Travel, Teach, Live in Asia
Located between India and China, Bhutan is one of the most isolated countries due to its mountainous regions. Visiting Bhutan is not easy because tourism is regulated to protect the Himalayan Buddhist culture.
Choose Your Lodgings in Bhutan
Call the Department of Tourism in Bhutan at 011 (+975) 2 323 251 2 or visit their Web site (see the Resources section below) to book accommodations. If you are dialing from outside the United States, check which international prefix to substitute for "011."
Invest in a guest house by the monastery. Cross the river from the bazaar area of Jakar to find these cozy accommodations near the Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery for about $30 per night.
Kick back in an up-to-date, newly renovated hotel in trendy Thimphu. A single will run you $50 a night and a double about $10 more.
Seek out the hotels located in the shopping and museum area of Thimphu. Starting around $70 a night, these quality accommodations are ideal.
Pamper yourself at the dzong in Mongar, a 2-day bus ride from Thimphu. They offer steams and saunas at the hotel, and the rooms run only $15 to $20 a night.
Find accommodations in the business district of Phuentsholing for as low as $10 a night.
Find cheap accommodations in the bazaar area of Jakar. For only $5 a night, you can locate a clean, safe place to crash.
Organize Your Bhutan Transportation
Find a great rate by flying into the airport on Druk Air. They offer service from Bangkok, Calcutta, Delhi, Dhaka, Bodh Gaya, Kathmandu and Yangon.
Get your paperwork in order before attempting to travel. You must carry the proper route permits when you pass through districts in a car. Consider traveling by bus instead.
Flag down a car to catch a ride. Although hitchhiking is illegal in the United States, it is a common practice in Bhutan.
Explore by foot, the only way to reach many of the temples and monasteries. If you bump into one of the monks, attempt conversing in Dzongkha, their native tongue.
Exchange your dollars for ngultrum, Indian rupees. Have some local money to guarantee a shot at purchasing Bhutanese woven cloth or dzi beads, two items indigenous to the Himalayas.
Get to Know Local Customs
Eat lots of rice, the country's staple food, with their rich main dishes. Experience the vegetarian delicacies ema-datsi and shamu-datsi.
Watch what you say. Always speak of Bhutan's royal family with respect and never sit on mani stones or stupas.