Bhutan vs Nepal: Everything You Should Know To Make A Decision
Both Bhutan and Nepal offer incredible mountains, unique cultures and deliciously spicy food to discover. But certain differences remain, making people prefer one over the other. Read on for every essential thing you must know about both to make the ‘best’ choice.
Note: It’s no raging competition. There is no right choice here as both Bhutan and Nepal have something for every kind of traveller. But individual preferences make one Himalayan kingdom seem better. It’s time to make a decision!
Choose Bhutan, No Question
The “Last Shangri-La” offers its visitors plenty of opportunities to find peace. This scenic country of fewer than 800,000 inhabitants measures happiness instead of Gross Domestic Product. It regularly ranks among the top happiest countries across the globe.
Nepal is the “Top of the World” thanks to Mt Everest and other eight-thousanders, but Bhutan is home to the highest unclimbed mountain on the planet, the 7,570 m-high Gangkhar Puensum. But Bhutanese law prohibits climbing missions above 6,000 m to protect the deities.
Bhutan is also home to the toughest airport landing. In fact, just 24 pilots and a couple of airlines have the skills to land safely at Paro International Airport. In addition, the country is also one of the safest places on Earth. Petty crime remain uncommon, and violent ones rare.
Bhutan used to charge a Sustainable Daily Tariff (SDF) of $200 per person, except for citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives. That number has now been halved to $100 until September 2027. The authorities seek to safeguard Bhutan from overtourism and environmental harm.
Choose Nepal, No Question
Travellers come to explore Nepal’s eight-thousanders. They climb the tall peaks, hike to their base camps or simply hop on an Everest flight to get a good view of the mountain. Before you think the country is all about backpacking, Nepal has a lot to offer besides it.
The lure of Nepal lies in the power of choice it offers to its visitors. You could pick remote trails or go camping in the wilderness. You could pop champagne after a summit attempt, paraglide in Pokhara or stare at pre-historic looking rhinos in Chitwan National Park.
There is no daily fee to be paid. Plus, you can create an itinerary as per your requirements and stay flexible because there is no need to follow a designated trail fixed by the authorities. Nepal packs in extraordinary diversity. There are all shades of cuisine, culture, dresses and dialects.
The country also has a lot to offer to the food lovers. From the finest wood-fired pizzas and chatamari (a Newari rice crepe) to momos, dim sum and authentic Nepali cuisine, Nepal has it all. You can always challenge your spice level tolerance by eating local here.