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(Kingdom of Bhutan) – Land of the Thunder Dragon

Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a small landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China. Bhutan is separated from the nearby country of Nepal to the west by the Indian state of Sikkim, and from Bangladesh to the south by West Bengal.

Kingdom of Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon
Kingdom of Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon

 This is a country where buying cigarettes is illegal, where the rice is red and where chillies aren’t just a seasoning but the entire dish. It’s also a deeply Buddhist land, where men wear a tunic to work, where giant protective penises are painted on the walls of most houses, and where Gross National Happiness is deemed more important than Gross National Product.

Kingdom of Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon
Kingdom of Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon

Best Time to Visit Bhutan

1. Spring: From March to May, Bhutan's abundant flora is on full display and the weather is fantastic, mild with occasional mountain views. Though there is some rainfall, particularly as you get into May, temperatures top out around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Rhododendron forests fill with color, and if you're lucky (and a hardy trekker) you may even spot the rare blue poppy–a three-foot tall species that was once thought only to be a myth. The Punakha and Paro festivals draw a lot of travelers at this time of year

Kingdom of Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon
Kingdom of Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon
2. Summer: The long days of summer in Bhutan tend to be uncrowded, verdant, and less rainy than many travelers expect. Afternoon rain showers generally occur each day during the green season, with July and August receiving as much as 14 inches per month. However, the heavy rains often fall during the night. So while low clouds may hang on the hills and sometimes obscure views by day, it is also not uncommon to experience long periods without rain. If you want to escape the crowds, capture some great deals, and see the country in its most lush greens, or enjoy the uniquely intimate Gangtey festival, this is the time to travel to Bhutan. It's also a nice season to spend time at a spa or in a meditation room if you opt for stays at Bhutan's more luxurious hotels.

3. Fall: Fall in Bhutan boasts the largest festivals, pleasant temperatures and world-class mountain vistas. From September to November, some of the largest Bhutanese festivals, including the Thimphu tshechu (dance festival), take place. This time of year the weather tends to be idyllic, with highs in the 70s and little rain. Later in the season, the sky becomes clearer revealing vivid mountain views. On a clear day at the top of the Dochu La (10,000-foot pass), 200 miles of Himalayan summits are stacked before you.

4. Winter: From December to February, you'll find a pristine, private wonderland with the clearest skies of the year. Winter in the Himalaya can certainly be cold, especially at higher elevations. However, Bhutan is at about the same latitude as Florida and not as cold as many travelers expect. In the lower valleys, such as Punakha, temperatures can reach the 50s and even 60s. A winter visit to Bhutan means small crowds, spectacularly clear views of the Himalayan range, and a chance to see the endangered black-necked cranes.

How to get there

1. By plane:

- Paro Airport (PBH): is the country's sole international airport
- Bagdogra Airport (IXB):  Bagdogra receives frequent flights from major cities within India

2. By bus:

- From Kolkata: The Royal Bhutanese Government runs a service to Phuentsholing
- From Siliguri: There is frequent service between Siliguri and Phuentsholing/Jaigaon
- From Phuentsholing: There are private buses and shared taxis from Phuentsholing to Thimphu

Kingdom of Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon
Kingdom of Bhutan – Land of the Thunder Dragon

Accommodations and Hotels in Bhutan

1. Zhiwa Ling:A handmade showcase of Bhutanese architectural arts, Zhiwa Ling offers authentic Bhutanese hospitality with 21st century comfort and convenience.

2. Dewachen:Cozy, comfortable, and rustic, friendly Dewachen sits nestled on a peaceful hillside with sweeping views and is always a traveler favorite.

3. Taj Tashi:The Taj Tashi is Thimphu's top hotel, with five-star hospitality, style, food, comfort, and location.

4. Uma:The Uma is Paro's top hotel offering quiet comfort in a pine-forested setting.

5. Amankora: The five Amankora lodges are world-class resorts that offer a perfectly balanced, harmonious, and award-winning stay that you'll long remember.

6. Tented Camps: Our tented camps in Bhutan offer trekkers the maximum in trailside comfort: hot meals, sturdy tents, warm comfy sleeping bags, and all the natural splendor of the country's most remote regions.

(Wiki, Lonely Planet and Geoex)

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