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Bhutan is a tiny, remote and impoverished kingdom nestling in the Himalayas between its powerful neighbours, India and China. Almost completely cut off for centuries, it has tried to let in some aspects of the outside world while fiercely guarding its ancient traditions. It only began to open up to outsiders in the 1970s.
There is the amazing Himalayan landscape, where snowcapped peaks rise above shadowy gorges cloaked in primeval forests. Taking up prime positions in this picture-book landscape are the majestic fortress-like dzongs and monasteries.
Bhutan is no ordinary place
It is a Himalayan Kingdom with a reputation for mystery and magic, where a traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces global developments.
"... Shrouded amongst the peaks of the eastern Himalayas, I have found the Kingdom of Bhutan was one of the most exceptional countries I have been privileged enough to visit"
Very Special Rates for Travel Industry Staff!
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia located at the eastern end of the Himalayas. It is a tiny, remote and impoverished kingdom nestling in the Himalayas between its powerful neighbors, India and China. Almost completely cut off for centuries, it has tried to let in some aspects of the outside world while fiercely guarding its ancient traditions. It only began to open up to outsiders in the 1970's.
The Bhutanese pride themselves on a sustainable approach to tourism in line with the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. There is a strict policy to ensure the Kingdom does not get subjected to mass tourism. It is a legal requirement that Regular tourist visitors must pay a government minimum rate of USD $200 per per person day during January, February, June, July, August and December, and USD $250 per day during March, April, May, September, October, and November...however, this fee is all inclusive of accommodation, food, transport and an official guide throughout the stay.
The very special Staff Travel Voyage travel industry staff rate is an exclusive 50% discount for Travel Agent and Tour Operator staff (USD $100/125 per day) and 20% discount for Airline Staff and their companions (USD $140/175). Airline companion rate also applies to companions of travel agent and tour operators). All children 5-12 years pay the Travel Agent 50% reduced rate. Children under 5 are free (pay only for visa entry $40)
Bhutan holds many surprises. This is a country where the rice is red and where chillies aren't just a seasoning but the main ingredient. It's also a deeply Buddhist land, where monasteries are part of the mainstream, and where giant protective penises are painted beside the entrance to many houses. While it visibly maintains its Buddhist traditions, Bhutan is not a museum. You will find the Bhutanese well educated, fun loving and vibrant.
When you visit Bhutan, you will become one of the few who have experienced the natural charm of the first country where Gross National Happiness is deemed more important than Gross National Product. By law, at least 60% of the country must remain forested for all future generations. You will experience Bhutan's natural wonders first-hand when traveling the mountain passes – resplendent with rhododendron blossom in spring. Botanical riches and unique mammals and birds are protected in several national parks, and a mountain trek is one of the best ways to experience the Himalaya.
There is the amazing Himalayan landscape, where snowcapped peaks rise above shadowy gorges cloaked in primeval forests. Taking up prime positions in this picture-book landscape are the majestic fortress-like dzongs and monasteries. This unique architecture embodies Buddhist culture and sets the scene for spectacular tsechus (dance festivals). Then there are the textiles and handicrafts, outrageous archery competitions, high-altitude trekking trails, and stunning flora and fauna. If it's not 'Shangri La', it's as close as it gets.
Travel along mystical mountains, visit various dzongs and Buddhist gompas, trek along scenic nature trails, experience the 'Dragon Kingdom' with cultural interactions at a local farm, and take in the stunning Himalayan mountains
- Visit the famous Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang) monastery, near Paro.
- Immersion in Bhutanese culture at Paro’s National Museum
- Visit the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu.
- Ancient dzongs (fort-monasteries) and monasteries in Thimphu
- Views of Chomolhari (7314m), Bhutan’s most sacred mountain, and the Bhutanese Himalayas
- A day in Bumthang in Central Bhutan – the cultural heart of Bhutan and home to some of the country’s most significant Buddhist sites
- A chance to experience the colourful Paro Tshechu
The national Airline of the Kingdom of Bhutan operates a scheduled network within the South Asian region from its Head Quarters at Paro, a picturesque Valley in Western Bhutan. The Capital, Thimphu is 60 Minutes drive away. Bhutan, the last Mahayana Buddhist kingdom and also the most exclusive and sought-after travel destinations, opened its doors to the outside world only four decades ago. And so, the concept of a national airline was born on April 5, 1981. Drukair began operations on February 11, 1983 and began humbly with a 18-seat Dornier 228-200 that made its historic touch down at Paro airport on January 14, 1983, to the chant of inauguration prayers, cymbals, conches and the like, with maroon-clad monks blessing the occasion and the plane. Today it operates a super modern fleet of Airbus A319's and an ATR-42-500.
Southern Bhutan has a hot, humid sub-tropical climate that is fairly unchanging throughout the year. Temperatures can vary between 15-30 degrees Celsius. In the Central parts of the country the climate cools a bit, changing to temperate and deciduous forests with warm summers and cool, dry winters. In the far Northern reaches of the kingdom the weather is cold during winter. Mountain peaks are perpetually covered in snow and lower parts are still cool in summer owing to the high altitude terrain.
Travel Agents and Tour Operators pay the 50% discounted rate shown at the time of booking. I.D. will be required upon confirmation of booking in order for your entry visa to be issued prior to arrival.
Airline Staff and companions & companions of travel agents/tour operators must pay the rate shown at the time of booking and will receive a 20% cash back refund on arrival Bhutan (This is because it is a legal requirement that non travel agents/tour operators pay upfront in order for their visa to be issued to allow legal entry into Bhutan). Also note for airline staff and companions if there is only 1 persons traveling in the booking a $40 per person per night surcharge applies, and if only 2 persons a $30 per person per night surcharge applies)
The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillies are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy.
Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often. Vegetables commonly eaten include Spinach, pumpkins, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, river weed, onions and green beans. Grains such as rice, buckwheat and barley are also cultivated in various regions of the country depending on the local climate.
Bhutan’s first Private Airline came into existence after the Tashi Group of Companies won the License to operate both domestic and international airline services from and into Bhutan. On 4th December 2011, it welcomed its first aircraft, A Pilatus PC12 with capacity of 8 Passengers for domestic operations. It started its International operations on 10th of October 2013 with an A320 aircraft and 150 passenger seating capacity, operating a flight from Paro to Bangkok and connecting on to Kolkata. Bhutan Airlines started its latest fleet with new Airbus A319's with 122 seating capacity on 1st of May 2014.
Our Staff Super Special Offers in Bhutan If you do not find a hotel you are looking for please scroll to the bottom of this page for more hotels and special rates!
Introduction to Bhutan ~ 3 Nights/4 Days
Get ready to explore a whole different world on our introductory tour of Bhutan. This small nation is the home of the Himalayas, which has long kept much of the influence of globalization from interfering with their pristine environment and ancient culture.
Splendours of Bhutan ~ 5 Nights/6 Days
Get to know the splendours of Bhutan on our five night, six day tour. This tour will give you a chance to really get to know this beautiful kingdom while hitting all of Bhutan’s best cultural highlights. If you’re the kind of traveler who likes to truly take in a nation’s history, landscape, and culture, our Splendours of Bhutan tour is right for you!
1 Week in the Kingdom ~ 7 Nights/8 Days
Though Bhutan is a small kingdom, there’s no end to the sights to see and adventures to enjoy. Our one week tour of this kingdom gives you just enough time to see everything Bhutan has offer while savoring all of the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful kingdom.
Royal Bhutan Tour ~ 8 Nights/9 Days
There’s no better way to see the mountain kingdom of Bhutan than with our Royal Bhutan tour. Get to know the real Bhutan and all of its mysteries on this eight night tour.