Going to Bhutan is not that easy. Probably the most difficult task is to select a local tour.
Bhutan controls the number of foreign visitors every year and the visitors have to join a local tour otherwise they will not be issued a travel visa. Without a visa, you can’t get into the country. This rule doesn’t apply to Indians though who can travel freely within Bhutan.
I did a lot of research online to find a good local tour company. Almost everyone who had been there said their company was good. I guessed that meant all of them were the same. A few travellers complained about their tour guides though. Anyway, I found one in the end and I left everything to them.
Another question was, there were a few ways to fly into Bhutan, one of them was via Nepal. I chose that route and asked the tour company to organise a short tour in Nepal for me too. They gladly helped.
Going to Bhutan is very expensive. All foreign visitors have to pay a ‘tariff’ which is USD250 (minimum) per day which includes 3 meals a day, a tour guide, a driver and accommodation. If you want to stay in a more luxurious hotel, the tariff will be higher. Having needed to pay that much amount of money, I didn’t mind paying extra for a short tour in Nepal which cost much less than USD250 per day and I chose my own accommodation.
When I arrived at the Nepal airport, I was greeted by the staff of the tour company. They had a very kind smile on their faces. I used to have a flatmate from Nepal when I was at university. If it were because of her, I wouldn’t have travelled to Nepal. 😜
Nepal is famous for its mountains so I put that in my itinerary but I wouldn’t be doing any hikes. My plan was to have a glimpse of the country and then gave my future self an excuse to go there again.
So, there you go.
My first day in Nepal!
As the tour company knew that I didn’t want to do any strenuous hikes, they suggested me to go to Nagarkot instead. It’s a place where I could still see the Himalayas from the Nepal side. When we arrived at the lodging, it was night time already. I checked in and looked forward to seeing the mountain ranges tomorrow morning. I wondered if it’d be similar to the one I saw in Tibet.
1 – 2 November 2010
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