A week in Bhutan

Stunning Himalayan scenery and a traditional culture that permeates throughout your whole visit – a visit to Bhutan is a great experience and one that is anchored in the Bhutanese prides in maintaining its traditional culture, environment and people’s happiness rather than focusing on purely economic factors.  This extends to the tourist industry where the minimum spend of USD250 and a strong government hand restricts some of the more commercialised downsides of the industry and makes it feel like you’re stepping back in time to this slightly forgotten Himalayan kingdom


You’ll have to go with an agency (and pay the minimum spend of USD250 per day), but considering you don’t have to travel as a group, can arrange your own itinerary and the $ includes everything other than flights, it’s a good deal.  We went with Swallow Tail Travels on a 7 day / 6 night trip for USD1400, who we would recommend.  This is the itinerary

Hiking Bhutan’s Druk Path at the end of winter

Hiking the Druk Path is a wonderful experience.  The Himalayan scenery, with the valleys from Paro to Thimphu and views of nearby Mt Jomalhori and Mt Gangkhar Puensum, is stunning; the Bhutanese culture and friendliness of the hiking party makes it fun; but more than anything, it is because Bhutan effectively limits the number of international visitors, that you’ll find you have the whole trek largely to yourselves, especially if visiting in winter.  A wonderful experience


Climbing to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

A stunning location and really is a must visit if you’re one of the few people to visit this hidden Himalayan kingdom

Top tips:

  • You’ll need 5/6 hours for the overall hike  – we started at 9am, took around 1.5 hours to the monastery, and were back down before 2pm.  It’s steep in parts, but very manageable – around 15,000 steps and 150 flights climbed according to the iphone
  • Halfway stop – there’s a nice spot to take a break and have some tea, cakes etc, plus some cracking views, around halfway up
  • Highest elevation is around 3,120m / 10,230 feet, so should be low enough to avoid any altitude sickness, but also good to help you with acclimatising for some of the other hikes across Bhutan
  • The Monastery itself is cool – clearly the surrounding views and views of the monastery are the highlight, but the monastery itself is very cool.  Loads of hidden rooms to check out and the courtyards have  super relaxed feel
  • Its probably the “busiest” place for tourists you’ll find in Bhutan
  • More detailed guide – quite a comprehensive guide on hiking to the Tiger’s Nest here from the guys from EarthTrekkers