【Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon 】
Do you know #Bhutan? I think most of us know Bhutan from the world happiness list. Bhutan, the happiest country in the world, is also known as "the #Shangri-La under the #Himalayas." Before I went to Bhutan, I told my friends around me about this country but most of them didn't know the location of Bhutan and wondered how the country looked like. Hence, I would like to share some of the photos and information from my journey in Bhutan.
【How to go】 For those who want to travel to Bhutan, the only airline is own by Bhutan's national airlines which is Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines. We choose to take the Bhutan Royal Airlines #DRUKAIR from Bangkok, Thailand to Paro Airport. Paro Airport is said to be one of the ten most dangerous airports in the world. It is in the deep valley near the Paro River and surrounded by severe 18,000-foot mountain peaks. It requires a very high skill for the pilots; therefore, it only allows for arrival and departures during daytime. Only 17 pilots in the world can take off and landed at this airport.
【Pricing】 According to the Bhutanese government regulations, all visitors travel to Bhutan must be accompanied by a licensed Bhutanese tour guide and backpacking is unfortunately totally impossible. The country requires you to pay minimum USD250 a day in Royalty. This fee includes your hotel accommodation, daily meals, driver, guide, entry fees, internal transportation, sustainable tourism royalty, and a visa fee of $40.
【Weather】 Bhutan is still cold in March, with a big temperature difference (3-22 degrees) between day and night. Especially in the #DochulaPass, which is 3,500 meters above sea level, it is very cold when the wind blows towards you. Basically, mountain sickness is rarely happened in Bhutan, so don't worry too much.
【Accommodation】 Bhutan accommodation has improved a lot compared to many years ago. The hotel basically will provide kettle, shower gel, water heater, air conditioner and heater. One of the hotels we stayed even had electric heated mattress. For hair dryer, toothbrush, slippers etc, it is best to bring your own, not every hotel will provide.
【Food】 Bhutan is a Buddhist country that practice nonkilling, therefore the main dishes mostly is rice and vegetables. The meat mostly is frozen imported from India. Bhutanese traditional foods are spicy. The chili is their main dish rather than seasonings. You can easily find chickens, vegetables, cheese and potatoes in the restaurant buffet and serve with red rice. Almost every meal has a dish called “#Emadatshi” which is chili cheese stew, recognized as a national dish of Bhutan.
【Culture】 Bhutan is a Buddhist country with a strong belief in myths and legends. There are certain places such as monasteries and temples, where photography is prohibited, however there is no restriction on photographing Dzongs from outside. Our tour guide said when it was time to take off your shoes, then you couldn’t take photos anymore. No Shoes, No Photographs. This time, we have the chance to participate in the inauguration ceremony and the opening ceremony of the 600-year-old ancestral home of #DatongRinpoche (Bhutan Living Buddha). We are also very lucky to meet two Bhutanese #PemaLingpa and Princess of Bhutan during the ceremony.
Our journey end perfectly with a magnificent view of Himalayas. Hundreds of mountain peaks sprawled across our horizon. It was so amazing that I could hardly believe my eyes! I am looking forward to seeing you again, Bhutan!