Bhutan opens up

Explore Asia as it used to be, via new routes into this small independent kingdom on the southeastern slopes of the Himalayas

Image: Niall Murtagh

It’s with mixed feelings that one considers the rising popularity of Bhutan – a country that stands apart in the Himalayas precisely because it has been saved from the damaging effects of tourism that have ravaged the rest of Asia for the past 30 years. This month, flight connections to Bhutan are stepped up with new direct routes from Singapore (from $1,281) and Mumbai (from $840) into Paro, the only international airport in Bhutan, flying with Druk Air (www.drukair.com.bt). Prices, however, keep the mass market at bay, with Bhutan still decreeing a minimum tourist spend of $200 per person per day.

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