Bhutan is probably one of the most secluded countries in the world. This small kingdom is landlocked between India and China and was only opened for foreigners in 1974. Even now the Bhutanese government puts strict limits to the number of foreign tourists in Bhutan by imposing a high entry tax and royalty fee.
A trip to Bhutan tour is one of the few opportunities left to visit a country that sticks to his traditional culture and that preserves its natural heritage.
Even the most experienced traveller will be stunned by the ‘dzongs’, buddhist monasteries that look like fortresses and that play an important role in the Bhutanese society. Many of these dzongs were built hundreds of years ago and still play an important part in the religious and political life of Bhutan.
Bhutan is also very famous for its ‘tsechus’, colourful buddhist festivals that are held in the main monasteries every year. Attending the maskdances of the monks together with the Bhutanese people who flock from all over the area to these festivals will leave unrivalled memories.
Apart from these cultural highlights Bhutan is also a so-called ‘bio-diversity hotspot’. Large parts of the kingdom have the status of National Park, thus creating really unspoilt landscapes that you won’t find elsewhere in the Himalayas. Densily forested hillsides, towering white peaks and lush green valleys… are the background for your Bhutan trip.
The Bhutanese people consist of different ethnic groups, but they all have one thing in common: their extreme hospitality and their openminded attitude towards visitors. Having a meal or a cup of tea in the farmhouse of a Bhutanese family gives you a deeper insight in their traditional culture and beliefs. It is even possible to have a homestay and live together with a family for a couple of days.
Travelling in Bhutan is strictly organised by the authorities and all travelarrangements should be made through a recognised travelagency. Our partner in Bhutan has been organising trips in Bhutan for the last 20 years and will provide you with an outstanding service and personal attention.
More inspiring images of Bhutan
The best time to travel in Bhutan is from September to December and from March till May. The weather is relatively stable in this period and the temperatures are fairly warm, although the nigths can be cold when you are on higher altitude. In December the temperature can drop seriously below freezing level, so we won’t recommend any trekkings in that mont, except for some lower altitude village-trekkings. December, January an February are lowseason in Bhutan which lowers the prices with about 10%.
Summertime (June to August) is monsoon time. In some parts of the country the rain is really heavy and roads get blocked which makes travelling rather difficult. However, if you are prepared to deal with this and have a flexible attitude you will see a green and colourful Bhutan. Mostly it rains at night, so you will be able to make the visits you want. Trekking is not really recommended in this period as the trails are muddy and leeches occur.
Not many people visit Bhutan in summer, so you will have the country for yourself. Furthermore it is low season which results in lower prices.
Please ask us about the right time for your travel plans.
Bhutan can be reached overland from India travelling via Sikkim or Assam, which makes a good combination tour for those who want to visit both India and Bhutan.
If you come by air you need to use one of the two national airlines: Drukair or Bhutan Airlines. They have regular connections to Paro with Bangkok, Singapore, Delhi, Kolkatta and Kathmandu. Depending on your international flight schedule you might have to spent a night in one of those cities or in an airport hotel. Flights with these airlines can only be booked through the recognised Bhutanese agencies like our partner.
Flights are limited so you really should book in time, especially in the festivalperiods.
As travelling to Bhutan is quite expensive, you should carefully plan your itinerary to get the most out of it. We will help you with this.
Travelling through Bhutan is an experience. Slow Travel is the way to experience Bhutan. When you rush from one place to another, you won’t get the idea of what’s Bhutan all about and you will be sitting in cars and buses most of the time.
If you are limited in time (5 – 6 days) you can visit Thimpu, Paro, Punakha and Tigers Nest, the classic highlights of Bhutan.
Most travellers go longer and also visit Central Bhutan with the famous valleys of Bumthang and Phobjika, and the impressive dzong of Trongsa. You will need at 9-10 days in Bhutan to do this.
If you want to cover the remote East of Bhutan you will need at least 15 days (unless you only focus on the East and enter from Assam in India)
Trekkings in Bhutan can go from 2 or 3 days to 9 – 10 days and even 3 weeks.
Contact us with your travel ideas and we will work out a detailed travelplan
Compared to other Himalaya destinations the hotel standards in Bhutan are very good.
There is no lowbudget tourism in Bhutan, so most hotels offer a comfortable stay in nicely decorated rooms with all necessary facilities. As prices are more or less fixed by the government, hotels try to promote themselves by their outstanding service and personal care.
Most travellers stay in the standard hotels which you can find all over the country. These are like Western ***hotels offering nice and spacious rooms with private bathrooms. We carefully chose our hotels to meet our standards, but are open for suggestions.
In East and Central Bhutan facilities tend to be more basic, but even there we made a selection of typical and nice properties.
Apart from the standard hotels, Bhutan boasts some of the worlds most impressive hotels. Very famous are the Amankora Hotels and the Uma by Como hotels, but also the famous Taj Hotel Chain has a property in Thimpu. In the Phobjika-valley the famous Gangtey Goemba Lodge is one of our favourite places to stay.
These hotels combine extreme luxury with personal attention and a very high service level. They are listed amongst the most exclusive properties in Asia. If you want to stay in the exclusive places be prepared to pay a supplement and book well in advance.
We could easily include some nights in one of these special properties or even make a whole tour with these hotels.
If you go trekking in Bhutan, you will sleep in tents. All camping equipment is provided and you can rely on a crew of guides, cooks and horsemen. Your luggage is carried by horses, tents ar pitched by the local crew and there is a dining tent with tables and chairs for the meals.
Everyone can travel in Bhutan.
Bhutan is a fairly developped country with good infrastructure, so you really don’t need to be the Big Adventurer.
We advise people with cardiovascular problems however to first consult their physician before coming to Bhutan because of the altitude in some places.
With a normal fitness level you can easily travel around, make some light daywalks or even do a small trekking.
If you want to go for a longer and higher trekking, you need a good fitness level and it might be advisable to prepare yourself for the trip by taking some regular exercise a couple of times a week (running, hiking, cycling,…).