Bhutan is a small landlocked country located in South Asia, nestled in the eastern Himalayas. Bhutan’s unique blend of tradition and modernity, along with its focus on well-being and sustainability, makes it a distinctive and fascinating country in the world.
Bhutan offers a rich cultural experience, breathtaking landscapes, and a chance to witness a country that has embraced both modernity and tradition. Plan your trip with a reputable tour operator, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore this unique and beautiful kingdom. Bhutan’s commitment to preserving its unique culture, promoting happiness, and protecting its environment makes it a truly exceptional and remarkable country in the world.
Touring Bhutan can be an enriching and unique experience, as the country has intentionally limited tourism to preserve its culture and environment.
Bhutan is known for its rich cultural heritage and the preservation of its traditional customs and ceremonies. Buddhism, particularly the Drukpa Kagyu and Nyingma schools, plays a significant role in the lives of Bhutanese people.
Bhutan is renowned for its commitment to environmental conservation. The country has a carbon-neutral status, and a significant percentage of its land is protected as national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Bhutan’s unique development philosophy, GNH, focuses on holistic well-being, encompassing spiritual, physical, and environmental aspects, rather than purely economic indicators.
When planning a trip to Bhutan, there are several important considerations to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.
Here are some key considerations:
- Visa and Permits: Bhutan requires all tourists to obtain a visa and travel through licensed tour operators. Ensure you have the necessary travel permits and documents arranged through your tour operator.
- Minimum Daily Package: Bhutan has a minimum daily package fee that covers your accommodations, meals, transportation, and guide services. Be aware of the daily cost and what it includes.
- Tour Operator: Choose a reputable and licensed Bhutanese tour operator to plan your trip. They will help with your itinerary, permits, and accommodations.
- Season and Weather: Bhutan’s weather varies by season and altitude. Plan your trip according to your interests, whether it’s trekking, festivals, or simply enjoying pleasant weather.
- Festivals: If you’re interested in attending Bhutanese festivals (tshechus), check the festival calendar and plan your trip accordingly.
- Health and Altitude: Bhutan has varying altitudes. Be aware of the possibility of altitude sickness and acclimatize when needed. Carry any necessary medications.
- Respect Local Culture: Bhutan values its culture and traditions. Dress modestly, remove shoes when entering temples and homes, and be respectful of local customs.
- Currency: Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (BTN), but Indian Rupees (INR) are widely accepted. Carry some cash as ATMs may not be readily available.
- Travel Insurance: Consider travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and travel disruptions.
- Local Cuisine: Be open to trying Bhutanese dishes, which may include spicy chilies and cheese. Inform your guide about any dietary preferences or restrictions.
- Environmental Conservation: Bhutan places a high value on environmental conservation. Be responsible by not littering, using reusable water bottles, and respecting nature.
- Local Language: Learn a few basic words and phrases in Dzongkha, the national language. English is widely spoken, but locals appreciate efforts to speak their language.
- Trekking Gear: If you plan to trek, ensure you have suitable trekking gear and clothing for the conditions.
- Photography: Always ask for permission before taking photos of people, especially in rural areas.
- Customization: Customize your itinerary to include activities and sites that interest you. Discuss this with your tour operator.
- Emergency Contacts: Keep a list of emergency contacts, including your tour operator’s contact information and the local emergency number.
By taking these considerations into account and planning your trip carefully, you can have a memorable and enjoyable experience in Bhutan while respecting its culture and environment.
EQUIPMENT AND GEAR
The specific equipment and gear you need for a trip to Bhutan will depend on the activities you plan to undertake and the time of year you visit.
Here’s a general list of essential items and gear you may need:
- Layers are important as the weather can vary greatly by altitude and season.
- Lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing for lower altitudes.
- Warmer clothing for higher altitudes, including a down jacket or fleece.
- Rain jacket and pants, especially during the monsoon season (June to August).
- Comfortable hiking or trekking pants.
- Good quality, moisture-wicking socks.
- Sturdy, comfortable hiking boots.
- A daypack for shorter excursions.
- A larger backpack for longer treks or multi-day tours.
- Sun hat and sunglasses with UV protection.
- Gloves for colder weather.
- Buff or neck gaiter to protect against wind and cold.
- Scarf or shawl for temple visits (covering arms and legs is often required).
- Small daypack for essentials like water, snacks, and camera.
Health and Safety:
- Basic first aid kit with any personal medications.
- Insect repellent.
- Sunscreen with a high SPF rating.
- Lip balm with sun protection.
- Water purification tablets or a water filter.
- Power bank and charging cables.
- Universal power adapter (Bhutan’s electrical outlets are typically compatible with European-style plugs).
- Passport, visa, and a photocopy of your passport.
- Travel insurance documents.
- Cash (both local currency and Indian Rupees, as ATMs may not be widely available).
- Photocopies of important documents.
- Water bottle or hydration system.
- Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.
- Travel guidebook and maps (if needed).
Remember that Bhutan is a country where traditional culture and respect for local customs are important, so dress modestly when visiting religious sites and in rural areas. Also, be prepared for changes in weather, especially at higher altitudes. If you plan to trek or engage in outdoor activities, ensure your gear is suitable for the specific conditions and check with your tour operator for any additional gear recommendations.
- For processing visa we need to have a clear passport photocopy (photo should be very clear) and Passport size photograph of the client’s 15-20 days prior to the travel date.