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BHUTAN

Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, is one of the most unique places on earth. Cradled in the Himala ya, its heritage and environment have been protected by geography and strong, but benevolent kings. Culture and traditional lifestyle are still richly intact, from religion which permeates everyday life to generous hospitality. Land, water and wildlife are equally protected. Visit a country still 75% forested with panoramic mountain views and lush valleys.

 

 Today's Bhutan has a strong monarchy with some representative government that works hard to preserve and conserve the traditional way of life and the environment while simultaneously moving into the 21 st Century. A country of only 700,000 people, its biggest export is hydropower.

 Royal decree declares that all Bhutanese men where the gho (knee length robe belted at the waist) and women the kira (a long dress with jacket). Homes and public buildings must be built to historic specifications and smoking in public is not allowed. On the other hand, there is free education for all children and nearly universal free health care.

 

 The combination of historic picturesqueness coupled with the intimacy of village life set amid the vastness of the Himalaya, inspires an irresistible image of Shangri-La, but don't be fooled. Bhutan is a country that is not lost in the past. You'll realize that when your guide reaches into his gho to answer a ringing cell phone.

Visitors to Bhutan must plan ahead  there are no last minute impulse trips. In order to go, you must first plan dates of travel and an itinerary with a travel company registered with the Bhutanese Travel Authority. Only travelers with a tourist visa or government visa are allowed into the country. We will help you with dates based on they type of trip you want and the availability of plane flights.

Access to Bhutan is limited to Druk Air (the Bhutanese National Airline) which flies only certain days of the week from Kathmandu, Delhi, Bangkok and Calcutta. It is one of the most spectacular flights you can take, flying past Mt. Everest, Ana Dablam, Makalu and the other highest peaks in the world. You are required by the government of Bhutan to use Druk Air at least one-way. If driving, the only point of entry into Bhutan is Phuntsholing in southwestern Bhutan near the border of India. And you still need to go through the same procedure with a travel company. We can provide you with a Druk Air schedule to assist with planning.

 

 Once your trip is planned and Druk Air reservations made, we will email you a Visa Application form. You must submit this form and payment in full for the trip in order to receive trip clearance from the Bhutanese government. Druk Air will not let you board without this clearance. When you land in Paro , Bhutan , you proceed to the Visa desk where your passport is stamped and you pay a $20 visa fee. Now the fun begins. Your guide and driver meet you at the airport and you start exploring Bhutan. 

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