The Kingdom of Bhutan

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Thimphu, Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan Thimphu Reviews

sampad sampad
6 reviews
Himalayas at its Best Peace !! Jul 25, 2013
Bhutan/Kingdom of Bhutan - A tinny (literally) Buddhist Kingdom at the eastern end of the Great Himalayas.Bhutan offers a trove of archaeological treasures, including many ornate temples and dzong fortresses. The kingdom was Isolated for a very long period and allowed the world to peak after 1974. Isolation has preserved the heavily Buddhist-influenced culture of the last Shangri-La. If you want to enjoy the real Himalayn beauty with some awesome Buddhist monarchy and very sweet people , this is is the place to be. I know this is not a typical backpacker's place but its worth a visit.

N.B - According to Business Week (2006), It is the Happiest Country in Asia and 8th Happiest Country in the World. :) You feel this with the local people, very simple down to earth and so friendly.

After reaching there, I discovered 2 funny things. There is a Nation Wide Smoking Ban (although I am not a smoker) and the Capital city Thimphu is the Only capital in the world with NO Traffic Light :)

Paro - This is the city where you will arrive in Bhutan(If you are flying). These are few places I visited in Paro.

Taktsang Monastery - Situated at a very high peak (approx 850-900 meter) is also famously known As "Tiger's Nest". You need to get a permission to enter the Monastery. Fortunately the local driver arranged one for me. Camera and cellphones are not allowed inside. The Inside view is great and the atmosphere very holy. This ia place where every Bhutanese comes at least once in his life.This is the place where Guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism into Butan, arriving on the back of a tigress (This is how this place got its name.). As the Monastery is at a very high peak, the best thing to do is take a pony. You can even do half way with pony and half with stares, depending on your capabilities and strength.

Chele La Pass - The highest point of Bhutan, Chelela Pass at close to 4,000m above sea level was a sight to behold. The scenery is also quite spectacular. The place was bit chilly.

Kichu Lakhang - Its an Ancient Temple(7th century), with a Magical Orange Tree (They say so). Local people say that your wishes come true when you pray here. Very peaceful and spiritual place. This temple has a footprint mark of a monk who makes his prayers for decades at the same spot in the temple. Besides, the 2 orange trees in the courtyard of Kyichu Lhakhang bear fruits throughout the year.

Thimphu - The capital city. Below are few places to visit.

Dochula Pass - The mid point en route from Thimphu to Punakha. Stunning views of the Himalayas (in clear day) and some of the highest peaks on the planet!! Stupas everywhere too.The place is surrounded by mist and clouds. Silent and religious.

Choki Traditional Art School-If you want an inside in special traditions, arts, sculptures, tradition of Bhutan which normal tourist would not experience this is a must visit.The this institution was set up to help the children of underprivileged families gain a marketable skill in the area of arts and crafts which would then allow them to acquire a recognizable certificate in order to find gainful employment in Bhutan.A visit to the school can be combined with a lovely hike in the villages and forest close to the school or the beautiful monasteries of Tango and Cheri further up the valley. If you are visiting this place, interact with the students and the staffs, You will have an good experience. As a visitor, you are welcome to help support the school by sponsoring students or contributing to the 'wish list'.

Buddha Point - This is going to be the World's Tallest and Largest Buddha Statue in the world. The Statue is ready and placed there. They are working on the surrounding areas. This is going to be a major tourist attractions when it is over. The statue is made of Gold and Copper.

-----------------------ISSUES--INFORMATION-------------------

Safety - There is relatively very little crime in Bhutan, besides occasional pick-pocketing and purse snatching. However other concerns can be the lack of infrastructure throughout the region like the bad road conditions out side of city.

Health Care - Medical facilities in the populated areas in Thimphu are limited and typically do not meet Western standards. (This means that visitors should be careful about altitude sickness.) For more information on health for travelers, see http://www.who.int/ith .

No Credit Card - Yes, This is True. Credit cards are not widely accepted in Bhutan. (If they are accepted, there is often a significant service charge). So carrying cash or traveler's check is the best option.

Dress Code - There is no formal dress code but it is highly advice to wear conservative cloths (Body covered). Bhutanies culture is conservative and they are too happy with it So its best not to hurt their sentiments. Anyways its cold out there ;).

Time to visit - Spring (March-June)is perhaps one of the most beautiful, when flowers bloom and the stringent cold subsides. Even Fall (September and November) is a good time to visit but the days will be short and bit cold.

Antique - Bee careful in buying any item of antique value which can be seized by customs on departure. Custom rules are very strict for antique, tabbaco and drugs.

------------------------Places to Eat-------------------------

Food in Bhutan is Awesome !!

Red Rice - Yes Red Rice. It looks pretty similar to brown rice, and nutty flavor.

The diet in the hills also includes chicken, yak meat, dried beef, pork, pork fat and mutton. In cold seasons chilly pepper, cheese, meat stew, lentils are fav.

Ema Datshi - Cheese and Chili Pepper. This dish is very spicy. The undeclared national dish for its ubiquity. Every Bhutanise is proud of this dish.

One unique thing in Bhutanise food is they use Chillies as a Vegetable not as a Spice :

Few good places to eat !

ZaSa

Thori Lam, 41 Lower Motithang | Below 3 water tanks,Thimphu

Folk Heritage Museum Restaurant

Folk Heritage Museum | Kawajangsa, Thimphu

The Zone

Chang Lam | Gpo 415, Thimphu

Seasons Pizzeria

Hongkong Market, Thimphu

Zombala

Hong Kong Market, Thimphu

Orchid Restaurant

Chang Lam, Thimphu

Taktsang Cafeteria

Paro

Yue-Ling

Main street, Paro

Tshernyoen's Cafe

Bhutan Telecom Road, Paro

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Advice - Get a tour operator to do the arrangements for you.

Carry good no of Cold Wears. Tipping is welcome but give it in a pleasant manner, imp - offer 2nd time when it will be accepted.

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Enjoy Your stay in Bhutan.

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2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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slandha says:
Great review, good information. I'm planning my trip to Bhutan then go to Nepal this year. Do you have any suggestion?
Posted on: Jan 25, 2014
sampad says:
@ Rupal - Bhutan was awesome. I see you have plan for nepal in april. You can do Bhutan in the same time.
Posted on: Dec 15, 2013
traveller77 says:
Great review! Thanks. Planning on going to Bhutan in October 2014.
Posted on: Dec 15, 2013
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sampad sampad
6 reviews
Himalayas at its Best Peace !! Jul 25, 2013
Bhutan/Kingdom of Bhutan - A tinny (literally) Buddhist Kingdom at the eastern end of the Great Himalayas.Bhutan offers a trove of archaeological treasures, including many ornate temples and dzong fortresses. The kingdom was Isolated for a very long period and allowed the world to peak after 1974. Isolation has preserved the heavily Buddhist-influenced culture of the last Shangri-La. If you want to enjoy the real Himalayn beauty with some awesome Buddhist monarchy and very sweet people , this is is the place to be. I know this is not a typical backpacker's place but its worth a visit.

N.B - According to Business Week (2006), It is the Happiest Country in Asia and 8th Happiest Country in the World. :) You feel this with the local people, very simple down to earth and so friendly.

After reaching there, I discovered 2 funny things. There is a Nation Wide Smoking Ban (although I am not a smoker) and the Capital city Thimphu is the Only capital in the world with NO Traffic Light :)

Paro - This is the city where you will arrive in Bhutan(If you are flying). These are few places I visited in Paro.

Taktsang Monastery - Situated at a very high peak (approx 850-900 meter) is also famously known As "Tiger's Nest".
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