Bhutan

Our Bhutan tour package takes you along the national highway from the western border to the eastern border of the country, with its beautiful mountain valleys. In this all-embracing cultural exploration of the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan, we will explore Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Wangduephodrang and Gangtey in the west; Trongsa and Bumthang in central Bhutan; and Mongar and Trashigang in the east. During our Bhutan tour we will witness the spectacular events which take place in Mongar and Trashigang at the year-end Tshechu festivals. We will hike to the sacred Tiger’s Nest, visit the great stupa of Chorten Kora, and see the legendary and beloved cranes which find sanctuary in Bhutan every autumn. This intricate tapestry of Bhutan tourism adventures offers a richly nuanced experience of the last Himalayan kingdom.

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About Bhutan

Entry Points to Bhutan
By Air
The easiest way for visitors to enter Bhutan is by air on Druk Air and Buddha Air, Bhutan's national carrier and Nepalese airline operating in Bhutan. Druk Air's fleet consists of two British Aerospace jets, BAe 146s, which are specially specially designed for Bhutan.
Flights to Bhutan are available from Bangkok in Thailand, Kathmandu in Nepal, Delhi & Calcutta in India, and Dhaka in Bangladesh several times each week. Latest flight schedules are available on request.
On clear days the flight into Paro from kathmandu offers spectacular views of the Himalayan mountain range, including Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari, Kula Kangri and many other peaks of the Himalayas.
Paro Airport, located in the mountains, is subject to the vagaries of nature, and weather conditions sometimes prevent flight landing and take off. Druk Air itself has an impeccable safety record, without a single mishap since its inception in 1983.
We can book your air-seats in and out of Bhutan well in advance, avoiding last-minute rush during the peak tourist seasons of Spring and Autumn.
By Road
Tourists wanting to combine a visit to Bhutan with Sikkim & Darjeeling (or other places in India) can enter Bhutan by surface through the border town of Phuentsoling. This is the only other entry point to Bhutan other than flying into Paro airport. In the reverse order visitors can fly into Bhutan and exit by surface to India through Phuentsoling.
For those travelling to far Eastern Bhutan there is a option to exit out of the country through the border town of Samdrup Dzonkar to Guwahati Airport in Assam of India. Only exiting out of Bhutan is allowed from here not entry. From Guwahati there are flights available to Calcutta and Delhi.
Air Tickets
Druk Air, the national carrier of Bhutan, is the only airline that fly in & out Bhutan's Paro airport. Air tickets will be issued only after your visa is approved by the Home Ministry of Bhutan. To expedite this procedure, it is essential that you send us all passport information required to apply for your Bhutan visa (see below). The air-tickets cannot be issued until the visa is approved - and this process takes a week or more.
Tourist Visas
Tourist visas have to be approved prior to your arrival in Bhutan. With prior approval visas are then issued only on your arrive in the country, either at Paro airport or (if by road) at Phuentsoling. Once your are ready to confirmed your tour arrangements we will apply for your visas. We need the following details in order to start applying for visas.
01: Your full name (as it appears in your passport)
02: Permanent address
03: Occupation
04: Nationality
05: Passport number
06: Date of issue and expiration of passport
07: Date and place of birth -
Double check that the information is correct; if there are discrepancies when you arrive in Bhutan, delays and complications can take place.
The actual visa is stamped in your passport only when you arrive in Bhutan. You need to pay US$ 20 and present a passport photo with your passport number written on the back. You will then receive a visa for the period of your stay in Bhutan. We will process visa extensions for you if they become necessary.
Accommodation
In the major towns such as Thimpu, Paro, and Phuentsoling, comfortable hotels await the visitor, while in smaller towns, modest, but adequate, hotels, lodges and guest houses are available. Your tour agent should ensure that the best available accommodations are arranged for you. The Tourism Authority of Bhutan (TAB), regulates hotel standards and all travel regulations in Bhutan. The cost of the accommodations are included in the tour cost.
Food and Drink
Traditional Bhutanese food is hot and spicy. For our visitors, however, Chinese, Indian, and Continental fares are served. The more adventurous can try the local delicacies like the tasty, but fiery, ematatshi, the national dish of Bhutan, made with red chillis and cottage cheese. Meals are normally served buffet style in the hotels. On trekking tours, we serve simple but nutritious and tasty dishes, freshly cooked by our trained cooks. The daily tour cost includes all meals while in Bhutan as well as other services, including trekking arrangements, as required. Your only extra expenses will be mineral water, liquor, laundry, souvenirs and optional tips to the guide, driver and hotel staff.
Transport
We use comfortable and safe Japanese cars, jeeps, vans and coaches to transport our guests. The cost of transport is already included in the daily tour cost. All our drivers are fully trained in safety and are well experienced in driving in Bhutan. You will find that you are more comfortable driving through the winding hilly roads of Bhutan, where sane driving prevails, and drivers are unusually courteous to each other, unlike in some of the neighboring countries.
Guides
All tourist groups will be accompanied throughout their stay in Bhutan by an English-speaking guide and have a vehicle and driver at your disposal at all times.
All of our guides are trained by the Tourism Authority of Bhutan (TAB) and licensed by the Government. Our trekking guides and cooks undergoe an additional mountain guide training, including safety and first aid instruction. TAB has received assistance from the Austrian Government in the form of trainers and funds to establish the training programs for tourist guides.
Tourist Seasons
A visit to Bhutan can be planned anytime of the year but the best period is from mid-September to May. The peak seasons, when most visitors come to Bhutan, are during the Spring and Autumn. Spring is from April through June and Autumn from September through November. There are many festivals during these periods, and visitors come to take advantage both of the pleasant climate and the wonderful festivals. However, Bhutan has limited tourism infrastructure and during peak seasons facilities are packed. For those wanting to avoid the busy tourist periods the winter months of December, January, February, are recommended.
Daily Tour Costs
The Tourism Authority of Bhutan (TAB) regulates all tourism related activities in Bhutan. All tour operators are registered with them, and the TAB also fix the daily tariff rates. Thirty-five percent of the daily cost goes directly to the TAB and hence to the national treasury. These funds are used by the government for the socioeconomic development of Bhutan. Hospitals, schools, and roads are built and maintained with the income. TAB has released a travel information booklet detailing their role and the regulations by which all tour operators are governed.
Contact us if you have any questions regarding the tour costs. The daily rate may sound high at first, but remember that this includes all your accommodation, all meals, guided tours, and all transportation within Bhutan as per tour itinerary.
What to Bring
The following list will cover your needs for a vehicle-based cultural tour. Since you will be travelling in private vehicles, there is less concern about weight than if you were transferring your own luggage on and off various forms of public transport. There is a 20 kg (44 lb) weight limit (30 kg or 66 lb in business class) on Druk Air flights. You should try and keep to this allowance. Even if you are willing to pay for excess baggage, it travels standby and may be offloaded. As with all travel, the less you carry, the easier it is to move about.
Casual clothes are fine, but please also do take along a set of dress-up clothes (jacket and tie for men, dresses for women) for festivals or in the likely event that you are invited to a Bhutanese home or social function. Thimpu and other towns in Bhutan have a small-town atmosphere, and you might easily find yourself in the company of a high government official. If you have scheduled your trip during a festival, you definitely should carry a set of dressy clothing. Bhutanese people dress quite formally, and dirty jeans do not fit-in on such occasions.
Even in the summer, it can be cool in Bhutan, and it is downright cold in winter. Days can be quite warm, especially in the lower regions such as Punakha and Phuentsoling, and you could start off driving in the cold of dawn and be uncomfortably warm by midmorning. Use a layering system, starting with thermal underwear and adding a shirt, pile jacket and wind-breaker (or parka) as necessary. If you are not trekking, you will need:
Underwear (including thermals for cold weather)
Cotton trousers
Cotton skirt for women
Pile jacket or sweater - even in summer
Down jacket - in winter; not needed in summer
T-shirts or short sleeved (not sleeveless) cotton shirts
Sneakers or walking shoes and socks
Sandals or flip-flops
Rain jacket (Gore-Tex if possible), otherwise a poncho or nylon jacket
Dress-up clothes for festivals
Sun hat
All hotels provide sheets, blankets or quilt, and a pillow. Unless you are trekking, you won't need to carry a sleeping bag. Most hotels also provide some sort of heating in winter, either an electric heater or a wood stove. The heating, plus the pile of blankets on your bed, should keep you warm.
You will be outside a lot, much of the time at altitudes above 2,500 m (7,800 ft); so there is plenty of sun and wind. Bring a supply of sun cream and lip protection, such as Blistex; these items are not available in Bhutan.
Essential Extras
There are several things that you should carry to make a trip to Bhutan more comfortable. All of the following items are essential:
A folding umbrella; especially if traveling during the monsoons. Rain is possible any time, and is almost certain from June through August.
Be sure to carry ear plugs (and spares) to reduce the noise from the barking dogs at night. There are a lot of dogs in Bhutan as the Bhutanese love dogs.
There are occasional electric outages throughout the country; so you should always keep a torch (flashlight) beside your bed.Carry a pair of sunglasses (as protection from high altitude glare).
A Swiss army knife has many uses, such as cutting cheese and opening bottles.
Bring a small clock with an alarm to help you wake up, because not all hotel rooms have telephones.
Packing
If you are on a cultural tour, it's OK to bring a hard suitcase, though a soft bag is more versatile and easier to pack into the luggage space of a vehicle. For those trekking in Bhutan a strong duffel bag as luggage is best. You will also want a small rucksack (back pack) or waist pack to carry your camera, water bottle and other essentials in the vehicle and when you are walking around town or visiting monuments.
Pre Departure Information
Once your tour or trek in Bhutan is confirmed we will provide you with a detailed Pre Departure Information packet which contains a list of recommended clothing & equipment along with many other details that will help you prepare for you tour/trek in Bhutan.

Visa and Permit

Bhutan Visa and Tariff

All foreign nationals traveling to Bhutan need visa, which needs to be processed before arriving in Bhutan. It has to be processed through a registered Bhutanese tour operator based in Bhutan and is processed in Thimphu with the Department of Immigration; no Mission or Embassy abroad can issue Bhutan visa. To follow its normal procedure, full tour payments are to be remitted to the account of Tourism Council of Bhutan (the regulatory agency of the Royal Government of Bhutan) through wire transfer prior to applying visa; subsequently, your visa will be applied.

Department of Immigration has now made it mandatory to submit a scan copy of your passport along with your visa application. A minimum of 3 working days, after the receipt of tour payment is required to process the same. Upon approval, a copy of clearance letter will be forwarded to you through email; you can board the flight to Bhutan (Druk Air) with this clearance letter. The actual visa is stamped on arrival in Bhutan while visa is cleared in advance.

For travelers, entering Bhutan by Druk Air, visa clearance letter is forwarded to concerned overseas Druk Air stations; without which travelers are not allowed to board the flight. To avoid any complication in the airport, it will be advisable for you to carry copy of this clearance letter
For all travelers entering Bhutan overland through Phuentsholing (border with India), visa is stamped on arrival on the basis of Clearance Letter issued by Department of Immigration
Visa fee of US$ 20 per person is payable along with the tour payment
You will need a valid passport, which must have to have a minimum of six months validity
Your passport must have at least 2 un-used pages for visa stamp.

Minimum Tariff: The policy of value tourism is best supported by a system of a government regulated daily minimum price of US$ 250 per person per night for visits to Bhutan. The price also in a way limits the volume of visitors allowing exclusivity and care.

The daily minimum price is most often misinterpreted to be extremely high. The fee in fact covers a package that include all internal taxes and charges including royalty, accommodation, meals, services of licensed guides, airport transfers, iin turnnternal transport and camping equipment and haulage fro trekking tours.

35% of the tariff goes as royalty to the government exchequer, which in turn mainly supports free medical care, free education and other welfare schemes.

All visitors in a way therefore make valuable contribution to the welfare system of the country.

Minimum Tariff per night: US$ 250 per person per night; additional surcharge for Free Individual Traveler (FIT) @ US$ 40 per night for single traveller and US$ 30 per person per night in a group of 2 pax will be applicable.

The above tariff covers:

35% Government Royalty
2% Government Tax
Contribution to Tourism Develpoment Fund @ US$ 10 per tourist

The balance amount after all above deduction covers:

Accommodation on twin sharing basis in government certified hotels
All meals
Airport transfers
Entrance fees at museums & monuments
Guide overheads
Trekking logistics & equipments

Bhutan Festivals Dates 2018 & 2019

The Tse+chu is a festival in honor of Padmasambava - "one who was born from a Lotus flower", popularly known as "Guru Rinpoche", the precious Teacher. This saint contributed enormously to the diffusion of Tantirc Buddhism in the Himalayan regions of Tibet , Nepal , Bhutan etc. around 800 A.D. The Tsechu is a religious festival and by attending it, it is believed one gains merits. It is also a yearly social gathering where the people gather to rejoice, dressed in finery. The Thimphu Tsechu was established by the 4th Temporal Ruler, Tenzing Rabgye (1638-1696) in 1670 on the 8th month of Bhutanese calendar to commemorate the birth of Guru Rinpoche. In order that Bhutan can rejoice in continued happiness, many learned lamas established the tradition of these dances. The deities of the Tantric teaching are invoked during these dances. Through their power and benediction, all misfortunes are annihilated, and peace and happiness reign.

Festival Tours in Bhutan offer Tourists a complete insight into the nation's vibrant religion Culture. The most popular events in the cultural itinerary are the Thimphu , Paro, Punakha, Wangdue and Bumthang Tshechus/Festival. Tsechus are weeklong festivals where the teachings of Padmasambhava are imparted to the deity through mask dances. The other attraction of Festival tours is to meet the rural Bhutanese in their quaint hamlets and see first hand their way of life. Here one gets the opportunity to intermingle with the average Bhutanese and to enjoy their hospitality.

Yeoong Travel has an extensive choice of activities especially designed to enjoy tours, treks and cultural events. Information can be obtained from us as to which exacting festival, tour or trek will be of interest to you.

(Provided by Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators)

FESTIVAL DATES FOR 2018 & 2019 - Updated (Provided by Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators)

SNFESTIVALPLACE20192018
1TAKIN FESTIVALDamji, GASA
2NOMAD FESTIVALNagsephel, BUMTHANG
3Bhutan International Marathon(Annual Event organized by BOC)
4PUNAKHA DRUBCHENPunakha Dzong, PUNAKHA
5PUNAKHA TSHECHUPunakha Dzong, PUNAKHA
6 March THONGDROLTharpaling Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG
7CHHORTEN KORAChorten Kora, TRASHIYANGTSHE
8GOMPHUKORAGom Kora Lhakhang,TRASHIGANG
9TALO TSHECHUTalo Gonpa,PUNAKHA
10GASA TSHECHUGasa Dzong, GASA
11ZHEMGANG TSHECHUZhemgang Dzong, ZHEMGANG
12PARO TSHECHURinpung Dzong, PARO
12Chhukha TshechuChhukha Dzong, Chhukha
13RHODODENDRON FESTIVALLamperi Botanical Garden, Dochula, THIMPHU
14DOMKHAR TSHECHUDomkhar, Chummi, BUMTHANG
15URA YAKCHOEUra Lhakhang, BUMTHANG
16NIMALUNG TSHECHUNimalung Dratshang, Chummi, BUMTHANG
17KURJEY TSHECHUKurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG
18HAA SUMMER FESTIVALTown Festival Ground, HAA
18Mushroom FestivalGenekha, Thimphu
19MATSUTAKE MUSHROOM FESTIVALUra, BUMTHANG
20TOUR OF THE DRAGON (BICYCLE RACE)Bumthang to Thimphu
21THIMPHU DRUBCHENTashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU
22WANGDUE TSHECHUTencholing Army Ground, WANGDUEPHODRANG
23GANGTEY TSHECHUGangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, WANGDUEPHODRANG
24TAMSHING PHALA CHHOEPATamshing Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG
25THIMPHU TSHECHUTashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU
27Jhomolhari Mountain FestivalJhomolhari
27THANGBI MANITangbi Lhakhang, Choekor, BUMTHANG
29JAKAR TSHECHUJakar Dzong, Choekhor, BUMTHANG
29Dechenphu TshechuDechenphu Lhakhang, Thimphu
30PEMAGATSHEL TSHECHUPemagatshel Dzong, PEMAGATSHEL
31JAMBAY LHAKHANG DRUPJambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG
32PRAKHAR DUCHHOEDPrakar Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG
33BLACK NECKED CRANE FESTIVALGangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, WANGDUEPHODRANG
34MONGAR TSHECHUMongar Dzong, MONGAR
35TRASHIGANG TSHECHUTrashigang Dzong, TRASHIGANG
36JAMBAY LAKHANG SINGYE CHAMJambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG
37NALAKHAR TSHECHUNgaa Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG
38DRUK WANGYEL TSHECHUDochula, Thimphu
39TRONGSA TSHECHUTrongsa Dzong, TRONGSA
40LHUENTSE TSHECHULhuentse Dzong, LHUENTSE
41NABJI LHAKHANG DRUPNabji Lhakhang, Nabji, TRONGSA

Weather

January-February-March = Spring
April-May-June = Summer
July-August-September = Autumn
October-November-December = Winter

Temperature chart for Bhutan

Average Temperatures In Celsius Degree (High/Low)
-ParoThimphuPunakhaWangdueTrongsaBumthangMongarTrashigang
Jan9.4/-5.812.3/-2.616.1/4.217.0/4.313.0/-0.210.8/-5.115.5/8.220.4/10.5
Feb13.4/1.514.4/0.619.6/5.319.0/7.813.9/0.410.0/-1.415.9/8.321.7/11.5
March14.5/0.616.4/3.921.2/9.222.8/10.416.7/4.416.2/3.520.0/11.624.8/14.4
April17.6/4.620.0/7.124.4/11.926.2/12.920.1/6.618.7/3.922.8/14.028.3/17.0
May23.5/10.622.5/13.127.2/14.829.1/17.721.0/11.621.3/9.525.1/17.430.0/20.6
June25.4/13.124.4/15.231.2/19.529.2/20.122.2/13.622.5/13.526.1/19.530.7/22.6
July26.8/14.918.9/13.432.0/21.618.4/16.225.3/15.314.1/10.916.1/15.831.5/23.1
Aug25.3/14.725.0/15.831.4/19.829.1/20.023.8/15.023.0/13.725.4/19.630.2/22.7
Sept23.4/11.723.1/15.029.9/20.027.5/19.122.6/14.221.6/12.124.7/19.430.0/23.9
Oct18.7/7.421.9/10.427.8/18.926.1/14.721.8/11.719.5/5.922.7/15.829.1/17.7
Nov13.9/1.417.9/5.022.3/13.022.6/9.619.8/6.416.1/-0.519.9/11.226.1/13.6
Dec11.2/-1.714.5/-1.115.0/7.919.1/6.318.2/2.512.3/-2.315.7/9.523.0/11.6

Flights information

About Druk Air

The Royal Bhutan Airlines (Druk Air), is the national carrier of the Royal Government of Bhutan, operating to seven cities in six countries. Since 2006, DrukAir operates two Airbus A319. Druk Air operates daily flights to Bangkok and regular flights to Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu, Dhaka, and most recently in 2009, Bogdogra and Gaya.

Druk Air's IATA Code is KB.
Weekly Druk Air Flight Schedule

2015 - Summer Schedules Effective from 15 Mar to 25 Oct, 2015
2015/16 - Singapore - Paro (Bhutan) - Singapore

Travel Tips when flying with Druk Air

Due to the geographical location and operating challenges out of Paro airport in Bhutan, flights are severely dependent on weather conditions. Schedule timings are subject to change without prior notice. Travelers are therefore, requested to check with Drukair offices or its agent for the latest information. Drukair reserves the rights without assigning any reason to cancel, reschedule, or overfly or delay the commencement or deviate from the route of the journey.

Therefore, all passengers are advised to maintain a minimum of 24 hours connection time and flexible tickets on connecting carriers to avoid misconnection.
Druk Air Corporation Ltd. Headquarter

Royal Bhutan Airlines, Nemeyzampa, Paro, Bhutan

FAQS

Bhutan is located in South Asia within the eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by China in the north and the Indian states Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam and West Bengal in the east, west and south.

Himalaya Holiday Service is a Government Licensed Tour Operator who organizes a wide range of tours, Cultural, Textile, Festival, Flora & Fauna, Bird watching, Religious, Photography, Hiking, Trekking, Honeymoon vacations and other adventures.

Yes, it is licensed by the Government of Nepal with the consultation of the Department of Tourism

Himalaya Holiday Service is a one of the most renowned and sophisticated ventures which offers you cultural tours, exciting trekking and luxurious travelling services.

The Government fixes the tourist tariff in Bhutan.
High season: Cultural/Trekking – US$ 250/- per day per person

Low Season: Cultural/ Trekking – US$ 200/- per day per person

Surcharge:
Single Individual: US$ 40/- Per night per person.
Group of Two: US$ 30/- Per night per person.

High / Peak Season Months: March, April, and May, September, October & November
Low / Off Season Months: June, July, and August, December, January & February

The booking process is all done by e-mail and by fax/phone.

Throughout the year, by e-mail: info@himalayasguide.com | himalayasguide@gmail.com

We offer 50% discount for children from ages 6 to 12 accompanied by parents/guardians
and 25% discount for students below 25 years of age with proper ID.

The tour package includes airport transfers, accommodation on a twin sharing basis, all meals, land transport within Bhutan, sightseeing tour guide and museum fees. Pack and riding pony if applicable.

The entire itinerary is not fixed. It depends on one’s interest, whether cultural, festivals /trekking or a combination.

All the tour payments must be made in advance. Payment should be deposited through the Himalayan Bank Nepal or Bhutan National Bank account , whose names and addresses will be provided by us after the confirmation of your trip.

Within 8 hours of your booking unless it is Saturday or a government holiday in Nepal, as they are closed on those days.

Druk Air is operating to Bhutan, Durk Air -national airline and fly from any of these destinations : Bangkok (Thailand), Delhi and Kolkota (India), Kathmandu (Nepal), Singapore and Bangladesh (Dhaka)

The tour programmes booked and subsequently cancelled are subjected to cancellation charges as follows:
Within ….. 21 days 10% of the rate
Within ..14 days 15% of the rate
Within ..7 days 30% of the rate
Less than 7 days 50% of the rate
After arrival in Bhutan 100%

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