Where is Bhutan?
Bhutan is tucked away in the folds of the mighty Eastern Himalayas. It is land locked country surrounded by on three sides by Indian states – Arunachal Pradesh in the east, Assam and west Bengal in the south and Sikkim in the West. The Tibetan Autonomous region of China is in the North. The country lies between latitude 26 40” and 28 20” north and longitude 88 45” and 92 10” east.
Do I need to use a tour operator to book my travel?
It is a government regulation that you must use a 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 wising to enter Bhutan require a visa which must be pre-arranged through a license Bhutanese Tour Operator or one of their international partners. Visa clearance must be obtained through your tour operator prior to travel. For Indian Passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and persons from the Maldives may obtain a visa on entry.
How much does the visa cost?
International tourist visas a cost of USD $40 applies. This can be paid in advance to you tour operator or travel agent. For Indian passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and persons from the Maldives there is no cost incurred.
How do I get to Bhutan?
There are a number of airports where you can fly into Bhutan from (Thailand – Bangkok; Nepal – Kathmandu; Singapore and India – Delhi, Kolkata, Bodh Gaya Dacca, Guwahati). At present Drukair, the national airline is the only airline to operate flights in and out of the country. Also, there are three land border crossings 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 tour operator. We will make all the necessary arrangements.
What do the $200/$250 per day minimum daily package include?
The $200 per day (low season) and $250 per day (high season) package includes a minimum of 3 star accommodations, costs for food, an experienced guide and transportation (with driver) within the country. Also included in the price is a $65 per day royalty that goes towards free education, free healthcare and poverty alleviation. All of these services will be arranged by your tour operator.
What currency is used in Bhutan?
Bhutanese currency is known as the Ngultrum. Its value is tied to the Indian Rupee which is also accepted as legal tender. However Indian notes in 500 and 1000 denominations are 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 admitted into the country each year. In order to protect our culture, traditions and natural environment the government has adopted a strict policy of “High Value, Low Impact Tourism”. This policy is aimed at attracting discerning tourists that will respect the unique culture and values of the Bhutanese people while also providing the visitors with an unforgettable one of a kind experience.
What’s the food like in Bhutan?
The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chilies are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was 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. A wide selection of western and Indian food is also available in many of the restaurants around the country.
When is the best time to go?
Go anytime – you won’t be disappointed. However If you are prepared to travel outside of the peak season periods (APR-MAY and mid SEP-NOV) there are fewer tourist visitors & you will enjoy a more rewarding experience. We especially recommend June – July (summer) and December-March (Winter/Spring). If you are trekking you will need to generally travel in the peak season months for suitable conditions.
Can I travel totally independently in Bhutan?
It is not possible to gain an entry visa for Bhutan unless you pre-pay for a pre-arranged land package itinerary with a licensed and approved inbound operator and pay the appropriate nightly tariff. Bhutan prohibits independent backpacker style visitors to maintain its strict cultural and ecological values. However please be aware you can enjoy a degree of flexibility during each day to hike, visit markets & villages and interact with locals as you wish.
Is it possible to join an archery game and also visit the villages and farmhouses?
Yes, you can join in an archery game and also visit the villages and farmhouses.
I am a vegetarian, is this problem?
If you are vegetarian, there is no problem. Though there are very limited varieties of vegetables available, most of the hotels will serve you good vegetarian dishes.