If Bhutan is on your travel bucket list, you’re well on the path that promises adventure!
This Alpine country has a lot to offer. You can have a truly unique experience by immersing yourself in their cultural idiosyncrasies, and the welcoming people will make even the wariest tourist feel at home.
If you’re planning to take a trip to Bhutan, your timing couldn’t be better. Bhutan has eased Covid-19 travel restrictions and opened its borders to vaccinated tourists.
From exploring Bhutanese history and culture to getting closer to nature and diverse Bhutanese cuisine, here are some reasons why Bhutan should be on your travel bucket list:
1. Get Closer To Nature
With a dramatic rise from hundreds of meters to the towering peaks of Gangkhar Puensum with 7500 meters, Bhutan boasts of genuinely unique and incredible natural landscapes.
Bhutan’s main attractions include the endless snow-coated mountains, lakes, narrow ravines, grasslands, etc. With four national parks and several wildlife sanctuaries, Bhutan is a dream destination for nature lovers and the ultimate travel bucket list.
You can soak in the vistas with a bracing hike along the mountain ridges or set off on a road trip through the lush valleys and creeks.
Some of the biggest draws in Bhutan are the colossal statue of Buddha Dordenma and the Tiger’s Nest, but you shouldn’t rule out a visit to the less trodden Bhutan travel bucket list, such as the Haa Panorama Hike.
Forested mountains and hills largely take up Bhutan, and there are a lot of natural wonders that await you. Include these Top 10 places on your Bhutan travel bucket list.
2. Outdoor Adventures
Thanks to the dramatic landscapes, Bhutan is suitable for every outdoor adventure imaginable. Outdoor adventures in Bhutan include hiking, trekking, rafting, kayaking, off-road biking, and bird watching.
The arduous long-haul hikes and 1-day treks that do not require you to be in good shape are some of the best outdoor adventures to seek in Bhutan and should be on your Bhutan travel bucket list.
Although trekking in Bhutan is not a walk in the park, it will take you through pristine lakes, untouched mountains, diverse flora and fauna, and ancient monuments that tell a tale.
Do you consider yourself an adventure seeker? The best tour operators in Bhutan, like Norbu Bhutan, offer tailored and well-planned trips.
Click the link to learn more about the best trekking routes in Bhutan you can’t miss while you’re at it.
3. The Unique Fortresses In Bhutan
There are a lot of historic temples and shrines in almost every town and village in Bhutan. Visitors can learn a lot about the country’s history by looking at these fortresses’ architecture, facades, and interiors, commonly known as Dzongs.
Historically, most Dzongs in Bhutan were built with extensive defensive features and were used as watchtowers to keep an eye out for invaders – which explains why most fortresses are constructed on high grounds.
They are now primarily used as the house of various administrative works. Some of the most impressive fortresses in Bhutan include Paro Taktsang, perched 900 meters above the Paro valley. We highly recommend you add this attraction to your Bhutan travel bucket list.
Aside from its historical importance, Bhutanese revere these Dzongs for their spiritual significance. Most temples and shrines in Bhutan are built upon the prophecies foretold by Buddhist masters to subjugate demons and other inhuman entities.
If you want to discover more about the magnificent Dzongs and their architecture, check out the 10 famous monasteries in Bhutan.
4. The Exciting Winter Festivals
If Bhutan is on your travel bucket list, visit the country during late autumn or fall. That is when you get to experience the vibrant festivals, locally known as Tshechu, which take place all across the country.
Tshechu is a spiritual festival held on the tenth day of a lunar month, corresponding to Guru Padmasambhava’s birth anniversary. However, the actual month of the festival varies from place to place.
Tshechus are grand events with large gatherings who come to witness the masked religious dances, receive blessings, and celebrate. These festivities are known for their extravagant dances, amazing fire performances, and eloquent masks.
The unconventional Bhutanese festivals are something the world is unaware of, and if you wish to have a closer look, here are the 6 most popular Bhutanese festivals.
5. The Superb Bhutanese Cuisines
Food fascinates everyone, regardless of where you travel. Bhutanese cuisine is full of delectable recipes that will make you crave them simply by looking at them.
We recommend visitors explore foods in traditional homestays for a more authentic experience. With easy access to various spices and ingredients worldwide, food in Bhutan is prepared to appeal to your taste buds.
Bhutanese recipes are among the best and most difficult to come by elsewhere. Here is some must-try Bhutanese food that will appeal to different palates and make your Bhutan travel bucket list a truly unique experience:
Ema Datshi – Chili With Cheese
To begin, ema datshi is a traditional Bhutanese dish that is made with either fresh green or dried chilies, with a generous amount of cheese. You will most certainly have ema datshi every day throughout your stay in Bhutan.
Locally, Kewa means potato; hence kewa datshi means “potatoes and cheese.” Surprisingly, Kewa Datshi is similar and almost as good as scalloped potatoes.
Arra is a popular local beverage that may be served cold or hot. It is alcohol that has a lot to do with how wines are made. It can be boiled with an egg for consumption. However, they are extremely strong and are not the best choice for the faint of heart.
If you haven’t realized already, it’s quite improbable to visit Bhutan and eat Bhutanese food without consuming a lot of cheese and chili. If Bhutan is on your travel bucket list, make sure to savor various Bhutanese cuisines.
6. Fewer Tourists
Bhutan is appreciated worldwide for its stunning Himalayan vistas and rich history and culture that it does not want to jeopardize by bringing in hordes of tourists.
Bhutan’s tourism policy is based on “high value, low impact.”
This policy keeps the inflow of tourists in balance with nature conservation. While it makes visiting Bhutan expensive, it also allows the government to preserve the country’s rich culture and biodiversity.
The streets in Bhutan aren’t busy, and with endless mountains and terrains as a backdrop, it is incredibly peaceful. Consider adding Bhutan to your travel bucket list because there is no other place that is quite as tranquil and beautiful as Bhutan.
7. Meet Hospitable Bhutanese People
Besides its pristine environment, the stunning vistas of the world’s highest peaks, and the architectural grandeur of Dzongs, Bhutanese are the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
And, if you’re on a spiritual journey, make sure to include Bhutan on your travel bucket list.
Elderly people are seen circumambulating religious sites such as shrines and stupas to gain virtue. You’ll see people prostrating in front of temples.
Bhutanese people often leave their doors open, children are perfectly safe to commute to school by themselves, and visitors can stroll around the towns without having to worry.
Furthermore, Bhutan’s crime rate is fairly low. This is due to the country’s strong Buddhist ties and emphasis on the well-being and happiness of its citizens. These are all the reasons why you should add Bhutan to your travel bucket list.
8. Flora And Fauna
If you’re an enthusiastic horticulturist, Bhutan is an ideal destination to include on your travel bucket list. Bhutan houses more than 60% of the plant species that are found across the Himalayas.
It also has over 46 different Rhododendron species and about 300 different herbs. Junipers, Magnolias, Orchids, Blue Poppies, Edelweiss, Gentian, numerous medicinal herbs, Daphne, Giant Rhubarb, Pine, and Oak trees are some of the plant species that can be found.
Endangered animals of all kinds can be found in the kingdom. Snow leopards, blue sheep, red pandas, takin, and marmots can all be found at higher elevations.
Temperate regions are home to Himalayan black bears, red pandas, sambars, wild pigs, and barking deer.
Clouded leopards, elephants, one-horned rhinoceros, water buffalos, golden langurs, gaurs, swamp deer, hog deer, hornbills, and some other animals thrive in the tropical region of the south.
Surprisingly, Bhutan houses the highest altitude inhabiting tigers and can be found all across the country.
9. Grab Yourself A Souvenir
Shopping in Bhutan is a fun experience, with many exclusive items found only in Bhutan.
If Bhutan is on your travel bucket list, you might find it truly delightful to shop for unique Bhutanese products. From local boutiques to major souvenir emporiums, there are a lot of items that you can shop for as keepsakes.
With endless options, you’ll certainly find yourself overwhelmed while deciding what to buy in Bhutan. To save you the stress, here are the best souvenirs you can shop from Bhutan.
With exhilarating outdoor experiences, the rich biodiversity, and, most importantly, the cultural differences, there’s no reason why Bhutan shouldn’t be on your travel bucket list.
Hopefully, this blog has piqued your curiosity about Bhutan and inspired you to choose from a selection of Bhutan tour packages the one that best fits your Bhutan travel bucket list!