The sole purpose of all efforts we do in life is to be happy . .. and the happiest place on earth is not the one with high skyscrapers, larger than size malls, costly and snazzy cars. Rather it is a small kingdom in the Himalayas – Bhutan – The land of thunder dragon.
I was lucky to visit Bhutan 4 years back for three hushed up days .. and these 3 days made sure that I plan a fun fledged trip. So finally in 2017, I went for 7 days and here I am writing here to share my experiences.
Few important things one should know before visiting Bhutan – They have a very organized tourism sector. One would mandatory need to take a package which is 250$ per day and includes, Hotel, food driver, car, and a Guide. For Indians this is not mandatory though, in fact for Indians, even passport is not mandatory to enter Bhutan- Indians can visit with a Driving license or Pan Card too ( but strangely not Adhar Card). I would still suggest going with a guide as Bhutan has a lovely history and traditions and it will be good to hear that from a local guide.
I took a Druk Air flight – One of 2 Airlines which operate to Bhutan. DrukAir does not offer any online check-in facilities so seats are on a first come first served basis. Request for a seat on the left side of the plane for your flight into Paro if you want to get a great view of the Himalayan mountain ranges.If you are lucky and there are no clouds, then you might get a beautiful glimpse of Mt Everest.
The landing into to Bhutan is also very adventurous. The plane crosses Paro Valley to land at a very small Airport – the experience is just amazing. It is supposedly one of the most dangerous airports in the world to land at and I hear that that only eight pilots in the world are qualified to land there.
Kudos to the Drukair pilots for their incredible skill. I was able to take few videos of taking off from Paro valley.
Bhutan has 3 major cities as tourists Spots – The capital Thimpu, Paro – and Punakha. Now a days few more destinations are also getting traction – Pbhorjik Valley, Puneshtoling, and Haa Valley … which may be my next Bhutan trip destinations 🙂
I planned a 6 day, 7 night trip to Bhutan starting with Thimpu ( 2 Nights ) Punakha ( 2 nights ) — > Paro (2 nights). Given a chance again, I would cut down one night in Punakha and rather spend more time at Paro.
Best and must things to do in Thimpu are:-
Buddha Dordenma:- One of the Biggest Sitting Buddha in the World.Located on the hill above the town, the statue has a height of 52 meters. It’s made of bronze and statue around it contains very beautiful statues around it. There is a temple inside the pedestal on which statue sits. The construction started in 2006 but was not yet completely finished in 2017. Do spend a lot of time here. I think this is the best spot in the town.
Memorial Chorten:– Most visible religious structure in Thimpu is the National Memorial Chorten containing numerous sacred religious paintings and statues. When we went there was a flower exhibition going on with a variety of flowers inside the campus which made this place more beautiful.
Simply Bhutan Museum. :
A Small Museum just very near to Memorial Chorten. A good stopover for lunch where one can relish the local Bhutanese food and hospitality. Also, side by side enjoy the cultural mini-tour of Bhutan.
Clock Tower Square has a tower with four clock faces located in the center of the City and is a famous landmark in Thimphu. It’s quite a lively place to spend some time in the evening and interact with locals and do some Shopping. The Clock-tower has a typical Bhutanese architectural outlook with rich Bhutanese carvings and paintings.
I also had got some time in between so roamed on streets of Bhutan and captured some pictures from streets and parks.
Just to get a bird’s eye view of Thimpu . Sangaygang which is located North West of the Thimphu Valley is the popular spot or famous for the dating and taking a walk. The Colourful Supreme Court Building and the Thimpu Dzong can be seen from this spot.
Changangkha Lhakhang :
The Temple or Monastery in the Middle of the City. The temple’s courtyard gives a nice view of thump. The prayer wheels, prayers flags and Buddhist Monks are highlights of this place.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: May/June to September after which it starts to get cold. June is rainy season and if you like rains book at this month as prices are a little less.
My Guide and a fabulous person – Rattu A very strong recommendation for a Guide in case you are planning to visit Bhutan.
My tour Booking through – A1 Bhutan Travels : The arrangement done by them was great and prices were also reasonable. The best part was they gave multiple price options and one can customize the tour according to his/her need which other agencies were not doing.
My Stay at Terma Linca – A beautiful resort outside the main city of Thimpu – Its a dream resort just beside a beautiful river. I have been to 13 countries and numerous places in India, but this resort is etched in my heart.
Follow this space for exciting pictures and Travel Information tips on Punakha and my trek to one and Only Tiger’s Nest in Paro …