Ways & How

How to Travel to Bhutan

How to Travel to Bhutan

Dubbed as “The Last Shangrila,” the Kingdom of Bhutan is a small country located in the Himalayas and bordered by Tibet and India. It is a unique country because of its stunning natural scenery and strong sense of culture and tradition. In fact, it is the only Vajrayana Buddhist nation in the world. People in Bhutan believe in the philosophy of Gross National Happiness, where the development of the country is based not on the country’s gross domestic profit but on the people’s holistic well-being. If you want to learn more about this country, visit, and immerse yourself in its beauty and culture, here are tips to remember on how to travel to Bhutan:

  1. Getting to Bhutan. This country only has a few rules if you want to travel there. It operates an open door policy and only requires its tourists to have a fully paid visa, which can be obtained through your local tour operator or through your country’s Bhutanese embassy. The only entry point to Bhutan by air is through Paro International Airport. However, keep in mind that direct flights to Bhutan are rare, so you have to take connecting flights from nearby countries like India, Nepal, Thailand, or Singapore.

    efore, you also have to meet the visa requirements of these countries for hassle-free travel. You may also enter Bhutan by land through its southern Indian borders, but not through its northern Chinese borders. You need road permits in order to enter Bhutan by car.

  2. See the sights. Getting a cultural tour is your best option. You can visit monasteries, such as the Taktsang Monastery in Paro, which is one of the most important Buddhist sites in the world. You can also visit Kurje Lhakhang in Jakar, which is a cave where the imprint of Guru Rinpoche’s body can be seen. This is one of the earliest Buddhist relics in Bhutan. Additionally, you can visit fortresses and dzongs, one of which is the Tshichho Dzong. These fortresses have incredible architecture worth seeing. If you are feeling adventurous, you could visit the eastern side of Bhutan, which has just been opened up for tourism. You can try trekking, exploring national parks, or attending festivals that happen all year long.

  3. Select your accommodations. You can find hotels in almost all towns that contain roads, although the standard varies. If you want international standard hotels, you better stay in the major towns or tourist areas. Five star hotels are available in Jakar, Paro, Punakha, Gangte, and Thimphu.

  4. Practice proper conduct. The Bhutanese are highly spiritual people, so it is important that you respect their culture while staying in their country. When conversing with local people, keep in mind that the king and former king are highly respected all over the country, so you should do the same. Be aware of sacred objects, such as mani stones and stupas; never sit on them nor pass with your right side nearest to those sacred objects. Wear pants and long skirts, especially if you are visiting temples. Do not forget to remove your shoes and headgear when entering places of worship. It is also customary to make a small donation at monasteries as a sign of respect. Smoking and tobacco-containing products are banned in the entire country.

Knowing how to travel to Bhutan is truly a rewarding experience. Not everyone gets to explore this small yet beautiful country, so if you have the chance to do so, grab the opportunity to get to know the unique culture of the Kingdom of Bhutan.


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