This truly was a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip, as the visa is $250 USD per person PER DAY. So yes, that is $500 per couple per day. The visas cost us more than the trip and airfare. Let me tell you though...it was worth it. As in ONCE-in-a-lifetime worth it. Actually, I must applaud the country. They found a way to bring in the tourism dollar without sacrificing their country to rely on tourists, by only offering a limited number of visa per year and charging a lot for them. After being there and seeing it, I can tell you, it makes a difference, in the most wonderful of ways.
The prolonged layover in Kathmandu demanded a trip into the city for dumplings, of course. Luckily we had been to Nepal before, so there was no pressure to explore the area other than feeding Adam's dumpling obsession.
A Bhutan arrival
|Monkeys roamed freely in the airport|
|Bhutan airport architecture|
After getting organized and freshened up from the journey, we explored our hotel and then ventured into the nearby town of Paro for our first real glimpse of local life.
|The steps and view from our first night in Bhutan|
Everything is mountains and valleys and green, and it is SO nice. It is clean. It is fresh. The air...crisp.
|Surrounded by rice fields|
The town of Paro. Typical Bhutanese architecture:
We explored the town until sunset, enjoying watching the local daily life come to a close. The people were gracious and welcoming, with their shy and sweet smiles, and gentle nods. Oh and how the children stared at Adam; the mystical giant.