10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Bhutan

Bhutan- 'Druk Yul' as the local calls it and refer it as the 'Land of the Thunder Dragons.' The word 'Druk' is the 'Thunder Dragon' of Bhutanese and Tibetan mythology. It is also a Bhutanese national symbol which appears on the flag of Bhutan- holding jewels to represent wealth. Bhutan is a high-land and the high Himalayan Kingdom connecting its borders with India, Nepal, and China. But the question is- Is Bhutan worth visiting? It may seem on the world's more expensive destinations, but it's worth every penny. And if you're a person who would breathe the fresh air and talk to the trees rather than dealing with population and pollution- then Bhutan is a perfect place for you. This country will keep you from all the hustle and bustle of the cities. Unlike many other places, you will get to delve into its majestic climate, mighty mountains, history, and deep rooting cultures. As the locals say- you cannot visit this place until the hills call you, but if you're looking for something more, here are some good reason for tourist to visit Bhutan.

  • 30-Oct-2019
  • Written By: Naila Arif

Positivity is the best policy-

The current King of Bhutan- Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck prefers the prosperity and happiness of his people more than the GNP of his country. He gives an ultimate Bhutan travel quotes and says- 'Gross National Happiness is more important than the Gross National Product.' The Bhutan development philosophy of Gross National Happiness has four pillars. And it is accessible on an international level, identified by the U.N

High Value, low impact tourism-

Compared to tourism in neighboring countries like India and Nepal, Bhutan has even less than 70,000 international tourists visiting each year. But in the last few years, words are spreading around about the beauty of the Dragon Kingdom. Though the masses of tourists still haven't discovered its treasures yet, which only gives you a plus side. You can virtually have Bhutan with its ancient temples and museums all to yourself, and this makes your Bhutan trip experience worth everything. 

Another reason for less tourist-visiting is because of Bhutan practicing 'high values, low impact' policy. A policy designed to protect its sui generis cultural heritage and the negative impacts of mass tourism. It is a smart strategy by Bhutan's government to increase revenue, providing the tourists with the best hospitality by costing them $200-250 per person daily. 

Hottest Gastronomy-

Apart from the calm weather, valleys, and mountains, what makes Bhutan speciality much interesting is its cuisine; as Bhutanese love chili in their food. For Bhutanese, chili is not a seasoning but the main vegetable. Their National dish is 'Ema Datshi,' a stew made of chilies and cheese served with rice. There are a few dishes that you must try while in Bhutan, but with your own risking-scale! 

You must also try some Red Rice, a staple food of Bhutan. It is both gluten and wheat-free, and rich in minerals too. Also, try some Ara (traditional alcoholic beverage), Suja (Butter Tea), and Jasha Maroo (a spicy chicken curry).

A treasure for the trekkers-

For someone willing to spend some time in isolation and yet want to do something adventurous- trekking in Bhutan is what you should look now. There must be something exceptional about a country if it's putting the "happiness" before the "Capitalism." And this country of untouched culture is offering you to grab that unique experience. 

Trekking in Bhutan may become difficult for you. So a guide along with staff, cook, camping assistant will accompany you, and a few horses with their riders to carry your gear on every trek. 

There are some incredible treks you should keep in mind before you visit Bhutan-

The Snowman Trek- Known as the best trek in Bhutan. It takes about 25 days to complete this trek, and the trail crosses over 11 passes. If you're looking for a challenging adventure, then go for it. 

Note: This trek costs about $8000-$9000 at the altitude around 16,400 feet.

The Jhomolhari Trek- If you're looking for a trek with moderate difficulties, then it is for you. It's an eight-day trek at an altitude of around 16,400 feet. Best known for offering mind-blowing views of Mount Jomolhari. This trek will cost you approximately $2,800. 

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek- This trek takes you at the top of the mountain and offers you astonishing views of Mt. Everest and Kangchenjunga. You'll get to check out some traditional villages and camps of yak herders. Apart from that, you can also experience fishing some local trout on your way. It's a challenging 6-day trek which offers you some beautiful views of the alpine lakes. It will cost you about $1,500-$2,500 at an altitude of around 14,000 feet. 

The kingdom of Kings is high on History-

In 747 A.D., the History of the Kingdom began when Guru Rimpoche made a legendary trip from Tibet to Bhutan on a tigress's back. After his arrival in Paro Valley, at Tiger's Nest, he became the founder of Nyingmapa religion. Centuries-old religion that people of Bhutan follows to this day. They also consider him as their second Buddha.

After centuries of civil war, in the 19th century, Bhutan overcame its rivals and found a new leader. Its first King was Sir Ugyen Wangchuck, who got elected in 1907. And today, Bhutan has transitioned from absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. In 2008, Bhutan held its first general election and chose Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck as its current King.

Economy-

Bhutan's economy is one of the smallest economies in the world, but it has increased in recent years. Earlier, Bhutan's agriculture was the only instrument to manage the economy. And today, Bhutan established itself as the first country in the world to produce 100 percent organic products, and that is creditable. Bhutan's currency is the 'ngultrum,' but its value has fixed to the Indian rupee. You can use smaller Indian rupee notes like- 50 and 100 rather than 500 and 2000 rupee notes. 

Transport-

The only international airport in Bhutan is Paro International Airport, directly connected to all the major cities in India. From the airport, you can book a cab to travel in the country. Bhutan doesn't have any direct trains to get into the country, but it has agreed with India to link southern Bhutan to its vast railway network. Connectivity to Bhutan by road is simpler. And the much convenient route is to travel from New Jalpaiguri Station in Siliguri to Jaigaon. From New Jalpaiguri Station you can swiftly find shared taxis, cabs or buses to reach Bhutan. 

Ancient culture with an evolutionary society-

When you're in Bhutan, you will get to witness many things, such as the language that the local speaks, which is Bhutanese or Dzongkha. Their dressing style, which is one the intriguing part of their culture. The national dress for men is Gho, a long robe similar to the Tibetan Chuba. And for the women- Kira, a brightly colored long floor-length dress. Not to mention the cultural activities which include masked dances, dance dramas accompanied by traditional music at festivals.

You may also witness a convention in Bhutanese families where the inheritance goes to the females rather than the males. Except for the tradition in India, Bhutanese want their daughters to inherit their properties as they expect the sons to make their fortune by themselves. This dominating female country also expects the husbands to move in with their wives and not the other way around. Another distinct feature of their culture includes polygamy. 

Unique artistry and Museums-

While your stay in Bhutan, you cannot ignore their skills in making such incredible art. The 13 Bhutanese techniques and crafts, introduced by Pema Lingpa in the 15th century, known as the Zorig Chusum, is symbolic and rooted in Buddhist philosophy. These arts and crafts made of stonework, woodwork, painting, carving, wood turning, black smithy, sculpting, an ornament making, paper making, bamboo work, weaving, and tailoring. 

Built-in 1649 and renovated in 1968, the national museum of Bhutan is resting above Paro Dzong as its watchtower. This unusual round-shaped building is a perfect illustrator on how magic and logic (science) plays an integral part in Bhutan. The entry fee of the museum can be Nu 200-500 for both Indians and foreigners. 

The majestic weather and places to visit-

Bhutan is a perfect place for a hide-away. With a pleasant climate all year round and lesser population, Bhutan lets you breathe and relax into its fresh air. The best time to visit Bhutan is in spring season- March, April and May. In this time, you'll get to witness the fresh vegetation and blossoming fruit trees. Autumn- September, and October is the time when you can behold the exceptional views of the mighty mountains. In winters- November and December, you can enjoy the snowfall. 

When you experience Bhutan and its astonishing beauty, do not forget to miss visiting the Tiger's Nest Monastery, Thimphu, Docula pass, Chimi Lhakhang- a temple of fertility, The Phobjikha Valley, and Red Panda Brewery for working at the high altitude.