14 Interesting FACTS of Bhutan to KNOW When you visit Bhutan
To visit Bhutan, Foreign National Tourists must travel through all-inclusive package tours, for which there is a fixed tariff set by the Royal Government of Bhutan. Visit to Bhutan tariff includes the services of accommodations, Meals, Transportation within the country, Guides services, sightseeing and entrance fees for the museums and monuments.
There is a collection of physical, political, population, transportation, satellite and tourist trekking map of Bhutan. It is located north of India, south of West Bengal, west of Sikkim and east of Assam. The total Geographical area of Bhutan is approximately 38,394 km2 with the population of 750,125 at the most. Dzongkhags are division of twenty administrative districts in Bhutan. Main mode of transportation in Bhutan is air and the road ways.
However, there are availability of rope ways and water ways in few places. But to visit Bhutan, road and airways are the only two routes available. Bhutan aims at maintaining sixty percent of forest coverage at all times. And Because of which Bhutan is densely covered with forest. Agriculture is the backbone of Bhutan for, the main occupation of more than 60% of the Bhutanese is agriculture. There are many Buddhist monasteries and temples with few Hindu temples.
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan. Thimphu is situated in the western part of Bhutan. It became the capital in the year 1961. Thimphu city is the only city in the world without traffic lights and is not a dense city. Like any other cities you can avail facilities such as hotels, night clubs, shopping malls and banking facilities. Moreover you will get to see unique features of religion, customs, monasteries, national dress, music, dance, literature and media.
Most of the offices of government, private and joint ventures are located in the capital city. Even though, buildings and houses are built in western styles they are painted in traditional arts. Roof top are also built in the traditional styles, which shows that culture and tradition are preserved. In Thimphu you will see forest coverage around the city. Thimphu has both tastes of urban as well as rural life styles.
Logo of dragon in the center divides the national flag of Bhutan diagonally into two equal parts. The upper part of the flag is yellow in color and lower is orange. It has a significant meaning in which yellow symbolizes the authority of the king while, orange color symbolizes Buddhist monasteries. Bhutan was once was known as the ‘Land of thunder Dragon. The dragon is the country’s emblem for it.
It also symbolizes the unity of country. There is no discrimination against anyone. Under one rule everyone is treated equal. Mayum Choying Wangmo Dorji dates back to 1947 designed the flag and it was officially adopted in 1965. In front of the flag one must wear the national dress. It is considered disrespectful, if one stands near the Flag without the formal dress. The symbol cannot be used as a design of pants. However, people use it for designing shirts.
People around the country of Bhutan spoke over nineteen different dialects in total. It is because the mountains kept people isolated thus, different region developed their own native language. Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan. Almost everyone in Bhutan they spoke a Sino-Tibetan language that is dzongkha. Dzongkha is the native `language of the people of western Bhutan. The term ‘Dzongkha’ means the language spoken in Dzongs, massive fortresses that serves as administrative centers.
Tshanglakha which is developed from eastern Bhutan and Lhotshamkha spoken in Southern Bhutan are two other widely spoken languages. Despite Bhutanese languages people of Bhutan are also fluent in speaking English. It is because government encourages English language, since it is international language. Everything including the government documents and road signs are all written in both Dzongkha and English. The majority of Bhutanese refugees speak Nepali (dialect of south) because majority of them are bilingual.
Bhutanese people practice two types of religions. The official religion of Bhutan is Buddhism. Since the 2nd century Buddhism was introduced in Bhutan. The credit for introducing Buddhism goes to Guru Rinpoche, the great Tibetan master who visited during the 8th century. Until the arrival of Guru Rinpoche Bhutanese people practiced Bonism, a religion that includes worshiping all form of nature.
The 75% of the inhabitants practiced Buddhism as their main religion in Bhutan. In culture, ethical and sociological development of Bhutan and its people, Buddhism plays an important role. In the past one son from each family had to join monastic school. The detachment; ephemeral and change are the broad composition of Buddhism follower. Closely related to Buddhism, is Bhutan’s second religion Hinduism. The 25% of inhabitants residing in Southern Bhutan practiced Hinduism as their main religion. There are also fewer inhabitants who follow Christianity as their main religion.
The currency in Bhutan is ngultrum. A single ngultrum is equal 100 Chetrum. All paper denomination includes the Nu.1, Nu.5, Nu.10, Nu.20, Nu.50, Nu.100, Nu.500 and Nu.1000. Bhutanese currency Ngultrum is pegged from Indian currency Rupee. In the notes, you will find picture of kings of Bhutan at front and dzongs at the back. The exchange rate of Bhutan currency works same like that of Indian Currency.
Its currency value is floating not fixed. It depends on factors such as demand and supply of the Bhutan currency. Currencies of another nation can be exchanged with Bhutanese currency in the Paro International Airport’s foreign exchange desk. Apart from the airport, currency exchange can also be done at Bank of Bhutan branches. Few hotels also provide foreign exchange services at the reception. Ngultrum is not accepted worldwide. Thus, it is advisable to get it exchange from airport being leaving and entering Bhutan.
If you are planning a trip to Bhutan, it has few airports. Paro International Airport is the only international airport among the four airports in Bhutan. The airport is located in Paro, which is not far from the capital. It was established in 1968. Bhutan’s International Airport is comparatively smaller than any other nation with one runway and terminal. There are four domestic airports which will take you to places within Bhutan.
Gelephu Airport located in the southern region. It was constructed in the year 2008. The airline flies to Paro and Jakar and also from Paro and Jakar. You can use this airport as boarding and landing points. Bathpalathang Airport is one of the newest airports in Bhutan and the airlines flies to Paro and Gelephu. Yongpula Airport is located near one of the renowned college of Bhutan, constructed in 2010. The airlines mainly fly to Paro and Jakar.
There is two ways to visit Bhutan, via road and air. Currently Bhutan has two airline carriers, Druk air and Bhutan Airlines. All the operation of flight takes place in and out from Paro Airport. Druk air operates with three airbuses 319 on different international sectors and uses ATR 42-500 for Domestic flights. Airbus 319 has the seating capacity of 114 seats with 20 seats for business class and 94 for economy. Druk air operates daily flight both ways from Bangkok and rest of sectors twice and thrice in a week.
On 19th Dec 2011, Druk air began to operate Domestic Routes from Paro to Bumthang, Youngpula and Gelephu. Bhutan Airline and Tashi Air Pvt.Ltd are private airlines. The airlines resumed its service from 10 October 2013 beginning with the first international flight to India and Bangkok. They also provide a full service flight to Kolkata and Paro.
Tourism in Bhutan began in the year 1974, with the aim of raising revenue and promoting unique culture and tradition. The number of tourists visiting Bhutan has increased drastically over the years. The government felt the impact of tourism on fragile environment and culture and traditions. To maintain sustainable environment and preserve the culture and tradition the government adopted the ‘high value low impact’ tourism policy. US dollar 250 per person per night is being charged to main the policy of ‘high value low impact. If tourists are looking for visa to Bhutan, they can directly contact local Bhutan travel agency like us.
All the arrangements for hotels, transportation, campaigning equipment’s and guide will be made by particular travel agent. Bhutan tourism provides hiking, trekking, cycling, rafting, kayaking, archery, and fishing other than traveling to historical places. And also there are many wildlife sanctuary and botanical parks available for the wildlife lovers.
Chilies mixed with local cheese known as Ema datshi is very popular Bhutanese dish along with red rice. It tastes spicy and delicious. All Bhutanese dishes are spiced with chilies. It is accompanied with one or two side dishes consisting of meats or vegetables. People often eat Pork, beef and chicken. Bhutanese people usually like eating dried meats than fresh so they usually dry pork and beef.
Drinking of butter tea is regular part of life in Bhutan. It is made from tea leaves, salt, water and butter. A special fried rice known as “zow’ is served as snacks along with tea. Alcohol is also available in Bhutan. The most famous alcohol served in Bhutan is local alcohol ‘Ara’. Native high-altitude tolerant barley, rice, maize, millet and/or wheat which are either fermented or distilled are used to prepare the Bhutanese alcohol. The color of beverage is crystal clear, or colorless.
Bhutan experiences four varied seasons summer, winter, spring and autumn. With the varied season Bhutan experiences different climates. In southern part of Bhutan, it is hot and humid. Temperature varies from 15-30 degrees Celsius. In the central Bhutan, the climate is more seasonal with warm summer and cool and dry winter. In the Northern parts of Bhutan it is much colder during winter with heavy snow falls. The Indian summer Monsoon begins from late June through July till late September.
The dry spring starts from early march and last till Mid-April. Summer begins from mid-April till the late June with heavier summer rains. Autumn starts from late September to the late November with heavy rain falls. Winter starts from November till the March with frost throughout the country. The best weather to visit Bhutan would be during spring with moderate climate. It is neither too hot nor too cold.
Best time to visit Bhutan.
Varied seasons because of Indian monsoon which brings heavy rain fall in Bhutan. The summer monsoon season in Bhutan starts from June to September with high humidity. Autumn starts from October to November which is usually sunny with some snow. Late November and early March is dry season with monsoon. The best time to visit Bhutan would be during spring where climate are moderate.
The flowers starts to blossom, the Himalayan peaks are at the most visible with clear sky. Most of the events in Bhutan take place in this season. Low season is time of year when there is heavy rainfall. In this season trekking becomes difficult with road blocks. However, if you want to reduce your expenditure, then you should visit Bhutan during low season when tariff rates are cheaper. Peak season are crowded with people so, if you are a peace lover this season is not for you.
Bhutan to Visit.
Bhutan is one from many best tourist destinations around the world. However, it would be best to consult with a local travel agent how to visit Bhutan because access is not very easy. You will not only see pristine environment and unique culture and traditional but also experience so many adventures. Bhutan as a tourist destination is very safe and sound place to visit.
Few popular places to visit in Bhutan are Tiger’s nest monastery, Punakha Dzong, Zuri Dzong, Gangtey valley, Phobjikha valley and many more. If you love taking risk, then there are so many activities like hiking, kayaking, rafting and cycling. For the nature and wild lovers there are abundance wildlife parks and botanical parks. If you want to have real taste of rural Bhutan then you can even stay as home sat tourists. You need not worry about the people because Bhutanese people are very kind and hospitable by nature. It is very safe country to visit Bhutan.
Bhutan tour from Nepal.
You can visit Bhutan via Kathmandu to Paro in flight. Nepal outfitter offers group tours or private tours to Bhutan from Nepal. Exploring the birth place of Buddha and taking the trip to land of thunder dragon. There are no better trip than combine trips of Nepal and Bhutan. They are the two last remaining countries in Himalayas where king still rule over its people. The trip will give you an amazing experience to know true Nepalese lifestyle and how it varies from Bhutanese way of life.
Eight days classic Nepal tour takes you to visit beautiful city of Kathmandu to the holy valley of Paro and other prestigious places in Bhutan. Though traveling to Bhutan after traveling to Nepal might seem expensive, you should know what is included in US 250 dollars. The tour cost includes accommodation, meals, driver, guide, private vehicle etc so it’s worth paying for the travel.