Bhutan Travel Guide

Bhutan is no ordinary place where a traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces global developments. In in the mountains, monasteries and magic is a treasure house of Buddhist art. Surrounded by the Himalayas shrouded in mystery and magic, Bhutan is a tiny and remote kingdom sandwiched between India and Tibet, just east of Nepal and north of Bangladesh. The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country located in Eastern Himalayas in Southeast Asia is lanced by deep ravines and coated with thick woods. Bhutan is a mysterious country, appearing to be from a completely alternate universe. Many people find it stunning and straight out of a fairytale. The Wangchuck hereditary monarchy has been in power since 1907. Bhutan also became a two-party parliamentary democracy after elections in March 2008.

The Kingdom of Bhutan until recently has remained hidden in total isolation from the rest of the world. Played a major role in preserving its deep Buddhist traditions, the importance of the family and pristine landscapes. It’s also made it a fascinating country to study. Foreign visitors famously pay a minimum tariff of around US$250 per day, making it seem one of the world's more expensive and lush destinations. However, this fee is all-inclusive –, food, transport, accommodation, and an official guide are all provided, so it's not a bad deal. 

Bhutan is like nowhere else and is not a land frozen in time. You will find the Bhutan residents well educated, fun-loving and very well informed about the world around them. It's this a balanced mix of the ancient and modern that makes Bhutan endlessly fascinating. This country has no traffic lights. 

 

Here are some interesting facts about Bhutan

 

Major religions: Buddhism (official) and Hinduism

Currency: ngultrum

National Flag: The flag is divided diagonally: the upper diagonal is yellow and the lower orange. The two diagonals are separated by a white dragon facing away from the hoist side.

National Sport: Archery is the national game of Bhutan

National Dish: Ema Datshi: Green Chili peppers with a cheesy sauce

National Anthem: “Druk Tsendhen”, it was initially composed in the year 1953 and it later became official in 1966.

National Language: Bhutan is a multi-lingual country. Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan.

National Day: December 17 since 1907.

National Animal: The Takin a goat – antelope. Its scientific name is Burdorcas Taxicolor is an extremely rare mammal.

National Bird: The Raven scientific name is Corvus Corax Tibetanus.

National Butterfly: Ludlow’s Bhutan Swallowtail is a rare and endangered butterfly

National Flower: Blue poppy scientific name is  Meconopsis Grandis, is a rare flower and grows only in high altitudes.

National Tree: The Cypress scientific name is Cupressus Torolusa and is locally known as ‘Tsenden”.

National Dress: Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel introduced the ‘gho’ for men and the ‘Kira’ for women in the 17th century. 

 

FEW SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT BHUTAN :

  • Bhutan has no traffic signals at all.
  • Bhutan is the only carbon Negative Country in the entire world, which means that it annually absorbs more carbon dioxide than it produces.
  • Bhutan does not believe in GDP as an indicator of economic growth and development. It has introduced another measurement known as Gross National Happiness i.e. GNP.
  • It is illegal to kill any living creature, even birds and fishes.
  • Bhutan was the last country to introduce television in the world, it was introduced in the year 1998 in the World Cup Final in France.
  • Education and Healthcare facilities are free for all the citizens in Bhutan.
  • The Land of the Thunder Dragon, The Kingdom in the Sky, The Land of the Hidden Treasures are few of the nicknames given to Bhutan.
  • You can’t smoke or buy cigarettes in Bhutan as smoking in public places and the sale of cigarettes in the country is banned.
  • Bhutanese prefer Happiness over Wealth.
  • Bhutan is called Druk Yul by Bhutanese people, which means “Land of the Thunder Dragon”.

 

TOP 5 PLACES TO VISIT IN BHUTAN

Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery is one of Bhutan's most recognized spots and is a must-visit. It is known for the beautiful and the sacred monastery of Guru Rinpoche. 

According to the legends, Guru Rinpoche also considered as the second Buddha rode to this place on a tigress’s back to suppress a local demon and thus, he meditated here for 3 months. 

 

Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong is the second largest dzong in Bhutan and is known for its authentic structure. Seen from far, the witness of Bhutan’s history is a beautiful Tibetan-style architecture complex of red woodcarving decorations, white walls, and gilded roofs. The most gorgeous season of Punakha Dzong belongs to the purple jacaranda blossoms during the spring season, the most extremely visually stunning sight. The Punakha Dzong is situated on the 1,200 meters and on this height no one ever suffers from height sickness or oxygen shortage, so if you are thinking about hiking in Bhutan, then you can aim for the higher place such as Paro Taktsang or tiger’s nest and it’s a very ideal place for beginners.

 

Zuri Dzong Hike

Zuri Dzong is located on a peaceful hilltop overlooking Paro valley. In 1352, Zuri Dzong was built like a fort with a five-story main building. This is very well protected even today by a bridge and double walls. Zuri Dzong is one of the oldest dzongs in Bhutan dating back to the 12th century. Zuri Dzong is rich in history and royal in values, the cave in the area is believed to be the site where Buddha meditated in the 8th century. 

 

Uma Paro Hotel

This hotel is just 10 minutes away from Bhutan’s main airport, Como Uma Paro perches proudly on a Himalayan mountainside, flanked by thick pine forest with views over laid-back Paro town. Hiking, mountain biking, and overnight luxury camping trips are all available right here. The Kingdom of Bhutan is among the unreal Himalayas — a view filled with dzongs, or small fortress-like monasteries, sweeping valleys and thick forests of rhododendron and pine. At COMO Uma Punakha and COMO Uma Paro, we offer luxury travel experiences that truly immerse guests in the elusive essence of Bhutan, its culture, landscape and religion.

 

Gangtey Valley in winter

The Gangtey Valley is also called Probjikha Valley and is one of the most beautiful locations in Bhutan. During winter it is home to a group of globally endangered black-necked cranes that arrive every year from the Tibetan Plateau. This is a special stop for a photography trip through Bhutan. 

Situated close to the heart of Bhutan, Gangtey is in a remarkably attractive glacial valley called Phobjikha. The region promotes different nature trails as well as a Crane Information Centre to educate visitors. 







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