Bhutan tours were 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 Himalayan Kingdom expeditions 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.
Our team will be delighted to assist you with your travel arrangements for your Bhutan holidays. 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 your Bhutan tour. We are happy to arrange both your Druk Air flights and accommodation in any of these cities to help you connect your Bhutan tour with your main international flights. Please check the extension options shown on the tour or contact us for details and advice if required.
Knowing when to go on a Bhutan tour is important, we've created a handy guide which tells you when is the best time to go.
Do you want to know more about Bhutan and its beauty? Or do you need accurate visa information?
Contact the Bhutan tourism board for more information.
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Bhutan is a very safe destination to visit and crime is minimal.
The ngultrum is the official currency of Bhutan and it is subdivided into 100 chhertum.
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.
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.
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.
Planning a trip to Bhutan isn’t as hard as it seems if you know more or less what you want to do and see, also how you plan your trip depends on your budget. However, if you book a tour with us at Encounters Travel all the planning is done for you – see what tours we have to offer here.
The cost of a meal in Bhutan depends on where and what your cravings are – an average meal in Bhutan can cost around BTN795 per person.
Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner.
Bhutan is generally a very safe country to travel. It is one of the best travel destinations in the world – it is almost completely devoid of the scams, begging and theft that affects its neighbours. However, there are occasional rabies outbreaks in rural Bhutan, so be wary of big dogs guarding properties, especially if trekking.
Surprisingly many people in Bhutan speak English since it's the medium of instruction in the schools.
All government documents and road signs are written in both English and Dzongkha, and the national newspaper, Kuensel, is published in three languages: Dzongkha, English, and Nepali.
Yes, some vaccines are required for Bhutan. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Bhutan: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.
The cost of a trip to Bhutan varies – how long are you planning on staying, what sites are you planning on seeing and what is your budget. At Encounters Travel we offer Bhutan tours ranging from $2065 per person to $6304 per person.
With so much to see and do in Bhutan, an ideal tour of the country would be for the whole thirty days of your visa – we can dream, right? – which might just be enough time to visit around two thirds of the country's amazing sights and attractions. However, to make the most of the best sights and experiences in Bhutan, at least five days is needed.
We recommend October to December as the ideal time to visit Bhutan – the air is clear and fresh with sunny skies.
January and February are colder, but from then until April the climate remains dry and pleasant and in late spring the famous rhododendrons bloom spectacularly, flooding the valleys with colour.
In an effort to protect Bhutan's environment and culture, the government has placed a minimum fee of $200 per person per day for visitors to Bhutan – this makes visiting Bhutan one of the most expensive countries to visit.
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!
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
Everything was great. Our guide was very knowledgeable and liked that we were interested in what he was telling us. We were lucky to be in a group with like minded people who also wanted to stay in places longer of which our guide accommodated. Only negative thing was the sitting train. Best to just take the flying option. Train was not bad but has no services, no alcohol, and breakfast was all carbs and an egg. Egypt really seems to like their breads and pastries....
Encounters Travel did such a superb job in organizing this tour. I had never heard of them before going on the Maldives Magic tour, however now I will recommend them to friends/family and use them for my future planned trips.
Our tour is what made the trip that much more memorable. Rather than being plopped at a westernized resort, we were able to get a taste of how the locals live, eat and entertain themselves. We stayed in quaint guesthouses on the islands amongst the locals, ate authentic Maldivian cuisine (one day even with a Maldivian family who made us breakfast), and viewed a traditional dance/singing performance which was absolutely delightful. This was a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget.
Ant provided excellent service. He always responded as quickly as he could, attending to the questions I had for him. He was also very patient and pleasant. I depended on his knowledge and service to make the trip.
I liked the service and the tour guide & driver on the tour. They were professional and provided very good service. I thought 1-2 hotels on the trip were not quite 4-star. It also happened that this group of people was always late for schedule and our walk pace was too slow. It really needs the guide to make people on schedule and be punctual for the activity. Overall I think the time management of this tour needs improvement.
Amazing tour. Any issues we had were addressed in a timely fashion and the resolutions were satisfactory. My only complaint is the driver picking us up was late and none of the cell numbers worked when we tried to call and figure out what to do.
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)
Governemnt: Constitutional monarchy
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.
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