Backpacking in Bhutan: The Most Awaited Adventure
Backpacking in Bhutan is a wholesome experience for travelers! Definitely, on everyone’s bucket list as well. Why not experience the best adventurous experience in your budget? Isn’t it amazing? With so many places to visit in Bhutan, there are uncountable different experiences that you can have.
Get to explore the culture, Bhutanese cuisine, and religious practices all over the country. After all, this is what you want from a great travel journey. So, there are some budget-friendly Bhutan tour packages that you should grab as soon as possible! This is gonna be a one-lifetime experience for every person out there.
How to reach Bhutan?
By Air: The airports in Bhutan include one international airport which has flights coming from Delhi, Singapore, Bangkok, and Kathmandu. Usually, these flights have stops in cities like Dhaka, Bagdogra, or Kolkata, which means the country is somewhat connected by air.
There are two airlines working in this country, Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines which can be used for traveling. But, this cannot be the way of traveling when you are planning backpacking in Bhutan.
By Road: Phuentsholing is the main entry point to the country which lies on the India-Bhutan border. Also, there are two different points of entry in the Indian state of Assam as well, but they are not frequently used for coming.
By Train: The nearest railway stations are New Jalpaiguri and Hasimara. There are connecting trains from every major Indian city, which makes Bhutan backpacking trip easier for travelers out there.
Also, you can take a taxi from Hasimara to Phuentsholing and go to different Bhutanese cities like Paro and Thimphu. Buses can also be an option for people to travel within budget within Bhutan.
Best Time to Visit Bhutan
Wondering about the best time to visit Bhutan? But, you should know that the country sees something new and different every month! Bhutan in June and July is the best time if you are not a big fan of winters.
Also, if you want to experience hiking in Bhutan, you must visit the country from October to December, while you can also see some of the best photography places in Bhutan at this point in time.
If you want to cut down the costs, you should plan your visit around the festivals in Bhutan which usually takes place in Punakha and Thimphu.
Places to Visit while Backpacking in Bhutan
Here are some of the stunning places that you should not miss while backpacking in Bhutan! So, let’s get started.
This is the first Bhutanese town that you get to visit while entering the country. But, this town has limited places to visit.
The most famous Kharbandi Gompa is one of the best tourist attractions in Bhutan. You can visit this famous place which has beautiful and serene paintings of Buddha in the temple. Also, witness the beautiful statues of Guru Rinpoche in the temple.
There are so many temples in Bhutan which you should see in this famous town of Land of Thunder Dragons. Witness the utmost beauty on your trip this time.
So, don’t miss one of the best towns in Bhutan!
It is majorly famous for Tiger’s Nest or Paro Taktsang! Paro in Bhutan is one of the best places for a Bhutan backpacking trip.
There are some of the prominent itineraries as well for backpacking in Bhutan. Visit the beautiful and famous Dzongs and monasteries in Bhutan. Also, don’t miss the Chele La Pass, which you will cross on the way to Paro which is surrounded by mountains and beautiful sceneries.
Get to know more about the traditional clothing, jewelry and other pieces of Bhutanese culture.
It is the capital of Bhutan and has some of the stunning views to witness. Experience a whole different vibe and beauty of the place.
Don’t miss the number of museums present here like the Folk Heritage Museum and many other! Also, the Royal Textile Academy is another preferred place to explore the tradition of clothes and manuscripts in the country.
So, get along Thimphu and witness the most surreal views like never before.
It is majorly known for the Punakha Dzong, located on the rivers of Bhutan – Pho and Mo Chhu. That is why, this place has so many tourists coming every year here.
Also, it is one of those incredible valleys in Bhutan which has the best vibe during the festivals. So, why not experience something different and really fun while backpacking in Bhutan?
Keep this town on your list while planning the Bhutan backpacking trip.
Suggested read: Wildlife sanctuaries in Bhutan
What and Where to Eat in Bhutan?
When it comes to what to eat in Bhutan, you must try their national dish, Ema Datshi. It’s a spicy and flavorful dish made with cheese and chili, often served with red rice. For a taste of Bhutanese dumplings, try momos, which come with various fillings like cheese, meat, or vegetables.
While exploring Bhutan, don’t miss out on trying traditional snacks like Phaksha Paa, a delicious pork dish, and Jasha Maroo, a spicy chicken stew.
For those with a sweet tooth, Bhutanese desserts like Hoentay (sweet dumplings) and Khabzey (deep-fried biscuits) are must-tries.
As for where to eat in Bhutan, you’ll find cozy local eateries and restaurants in Bhutan, like Thimphu and Paro, offering a range of Bhutanese and international cuisines.
Backpacking cost in Bhutan
Backpacking in Bhutan can be an affordable and exciting adventure. The cost of backpacking in Bhutan depends on various factors, such as your travel style and preferences. Bhutan follows a unique tourism policy that requires visitors to pay a daily tariff, which covers accommodation, meals, transportation, and a guide.
This daily fee is designed to promote sustainable tourism and ensure a high-quality experience. While this may seem expensive at first, it includes a lot of services that you would otherwise pay for separately.
But, considering all expenses, you can cover the country keeping your daily spend upto INR 1500 while backpacking in Bhutan.
Suggested read: Homestays in Paro
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)
Is backpacking allowed in Bhutan, and what are the regulations?
Yes, backpacking is allowed in Bhutan, but there are some regulations to follow. Bhutan welcomes backpackers to explore its beautiful trails and cultural sites.
However, visitors are required to book their travel through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator, and a daily fee is imposed to ensure sustainable tourism. This fee covers accommodation, meals, transportation, and a guide, promoting responsible travel and supporting the country’s unique culture and environment.
While backpackers may not have as much flexibility as in some other countries, the regulations help preserve Bhutan’s natural beauty and cultural heritage, making it a truly special destination for those who wish to experience its charm.
What kind of accommodations are available for backpackers in Bhutan?
In Bhutan, backpackers can find a variety of accommodations that suit their adventurous spirit and budget-friendly needs. Guesthouses and budget hotels are popular choices, offering simple yet comfortable rooms with basic amenities.
Hostels are also available, providing shared dormitory-style accommodations for those looking to connect with fellow travelers. Additionally, some local families offer homestays, giving backpackers a chance to experience Bhutanese culture firsthand. Camping is another option for nature enthusiasts, allowing them to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes of Bhutan.
What should I pack for backpacking in Bhutan?
When packing for backpacking in Bhutan, it’s important to be prepared for different weather and cultural experiences. Bring comfortable and lightweight clothing for trekking, as well as layers for varying temperatures. Don’t forget a good pair of hiking boots, a hat for sun protection, and a rain jacket for unexpected showers. Pack a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated, and include essentials like a first aid kit, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Bhutanese culture values modesty, so it’s wise to pack conservative clothing, especially when visiting temples and monasteries
What are some popular trekking routes for backpackers in Bhutan?
One favorite route is the Druk Path Trek, known for its breathtaking views of mountains, lakes, and ancient fortresses.
The Jomolhari Trek is another iconic trail, takes you close to the majestic Jomolhari Mountain. For those seeking a cultural experience, the Bumthang Owl Trek combines trekking with visits to monasteries and traditional villages.
The Snowman Trek, one of the toughest in the world, is for seasoned trekkers, passing through high mountain passes and remote valleys. These routes allow backpackers to immerse themselves in Bhutan’s unique blend of nature and culture while enjoying the adventure of trekking.