Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bhutan tales 1 - Tarvel tips

Bhutan travel will ever be etched in my memory for bringing serenity and internal peace that was the need  of the hour then. I travelled for a week's time without proper plan in place wandering around the country. What a beautiful country it is.. Some will come about it later

There are some  myths about Bhutan which I experienced. Here are some tips for Bhutan travel.
  
Mandatory guide 
Every tour operator will say you need a driver and a guide  to accompany you. You can't travel alone. It is mandatory. But the truth is it is only applicable for non Indians. with a daily cost of 250$/day. Indians can travel all alone anywhere in Bhutan.  Indians  can manage it  economically without loosing any comforts. Of course, guide is helpful if you are  interested  in history and legends.
Currency 
In Bhutan Indian currency is widely acceptable. However, I had  read in lot of reviews that currency note of  INR 500 and INR 1000 are banned and is not acceptable. I was carrying  only INR 500s and at the Kolkata airport I remembered reading somewhere about this myth. Tried to get some 100s in exchange of 500s. But could only manage to get few 100s. After reaching Bhutan, realized that there was no place where INR 500s are not acceptable. I even paid note of INR 1000s as well.

Season
Ecery travel site recommend to travel to Bhutan except in monsoon. But locals say that monsoon is the best time to visit as it is not torrential rain and  would be green everywhere. Hotels can be booked at better price.

Flight services 
Druk airways managed by Bhutan government is the only service provider  for flights. They don't have daily flights. Few cities  shave alternative days. It is very expensive to book it online. It needs to be booked through authorised travel agents to get better price

Seating 
While travelling from India, take left  window seat while going and right window seat while coming. View from  the flight is something one shouldn’t miss.It is a  breathtaking view of  Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and Jumo lahari all cladded in snow. I couldn’t take my eyes away  from this spectacular view of Himalayas.  

Mountain view from Bhutan flight

Mountain view from the flight

Hotels
Good hotels are available in the range of  INR 1500- 3000. No luxury but they will be clean with heater facility and 24 hr hot water. All the 3 hotels I stayed were very clean and neat. No complaints.  Even the location of all the 3 hotels were very convenient. I stayed in Shantideva in Thimphu, Jigmeling in Paro and Punatshangchhu Cottages at Punakha.

Festival time 
Festivals in Bhutan are so colourful and not to be missed. Try to match your travel time with one of the festivals in Dzongs.  One can witness colorful dance and even can see locals  celebrating the festivals. It would be  a great treat to hungry cameras

Have you already travelled to Bhutan ? Pls share your tips
 

3 comments:

  1. Hi Girija, good start.. All the best to your blog

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  2. Loved all your Bhutan posts.
    I went to Bhutan in 2005...obviously, had no clue that I would start blogging 9 years down the line. My collection of pictures is limited ....great to see your pics!
    http://tickingthebucketlist.blogspot.in/2014/06/bhutan-happiest-country-in-world.html

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  3. Thanks Sonia.Yes it happens. Even I have same problem to write a post as I don't have good pictures :-)

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