Bhutan is one such country that is not hidden to all and has been a tourism magnet for wanderers from around the world. Itís amazing how this country which was closed to tourists until 1974 can buckle up to become one of the hottest destinations to explore. Everything about Bhutan is Magical and your stay in Bhutan is deemed to be no less than Magical. Bhutan is the closest to perfection and stating how many days of stay would be ideal for a perfect vacation is difficult. Once you are in Bhutan, the VISA allotted is basically for 7 days permit for Bhutan sightseeing tour.
Understanding the Entry Formalities
It is of prime importance that you should know about the process of entry into Bhutan. It means that there are some regulations that you may need to follow while entering Bhutan. Firstly the kingdom has imposed various restrictions for visitors to Bhutan to preserve their traditional culture. It is known to most that Indians do not require VISA formalities while entering Bhutan but do need to get a permit from the border towns.
The two types of permits:
While you are entering Bhutan either by flight, Phuentsholing or other border states, you shall be handed over an Entry Permit after proper verification of your documents. This entry permit is your pass until Paro & Thimphu. It cannot be applied in advance as it requires physical presence.
So the Entry Permits do come with limitations and restricted access inside Bhutan. If you wish to explore other places and offbeat destinations beyond Thimphu and Paro, you must acquire a Route Permit for the same. A scanned copy of either your passport or your Voterís ID card is required to apply for your Route Permit in advance.
How many days of Bhutan is Ideal to explore Bhutan properly?
As we have already discussed, Bhutan is one of the most beautiful countries which is gifted with never-ending beauty and charm spread across its length and breadth. It is also known as the Last Shangri La or the reservoir of nature and wildlife. Even one month of visiting Bhutan would allow you to see just 1/3rd of the country but if we cut down the tour short, 6 days plan can be perfect. Let us plan the best out of your limited duration in Bhutan.
The Best of Bhutan in 6 days: What you can really do!!
Let us see one of the most popular 6-day plans which could help you explore the best of Bhutan in the quickest way possible. Your starting point may vary but in here, Paro is the place that we are starting the tour with. Letís move on with the schedule:
As you land in Paro, you shall be greeted with the most delightful view of the Bhutanese valleys which is purely heavenly. Paro is 7,333 feet above sea level and if you are from the nonhilly area you might as well stay for sometime before being transferred to the capital of Thimphu. The capital is around 45 km away and you could as well reach in time for some Thimphu town visit. ¬†
Start your day early and gear up for some sightseeing places spread throughout the capital. If you are in for spiritual awakening and travel motive than Buddha Dorndenma is the best first location. The statue is really mammoth and is 51 m tall, overlooking the surrounding valleys. After that, you could as well see the Memorial Chorten as well. You can also explore the narrow lanes of Thimphu city and visit the famous Centenary market. Trying the famous dish of Ema Datshi is a must.
After a great experience in Thimphu, you could now head towards a historical town of Punakha. It takes approximately 2 hours for you to reach Punakha and the drive is certainly beautiful with beautiful views during the journey. During your transfer to Punakha, you can also stop at the Dochula Pass as well as the Wangdiphodrang. The Dochula Pass consists of around 108 memorial Chortens here, each one built to represent a life lost. The old capital of Bhutan, Punakha is home to Bhutanís highest and largest suspension bridge and is home to the Punakha Dzong, the royal palace.
Your second day in Paro could start with Punakha is home to Bhutanís highest and largest suspension bridge. Punakha is also home to Bhutanís highest and the world-famous suspension bridge. This roped bridge is gifted with beautifully colored prayer flags. You can visit the Dzongs and fortresses but never think that every Dzong is built the same way.Each one is important and beautiful in its own unique way. See the Royal structures in and around Punakha.
Another spiritual place is the Rinpung Dzong Ė a distinct fortress with huge walls that are visible from throughout the valley and exhibits wonderful architectural excellence.
Bhutan tour is incomplete without the mandatory visit of the Tigers Nest. Perched at an altitude of around 4200m, this mysterious monastery is a delightful site and world-famous as well. It is said that the Guru flew here on his white Tigress and prayed endlessly, driving the evil spirits away from Bhutan. The place is a little above the parking and a small trek is needed. It is the perfect way to end your Bhutan sightseeing tour.
Bid farewell to the beautiful country of Bhutan and the dragon kingdom is too magnetic. Bhutan is never enough and it always has you craving for more. You could as well take your departure from the same Paro airport, the only International airport in the kingdom. You will definitely have enormous memories during your Bhutan sightseeing tour that will last forever.