History and Geographical Features of Bhutan
It is said that Bhutan has a long history of about 2,000 years, but no clear evidence showed that. Since the 8th century Bhutan was a tribe of Tubo Kingdom, a Tibetan regime in ancient China. The country was founded by Ugyen Wangchuck as a independent country in 1907 since when the country decided its King by hereditary rule. In 1949, it signed the Permanent Peace and Friendship Treaty with India and followed India's instruction in foreign affairs. Till the 1970s, the country revealed its mysterious veil to the world, and then visitors got the opportunity to explore this land.
With 95% of its land under mountains, Bhutan is a mountainous country which is lower in the south and higher in the north. It has the highlands in the north, rivers and valleys in central part, as well as plains and hills in the south. Glacier in the north part, occupying 10% of the whole Bhutanese land, is the main renewable water resources of the country.
What to See in Bhutan for First Time Travelers?
When visiting the country, you can deeply know about the cities and their unique culture by getting along with locals or exploring famous attractions. You are advised to go to Thimphu, Paro, Bumthang, or Punakha for a visit.
Taktshang Goemba, a temple built on the edge of a cliff in Paro, is one of the ten famous temples all over the world. It is a holy land for Buddhism followers. Standing atop the temple, tourists can overlook the beautiful scenery of the Paro Valley.
Trashi Chhoe Dzong, a renowned Buddhism temple, is the administrative center of Thimphu. It was originally built in the 13th century and is free of charge.
Punakha Dzong is one of the most beautiful Dzongs in the country. Numerous Buddhism manuscripts, religious paintings and vivid portraits of famous religious celebrities are collected here.
Taktshang Temple, Paro
Buddha Dordenma Statue, Thimphu
When is the Best Time to Take Bhutan Tours?
The best time to visit Bhutan is March-June and September-October as the climate is moderate. Many festivals are held during this period, giving visitors a chance to experience the local culture and traditions. Visitors are not advised to go there in August because it's the rainy time. Owing to the big temperature difference between day and night, tourists are advised to take some warm and thick clothes, especially for hikers and mountain climbers. Women shouldn't wear revealing clothes; long pants or overknee dress are top choices to show respect to the local custom and culture.
How to Get to and Travel Around Bhutan?
There is no train service in the country currently. Travelers can only tour around by vehicles or on foot. To enter the country, they can take flights. Alternatively, they can take a bus from Jaigon or Guwahati in India. Paro Airport, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Thimphu, is the only international airport in Bhutan. It operates international air routes to/from Delhi, Calcutta, Kathmandu, Dhaka, Bangkok, etc. Few domestic flights are available at this airport.
Useful Travel Tips
1. Religious antiques are not for sale.
2. Generally, tourists should get visas in advance through qualified travel agencies, and then they can buy air tickets.
3. Bhutanese Tourism Bureau says that tourists should prepare at least USD 250 per day during peak seasons and USD 200 per day during slack seasons.
4. Internet is not widely spread in the country. Usually, tourists need to go to the business center of hotels to use wired network.
5. Bring some medicine beforehand in case of carsickness for there are many twisting mountain roads.