Bhutan - Land of the thunder dragon
Bhutan means " Land Of The Thunder Dragon " because of the violent storms that descend from the Himalayas. Bhutan is bordered on the North and Northwest by China and to the East, South and Southwest by India. The capital of Bhutan is Thimpu which is also the largest city of the country. Thimpu was formerly the winter capital until 1962 when it was declared the permanent seat of the Government. Bhutan is almost entirely mountainous with a narrow strip along the southern border- the Duars, its only area of flat land. Until 1960s Bhutan lived an isolated life but after the introduction of first surfaced road, it gradually opened its doors to tourists in 1974. Majority of Bhutan's population is the Bhotia (or Bhote, derived from Bod, the ancient name of Tibet). The official language is Dzongkha, a Tibetan dialect, although English and Nepali are also widely spoken. The official religion is a Lamaist form of Mahayana Buddhism also referred to as Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism was brought to the area after the arrival of the Bhotia and by the mid 16th century there were many dzongs (fortified monasteries) in the Himalayan valleys.
Bhutan is rich in its culture as well as in its biodiversity. Nearly three quarters of the total area is covered by forests. The lush valleys, the radiant snow capped peaks, the beautiful rural landscapes and the rich Himalayan flora and fauna of Bhutan will leave you in awe. Bhutan still maintains its culture and traditions in the same way it did centuries ago. The scope for trekking in Bhutan is immense from short walks to arduous treks. Trekking gives an opportunity to see the beautiful Kingdom of Bhutan at its most magnificent form. Most trek routes follow the old trading route between different valleys. From the towering snow peaks of the inner Himalayas to the verdant forests which cloak the hills above its peaceful valleys, the trails are clean, unspoiled, and the wilderness still pristine in it's beauty. Some of the treks that are listed above offer enchanting vistas of the Himalayas. All our trekking programs are well planned and accompanied by efficient, trained team who take care of all the necessities.
food : Bhutanese Delicacies are limited with spicy Chillies and Cheese. However you will be served a Buffet of continental food with some local dishes too. On Treks, our trained cooks prepare dishes suitable to western tastes ranging from continental to Chinese and Bhutanese to Indian.
money : Bhutanese unit of currency is the Ngultrum. 1Nu. = 100 Chetrum. The Ngultrum is at par with the Indian Rupee. Approx. 1 USD = Nu/43.5
clothing : Due to wide range of temperature and climatic conditions, it is advisable to bring appropriate clothing. From May to Sep. cotton clothes are sufficient, plus a woolen sweater or light jacket. From November to the end of April, you will need very warm clothes including long underwear or woolen tights to wear under trousers, and down jacket or coat. During visit to the monasteries, Dzongs and other religious institution, you should not wear shorts, hats and should be properly dressed.
visa formalities We will process your visa application with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on your behalf. Visa processing will take a minimum of five working days. It is mandatory for a tourist to get his/her visa clearance before departing for Bhutan. Without proof of payment, Drukair, the only airline flying in and out of Bhutan, will not issue tickets. The Department of Tourism will then not issue clearance and the Ministry of Foreign affairs will not issue your visa pending your payment. Sorry, this is government regulations.
Visa will be stamped on your Passport at the airport upon payment of visa fee of US$20.00. You will be required to produce two pass port size photographs for the visa. Visa can be extended at Thimphu up to six months after the payment of Nu. 510.00.
For Tourist entering through Bagdogra (India) and exiting from either Guwahati or Bagdogra, Indian visa can be arranged but prior information has to be given as it takes time to process.
air travel Drukair, the national airline of Bhutan, is the only airline that flies in and out of Bhutan. To enter Bhutan, a visitor may board the Drukair from any of the following airports: Kathmandu, Nepal; Bangkok, Thailand; New Delhi, India; and Kolkatta, India.
We can arrange your Drukair tickets - at a much cheaper price or, you can get your travel agent to purchase from one of the many Drukair Reservation offices around the world. Upon request, we can forward to you the name and address of the reservation office in your country.