Ultimate Tourist’s Guide to Bhutan #BlogchatterA2Z

Ultimate  Tourist’s Guide to Bhutan Punakha Dzong Bhutan

Ultimate  Tourist’s Guide to Bhutan

This Ultimate  Tourist’s Guide to Bhutan encapsulates details for a great trip to Bhutan, the magical land of the dragon. Bhutan is more accessible to Indians as they are exempt from paying a fee of $250 per head per day.  Bhutan is right next door and we should take this opportunity to travel to this Land of Clouds. I was there a few days ago with my girl gang; 19 ladies who are an average age of 50+ and let me tell you it was a very safe and awesome experience.

If you are looking for an unforgettable vacation then let me help you plan an unforgettable trip for you with this Ultimate  Tourist’s Guide to Bhutan.

We booked through a local travel agent who collaborated with one in Bhutan and we had a hassle-free trip.

When is the best time?

There are two peak season- Spring; March to May and Autumn; September to November. Book your tour package and flight tickets 3 months ahead to ensure your reservation.  Plan your trip for 7 days. We missed out on Gangtey, a scenic valley.

If you are looking for some great pictures then check out the Bhutanese calendar for the festivals as they display vibrant dances in their elaborate masks and costumes.

How to Travel to Bhutan

By Air: Bhutan and Drukair Airlines operate flights from Delhi, Gaya, Bagdogra, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati to Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport. Choose the one closest to you.

By Rail: Train is cheapest I was told but would be tiring if you want to conserve your energy for exploring the country. Hasimara is 17kms away from Jaigaon on Indo-Bhutan Border.  Connecting trains to Hasimara are from Kolkata, Delhi, Ranchi and Kanpur.

By Road: People from the hills and around enter Bhutan from India by road from Jaigaon town in West Bengal. It is less than 5 km from the border town of Bhutan.

If you are a solo traveller or 4 to 5 members group then you can hire a cab for your stay. We were 19 and wanted to travel together so our tour operator got us a 20 seater van.

List of Documents needed

  • An official filled form
  • Passport Size Photo
  • Copy of Voter’s ID or Passport
  • An Itinerary of your trip
  • Hotel Booking Voucher where you would be putting up.

(A 3-4 star hotel would do as you would be just crashing for the night. Book in advance to get the best deals)

Points to Note

  • Language is not a problem as most Bhutanese speak fluent Hindi and some do speak English. The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha. You can learn a few words before the trip if you want to like Kuzu zangpo la means hi or Hello
  • All denominations of the Indian Rupee are accepted in Bhutan. The local currency is the Ngultrum(Nu). Your hotel stay is prepaid hence you will need money for food, tickets to sightseeing places, shopping and maybe tips. Do not expect ATM’s everywhere. There are few in the main cities. Only Hotels and a few large stores accept credit cards.
  • Hotels have WiFi, but the network could be slow. You can get a local SIM card.
  • No Smoking in public places. You have to carry your own stock of cigarettes as tobacco is banned in Bhutan.
  • Bhutan has its local wine and Vodka if you are interested in tasting the local flavour.

Ultimate Tourist’s Guide to Bhutan

Dochula Pass Ultimate  Tourist’s Guide to Bhutan
  • As Bhutan is elevated the weather is cool and you should pack a few warm clothes. One jacket, sweater, shawl and a cap would be ideal.
  • Taking photos and videos are limited to the exterior of the temples and it would be a good idea to ask your guide wherever possible.
  • Wearing hats, caps or glares are not allowed inside the temples.
  • There is a little bit of bargaining but do not haggle too much if you are buying souvenirs.
  • Be prepared for a lot of travelling by road. The roads are fine but most of them are snaking up and down the hillside.
  • If you are carrying a lot of gadgets then it is good to carry a spike as the Hotels have very few plug points.
  • Avoid travelling in the monsoon as you have to climb everywhere and it could get slippery. If you are travelling in the monsoon then do carry a Raincoat and Umbrella.
  • If you want to go swimming or experience the traditional hot stone bath or hot springs then pack your swimwear.
  • Comfortable shoes for walking are a must and better if you have Hiking Shoes for the trek up to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
  • You can visit only three tourist destinations, i.e. Thimphu, Paro and Punakha on a regular Bhutan Tourist Permit. Thimphu is the capital and the most happening city.

Things to do in Thimphu

  • Chorten Memorial
  • Buddha Point or Kuensel Phodrang
  • Tashichho Dzong or Fort Open
  • The Folk Heritage Museum
  • Bhutanese Lunch at the Museum restaurant
  • Institute for Zorig Chusum
  • Handicrafts Shops-Clock Tower
  • Changangkha Lhakhang
  • Takin Reserve
  • Early night or take a swig at the few clubs

Things to do in Punakha

  • Dochula Pass
  • The Druk Wangyal Lhakhang
  • Punakha Dzong
  • Chimi Lhakhang
  • Rafting on the Mo Chu River( Calm river and very safe.Do not miss it)
  • Riverside picnic
  • The Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang nunnery
  • Suspension Bridge

Things to do in Paro

  • The Tiger’s Nest or Takshang  Lhakhang – Attempt the trek only if you are fit. Carry a walking stick or ride a mule till the cafeteria.
  • Best shopping at the base of Tiger’s nest
  • National Museum
  • Rinpung Dzong
  • Kyichu Lhakhang
  • View of Himalayas
  • Wear a Kira or a Gho

Plan your holiday to this last Shangri-La with its pristine countryside, towering mountains, poppy-coloured valleys,  crystal clear rivers, mighty Dzongs, red-robed monks, gilded temples and golden idols; all adding to its mystic and allure. I have not yet come out of this magical trip to this other world called Bhutan and the memories are going to linger forever.

Ultimate  Tourist’s Guide to Bhutan

For a detailed itinerary please check out these

Bhutan;Gross National Happiness

Things to do in Punakha, Bhutan

All You Want To Know About Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery Trek; Bhutan

Harjeet Kaur

My writing was limited to school essays and projects for my kids and out of the blue, my writing career began with writing articles for the magazine section of a reputed national newspaper. I rediscovered my best subject at school and began writing with gusto. I had a weekend column in the newspaper which was well appreciated. I started off writing about Interiors and Gardens and later diverse topics like Fashion, trends, food and events in the city. Juggling my time between various jobs down the years and my writing, I have written content for fliers, brochures for colleges, speeches, social media content and also website content. I love writing and I am open to writing on a plethora of topics. My blog has some interesting insights into my life and travels but now it is mainly a food blog as I am growing organic vegetables and cooking my own produce is very therapeutic. Read my blogs to know me better. I write from my heart and what I write is what I feel... I feel a feel, A funny feel A funny feel, feel I! If you feel the feel I feel You'll feel the same as I!!

  • Srishti
    Posted at 11:50h, 24 April Reply
  • Noor Anand Chawla
    Posted at 15:50h, 24 April Reply

    Very helpful post Harjeet. I hope to visit Bhutan soon, and will bookmark your post for information.

  • Abhijit
    Posted at 16:48h, 24 April Reply

    Yes Bhutan is a nice place in my list. High mountains, clean water, pure air, and Gross National Happiness is country’s product. It is a heaven on earth.

    • Harjeet Kaur
      Posted at 09:37h, 25 April Reply

      Yes Abhijit..it is worth every penny.
      Hola fellow blogger…I am off on vacation and won’t be able to read your last four blogs but I promise I will once I am back. But earnest request please don’t stop reading mine

  • Vartika Gakhar
    Posted at 19:53h, 24 April Reply

    Thimphu, Paro interesting names and a great post. My brother went to Bhutan 2 years back and was all praises about this wonderland.

    • Harjeet Kaur
      Posted at 09:35h, 25 April Reply

      It is praiseworthy and more Vartika
      Hola fellow blogger…I am off on vacation and won’t be able to read your last four blogs but I promise I will once I am back. But earnest request please don’t stop reading mine

  • vidhya Thakkar
    Posted at 20:49h, 24 April Reply

    And it feels like heaven there! want to go soon!

    • Harjeet Kaur
      Posted at 09:35h, 25 April Reply

      It is heaven Vidhya…u shud go
      Hola fellow blogger…I am off on vacation and won’t be able to read your last four blogs but I promise I will once I am back. But earnest request please don’t stop reading mine

  • Sonia Chatterjee
    Posted at 22:39h, 24 April Reply

    One of the best travelogues on Bhutan. Right from the process to the places to visit, you have covered it all. This has been on my wishlist for a long time since it’s easy to travel to Bhutan from North Bengal. I guess I will plan this year end during the kids winter break.

    • Harjeet Kaur
      Posted at 09:34h, 25 April Reply

      Thank u Sonia…u r next door…u should go..our travel agent was from Kolkatta
      Hola fellow blogger…I am off on vacation and won’t be able to read your last four blogs but I promise I will once I am back. But earnest request please don’t stop reading mine

  • Manas Mukul
    Posted at 23:27h, 24 April Reply

    Just what I needed this summer. Thank you so much for this detailed post.

    • Harjeet Kaur
      Posted at 09:33h, 25 April Reply

      Dont go in Summer 🙂 Thanks Manas…Bhutan is very close to my heart.
      Hola fellow blogger…I am off on vacation and won’t be able to read your last four blogs but I promise I will once I am back. But earnest request please don’t stop reading mine 

  • Shilpa Garg
    Posted at 01:49h, 25 April Reply

    I have bookmarked this post and will refer to it when we travel to this lovely country. Thanks for a comprehensive and detailed travelogue on Bhutan, Harjeet!!

  • Sanjota Purohit
    Posted at 04:58h, 25 April Reply

    Every person who comes back from Bhutan never fails to appreciate its beauty. Your post does the same 😀 Making me visit soon.

  • Rashmi
    Posted at 07:53h, 25 April Reply

    It’s always there in my bucket list. Beautiful narration!

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