Bhutan tourist attractions & Visa information

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A landlocked country in South Asia, the Kingdom of Bhutan is located on the roof of the world. Bhutan is a small yet wrathfully independent country. Local residents of Bhutan called their country “Land of Dragon”. Bhutan is also known as ‘the Last Shangri-La’ (utopian paradise). With amazing natural beauty and culture, Bhutan offers a number of tourist places that are sure to pleasure any visitor. Bhutan reminds visitors of the green valleys, snow capped peaks, bracing weather and fascinating heritage and culture.

Thunder Dragon is really one of the most charming places that you can ever visit. All-surrounding mountains, streams of copper-blue waters and frequent waterfalls, meet your eyes as you journey from one Bhutanese town to another. Bhutan, the ‘last Shangri-La’ epitomizes an orthodox and lively culture. Monasteries, ‘dzongs’ (forts), prayer flags strung across hilltops are also the common tourist attractions of Bhutan. Each region of Bhutan is unique in its geography. Vantage points offer spell-binding sight of the country and well-preserved cultural sites in Bhutan create for must-see tourist attractions in Bhutan.

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Tourist attractions of Bhutan:

There is no limit to the tourist attractions in Bhutan. You will certainly get a opportunity to visit the most amazing of the natural and man made attractions on your tour to Bhutan that still carry on to attract the tourists.

Paro Valley:

Paro Valley lies in the central part of Bhutan where nature and man conjured to make their dearest image. Paro Valley is home to some of Bhutan’s oldest temples & monasteries and also it has the only airport in Bhutan. In Bhutan, Paro is the ancient center of religion and governance. Paro is one of the most fertile valleys in the Kingdom which produce a bulk of the famous red rice from its terraced fields.

Thimphu Valley:

Thimphu is the modern capital of Bhutan, located at an elevation of 2300 meters. Thimphu is situated in a beautiful, wooded valley, sprawling up a hillside on the bank of the Thimphu Chhu (river). Taschichho dzong is the main secretariat building where the preacher body puts up in the summer. The View Point in Thimpu affords a stunning view of the city of Thimpu.

Punakha:

The Punakha valley is blessed with temperate climate as it is situated at an elevation of 1250 meters above mean seas level. Punakha is today the winter seat of the Je Khenpo (chief abbot) and the central monk body. Punakha Dzong was built at the junction of the two rivers Pho Chu and Mo Chu.  Over the centuries Punakha Dzong was damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake. However, in recent years the dzong has been fully restored by the present monarch.

Wangdiphodrang:

Wangdiphodrang is situated at the altitude of 1,350 metres to the south of Punakha. It is one of the most wonderful places of tourist to visit in Bhutan. It is stretched along the hilltop above the flowing together of the Punakha Chu and Tang Chu rivers. The dzong is open for visitors during Wangduephodrang Tsechu and it is celebrated in autumn. Phubjikha valley in Wangdiphodrang is the wintry weather habitat for the rare black necked cranes.

Tongsa:

Tongsa forms the important hub of the nation. It is historically the place from where attempts at uniting the country were launched. The vast expanse of the stunning landscape around Tongsa would seem to taunt you, wondering if you will ever reach there.

Bumthang Valley:

Bumthang valley lies to the east of Tongsa at an elevation of 2,600 meters. This lovely valley is the religious heartland of the nation and also home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. Tales of Guru Padmasambhava and the tertons (“religious treasure-discoverers”) still stay behind in this blessed region.

Mongar:

Bhutan is the place houses of Bhutan’s newest dzongs that were built in the 1930s. Visiting this dzong gives you a feeling of how traditional Bhutanese architecture has sustained to prosper through the centuries. The travel from Bumthang to Mongar, journey over the 4,000m high Thrumsing-la pass, is scenically stunning. Yet the dzong is built in the same method and traditions of all the other dzongs and no drawings and nails have been used. Mongar is the second largest town in the subtropical east and built high on a gently sloping hillside.

Tashigang:

Tashigang is situated in the far east of Bhutan and is the country’s largest district. Tashigang dzong not only serves as the administrative seat for the district bit also it is the home of the monk body. On the hillside above the Gamri Chu (river), Tashigang was once the center for a busy trade with Tibet. Today it is the intersection of the east-west highway, with road connections to Samdrup Jongkhar and then into the Indian state of Assam.

Places to Visit in Bhutan:

Name Location Why to Visit?
Thimpu West Bhutan Bhutan’s Capital City
Paro Center Bhutan The most developed city in Bhutan
Punakha East Bhutan Beauty of Eastern Himalayan range
National Museum Central Bhutan, Paro Cultural Heritage of Bhutan
Jigme Dorji National Park Northern Bhutans Hot springs and rare wildlife
Kurje Lhakhang Near Bumthang Historic Temple
Chimi Lhakhang Punakha Mystical Temple
Kyichu Lhakhang Central Bhutan, Paro The oldest shrine in Bhutan
Takstang Lhakhang Central Bhutan, Paro Buddhist Pilgrimage Site

Foods and beverages in Bhutan:

Rice is the staple diet in the lower regions of Bhutan but Wheat, Barley and Buck Wheat are the staple food in the higher altitudes. Khuley (buckwheat pancakes) and puta (buckwheat noodles) are also eaten along with rice in Bumthang. Pork, beef, yak meat, chicken, and mutton are also included in their diet. Traditional Bhutanese cuisine always features spicy red and green chillies, either dried of fresh.

The favorite Bhutanese dishes include Ema Datshi (chillies with cheese), Shamu Datshi (potatoes with cheese), Sikam Paa (dried pork), kewa datshi (potatoes with cheese), phaksha phin  tshoem (pork with rice noodles), Phaksha Laphu (stewed pork and radish), Worsha Huentshey (dried beef with Spinach), bja  sha  marro (minced chicken with garlic) etc. nyakhachu datshi (asparagus with cheese) and nakey datshi (edible wild ferns with cheese) are seasonal favourites. Several Tibetan dishes are also popular like momos (steamed dumplings filled with cheese or meat), Bathuk and Thukpa (Noodles) along with this.

Zaw (toasted rice), jasip (beaten rice) and gayzasip (beaten maize) are the common snack food of Bhutanese. Chugo (hard, dried cheese) is also an all time favorite dish. Doma (betel nut and areca nut with a hint of lime in betel leaf) is chewed by most of the Bhutanese. The offering of doma to someone is an act of friendship, civility and a mark of generosity. The popular beverages taken by Bhutanese people are Ara (home brewed alcohol), Suza (salted butter tea), and Beer. Some specialty restaurants in the capital city serve Thai, Chinese and Pizza’s too.

Bhutan Visa Information:

Visa is required by British, Australian, Canadian, USA and Other EU people to get entry in the Bhutan. For Indian Nationals, no visa is required. However an identity document, be it either passport or an election commission I. D card is needed for presentation at the immigration during entry, to obtain an entry permit along with 06 passport size photographs. For those people who don’t have any of the above documents, an Affidavit from Supreme Court is required.

Visa Note:

  • Visas are only issued to tourists booked with a local licensed tour operator, or through a foreign travel agent. All applications are submitted through the tour operator.
  • Visas are issued (stamped in passport) on arrival at Paro Airport or at Phuentsholing check post.
  • Air tickets cannot be bought without visa clearance.


Types of Visa and Cost:

Tourist: US$20.

Validity:

Initially, visas are granted for stays of up to 15 days. The Bhutan Tourism Corporation Limited (BTCL) can apply for an expansion of tourist visas for an additional fee per person.

Working Days Required:

At least 10 days are required for the process of visa clearance and should be applied for at least 60 days previous to arrival in Bhutan.

Entry in Bhutan:

There are two ways of entering Bhutan: By land or By air. Druk Air, the National Air Carrier of the Kingdom operates ordinary flights to / from Paro to Delhi, Kolkatta, Kathmandu and Bangkok. Entry to the Bhutan by road is possible through southern border town of Phuentsholing.

Bhutan – The Land of the Thunder Dragon video from youtube:

Bhutan: Tourist Attractions: video from youtube:

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