Sri Lanka, The wonder of Asia!
It notes the successful conclusion of the most recent 30 years conflict, which eventually ended winning peace for the nation, has open doors for a greater economic development. Soon after the conflict ended Sri Lankan tourism has grown impressively, with a growth of 46% in 2010 followed by further growth of 30% in 2011 still in 2012 the growing trend is keep going up. With those increases, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority has outlined a plan to reach a 45,000 hotel room capacity by 2016, when the total number of annual tourists is expected to reach 2.5 million. Special focus & effects are been put out to enhance the service quality Recently top hotel chains such as Sheraton, Marriott & Shangri La have announced plans for new investments in Sri Lanka. Currently approximately 2000 rooms have been shut for heavy refurbishments & renovations.
The virgin beaches of east cost of Sri Lanka are now blessed with quite a few developments of hotels reaching out to approximately 1000 rooms. Sri Lanka offers visitors a wide variety of unique venues, from broad white beaches to mountain vistas, wildlife parks teaming with elephants, leopards and more, rolling tea plantations, spas, adventure tourism, surfing and ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With a trend setting for increase in tourism, Sri Lanka has received a number of favorable travel reviews since 2010, Number of world renounced papers & magazines have rated Sri Lanka to be a promising tourist destination with New York times ranking as the number one place to visit in 2010.
By Air - The only airport is at Paro. Bhutan's national
airline, Druk Air, is the only airline servicing Paro.
By Road - The road from Bagdogra (the nearest Indian airport) enters Bhutan at Phuentsholing, the border town.
NOTE: Entry / Exit - one way has to be by air.
VISAS & PASSPORTS - Valid passports and an entry visa are essential.
NOTE: Visas cannot be obtained at Bhutanese embassies. You will have to apply for visa through your tour operator in Bhutan. Visa is issued a month prior to your arrival and the visa number is advised to you. Actual visa is stamped on arrival at the Paro Airport.
CUSTOMS - Export of antiques, plants or animal products are strictly prohibited. Cameras, video cameras, computers and personal electronic equipment must be declared on arrival and will be checked upon departure.
CLIMATE - Southern Bhutan has a tropical climate with hot humid monsoons. Spring in the higher valleys (mid-March to May) has warm days (20 °C) and cool nights. June marks the beginning of summer when day temperatures warm up to 27 - 29 °C. By July, the rainy season starts and continue till mid-September. In December temperatures fall, but the days are warm and the clear, azure winter skies serve a striking background to the snow-capped peaks. On a sunny day, temperatures reach about 16-18 ° C. The nights, however, are cold with temperatures falling below freezing.
CLOTHING - Cottons and light woollens in Summer (June-Sep). Heavy woollens and jackets the rest of the year. Rain gear for the monsoons and comfortable shoes.
ELECTRICITY - 230 - 240 volts, 50 cycles A.C. The current is variable.
CURRENCY - The national currency is the Ngultrum (Nu). 100 Chetrum = 1 Nu. Exchange rate is approximately US$ 1 = Nu. 45. Indian Rupees circulate at par.
CREDIT CARDS - American Express and VISA credit cards are accepted in a few shops. Travellers cheques are also accepted.
COMMUNICATION FACILITIES - Reliable telephone and fax services are available in all towns in Bhutan. International connections are excellent.
LANGUAGE - Dzongkha, the language of the western region, is the national language. English is the medium of instruction and is spoken by all government officials and businessmen.
RELIGION - Bhutan is the only country in the world to retain the Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism (Drukpa Kagyu) as its official religion. Throughout Bhutan, stupas and chortens (temples) line the roadside commemorating places where Guru Rinpoché or another high Lama (priest) may have stopped to meditate. Prayer flags dot the hills, fluttering in the wind. The Bhutanese believe these help to maintain constant communication with the heavens.
VACCINATION & MEDICAL INFORMATION - Before visiting Bhutan, you may need to get the following vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases you might be at risk for at your destination. For more information consult your doctor.
INSURANCE - To protect against unforeseen accidents and mishaps, we advise you to have Travel insurance policy from your country. It should adequately cover helicopter evacuation and medical assistance. No such policies available in Bhutan.
SHOPPING - Traditional handicrafts, textiles, jewellery, baskets, masks. Paintings and woodcarving make good buys.