Getting into Bhutan:
1:Travel by Air.
Bhutan has only one international airport at Paro in western Bhutan, an hour's drive from the capital city, Thimphu. The international airport at Paro is located at a height of 7300 ft above sea level and surrounded by mountains as high as 16,000 feet.
Bhutan is connected by air to Bangkok, Singapore, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Dhaka, Kolkatta and Guwahati by Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines.
2:Travel by Road.
Flying directly into Paro international airport is not the only way you get into to Bhutan. You can drive into Bhutan through three main entry points: the Southern town of Phuentsholing, Bhutan's commercial capital, sharing borders with the district of Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, India, serving as the main point; Samdrup Jongkhar in the East that shares its border with the district of Daranga, Assam, India and Gelephu in central Bhutan.
3: Daily Tariff And Visa.
Bhutan Visa Requirement.
Other than India, Bangladeshis, all visitors to Bhutan require visa.
All visas are issued by Tourism Council of Bhutan, Thimphu.
Visas are only issued to tourist whom booked tour packages with local tour operators, directly or through foreign travel agent.
The tour operator summits application for tourist visas. Clearance takes at least 10 working days to process.
The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for package to Bhutan and this must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan.
Question and Answer about Visa?
How about minimum daily tariff?
High Season tariff
USD 250 Per person per night halt ( march, April, May, September, October and November)
Low Season tariff
USD 200 Per person per night halt (January, February, June, July, August and December)
The minimum price includes.
All internal taxes and charges, including the royalty.
Accommodation in minimum three star rated hotels.
Travel with licensed Bhutanese tour guide.
All camping Equipment for trekking.
Is visa fee is included in minimum daily tariff?
No, your visa fee is not included in minimum daily tariff but you have to pay USD 40 per person, separately for your visa Clarence (note: visa fees are only one time payment).
How long does it take to get Bhutan visa?
Usually visa will be released within one week to your arrival to Bhutan.
Do I need to pay extra/surcharges if tourist is less than 3 people in a group?
Single individual entry ΓΆ€“ USD 40 per night.
A group with 2 person- USD 30 per night.
Note: the surcharges will not be applicable to those who are approved and cleared by Tourism Council of Bhutan.
Is there having any Discount and exception?
There shall be no charge for children up to the age of 5 years but for the children age between ages of 6 to 12 years will give 50% discount if only these children's are accompanied by guardians.
Below age of 25 years students holding valid school identity cards shall also be given 25% from Daily tariff.
If your group containing people of 11- 16, only one person will get 50% discount from daily tariff and a group exceeding more than 16 person, only one person will get 100% discount.
4:Travel and Medical Insurances.
The Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan has initiated a travel and medical plan solely for the visitors. You may visit the web site at www.ricb.com.bt.
The country has a good network of telecommunication facilities. Almost every town has an internet cafe and IDD calling booths from where you can log on to and send messages home and to your loved ones. Also most hotels have internet access. Mobile (cell) phone is also widely used with international roaming facilities.
All major towns are well connected with electricity that runs on 220/240 volts with round hole two-pin and three-pin power outlets. Our energy is clean and green energy generated by hydro-power.
Bhutan's currency is the Ngultrum (Nu) that is at par with the Indian Rupee. It is recommended that you carry travelers' cheque or cash, preferably American Express and US dollars instead, as the ATM facilities for foreign currency is limited to just few towns including the capital city Thimphu. Visa and American Express credit cards are also widely accepted.
Some of the banks that you can avail of services and facilities while in Bhutan are the Bank of Bhutan Limited, the Bhutan National Bank, the Druk PNB, Bhutan Development Bank Limited, and the Tashi Bank. Many of these banks provide you with SMS and internet banking facilities. Traveler's cheque can be easily withdrawn and exchanged into local currency.
5. Custom duty Question: Am I allowed to bring cigarettes & alcohol into Bhutan? Answer: Yes, all foreigners are allowed to bring with them one litre of alcoholic spirit and up to 200 sticks of cigarettes OR 30 pieces of cigars. *Do note that all cigarettes bll be subjected to 100 percent customs duty and 100 percent sales tax (Nominally 1,600Nu per carton). Travellers should declare their dutiable items at custom and pay the admissible taxes.
Tourist Duty Free Allowance into Bhutan a. Spirits: 1 bottle not larger than one litre b. Cigarettes: 1 carton (containing 200 pieces) subject to 100 percent customs duty and 100 percent sales tax (nominally at 1,600 Nu per carton)
6:Some Frequently Asked Questions:
=>1. Why is Bhutan so expensive to travel?
Usually this is just a myth. Bhutan is not at all expensive to travel. The daily tariff of US$250/person per night halt includes almost everything. It includes US$65/person per night halt as Bhutan Government royalty. This includes you meals, driver, guide, comfortable ground transportation within Bhutan, entry fee into monuments and temples, good hotels and bottled drinking water. Bhutan is a small country with very little natural resources. Without income from other sources, tourism is one major hard currency earner. The royalty of US$65/person per night halt goes into paying free education and medical facilities in Bhutan.
=>2. When is the best time to travel in Bhutan?
March - May and September ΓΆ€“ November is the best time to travel in Bhutan. The climate is good then and there are many festivals around this time. You can travel during the rest of the year too but June, July and August might be bit too wet because of the onset of the monsoon and December, January and February is bit too cold.
=>3. What should I pack?
The packing list might vary from person to person but in general you should bring different assortments of clothing for different weather. Below are few things you might want to carry. Few warm cloths Tee shirts Full sleeved shirts to be worn in monasteries shorts/comfortable hiking pants for day hikes Full pants for entry into monasteries and for mornings and evenings when the temperature might dip Sun glasses, cap and sun screen lotions Good pair of hiking boots Good number of memory cards for your camera kuenselphodrang.
=>4. Can I use credit cards in Bhutan?
Yes you can use Visa, maestro and master debit and credit cards in most towns in Bhutan.
=>5. Can i bring my mobile phone?
Yes you can bring your mobile phone. Some telecom companies have network link with the local telecom company here. You should contact you local service provider to query on this. Otherwise too, you can buy a local SIM card for less than US$2 and call anywhere. Call charges are quite cheap compared to most countries that I have traveled to. US$10 should give you a good talk time of about 20 minutes if you use a special dialing service. For this you should ask your guide.
=>6. Can I travel single or must I join a group in Bhutan?
You can travel single in Bhutan. You will get an independent guide and driver through out your tour. Usually we don't combine groups as we respect the privacy of each individual.
=>7. How much should I tip the guide and driver?
Tips is not compulsory but most clients want to give something to their guide and driver as a gratitude. Its not necessary to tip the hotels but if you want to tip your guide and driver than an average of US$10/day for your guide and about US$7/day for your driver should be a good reward. You can even make it lesser, its all up to you.
=>8. How are the hotels in Bhutan?
There are few 5 star hotels in Bhutan. The five star hotels do not come in the daily tariff we charge. We use three star hotels which are clean, carpeted and have good toilet and bath with hot and cold shower. So far most of our clients have good review about the hotels that we use.
Check hotels that we use. www.hotel.bt/hotels-in-thimphu/.
=>9. Does the hotels have internet connection?
Yes, most hotels that we use have WiFi internet connection.
=>10. What currency should I carry?
Most currencies are exchanged by banks here. The most commonly accepted currencies are US dollars, Australian dollars, Singapore dollars, Euro, pounds, Japanese yen, Swiss franc, Canadian dollars, Danish kroner, Norwegian Kroner, Swedish Korner and Indian rupees. Most handicraft shops accept US dollar, Australian dollar, Euro and pounds. You can even exchange these currencies in some local shops. They give you better exchange rate than the banks.
7. Tentative festival date
8: Hotels and Accommodation
9: Delayed Arrivals & Cancellation
There is no charge for delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or road blocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required.
Tour Programs booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows:
within 30 days of start of program ΓΆ€“ no charges
within 21 days ΓΆ€“ 10% of rate
within 14 days ΓΆ€“ 15% of rate
within 7 days ΓΆ€“ 30% of rate
less than 7 days or without notice ΓΆ€“ 50% of rate
after arrival in Bhutan ΓΆ€“ 100%