Where is Bhutan?

Bhutan is a small, landlocked country in the eastern Himalayas and situated between India and China. Its landscape ranges from subtropical plains and forests in the South to sub-alpine forests and snowy mountains in the North. It is a predominantly Buddhist country and is known as the last stronghold of Mahayana Buddhism.

Do I need to use a tour operator to book my travel?

It is a government regulation that you must use a license Bhutanese Tour Operator to book your travel to Bhutan or one of their international partners.

Do I need a visa to enter Bhutan?

All International tourists (excluding Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldives national) intending to visit Bhutan, require a visa which must be pre-arranged through a licensed Bhutanese Tour Operator like us or through one of their international partners.

How much does the visa cost?

Visa fee is US$ 40 which is payable along with tours’ logistic cost. We can process and obtain visa only on booking of tour and only visa service is not available. In compliance with policy of Tourism Council of Bhutan, visa can be processed through local Bhutanese Travel Company only on booking of consolidated package tour.

How do I get to Bhutan? 

There are a number of airports where you can fly into Bhutan from (Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.).  At present two carriers operate flight to Bhutan, Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines (Tashi Air). Also, there are three land border crossings through which you can travel into the kingdom overland.  All crossings are along the Indian border only – Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar.  All travel arrangements to Bhutan must be made through a local tour operator.

What does the US$ 200 / US$ 250 per day minimum daily package include?

The US$ 200 per day (low season) and US$ 250 per day (high season) package tariff includes a minimum of 3-star accommodations, costs for food (breakfast, lunch, dinner), an experienced guide, entrance fees to the monuments and surface transportation within the country.  Also included in the price is a US$ 65 per day sustainable development fee (royalty) that goes to Government and spend towards education, healthcare and poverty alleviation. All these services will be arranged by your local tour operator.

What currency is used in Bhutan?

Bhutanese currency is known as the Ngultrum (Nu.). Its value is tied to the Indian Rupee which is also accepted as legal tender. However Indian notes in 2000 denomination not acceptable.

Is there a limit on the number of tourists that can enter Bhutan each year?

There is no limit on the number of tourists permitted into the country each year. In order to protect our culture, traditions and natural environment the Government has adopted a judicious and far sighted policy of ‘High Value, Low Impact Tourism’. This policy is aimed at

attracting discerning tourists who respect the unique culture, nature, and values of the Bhutanese people while also providing visitors with an unforgettable experience.

What’s the food like in Bhutan?

The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillies are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal which is not spicy.

Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often.  For travellers, a wide selection of western, Indian and Chinese food is also available in tourists’ hotels & restaurants all across the country.

How is Weather in Bhutan

Bhutan is year-round destination and Mar, Apr, May, September, October, November are preferred months when skies are generally clear and the high mountain peaks rise to a vivid visible against clear blue sky.

During winter (December, January, February), the sky is bright and sunny but cold at night and in early morning when the sun hides behind the mountains. At night, the temperature may fall below zero. In spite of low temperature at night and in early morning, winter still remains good time for cultural tours especially to enjoy clear blue sky and sunny days.

The monsoon usually arrives in late June and lasts till August. Light to heavy rain expected mainly in the late evenings and nights.  Though monsoon months are not appropriate for trekking but recommendable for cultural tours when the hills and valleys are lush green with comfortable temperatures.

What is the dress code and etiquette to be followed by visitors in Bhutan? 

Visitors need to exercise precautions while visiting religious institutions. Please avoid shorts, and Tank tops during visit to temples, monasteries and Dzongs. Hats should be taken off also while entering religious sites. Please avoid body hugging, sleeveless T shirts or miniskirts while walking around public areas.

Always walk in a clockwise direction while visiting religious places or objects like temples, monasteries, Stupas (chortens), prayer flags etc. Please do not point a finger at a sacred object or place. It is considered being disrespectful.

What is the accommodation like?

Tourism council of Bhutan (TCB) has categorized tourist hotels into their respective stars.

In popular tourist towns (Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangduephodrang, Bumthang & Phuentsholing) hotels are of reasonably good standard however when one ventures into eastern part of the country (Mongar, Trashigang & Samdrup Jongkhar), the lodging gets more rudimentary.

Over the past few years a few international opulent hotel chains have established a few luxury and deluxe hotels & resorts in a few major towns & countryside in Bhutan. These

hotels and resorts appropriately maintain international standard of comfort and luxury absolutely blended with local Bhutanese art, culture and tradition.

What kind of vehicles is used for Tours?

Latest Toyota, Hyundai, KIA vehicles are available for tour within the country and tourist transport is of good standard. We use Hyundai Tucson/ Santa Fe/ Toyota Rush/ Toyota Land Cruiser/Prado/ Kia Sorento models for a team of 1 – 2 guests, depending upon booking. A Toyota Hiace minivan for a team of 3 – 6 guests and a deluxe Toyota coaster for a group of 7 – 18 guests. All these vehicles are periodically checked and maintained.

What is the Time Zone in Bhutan & country code of Bhutan while dialing from Overseas?

Bhutan has only one time zone. It is six hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+6 GMT), half an hour ahead of India (IST) and one hour behind Thailand. Bhutan is eleven hours ahead of New York city. The country code is 975.

What is the electricity output in Bhutan?

Here, electricity runs on 220 / 240 volts, with a circular two‐pin and three‐pin power outlets. For all electrical appliances that you bring with you, please carry the appropriate adapters.

Is English widely spoken? What is the official language of Bhutan?

Yes, English is widely spoken. It is the medium of instruction in all schools / institutions. However, the official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha.

Any precautions that one must know while traveling in Bhutan?

Yes, your health is of utmost importance to us. Please avoid tap water and stick to Mineral water, easily available everywhere. Roads between cities are winding so medication for motion sickness is strongly suggested. You should also pack an adequate supply of any prescribed medications you may require while traveling.

You should consult a physician about high altitude travel. After a brief period of acclimatization, most people do not suffer from altitude sickness, but elderly travellers or those with high blood pressure or weak heart conditions need to exercise caution at high altitudes.

Do I need to get travel insurance?

Yes, we recommend you get your insurance cover from your respective country.

Please explain the options we have for shopping while we are there?

Bhutan is famous of its exquisite postage stamps, hand woven fabrics, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper, finely crafted metal and Thangkha painting.

Some important notes, do’s and don’ts’ 

  • Bhutan is non-smoking country however tourists can bring following tobacco products for their personal consumption: 800 sticks of cigarettes / 150 pieces of cigar / 750 grams of other tobacco products. All these items are subject to 100 percent custom duty and 100 per cent sales tax). Also smoking at public places is prohibited.
  • Apart from the courtyards, guests are not allowed to take pictures inside the monastery, temple, Dzongs and government establishments.