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lee_carlton_9 Apr 11th, 2013 06:15 AM

Bhutan: what an amazing country!

My name is Lee Carlton, and I just wanted to share a little insight into our school's recent trip to Bhutan. The high school that I work for, THINK Global School, holds classes in three different countries each year, and this year a visit to Bhutan for our two week intersession was one of them. For those who have had the privilege to visit, or for those who are wondering whether they should, I can safely say that this was one of our students' favorite trips to date.

Bhutan's simple way of life and gorgeous landscapes definitely struck a chord with everyone that went. The concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) was a focus of the trip, and the students definitely gained a deeper understanding of it by the end. The trip began in the capital city of Thimphu. From there we progressed throughout the country, visiting the Phobjika Valley and the Bhumtang region.

For those who are considering going, we recommend checking out:

-The 108 stupas at the Dochu Pass are a sight to behold, and the Himalayas behind them are simply stunning. The pass is located just outside Thimphu, so very easy to get to.

-The dzongs! Bhutan's dzongs are full of history, and we had the opportunity to visit several while there, including ones in Thimphu, Trongsa and Punakha. While visiting the Punakha Dzong we took a rafting trip down the Mo Chhu river, which is also recommended. The final dzong we visited, the Tiger's Nest Monastery, might be the grandest of all, and is well worth the trip.

-We took a flight over Bhutan's Phobjikha glacial valley which was simply breathtaking. This is also a fantastic place to bird watch, as the cranes are among the rarest in the world.

I'm glad I could share some details from the trip, and I hope this info is useful. We've shared our students' photos, videos and writings from our trip which you can find here:

Hope you enjoy what we came up with, and we'd love to answer any questions you might have regarding Bhutan. Thanks

Craig Apr 11th, 2013 06:26 AM

Having been to all of the areas of Bhutan that you list here, I thank you for posting. The link that you posted does not work. However, I believe this is the correct one:

jacketwatch Apr 11th, 2013 06:27 AM

Bhutan is a place I have wanted to go to. How easy is it for a couple traveling by themselves? I have heard one had to get a guide, get official clearance by the govt., etc. Do you need a visa? Thanks a lot. :-)

Craig Apr 11th, 2013 06:38 AM

Very easy. Just contact Kencho at Snow White Tours in Bhutan: [email protected]
She'll take care of everything. My wife Jeane and I traveled by ourselves with a guide and driver for 12 nights. My trip report is here:

jacketwatch Apr 11th, 2013 06:40 AM

Is a guide and driver mandated? Anyway I would think its best. Thanks!

lee_carlton_9 Apr 11th, 2013 06:42 AM

Craig: Sorry, that is the correct link you shared!

Jacketwatch- We had guides with us the entire duration of our trip, and I believe that it is a requirement when visiting that you must. Visas are required, and Bhutan only allows a select amount of visitors in per year (as not to be over run by tourists). This site has some good information on what you and your wife would need to consider:

Craig Apr 11th, 2013 06:56 AM

Yes, you must be accompanied by a guide. Ours really enhanced our trip.

thursdaysd Apr 11th, 2013 07:11 AM

You also have to fly at least one way on Druk airlines (the only airline that flies to Bhutan) in order to get a visa. There is a minimum amount you have to spend per person per day, plus a solo supplement if you go alone. But it is an amazing country - see my photos here:

jacketwatch Apr 11th, 2013 07:59 AM

I would think a guide would be an enhancement. Some day I hope to go. Too bad it cant be in Oct. as a hop from our India trip. Anyway we have a week in BKK planned on the way back.
Cheers, Larry :-)

thursdaysd Apr 11th, 2013 08:12 AM

I visited between Bangkok and India, maybe you could add it between India and Bangkok? There are two festivals scheduled in Bumthang in October - you shouldn't miss seeing a festival if you go.

steevennsmithh Apr 11th, 2013 09:54 AM

Bhutan is a realy beautiful country. here many beautiful places.

ginger50 Apr 13th, 2013 07:51 AM

My favorite country of all. Best advise, go if you can.

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