An Insider’s View on Bhutan

By Koustav Sarkar  

, The Land of the Thunder Dragon 

Bhutan is a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. The  country’s landscape ranges from lush subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan mountains in the north. Bhutanese  are environmental friendly and mainly focus on preserving their natural resources and rich culture. Bhutan ranks first in economic freedom, peace and is the least corrupted country in the world.  

Q] Activity anyone travelling to this region should not miss? 

 There is so much to do when you’re in Bhutan, like archery, river rafting, hiking, but soaking yourself in a traditional Hot Stone bath is something one must experience when in Bhutan. 

 Q] One thing you must pack when travelling to Bhutan?

 You definitely want to pack good walking shoes and warm clothes, as you will be using them a lot.

Q] Something that one must buy when they are in Bhutan?

Bhutan is known for its unique, rich hand-woven textiles and interesting painting styles. So one should definitely  buy Bhutanese handicraft, gold and sliver jewellery, handmade wooden bowls, Buddhist paintings and sculptures.  You can buy them at Thimphu, Paro and  Phuntsheoling which are some of the major shopping centres in Bhutan. 

Q] Which are the best places to capture memories when in Bhutan?

Some great picture spots are Tigers nest, Paro dzong and Punakha Suspension Bridge. Don’t forget to take amazing panoramic pictures at Buddha’s point, BBS tower, Dochula and Chelela. 

Q] Any place to enjoy sunset/sunrise?

Dochula Pass is a mountain pass in the snow covered Himalayas within Bhutan, this place offers a 360-degree views of the Himalayas making every sunset and sunrise a surreal experience.

Q] The best place to try authentic local food?

Some of the best places to try authentic Bhutanese cuisine are The Folk Heritage Museum restaurant, Babesa Village restaurant and The Bhutanese which are all located in Thimphu.

Q] Which are the local delicacies which one must try when in Bhutan?

 Ema datshi and Ara are famous Bhutanese curries which one must try. The local wine and beer here are good too.

Q] Which is the best time to visit Bhutan?

October to December is the best time to visit Bhutan.

Q] Any local festivals that a travellers must come visit?

  Thimphu Tshechu is the biggest and the most vibrant festival which every traveller must visit when in Bhutan.

Q] Can you describe Bhutan in one sentence

 Bhutan is vibrant and filled with culture.


5 reasons why you should visit Bhutan

By Meenakshi Shankar

Tucked into the lap of the mighty Himalayas, Bhutan gives you a time travelling experience. Meenakshi Shankar explores the gorgeous country – The Roof of the world’ as Bhutan is known, which took her  breath away.

Its is a magical land inhabited by magical people. While a monk laughing and dancing in the snow at dawn on top of a mountain is beautiful, it is hardly surprising. Here, I think, almost everything is magical and almost anything is possible”.

1. Head out on a hike in Paro Valley

The Paro Valley resembles an Oriental version of Switzerland, with plots of wheat and barley, rice fields and the valley floor gleaming silver with irrigation channels that flow from the Paro River.

The valley’s spectacular scenery leaves us breathless (it’s more than just the high altitude). Green fields, isolated farms, cozy hamlets and more.

Southwards, is the habitat of elephant and tigers. The transition from north to south, from mountains to plains and cold to hot, is repeated across Bhutan.

Must see along the way

The Taktsang Monastery which defies logic, gravity, and reason: it clings impossibly and precariously to a sheer granite cliff almost a kilometer above Paro valley.

2. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the river side

Whilst you explore Punakha Valley – along the Mo Chhu through terraces of rice, enjoy a relaxed picnic lunch on the banks of the Punak Chu – surrounded by lush green. Nature at its best seduces you to unwind. Watch the drifting clouds as they float by, feel the stress ebb away from you whilst you drink in the surreal scenery.

3. Explore the gorgeous nature and the mystical culture

Dzongs, endless streams, incredible mountain views, superb architecture, warm and friendly people  welcome you.

4. Explore the valleys

Traveling through Bhutan’s ethereal landscape on the way to wild center, pass countless golden roofed monasteries, temples and prayer flag covering the hilltops; navigate endless emerald valleys and ancient forests with now capped Himalayan peaks in the back ground throughout your journey.

5. The magic of Thimphu Festival (Tsechu)

One of the grandest of Bhutan’s festivals and attracts the largest audience. Featuring dances performed by trained monks and laymen in amazing masks and costumes, Tsechus (festivals) are one of the best ways to experience the ancient living culture of Bhutan.

Check out our Wanderers Group Tour on Bhutan