Bhutan – Welcome to The Last Shangri- La
Bhutan- A Land Of ‘The Last Shangri-la’, for years remained isolated from the rest of the countries, seems like a little piece of Himalayan paradise.
Here in Bhutan, traffic lights don’t exist ( although there was one such in capital city Thimphu, but they were eventually disconnected for being unfriendly), stringent nature conservation laws signifies that trees still cover nearly 75% of the country, and country’s productivity is measured in ‘Gross National Happiness’.
When you book Bhutan Tour Packages, you will realize that this is indeed a country of breathtaking mountains & hills – some of the highest in the world, dense-forested valleys and impressive dzong, monastery emplacements often balanced up on cliffsides. It’s a destination where sceneries are dotted with blue poppies (queen of Himalayan flowers), snow leopards and countless hangings of bright waving prayer flags.
Oh certainly, prayers. Bhutan takes its religion Buddhism seriously. The religion encompasses all stages of life, which is reflected through pristine temples, red-robed monks walking along the streets, an astonishing number of divinities and folklores, and an extensive faith in practicing kindness and spreading love to all emotional beings – what could be more superior than this?
Bhutan Trip doesn’t come as cheap as Thailand. In order to preserve the country’s perfect nature and mystical integrity, the government does charge a minimum fee to enter the country (Although it’s inclusive in Bhutan Tour Packages). Visitors who make Bhutan Tour plan in peak season (February to May and August to December) must pay a bit higher in comparison to the price in the low season (January and June-July). But at the end, every penny you add to the Bhutan Tour package cost is worth a lifetime. When you book Bhutan Holiday Packages or Bhutan honeymoon packages, you will get a cover for all your expenses:
Accommodation, Meals, a Licensed Tour Guide, Local Transport and Trekking Arrangements, if you seek to stretch your legs (As Bhutan offers some of the finest hiking activities in the Himalaya).
A tour guide, and probably a separate driver, comes as standard in Bhutan, since independent solo travel is prohibited. If there’s something you mostly want to experience – a distinctive tsechu (festival) or perhaps an archery session (the national sport of Bhutan) – you can customize a trip with the help of Bhutan Tour Operators. But all itineraries must be accepted by Bhutanʼs Tourism Council, and escorted by a local guide.
Your Bhutan tour operator will also arrange your transport to Bhutan – you can’t book flights individually. The land of Bhutan has just one international airport at Paro (a picturesque valley town where you land amidst the mountains); flights on national aircraft Druk Air Fly in from Nepal, India and Thailand. It is also possible to reach overland, but you would still require your Bhutan trip plans – itinerary, visa etc – arranged in advance by travel operator.
Is it worth it?
Nepal is just over the mountains and India is down south. Both have snow – covered Himalayan range and captivating religions; both are reasonable too. So is it worth spending all that cash on a trip to Bhutan? Of course, yes. Because Bhutan is unique both demographically and culturally. And who knows for how much longer. In 2008, Bhutan switched from being a kingdom to a democratic nation, a decision taken by the much adored King himself. Further, there is a desire to entice more tourists; three regional airports are being constructed and new regions are opening up, such as Merak Sakten, in the eastern side.
Bhutan is no ordinary destination. It is the last great Himalayan kingdom, cloaked in mystery and magical aura, where an age-old Buddhist culture carefully accepts global developments. With increased development and more tourist footfall, will this remarkable, great nation be able to preserve its spiritual and natural appeal? Who knows actually! So visit now – some journeys are just priceless.