BHUTAN REGION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Bhutan is a land of rich cultural diversity, magnificent mountain scenes and endless valleys. It is the only country where Buddhism is the state religion and the country measures its success by Gross National Happiness (GNH). The King of Bhutan said that a society which focuses on happiness means 'the creation of an enlightened society in which happiness and well-being of all people and sentient beings is the ultimate purpose of governance.'

Known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan measures only 177km from the north to south and 200 from east to west. Bhutan boasts three distinct geographical zones; river valleys in the south, a high alpine zone (1500 - 4200m) and the high Himalayan range from 4200m all the way to the highest peak in Bhutan, Gangkhar Puensum at 7570m.

The high alpine zone is characterized by harsh winters, short summers, shallow stony soils and strong winds, but it also boasts a diversity of flowers, from buttercups, anemones, larkspurs, everlasting flowers and asters to dandelions and thistles

Get answers to frequently asked questions to trek or tour in Bhutan

Bhutan experiences four distinct seasons, each one varying dependant on the altitude.

Spring (March to May) is considered to be the most beautiful time of the year, as it is then that all of the local flowers come into bloom turning the low lying valleys into a wash of colour. It is also the time of the Paro tsechu festival.

Autumn (September to November) brings crisp clear blue skies, allowing for stunning uninterrupted mountain views. it is the prime time for trekking.

June to August (Summer) is monsoon season. Bhutan, however, does not receive the high level of rainfall that other countries in the region do, and when it does rain, it is generally confined to the afternoons.

Winter (December to February) is cool and sunny and a great time to visit the area. However, many of the areas are snowbound, particularly in the east.

Hotels in Bhutan are rated according to a National 5 star rating system. This does not mean all hotels are 5 star, but rather that every classification of accommodation from home stays to guesthouses, have to adhere to a set of government standards. As such, the standard hotels, lodges and guesthouses are usually good, often small and with a great ambiance. All tour operators are required to provide their guests with a minimum of 3 Star accommodations so you can be assured of your comfort. Most hotels provide their guests with television, room service, fitness centers, spas and wi-fi. However the exact services available will vary from hotel to hotel. The more popular tourist destinations like western and central Bhutan usually have the higher standards of star rated European and Asian properties. There are a few luxury hotels and resorts, but they are rather expensive. If starting in Nepal, we spend two nights in 3-star, Thamel Eco Resort, well situated within the heart of Thamel, or, if it is full, a similar category in Kathmandu. At the end of the tour we return to the same hotel.
Although the treks are classified as a 'treks,' they have substantial altitude gain, especially the Snowman trek. They require physical fitness and stamina and most importantly, mental fitness. A good exercise and training program is essential and your training should include a lot of hill walking. The treks should not be undertaken lightly, after all, why spend the money if you are not willing to prepare yourself physically as well?
The weather in the mountains is difficult to predict as it varies from one month to the next and also on altitude gain. Nights are generally colder (-2C to -15C) than the daytime (5C to 20C). It is also important to make sure that you stay warm and dry in all weather conditions.
The elevation gain is around 530m or 1700 feet so it is a substantial climb and takes around 5-7 hours in total. However it is  well worth the effort.
This really depends on the operator you travel through. The Park authorities do not ask for any medical information on the climbers when permits are purchased. Some operators request the clients complete a medical form, others do not. We require that all of our clients complete a medical form and based on the answers, we may request a letter from your medical practitioner. People suffering with conditions such as severe asthma e.g. should not climb. Regardless, anyone attempting the climb, or any climb for that matter, should ensure that they are medically fit, and convey any medical conditions to the operator they book with.
This is one of the most often asked questions - "how will I cope with the altitude". To be honest, this is an 'unknown' factor as no-one can predict how your body will cope at altitude. People who have been to altitude many times in the past without problems, may on one climb suddenly develop problems. There are many factors that play a role. The only way to help combat this, is to take all of the necessary precautions, and walk slowly, acclimatise correctly, don't ascent too quickly and drink plenty of water.

Yes you do. We (Nomadic Adventures) do not allow anyone to climb with us unless they have adequate travel insurance. Adequate, means you must be covered for

1) trekking or hiking - this may sound strange, but many insurance list that as an exclusion.

2) altitude up to 6,000 meters. Most travel insurance providers do not include this under their standard cover and often limit it to 3500m or less.

3) Sprains strains and physiotherapy - yes, many insurers exclude this, though ironically, this is what you will most likely need cover for. 4) personal accident - this is the horrible part of insurance. Yes, you need to be covered in the case of death. We are often told by clients - "if anything happens to me, just leave me there." It is not that simply. Bodies need to be brought home or laid to rest overseas, and this can run into thousands of dollars, creating a huge burden on family members.

We will assist in helping you provide good cover.

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Other Treks in Nepal
 13 day tour
  Start point is from Paro
  Altitude of 4300m - 5050m
  A more popular trekking route
  Wonderful mix of culture and scenery
  Breathtaking views of surrounding peaks such as Mt. Kanchenjunga at 8586m
  Different ascent and descent route
  Landscapes rich in bird species
Dagala Thousand Lakes Itinerary
 22 day tour
  Start point is from Paro
  Altitude of 4900m
  Difficult treks due to the high altitudes
  Steep but less challenging than Snowman Trek
  One of the most scenic trekking routes in Bhutan
  Overnight in tents
  Dramatically contrasting scenery
Laya Ghasa Trek Itinerary
 22 day tour
  Start point is from Paro
  Altitude of 5332m
  Very remote with few permanent settlements
  Extended and strenuous trek
  No detour available on the route
  One of the most demanding, strenuous treks
Snowman Trek Itinerary
 15 day tour
  Start point is from Paro
  Altitude of 4500m
  Richness of landscape
  One of the most popular treks in Bhutan
  Old fortresses, villages, monasteries, and terraced fields
Chomalhari Trek Itinerary