Travel to Bhutan from Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia.
Kuzuzangpo – Greetings from Bhutan !!
Trip to Bhutan: If you wish to Travel to Bhutan from Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia, the underlining basic things you need to know about Bhutan is: Bhutan is a small, mountainous Buddhist kingdom perched up in the Eastern Himalayas , a bit bigger in size than Taiwan (Taiwan – 36,193 km²; Bhutan – 38,394 km² ), landlocked and sandwiched between the two Asian giants – China on the north and India in the west, east and south. Very thinly populated, it has a population all of 750,000 with a population density of just 19.3/km². Taiwan has a population of 23.55 million, so you can imagine and sort out the difference for yourself! Thimphu, the capital city with about 100,000 plus denizens is the nerve centre of the country from every prospective. Other major cities are Paro, which houses the international airport, Phuentsholing, Punakha, Haa, Wangduephodrang, Trongsa and Bumthang. The national language is Dzongkha, though English is very widely spoken throughout the country. English is actually the medium of instruction in all schools.
Bhutan is one of the last ten remaining ecological hotspots in the entire world, where more than 70 percent of the land is under green vegetation with about 600 species of various plants and animals. So the abundance of unique Himalayan flora and fauna is undeterred, compact and preserved along with its history, tradition and Buddhist culture. Bhutan is also the first country which initiated the belief of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which was coined by the fourth king of Bhutan, whereby the concept of GNH precedes GDP. This mystical country hidden right up in the Himalayas where Buddhism, Buddhist culture and tradition has been preserved in its true essence and finery is also known as the “Last Shangri – La on Earth”. There is actually a lot to experience and discover in this unique quaint small little nation. So travel to Bhutan from Southeast Asia, East Asia and Australasia and see and experience it for yourself!!
We at Yak Holidays International, Travel to Bhutan , are more than happy to help you.
TRAVEL TO BHUTAN WITH BHUTAN-AUSTRALIA FRIENDSHIP DISCOUNT TRAVEL OFFER.
What is the Bhutan – Australia Friendship Offer?
It is a one-time Special Bhutan Travel package that is being offered to all “Australian citizens” traveling to Bhutan in June, July and August, 2018. The offer includes :
- The all-inclusive mandatory minimum daily package rate of US$ 200 per person per night is waived. Instead, only the government Sustainable Development Fee of US$ 65 per person per night needs to be paid.
- Discounted fare on Bhutanese Airlines.
- Up to 50 % discounts in partnering Hotels
- Flexibility / choice of services.
- No surcharge of US$ 40 per person per night and US$ 30 each for two persons.
- Special airport reception on arrival of the 1st Group
Yak Holidays International recently hosted Spanish Actress Pilar de la Macarena Cano traveled to Bhutan with us from 28 Oct – 10 Nov 2017.
Spanish actress, Pilar de la Macarena Cano, at the foot of Mount Jhomolhari, near the Tibetan border.
Hi Mr. Sitar,
I did have a wonderful time in your beautiful country with Yak Holidays International. The Yak team was fantastic! I did feel really comfortable with them. They were very professional and really cared for my needs. Keep doing what you do, the way you do.
See you in the future
How to Organize a Bhutan Tour
- Visa Formalities and Procedures
Bhutanese Government laws mandate that all foreign visitors on Travel to Bhutan must always use a licensed Bhutanese Tour Operator (Yak Holidays Int’l) or one of their international partners to book their Travel to Bhutan.
All visitors require a passport, valid for at least 6 months longer than their journey, and a visa clearance for Bhutan which must be pre-approved prior to your arrival in Bhutan. Applications for tourist visas are submitted by your tour operator here in Bhutan and takes at least a week to process. Air tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance. Your Bhutan Visa will be arranged by Yak Holidays Int’l (www.traveltobhutan.travel), your tour operator, and all we usually need is a quality scan or photo of your passport photo page. Please be sure you carry the same passport that you submitted for your Bhutan visa or you will be denied entry. Bhutan visas generally cost US $40. A visa authority letter is issued after prepayment for your travel arrangements and the actual visa is entered into your passport on arrival at Paro International Airport. Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines are the two airlines that fly into Bhutan, please make sure you check with the Druk Air office at Singapore or Bhutan office for availability of flights to Bhutan. Or more importantly call and consult with Yak Holidays International, your Bhutanese Tour Operator and we will do the needful. When you check in at the airport starting in Bangkok, Singapore, Delhi, Kolkata or Kathmandu, you must show your approved visa authority letter for Bhutan (that has been sent to you via email by the tour operator). All visitors are now required to provide fingerprints and a facial image – biometrics, which is a smooth process and you’ll get through quickly.
Druk Air provides its standard baggage allowance of 20 kg for economy class travelers and 30 kg in business class. The allowance for carry-on bags is 5 kg. Just prior to landing at Paro International Airport at 2280 m, as the Druk Air plane makes the descend from amongst the clouds, you will get wonderful views of the beautiful, serene Himalayan mountain ranges. This special occasion to view these mountains from above them would more than justify your Druk Air fares. For the best views and pictures/videos of the landscape, please check-in early for your Druk Air flight and reserve your seats on the left side of the plane if you are flying in from Bangkok. Likewise on your return flight, pl request for a seat on the right side of the plane to get the best views. Seats on Druk Air are allocated on a “first come first served” basis. Yes, we promise, fulfillment of sublime satisfaction will be at hand when you travel o Bhutan. Simple as that.
- What is the Daily Tariff for your Travel to Bhutan?
During the low season months (Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug and Dec), it costs US $ 180 per person per night.
On the high season months (Mar, Apr, May, Sep, Oct and Nov).It costs $225 USD per person per night for groups of three or more.
For groups of two, it costs US $255 per person per night.
For a solo traveler, its US $ 265 per person per night.
So on the surface, Bhutan may seem like an expensive destination than nearby Nepal, India or elsewhere, but from a broader perspective it’s actually not such a bad deal, considering all that is included and packaged within that fee. This fee actually includes a 3 star accommodation, all meals, a licensed Bhutanese tour guide and a driver for transportation, entrance fees to sites, camping equipment & haulage for trekking tours during the entire course of your stay within the country. Also included within the fee is US $65 royalty per person per night that goes to the government towards free education, free healthcare and poverty alleviation. Healthcare is free even for tourists. The philosophy behind the mandatory minimum fee being that it creates a “high-value/low-impact“ tourist environment, as envisioned by the government of Bhutan. The government executes and regulates this minimum fee in order to manage tourism in a more sustainable way, to grow and blend sensibly with the world, without taxing the local environment and more importantly, highlight and conserve the unique “culture and tradition” of the country.
- Getting into Bhutan
The easiest option is to travel either to Bangkok or Singapore, whichever city is closer to wherever you are in either in Southeast Asia, East Asia or Australasia. Prioritize yourself to getting to Bangkok or to Singapore and then get the connecting Druk Air flight to Paro, Bhutan. Once you land in Paro International Airport in Bhutan, Yak Holidays Int’l will be with you 24×7.
5 flights per week from Bangkok, 3h 0m duration
Bangkok,Thailand (BKK) to Paro, Bhutan (PBH)
|12:00 pm||→||2:00 pm||Druk Air 151||–||–||–||–||–||–||S||BKK-PBH|
|12:55 pm||→||2:55 pm||Druk Air 151||–||–||T||–||–||–||–||BKK-PBH|
|1:25 pm||→||3:25 pm||Druk Air 151||–||–||–||–||T||F||–||BKK-PBH|
|2:20 pm||→||4:20 pm||Druk Air 151||S||–||–||–||–||–||–||BKK-PBH|
3 flights per week from Singapore, 6h 35m duration
Singapore (SIN) to Paro, Bhutan (PBH)
|07:20 am||→||15:30 pm||Druk Air 500||–||M||–||–||–||–||–||SIN-PBH|
|07:20 am||→||15:35 pm||Druk Air 500||–||–||–||W||–||–||–||SIN-PBH|
|07:20 am||→||15:35 pm||Druk Air 500||–||–||–||–||–||–||S||SIN-PBH|
(includes a 35min layover at Kolkata, passengers don’t need to disembark)
- Climate and Weather in Bhutan
December – February
These are Bhutan’s coldest months, especially in the mountains, but the clear skies can really reward those who are really up for low temperatures. The valleys are warmer and sunny during the day with clear views of the incredible Himalayas. There are fewer tourists around, so sometimes you can have all the place for just yourself!
March – April
March and April are popular times to travel to Bhutan as the climate is pleasant and the valleys are abundant in flowers of different varieties. The blooming will have started by then. Paro Tshechu usually is on early April, so book your trip ahead to get the best accommodation and flights.
Thermometers start to shoot up in May, bringing humidity as well as clouds all. However, fewer visitors and lower prices can make it a perfectly viable time to visit. The rhododendrons would also still be in bloom which can be ideal for photographers and nature lovers.
June – August
June to August and sometimes till September is monsoon time in Bhutan. Although showers can occur at night without killing your daytime experiences, conditions aren’t ideal for trekking. Sightseeing can still be done but have a raincoat handy! You can go to a spa or take a hot stone water bath. But morning views are at their very best after night-time downpours, the smell of the air and the earth, you will have it all.
September, October and November are excellent times for hiking, watching festivals, particularly the popular Thimphu Tshechu or festival and enjoying the stunning views of mountains, valleys and the flora and fauna. Expect it to be around 20-25°C in the sun during the day, but its going to be a lot cooler in the evenings/mornings and at higher altitudes. So don’t forget your woolens.
About 80% of all international visitors want to visit Bhutan in October, there is a dead rush, a rat race, so plan well in advance to ensure you get your preferred accommodation and Druk Air flights. Please also note that Druk Air planes have a capacity of 114 pax.
Black-necked cranes migrate from the cold Tibetan Highlands to the protected Phobjikha Valley each year and also to Bumdeling in eastern Bhutan. They remain in the region from late October to early February. In Gangtey Monastery in Phobjikha, a special Black Necked Festival is held every November to celebrate the arrival of the birds. Please note and plan in advance if you want to be part of it.
So Travel to Bhutan checking your month wise priorities.
- Food and Cuisine in Bhutan
Bhutanese food includes rice as the main dish with several side dishes of pork, beef, chicken and lamb. The typical Bhutanese will eat rice (the indigenous red variety or Indian white rice), which is the main dish, chillies and vegetables three times a day. Along with that, they often serve different side dishes of beef, pork, chicken and yak meat, of course with Bhutanese chillies and veggies.
When you travel to Bhutan you sure might miss out on your staple local food from back home but you can try Bhutanese red rice for a change. You can also try pork sikaam, which is a Bhutanese version of bacon or spicy beef jerky dishes and an assortment of various dishes unique to Bhutan. Or momo dumplings and various versions of noodles with meat , veggies or eggs. But if you happen to be a jalapeno lover, then you are in the right place on the right time.
(Award-winning chef, Vikas Khanna is the owner of New York’s Michelin star restaurant, Junoon).
The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillies are an essential part of almost every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy enough! Chillies are used as a vegetable, not as a condiment.
Ema Datshi, which is chillies and cottage cheese, is the national dish and prepared differently wherever you go. It’s spicy and is typically eaten every single day. Veterans say you haven’t really visited Bhutan unless you’ve tried Ema Datshi. Have your guide ask for it at your hotel or restaurant as it may not be served with your meals because it may be too spicy for many visitors. An yet another hot fiery rough chilli paste is Ezzay which the Bhutanese people just love to have.
Salted Butter tea or Suja served on all social occasions, as is prevalent among all Buddhist communities of the Himalayas (from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh). In traditional homes in the Bhutanese hinterland, the serving host will sit beside you with a jar full of hot butter tea and will almost instantly fill your cup up to the brim after you have had a sip! That’s part of the Bhutanese tradition, of course.
Chang is a local beer and Aara is a clear alcohol distilled from various grains cultivated in the mountains.
The diet in the mountains also includes chicken, fish, yak meat, dried beef, pork, pork fat and lamb. Soups and stews of meat, rice, fiddle-head ferns, mushroom, lentils, and dried vegetables, spiced with chilli peppers and cheese are a favorite meal during the cold seasons. Dairy foods, particularly butter and cheese from yaks and cows are also popular and indeed almost all milk is turned into butter and cheese. Popular spices include curry, cardamom, ginger, thin-gay or Sichuan pepper, garlic, turmeric and caraway.
The typical tourist class hotel serves a western style breakfast and quasi-Bhutanese style lunches and dinners which are adjusted for the western palette. Some hotels and restaurants, however, forego Bhutanese cuisine entirely for a more international fare which is quite a shame as Bhutanese food is quite good!
(Mark Wiens, based in Bangkok is a world known Travel and Food Blogger)
While you are eating it will be rare that your guide or driver will eat with you. If you ask them to join you (sometimes you have to press them), then they reluctantly join. Otherwise they’ll eat in a back room with the other drivers and guides at the hotel or restaurant.
- Things to do in Bhutan
You can do several things in Bhutan..
- Take a Cultural Tour, Festival Tour, Special Interest Tour
- Hike as you like, Flexibility and Customization are guaranteed
- Go for Magnificent Himalayan Treks
- Participate the world famous ” Snow Man Trek”
- Rejoice Buddhist Mask Dances and Tshechu Festivals
- See and Experience century old fortresses called Dzongs.
- Stay in Typical Bhutanese Homestays
- Enjoy local Bhutanese Food
- Get an extra Experience of Rarified Bhutanese Atmosphere at over 2000m asl
- Experience pure Buddhist tradition and preserved Bhutanese culture.
- Get to see the last Shangri-la on Earth
- Places of Interest
- Taktshang Monastery, 900 m above Paro valley.
- Chele La Pass, the highest motorable road at 3988m.
- Dochula Pass, on a clear day almost all mountain peaks of Northern Bhutan
- Punakha Dzong, Chhmi Lhakhang, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal
- Tashichhoe Dzong, Thimphu, Motithang Takin Preserve, Handicrafts Museum
- Thimphu Valley
- Paro Valley, Drugyal Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Ta Dzong
- Phobjikha Glacial Valley
- Trongsa Dzong
- Bumthang Valley, the famous 4 valleys of Tang, Chumey, Chokor and Ura. plus “Membar Tsho” or the burning lake and Kurjey Lhakhang.
SO COME, VISIT AND TRAVEL TO BHUTAN. WE, AT YAK HOLIDAYS WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO ENTERTAIN YOU AND MAKE YOU EXPERIENCE THE BEST OF BHUTAN WITH US.
TRAVEL TO BHUTAN WITH YAK HOLIDAYS.. Travel to Bhutan…