Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country and the second largest Himalayan state in Asia. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is bordered by China in the north and India in the south. With over 700,000 inhabitants, its population is the seventh largest in South Asia. Thimphu is its capital and largest city, while Phuntsholing is its financial and commercial centre.

Situated on the ancient Silk Road between Tibet and the Indian subcontinent, the Bhutanese state was unified in the early 17th century and developed a distinct national identity based on Buddhism. Headed by a spiritual leader known as the Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the territory was composed of many fiefdoms and governed as a Buddhist theocracy. Following a civil war in the 19th century, the House of Wangchuck reunited the country and established relations with the British Empire. Bhutan fostered strong relations with India during the rise of Chinese communism. In 2008, it transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy and held its first National Assembly election. Bhutanese democracy features a two party system.

The King of Bhutan is known as the “Thunder Dragon King”. The country’s landscape ranges from lush subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan mountains in the north, where there are peaks in excess of 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). The highest mountain in Bhutan is the Gangkhar Puensum, which is also a strong candidate for the highest unclimbed mountain in the world.

In South Asia, Bhutan ranks first in economic freedom and peacefulness; has the second highest per capita income and is the least corrupt country, as of 2016. However, Bhutan continues to be a least developed country.

Weather:

The climate in Bhutan is extremely varied. This variation in the climatic conditions and average temperature can be attributed to two main factors, the vast differences in altitude present in the country and the influence of the north Indian monsoons.

Southern Bhutan has a hot, humid sub-tropical climate that is fairly unchanging throughout the year. Temperatures can vary between 15-30 degrees Celsius. In the Central parts of the country the climate cools a bit, changing to temperate and deciduous forests with warm summers and cool, dry winters. In the far Northern reaches of the kingdom the weather is cold during winter. Mountain peaks are perpetually covered in snow and lower parts are still cool in summer because of the high altitude terrain.

High Season (March, April, May, September, October & November). The weather is best in spring and autumn, the Himalayan views are best in October. Rhododendron blooms peak in March and April.

Mid Season (December, January & February). The weather is still good, though it can be cold in December and January.

Low Season (June, July & August). Monsoon rains and leeches put an end to most treks. High altitude flowers are at their peak blooming season.

Map of Bhutan:

Currency:

Bhutan uses the Indian rupee (symbol: ₹), code INR.

Banknotes come in denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 rupees. Rupee is subdivided into 100 paisas. Coins come in denominations of 10, 5, 2 and 1 rupee.

Coins can be hard or simply impossible to change back to dollar when you leave a country. Before leaving, spend them (on postcards, a newspaper, or food or drink for the train ride), change them into bills, or give them away.
If you have some rupee left at the end of your trip, change it into dollar at the airport or simply spend it at the airport before you fly home. That way you won’t have to deal with rupee bills when you come back home.

Communications:

Wifi is not easily available and is much slower than Australia. Mobile phone’s however, can be much cheaper, we’ve seen plans including 1GB for around $7AUD.
We always advise clients to check with their Australian provider about how to best manage their data roaming as you don’t want to get a hefty bill on your return.

Travel:

World Expeditions have an extensive range of touring and trekking holidays in Bhutan that have been developed to offer unlimited opportunities to enjoy the warmth of the Bhutanese people, the unique cultural heritage of Bhutan as well as the stunning mountain vistas and untouched wilderness regions of Bhutan.

G Adventures did a great blog post on Happiness in Bhutan which you can read here:  https://www.gadventures.com.au/blog/happiness-kingdom-bhutan/

And you can contact us today to look at suggested Itineraries to Bhutan depending on your purpose of the trip, Karen, Danielle and Nilla would love to chat, contact them on 1800 960 007 or [email protected]

 

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