The Kingdom of Bhutan, abbreviated as "Bhutan", is located in southern Asia and is a landlocked country on the southern slope of the eastern section of the Himalayas, bordering Tibet of China on the northwest and the north. It also borders with Sikkim of India on the west, West Bengal on the south, and Shannan of China on the east, with a total area of 38,400 square kilometers and with a population of 771,608.
Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is the largest city in the country, located in the Thimphu River (Wong Chhu) Valley at an altitude of 2500 meters. There are three ethnic groups in Bhutan, as the Sharchops, indigenous people living in eastern Bhutan; the Kalon people, most of them living in western Bhutan, are descendants of Tibetan immigrants in the 9th century; The Lhotsampa, meaning South Bhutanese, moved to Bhutan in the late 19th century and are Nepali-speaking people. Due to the complex terrain, long-term transportation inconvenience, coupled with the socio-economic and cultural backwardness, and fewer people-to-people interactions, the local differences in Bhutanese language are very large, and dialects are very common. Dzongkha and English are official languages.
Although Bhutan is currently one of the least-developed countries, it is one of the countries with the highest happiness index in the world. In the "Global Happy Nation Ranking" released in 2006, Bhutan ranked eighth in the world but ranked first in Asia. Besides, with so many world heritages and wonders, it becomes an attractive travel destination in the world.
The whole year is suitable for Bhutan tours, but autumn (September to November) is the best time to travel in Bhutan, with high visibility, suitable for photography and hiking. With the same good weather, spring (March to May) is suitable to see various plants and birds in Bhutan. In winter (December to February), the central and eastern Bhutan is temporarily closed to tourists due to snow. But it is a good time to visit Paro-Thimphu in the west. It is warm and sunny in the day, but only cold at night. Summer (June to August) is a rainy season in Bhutan. If you choose to travel to Bhutan during this time, it is recommended to bring rain gear with you. Nevertheless, the green fields and forests are beautiful scenery, and you also have a chance to enjoy the amazing view of high mountains with blooming flowers. Hiking in Bhutan, you should choose spring (March to May) and autumn (September to October), the best time for Bhutan hiking tours, with temperature between 10 ℃ and 20℃.
Famous festivals in Bhutan include Punakha Tshechu, Paro Tshechu, Punakha Dromche, Tharpaling Thongdrol, and so on. In addition to the traditional Buddhist dance and mask dance performances during the festivals, there are traditional singing and dancing performances by people from all over Bhutan. The festival periods are also the best chances for photography.
Tourism is one of the important sources of foreign exchange in Bhutan. Although the Bhutan tourism industry was opened to the world in 1974, the government has strict controls and generally only accepts tour groups. For environmental protection, foreign tourists are hoped to consume a minimum fee of USD 165-200 per person per day. Since July 1987, monasteries and religious shrines will not be open to foreign visitors. Overseas tourists mainly come from Japan, the United States, and China. The Bhutan government stipulates that tourists need to arrange a tour through a local travel agency licensed to receive foreign tourists by the Bhutan government. The local travel agency issues a visa application form and also need to submit the tour group's trip plan to the Bhutan government in advance.