Thimphu, Bhutan – Day 1(a)

Hisashiburi! (Long time no see!), summer vacation just blazed through and in a twinkle of an eye summer vacation is over! Didn’t have the chance to do any writing as we were away for a whole month in September. We visited Bhutan for a week and the rest of the 3 weeks was spending much time with family, friends and Singapore food back at home in Singapore. (Yes, I missed Singapore food sooooooooooooo much but I didn’t manage to complete my food to eat list) After returning to Japan, it was straight to prepare for the start of the new Fall semester and to sort out the travel photos…Finally, I get some time to write about our Bhutan trip.

Bhutan Paro Airport
Bhutan’s immigration card, just like its country, very colorful! 🙂

Getting to Bhutan in summary:
You cannot travel to Bhutan without a visa, nor can you travel like a backpacker. The easiest way is probably to book through a travel agent and they will plan the itinerary for you to make sure you will adhere to their minimum daily spending for foreign visitors which is about US250 a day (including your travel, accommodation, flight ticket etc) I booked my trip with DrukAsia which is the tour specialist with Drukair (Bhutan’s only and official airline) and they have an office in Singapore too. Everything was done through email and responses to my queries were prompt within 1 working day. Payment can be made by cheque or cash at their Singapore office but option of internet transfer can be done too. It is recommended to make the reservation for your trip at least 1 month in advance to make sure the visa can be approved in time.

Bhutan Paro Airport
We departed on the 6am flight from Singapore with a 40 minutes stop in Kolkata,India. Finally after 6 hours in the plane, we arrived at the Paro International Airport.

Bhutan Paro Airport
Stepping off the tarmac to a beautiful blue sky.

Bhutan Paro Airport
Paro international airport where everyone was busy snapping photos the amount they step off the tarmac.

Bhutan Paro Airport
Contrary to other immigration check in, no one stopped anyone where they were busy snapping photos. 😛

Bhutan Paro Airport
The only belt conveyor in the small airport.

Bhutan Bridge
Upon arrival, our tour guide and driver was waiting for us at the arrival hall with our names. Straight from Paro, we would take a 45 minutes drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan for a 2 days trip. First pit stop was a suspension bridge.

Bhutan Bridge
It was a little scary initially to walk through this suspension bridge which was just entwined with metal with quick rushing river down your feet.

Bhutan Bridge
Window view 🙂

Bhutan Bridge
Look up! The next few days in Bhutan would be full of colorful paintings and Buddhist statues.

Kisa Hotel

Kisa meaning, ”where peace prevails” is a family owned hotel. With only 35 rooms, it emphasis is on modern elegance and traditional service. Situated right across from Thimphu’s Changlimithang Sports and Archery Stadium, this hotel is at the hotspot of all commercial & social activities in Thimphu

DrukAsia

This hotel was offered as a free upgrade for our package. Truth be told, expectations for food and accommodation in Bhutan should be lowered unless you upgrade yourself to some 6-7 stars hotels like Uma etc.

Bhutan Shop
After we left our bags in the hotel, we took a walk to our lunch restaurant and peeped into the different shops that was along our way.

Bhutan Shop
Many things in Bhutan are actually imported from India and Nepal.

Bhutan Lunch Day 1
All meals are all included inside the tour package and we had Bhutan meals on a daily basis. Their staples are mainly potatoes and chili. They love to eat chili with cheese and their food had some Chinese and India influence too.

Bhutan Times Square
Bhutan’s Times Square.

Bhutan Times Square
Sometimes, activities are also held here. Thimphu is the capital city for Bhutan and about 10% of the Bhutan population are living in this city.

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