Stunningly picturesque Bhutan is an ideal destination for solo travelers looking to spend quality time with themselves, especially first timers setting out on their own from their comfort zones. This treasure trove of natural bounty, snugly tucked away amidst high mountain ranges seems just like out of a fairy tale. It has been a favorite among backpackers on their maiden travel ventures, especially Indians and not without valid reasons.
No Visa hassles
Tourists from India and few other countries do not require a Visa to enter Bhutan. An Indian passport with 6-month validity and additional Identity proof such a Voter ID card is more than enough to get into the country but a permit is still required to explore land.
Permits are issued at Phuentsholing and they allow travelers to visit key locations such as the capital Thimphu and Paro. If you wish to visit remote areas of Punakha or Bumthang, you can acquire the necessary permits at Thimphu.
Bhutan is indeed a relatively safe travel destination for tourists on a solo trip, especially women. The country has very low crime rates, with the local people following a simple life style largely influenced by their religious beliefs. International tourists are required to book their tours with a travel agencies approved by the Tourism Council of Bhutan and must travel with a guide, making their holiday more enjoyable and safe.
While this restriction does not apply to Indians, it is better to book a suitable tour from an array of Bhutan tour packages offered by reputed tour operators in India or Bhutan. This not only saves precious time but also ensures that you safely enjoy your holiday with a local tour guide accompanying you on your outings.
Polite and hospitable people
Local people are quite friendly and hospitable, willingly offering to help should you need it. If you are planning to visit remote regions of Bhutan, you can experience the local lifestyle by stopping over at the homestays in the rural areas.
People residing in the major cities also understand and speak Hindi, making it a lot easier and comfortable to interact with them. Though traveling solo, you are never alone, and are bound to feel at home here.
Memorable and enjoyable experience
Bhutan is home to a multitude of lush and scenic sights and towering monasteries that make your trip a unique one. As the country allows only limited number travelers each year, you get to appreciate nature in all its glory sans the typical holiday crowds. Plan your travel itinerary to cover as many places as possible, allowing enough time to revel in the beauty of the settings. Sightseeing in Thimphu, Paro and Punakha is bound to keep you engaged during your visit.
Monastery hopping is an integral part of holidaying in Bhutan, with a hike to the precariously perched Tiger’s Nest Monastery a being one of the highlights, in addition to a visit to the Punakha Dzong, Rinpung Dzong and Tashichho Dzong. Some monasteries also have their own collection of ancient artefacts and scrolls aptly showcased for visitors.
Apart from the ancient monasteries and fortresses, the museums here showcase interesting details. Stop overnight at Ogyen Choling Palace Museum off Bhumthang to explore the premises at leisure. Check out the Textile Museum and Postal Museum in Thimphu and the Rinpoche Memorial when in Paro. You cannot miss the towering Buddha Dordenma statue.
Travel through the spectacular landscapes of Phobjika Valley, Gangtey Valley, Chomolhari and visit a couple of wildlife sanctuaries to enjoy the unique ecosystem of Bhutan.
The Taikin Preserve at Motithang, Jigme Singye Wanchuck National Park, Royal Manas National Park and other wildlife reserves set close to Paro are protected areas which house a number of native plant and animal species.
Bhutan has a lot in store for nature lovers, adventurists, photographers and solo travelers. It is important to plan your time here in advance to make the most of the trip.
Not that expensive
Travelling to Bhutan is not expensive when compared to other holiday destinations. While booking one of Bhutan Tour packages may prove a little costly than making arrangements on your own, it can save quite a bit of time and effort in finding suitable and safe accommodations and arranging for transport.
Costs of Bhutan tour packages can range anywhere between Rs.4,000 and Rs.10,000 or more depending on your travel duration and preferences. Travelling by bus proves a lot cheaper than hiring cabs but bus frequencies and travel time may not work in your favor. While food prices are fair, decent accommodations may be priced higher. Plan your tour budget accordingly.
Being home away from home, solo trip to Bhutan proves to be a great travel experience where you get to make all your choices and decisions, tackle fears and insecurities of venturing beyond your home-town or country.
While you are free to tour the place at will, enjoy your trip and make new friends, you also learn to be cautious and alert to stay out of trouble.
Great for Self-discovery
A short solo trip to Bhutan can also work wonders in helping you identify your strengths and weaknesses, take stock of events, reminisce and come to conclusions on things that need attention. The calm and serene settings allow you to think clearly and make important decisions without any undue pressure or compulsions.
If you are planning to go on your first solo travel adventure, head straight for Bhutan for a safe, memorable and exciting holiday!