Are you a city guy or girl? Some who want clean rooms, hot showers and tasty meals that won’t create tummy issues? So, you just need to get into research about how it will be in Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon! Here are all those questions answered for you;
1. Is it dangerous?
Paro Airport is the most challenging and dangerous place. It’s located in a valley at around 2235m above the sea, surrounded by a mountain of more than 4000m height. But don’t be afraid, you will in very good and safe hands. Only a few certified pilots are allowed to land on Paro Airport.
2. Would I have difficulties to get used to in Bhutan?
It depends. I and my family struggled to inhale usually at higher altitudes initially. We first reached to Buddha point, Thimphu and we were walking slowly, mildly panicking internally. We were trying to breathe deeply. My mother got dizzy pretty often. You might face problems if you have pretty weak heart conditions. Your body takes some days to acclimatize and then you will be fine. Maybe after swallowing some TCM tablets.
3. What food would I get in Bhutan?
It’s usually Asian food buffet, rice with several dishes. Some dishes are little spicier, but often not. The most delicious things I found was Ema-Datshi or Bhutanese Chilli-cheese (mushrooms, long beans in chili cheese) and ema-datshi.
Often there are vegetable dishes, with some meat options from pork, fish, chicken or beef. There is mostly Chinese style of food, assorted veggies sauté in a different style. There isn’t awful cooking or processing in sauces. Most vegetables there are organic so don’t expect any tummy problems there. In fact, you will feel cleansed. You feel full without eating a lot. Buddhist don’t like meat and killing animals. You won’t find chains like Starbucks and McDonald.
4. How much clean are the hotels? Hot water shower? Blackouts and Bed comfort?
The hotels were spacious and clean, with room heaters, electric kettles, hairdryers, and mineral water. There were no blackouts. Some room heaters were not very perfect; however, comforters or duvets were good. Hot water arrives on schedule, so you need to strategize to take a quick shower. Not all hotels offer standard shampoo, body wash, conditioner, body lotions and not even toothbrush and paste. So, bring your own.
5. Are Toilets In Bhutan clean?
At restaurants and hotels, yes. I never saw any gross toilet on my short trip to Bhutan. Some hotels are as clean and luxurious as in Singapore. With outdoor lunches at tent settings, you will see a few toilet cubicles that are squat type, but still not too dirty. All toilets are flushable, and you will have toilet papers also. I suggest you be hydrated with strategy. For instance, for the long ride from Paro To Haa, drink minimum water and rehydrate yourself at night and after waking up so that you can use toilets before leaving the hotel.
6. How is the Internet in Bhutan?
All hotels offer free WIFI but don’t count on its reliability. To post on Instagram, I bought a prepaid sim form Tashi Cell. It charged me 350nu, which includes 400MB of data and some local call time. Later, I paid 100nu for another 400MB of data. Connectivity for good but be prepared that the internet won’t be very stable and fast.
7. How are the people in Bhutan?
People in Bhutan are gracious, friendly and polite. Kids are were quite curious and cheeky. I like the culture.
8. What languages do Bhutanese speak?
Their national language is Dzongkha. But most if not, all Bhutanese can speak English. Even shops signs and road signboards are in English.
9. What are the places and activities arranged to visit in Bhutan?
We only visited 3 districts: Punakha, Paro, and Thimphu. Mostly we saw places of nature and huge dzongs (the fortresses or administrative offices and temples). The Bhutan trip involves pretty much walking and hiking particularly Tiger’s Nest. At Paro, you can explore the town, where you can buy bracelets, stones, necklaces, souvenirs and the like. Rafting at Punakha was the lovely ride down the river and rapids.
10. Will I spend lots in traveling in the car?
Yes. Because of the bumpy and winding roads, most drivers drive slowly (30 to 35kmh) with caution to minimize car-sicknesses and risks. The roads are pretty larger than a single lane but need to fit bi-directional cars. Most of the cabs are slim cars, imported from India. However, you will never be stuck in traffic, because there aren’t as many cars in Bhutan.
11. Is it safe to travel in Bhutan?
Everybody strolls in Bhutan, even animals on the road. Vehicles drive at slower speeds and care for animals and pedestrians. For crimes, you must be careful, lock your doors and watch your things, as you need to do in any other part of the world.
12. Can I travel there on my own?
No, you cannot travel in Bhutan on your own. It is a law to hire a tour guide and driver from a government certified travel agency in Bhutan.