The mysterious country of Bhutan is landlocked between Tibet
to the north and India to the south. Bhutan sits on the eastern reaches of the
Himalaya and is a mountainous country with a strong Buddhist culture. For many
years Bhutan remained closed off from the rest of the world fearing the
disruption of their culture, values and traditions. The start of the 20th
century marked a turn in attitude and Bhutan began to open its doors. Astonishingly
TV and internet did not arrive in Bhutan until 1999 and they were one of the
last countries in the world to introduce these.
The Bhutanese people fiercely guard their beliefs which is
why it is prohibited to summit any of the peaks above 6,000m within Bhutan.
Bhutan believes that the mountains are the homes of the gods and spirits and as
such should be kept pure. For this reason, the highest unclimbed mountain in
the world, Gangkhar Puensum at approximately 7,500m, sits on the border between
China and Bhutan.
This doesn’t mean Bhutan isn’t a country for mountaineers.
It is very much a mountaineering country with many of the population native to
the Himalaya and their way of life is rooted deep within the mountains in
Bhutan. When this vibrant country opened for visitors in 1973 it was with the
intention of inviting people to explore their incredible natural landscapes and
experience the magic of the eastern Himalayas.
The largest city and capital of Bhutan is Thimphu and close
to here is the international airport of Paro. Flights to Bhutan can only be
booked from other Asian hub cities such as Delhi, Bangkok, Doha or Kathmandu. If
you’re interested in visiting this exciting country, the best time to trek in
Bhutan is September to November when the weather is drier, and the temperatures
are mild. You have more chance of good weather through the autumn, however
April to May is a beautiful time of year for wildflowers and less visitors.
There are some truly iconic experiences you mustn’t miss on
your visit and Kandoo offers some of the best hikes Bhutan. Trekking to the
Tiger’s Nest monastery, or Taktshang Lhakhang, is one of these. This awesome
monastery defies gravity perched on the side of a mountain and the trek to
reach it is an exciting adventure in itself. Perhaps the most famous of the
Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan, The Tiger’s Nest dates back to the 1600s and
features on most of our Bhutan trekking adventure itineraries.
Aside from the cultural sights in Bhutan, the country is
famed for its trekking routes which attract visitors from afar. The Druk
Path trek is a four-day hike from Paro to Thimphu across the exquisite
landscape of Bhutan. Imagine glacial lakes, snow-capped mountains and lush
forests and you’ll be some of the way to imagining the beauty of this iconic
route. The Chomolhari
Trek is an exciting hike from Paro to the Chomolhari base camp which offers
stunning views of some of the highest peaks in Bhutan and onto Thimpu
Lastly, perhaps the most famous, and definitely the most
challenging, trekking route through Bhutan is the Snowman
Trek Bhutan. This route takes you to the most remote parts of Bhutan and
the combination of altitude, conditions here and the length of the hike make
this ideally suited to experienced mountaineers only.
Visitors to Bhutan will discover that it is not
the most budget-friendly place to visit, unless you are Indian, as the
government impose a strict daily visitor tax which is built-in to Bhutan trip