Enter the Dragon is a tour package to the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan for a period of three nights and four days in which you get to visit various places of historical, religious and social value in and around Paro, Thimphu and Punakha.
The Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan in which the Bhutan Experience Tour takes place is a Himalayan Kingdom National following the Buddha Dharma in being its guiding principle of life. It is a country to the east of Nepal and surrounded by India on three sides and the autonomous region of Tibet to the North. Bhutan is the only country in the world which fulfills its obligations to its people by following gross domestic happiness rather than a gross domestic product to measure the quality of growth in the country. So much so, with this and the guidance got from the philosophy of the means of Buddhism followed in the country, it is the only negatively rated country in carbon sequencing. In fact, the way, the country’s ecological structure is taken care of, it gives more back to the earth than it takes from it. This makes, what the country has, a unique place to visit. It allows nature to play its part and because of this, the roars of the thunder are common as if the dragon has come, for which the country has taken its name, the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan. Hence, this makes taking the Bhutan Experience tour as important as well as the others like Bhutan Cultural Tour, Best of Bhutan Tour and Bhutan Tour with Trongsa Extension to get a prospective of what it is all about in this country, that makes it so uniquely different from other destinations.
There is much for you in this Enter the Dragon Tour of three nights and four days. The first being the flight into Paro a valley airport after having flown the lengths of the Himalayan range from Nepal. The flight takes you over some of the most astonishing landscapes with the Himalayan Mountains to the north covered with snow the year round and the rolling lush green hills with villages on them that have rivers cutting gorges into the valleys which they run through. Then the places which you visit in Bhutan in the cities of Paro, and Thimphu. The first among the visits is the exploration of the vibes of Paro filled with colour and traditions and then the guided tour of the capital city itself. The visit to Taktsang Monastery also called the Tigress Nest Monastery for the belief that the Guru Rimpoche flew on a tigress to meditate in it and the two and a half climb to it is another wonder. Then a trip to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong and Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest and most sacred shrine for the Bhutanese. And the taste of Bhutanese, culture, tradition, lifestyle and architecture and Simple Mountain living makes visiting Bhutan and taking this trip a real experience of the Dragon Kingdom.
What kind of tour is this?
This basically a cultural tour in which you get to see specific aspects of the Bhutanese culture and civilization as handed down from the past in forms of religion and architecture and lifestyle both past and modern.
Outline Itinerary for Enter the Dragon
Day 01 : Arrive Paro (2,250m) – Thimphu (2,350m)
Day 02 : Thimphu – Day tour to Punakha (1,310m) – Thimphu (2,350m)
Day 03 : Thimphu – Paro & Hike to Taktsang Monastery (3,120m)
Day 04 : Paro – Depart
- Explore simple country of Bhutan located high up in the mountains.
- Witness spectacular bird’s eye view of the world’s tallest mountains onboard flight in/out of Paro.
- Explore city of Paro exploding with colors and tradition.
- Enjoy city tour of the tiny capital - Thimphu.
- Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’- one of the most famous monasteries in Bhutan.
- Visit Punakha Dzong - the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan
- Visit Kyichu Lhakhang - the oldest & most sacred shrines in Bhutan.
- Witness Bhutanese culture, tradition and lifestyles.
Today you arrive at Paro International Airport in the National Carrier of Bhutan. You will be welcomed by our tour operator there. Completing lunch, you will be driven off to Thimphu. On the way, you will visit a couple of places, such as the Buddha Point which gives you a crystal clear view of the Thimphu. Then King Memorial Chorten, Farmer’s Market, Folk Heritage Museum and Tashicho Dzong. Overnight stay at a hotel
Completing Breakfast, we drive to Punakha which was the old capital of Bhutan over the Dochulo pass (3140m). If it happens to be a clear day, then we get lovely views of the snow-capped Himalayan Peaks to the north. Further, we take a short hike to Chimi Lhakthang, a fertility temple dedicated to Drupa Kunley. Once in Punakha, we visit the Punakha Dzong, the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan. Afterwards, we return to Thimphu and stay the night at a hotel.
Completing Breakfast, drive back to Paro. While on the way, we stop off at the base of Taktsang Monastery and take a 2.5 hour hike to the Monastery of the Tigress Nest where it is said the Guru Rimpoche flew to in on the back of a tigress to meditate. Taking in the sights from the top, we head back. We also visit Kychu Lhakhang, the oldest shrine in Bhutan and Paro’s Ringpond Dzong. We stay the night at a hotel in Paro.
Today we are bid farewell at the airport in Paro for our flight out to our next destination.
At Breakfree Adventure, we hope that we were able to provide you with a fantastic tour of Bhutan in the period of three nights and four days where, we take your security and comfort of prime importance.
What is Included
- Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
- 3-star accommodation throughout your Bhutan stay (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
- Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing.
- Route Permit.
- Three meals per day - Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner (only breakfast on last day)
- A licensed English Speaking Bhutanese tour guide.
- All land transportation by a private vehicle.
- Sightseeing as per itinerary.
- Monuments entrance fees wherever applicable.
- Bottled drinking water.
- All internal taxes and charges.
- A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
What is Not Included
- Airfare & Travel Insurance.
- Expenses of personal nature, Tips & Gratuities.
- Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Bhutan is located in the eastern Himalayas and a landlocked country. Bhutan is surrounded by three sides by India with The Tibetan autonomous region of China in the north. The three sides that connect Bhutan with India are Arunachal Pradesh in the east, Assam and West Bengal in the south and Sikkim in the West. Bhutan is ruled by a king and only one Buddhist nation in the world.
The best time to visit Bhutan is spring (March-May) and Autumn/fall (September-November). It will be clear weather and great climate in spring with Varieties of flowers and plants in bloom. Autumn has mild weather with cold mornings and evenings. Summer (June-August) and winter (December to February) also draw tourists to Bhutan. Winter season (December to February) is less crowded and it may snow with temperature level going down below freezing point.
Visa to enter Bhutan is required for any international travelers. Visa needs to be applied through a licensed Bhutanese travel agent of one of it’s international partners. One can’t individually apply for Bhutan visa. But Indian nationals including Bangladesh, Maldives citizens won’t require a visa.
Bhutan visa fee is US$40 per person which must be paid including your entire tour cost before your Bhutan arrival. Afterward, a visa clearance letter is sent to you and the actual visa will be stamped on your passports only upon arrival in Bhutan.
You can either get to Bhutan by flight or overland. Only two airlines fly to Bhutan, Druk Air- the national flag carrier and Bhutan Airlines – private company. They also fly from only certain cities like Kathmandu, Delhi, Bangkok, Singapore, Dhaka. Via overland is from Indian border only – Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar.
Travelling solo in Bhutan is possible but one must book/come through a tour operator that means you can’t individually travel or apply for visa like in other countries. You can either join a group or have your private tour.
Bhutan travel cost per day is $200 per night (low season) and $250 per night (high season) per person. It includes 3 star accommodations, costs for food, an experienced guide and transportation (with driver). This cost also includes $65 per day royalty that goes towards free education, free healthcare and poverty alleviation.
There is no limit on the number of tourists entering Bhutan each year. The Bhutanese government has adopted a strict policy of “High Value, Low Impact Tourism” to protect it’s culture, traditions and natural environment. This policy is aimed to attract discerning tourists who will respect Bhutan’s unique culture and values of the Bhutanese people.
Currency is used in Bhutan is called Ngultrum. Its value is tied up to the Indian Rupee which is also accepted as legal tender. Ngultrum is divided into 100 smaller units called Chetrum (Ch). The latest series of Ngultrum has the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are available in denominations of Ch1, Ch5, Ch10, Ch25, Ch50 and Nu1.
Bhutanese cuisine specialty is its spiciness. Nearly every dish has chilies and most Bhutanese won’t enjoy a meal without the spiciness. Rice is the main part of Bhutanese meal which is accompanied by one or two side dishes of meat or vegetables. Most often pork, beef or chicken is eaten. You can also find many restaurants with a great selection of western and Indian foods.
No worries. Most of the hotels will serve good vegetarian dishes though there are very limited vegetables in operation.
Yes, you can and farmhouse or home-stay is available and you need to inform your travel agent during booking your tour.
Surely, you can which your friendly guides shall be happy to assist you with.
There are many luxury hotels in Bhutan at places like Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang. They are world-class 5 star luxury hotels with state of the art facilities. Such hotels include Taj Tashi, Amen Kora, Uma Paro, Uma Punakha, Le-meridian etc. Plus there are also several 4 star hotels which are equally great.
Transportation in Bhutan is getting better with rapid growth in it’s infrastructures. Earlier it was difficult with no proper means of transportation and only mule/horse are available or traveling has to be on foot. But modern Bhutan is now connected with highways and Different luxurious cars, SUVs, buses and coaster buses are available for tourists.
One can find many things for shopping in Bhutan which include handicrafts, fabrics, textiles etc. Major Bhutanese cities have many shopping stores. These goods are manufactured in Bhutan showcasing it’s unique culture and traditions. Items on sale will be handwoven fabrics, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper, postage stamps, finely crafted metal objects, thangkha paintings, bamboo bowls, handmade papers, prayer beads, singing bowls incense, prayer flags, ornaments etc.
Festivals in Bhutan are called ‘Tschechu’ which is attended by locals and tourists alike. Major festivals of Bhutan include Paro Tschechu, Thimphu Tschechu, Punakha Tschechu, Jambay Lhakhang Drup, Black-necked crane festival among many festivals celebrated round the year in Bhutan.
Most popular and visited Places to Visit in Bhutan are Paro – where Bhutan’s only international airport is, Thimphu – the tiny capital, Punakha – the old capital as well as Gangtey – where the beautiful Phobijikha Valley is located then further up to Bumthang. Hike to Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’s Nest’ located outskirts of Paro town is the major highlight of any Bhutan travel.
Basic communication facilities are available in most of the major towns and cities. These includes telephone, faxes and internet services. Wi-fi and internet are available at most of the big hotels. Bhutanese sim card can also be bought. Bhutan postal service sends or receives any parcels from outside. DHL or FedEx is also there in the capital city.
Packing list for Bhutan trip depends upon your time of travel. In October, November, December, January and February very warm clothes are required. It’s warm during April, May, June, July, August and September so carrying light cloths is recommended. Rain gears are highly recommended during the rainy season (June-August). Since Bhutan is a religious country so shorts, skirts, tight clothing, sun caps need to be avoided at monasteries or temples. For any trekking programs, your tour operator shall provide the necessary trek equipment as per the trekking grade.
Bhutan Visa Information:
The citizen of Bangladesh, Maldives and India do not require VISA to enter Bhutan. People from other countries except from Bangladesh, Maldives and India need a VISA permit while traveling to Bhutan. The VISA processing for Bhutan requires a readable color copy of passport via email that has at least six month of validity from the date of exit from Bhutan. The file Scan Copy should be forwarded to via email in JPEG or PDF format. The passport number and picture of the applicant should be visible in the e-document.
The application should be processed at least 10 days prior to the date of entry to Bhutan. The tourism council of Bhutan then issues a VISA clearance letter and fax or email it to the local travel agent. Please note that the VISA service is not offered in Bhutan, travelers have to buy full service package from the local tour operator. Travelers traveling by air are required to produce a printed VISA clearance copy at the time of check-in for Druk Air flight. People traveling by land to enter Bhutan via Phuentshoking or Samdrup Jonkhar are required to produce a VISA clearance letter at the immigration center. The actual VISA is stamped in your passport on your arrival in Bhutan.
Flights to Bhutan:
There are several cities that have direct flights to Bhutan. There are two airlines Druk air and Bhutan airlines running the flights to Bhutan. Druk air is the national carrier of Bhutan. With its fleet of Airbuses A319-115 and ATR 42 the airlines fly from different Asian countries to the Paro international airport, Paro (PBH); which is only the international airport in Bhutan. There are daily direct flights from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu to Paro International Airport.
The flights from Indian cities to Paro International Airport with the airport name and their codes are listed below:
Bagdogra Airport, Bagdogra (IXB)
Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (DEL)
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata (CCU)
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (BOM)
Likewise, there flights from other countries with the codes are as follows:
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand (BKK)
Shahjalal International Airport, Bangladesh (DAC)
Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore (SIN)
Note: The flight schedule and timings are subject to change. If you want to know more about the flight schedules and tour to Bhutan please feel free to contact us. We can also help to find you the cheapest fares available.
Best time to visit Bhutan:
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan lies in south Asia between China and India. Climate and weather vary according to the altitude, season and place of visit. Bhutan is open all year around for the visitors but it is better to make the travel arrangements as per your preference and nature of visit.
The ideal time to visit Bhutan is spring (March-May) and Autumn/fall (September-November). These are considered to be the best time to visit Bhutan to get the maximum adventure and trouble free experience. Summer and winter also have their own specialties that could draw the attention of tourists during these seasons. During the spring the weather mostly remains clear and climate is fantastic. It is also the best time to visit for the nature lovers to experience the mystifying beauty of nature. Varieties of flowers and plants bloom in this season that makes your adventure an exotic one. The route opens for Jomolhari and Druk Path treks from mid-April to May.
Summer (June-August) in the other hand could get tricky at times due to the early arrival of monsoon. The month of June would be great for traveling if the monsoon is pushed further. Usually monsoon is in full swing by early July. Travelers who would strive to get some trekking experience on muddy trail while witnessing swollen rivers, green forests and flourishing paddy field could choose late summer to plan their adventure. The view of open clear blue sky after the rain is something that strikes you with its mystifying beauty.
Fall (September-November) is another favorable and crowded season after spring. The weather gets mild despite cold mornings and evenings. Tourists from all around the world thong to Bhutan during this season to witness Black-Necked-Crane festival. The month of October has its own significance and the valley turn into a shade of gold as the farmers prepare to harvest their rice crops during this month.
Winter season (December to February) is not that crowded with tourists in comparison to other seasons. Planning your adventure during the winter could be a better idea if you want to avoid the hustle-bustle of the peak season. During the winter Bhutan may see some snow fall. The temperature level goes down (even below freezing point) during some winter days.
VACCINATION FOR BHUTAN:
No vaccinations are presently required However, the following vaccinations are recommended:
Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver. The disease is distinctly unpleasant, with profound nausea, loss of appetite, and weakness.
Tetanus: Tetanus bacteria can infect small wounds and cause a fatal infection.
Typhoid Fever: Typhoid fever is caused by infection with Salmonella typhi bacteria, passed in human feces and acquired by eating contaminated food or water.
WEATHER IN BHUTAN:
Bhutan lies in South Asia between China and India in the Himalayas, weather in Bhutan depends upon the altitude. In the northern parts of the country where mountains rise up to 7,000m, weather conditions are similar to arctic. Southwards, closer to India, the weather is hot and humid in the summer and cool in winter. The monsoon rains are usually heavy. Winters can be a good time to visit the lower parts, but then the highest areas are freezing.
The best times to visit Bhutan are spring (March-May) and autumn (late September – November) when the weather is warm, dry and sunny but always throw in a couple of warm clothes into your travelling gear when you travel to Bhutan regardless of the season.
WHAT TO WEAR AND BRING:
Bring your clothes according to the season and region of your travel. Based on your activity and the weather, you can make quick adjustments, by putting on more clothing if it is cold or taking off layers as it warms up. In the summer time, days can be quite warm, especially in the lowlands of Punakha and Phuentsholing, light cotton clothing is recommended for day time. But in most of the tourist and trekking areas, light woolen clothes for evenings and heavy woollens / down jackets for winter are necessary. A waterproof windbreaker is important for trekking and outdoor activities.
Comfortable and Sturdy shoes.
You have a lot of opportunity to walk around in Bhutan, you will be glad you wore sturdy shoes that keep your feet comfortable. Good shoes will let you explore the rural and allow you to have a long day walk. Bring sandals or slip ons to take off easily when entering temples.
Long pants / skirts
Wear particularly conservative clothing in the towns, women should wear long pants or long skirts, men should wear long pants and shorts are not appropriate for anyone. In the dzongs and temples, the legs and arms must be covered, and even threequarter-length capri pants are not acceptable for women.
Be prepared for occasional shower. A folding umbrella is a good idea to bring with.
Hat, Sunglass, Sunscreen & lip protection.
The sun can be scorching in Bhutan. Be sure to apply sunscreen in the morning and throughout your day.
A quality sleeping bag.
A headlamp torch and a normal torch. (Including spare batteries.)
Binoculars and Camera.
Small day pack.
Small medical kit that includes aspirin, motion sickness tablets, diamox.(The guide carries a larger Medical kit but please bring own travel medications)
Antiseptic hand gel for disinfecting hands without water.
DIFFERENT CURRENCY ACCEPTED BY BHUTAN BANK:
Credit cards are accepted only in major international hotels and high-end shops in Bhutan.