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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Entry Points to Bhutan
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 undergo 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
The balance amount after all above deduction covers:
The Tse+chu is a festival in honour 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 Tantric 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.
We have an extensive choice of activities specially 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)
|1||TAKIN FESTIVAL||Damji, GASA|
|2||NOMAD FESTIVAL||Nagsephel, BUMTHANG|
|3||Bhutan International Marathon||(Annual Event organized by BOC)|
|4||PUNAKHA DRUBCHEN||Punakha Dzong, PUNAKHA||2-4th March 2020|
|5||PUNAKHA TSHECHU||Punakha Dzong, PUNAKHA||5-7th March 2020|
|6||Tharpaling THONGDROL||Tharpaling Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG||9th March 2020|
|7||CHHORTEN KORA||Chorten Kora, TRASHIYANGTSHE||8th April & 22nd April 2020|
|8||GOMPHUKORA||Gom Kora Lhakhang,TRASHIGANG||1st-3rd April 2020|
|9||TALO TSHECHU||Talo Gonpa,PUNAKHA||1st-3rd April|
|10||GASA TSHECHU||Gasa Dzong, GASA||1st-3rd April 2020|
|11||ZHEMGANG TSHECHU||Zhemgang Dzong, ZHEMGANG||1st-3rd April|
|12||PARO TSHECHU||Rinpung Dzong, PARO||4th - 8th April 2020|
|12||Chhukha Tshechu||Chhukha Dzong, Chhukha||24th-26th October 2020|
|13||RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL||Lamperi Botanical Garden, Dochula, THIMPHU|
|14||DOMKHAR TSHECHU||Domkhar, Chummi, BUMTHANG||3rd - 5th May 2020|
|15||URA YAKCHOE||Ura Lhakhang, BUMTHANG||4-8th May 2020|
|16||NIMALUNG TSHECHU||Nimalung Dratshang, Chummi, BUMTHANG||30th June- 1st July 2020|
|17||KURJEY TSHECHU||Kurjey Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG||30th June 2020|
|18||HAA SUMMER FESTIVAL||Town Festival Ground, HAA|
|18||Mushroom Festival||Genekha, Thimphu|
|19||MATSUTAKE MUSHROOM FESTIVAL||Ura, BUMTHANG|
|20||TOUR OF THE DRAGON (BICYCLE RACE)||Bumthang to Thimphu||5th September 2020|
|21||THIMPHU DRUBCHEN||Tashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU||22nd September 2020|
|22||WANGDUE TSHECHU||Tencholing Army Ground, WANGDUEPHODRANG||24th-26th September 2020|
|23||GANGTEY TSHECHU||Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, WANGDUEPHODRANG||28th September- 1st October 2020|
|24||TAMSHING PHALA CHHOEPA||Tamshing Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG||26th -28th September 2020|
|25||THIMPHU TSHECHU||Tashi Chhodzong, THIMPHU||26-28th September 2020|
|27||Jhomolhari Mountain Festival||Jhomolhari|
|27||THANGBI MANI||Tangbi Lhakhang, Choekor, BUMTHANG||29th September - 2nd October 2020|
|29||JAKAR TSHECHU||Jakar Dzong, Choekhor, BUMTHANG||23rd - 27th October 2020|
|29||Dechenphu Tshechu||Dechenphu Lhakhang, Thimphu||26th October 2020|
|30||PEMAGATSHEL TSHECHU||Pemagatshel Dzong, PEMAGATSHEL||21st- 24th November 2020|
|31||JAMBAY LHAKHANG DRUP||Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG||31st October- 3rd November 2020|
|32||PRAKHAR DUCHHOED||Prakar Lhakhang, Chummi, BUMTHANG||1st-3rd November 2020|
|33||BLACK NECKED CRANE FESTIVAL||Gangtey Gonpa, Phobjikha, WANGDUEPHODRANG||11th November 2020|
|34||MONGAR TSHECHU||Mongar Dzong, MONGAR||21-24th November 2020|
|35||TRASHIGANG TSHECHU||Trashigang Dzong, TRASHIGANG||22nd - 25th November 2020|
|36||JAMBAY LAKHANG SINGYE CHAM||Jambay Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG||30th November 2020|
|37||NALAKHAR TSHECHU||Ngaa Lhakhang, Choekhor, BUMTHANG||30th November- 2nd December 2020|
|38||DRUK WANGYEL TSHECHU||Dochula, Thimphu||13th December 2020|
|39||TRONGSA TSHECHU||Trongsa Dzong, TRONGSA||110th-13th December 2020|
|40||LHUENTSE TSHECHU||Lhuentse Dzong, LHUENTSE||21-14th December 2020|
|41||NABJI LHAKHANG DRUP||Nabji Lhakhang, Nabji, TRONGSA||29th-31st December 2020|
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)
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 mis-connection.
Druk Air Corporation Ltd. Headquarter
Royal Bhutan Airlines, Nemeyzampa, Paro, Bhutan
Bhutan is a small landlocked country in South Asia which resides in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by the autonomous region of Tibet to the north, and the Sikkim state of India along with the Chumbi valley of Tibet border it in the west. In the east, it is bordered by the Arunachal Pradesh of India whereas in the south, Assam and West Bengal states on India border it. It is South Asia’s least populated nation after Maldives.
Bhutan differentiates from the rest of the world in the sense that it is the only carbon negative country in the world. More than 60% of the country is forested so, whatever carbon the country emits, is absorbed by the forests. Another thing which makes Bhutan interesting is that its capital Thimphu is the only capital city in the world which does not have any traffic lights. Instead, policemen stand on the major intersections and control the traffic.
Bhutan is a country of many adventures. The activities that could be done here range from simple sightseeing to rafting and rock climbing to intense trekking. The budget needed to travel mostly depends on the activities that you are considering. Bhutan lies on the mid-range travel budget countries. However, Bhutan also has a compulsory spending amount of USD 250 per day. There also is a surcharge of USD 30/40 when traveling in a group of one or two. The price tends to be a bit on the lower side when you travel in off seasons. You can expect to see some discount privileges if you are traveling with a child or as a student.
There are numerous sites which are major tourist attractions in Bhutan including Thimpu, Paro, and Jigme Dorji National Park. Similarly, the most iconic place in Bhutan is the Tiger’s nest which resides in Paro. Another destination to keep an eye for is the Rinpung Dzong. If you fancy adventure, then we advise you to trek up to the Chele La Pass and Dochu La Pass among many other.
If you want to visit the Dzongs, then you can travel anytime during the year. If you wish to do trekking, then you need to travel from November to early March.
During your stay in Bhutan, refrain from wearing any sort of revealing dress and while visiting a temple, dress modestly. Do not invade the personal space of locals and don’t touch their head. While eating in a group, you should wait for everyone to be served before commencing to eat. Some of the common phrases include ‘Kuzungpo la’ for Hello, ‘Kadrin Cheyla’ for Thank you, and ‘Tashi Delek’ for Welcome. You should also be careful while taking photographs at holy sites like temples and monasteries.
Bhutan has a strict code of conduct that all the citizens must adhere to. Activities such as kidnapping, blackmailing, murder, rape, and homicide is greatly punishable by law. Furthermore, travelers are not allowed to bring in illegal materials with them and should refrain from doing any sort of activities that breach the public peace.
All international visitors need a VISA to travel to Bhutan. However, this rule is not applicable for citizens of India, Bangladesh, and Maldives. Unlike other countries, applying for a Bhutanese visa isn’t available online and there is no service of Visa on arrival. The sole method to get visa is through a travel agent that is registered with the Tourism Council of Bhutan and the Bhutan Foreign Ministry. The travel agent makes the application for Visa on your behalf. The visa needs to be applied for at least 30 days before your expected date of visit to Bhutan. The visa fee applicable for travelers is around 40 USD per person. More information regarding Bhutanese Visa can be referred to at the official website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs at: http://www.mfa.gov.bt/?page_id=220.
The standard voltage in Bhutan is 230V and the frequency is 50 Hz. If you are facing difficulty to use your laptops, then you can purchase a multi-plug at a nearby store or the hotel in which you are staying will provide you with it.
The most popular way to reach Bhutan is by air. There are only two airlines that reach Bhutan which are Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines. As of the overland way to enter Bhutan, you can do so via three crossings in India, namely, Phuntsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. The most popular one is the Jaigaon – Phuentsholing border.
You can bring only two cartons of cigarettes but 200% duty will be charged. You can bring two bottles of 1 liter of liquor duty free. Foreign currency can be imported but only to the extent of 10000 USD.
There is no hard and fast rule regarding the health standard that should be met before you arrive in Bhutan. But it is advised that you get yourself medically cleared if you are to visit Bhutan. Be sure to get the necessary vaccinations and inoculations and prepare necessary medical prescriptions for your Bhutan trips.
The dress code in Bhutan is formal. For men, a short with a collar along with long sleeves and long trousers are needed to enter a temple. For women, it is recommended that you do not wear revealing clothing. Remember to dress in layers as the temperatures see a lot of fluctuations. It is also necessary that the dress you wear does not contradict or harm the local culture and belief in any way.
During your stay in Bhutan, you can stay in good condition by eating a balanced diet. Do not eat food from the local street vendors and always carry a mineral water bottle along with you. You should also have a portable water purifier with you on your trips. If you are traveling for a longer time period, then you can choose to incorporate a light exercise schedule to stay in good health.
As there are no trains in Bhutan, the only option to explore Bhutan is by foot or by a bus or taxi. The bus and taxi services are easily available in the major cities but you may find it troubling to go to rural areas.
International driving license is not valid in Bhutan; however, the Indian driving license can be used by the Indian citizens.
The Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) is the state-owned television and radio service provider in Bhutan. The popular radio stations in Bhutan are Kuzoo FM, Radio Valley FM 99.9, and the Bhutan Broadcasting Service.
You can file a complaint at the Royal Bhutan Police as there is no availability of tourist police. You can go the police station and file a complaint or complain via email.
The mountainous terrain of Bhutan is home to some of the world’s best trekking trails. You can take the Chomolhari trek which lasts for 8 days and goes across the Bhonte La Pass. You can take the Druk path trek which starts from Paro and goes along the mountains on the northern parts of Thimpu. The Bumthang Owl Trek and Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek are other famous treks in Bhutan. If you want to indulge in a quick tour of Bhutan, then you choose to tour Thimpu and Paro. These cities are full of ancient cultural heritages along with the backdrop of mesmerizing natural scenery.
The Postal service in Bhutan is fast and more reliable than any other courier service available. You can choose either the country’s own national courier services or you can opt other courier service providers like DHL and FedEx. On an average, the letter from foreign countries can take at least a week to reach Bhutan.
Yes, you can carry your medications along with you during your tour of Bhutan. Before starting the tour, the travel agencies will ask you about your medical condition and depending upon the severity of your condition, the tour will be arranged. To prevent any sort of mishaps, we advise you to carry your medications but you must have an official prescription at all times. For more information regarding the medical and other items you can head to the official website of the Bhutan Airlines at: http://www.bhutanairlines.bt/travel-tools/baggage-and-cargo/restrictions.
During your stay in Bhutan, it is recommended that you treat the elder people with respect. Follow the proper dress code and respect the culture and traditions. Before you enter a temple, you need to remove your shoes. Check if taking photographs is allowed or not. Do not wear hats and sunglasses while entering any religious places. It is not considered appropriate to point your feet at someone else, and while pointing, use your palm rather than your finger.
If it is your first-time traveling Bhutan, then we recommend that you tag along with traveling agencies. It’s not that you can’t travel alone, but there is a trend that first timers face a lot of difficulties and are often cheated by cunning frauds. You might face problem in finding a place to stay and the language barrier will play a role as well. Once you’ve traveled with an agency, you can travel alone later and it will save some costs as well. So, we advise you to travel in the company of a travel agency rather than traveling alone.
Upon your arrival in the airport in Paro, you can exchange your money there. If you don’t want to exchange your currency there, you can visit the exchange counters inside the main city. You can also use Indian currency which is widely accepted in Bhutan. For information regarding currency exchange, head to the official website of Bank of Bhutan at: https://www.bob.bt/forex-all/.
There are ATM facilities in the major parts of the city but it is not available in the rural villages. While visiting these rural parts, we advise you to carry some spare change.
The most common way to enter Bhutan is by air. Most people fly to Paro, Bhutan from Kathmandu. There are only 2 airlines that go to Bhutan, which are the Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines but the tickets can be comparatively expensive. If you wish to enter Bhutan through India, then there are 3 border crossings. They are Darangamela – Samdrup Jongkhar border, Jaigaon – Phuentsholing border, and the Bongaigaon – Gelephu border. It is highly recommended that you choose the Jaigaon – Phuentsholing border.
If you want to learn about the weather conditions in Bhutan, then you can visit the country’s national meteorological site which is http://www.hydromet.gov.bt/ If you want to find the best flight cost, then you can choose to visit the country’s national airlines https://www.drukair.com.bt/
Unlike other countries, you won’t find any sort of private health clinics and physicians in Bhutan. Each of the district headquarter has a hospital and it will accept travelers in need. If you are hiking in the rural areas, then chances are that you won’t find proper medical facility there. The best facility is situated in the capital Thimpu and, if the medical case is extreme, you should choose to head to India or Thailand.
As Bhutanese cuisines tend to be very hot and spicy, you need to make sure to consume the food with caution. Avoid drinking from the taps and carry a mineral water bottle. It is also a great idea to carry portable water purifier during your travel in the country. Do not eat from street vendors as they can be a bit unhealthy. Be on the lookout for fresh fruits and vegetables though. You can also practice normal exercises and yoga on your daily schedule to remain physically fit.
Contingent events are those events which are not under the control of the traveler. In the context of traveling, these events occur in the form of travel injury, theft, robbery, and delay of flight. It is recommended that you carry somewhere between USD 2000 to USD 5000 which are dedicated solely for contingent purposes only.
Yes, there are some vaccines which are mandatory for travelers in order to enter Bhutan. The World Health Organization recommends that travelers take vaccination for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Shingles, and Pneumonia. A travel insurance is a must for all the travelers headed to Bhutan. While choosing an insurance company be sure to do adequate research and opt for the one that covers all the travel and medical expenses including trip cancellations and emergency evacuation.
Trekking and tour are the most popular tourist activities in Bhutan. However, there are number of travel options besides trekking and touring around the country. If you are keen in sports, then you should definitely try archery. It is Bhutan’s national sport and you can find archery fields in the villages. For those that fancy adventure, they can enter the Sakteng wildlife sanctuary or Jigme Dorji National Park and go on a search for the endangered snow leopard. If you want to know the real Bhutan, then you need to travel at the tenth day of any given Tibetan lunar month. The ‘Tshechu’ festival is a ceremonial dance that place in the Paro Dzongkhag. It is a sight to behold and will provide you lasting memories.
Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness is a condition that a human body develops if it does not adapt to the high altitude. The symptoms of altitude sickness generally start from the altitude of 2500 meters and worsen if the travelers does not take appropriate travel measures. When traveling around Bhutan, travelers will have no problem if they are sightseeing or touring. However, if they choose to trek, altitude sickness can cause a few issues.
The time zone in Bhutan in GMT+6 and the phone code of Bhutan in +975.