Bhutan - Touring Holidays
An escorted tour to Bhutan will be a truly memorable adventure of a lifetime in an enigmatic destination that few tourists have visited.
Hidden from the world for centuries, this tiny and remote kingdom nestles in the Himalayas and is flanked by powerful neighbours China and India. Scattered amongst Bhutan’s majestic mountains and deep valleys, adventurers will discover rural villages, Buddhist shrines and monasteries, and many dzongs, or fortresses. These were built to serve many purposes – some were administrative centres and some used as army garrisons – and today many are fascinating museums housing cultural, religious and historical artefacts.
Views of the Himalayas
Punakha, in central Bhutan, is home to the Punakha Dzong, an architectural beauty which was constructed in the 1600s as a defensive stronghold. A winter home for the Central Monk Body – an assembly of 600 or so maroon-clad monks who attend to the country’s most important religious duties – all of Bhutan’s kings have been crowned here too.
Ta Dzong in the town of Paro was built as a watchtower, and this impressive building is now Bhutan’s National Museum, housing a fascinating collection of artefacts. Journey here via the Dochula pass, which sits at a height of 3,088 metres. If luck is on your side and it’s a clear day, expect exceptional 360 degree views of the Himalayas.
Buddhism is practised by the majority of Bhutanese, with Hinduism the country’s second major religion. Therefore it is home to many Buddhist monasteries, with the most sacred the Taktsang Monastery. Also known as the Tiger’s Nest, this magical site steeped in legend is perched precariously on a cliff towering above a forest of blue pine and rhododendrons, and is visited by all Bhutanese people at least once in their life.
Bhutan’s terrain is some of the most rugged and unspoilt in the world and is characterised by huge variations in altitude. This combined with equally diverse climate conditions makes Bhutan home to an outstanding range of wildlife. You may see its national animal, the takin, a large mammal with wildebeest-type horns, which is sometimes referred to as a goat antelope. However, don’t set your heart on spotting the rare royal Bengal tiger or the endangered snow leopard, found at altitudes of up to 4,000 metres. The golden langur is a species of monkey unique to this land, and the recorded number of bird species stands at more than 670 currently, though that number is expected to rise as new breeds are discovered.
Hospitable local people
When it comes to people, Bhutan is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, with just over 670,000 calling it home. Those who do live here are known to be natural, confident and gentle. Never colonised, traditional society was historically based on a number of small communities scattered far and wide, with little or no contact between them. This resulted in the formation of 19 different languages and dialects, with Dzongkha now the national language. English is widely spoken too, so on your Bhutan holiday you will have the chance to get to know the locals, who are also renowned for their hospitality.
Every Travelsphere holiday offers exceptional value for money. Included in the price are return scheduled flights/rail travel and internal flights, where applicable, overseas transfers and transportation, carefully chosen hotels, many meals and excursions and the services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager or Local Guide.
Articles about Bhutan
Brush up on Bhutan
Off limits to tourists until the 1970s, the once secretive Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is steeped in mystery. If you want to find out more about this unique land, here are five fascinating facts to whet your appetite.