Bhutan is a mountainous country nestled between China and Nepal. Because Bhutan is a small country and sparsely populated, there are only a few cities and plenty of smaller settlements. Although considered as “city” by Bhutan’s standard, Paro has a quaint atmosphere with small streets, hotels and shops. We can fly directly to Paro from Kathmandu and we will see incredible sights of the Himalaya mountain range. Paro has a uniquely situated airport and landing on it is a challenge for many pilots, with a short runway and a dramatic drop into the valley. It will feel like landing into a fairytale valley with ancient dwellings and breathtaking views.
In Paro, instead of staying in hotels, we could stay with a family in local house. We should be able to experience the local traditional Bhutanese culture and landscape when staying in local houses. There’s also the famed Taktsang monastery and it looks so majestic from far away, with clouds that dance across the hills. We could reach the monastery after a day trek or half a day on horseback. It will be well worth the effort. Another city in Bhutan is Timphu and it is only 30 minutes away from Paro with car. It is a medium-sized city with 80,000 people, with surrounding peaks.
We should visit Bhutan during the end of spring or in summer. During those months, the weather should be perfect, sunny during the day and crisp at night. There are adequate modern amenities in Timphu and travellers could go to grocery stores. When visiting Bhutan, we should purchase bug repellents, because there are plenty of mosquitoes in some areas, especially in warmer places of the country. Timphu has all sorts of vendors and shops, as well as bars and restaurants. It should be a friendly and warm town, so we will be able to obtain help whenever we want.
Timphu has some historic areas, retreat caves and ancient medical school. The city has a well-staffed hospital, that is equipped with modern equipments, including incubators and diagnostic equipments. It means that tourists who suffer an illness could get a good treatment in the hospital. From Timphu, we could take a trip into central Bhutan with a mini bus. We will be able to visit many smaller towns and stop in many different picturesque lodges. We will be able to appreciate the fact that Bhutan has a magnificent architecture style. We will also see many huge old trees and gardens with brilliant colourful flowers.
Bhutan also has interesting wildlife, such as yaks, grey-faced Langur monkeys and various colourful birds. Not all parts of Bhutan are cold and mountainous. The southern region is warm and balmy with jungle foliage, lush grassy hills many purple flowered trees. We may walk in the spectacular Punakha Dzong and will feel like walking into a time portal. People in Bhutan are engaging and very friendly. They could provide us with warm conversations and various assistances.