Winter, however, is a great season for bird watching in the south of the country. This is also the best time to do rafting. From December to February, you have to deal with snow, especially in higher regions.
Spring, from March to May, is considered to be one of the best times for trekking trips, before the rainy season takes place in summer.
The best travel time for Bhutan:
Main season: February – May, October – November
Low season: December – January, September
Find out when religious celebrations are celebrated. During the festivities you can enjoy authentic insights into the local life, and the Buddhist dzongs (monastic castles).
We will be happy to advise you on your tailormade trip to Bhutan. Contact us for an obligation-free and complimentary quote.
Top 10 Attractions, Activities & Highlights in Bhutan
The spiritual monastery town of Bumthang is one of the most important religious centers in the country. The numerous temples and monasteries are impressive testimonies of the country’s Buddhist history.
Watch the rare black-necked creek in Gangtey Valley, which is part of Black Mountains National Park, There are also tigers, leopards and Asian wild dogs to spot in this most important game reserve of Bhutan.
The impressive Tatksang Monastery in Paro is located at an altitude of 3,000 meters and is one of Bhutan’s landmarks. It is said that the monastery, known as Tiger’s Nest, is the most beautiful in the entire Himalayan region!
The most beautiful view of the Himalayas is from Punakha Valley. Punakha Dzong is an impressive monastery building that stands majestically in front of this breathtaking backdrop.
The Tashichho Dzong in the capital of Thimpu is a Buddhist monastery, fortress and also seat of the government of Bhutan. This imposing structure in the north of the city houses over 30 chapels, temples and shrines.
Want to get to know this fairy-tale mountain kingdom? Our Asia specialists will plan the ideal travel route for your tour of Bhutan.
History of Bhutan
Stories of saints, demons and spirits dominate early Bhutanese history. Few historical manuscripts have survived the devastating earthquakes and fires the country has witnessed.
Historians believe that the country was occupied as early as 2,000 BC and to this day, Guru Rinpoche’s visit to Bhutan, to rid the nation of pesky demons, remains one of the highlights of early Bhutanese history.
Bhutan experienced an influx of Buddhist influence after the 7th century, and Drukpas – followers of the Tibetan Druk (dragon) monastery, united parts of Bhutan through their teachings.
In the 17th century, Ngawang Namgyal – an expatriate from Tibet, was established as the Zhabdrung Rinpoche – the spiritual leader, and introduced the office of the desi – an elected leader.
Bhutan had its first tryst with the British and the East India Company when the Bhutanese people were driven out of Cooch-Behar in the 18th century. Bhutan travelpackages became possible only after peace was established several decades and many skirmishes later.
After 1972, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck introduced the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) – a means to measure progress in relation to the good of the people.
Today, people from all over the world can explore the country through a private Bhutan tour and see a nation finally emerging from centuries of isolation!
For centuries, Bhutan has preserved its heritage and the influence of ancient culture is still evident. Bhutanese are similar to Tibetans in their beliefs and practices, although the exact dates when Tibetan people began to enter Bhutan, are uncertain.
A Bhutan tour will certainly include visits to the beautiful Buddhist monuments the country is known for. Buddhism is the official religion and a strong spiritual aura is evident everywhere – monks clad in traditional red attire, local temples and old fortresses known as Dzongs.
Dzongkha is the official language of Bhutan and, although most schools teach English, the number of books in the local language is on the rise.
The Driglam Namzha, imposed in 1990, decides the etiquettes and mannerisms that people follow, and men and women are treated as equals with both sharing in household and external work.
Bhutanese names can be confusing as men and women often bear the same names. Many children from a local village often end up with the same names as well!
Top Bhutan Travel Tips – Culture:
Don’t be shocked to find a giant penis painted outside traditional Bhutanese houses. Although discouraged in urban centers, this traditional protective symbol is expected to drive away evil, according to the teachings of the ‘Divine Madman’ Drukpa Kunley!
According to the Gross National Happiness Index, Bhutan is one of the happiest nations in the world!
Prepare yourself for hot and delicious meals! The use of chilli and spices in almost every dish is the first thing you will notice about Bhutanese food!
A Bhutan tour is incomplete without sampling some of the local delicacies. During the long winters, delicious warm soups and stews are served everywhere.
Cheese is quite popular with the Bhutanese and cheese-based dishes are popular all over the country. Cheese is used to prepare various types of sauces or added to soupy preparations. Don’t forget to include a scrumptious cheddar and gouda cheese tasting spree during your Bhutan tour.
Most restaurants in the country serve dishes influenced by the surrounding countries of India, Nepal, Tibet and China.
Try some authentic Bhutan cuisine:
Ema Datshi: Bhutan’s National Dish, made with large chilli peppers and a cheesy sauce (naturally, the cheese is locally made).
Red rice: grows readily in higher altitudes, is a staple part of the diet. This is usually served with vegetables or meat such as chicken, pork, beef and lamb.
Phaksa Paa: a pork and chilli dish
Jasha Maru: a dish made with spicy minced chicken and tomatoes
Goep: a spicy tripe dish as it has been cooked with chillis and chilli powder
Momos: the ubiquitous Tibetan-style dumplings, filled with cabbage, onion, cheese or meat, are consumed everywhere in the Mountain Kingdom.
Top Bhutan Travel Tips – Cuisine:
All authentic dishes of Bhutan are spicy and if you prefer simpler meals we suggest you indicate this at the start!
Do try the butter tea – a national favorite!
Enchanting Travels is happy to help you plan your very own private Bhutan tour.