Bhutan is a little-known nation. It is a tiny landlocked nation with a total area of around 38,394 km2. Bhutan receives little attention despite being sandwiched between Tibet and India. Few people have ever heard of Bhutan, much less been able to identify it on a map or even consider visiting. Bhutan might be among the best-kept secrets.
One key factor in favor of travelling alone is the area’s low tourist density. However, the low number of visitors each year also means that you may appreciate the gorgeous surroundings and rich Bhutanese culture in a relatively quiet environment.
Let’s look at how to visit Bhutan and, more importantly, why you should put it on your bucket list of places to visit!
The happiest nation on earth?
Bhutan has a long history of being regarded as one of the world’s happiest nations. It is currently the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest country in the world. Only that nation tracks GNH (Gross National Happiness).
Gross National Happiness is supported by four fundamental pillars:
Bhutan’s strong government and beloved monarchy are undoubtedly important factors in the country’s contentment, but so are the breathtaking scenery and never-ending mountain ranges that can be seen everywhere.
Bhutan has a few locations where visitors can enjoy a clear view of the Himalayan Mountain range, which it borders. Flying into Paro International Airport is one of them. In spite of the fact that it’s one of the allegedly riskiest landings, if the weather is favorable, it’s also one of the most memorable as your pilot expertly navigates around the mountains to safely land you.
Bhutan is not a developed nation. In fact, even in the cities and the capital, it will be difficult to find a building with more than 6 floors. There are no obstructions to the stunning vistas that stretch for miles, and it is hardly crowded.
Taktsang / Tiger’s Nest Monastery
This almost needs no further explanation. Without viewing the Tiger’s Nest, a monastery perched somewhat dangerously at the edge of a cliff with a precipitous drop below, no trip to Bhutan is complete. It takes several hours to hike here, but it’s totally worthwhile! According to the legend surrounding this special monastery, Guru Rinpoche was transported from Tibet by a flying tiger. Bhutan was introduced to Buddhism by Guru Rinpoche.
The fact that Bhutan has a limited tourism sector does not mean that there is nothing to do there or that it is a boring place to travel to. In actuality, the opposite is true.
Bhutan takes great pride in its stunning Himalayan vistas, rich history, and vibrant culture, and it doesn’t want to compromise these by encouraging tourists there. Despite the fact that visiting Bhutan becomes incredibly expensive due to this unusual regulation, the government is able to sustain a vibrant culture. Bhutan is a primitive nation where many men and women go about their everyday lives dressed in traditional Bhutanese garb. There are also no Starbucks or McDonald’s to be found. It is incredibly quiet and tranquil, with the backdrop of limitless mountains and sparsely populated neighborhoods.
Guided tour of Bhutan
While a guided tour may seem like a suffocating nightmare to an avid tourist, having a guide in Bhutan greatly enhances the experience. You are not required to stay with your guide around the clock, unlike in North Korea. You are free to move around, visit pubs, restaurants, and cafés, hang out with locals, etc. Simply put, you learn a lot when you have a Bhutan tour guide with you. And by a lot, I mean.
The tour guides in Bhutan are extremely knowledgeable about both their own nation and the specific locations they take you to. Utilize the chance to pick up tips from the locals!
People of Bhutan
The people of Bhutan are generous, friendly, and very laid back. This goes extremely well with the relaxed way of life that Bhutanese people lead and the serene environment that permeates the entire nation. You will learn much more about Bhutan and its culture the more Bhutanese you meet.
Bhutanese people take great pleasure in their ancient history and culture, and you can frequently see them dressed in traditional Bhutanese garb.
Travel options to Bhutan
Bhutan is reachable by both road and air. The most common method of travel to Bhutan is by plane. Bhutan only has one international airport as of March 2020, though others are being built or have been operational in the past.’Drukair’, the country’s airline, runs the following flights:
India’s New Delhi and Kolkata
Every day, there are flights from Paro to Bangkok via Kolkata and from Bangkok to Paro via Kolkata. On Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, there are flights from Delhi to Paro via Kathmandu, and on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, there are flights from Paro to Delhi via Kathmandu. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday see flights from Singapore to Paro via Kolkata.