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Bhutan honeymoon

Welcome to Bhutan – the Land of the Thunder Dragon – one of the most sought after travel destinations today.

The land of the thunder dragon kingdom is a trekker’s paradise and an environmentalist’s dream. With 72 percent of the country under forest cover, Bhutan’s pristine ecology is home to rare and endangered flora and fauna.

This spiritual land is the last bastion of the Vajrayana school of Mahayana Buddhism which provides the essence of a unique identity for the 750,000 people.

Bhutan is a unique blend of the old and new. Here is a country that is slowly opening up to the modern world in a fine balance with its ancient traditions.

Those fortunate enough to visit Bhutan describe it as a unique, deeply spiritual and mystical experience. This kingdom is an adventure like no other.

Facts and Figures

Land area: 38,394 square kilometers

Forest area: 72.5 %

Altitude: between 240 meters and 7,541 meters above sea level

Inhabitants: 634,982

Language: official language “Dzongkha”, English widely spoken

Religion: Vajrayana stream of Mahayana Buddhism (Also known as Tantric Buddhism)

Currency: Ngultrum (equal to Indian Rupee)

Capital: Thimphu

National Tree: Cypress

National Bird: Raven

National Flower: Blue Poppy

National Sport: Archery

National Animal: Takin

Local time: Six hours ahead of GMT and half an hour ahead of Indian Standard Time

What to do

Adventure

  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking / motorcycling
  • Paragliding
  • Rafting and Kayaking
  • Rock climbing

Cultural

  • Cultural sight seeing
  • Textile tour

Nature

Physically, Bhutan can be divided into three zones: Alpine Zone (4,000m and above) with no forest cover; the Temperate Zone (2,000 to 4,000m) with conifer or broadleaf forests; and the Subtropical Zone (150m to 2,000m) with Tropical or Subtropical vegetation. Because of its wide altitudinal and climatic range, the flora and fauna is diverse and rich.

Forest types in Bhutan are Fir Forests, Mixed Conifer Forest, Blue Pine Forest, Chirpine Forest, Broadleaf mixed with Conifer, Upland Hardwood Forest, Lowland Hardwood Forest, and Tropical Lowland Forests. Almost 60% of the plant species that is found in the eastern Himalayan region can be found in Bhutan as well.

  

Bhutan boasts of about 300 species of medicinal plants and about 46 species of rhododendrons. Some common sights for the visitors are the magnolias, junipers, orchids of varied hues, gentian, medicinal plants, daphne, giant rhubarb, the blue poppy which is the national flower and tropical trees such as pine and oaks.

A wide range of animal could also be found frequenting the jungles of Bhutan. Some high altitude species are the snow leopards, the Bengal tigers that are found at altitude ranging 3,000 to 4,000 meters, the red panda, the gorals and the langurs, the Himalayan black bear and sambars, the wild pigs and the barking deer, the blue sheep and the musk deer. In the tropical forests of Southern Bhutan one can come across the clouded leopards, the one-horned rhinoceros, elephants, golden langur that is unique to Bhutan, the water buffaloes and the swamp deer.

Bhutan also has a great variety of bird species. It is recognized as an area of high biological diversity and is known as the East Himalayan ‘hot spot’ situated as it is at the hub of 221 global endemic bird areas. The recorded number of bird species is over 670 and there are chances that this number could still go up.

In addition, 57% of Bhutan’s globally threatened birds and 90% of the country’s restricted rare birds are dependent on forests. Bhutan has about 415 resident bird species. These inhabitant birds are altitudinal refugees, moving up and down the mountains depending upon the seasons and weather conditions. Of about 50 species of birds that migrate in winters are the buntings, waders and ducks, thrushes and the birds of prey. Some 40 species are partial migrants and they include species such as swifts, cuckoos, the bee-eaters, fly catchers and the warblers.

Bhutan is also home to about 16 bird species that are endangered worldwide. These include the White bellied heron, Pallas Fish eagle, Blyth’s King fisher to name a few. Phobjikha valley in Wangdue Phodrang and Bomdeling in Trashi Yangtse are also two important places in Bhutan that are visited by the endangered Black Necked Crane.

Spiritual and Wellness

  • Retreat and Meditation
  • Spa and Wellness
  • Traditional Medicine

Trekking

  • Bumthang Cultural Trek
  • Bumthang Owl Trek
  • Chelela Trek
  • Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
  • Dongla Trek
  • Druk Path Trek
  • Dur Hot Spring Trek
  • Gangjula Trek
  • Gangkar Puensum
  • Gantey Trek
  • Jomolhari Trek
  • Laya Gasa Trek
  • Lingmithang – Zhemgang Trek
  • Merak-Sakteng
  • Nabji Korphu Community Based Trek
  • Nubtsona Pata Trek
  • Punakha Winter Trek
  • Rigsum Goenpa Trek
  • Royal Heritage Trek
  • Sagala Trek
  • Samtengang Trek
  • Sinchula Trek
  • Snowman Trek
  • Wild East Rodungla Trek

Where to go

Eastern Bhutan

Eastern Bhutan welcomes travelers into a world of unexplored trekking, historical and cultural escapades, great scenery, textiles highlights and natural wonders. The districts of Mongar, Lhuntse, Tashi Yangtse, Tashigang and Samdrup Jongkhar include the eastern circuits. Of culture we offer you lots of spiritual festivals that include some of the rare animist rituals and Bon practices. Explore the hub of the country’s unexplored destination. For the first few years, this unique destination is offered to adventure spirited tourists. Only those who like to experience the spartan accommodation and tented or farmhouse stays, will enjoy these least visited regions.

Western Bhutan

The western circuit comprises of the six western Districts in the country that includes Thimphu, Paro, Haa, Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha and Gasa. What makes this circuit special is that the Tourism Council of Bhutan has categorized new ways of exploring the existing great sights. In this circuit one may attend the summer festival of Haa and delve into the wonders of a living culture. The festival highlights Shamanic rituals and other folk dances. You may also enjoy the beauty of the rare Himalayan flowers in bloom or take a daring trek to Nob Tsonapatra that is full of interesting legends. In Thimphu you may witness the newly introduced Takin Festival, Ballooning, Hang Gliding, MICE & GNH conferences, meditation and wellness facilities. You may visit temples, dzongs (fortresses) and museums or attend to a festival where textiles come to life.

Festivals abound throughout the year and trips can be tailored in accordance. Punakha festival marvels you with the historical depiction of medieval warriors who defended Bhutan with swords and shields. Experience the plantation of rice in early summer or the harvests of the same in autumn. The golden hue of ripening rice fields are photographers’ delight in autumn. Do not miss the museums. Paro museum (Tadzong), reveals the history, cultural, and in Thimphu, let the Folk Heritage museum enthuse you with farmers’ livelihood.

Central Bhutan

The center circuit comprises of the two central Districts of Trongsa and Bumthang. The Center circuit boasts unique attractions and is home to many sacred monuments in the country. The two Districts in the center circuit also defined much of our History and till the early 1950s was the seat of power for our two Kings. In this circuit one may attend the Nomads festival of Bumthang and delve into the wonders of a living culture of our nomads and participate in the Matsutake festival of Ura and taste the high altitude mushroom and drown in the Red panda beer. One can also witness numerous festivals including the annual tshechu of Trongsa and Bumthang, the Jampa Lhakhang tshechu, or witness the Ura tshechu that is unique. You may also visit the Ta Dzong that is now turned into a museum with its dominating four towers or visit the Wangdue Choling palace in Chamkhar built by our 1st King Ugyen Wangchuck.

You may also trek the Thrumshingla National Park and try and spot the six species of globally threatened birds that includes the Rufous necked hornbill, Rufous-throated wren-babbler, Satyr Tragopan, Beautiful nuthatch, Ward’s trogon and Chestnut-breasted partridge. Or further still try and spot the Red Panda or the foot prints of the Royal Bengal Tiger. The park forests range from alpine to sub-tropical broadleaf types.

Southern Bhutan

The southern circuit is the ecological hub of the country comprising of seven southern districts of Bhutan, namely, Samtse, Chukha, Dagana, Tsirang, Sarpang, Zhemgang and Pemagatshel. Zhemgang, one of the districts in southern Bhutan is ideal for nature oriented tours though the cultural highlights are irresistible. The famous Dunmang hot spring is in Zhemgang district. There are also other hot springs in Sarpang district.

Other tour activities and attractions includes the Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, the Royal Manas National Park, the tropical fruits and numerous species of medicinal plants and the culture of the Khengpas and the Lhotsampas.

The Lhotsampas are the ethnic race of Nepalese origin, settled in the southern part of Bhutan. Mostly Hindus, their rituals and festivals are very colorful.

Source: www.tourism.gov.bt/

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