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Discover Bhutan (The Last Shangri-La):

A Himalayan kingdom next to Nepal is still perhaps the world's most exclusive tourist on the earth reflecting age-old religion, culture, arts and architecture in its golden peak in the background of deep green valley and hillside. People are deeply religious following the Mahayana form of Buddhism. The air of spirituality is evident, even in the urban centres where the spinning of prayer wheels, the murmur of mantras and the glow of butter lamp in the houses are still important feature of everyday life. Monastery, temples and religious monuments are dotted across the landscape, bearing witness to the importance of Buddhism.

Bhutan at a Glance:
Area: 47,000 sq. km
Capital: Thimphu
Continent: South Asia
Seasons: Summer, autumn, winter, and spring
Language: Dzongkha & English
Currency: Ngultrum
Population: (2006 approx.) 2,279,723
Religions: Buddhist & Hinduism

Cotton clothes are sufficient from May until September but warm clothes are very much necessary from November to the end of April. However, visitors are advised to carry clothes consisting of layers (or preferably woollen sweater and jacket) throughout the season, as weather may change at any time.

The Royal government of Bhutan categories all hotels and lodges with a unique combination of tradition Bhutanese style and modern services. Clean and well-maintained rooms, most of the hotels are equipped with telephone, fax machines, restaurants etc. Even some of the simple lodges have a special charm of their own, and the guests are treated with the traditional warm hospitality.Weather conditions are ideal for visiting Bhutan in all seasons. Temperatures in the south are tropical, with high monsoon rainfall. Rainfall in the higher central region is not so heavy. The days are clear and warm with cool nights.Normal clothing preferably cotton for summer and woollen clothing for evening and winter. For trekking strong comfortable trekking boots, warm socks, sunglasses, head-gear, rain coat and warm clothing, including a down jacket for higher altitude treks. A medium sized sleeping bag is a must.

Getting to Bhutan

Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines are the only two Bhutanese Airlines that operate flights to Bhutan.

Druk Air – Royal Bhutan Airlines is the National Flag carrier of the kingdom of Bhutan and operates 4 (3- A319) and 1 ATR 42-500) series Aircrafts and flies to and from Singapore, (Kolkata, New Delhi, Gaya, Mumbai, Bagdogra and Gauhati in India), Bangkok (Thailand), Kathmandu (Nepal). Druk Air also flies to domestic destinations Yonphula, Gelephu and Bumthang.

Bhutan Airlines: A private Airline operates 2 A319 aircrafts with a seating capacity of 126 passengers, flies to Bangkok via Kolkata on daily basis and 3 flights to Delhi, India via Kathmandu.

Traveling to Bhutan by Road

For traveling to Bhutan by road, you have to enter Bhutan from three Southern districts of Phuentsholing which shares border with Indian border town of Jaigaon (West Bengal), Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar share border with the Indian state of Assam. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra (174 km – 4 hour drive) and you can combine traveling to Bhutan after or before your Darjeeling and Sikkim trip in Northern East India.

Badrapur (about 5 hours’ drive from Phuentsholing) and Birat Nagar (about 7 hours’ drive from Phuentsholing) are two other nearby airports in Nepal, connected with regular flights from Kathmandu.

Bhutan Travel Visa

All foreign nationals other than Indian nationals in groups of four or more may visit Bhutan. Applications for Visa should be made at least three weeks in advance. Visa fee US$ 50 needs to be paid at entry point (Paro airport and Phuntsholing) along with 2 passport photos with your passport number in the back.