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Camping in Bhutan - 7 Camping Sites for a Perfect Getaway

Imagine that for a few days you are in the lap of nature - surrounded by mountains, sheltered by clouds, being captivated by the moon and away from all the chaos and mayhem. You are in a serene state, your mind having been soothed. Seems like a dream, doesn't it? Well, how would you like to actually live this dream? All these things can be experienced while you are camping in Bhutan. Tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas, amazement awaits you amidst the land here.

Bhutan is called the 'Land of Thunder Dragons'. More rightly so, it is also the land of tranquillity and peace, where you will see nature in its purest form. And how can one forget camping when we are talking about Bhutan? When you camp, you get an insight into the vibe of the place like nothing else. Even if it is for a day, you get to live among the locals and other travellers, eating simple yet delicious local food and experiencing an alternate lifestyle. These are some precious opportunities missed out on by visitors opting to stay at a hotel or a resort. 

Camping in Bhutan is undoubtedly the best way to connect with mother nature, given the abundance of nature here. Moreover, it is the best way through which you can explore and truly experience the divinity of Bhutan. Bhutan comprises of small villages and towns which never fail to amaze people. Every nook and corner of Bhutan offers some new thrill and adventure. Interestingly, in many of these spectacular towns, you can enjoy camping amidst the scenic beauty which each of these towns has to offer.

Landscape of Bhutan
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Sites For Camping in Bhutan

There are a few remote villages where you can camp with your friends, family or even solo. These areas are mostly untouched by infrastructural development and you will get the true essence of camping in Bhutan.

1. Punakha

Punakha is a small town located in Western Bhutan. Camping along the shores of Mo Chhu River in Punakha is like a dream come true. The golden sand and wavy river make the view so beautiful that one is left in awe. There are small establishments around the river so you can spend some time with the people there. You can also visit Punakha Dzong in the evening and see the flawless Bhutanese architecture. The best time to camp here is between Mid-September and April.

2. Gangtey

A small village in Western Bhutan, Gangtey is one of the most serene places to camp at. Small and remote, it offers a great view of valleys and mountains. The village comprises of a handful of houses and can be easily covered on foot. Camping here is full of thrill and excitement. The joy of seeing Gogona Lhakhang and meeting the native people is impeccable. Since the area is surprisingly cold in winters, the best season to camp is spring and autumn.

3. Lhuentse

A land of paradise in Eastern Bhutan, Lhuentse is one of the ideal places to camp. Known for its Kishuthara weaving, you will find women sitting in a row and weaving in an intricate manner. You can always go up to them and see how brilliantly they make use of their hands to manufacture beautiful silk textiles. You can camp along Kuri Chhu river and feel the pleasant breeze gently caressing your cheeks. The best time to camp is spring or autumn season.

4. Tingtibi

The picturesque village of Tingtibi is as unique as its name. The area, surrounded by forests, is located in Southern Bhutan. On a clear and pleasant day, you may encounter a variety of native flora and fauna. An exemplary camping site, the most suitable place to set up your camp here is along the Mangdechu river. The ideal season to visit is winters, i.e from November to March.

5. Limukha

 A small village in Western Bhutan bustling with trees and greenery, Limukha is where you feel wrapped in the arms of nature, making it a favourite among campers. The beautiful scenery and picturesque view of the surroundings are enough to soothe your mind and calm your nerves. The best part about this area is that you can camp at any time of the year (try avoiding the monsoon months though if you do not enjoy putting your foot in a puddle of muddy water).

6. Gongphu

Complementing Bhutan's beauty, Gongphu is one of the best birding sites in Bhutan. Providing campers with an iconic view of surroundings, it offers a camping experience like never before. The best time to camp here is the onset of winters, i.e from October to December.

7. Khotokha

A tourist attraction in Western Bhutan, Khotokha is a quite popular camping site due to its flat terrain. Although once a proposed site for an airport, Khotokha is still far away from industrialisation. There are a few temples and monasteries which you can visit in the afternoon. Once you are here, then it is advisable to visit one of the sawmills in the area, a popular sight in this little village. Camping should be avoided in winters and monsoon.

Camping in Bhutan
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Notable Camping Operators for Camping in Bhutan

Sadly, you can not go camping for free or without a proper guide here. So, you first need to make sure to book a camping plan from one of the many companies that provide camping in Bhutan.

The most popular companies which provide camping are Raven Tours and Treks, Bhutan Swallowtail Tours, Bhutan Best Travel, World Tour Plan, Authentic Bhutan Tours, Access Bhutan, Bhutan Travel Adventures, Bhutan Mountain Holiday, AB Travel, Sacred Himalaya Travel, Bhutan Dragon Adventures and Adventure Planet Travels.

You can contact any of the mentioned companies or some other company also which provides camping tours to tourists.

Camping in Bhutan
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Rules For Camping in Bhutan

While camping in Bhutan is an amazing and coveted experience, there are certain rules which you are required to abide by.

1. You can only camp in Bhutan only through a licensed Bhutanese agency. Personal camping is strictly prohibited.
2. While camping, littering is not allowed at all. The Bhutanese government is very strict when it comes to environmental preservation.
3. Defamation of any property is strictly not allowed.
4. You need to make sure that flora and wildlife are not harmed in any way.

Camping in Bhutan
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Tips For Camping in Bhutan

There are some tips for you which will make your camping easier and more fun.

1. If you are on a long-term medication, then do not forget to take the doctor's prescriptions and medicines with you. The camping sites are mostly remote, so you might face difficulty without proper medicines.
2. Keep sufficient clothes with you. While camping during winters, keep warm and woollen clothes as nights are cold in Bhutan.
3. Keep a mosquito-repellant with you.
4. Make sure that you have stocked up enough eatables and water.

Travelling is the best way to enrich one's soul. But camping in Bhutan while you are travelling makes it even richer and better. Bhutan is calling you! What are you waiting for?

This post was published by Tina Garg