The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan lies along the lofty ridges of the eastern Himalayas, bordered by China (Tibet) to the north and northwest, and by the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal and Sikkim on the east, south, and west respectively.
Opened for tourism in 1974, after the coronation of the fourth King, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Bhutan is perhaps the world’s most exclusive tourist destination.
The country still retains all the charm of the old world, and travelers experience the full glory of this ancient land as embodied in the monastic fortresses, ancient temples, monasteries, and stupas which dot the countryside, prayer flags fluttering above farmhouses and on the hillsides, lush forests, rushing glacial rivers, and – perhaps most important of all – the warm smiles and genuine friendliness of the people.
Each moment is special as one discovers a country, which its people have chosen to preserve in all its magical purity.
Districts (Dzongkhag): 20
Area: 38,394 sq km
Time Zone: 6 hours ahead of GMT
Language: Dzongkha (official) English widely spoken
Currency: Ngultrum (Nu.)
Country Dialling Code: +975
Air: The only International Airport is located in Paro.
With an area of 38,394 square km., Bhutan is comparable to Switzerland both in its size and topography. The mighty Himalayas protected Bhutan from the rest of the world and left it blissfully untouched through the centuries. The Drukpa Kagyupa school of Mahayana Buddhism provided the essence of a rich culture and a fascinating history. The Bhutanese people protected this sacred heritage and unique identity for centuries by choosing to remain shrouded in a jealously guarded isolation.
The kingdom is peopled sparsely, with a population approaching 552,996. Four main linguistic groups constitute Bhutan’s population: the Sharchopas, who are held to be indigenous inhabitants, the Bumthangpas and the Ngalongpas who originate in neighboring Tibet, and the Lhotshampas, recent immigrants of Nepalese origin.
explore bhutan’s attractions
Bhutan: a brief introduction
The history of the kingdom dates back to the 8th century, with Guru Padmasambhava’s legendary flight from Tibet to Bhutan in 747 AD on the back of a tigress. The Guru began propagation of the Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism. The country was unified under the Drukpa Kagyupa sect of Mahayana Buddhism in the early 17th century, by the religious figure, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Shabdrung codified a comprehensive system of laws and built dzongs that guarded each valley. At the end of the 19th century, the Trongsa Penlop, Ugyen Wangchuck, who then controlled the central and eastern regions, overcame all his rivals and united the nation once more. In 1907, Ugyen Wangchuck was unanimously accepted as King, and a hereditary monarchy system was unanimously agreed for Bhutan.
In 1998, the fourth King stepped down as head of state and handed over this function to a prime minister assisted by a cabinet of ministers. As part of the move towards democracy, the fourth King handed over his responsibilities to his son King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck in 2006. In 2008, the year that marked the centenary of the Kingdom, Bhutan made the transition from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy and held its first general elections, marking a new era in the political history of Bhutan.
bhutan’s tourism policy
Tourism has been strictly limited in Bhutan so that traditional culture can be preserved and nurtured. The Bhutanese are highly religious people and therefore it is important to show respect and understanding for local customs and way of life, especially while visiting places of religious significance.
The tourism industry in Bhutan is founded on the principle of sustainability, meaning that tourism must be environmentally and ecologically friendly, socially and culturally acceptable, and also economically viable. In keeping with the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s “High Value, Low Impact” tourism policy, all tourists are required to visit Bhutan on an all-inclusive minimum package.
Leave matters to us, as we handle every practical aspect.
Please contact us for rate information, as it is totally dependent on your individual needs and time of year.
Peak Season is Mar, Apr, May, Sept, Oct, Nov, while Regular Season is Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec.
The rates cover the following land costs:
(a) Govt. approved hotels.
(b) All meals at the Govt. approved hotels or local restaurants (c) Transport / transfers within Bhutan
(d) A licensed English speaking local guide for the duration of the tour (e) Sightseeing, entrances fees to museums & monuments, all permits (f) 35% royalty to the government & all taxes
(g) Trekking (basic equipments, haulage & crew)
Other services and activities are extra, but included in the final cost presented to you by Culturexperience.
what we offer in bhutan
Culturexperience’s local affiliate in Bhutan is the most prominent tour operator with a large staff, which includes competent guides and drivers with solid experience, and a professional catering team. Their extensive fleet of Toyota vehicles is all up to date and in excellent condition.
Our mission is to provide value-added services to the discerning travelers who come to experience our country. Equipped with a team of dedicated professionals and supported by an excellent infrastructure, we are committed to offering you the very best. We will guide you to all that is special about Bhutan, whether it is gazing at beautiful snowcapped mountains, attending the Kingdom’s colorful festivals or simply the charm and gracious hospitality of the people. Let us help you begin your journey into an enchanted realm…
Mindful of the fragility of the natural environment, our aim is to“take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints” when introducing our visitors to this small, green Himalayan jewel – Bhutan.
Cultural Tours: Our cultural tours introduce visitors to unique aspects of Mahayana Buddhist culture, including various religious festivals and pilgrimage sites. Whichever tour you select, you will enjoy fascinating excursions to villages, temples and scenic spots for a closer look at a culture and a land that remains the most unspoiled and beautiful example of the traditional Himalayan way of life in existence today.
Trekking: The scope for trekking in Bhutan is immense – from short walks to arduous treks. The very moment you step off the road to start your trek you will be totally de-linked from the stressful sights and sounds of urban life. Instead, you will enjoy views of snowcapped peaks, densely forested hillsides and river valleys, and the sounds of birds and gushing streams.
Special Interest Tours:
Alpine Flowers / Botanical Tours
Handicrafts & Textile
Kayaking & Rafting
Buddhist Teachings & Meditation (Introductory & Refresher)
Together with our local affiliate, Culturexperience can tailor make programs to meet individual needs and preferences.
Accommodation: When you travel with us, you can be sure that your accommodation in lodges, guest houses, smaller hotels, and tented camps will be up to the best available. All recommended accommodations are certified by the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
We have a well maintained and an up to date fleet of 20 Toyota vehicles, comprising of coaches seating 18-20 people and smaller vans seating 2 to 5 people. Our drivers are competent professionals with over 10 years of driving experience on the small winding roads of Bhutan.
All our tours are escorted by well trained and knowledgeable local guides fluent in English. We will try our best to provide Japanese, German and French-speaking guides. All our guides are certified and licensed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
The professionally trained and experienced catering team will accompany you on the treks. All members of our catering team are certified and licensed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
When traveling with Culturexperience’s local affiliate, you can be confident that we are totally focused on making your Bhutan experience a culturally rich and spiritually rewarding odyssey.