The Kingdom of Bhutan, situated in the eastern Himalayas, shares its northern border with China. The border in the east, west and south is shared with India.
The impact of Buddhism is apparent in all walks of life in the kingdom and its unique cultural heritage and the pristine Himalayan surroundings i offer the traveller a unique experience and awe inspiring scenic beauty.
Bhutan has also been blessed with some of the most exotic species of the plants and birds on earth and the kingdom is one of the popular bio diversity hot spots on the earth. Rich fauna, flora and Himalayan ranges offer endless adventure opportunities to any visitor. The Bhutanese Government decide several decades ago to restrict the number of visitors to their country every year, thereby ensuring they kept their cultural identity. This may have resulted in higher prices but it has also kept the country as an unspoiled Shangri-la.
Two main cities of the kingdom of Bhutan lie in the valleys. Thimphu, the capital city, is one of the most picturesque cities of the kingdom and is situated on the banks of the river Thimphu. This city is a visual representation of the centuries old culture of the Kingdom. Important places include Trashi Chhoe Dzond and the Memorial Chorten.
The second main city is Paro and is one of the most scenic places, with historic buildings and natural landscapes situated on the banks of a river Paro. It is home to the famous Taktshang monastery and National Museum. Kyichu Iyakhang, one of the holiest temples of the kingdom, is situated nearby.
Another destination worth consideration is Bumthang, the spiritual heart of the kingdom and home to many of the older and more sacred Buddhist sites.
For the more active there are wonderful trekking opportunities for the keen walker. The Chomolhari trek is a six-day trek and takes the visitor through a variety of terrains. It starts from Drugyel Dzong and ends at the eastern face of Chomolhari. A lake here is full of crystal clear water and offers a magnificent view to reward your efforts. Along the route you get the chance to pass through scattered dwellings and forests - if you are lucky, you may spot wild animals. Another popular trek follows the long established route from Chomolhari across to Laya.
When To Go
The seasons in Bhutan reflect those of other Himalayan Regions. The best times are October to mid-December when the temperature is warm and the visibility is at its clearest after the monsoon rains, and March-April when the spring brings forth a riot of flora including forests of vibrant rhododendrons.. January and February are cold - especially at higher altitudes but not too wet. The monsoon arrives in June to September, bringing downpours and cloud covering most of the hills and peaks.
Bhutan is a country with a landscape and culture made for trekking. Popular treks involve visiting the monasteries and small villages and hamlets that dot the hills and are a great way to explore the kingdom. This offers an ideal balance of natural beauty, peace of the mountains and insight into a unique culture.Continue Reading...
The Bhutanese Constitution has conservation written into it, guaranteeing 60% of its lands are kept forested and protecting over half of its land to some degree of conservation. Home to the Snow Leopard, the Bengal Tiger and Asian elephants, it is a vital area in the fight to preserve such iconic species.Continue Reading...