a kind of castle fortification, is a distinctive feature of the area. The dzongs have functioned as religious and secular administrative headquarters for their respective districts since ancient times. The University of Texas at El Paso in the United States, as well as the neighboring Hilton Garden Inn and other structures in the city of El Paso, have embraced Bhutanese design for its campus facilities.

Music and dance

Traditional elements of festivals include masked dances and dance plays, which are typically accompanied by traditional music. Heroes, devils, demons, heads of death, animals, gods, and caricatures of everyday people are represented by energetic dancers wearing colorful face masks or wooden compositions and stylized costumes. Dancers are patronized by the monarch and help to maintain old folkloric and religious traditions, as well as popular tradition and the skill of mask creation.

Bhutanese music may be classified into two categories: traditional and contemporary; traditional music comprises religious and popular genres, such as zhungdra and boedra; and modern music includes zhungdra and boedra. The contemporary rigsar, which originates from the early 1990s and is performed using a mix of traditional instruments and electronic keyboards, displays the influence of Indian popular music, a hybrid form of popular traditional and western elements.


Bhutanese cuisine is based on rice (red rice), buckwheat, and, increasingly, maize. Pork, beef, yak meat, poultry, and lamb are also part of the native cuisine. They make meat and dry vegetable soups and stews seasoned with chiles and cheese. Ema datshi, a fiery meal made with cheese and chili peppers, may be considered Bhutan’s national cuisine due to its widespread availability and the pride with which Bhutanese regard it. Dairy goods, especially butter and yak and cow cheese, are very popular, and nearly all milk is converted into butter and cheese. Butter tea, black tea, ara (rice wine), and locally made beer are all popular beverages. Bhutan’s Tobacco Act of 2010 made it the first nation in the world to prohibit the sale of tobacco.


Archery is Bhutan’s national and most popular sport. Most communities hold competitions on a regular basis. Technical elements such as the placement of goals and the environment vary from Olympic requirements. Teams fire from one end of the field to the other at two targets that are more than 100 meters apart. Each round, each team member fires two arrows. Traditional Bhutanese archery is a social event, with contests between communities, cities, and amateur teams taking place. There is lots of food and drink available, as well as singing and dancing. Standing around the target and making fun of the shooter’s skill are two ways to distract an opponent. Darts (khuru) is a popular outdoor team activity in which heavy wooden darts are directed towards a pocket-sized target 10 to 20 meters distant with a 10 cm fingernail.

The Digor, which is similar to the shot put and horseshoe throw, is another historic sport.

Basketball is another prominent sport. Bhutan’s national football team faced Montserrat in what was dubbed “The Other Final” in 2002; the match took place on the same day as Brazil’s World Cup final versus Germany, although Bhutan and Montserrat were the two lowest-ranked teams in the world at the time. Bhutan triumphed 4-0 in the match, which was held at the Changlimithang National Stadium in Thimphu. Johan Kramer, a Dutch filmmaker, created a documentary on the party. Bhutan has won their first two FIFA World Cup qualifiers, defeating Sri Lanka 1-0 in Sri Lanka and 2-1 in Bhutan, for a combined score of 3-1. In Bhutan, cricket has grown in popularity, especially with the arrival of Indian television networks. Bhutan’s national cricket team is one of the region’s most successful affiliates.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Bhutan

Stay Safe in Bhutan

While drug addiction, gangs, and violence are all too prevalent in cities, these crimes mostly impact locals and very seldom, if ever, visitors. Bhutan is, in reality, one of the safest tourist destinations in the world.

Thimphu’s police force is very active, and they continue to patrol the city late at night to guarantee public safety.

In isolated alpine areas, bears pose a danger.

Bhutanese law makes homosexual conduct between consenting adults illegal by up to a year in jail. Despite the fact that this legislation does not apply to a significant degree, LGBT tourists must use caution.

Stay Healthy in Bhutan

Even in the most distant regions of the nation, hospitals and clinics may be found. Travelers should not anticipate high-tech facilities, and the resident physician in many basic health units is often unavailable.

Because indigenous medical facilities can be found in all district capitals, the biggest of which is Thimphu, natural herbal compounds may be used to diagnose and cure illnesses in Bhutan.

In Bhutan, waterborne illnesses including diarrhea, dysentery, Giardia, and even typhoid are prevalent, particularly during the summer monsoon season. As a result, ensure sure all of the water has been thoroughly boiled or filtered before drinking it.

It’s a good idea to have first-aid supplies on hand in case of an emergency, such as antibiotics and acetaminophen (paracetamol).

At elevations as low as 2500 meters, altitude sickness may strike. Before going on mountaineering excursions, keep this in mind. If you suffer palpitations, shortness of breath, or severe headaches, tell your guide and descend to a lower elevation right once. It’s important to take altitude sickness seriously. It has the ability to kill.

In tourist locations, the sanitary quality is adequate. Preparing medicines for stomach pain is, nevertheless, usually a good idea.

Thimphu has a large number of street dogs (and to a lesser extent in many cities). The majority of animals are very tame, and there have been very few instances of visitors being bitten. Even yet, it is preferable to sin for the sake of safety and to avoid disturbing animals. Additionally, if you are bitten, obtain a rabies vaccination as soon as possible. Although the illness is uncommon, if left untreated, it will always be deadly.

Malaria and dengue fever are not prevalent in Bhutan, although outbreaks can occur in India’s border regions during the summer monsoon.



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Thimphu is Bhutan’s capital and biggest city. It is located in Bhutan’s western central region, and the surrounding valley is one of the country’s dzongkhags,...