Meet the fourth traveller in our series – Interviews on Off the Radar Travel Destinations! Last week we spoke to Zeeshan Khan on his Overland journey from Bangladesh to England
This week, we have with us Nadia, Shadab and their son Rhiddho – A Banker and a Development professional from Bangladesh, they will be talking to us about their wonderful travel experience in Bhutan where they went in 2013.
Tell us a bit about yourselves and your travels
We are a family of three who just love travelling to any new place be it home or abroad. Since we got married in 2002, we have been trying to visit a new country at least once in a year. So far our travels have been mostly around Asia-India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Bhutan, Maldives, Japan and some part of Europe-Austria, Germany and Czech Republic.
Why did you chose to go to Bhutan?
We love mountains and especially enjoy the Himalayan ranges. Moreover, when the whole world is running after the material possessions, this tiny Buddhist country Bhutan, nestled deep in the Himalayas have officially introduced the Gross National Happiness as their development philosophy. This really intrigued us to know Bhutan better.
Where did you stay?
We stayed in three different hotels – Hotel Migmar, Meri Phuensum and Hotel and Takshang View, as we visited the three valleys Paro, Punakha and the capital Thimpu. Except Takshang View (hotel in Paro), our stay in the hotels were good in general, the staff were very warm and helpful.
What were your favourite and most difficult parts on this trip?
The best part of the trip was obviously knowing Bhutan itself! In addition we three had our first taste of trekking through a very short trail in Thimpu. Later we did a day long hike to the most famous pilgrimage site of Bhutan Tiger’s Nest. The beautiful monastery is situated at the edge of a cliff, 3000 feet above the Paro valley and the trek was a steep uphill climb. Even if we had to take it slow at times because of our son, we could manage the elevation gain and enjoy it as well.
Highlights of your stay
What were some of your favourite dishes/food there?
We enjoyed the Bhutanese cuisine specially the Ema Datshi (chilli cheese). We loved it so much that we brought along the special Bhutanese chilli and tried out the dish at home.
Would you recommend Bhutan to others as must do travel destination?
Bhutan is an amazing country to discover. Its peaceful beauty of lush mountains and sheltered valleys, along with the mystic,unspoiled villages with deep-rooted beliefs and culture (not to mention the unique architecture of the Dzongs which are a distinctive type of fortress) makes the Himalayan kingdom truly magical. Whoever is tired of this fast paced world and want to experience complete bliss, Bhutan is the place!
Is it an expensive place to travel?
Bhutan is like a modern Shangri-La. Due to Bhutan’s self-imposed (to some extent) isolation, not many airlines go there. In addition, independent travelling is not allowed in Bhutan. Every tourist must travel under a preplanned, prepaid or customized guided tour. Except for few Southeast countries, an additional tourist tariff is also charged per day on an individual basis. A daily minimum package is required by all tourists. This package costs USD 200-250 per person per night and includes at least 3* hotel accommodation,all meals and internal transport. For 4* or 5* hotels you have to pay additional price. The tour operator will also arrange for your visa. However, this is not applicable for Bangladeshi,Indian and Maldivian passport holder.
What’s next on the horizon for your travels?
In future, we have plans to explore more outside Asia. To start with maybe North America 🙂
Nadia, Shadab and Riddho, We wish you the best for your travel adventure ahead! North America has some amazing mountains and National Parks to discover, I am sure you will love it there too 🙂