Types of Tourism in Bhutan
Most of the country has a mountainous terrain, with altitudes in the northwestern part of Bhutan reaching 7500 m, and in the central part – not falling below 2000 m. The local mountains, covered with glaciers, snowfields and dense forests, are an excellent place for hiking. Tourists are also attracted by the unexplored nature of these lands and the untouchedness of the local nature. The northern and central parts of Bhutan are dotted with hiking trails of various levels of difficulty: from one-day sightseeing hikes through mountain monasteries and temples, to hikes lasting about 3 weeks. The best periods for trekking are March-May and September-November. All hikers are strongly advised to go through acclimatization before hiking. While traveling tourists are accompanied by a guide, a cook and a cab driver (he monitors the transportation of things and provisions, which is carried out on horses or yaks). Check top-medical-schools.org for travel information in Bhutan.
The most difficult routes pass through the highest passes in the northwest of Bhutan, where the majestic peaks of sacred mountains are located, reaching a height of 7000 m. Climbing such mountains is prohibited, as the locals believe that Buddhist saints live here. In these places is the highest hiking trail in Bhutan and one of the most difficult trails in the world – Bigfoot Trail. It has a length of 356 km and passes through 12 passes with a height of 4500 to 5300m and three of the highest passes in the country. The Bigfoot Trail takes approximately 24 days to complete. Branches south from Bigfoot Trail The Laya Gasa Trail, which passes through the Jigme Dorji National Park located in the Dzongkhags of Gasa, Paro, Punakha and Thimphu. An interesting route is the Chomolgari Track, encircling the foot of the sacred mountain Chomolgari (7314 m), on which, according to legend, the symbol of Bhutan, the thunder dragon, lives. Other popular trails include trails along the Paro , Punakha , Bumthang and Phobjikha river valleys in the Black Mountains, which is protected by the Black Mountains National Park. Separately, it is worth highlighting the tracks of the eastern part of Bhutan. They pass through isolated mountain valleys, where for many centuries the ethnic groups “Sharchop”, “Sakten” and “Brokpas” were formed, completely different from the peoples of the western part of the country. You can study the features of the local tribes by going on a trip through the Sakten valley.
About one third of Bhutan is occupied by protected areas. The largest of these, Jigme Dorji National Park, is located in the dzongkhags of Thimphu, Paro, Punakha and Gasa. The park was named after the third king of Bhutan. Its area is 4329 sq. km. Altitudes within the park vary from 1400 to 7000 m. There are more than 30 species of mammals, about 300 bird species and 1400 plant species. The park is home to the symbol of Bhutan – the bovid mammal takin, blue sheep, Bengal tigers, snow leopards, musk and barking deer, red pandas, Himalayan bears. This is the only place in the world where snow leopards and Bengal tigers coexist. Rare birds include black-necked crane, white-capped redstart, bluebird, blue magpie, Himalayan monal and nutcracker.
To the south is the Black Mountains National Park., which is also known as Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. The park is located on the territory of 1723 sq. km, where the Black Mountains and their foothills stretch, separating the eastern and western parts of Bhutan. Altitudes within the park range from 200 to 5000 m. Snow-capped mountain peaks can be seen in the northern part of the park, coniferous forests in the central part, and subtropical forests in the south. The park is home to such mammals as Himalayan bears, Bengal tigers, clouded leopards, red pandas, gorals, Indian sambars, musk deer, golden langurs, as well as more than 300 species of birds. The Royal Manas National Park borders the Black Mountains National Park.. The park was founded in 1966 and became the country’s first national park. Its area is 1023 sq. km. The park is occupied by tropical and subtropical ecosystems with tropical rainforests. In the rainy season, up to 5000 mm of precipitation falls here. Due to similar climatic conditions, this park is the richest protected area in Bhutan. There are more than 900 species of plants, 45 species of mammals (Himalayan bears, rhinos, wild buffaloes, Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, clouded leopards, gaurs, several varieties of deer, pygmy pigs, golden langurs, bristly hares) and about 360 species of birds.
Another national park is located in the eastern part of Bhutan, southeast of the city of Jakar. it Thrumshing National Park. Here on an area of 768 sq. km stretch vast pine forests. The park is home to 68 species of mammals (snow leopards, clouded leopards, Bengal tigers, Himalayan bears, red pandas, deer, langurs) and about 341 species of birds.
In addition, there are several nature reserves in Bhutan. In the western part of the Haa Valley, on an area of 644 sq. km stretches Torsa Reserve. The reserve is occupied by temperate forests and alpine meadows. Many birds live here, among which are forest partridges, forest snipes and a rare Nepalese kalao. In the southern part of the country, the Phibsoo Nature Reserve with an area of 278 square meters is interesting. km, where the only ones in Bhutan are protected massifs of sal forests. In the east of Bhutan, there is a unique reserve Sakten, where, in addition to plants and animals, the legendary Bigfoot (“yeti”) is protected, which, according to legend, lives in these places. Unfortunately, today the reserve is closed to tourists. Also in the eastern part of Bhutan, the Bomdeling and Khaling protected areas can be distinguished. The Bomdeling Nature Reserve has an area of 1545 sq. km, most of which is occupied by alpine tundra. It is home to 100 species of mammals, including blue sheep, snow leopards, Himalayan bears, Bengal tigers, red pandas and deer. From mid-November to early March, you can see a lot of birds in the reserve – about 250 species. The Khaling Game Reserve is located in the very south of eastern Bhutan. It is designed to protect tropical rainforests with elephants, gaurs, pygmy pigs and birds living in them.