A huge attraction of Bhutan is its perceived and actual focus on cleanliness & peacefulness. This predominantly mesmerising Buddhist nation is lanced by deep ravines and coated with thick woods and valleys. The country has no traffic lights but smart traffic police and their action is worth watching. Smoking, as well as tobacco products, are illegal, as are hunting and fishing (except for catch and release). It is forbidden to climb high peaks (where spirits dwell), and employees must wear traditional clothing i.e. a Gho robe for men and Kira dress for women during work hours which is incidentally their national dress. Blessed with favourable climatic conditions and diverse topography, tourist places in Bhutan is visually charming and picturesque. Bhutan is the kingdom that offers Himalayan views, monasteries, charming hill villages and jungle wildlife watching to offer one of the world's great travel destinations. It also offers the most iconic and accessible hiking, with rugged trails. Tourists can admire the peaks over a sunset gin and tonic from a Himalayan viewpoint.
Bhutan officially was known as the Kingdom of Bhutan now a democratic state. It is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas bordered by the Peoples Republic of China to the north and India to the south. The country is a constitutional monarchy with Vajrayana Buddhism as the state religion. Situated in the eastern Himalayas, landlocked between the Tibet Autonomous Region & Peoples Republic of China to the north and the Indian states of Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam to west and south and the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh to the east. One can spend hours crossing thin and roads through jungles and over mountain passes. After travelling few hours the land appears gigantic. Seven per cent (7%) of the terrain is covered with forests, while even per cent (7%) is beneath glaciers. The highest Himalayan peak is Gangkhar Puensum (Literally means "White Peak of the Three Spiritual Brothers) is at 7570 meters i.e. higher than any peak in Europe, Africa, America or Australia.
The Topography is similar to Nepal but not populated. It has sub-alpine Himalayan mountains in the north and lush subtropical plains in the south. In the Bhutanese Himalayas, there are peaks higher than 7,000 meters. Gangkhar Puensum is Bhutan's highest peak and may also be the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. Thimphu is the Capital city and Paro the most colourful & beautiful town. The political system changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy in the year 2000. The monarch King Jigme Singye Wangchuck transferred most of his administrative powers to the Council of Cabinet Ministers.
The country lies in the Himalayan foothills. Bhutan consists mostly of steep and high mountains crisscrossed by a network of swift rivers that form deep valleys before draining into the Indian plains. Elevation rises from 200 meters in the southern foothills to more than 7,000 meters in the North. The geographical diversity with diverse climate conditions contributes to the outstanding range of biodiversity and ecosystems. From the subtropical climate in the south to the temperate in the highlands and polar-type climate in the extreme north. Bhutan experiences five distinct seasons like India i.e. summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring.
Bhutan and neighbouring Tibet experienced the spread of Buddhism which originated in the Indian subcontinent. Melting glaciers caused by climate change are a growing concern in Bhutan & India. In the year of 1999, the government lifted a ban on television and the internet, making Bhutan one of the last countries to introduce television. Society is free of class or a caste system. People can be generally categorized into three main ethnic groups i.e. Tshanglas, Ngalops and Lhotshampas. Other minority groups are the Bumthaps and the Khengpas of Central Bhutan, the Kurtoeps in Lhuentse, the Brokpas and the Bramis of Merak and Sakteng in eastern Bhutan, the Doyas of Samtse and the Monpas of Rukha villages in WangduePhodrang. Remarkable is the openness of Bhutanese society in the way the people often visit their friends and relatives at any hour of the day without any notice or appointment and receive a warm welcome and hospitality. Citizens are attractively dressed locals who are astutely polite and genuinely helpful.
Major festivals are Cha festival in Kurtoe, the Kharphud in Mongar and Zhemgang, the BalaBongko in Wangdue Phodrang, the Lombas of the Haaps and the Parops, the Jomo Solkha of the Brokpas, the Kharam amongst the Tshanglas and the Devi Puja amongst the southern community. The small country of Bhutan is the cultural powerhouse of the Himalayas. It is also a great place to learn about Tibetan Buddhism and to make the best momos (Dumplings). Visiting the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thimphu & Paro makes on feel like a backpacker Disneyland. The Sharchops are larger in demographic size, the Ngalops dominate the political sphere, as the King and the political elite belong to this group
Bhutan is located at the foot of the Himalayas and is known for its alluring flora and fauna. It is home to one of the best and diversified wildlife. Its dense forest, numerous varieties of animals, and birds represent nature in the best of colour. Tourists visit to explore the beauty of nature, however, its climate changes from chilling weather to hot as well. Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Bundling Wildlife Sanctuary, Jomotsangkha Wildlife Sanctuary, Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, Royal Manas National Park, Wangchuck Centennial National Park, Jigme Dorji National Park, Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve
The majority of the tourists/travellers spend a couple of days in Thimpu visiting historic attractions and then proceeds to Paro, Punakha, etc. Some of the places to visit outside, instead, the country has established several national parks and reserves in order to provide protection for the diverse flora and fauna found within it. Many of the national parks such as Chitwan are protected by the army. Monks crossing the dusty road in their saffron robe while the fragrant smoke of incense and turmeric swirl in the air around them & tourists will be exposed to a plethora of cultures, beliefs, environments. Such a visually inspiring environment can be incredibly exciting for photographers of all levels. Hence before you click, be mindful and respectful of the local culture, Dress Codes in Religious Centers, Be Respectful, Protect your Equipment & be careful how to approach the subjects. A special attraction at Kathmandu is the three Durbar square i.e. Kathmandu Durbar Square, with its eclectic mix of architectural styles, Patan Durbar Square, with its fine museum, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square, an open-air museum of traditional crafts.
Tea Tourism - Bhutan does not have any major Tea Estate but have a few Tea Garden and they have a casual approach to Tea cultivation. No chemicals or fertilizers are used for its cultivation. Hence they are pure and typical. But on either side of the border, there is Tea Estate. Assam & Bengal both have tea Tourism and while travelling to Bhutan One has to cross the Tea Garden or Estate from Assam Or Bengal and the same can be incorporated in Bhutan Package by Road. Tea serving is taken as a major component of expressing their respect and hospitality to the guests. Flora and fauna are other options along with historical sites along with wildlife. Other than Tea Tourism one can also learn to cook the local dishes or birding and angling or just go for a short trek. Some of our guests have stayed for 15 - 20 days and extended it for a couple of days just to participate in their local festival celebration or to teach in local school. Some of the guests return to the same place again and again. Sophistication is mixed with warmth and hospitality. There are various tribes in this region and it is also an activity to visit the local villages to know about their way of living. Along with Tea one can try Outdoor Camping, Mountaineering which is equaly exciting. Option for Tourist and travelers are many, some of them are trails, Temple, Monastery visit.
There are many organization, individuals, even Government officials help in to develop Tea Tourism & homestay. Guests activities help local people develop socially and economically. Interaction with travellers and the knowledge that they are visiting for the richness in the culture brings in a sense of pride amongst the people and also brings in supplementary sources of livelihood. The concept of ecotourism is fast catching up. It’s a good idea to keep in mind a few etiquettes while interacting with locals and visiting places of religious importance like Don’t Reach Out to Shake Hands, Always Finish Your Food, Etiquette For Cultural Site Visits, Respect the Locals & No Whistling.
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