With a sophisticated, well-preserved culture and rolling velvet hills, meandering up to the distant snowy peaks of the Himalayas, the Kingdom of Bhutan has a draw like few others. While the mental image you have of some countries can be misleading, drawn in by glamorous films, angled photography or old pictures, Bhutan simply doesn’t disappoint.
Passionate about their cultural history and identity, the Bhutanese have fought to maintain the integrity and individuality of their unique nation, so much so even the airport is a thing of wonder. In fact, when I disembarked the breathtaking flight into the Paro Valley on my first visit, I initially assumed the building was one of the ancient monuments and marvelled at the imagination of the Bhutanese in rendering the mundane so beautiful.
Guiding is the key in a country where the emphasis is less on ticking off ‘must-sees’ and more on stumbling upon the odd local festival or archery contest. The best guides will know when to take you where, and will take pride in showing you the places others don’t go.
Need to Know
– Bhutan is accessed via flights to Paro which is about a 2–4 hour flight away from Singapore, Bangkok, Kathmandu and various locations in India.
– Getting between destinations within the country will be by car. There is also an airport in the east of the country in Bumthang, which can help make a longer itinerary run smoothly. Where possible we can incorporate some hiking to take you between locations.
– October and November offer the clearest mountain views and lovely warm temperatures but can be busy, by Bhutanese standards. December–February can be bitter but breathtaking with the snowy transformation. March–May the hills are in bloom and temperatures become more pleasant. May–September sees more rain but are much quieter months and perfect for some of the higher altitude trekking.
Visa/ entry requirements
– Tourist visas are pre-approved through us prior to departure and issued on arrival.
Events (festivals, wildlife migrations)
– Tsechu are the best known of the traditional Bhutanese religious festivals and are quite spectacular to witness. Some of the more accessible and better known of these are quite touristy but we can get you out into the more remote regions where you get an altogether more authentic experience.
When to go:
October–April for better weather. May–September are warmer and wetter but quieter. December-February can get very cold but it should also be beautifully crisp.
From about £4000 per person for 10 nights in Bhutan. £6500 per person to do it in luxury. Bear in mind that these costs include all your flights, accommodation, guiding, transport, entry fees for monuments and all meals.
Married to Bhutan: How One Woman Got Lost, Said "I Do," and Found Bliss by Linda Leaming
Well-loved walking boots.
Did you know?
There are no traffic lights in Bhutan.