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Bhutan

BHUTAN TOURS

Travel to Bhutan was only opened to tourists in 1974 and its policy of 'high value low numbers tourism' ensures that relatively few travellers have visited Bhutan since. The country's unique philosophy of promoting 'Gross National Happiness' and entrenched Buddhism, combined with extremely friendly people and beautiful Himalayan scenery makes it a place like no other.

We run regular small group Bhutan tours and treks throughout the year. Several of these are timed to fit in with some of Bhutan's famous Tsechus (festivals) and we always try and visit the huge weekend market in the capital Thimphu.

Request a Bhutan Tour Brochure Online Today

Our team will be delighted to assist you with your travel arrangements to Bhutan to join the tour. Although it is possible to enter overland from India, most people will fly into Bhutan with the national airline Druk Air from Delhi, Kathmandu, Bangkok or Singapore. Druk Air flights do not connect with the international flight system, so at least one night in one of these cities is normally required at either end of the tour. We are happy to arrange both your Druk Air flights and accommodation in any of these cities to help you connect your Bhutan trip with your main international flights. Please check the extension options shown on the tour or contact us for details and advice if required.

TOP Bhutan TRAVEL DEALS & UPCOMING TOURS

Tour Name Tour Type Days Start Date Price

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it safe to visit Bhutan?

Bhutan is a very safe destination to visit and crime is minimal.

What is the official currency of Bhutan?

The ngultrum is the official currency of Bhutan and it is subdivided into 100 chhertum.

When is the best time of the year to visit Bhutan?

October to December is the best time of the year to visit Bhutan, as the air is clear, and the temperature is mild. January and February are much colder and dry. The weather is pleasant in April and in late spring rhododendrons fill the valleys.

What to wear in Bhutan?

The dress code in Bhutan is fairly formal for the locals and visitors. When entering the monastery or temple, you should wear long sleeved tops, trousers or long skirts. It is also a good idea to dress in layers as the temperature can vary during the day.

Is the tap water safe to drink in Bhutan?

The tap water is not safe to drink in Bhutan, so you should stick to bottled mineral water, which is readily available in hotels, restaurants and shops.

TOUR REVIEWS

I liked the fact we were met at the airport and helped thru customs and getting a visa and then upon leaving taken to where we needed to go. Its always tough to figure out where everything is in a foreign airport when you do not travel much
We had a wonderful time and great memories. We felt safe the whole time and would recommend this trip to anyone of any age as long as you can walk a lot. They are with you from arrival to departure and any problems that arose the guides would try their best to solve. They also showed remarkable patience for other people in other groups we saw that were acting like idiots.

Anthony has been amazing throughout my planning of my tour. He has been very quick in replying to my emails and always answering with everything I wanted to know. I look forward to hopefully planning my next trip through him next year!

My contact with Encounters representative was a pleasure, she answered my questions promptly, provided a quotation and changed it quickly when different flights were preferred. Both by e-mail and phone the response was very timely.

Anthony has been a pleasure to work with and when he is not available, other members of the team respond in a timely manner. I have booked a total of 6 trips since December 2013 and plan to book more to fill my bucket list.

My experience with Encounters was excellent from start to finish. The Tour Guide, Sheriff, was the most passionate, enthusiastic and professional guide I have ever had on a tour and his love for Egypt really made me enjoy my time so much more.
I was cautious about arriving in Egypt given the current circumstances about the country, but felt safer that I did living in London as soon as I arrived. All of the Encounters staff are very professional.

ratings

Bhutan Country Guide

Bhutan Country Guide Flag

Factfile


Time: GMT+6
Dial Code: +975
Area: 38,394 km²
Elevation: The lowest point in Bhutan is Drangme Chhu, 97m (318 ft.) | The highest point in Bhutan is Gangkhar Puensum, 7,570m (24,836 ft.)
Population: 817,054 (2018)
Capital: Thimphu
Governemnt: Constitutional monarchy
Language: Dzongkha

Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia. Situated in the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is bordered by Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, the Sikkim state of India and the Chumbi Valley of Tibet in the west, the Arunachal Pradesh state of India in the east, and the states of Assam and West Bengal in the south.

The country is geopolitically in South Asia and is the region's second least populous nation after the Maldives. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and the largest city, while Phuntsholing is its financial centre.

Bhutan has never been colonised and has remained independent for centuries. The distinct national identity of the Bhutanese state is based on Buddhism. The National Assembly of Bhutan is a part of the bicameral parliament of the Bhutanese democracy.

The dramatic landscape of Bhutan includes verdant subtropical plains in the south and sub-alpine Himalayan mountains in the north. The highest mountain in Bhutan is Gangkhar Puensum - one of the highest unclimbed mountains in the world.

Bhutan maintains diplomatic relations with 52 countries and the European Union. The government is a parliamentary democracy and the head of state is the king of Bhutan. Bhutan is also known for inventing the concept of Gross National Happiness.

The climate in Bhutan is influenced by elevation and the country experiences five distinct seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. There is diverse wildlife in Bhutan with rare species such as the golden langur.

Highlights

  • Phobkikha Valley – an expansive U-shaped glacial valley where the black-necked crane resides.
  • Thimphu market – a farmer's weekend market selling organic vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs.
  • Dochula Pass – a mountain pass in the Himalayas on the road from Thimpu to Punakha.
  • Kyichu Lhakhang – a significant Himalayan Buddhist temple part of a network of 12 other temples.
  • National Museum of Bhutan – a historic cultural museum in Paro displaying over 3,000 works of Bhutanese art.
  • Druk Path trek – one of the finest short treks following an ancient trading route over high mountain passes.
  • Archery ground in Paro – this archery ground is still used for traditional archery today.
  • Trashi Chho Dzong – an elaborate Buddhist monastery and fortress on the northern edge of Thimphu

Tips

  • Bring a hat, sunglasses, sun cream and lip balm for the strong Himalayan sun.
  • Time your visit during a festival as these colourful spectacles are worth witnessing.
  • You can haggle in most shops, but don't expect more than a 10% discount.
  • You don't have to tip in restaurants and hotels, but you should tip your guide.
  • Before taking photographs inside monasteries or at religious sites, ask for permission.
  • The roads in Bhutan are winding so bring medication if you are prone to motion sickness.
  • Tuesdays are considered the national 'dry day' as the sale of alcohol is prohibited.
  • Many of the locals are fluent in English as that is the medium of education.

Small Group Bhutan TOURS

Private Bhutan TOURS

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TAILOR-MADE Bhutan TOURS

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Our tailor-made tours seek to create a personalised experience – one that is completely exclusive to you. By taking all your interests and requests into consideration, we design an itinerary that ticks off your specific boxes. If you are after adventurous exploration, cultural immersion, a relaxing escape or a balanced blend of everything, we can make it happen.

A highlight of our tailor-made tours is that the itinerary is flexible and incorporates plenty of free time – so you can do some exploring on your own. Our local, friendly guides, experts in their country’s history and culture, will be happy to adjust the activities or your schedule as you travel.

If you are a group of friends, a large family or a company, our tailor-made tours are an ideal, stress-free option. You can even select your own hotels or make use of our recommended accommodation. We have a varied selection of sample holiday itineraries to choose from, either as they stand or as a base for inspiration.

VIDEO FEATURE

Our video features aim to bring our adventure tours to life in a way that no photo can, giving you a great taste of the destination.

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Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.

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