The process of visiting Bhutan is unlike anything you will ever encounter. Bhutan is a small, landlocked country located in the Eastern Himalayas, known for its stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and tradition, and commitment to the concept of Gross National Happiness. The country is a popular destination for travelers looking for a unique and authentic travel experience. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the things to see and do in Bhutan, as well as what you can expect from the cost of living and accommodations in the country.
First and foremost, Bhutan is known for its stunning natural beauty. The country is home to a variety of landscapes, including high mountains, lush forests, and picturesque valleys. One of the best ways to experience Bhutan’s natural beauty is by trekking through the country’s many trails. The most famous trek is the Snowman Trek, which is considered to be one of the most challenging treks in the world. It takes around 25 days to complete and passes through remote villages, high passes, and offers some of the most spectacular views of the Himalayas.
Bhutan is also known for its rich culture and tradition. The country has a unique culture that is deeply rooted in Buddhism, and visitors can experience this culture by visiting the many temples, monasteries, and dzongs (fortresses) that are found throughout the country. One of the most famous temples in Bhutan is the Paro Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The monastery is located on a cliff and is said to be the place where Guru Rinpoche, a revered saint in Bhutanese Buddhism, meditated in the 8th century.
Another great way to experience Bhutan’s culture is by participating in one of the many festivals that are held throughout the year. These festivals, known as Tshechus, are colorful and lively events that feature traditional dance and music performances, as well as a variety of other cultural activities. Visitors can also learn about Bhutan’s traditional art by visiting the many museums and galleries that are found throughout the country.
When it comes to accommodations, Bhutan offers a variety of options for visitors. For budget-conscious travelers, there are several budget hotels and guesthouses that offer basic amenities at an affordable price. These accommodations often have shared facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens, and they’re a great option for those who are looking to save money on accommodation.
For those who prefer more comfort and privacy, there are also several mid-range and luxury hotels in the country that offer private rooms and amenities such as private bathrooms, and fitness centers. These hotels are a great option for travelers who want a bit more comfort during their stay in the country. A night in a mid-range hotel in Bhutan can cost around $100 to $200, while a night in a luxury hotel can cost around $300 to $500.
It’s important to note that the cost of living in Bhutan can be relatively high, due to its remote location and the fact that all visitors are required to purchase a minimum daily package from a licensed Bhutanese tour operator. This package includes accommodations, meals, transportation, guide services and a sustainable development fee. The prices for the packages vary depending on the level of accommodation and the time of year.
Visiting Bhutan from America requires some planning and preparation, as the country has a unique system for tourism and entry. The first step for American citizens is to apply for a visa through a Bhutanese tour operator. The tour operator will handle all aspects of the visa application process and will also arrange for transportation, accommodations, and guide services during the visit.
Once the visa is approved, American citizens need to have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining and have to purchase a minimum daily package from the tour operator, which includes accommodations, meals, transportation, guide services, and a sustainable development fee.
It’s also important to note that there are certain restrictions on travel to Bhutan. For example, independent travel is not allowed, and all visitors must travel with a licensed Bhutanese tour operator. Additionally, the government of Bhutan regulates the number of tourists who are allowed to visit the country each year, and the number of tourists allowed to enter the country is limited.
It’s also worth noting that Bhutan is a cash-based economy, so it’s recommended to carry enough cash in the local currency, Ngultrum, to cover expenses during the visit.
In summary, visiting Bhutan from America requires some planning and preparation. American citizens need to apply for a visa through a Bhutanese tour operator, purchase a minimum daily package, have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining, and be prepared for cash-based transactions. Additionally, all visitors must travel with a licensed Bhutanese tour operator and the number of tourists allowed to enter the country is limited.
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