More recently, Bhutan has become accessible to tourists. Until that time, few people knew about him as a country suitable for tourism. Lying in the heart of the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan seems to have fallen behind the flow of time. Only since the 70s, the country began to gain popularity, and today it is the dream of many travelers. The oldest forests and rare species of flora and fauna have been preserved in their original form on the territory of the country. In an unusual way, the local landscape is complemented by monasteries characteristic of this country – “dzongs”. The inhabitants of Bhutan are very hospitable, and their views on life are completely unaffected by the modern, familiar world for us.
Geography of Bhutan
According to smber, the small state of Bhutan is located in Southeast Asia, on the southern slopes of the Himalayas. It borders with the Autonomous Republic of China – Tibet and India.
The area of Bhutan is 38.394 km. sq., occupies the 135th place in the world by area.
The national currency is the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN).
The official language is Dzongkha.
Visa to Bhutan
Visiting Bhutan is possible only after obtaining a visa. A distinctive feature is that only organized tourist groups who will visit the country according to the programs developed by Bhutanese tour operators, as well as at the invitation of government organizations, can issue a visa. Individual visas are not issued. A visa is issued upon arrival at the Bhutan airport, but before that, you must obtain a visa permit and submit all the documents necessary for obtaining a visa. At the airport in Bhutan, you need to pay a visa fee of 20 US dollars. A significant part of the time is taken by the consideration of a request for a visa permit, on average this stage takes 2.5 months, so you need to apply for a permit at least three months before departure. The visa issued at the airport is valid for two weeks, if it is necessary to extend it, then you need to contact the Visa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If there are less than 4 people in a tourist group, then an additional tourist tax must be paid.
Weather in Bhutan
Despite the fact that the area of the country is small, the climate here is quite diverse. There is a tropical monsoon climate in the south, and mountainous in the highlands of the northern part of the state. In the south, the average temperature in July is +20C, and in January +11, in the north in winter -4 C, in summer +16 C. The amount of precipitation varies from northwest to southeast from 1000 to 5500 mm per year. In June-August, monsoon winds dominate in the south of Bhutan, at this time the amount of precipitation can reach up to 500 mm per month or more. The most convenient time for traveling in Bhutan is March-June and September-November. At this time, the amount of precipitation is minimal, and the temperature is kept within +18 +22 C.
The country has no domestic airlines, water and rail transport. Tourists can only travel by bus, and only with a guide. All transportation, meals and excursions are ordered together with the tour booking.
Currency exchange in Bhutan
As of October 2011, the national currency rate is 1 USD = 50 BTN. The official currency is the Bhutanese Ngultrum. Local banks are open only on weekdays from 10.00 to 13.00. There are only two large banks in Bhutan, branches of which are scattered throughout the country. Currency and travelers checks can also be exchanged at hotels. Credit cards are accepted in large stores in the capital and hotels. There are practically no ATMs in the country, and it is very difficult to exchange currency in the province.
230V/50Hz (European and American sockets).
The main religion in the country is Buddhism, the adherents of this religion are 75% of the believing population. Approximately 25% are Hindus. There are also a small number of Christians living in Bhutan.
In general, the crime situation in the country is more than calm, but you should not visit closed monasteries and other objects on your own. When entering Bhutan, it is recommended to be vaccinated against hepatitis, rabies and meningitis.
The country has a relatively extensive network of medical institutions, both private and public. In large cities, the level of training of medical workers is high, but in the interior of the country there is a lack of qualified doctors. First aid to foreigners is provided free of charge, but subsequent treatment must be paid for. It is recommended to have international health insurance with you.