Bhutan has a reputation as an exclusive, remote destination that only opens up its doors to a lucky, well-heeled few. Because of its unique tourist rules, arranging a trip to Bhutan entails jumping through a few hoops. If you do decide to take the plunge, this is your how-to guide.
The dzongs (fortress monasteries) close to Paro and Thimphu are obvious first stops on that once-in-lifetime Bhutan trip, but for travellers looking to enrich the Bhutan experience, here’s a quick guide to some of the top experiences in the further reaches of the kingdom – places where global influence is less, where nature is at its most untamed, and where traditional Buddhist culture still thrives.
This is swiftly followed by a tear in the eye, as people remember that Bhutan is closed off to casual visitors and way beyond the average travel budget. In truth, Bhutan does rank as one of the world's more expensive destinations for independent travellers, but this is only half the story.