If you are looking for an exotic, yet enriching getaway, then embarking on a trip to Bhutan may be an excellent idea. This pristine country tucked away in the majestic Himalayas arouses the curiosity of most people. Its immense natural scenery, fascinating culture, and friendly locals are among the reasons to fall in love with this nation. So, check out these must-read Bhutan travel tips that will help you make the most out of your trip.
Overview on Bhutan
Coined as the “Last Shangri-la”, Bhutan is an enchanting small country in Asia. It is also a highly spiritual and peaceful nation, as its people are devoted to the principles of Vajrayana Buddhism. In fact, the country embraces the importance of Gross National Happiness in attaining development. Moreover, there is free education and medical care for all citizens, thus covering these necessities in life
If you plan on visiting Bhutan, you will need to pay the daily tariff unless you are from Bangladesh, Maldives or India. Bhutan travel cost should include the expenses paid for the tariff, which should cover all meals, accommodation (minimum of 3-star), internal transport, licensed tour guide, camping equipment for trekking tours, $65 royalty, and all internal charges and taxes.
The tariff rate also varies depending on the number of people or months of the year. For instance, For a group of 3 or more people, the minimum tariff is between $200 and $250. From January, February, June, July, August and December, visitors are required to pay $200 per night. The price goes up to $250 in March, April, May, September, October, and November. For 2 persons, the tariff is $40 a night, while 2 people are required to pay $30 as minimum daily rates. There are also special rates for children and full-time students.
What to See and Do
Bhutan offers a wide range of cultural and nature tours that will appeal to adult and children alike. Popular destinations include Jakar, Paro, Punakha, Thimpu and Wangdue, which introduce tourists to the country’s rich culture. As for those who would like to see the nation’s thriving wildlife, the best place to visit is Zhemgang and Eastern Bhutan.
Famous attractions in the country are monasteries and Dzongs or fortresses. In particular, the Taktsang Monastery at Paro is considered as one of the world’s most important Buddhist monasteries. It is located on a cliff with an altitude of 1200 meters, and the hike towards it is a strenuous one. Renting a horse for ease in going up the mountain is a practical option, which should cost you about $10.
As for the Dzongs, there are several of these that you can visit. Among the renowned Dzongs in Bhutan are the Jakar, Shigatse, Gonggar, Kagyu, Trongsa and Punakha Dzong.
Bhutan Travel Hotels and Accommodations
There are hotels found in various towns, but there are different standards for each. If you prefer to stay at a hotel with an international standard, you should be able to find these in tourist areas. However, 5-star hotels are located in Thimpu, Paro, Gangtey, Punakha and Jakar. The hotel rate is about $250 nightly, although more expensive hotels have added surcharges.
While the Bhutanese currency is required for purchasing souvenir items, most hotels and restaurants accept US Dollars. There are also ATM machines in Paro and Thimpu, which accept Visa Maestro and Visa Mastercard, in case you need to withdraw some cash during your trip.