Ultimate Guide to Gap Year Travel: Tips,...
Location:Southern Asia, between China and India
Area:38,394 sq km
Population:857,423 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Sharchopkha 28%, Dzongkha (official) 24%, Lhotshamkha 22%, other 26% (includes foreign languages) (2005 est.)
Religion:Lamaistic Buddhist 75.3%, Indian- and Nepali-influenced Hinduism 22.1%, other 2.6% (2005 est.)
Things to Do
1. Hiking in the Himalayas
Embark on a breathtaking journey through the stunning landscapes of the Himalayan mountains. Enjoy mesmerizing views, encounter diverse wildlife, and challenge yourself with rewarding hikes.
2. Exploring Buddhist Monasteries
Immerse yourself in Bhutanese culture and spirituality by visiting the country's ancient Buddhist monasteries. Experience unique rituals, witness monks in prayer, and learn about the teachings of Buddhism.
3. Visiting the Tiger's Nest
Discover the iconic Tiger's Nest monastery, perched on a cliffside at an altitude of 3,120 meters. Trek through scenic trails, learn about the legends surrounding the monastery, and capture stunning photographs.
4. Cycling in the Punakha Valley
Explore the picturesque Punakha Valley on a cycling adventure. Pedal through lush rice fields, visit traditional villages, and admire the majestic Punakha Dzong, a fortress-like monastery.
5. Rafting in the Mo Chhu River
Experience the thrill of rafting in the Mo Chhu River, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Navigate through exhilarating rapids, enjoy the refreshing waters, and soak in the natural beauty of Bhutan.
6. Archery in Thimphu
Try your hand at Bhutan's national sport - archery. Learn the techniques, participate in friendly competitions, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Thimphu, the capital city.
7. Hot Spring Bathing in Gasa
Relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot springs of Gasa. Soak in the therapeutic waters, surrounded by stunning mountain views, and experience a blissful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
8. Traditional Bhutanese Cooking Class
Learn the art of Bhutanese cuisine in a traditional cooking class. Discover unique flavors, use local ingredients, and master authentic Bhutanese recipes passed down through generations.
9. Birdwatching in Phobjikha Valley
Embark on a birdwatching adventure in the serene Phobjikha Valley. Spot a variety of migratory and resident bird species, including the endangered black-necked cranes, in their natural habitat.
10. Trekking to the Gangtey Goenpa
Embark on a trek to the Gangtey Goenpa, a majestic Buddhist monastery nestled amidst the mountains. Trek through pristine forests, witness stunning valley views, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings.
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Bhutan has a varied climate, due to its diverse topography, with the northern region of the country being colder than the south. The country experiences four main seasons: the cool winter season from December to February, the pre-monsoon season from March to May, the monsoon season from June to September, and the post-monsoon season from October to November.
The monsoon season is characterized by heavy rainfall, which can cause landslides and flooding in some areas. The best time to visit Bhutan depends on the regions you plan to visit and what you prefer in terms of weather.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Bhutan is from October to December, during the post-monsoon season, when the skies are clear, the air is crisp, and the weather is mild. During this time, visitors can enjoy the country's natural beauty and explore its historical sites without the heat and humidity of the summer months.
If you want to experience the traditional Bhutanese festivals and events, then the months of September to December are the best time to visit. On the other hand, if you want to explore the country's natural beauty and go on treks, then the months of March to May would be the best time to visit, as the weather is mild and the landscape is lush green.
Keep in mind that the monsoon season of June to September can be unpredictable, and many of the country's outdoor attractions may be closed or have limited hours during this time. Visitors are advised to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly, as well as to take necessary precautions when travelling during the monsoon season.
Bhutan offers a wide range of hotel options for visitors, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Visitors can find hotels in most major cities and towns, and many of the historical sites also have on-site accommodation. Some of the larger cities such as Thimphu, Paro, and Punakha have several international hotel chains as well as smaller, locally-owned hotels.
Guesthouses are a popular and budget-friendly accommodation option in Bhutan. They are often family-run and offer a more authentic experience of local life. Guesthouses can be found in most cities and towns and offer simple, clean rooms with private bathrooms. Some guesthouses also offer meals and other amenities such as laundry service.
Homestays are a great way to experience local culture and hospitality in Bhutan. Visitors can stay with a local family and learn about their customs, culture and way of life. Homestays can be found throughout the country and offer visitors a unique and authentic experience.
Camping is a popular accommodation option in Bhutan, particularly for trekkers. Camping gear and equipment can be rented from tour operators, and designated camping sites can be found in many of the country's national parks and protected areas.
Dzongkha are traditional Bhutanese fortress-like buildings that have been converted into hotels and resorts. They offer a unique and authentic experience of Bhutan's culture and history, and are often located in beautiful and scenic locations.
The main international airport in Bhutan is Paro International Airport, located in the Paro Valley. There are several airlines that operate flights to and from Bhutan, including Bhutan Airlines, DrukAir and Bhutan Airline. Visitors can also fly to neighboring countries and then take a domestic flight to Bhutan.
Buses are a popular and affordable way to travel around Bhutan. The bus system connects major cities and towns throughout the country, and there are also long-distance buses that connect Bhutan with neighboring countries such as India.
Taxis are widely available in Bhutan and can be found at airports, bus stations, and major cities. Visitors can also use ride-hailing apps such as Tashi Cell to book a taxi. Visitors are advised to agree on the fare before getting in the taxi, and to have the destination address written in the local language.
Car rentals are also available in Bhutan and can be found in major cities such as Thimphu and Paro. Visitors can rent a car with or without a driver, and also hire a car with a driver for sightseeing tours.
Bicycles can be rented in Bhutan and are a popular way to explore the country, particularly in the less-developed regions. Visitors can cycle through the countryside, visit local villages, and experience the local culture.
- The currency of Bhutan is the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN).
- The Indian Rupee (INR) is also accepted in Bhutan.
Cash And Cards
- It is recommended to carry some cash in small denominations.
- Credit and debit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops in major cities.
- ATMs can be found in major cities like Thimphu and Paro.
- However, it is advised to carry enough cash as ATMs may not always be reliable or available.
- Tipping is not expected or customary in Bhutan.
- However, if you receive exceptional service, you can show appreciation by giving a small tip.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Bhutan is generally affordable.
- Prices for accommodation, food, and transportation are relatively low compared to Western countries.
- Beware of counterfeit currency.
- Be cautious of people offering to exchange currency on the streets, as they may give you fake notes.
- Always exchange currency at authorized banks or exchange counters.