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Experience the Last Shangri-la, Kingdom of Bhutan

THINGS TO DO IN BHUTAN TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS
Takstang Monastery at Paro also known as the Tiger’s Nest. Image source: Druk Asia

Don’t be surprised if you have never heard of Bhutan because the country was once isolated from the rest of the world until the 1960s! Also known as the Land of Thunder Dragon, Bhutan is a small, landlocked country sandwiched between India to the south and China to the north.

This is also the setting of the popular ABS-CBN Philippines drama series Princess & I, called the Kingdom of Yangdon in the serial. The serial featured Kathery Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Enrique Gil and Albert Martinez.

This small Himalayan nation has much to offer to travellers, after all, it is the birthplace of the popular National Gross Happiness (GNH) philosophy. Its distinctive Bhutanese culture, architectural design, food, hiking trails and places of attractions will definitely leave a memorable impact for travellers. Below are some of the things to take notes if you are planning for a trip to Bhutan.

1. How much does it cost


Travelling to Bhutan is a hassle-free and luxurious experience. Within the travel packages includes all essentials like your meals, accommodations and your private guide and driver.

There is a fixed daily charge for all tourists, as the government of Bhutan strictly adheres to a ‘High Value, Low Impact’ tourism policy in order to preserve it’s national culture, identity and the natural environment.

Below is the daily tariff:
  • Peak season (March - May and September - November) - USD 250 per day
  • Non-peak season (December - February and June - August) - USD 200 per day

Travellers intending to travel solo or as a pair should take note of the daily surcharge as follows:
  • Single traveller - US$40 per night
  • Group of 2 travellers - US$30 per person/per night
  • Group of 3 travellers or more - No surcharge (so gather 2 of your friends along, save some money and form lasting memories!)

The daily tariff covers the following services.
  • A minimum of 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star may require an additional premium).
  • All meals
  • A licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay
  • All internal transport (excluding internal flights)
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours

THINGS TO DO IN BHUTAN TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS
Könchogsum Lhakhang in Bumthang. Image source: Druk Asia.

2. Things to do in Bhutan


There are plenty of things to see in Bhutan that caters to the different types of travellers. For the cultural buff, you can indulge in the architectural magnificence of the different ‘dzongs’ (fortresses), visit centuries old Buddhist monasteries and check out the textile museum. There are also different local festivals happening in the different months. For the adrenaline junkie, you will definitely want to check out the different stunning Himalayan trails or try out the white water rafting in Punakha river.

For the foodies, you will want to savour and get a taste of the their local dishes such as the ema datshi (chilli cheese), red rice, local vegetables and dry meats. For the shopaholics, you can quench your shopping thirst by visiting the Paro Town, Thimphu Town or The Craft Gallery (at Thimphu) for a range of high quality products from the local artisans. Or if you simply just want to escape the city life to experience some peace and tranquility, well, Bhutan is definitely the place for you! Its lush green mountains and valleys will definitely provide you with the environment you need to simply relax and connect with nature.

THINGS TO DO IN BHUTAN TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS
Buddha Dordenma also known as Buddha Point in Kuenselphodrang, Thimphu. Image source: Druk Asia

3. Popular attractions in Bhutan


Takstang Monastery, popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest, the national icon of Bhutan is definitely a must-see when you are in the Kingdom! The majestic sacred Buddhist monastery perched on the cliff top, 2950m above sea level provides an unforgettable hiking experience with awe-inspiring sceneries to all travellers. Other places of attractions include Buddha Donderma, Memorial Chorten, Tashichho Dzong, Punakha Dzong, Punakha Suspension Bridge, Chimi Lhakang, Kyichu Lhakang, Dochula Pass, Bumthang valley, Gangtey (Phobjikha valley) and many more.

THINGS TO DO IN BHUTAN TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS
Stunning mountainous view from Thimphu Town. Image source: Druk Asia

4. How to get to Bhutan from Manila, the Philippines


Getting to Bhutan from Manila is relatively simple. The closest airports offering direct flights to Paro International Airport in Bhutan for Filipinos are from Suvarnabhumi Airport at Bangkok, Thailand and Changi Airport in Singapore.

There are direct flights from Manila to Singapore and Bangkok daily, and from Singapore it is a 5 hours flight to Bhutan, while from Bangkok, the flight is 3 hours 30 minutes.

There are daily Druk Air flights from Bangkok to Bhutan and Druk Air flights operate every Thursday and Sunday from Singapore to Bhutan.

5. Get in touch with a travel consultant


Travelling to Bhutan can only be arranged through a licensed tour agency. If you are keen to find out more information or book your trip to Bhutan, you can reach out to Bhutan Travel Specialist, Druk Asia, Druk Air’s official representative. The dedicated consultants will be able to assist you with the visa application, travel arrangements and planning your most memorable trip to Bhutan.

Druk Asia also arranged the trips for ABS-CBN’s casts and crews of the popular Philippines drama series, Princess & I, back in 2012.

THINGS TO DO IN BHUTAN TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS
Behind the scenes with Enrique & Katheryn. Image source: Druk Asia

THINGS TO DO IN BHUTAN TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS
Behind the scene with Enrique at Paro International Airport. Image source: Push ABS CBN


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