A Lifetime Trip

…creating colorful memories

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10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Bhutan

10 reasons why you should visit Bhutan

Bhutan is a sovereign nation located near the extreme eastern parts of the mighty Himalayan ranges. It is geographically located between the two giants India and China, with these two nations covering approximately 1100 km of its borders. Bhutan is a compact nation with a total area of around 38,000 square kilometers. Its population sums up to a small total of 7-8 lakhs.

Why visit Bhutan? Here are some reasons…

(1) Nature at its best!

Nature seems to have a privileged grace and courtesy on the kingdom of Bhutan. The majestic hill stations, innumerable varieties of flora and fauna and heavenly water bodies surrounding with the scenic beauty make Bhutan a paradise for the residents as well as the tourists. People there make sure that their natural ecosystems are well preserved and maintained. Please refer the following link to visit Bhutan during the best season: http://www.alifetimetrip.com/best-time-to-visit-bhutan/

(2) Adventures          

One can’t satisfy oneself just by praising the magnificence of Bhutanese hills and mountains from a distance of view. To know those landscapes closely, one must come out of the comfort zone and choose to go on a trek to these steeps. It is a lifetime adventure! Hiking the slopes, campfires, and going down the hills as teams are more joyous than they sound.

(3) Historical and educational significance

Bhutan’s history rolls back to the time of introduction of Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism is the prominent religion there. As a result, we can find many historical monuments of Tibetan style. Paro Taktsang (The Tiger’s Nest) is one of the most significant monuments of all. As Bhutan is slowly modernizing, the traditional education system still persists. It’s a pleasure to visit these classical centers of education.

(4) Pleasant Climate

The destination can be visited at any time of the year. The climate there is temperate and never becomes an obstacle to the visitors. Bhutan’s spring (March, April, May) is considered to be the most beautiful time of the year. It is the time when the valleys are green with fresh vegetation and blossoming fruit trees. Autumn (September, October) is the time when one can get the grand view of the mighty mountains. Winter in December sees some snowfall which attracts tourists.

(5) Shopping in Bhutan

The shopping enthusiasts are not disappointed in Bhutan. One can find colorful heaps of shawls, sweaters, coats and trinkets in the markets of “Bhutia”. The women in their traditional attire (Backus) may not speak our language but will surely help us make the right choice while buying. The Handicraft Emporium in the main street of Thimphu sells varieties of hand-woven goods and handicrafts. One can order silver and gold ornaments of one’s taste at the Thimphu valley and they will specially craft them.

(6) Bhutanese Cuisines

The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chilies are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered very important. Bhutanese people will never enjoy a meal that is not spicy. “Momos”, the Tibetan style dumplings stuffed with pork, beef or cabbages, and cheese, are very popular in Bhutan.

(7) Festivals and Celebrations

Bhutan is rich in cultural diversity and this richness is further enhanced by the wide variety of elaborate and colorful religious festivals. Every village is famous for their distinctive festival though the most widely known are the annual Tshechu, meaning a religious festival. These religious celebrations are high-spirited affairs and lively during which people exchange and share meals of red rice, spicy pork, and Ema whilst drinking the heady traditional rice wine known as Ara. One must visit Bhutan during these festivals.

(8) Simple Lifestyle with Art and Hobbies

It is a pleasure to be with the humble residents of Bhutan. They are very honest and hardworking. They have adopted a simple lifestyle and are grounded in their religion and traditions.  The culture of Bhutan is fascinating and captivating. Bhutanese are experts in various aspects of art such as textiles, paintings, sculptures, paper making, wood carving, sword making, boot making, bamboo craft, and jewelry. One can get anything there!

(9) Gross National Happiness

We can find the happiest people in Bhutan. Their philosophy of Gross National happiness has been recognized at the international level at UN. While the emphasis is placed on both, prosperity and happiness, the latter is considered to be more significant in Bhutan. Is there a better reason to visit such a place?

(10) Very less pollution

If one is fed up with living in an urban environment where pollution is a headache, Bhutan is the best place to visit for the peace of mind. People are environmentally conscious. Their one of the laws says that 60% of the total owned land should always come under the forest region. The beauty of nature still persists, providing fresh and pure air for people to breathe.

Bhutan, the ‘Kingdom of Happiness’ is the nature’s lap of peace and joy. It has nature’s expertise composites with eventful history, cultural treasures, well-preserved heritage and good-hearted people, which makes it worth of exploring at least once in a lifetime.


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Best Time To Visit Bhutan

This tiny Buddhist country has a wide range of elevation which varies from 250m upto 7314m, making Bhutan as all round year destination. We enjoy four beautiful seasons- Spring(March to May), Summers(June to August), Autumn(September to November) and Winters(December to February). Spring and Autumn are the best time to visit Bhutan. Having said so, summer and winter have their own draws and attractions.

Spring(March to May): This is the most popular time to visit Bhutan. Temperatures are pleasant. Nature lovers who are keen on local flora should consider being here at the end of April or in May. The trek routes are very nicely doable: Jomolhari Trek & Drukpath Trek from mid-april til end-May. Early April witnesses the Paro Tshechu. This is the best chance to meet the King of Bhutan as he often makes his way to the festivities between the 3rd and last day. Also at this time, Paro is overwhelmed with loads of travelers. If you plan to fly in, the air tickets get sold out by January. So book ahead to get the best accommodation and flights.

Summers(June to August): Consider early June if you wish to avoid higher tarrifs and cold temperatures. Monsoons start down pouring by July. Even in monsoons, Bhutan experiences relatively light rain with most rainfall confined to the late afternoon and does not affect most travellers’ itinerary.

Autumn/Fall (September to November): Autumn/ Fall is a high and crowded time for Bhutan. The mild weather in this time period makes it just a perfect kind of holiday. Thimphu Festival usually takes places at the end of September or early October. Its a grand affair and requires advance booking since nicer hotels and flights get sold  out very soon.

Winters(December to February): Bhutan is a luring destination in December due to less crowd, still not that cold a month and beautiful landscapes with clear skies. January or February are the months of cold, great time to experience snow fall.

So pick up that time of the year that looks great to your kind of travel and hit this road to the land of happiness.

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General tips before travelling to Bhutan

Bhutan is popularly known as the land of happiness. As this destinations comes in your to-do list, and you begin the packing, here’s another list that you should go through before reaching the country! Beautiful landscapes, bunch of delightful people, imposing architecture, mystical religion and interesting arts and culture is all that would welcome you here.

1. Taking photos/filming inside Dzongs, monasteries, temples, or any religious institutions is usually prohibited. Check with your guide before clicking around randomly whether it is permitted. Ask permissions while clicking people.

2. Take off your hats in front of the dzongs, temples and national flags.
3. Visitors should be properly dressed with long sleeves shirts and pants to visit dzongs, temples, monasteries, schools and any government institutions. Singlet and miniskirts are not well accepted norms.
4. Always walk clockwise well crossing the dzongs, temples, monasteries, prayer flags or religious artifacts.
5. Do not give sweets, money, pencils, pens etc, to the children.
6. Although Bhutan is safe, we advise you to keep your valuable items like wallets, cameras, passport etc in safe place.

7. Public displays of affection are not common. Please refrain from doing this in public places.
8. Bhutan is the only country in the world that has banned the consumption and sale of tobacco, resulting in smoking being largely disallowed in public places. Having said that, consumption is not completely prohibited in Bhutan so if you want to smoke, bring your own cigarettes and ask your guide where you can light up.
9. Tuesdays are considered the national ‘dry day,’ with the sale of alcohol prohibited.
10. Locals are very sensitive, you may not want to sound rude. Refrain from any negative comments on religion, the royal family and chief abbot.
11. Use your right hand or both hands to give or receive.
12. Buying of antiques from Bhutan is strictly monitored by the custom at the check points. Please always buy goods with cash memo or original bills/invoices.
13. Don’t wash, swim or throw objects into lakes, many of which are considered sacred.
14. Most hotels have WiFi, but if you need more connectivity you can get a local SIM card from Tashi Cell or B-Mobile and top up with prepaid cards.
15. The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha, but most Bhutanese are fluent in English as that is the medium of education so communication shouldn’t be a problem.
16. There are ATMs in Bhutan, but only in the main towns. A word of caution, the ATMs do not always work and if they do, one is usually only able to withdraw small amounts.
17. Visitors should be able to pay via credit card at most hotels and handicraft stores

18. Do pack warm clothes, especially if you’re travelling between the months of November and March. As a general tip, it would be wise to always have a jacket when travelling in Bhutan regardless of the seasons as you will experience huge changes in elevation, with certain valleys colder than others. It’s best to be prepared!

Pc: http://www.thisbatteredsuitcase.com

19. Prepare some of your own entertainment for the flight as well as trip. Bring some books to read and save movies to watch on your laptop or tablet. Apart from Thimphu and Paro, nightlife is non-existent.
20. You don’t have to tip in restaurants and hotels, unlike Western countries. The guide will take care of tipping on your behalf. However, do take note that you have to tip your guide.
21. The roads tend to be windy so if you are prone to motion sickness, bring Dramamine or other medication to prevent nausea as you will be spending a lot of time in the car travelling around Bhutan.
22. Bring along a multi-purpose electrical plug and a universal travel adapter. Most hotel rooms have limited electrical plugs, so it’ll be wise to take along if you have many devices.