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Bhutan Travel and Trekking Information

BHUTAN TRAVEL INFORMATION

Overland Journey into Bhutan.

Bhutan being the mountainous country entering into Bhutan is either by flight or by land. The roads are well connected and country is bordered with INDIA in the south and Tibet and China in the North. Though China is our next neighbor in the north but we do not have any diplomatic relation with them and therefore no road or Flights operates from Bhutan to China. If you have onward journey to China from Bhutan you have to fly to Kathmandu Nepal or Bangkok Thailand.

There are three entry points from India to Bhutan and if you are planning to drive overland to Bhutan you have to come via INDIA. The first entry point is from Phuntsholing bordered with west Bengal. If you are planning tour in North east INDIA (Sikkim, Darjeeling and Kalimpong) the best route to enter Bhutan is via Phuntsholing and this is the main route used by most of the tourist. The journey time from each of this place to 4 to 5 hours depending upon the traffic.

Second Entry point is from Samdrupjongkhar near Guwahati. This is quite far from main touristic center but if you plan to explore East West Bhutan journey you can enter from the east and that is Samdrupjongkhar and our guide shall assist you with all formalities to enter from the east.

Third entry is from Gaylegphu the southern District but this entry point is hardly used by the tourist due to unavailability of airport nearby the city.

Overland Journey Tour Program from Phuntsholing:

Drukyul Travel (7N8D) Starts from $1575 per person.

Bhutan Beauty (4N5D) Starts from $ 940.00 per person.

Dragon Kingdom Tour (9N10D) Starts from $ 2100 per person.

Overland Journey Tour Program from Guwahati to Bhutan:

Bhutan East to West Journey(14N15D) Starts from $ 3150 per person.

Bhutan Drukpa Journey (10N11D) Starts from $ 2250.00 per person.

Happiness Kingdom Tour (9N10D) Starts from $ 2065 per person.

 

Luxury Hotels in BHUTAN: Many international chains of Hotels have started their business in Bhutan and to name them few they are Luxury Amankora which has chain of Hotels all over the world. In Bhutan they have 5 luxury lodges located in prime area in different parts of Bhutan. Other worldclass hotels like UMA by COMO, Taj, Le meridian and Dusita are available for booking. Likewise we also have own brand of luxury Resorts like Dhensa Boutique, Gangtey Goenpa Lodge which provides the same luxury feelings combined with Bhutanese hospitality to our clients. The recent development of new luxury Hotels in Bhutan is Sixth Sense which will be operational from October 2018.

 

Bhutan Travel and Visa Information

The minimum daily cost for staying in Bhutan is fixed by the Royal Government of Bhutan keeping the concept of “high value and low impact” tourism industry, this was the dream of our fourth King to maintain the quality of tourism in Bhutan. The fixed tariff is USD 200 for lean season and USD 250 for peak season. The Bhutan Travel season starts from March, April, May, September, October and November and lean season months are June, July, August, December, January and February. The fixed tariff also covers all your accommodation in good 3 Star Hotel, all transportation, all meals and guide services.

Peak season months have lots of local festivals and the weather are very favorable to explore the cities and valleys where as lean season are cold and monsoon rains are rampant and landslides and snow can be expected.

There are also group discount and single supplementary cost involved. The cost as follows:

Single individual traveller: US $ 40 per night halt
Group of 2 persons: US $ 30 per night halt.

 

Package cost includes following service as follow:
1: Best Accommodation (3* Hotels) on twin sharing basis
2: All the meals
3: Land transport within Bhutan
4: Services of an English Speaking guide
5: Supply of pack ponies, yak, trekking crews and porters for the trek
6: All necessary camping equipments for Treks (excluding sleeping bags & sleeping mat).
7. All entrance fees.
8: Bhutan Visa
9: 37% Government TAX
10: Tea & Snacks

Package cost does not include:
1: Airfare
2: Laundry
3: Privates call
4: Beverages or Drinks
5: Insurance for travel and other contingencies.

Single supplement charges of US $ 35 per night halt per person will apply for any single room requirement.

BHUTAN Visa

HOW CAN I APPLY BHUTAN VISA?

There is no restriction for any nationality travelling to Bhutan as long as they fulfill the formalities. There is also no restriction of number of tourist visiting Bhutan as people understand it. As long as tourist can pay the daily tariff and book through licensed local tour operator of Bhutan, Bhutan Visa is guaranteed. For Bhutan visa, upfront payment is mandatory. Many people fear of transferring 100% advance payment but there is no need to be afraid of and you will never lose your money. The payment goes directly into government account and if you have any quries you can directly approach the Tourism Council of Bhutan for any clarification. No tourist will lose their money as long as the Royal Government of Bhutan and member of Tourism Council of Bhutan license the agent.

Upon receipt of the payment the tour payment has to be rectified by the TCB before they approve the Visa. The visa approval is done upon the receipt of 100% payment, which is deposited into TCB account, and that is the protocol to be followed by all tour operator of Bhutan. The Government will only release the payment after the tour gets over and upon the approval of TOUR INVOICE by the tour operator.

Is there any Visa Restriction for BHUTAN?

No there is no restriction of Visa. Some nationality like Indian, Maldives and Bangladeshi don’t need visa and their visa is upon arrival.

How long does it take to process the VISA?

For Bhutan Visa you need to have valid passport scanned in color and send it to the operator with filled Visa form. Tour payment is must and should reach the operator on time and if everything is in order the visa will just take 72 hours on working days. The approved visa letter will be emailed to you. The visa approved letter issued by immigration office should be produced while boarding the plane and upon arrival.

Does Visa get rejected?

No the visa don’t get rejected unless you have expired passport or have any legal issue with the government or you have not made the 100 percent upfront payment.

What is the Visa FEE?

The visa fee is just $40 per person and everyone including child has to pay and this is one time fees. You need to transfer the visa fees to the tour operator who is organizing your tour of BHUTAN.

Can I travel Bhutan without using Travel Agent?

No you can’t travel independently. The tour must be guided Tour and must use TCB certified guide with vehicle.

What is the best season to Travel Bhutan?

Bhutan is considered all year round destination but best months would be Spring and Autumn.

Currency:

The national currency is the ngultrum equivalent to Indian rupees.Exchange rate for USD$1 is equal to Nu.60.00 as of Dec 2015.

American Express Credit Card,Indian Maestro Card,Visa Card and Master Card:

Visa credit cards are accepted in few hotels and handicraft shop but tourist are usually advised to carry travelers cheque or in cash(US dollar). For Indian they can carry Indian currency in any denomination which is widely accepted.

Time Difference:

Bhutan Standard time is 6 hours ahead of GMT.There is only one time zone throughout the country, the time in Bhutan is 30 minutes earlier than India,15 minutes earlier than Nepal,and 1 hour later than Thailand.

 

Insurance:

To protect against any unforeseen accidents all the travelers are advised to have comprehensive travel insurance from your country and it should adequately cover helicopter evacuation and medical assistance. For your information you can also avail travel insurance from RICB and for that you can contact us.

Health Information:

No vaccination are currently required for travelling to Bhutan. However visitors coming from any area infected with yellow fever are required to get a yellow fever vaccination and must be administered at least for 10 days before arrival. Medical treatment in Bhutan is free just in case you met with minor accident but incase of major one you are advised to have complete medical insurance.

Shopping:

The countries exquisite shopping postage stamps,beautiful handicrafts.hand woven fabrics,carved mask,woven baskets wooden bowls,handmade papers,thangka paintings, are the most popular items purchased by foreign visitors.Buying and selling of antiques are strictly prohibited in the country.

Roads:

Bhutan roads are winding and narrow by western standard.Since Bhutan is a mountainous country it takes time to travel from place to place.And at present the road condition of Bhutan towards Punakha and Bumthang(eastern Bhutan) is very bad and dusty due to road widening. This may take sometime and most comfortable Bhutan sightseeing would be Thimphu,Paro and punakha. If you need to visit Bumthang you can consider taking Domestic flight from Bumthang to Paro to avoid bumpy ride.

Altitude:

The maximum elevation that you can reach on Bhutan road is 3150m in the west and 3750m in the East.You might suffer from altitude sickeness at times and it is always good to come prepared.

Clothing:

Casual cloths are fine unless you are going for trekking you need to be on comfortable cloths and at least take warmer cloths for changing weather of Bhutan.Your Bhutan tour operator will inform you about the cloth to carry while travelling to Bhutan.

Smoking:

Smoking in public places like Bus stand, hotels,parks,discotheques,entertainment centre,sports vicinity like football ground and archery range isn’t allowed.If found will be fined of Nu.500 with legal action.If you are a chain smoker you can bring 200 sticks maximum paying 100%tax to the government.

Bhutan Internet: Most of the hotels in Bhutan are well connected with WIFI but if you move towards east internet connection might fail you as the telecom network is not well developed in this part of Bhutan. You can get simcard with 3G for your phone which works well in all parts of Bhutan.

Customs and Regulations: The Bhutanese authorities strictly prohibit the export of any religious Antiquity or antiques of any type. All personal electronics, Cameras, Video Cameras, Computers and personal electronic equipment may be brought into the country but they must be listed on the custom form provided on arrival at Paro airport and will be checked on departure. Two liters of alcohol and reasonable quantity of cigarettes may be brought into the country without duty.

Ear Plugs: Compared to other towns, Thimphu has a high number of Stray dogs. You may be disturbed by the barking of the dogs at night. So we highly advise you to bring ear plugs.

Distance & driving time between various places in Bhutan: All mode of transport within Bhutan is by motor vehicle as there is no domestic airline or trains. However, motor roads are well maintained and link all parts of the country. The mountainous terrain and winding roads restrict the average driving speed of vehicle to less than 35 kilometers per hour.

From To Distance [in Km] Driving Time [approx]
Thimphu Paro 54 1 Hrs.
Thimphu Phuntsholing 179 5 Hrs.
Thimphu Wangdue Phodrang 70 3 Hrs.
Thimphu Punakha 76 3 Hrs.
Punakha Wangdue Phodrang 17 40 Mins.
Wangdue Phodrang Trongsa 129 5 Hrs.
Trongsa Bumthang 68 3 Hrs.
Bumthang Mongar 198 7 Hrs.
Mongar Lhuntshi 76 3 Hrs.
Mongar Trashigang 91 3 Hrs.
Trashigang Chorten Kora 52 2 Hrs.
Trashigang Samdrup Jongkhar 180 7 Hrs.
Samdrup Jongkhar Guwahati (India) 110 3 Hrs.
Samdrup Jongkhar Phuentsholing 380 10 Hrs.
Phuntsholing Bagdogara 170 4 Hrs