Bhutan Tour

Bhutan


The mountainous Kingdom of Bhutan lies in the middle of the Himalayan mountain range, due east of Nepal and west of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The Tibetan hinterland is to the North while the Indian territories of Assam and West Bengal. The term ‘Bhutan’ comes from Tibetan and means ‘extension’. It may well have been an extension of Tibet, but the history of this country is shrouded in mystic mythology.

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by scallopsee

This landlocked scenic country with a population of 600,000 is dependent on India for all aid and assistance in all forms, from the medical to military. The people are mainly native, though a number of visitors from Tibet and India stayed on to become naturalised citizens. Bhutanese tribals, mainly from the Merek, Sakteng and Layas, living in isolated valleys have no contact with the western world and trade amongst each other in bartered goods.

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by Traveloscopy

Migrant Nepalese, granted Bhutanese nationality for their contribution to labour, have turned agricultural to take advantage of the fertile land in Bhutan’s southern regions. The altitude and climate change as you travel northwards into the Himalayan foothills. Bhutan survives on Tourism and has a plethora of scenic spots you can visit. Travel by road is possible only between its capital city, Thimphu, the western city of Paro, near India and Taktshang, a monastery above Paro Valley.

Paro Valley

by BohemianTraveler

Bhutan, like India, has four distinct seasons, of which the most conducive to tourism is the spring, from end February to end May, when it starts getting hot just in advance of the rainy season. Most of Bhutan is Buddhist and it is “the only country in the world to retain the Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism as its official religion.” The disparate ethnicity of the Bhutanese has resulted many diverse languages and dialects. Dzongkha, the national language is taught at all schools, but the medium of education is English. The Internet is freely available.

Entry into Bhutan is from the airport in Paro valley (7,333 ft); the national carrier is ‘Druk Airlines,’ operating an Airbus 319. Indian Airlines also have daily flights into Bhutan. The places worth visiting are Paro Valley, Wangduphodrang, Trongsa, Punakha, Bumthang, Mongar, Tashigang and Tashiyangtse. There is no shortage of hotels in Bhutan, spread across the entire price band. There are enough restaurants in Paro and Thimphu but tourists prefer to eat in their hotels, which promise good hygiene and chefs temper spicy Bhutanese food to suit the bland Western tastes. Rice is the staple dish, and most meals are buffet. Meat tends to be in low supply, with only Nepalese allowed to slaughter animals.

National specialties include Datse (cow’s milk cheese), served on demand with red chillies; Tshoem (curry), served with rice and Eue chum (pink rice), a nutty-flavoured variety special to Bhutan. Alcohol is not served, but is not banned either. Tipping is discouraged. The Handicraft Emporium in the capital is worth visiting for its wide range of hand-woven and handcrafted goods. Silver and goldsmiths in Thimphu Valley make handcrafted articles to order.

Local currency is the Ngultrum (Nu) or the Indian Rupee. The exchange rate is 1US$=46 Nu. Bhutan time is UTC + 5.30 hours and visas are required by all visitors.

Date posted: 10th July, 2018

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