The Ultimate Guide to Hiking to the Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Paro Takstang, is one of Bhutan’s most recognized spots. Even people on the quickest of tours through Bhutan find the time to make it here. Why? Because this place is extraordinary.

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is a small collection of buildings precariously perched on a cliff, 900 meters off of the ground. It is stunning in its beauty and location.Without a doubt, a first time trip to Bhutan would not be complete without seeing the Tiger’s Nest.

Tigers Nest Bhutan

So, if you are contemplating a trip to Bhutan (do it! It’s one of the most awesome spots in the world), keep reading to learn more about how to hike to the Tiger’s Nest, one of the coolest little spots in Bhutan.

Continue reading The Ultimate Guide to Hiking to the Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon

Bhutan, this tiny country located in the Himalaya mountains, has just recently opened its doors to tourism. As of 1974 Bhutan began to allow tourists to enter. It wasn’t until more recently when tourism really began to boom here, and tourism has now become a leading source of revenue for this country.

The Daily Tariff

Bhutan believes in offering high-quality tourism. A hefty $250 daily tariff is charged per person to visit this country. It sounds expensive, and it is on the high side, but it includes accommodations in three star hotels, a tour guide, transportation, all meals, and most activities.

What this fee does not include are flights and other transportation into or out of Bhutan, and anything extra, such as snacks, alcoholic beverages, and certain activities.

You are able to travel in small groups and make your own itinerary.

You are not forced onto gigantic tour buses for sightseeing with twenty-five other people.

So, if you multiply the $250 tariff by four (for our family), $1000 is quite an expensive fee. Fortunately for us, children under the age of 12 are half price. Our daily fee of $750 is crushing our daily budget expenditure!!!

But I had read that Bhutan is amazing, we were already so close to it, just having been in Nepal, so we scheduled a week in Bhutan, hoping it would live up to our expectations. Our week has just ended and I can tell you that Bhutan is incredible. This has been one of the best weeks of our trip so far…and that is saying a lot!

Bhutan Flag

Bridge to Bhutan

The tour company we used is Bridge to Bhutan (click here to visit their website). We found them through Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor. Lotay and Fin, the founders of Bridge to Bhutan, helped us plan our itinerary and pick out great hotels during our stay in Bhutan. We felt like they really had our best interests in mind and did everything they could to make our week as enjoyable as possible.

I am hoping we can one day return to Bhutan, and when we do we will not hesitate to use Bridge to Bhutan again. Our experience was amazing.

Continue reading Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon

How The Tiny, Poor Country Of Bhutan Became One Of The Most Sustainable Countries On Earth

The country knows it needs to develop, but it’s making sure the development doesn’t come at the expense of its natural resources.

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Photo: Flickr user sprklg

That’s the first thing that Tshering Tobgay, the charismatic prime minister of the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan, wants you to know about his homeland.

People are forgiven for thinking otherwise. For its beautiful forests and mountains and ancient Buddhist architecture, Bhutan—a poor, isolated country sandwiched between India and China that famously measures Gross National Happiness as its main economic indicator—has been called the last Shangri-la. But the prime minister knows that perception works against Bhutan’s efforts to develop economically along a truly sustainable path that has eluded many other equally beautiful nations. In Bhutan, many people still live in poverty, youth unemployment is rising, and pressures on forests are increasing. Its total GDP, $2 billion, is half that of Springfield, Ohio. Continue reading How The Tiny, Poor Country Of Bhutan Became One Of The Most Sustainable Countries On Earth

This country isn’t just carbon neutral — it’s carbon negative

Deep in the Himalayas, on the border between China and India, lies the Kingdom of Bhutan, which has pledged to remain carbon neutral for all time. In this illuminating talk, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country’s mission to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation.

Source/courtesy: ted.com

Big lessons on climate change from a small country

Landscape of terrace fields and homes in Bhutan. Credits: Curt Carnemark / World Bank
Landscape of terrace fields and homes in Bhutan. Credits: Curt Carnemark / World Bank

The mountain kingdom of Bhutan may not seem an obvious place to look for lessons on addressing climate change. But on a recent visit I was impressed with how much this small country has achieved and also with its ambition. Bhutan has much to teach South Asia and the wider world. These lessons are especially relevant as the world negotiates in Paris a new pact on climate change at the International Climate Change Summit, known as COP21, which we all hope will eventually move the global economy to a low carbon and more resilient path. Continue reading Big lessons on climate change from a small country

Bhutan rejoices over birth of crown prince

The King and Queen of Bhutan have released the first official picture of their baby son who was born last Friday.

In an image posted to Facebook, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 35, and Queen Jetsun Pema, 25, can be seen gazing adoringly at the new arrival who is swaddled in a vibrant yellow blanket as they sit in the grounds of Lingkana Palace in the Bhtanese capital Thimphu.

But it was the King’s father, who is known as His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, who was given the honour of holding the new baby as he was officially introduced to the world.

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King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 35, (left) and Queen Jetsun Pema, 25, of Bhutan gaze adoringly at their newborn son in the grounds of Lingkana Palace in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu. The baby’s grandfather, the former King of Bhutan (centre) was given the honour of holding the baby whose name has not yet been revealed

The former King of Bhutan cradled the baby – whose name has not yet been announced – in the crook of his right arm, while placing an affectionate hand around his daughter-in-law’s shoulder. Continue reading Bhutan rejoices over birth of crown prince

William and Kate to visit Bhutan in spring, Palace says

  • This will be the first time the royal couple have visited Bhutan
  • Country nestles high in the Himalayas between India and China
  • Kate and William, both 33, will visit King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
  • His pregnant wife Jetsun Pema, 25, is due to give birth in Spring
  • Bhutan is a Buddhist country that measures wealth on happiness
  • Prince Charles and Prince Andrew have both visited country previously

She is known as the Dragon Queen and the most glamorous woman in the Orient.

He has been dubbed The Prince Charming of the Himalayas, a ruler with the populist touch who is known to invite his subjects into his home for tea and a chat.

And this spring the young King and Queen of Bhutan, dubbed the ‘William and Kate of the Orient’, will host the real Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on an official visit on behalf of the British Government.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be leaving their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, at home later this year as they make an official visit to Bhutan and India this spring

The hugely-anticipated visit will coincide with the couple’s previously announced tour of India and is likely to take place in April. Continue reading William and Kate to visit Bhutan in spring, Palace says

Bhutan and Singapore connected: Drukair 2 flights a week

Month-long activities to introduce visitors to the Land of the Thunder Dragon

Changi Airport welcomes Drukair of Bhutan

Theodore Koumelis – 28 August 2012, 12:29 (courtesy of Travel Daily News)

In 2011, about 1,300 visitors from Singapore headed for Bhutan, representing an increase of more than 70% over 2010. Bhutan received over 64,000 visitors in 2011.

SINGAPORE – Changi Airport today welcomed the arrival of Drukair, the national carrier of theKingdom of Bhutan, which is situated in the Himalayas between China and India. Continue reading Bhutan and Singapore connected: Drukair 2 flights a week