Discover Bhutan (The Last Shangri-La):
A Himalayan kingdom next to Nepal is still perhaps the world's most exclusive tourist on the earth reflecting age-old religion, culture, arts and architecture in its golden peak in the background of deep green valley and hillside. People are deeply religious following the Mahayana form of Buddhism. The air of spirituality is evident, even in the urban centers where the spinning of prayer wheels, the murmur of mantras and the glow of butter lamp in the houses are still important feature of everyday life. Monastery, temples and religious monuments are dotted across the landscape, bearing witness to the importance of Buddhism.
Bhutan at a Glance:
Area: 47,000 sq. km
Continent: South Asia
Seasons: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Language: Dzongkha & English
Population: (2006 approx.) 2,279,723
Religions: Buddhist & Hinduism
Cotton clothes are sufficient from May until September but warm clothes are very much necessary from November to the end of April. However, visitors are advised to carry clothes consisting of layers (or preferably woolen sweater and jacket) throughout the season, as weather may change at anytime.
The Royal government of Bhutan categories all hotels and lodges with a unique combination of tradition Bhutanese style and modern services. Clean and well-maintained rooms, most of the hotels are equipped with telephone, fax machines, restaurants etc. Even some of the simple lodges have a special charm of their own, and the guests are treated with the traditional warm hospitality.
Weather conditions are ideal for visiting Bhutan in all seasons. Temperatures in the south are tropical, with high monsoon rainfall. Rainfall in the higher central region is not so heavy. The days are clear and warm with cool nights.
Things to Bring:
Normal clothing preferably cotton for summer and woolen clothing for evening and winter. For trekking strong comfortable trekking boots, warm socks, sunglasses, head-gear, rain coat and warm clothing, including a down jacket for higher altitude treks. A medium sized sleeping bag is a must.
Getting to Bhutan
Druk Air, the National Air Carrier of Bhutan, operates regular flights to / from Paro to Delhi (India), Kolkatta (India), Gaya (India), Kathmandu (Nepal), Bangkok (Thailand), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Singapore. Not too many airlines are available if you want to travel Paro from India, then Drukair is the only airline available. Paro is the only airport connecting Bhutan with rest of world through a well network of flights. Drukair is also regarded as one of the safest airlines in the world. However it is advisable to book your air tickets well in advance to avoid the tourist season rush.
Entry / Exit to Bhutan is also possible through Phuentsholing, the southern Bhutan frontier town. Bagdogra airport, in the state of West Bengal (India) is the nearest airport about 5 hours drive from Phuentsholing. Also Bagdogra (and its main town Siliguri) is the convenient point for visiting West Bengal region of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and touristically popular state of Sikkim..
Badrapur (about 5 hours drive from Phuentsholing) and Birat Nagar (about 7 hours drive from Phuentsholing) are two other nearby airports in Nepal, connected with regular flights from Kathmandu.