Punakha Dzong and mountains

Travel to Bhutan

Bhutan is a landlocked nation practically encompassed and embraced by the mighty Himalayan mountain range. It has a population of around one million people which in itself is a much disputed figure due to anomalies in the statistics available. Whilst it has a disputed border with China, Bhutan maintains very close military ties with India but has been a very peaceful nation mainly due to its leanings towards the Buddhist doctrine.

Flying into Bhutan

Getting to Bhutan is an exciting experience, especially if you decide to fly into the only international access point by air which is the Paro International airport. The airport is surrounded by a mountain range with some peaks as tall as 18,000 feet or 5,500 meters. Flying into the Paro International airport would need pilots to have special licenses as it is a very challenging endeavor but an exciting one for the passengers onboard. The country has three other domestic airports strategically placed which are easily accessible from the Paro International airport but limited to specific aircraft flown by experienced pilots with the required authorization.

Bhutan is picturesque and is steeped in natural beauty and has a climate which varies with the elevation that you would be on, with the northern mountains permanently capped by snow. The southern areas of Bhutan are subtropical with the mid highlands temperate which gives the country a very unique climatic condition all through the year. If you intend to travel to Bhutan you could select one of its five seasons which are spread evenly between summer and monsoon to autumn through to spring. The monsoons could be trickier in western Bhutan and the incessant rains could dampen your zest of getting to explore the countryside.

Bhutan city view

Travel in Bhutan

The Lateral Road is the access through Bhutan from the east to the west which has seen some improvements from what it was a few years ago. It has been widened to ensure faster access and safety which has been a concern to many has also been substantially addressed. If you are planning to travel to Bhutan it is advisable that you seek out the places of interest that would suit your personal preferences as the country has a diverse offering from picturesque sightseeing to places of religious interest which could keep you spellbound and open mouthed.

There is no railway in Bhutan but one is on the drawing boards to connect the south of the country with India which has a very vibrant rail system and one of the most used anywhere in the world. The closest railway station would then be the station at Hashimara in India’s West Bengal state with Toribari in the south of Bhutan.

mountains ariunf Bhutan in dark clouds

Crime in Bhutan

Crime in the country is very low with Bhutan being the only country in the world to use a very sophisticated system to measure “Gross National Happiness” which provides an indication as to how the country perceives happiness. This has been one reason that crime in the country has been low through the years.

The thought behind the move is to prioritize happiness among the citizenry compared to economic growth on the presumption that without happiness within there cannot be economic growth. The data derived from its instrument to survey “Gross National Happiness” endeavors to instill in its people that it is spiritual happiness which is paramount rather than profit from economics or the equivalent Gross Domestic Product.

This has kept the crime rate at a remarkably low level making it one of the safest countries to travel to, in South East Asia. Without exaggeration anyone could boldly confirm positively if asked whether, is it safe to travel to Bhutan, by anyone aspiring to go there as the statistics shown are very encouraging.

buildings of Bhutan

The best places you could visit

Bhutan has an area of 38,394 square kilometers or 14,824 square miles within which there are ample places of interest for any discerning visitor. Depending on what you would like Bhutan has a good mixture of culture, religion, history and sights to keep any visitor stupefied during their stay in this beautiful and spectacular country.

The Gangkhar Puensum in the highest mountain in the country and is still a virgin to professional mountaineers as it is respected as one of the mountains in the Himalayan range that has still to be conquered. Proudly standing at 7,570 meters or 24,836 feet the meaning of its name itself is enlightening which is “White Peak of the Three Spiritual Brothers”.Looking at this mountain from a distance is a wonderful sight to behold and any visitor to Bhutan should not miss looking up at this majestic national asset of this small and landlocked country.

The Gangkhar Puensum in Bhutan

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery hangs precariously on a mountain side overlooking lush rain forests below and it is the sheer excitement of climbing up to reach this picturesque religious site that makes anyone’s adrenaline to pump at optimum levels. For those who need help, a pony could take them along the winding path but up to a certain distance but beyond that the climb is steep and would need some daring to get to the top which is about 900 meters above.

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

Another picturesque place to visit would be Punakha Dzong. The dzongs of Bhutan are specialty architecture unique to the country and also seen in Tibet. The Punakha Dzong is the second oldest and second largest in Bhutan and blessed with a panoramic setting beside two rivers the Pho Chu, designated a male river and the Mo Chu a female. The two rivers are magical that their waters are of two distinct colors which would add to the spiritual beliefs of the Bhutanese.

Punakha Dzong in Bhutan

Hiking is very popular among those who would visit this enchanting country and there are ample trails for the less enthusiastic and for the more daring which should not be missed as the scenes could be spectacular and gorgeous. Bhutan has much to offer the discerning visitor and selecting the right Bhutan tourist attractions to suit your palate would be your prerogative.

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