Situated in the east side of the enormous and gorgeous Himalayas, Bhutan is visualized as the land of monasteries, temples and of course, mesmerizing natural beauty and one of the most eye-catching wilderness. The country is unlike any other. There are unprecedented travel experiences, hiking, trekking, adventure, and spiritual that entice every visitor. PErtinently, Bhutan opened it’s borders for tourists after 1974, but more and more number of visitors are now visiting the country that contributes in making revenue for the country. The “High value, low impact” slogan which fits with its sustainable methodology, has been in the tourism policy of Bhutan ever since that implies exclusivity and high production for the kingdom.
If you fancy a trip to this wonderful Himalayan country, here are a few things to consider before you start packing your bags.
1)Best time to visit Bhutan?
The ideal time to tour Bhutan is during the spring season, i.e from March to May. It’s the time when flowers are blossoming, skies are clear and clearly visible Himalayan peaks. From June to August, the tourist season is all time low because of the incessant rains that significantly restrict the tourist activities, such as trekking and sightseeing. But of course, travelling in this season would be least expensive than in peak seasons when the rush of visitors is quite high.
Since the country is also known for it’s buoyant and vigorous religious festivals, many people from all over the world like to witness the enthralling gala. These religious festivals and events are known as Tshechus, which means “10th day” and every temple and monastery hosts their Tshechu on the 10th of their selected month. These festivals are regarded with high respect and people gather together for masked dances and receive blessings from their deities. These special events and festivals particularly attract visitors, creating a unique and remarkable aura. It also familiarises foreign people with the traditions,culture and history of Bhutan.
2) Choosing a tour operator
Travelling to Bhutan cannot be decided in a jiffy. The government of Bhutan requires tourists to plan their journey in advance and book their tour, artrange their visas, etc through government approved tour operators. It’s all pre-paid. The tourist fee per person per day is $200-250, including accommodation, food and travel within the country and an assigned travel guide. However citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives do not require a visa to visit Bhutan.
3) Food in Bhutan
The food in Bhutan is mostly quite spicy and almost every meal includes chillies. If you are not used to eating spicy food, you can ask for anything with no chillies. They will politely oblige. Rice and meat dishes are the staples. However veggies, momos and dumplings are also also available widely.
4) Dress Code
The traditional dress of Bhutan is a “gho” for men and “kira” for women. Gho is a long, knee-length robe like garment, wrapped around and held with a belt, while kira is an ankle-length dress accompanied by a jacket called “Tego”, with an inner layer known as a “Wonju”. The local people wear them on all occasions, in temples monasteries and Dzongs, etc. But visitors are not necessarily required to wear them. However while visiting their temples and other religious places, it’s important to ensure that you are covered. You must also remove your hat or cap if you are near their national flag, and remove your footwear as well when entering a holy place, such as a temple or a monastery.
The language of Bhutan is Dzongkha. However, taxi drivers, shopkeepers, hotel and restaurant staff can speak and understand English quite well.
People of Bhutan are quite friendly. However they are shy too. If you want to take a picture of the local people there, seek permission first. However, avoid clicking pictures of any member from the Royal family. This could land you in trouble otherwise.
Photographing their temples and Dzongs is permitted but not where their deities are placed. Also keep in mind that wherever you require to take off your shoes, clicking pictures is prohibited. However you can always take help from you local tour guide.
7) Smoking is prohibited in Bhutan
Just like any other country, Bhutan also has it’s rules and regulations. It is imperative upon visitors to strictly adhere to them. The country has a stern and uncompromising policy for tobacco consumption. Smoking is totally banned at public places in Bhutan. However foreign tourists are allowed to carry a maximum of 200 cigarettes and you can find a hotel, restaurant or a bar to smoke. If you are caught smoking at a public place or their religious place, a high amount of fine can be imposed on you and you could even be sentenced jail.
8) Do not disrespect the tradition or the Royals
The Royals are considered the incarnation of their Gods and deities. So any indecent and rude remark towards the royals will not be appreciated. Make sure you do not mock them.
9) ATMs in Bhutan
ATMs are easily available in most parts of Bhutan. However the transaction charges might be variable. Foreign currency can be exchanged for the local currency when you land in Bhutan.
10) Get a local SIM card
There is no guarantee that your SIM card would work in Bhutan, as there is a handful of mobile service providers in the country. However you can get a local SIM quite easily to stay connected. You will need your passport You tour guide would help you getting one.
After having read about the kingdom, you must be certainly be excited for a Bhutan tour. If you desire a smooth, cheerful and hassle free tour experience, you can always count on bookmytour.bt for a trip to cherish, as we offer a wide range of packages that suit you best.
This article is a contribution of Ram Narayan Mandal
About the Author:
Ram Narayan Mandal, is a content manager at the BookMyTour.
He basically used to write about the topic that helps people to understand better about Bhutan.
Supply Chain Management Association Becomes Supply Chain Canada
At its AGM yesterday, the Supply Chain Management Association announced its name change to Supply Chain Canada. The association also launched a new website as part of an overall rebranding initiative.
“The new name and look are part of a transformation that we have undertaken as the association enters its second century,” said Christian Buhagiar, President & CEO of Supply Chain Canada. “Today’s supply chains are dynamic and fast-paced. The association for Canada’s supply chain professionals must reflect that.”
Through the rebranding process, the association has also acquired a meaningful new logo and tagline, “Professionals advancing the future.”
The logo’s maple leaf design not only conveys our nationality; it also represents the connectedness of the supply chain, illustrating the networks and collaboration that are so essential to supply chain success, and the interconnectedness of the association’s federation, institutes and members. Its connected dots can be seen, as well, as the complex route of a global supply chain.
“Professionals advancing the future” succinctly communicates both the professional status of supply chain practitioners and their forward-looking perspective. It is intended to:
- Elevate the perception of supply chain practitioners as professionals, acknowledging the value they bring to their organizations and to the Canadian economy.
- Encompass the several ways that the association and its members “advance” – in their personal careers and knowledge, and for the profession, the country and the economy.
- Express the future focus of the association – with its emphasis on the development of skills and policies – and of the supply chain itself, now so focused on AI, blockchain, robotics, automation and so on.
The new website, now at www.supplychaincanada.com, is enhanced with a modern look and new functionality that enables location-based content for users across Canada.
These changes are not simply style enhancements. They are part of a larger plan to strengthen the association. Supply Chain Canada consolidates the organization’s brand across the country under a single name in every province and territory, removing any possible confusion from its federation structure. “The unity that this will ensure will help us improve recognition in the sector, and thereby provide stronger leadership to the Canadian supply chain community,” said Buhagiar.
The association’s transformation began in 2018 with a new vision and mission, as well as an ambitious three-year strategic plan. The new name and rebranding announced yesterday are part of a larger evolution that will continue over the next two years with the introduction of new and revised educational offerings, new initiatives to engage with industry, more value-added membership benefits and more.
SOURCE Supply Chain Canada
Export Portal to Address Best Practices in Sustainable Trade Facilitation at the Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum
Export Portal CEO Ally Spinu will be adding her take on the alignment of trade facilitation and sustainable development goals at a session at the 9th Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) in New Delhi.
“The Asia-Pacific region is a wealth of unexplored opportunities which lay deep in the communities of local businessmen and women that just need support in bringing their amazing products to the world to see and buy,” Ms. Spinu said. “I am looking forward to this event and being a part of the change that will help local businesses from this part of the world sell their products globally. I deeply believe that shifting attention to developing SMEs is the major change international trade and local economies have been waiting for.”
This year’s APTFF will focus on how digital and sustainable trade facilitation measures and practices can bring prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The forum will investigate opportunities from trade digitalization for sustainable progress of the area and challenges ahead in materializing such opportunities. APTFF will feature panel discussions as well as interactive and informative sessions. These sessions will allow participants to share experiences and perspectives on different aspects of trade facilitation, including trade finance, cross-border eCommerce and paperless trade, transit, innovative application of emerging technologies, and more. APTFF will bring relevant regional initiatives and implementation cases to each session, making it a unique opportunity to share knowledge and practical lessons. The forum will also include many side-events providing a more in-depth exploration of the pertinent trade facilitation issues.
“Agricultural products are the fastest category and industry growing within Export Portal, and I can say that is just natural that SMEs around the world are actively looking for new ways for selling their products around the world,” Ms. Spinu said. “The role of innovative technologies such as Export Portal is crucial in helping these SMEs integrate within the world supply chain of food with ease and at optimal costs. I want to explain the current issues existing within SMEs’ integration in international trade due to the high cost involved and how technology slowly but surely changes this.”
Export Portal’s trade goals align directly with the purpose of this session, as its international B2B trade platform is an affordable and all-encompassing solution for SMEs all over the world. The features that are available and being developed on Export Portal, such as the panel of experts (EP+), the educational hub (EPU), and data flow insights (EPI), provide SMEs with the resources they need to trade effectively on an international scale safely, securely, and efficiently.
The Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation for Regional Prosperity session is co-organized by ADB, ESCAP, Ministry of Commerce, India and Confederation of Indian Industry and will be held on Wednesday, September 18, from 9:00 to 10:45 AM.
SOURCE Export Portal
MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab Convenes Top Researchers for Second Annual AI Research Week
The MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab (NYSE: IBM) is hosting its second annual AI Research Week, September 16-20, in Cambridge, MA. The five-day conference will explore leading themes in today’s field of AI including neurosymbolic computing and semantic reasoning in machine learning, AI security and safety, inclusive design of AI for all communities, trustworthy and explainable AI, and industry applications of AI.
The MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab is a joint research effort to drive fundamental advances in artificial intelligence. Since its founding in 2017, the lab has become an integral component of IBM’s AI Research strategy and is spearheading 48 AI-related research projects.
Dario Gil (Director, IBM Research), joined by top AI researchers:
- Yoshua Bengio (A.M. Turing Award Winner and Pioneer of AI and Deep Learning)
- Josh Tenenbaum (Professor, Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT)
- Laura Shulz (Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, Primary Investigator of the MIT Early Childhood Cognition Lab)
- Roger Levy (Associate Professor, Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, Director of the Computational Psycholinguistics Laboratory)
Additional discussions will feature David Cox (IBM Director, MIT-IBM AI Watson Lab), Lisa Amini (Director, IBM Research Cambridge), and Antonio Torralba (MIT Director, MIT-IBM AI Watson Lab), addressing key topics including: progress of the MIT-IBM AI Watson Lab to date and future goals; transitioning AI research to industry; and self-supervised learning of AI.
The conference will also showcase research and thought leadership from scientists and students affiliated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California, San Diego; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Boston University; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; the University of Montreal; the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and the Cambridge and Boston community.
AI Research Week is a technical conference featuring top AI thought leaders from around the world sharing the latest insights on the field of AI. The five-day gathering will also consist of panels, workshops, networking and mentorship all geared towards forging new ideas and discussion around advancements in AI.
WHEN & WHERE:
September 16-20, 2019, times for events vary. AI Research Week events will be held at MIT and IBM in Cambridge, MA. While many events will occur at the MIT Samberg Conference Center, 50 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA 02142, it is best to check the schedule for specific event locations and times.
Monday, September 16: Kick-off the week with a poster and networking session where researchers from the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab and IBM’s AI Horizons Network of university collaborators will showcase projects underway that are shaping the future of AI.
The afternoon will feature a round robin event designed to help match various student communities in the Boston area with a mentor, specifically those in Latinx, BlackinAI, Women in Machine Learning, and LGBTQ. This session will include 15 tables, each with a different topic, and mentors from IBM, as well as other speakers from AI Research Week, designed to connect students with a mentor.
Tuesday, September 17: Yoshua Bengio, full professor and head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), University of Montreal, and Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research, begin the AI Horizons Colloquium with a Welcome Address, followed by a full day of talks and discussion featuring AI experts from academia and industry.
NOTE: The Colloquium (all day) will be livestreamed here.
Other Colloquium speakers include:
- Saska Mojsilovic, head of AI Foundations, IBM Research and Co-Director of IBM Science for Social Good, will discuss how people can begin to trust AI.
- Collin Stult, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and MIT faculty at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology Cardiologist, will discuss whether useful machine learning will be used clinically in the near future.
Wednesday, September 18: The NASA ISS Program Science Office and the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, along with IBM Research, will launch a unique opportunity to learn about the International Space Station. Guests will be able to speak with representatives and researchers about the future of AI intersecting with the future of research in space. The event also includes a competition and special session where researchers and students can pitch “ISS meets AI” project ideas to a panel of space experts from NASA, the ISS, IBM, and MIT.
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