We are pretty sure about the list of destinations most people want to visit. In most cases, the list contains the most popular places, such as Paris, Las Vegas, etc. However, there are more places to fully enjoy, and reaching these destinations can even be cheaper. Business trips can be expensive, which is one of the reasons why people do not travel frequently. This is why we are talking about the Kingdom of Bhutan in this article.
Believe it or not, Bhutan has a population of less than 800,000. However, you should have many great places in that country. We want to share with you what you should know before going to this interesting country. The guide we have prepared for you will make you more clear.
However, before we start, you should know one thing. As we said, many tourists are starting to plan their trips in 2021. If you are one of them, then you should understand Bhutan’s travel bubble tourism plan. Bhutan plans to provide two different options for tourists who want to visit the country. If you want more information, we suggest you check here.
1. You can't travel without a guide
We are pretty sure that many of you want to organize travel independently. You may want to book a hotel yourself and get flight tickets online. However, travel to Bhutan requires you to book through a licensed travel agency (such as Druk Asia). Even if you want to travel alone or with a group of people, you still need to book a trip through a travel agency. Your travel agency will arrange comfortable transportation and guides to accompany you on your travels in Bhutan. Although such restrictions seem to be uncommon in most countries, the reason why Bhutan implements this tourism policy is to avoid large-scale tourism and protect its original environment.
2. No entry without a visa
All foreigners must apply for a visa to enter Bhutan. The visa application process is not as complicated as you think. More precisely, you can easily get it while you are at home. All you need to do is to confirm your booking with the travel agency of your choice and they will apply for the visa on your behalf. You first need to take a photo of your passport and then send it to the travel company. After your visa is approved, the travel company will send the visa electronic customs clearance information to your email. When you enter Bhutan and enter, you need to show the visa at the check-in counter. After you have completed all entry procedures, the actual visa will be stamped on your passport.
If you want to explore areas outside Thimphu, Paro and Punakha, your travel agency will also apply for other route permits on your behalf. There will be different designated checkpoints between each region, and you will need to show your passport to the tour guide to assist you in customs clearance.
3. Be careful when hiking
For avid hikers, we know that you will want to admire the mountains of Bhutan. You can hike in the mountains up to 6000 meters above sea level. However, as mountain climbing is prohibited in Bhutan, you are not allowed to hike any mountains higher than that mountain. Security is one of the reasons why this activity is prohibited. However, the second reason has a greater impact on the environment and people. The locals believe that Xuefeng is the realm of goddesses and gods. Therefore, there is a local myth that if the mountains are disturbed, there will be storms, droughts and floods. Bhutan is a highly spiritual country with high respect for the environment. Therefore, safety is better than regret.
4. One International Airport
Suppose you live somewhere in the United States. The only choice is Bhutan. Indeed, you will have the opportunity to do similar things. However, you should know that there is only one international airport in the country. It is located in the city of Paro, only one hour away from Thimphu.
Despite this, you still can’t find a direct phone to that country. You will only be able to do this in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Thailand. However, people who want to enter the country by land should do one thing now. They can only do this from India, because it is impossible to access land from China.
Finally, we need to talk about an important thing about Paro Airport. It is in your best interest to prepare yourself for landing. This may be the most interesting moment in your life so far. The airport is between several mountains. Therefore, pilots need to use different skills to land safely. A serious operation is something you will remember forever.
5. Spicy food
No matter which destination you choose to visit, you want to learn more about local cuisine. It is not difficult to describe the food of Bhutan. The people who live there eat chili at every meal during the day. Locals often tell you that meals without chili are not worth it. After checking some of their food, you will agree to the statement.
It is not difficult to find a non-spicy food. They learned that many tourists simply can’t stand spicy food. However, when you go to a restaurant, the most important thing is to ask for food without any spices. If you don’t say that, you will have to deal with spicy dishes.
On the other hand, if you like spicy food, you should know something. The national dish you should try is named ema datse. It is a combination of chilli spicy curry and peasant cheese. Nevertheless, the locals still like to add nut red rice.