Bhutan Travel Information

"Bhutanese embassies abroad cannot issue Visas to Bhutan."

Visa to Bhutan

The Bhutanese visa process may appear complicated but is actually quite straightforward once you understand the system. Most countries issue visas from their embassies abroad and stamp them in your passport, but not Bhutan. Bhutanese embassies abroad cannot issue Visas for visit to Bhutan. You must apply in advance through a tour operator such as Book Bhutan Tour and receive approval before you travel to Bhutan. once the full payment of your holiday (including a $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account then only visas are approved by the Immigration Department and Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) in Thimphu, which you allowed to enter Bhutan or board the Druk Air flight and Bhutan Airlines.

The actual visa is stamped on the passport upon arrival in the country, either at Paro airport or (if entering by road) at Phuentsholing. You just need to provide us details as per your passport that should include your name, permanent address, occupation, nationality, date, and place of birth, passport number, more than six months valid and its date and place of issue, and date of expiration. There is no need to send the pictures or sign the visa application at this time. Double-check that the information you send is correct; if there are any discrepancies when you arrive in Bhutan, there will be further delays and complications.

Except for visitors from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, all other visitors to Bhutan need a visa.

Indian, Bangladeshis, and Maldivian nationals can obtain a visa or entry permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6-month validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voter’s Identity Card (VIC)).

Swiss And Bhutan Official Can Travel Without Visa 90 Days

Bhutan and Switzerland look-alike with the scenery. Swiss and Bhutanese have long diplomacy tie in friendship and has assisted Bhutan in most of its development project. Bhutan and Swiss officials can travel without a visa, this means that Bhutanese and Swiss officials may travel liberally to each other’s country.

Diplomacy: Bhutanese and Swiss officials and diplomats will not require a visa to travel to either country after the governments signed a visa exemption agreement on Oct 8, 2014.

Switzerland is the first country outside the region to sign such an agreement with Bhutan. Until now, the visa is exempted for diplomatic and official passport holders from Bangladesh, Maldives, Thailand, and India.

Foreign Secretary Yeshey Dorji, who signed the agreement with the Swiss ambassador, said this was an exclusive arrangement given to Bhutan.

“The visa exemption will greatly facilitate official travel between the two countries and strengthen contacts and cooperation,” he said, adding that Switzerland is one of the oldest development partners that continue to support the country.

Foreign ministry officials said that Bhutanese, who need to attend urgent meetings in Switzerland, the hub of many international organizations, could now do so without any inconvenience.

Ambassador of Switzerland to Bhutan, Linus von Castelmur, said the visa requirement waiver for officials and diplomats is an expression of trust and solidarity between the two countries, and of the desire to further strengthen friendly relations.

Official and diplomats would be permitted to stay for a period of up to 90 days without a visa.

The agreement does not extend to business travelers and tourists. Swiss tourists would require a tourist visa and be subject to royalty as usual. Bhutan and Switzerland formally established diplomatic relations in 1985. Development cooperation started in the 1960s.

Bhutan Tour packages Tariff

The minimum daily tour price is fixed by the Royal Government of Bhutan.

Rates for groups (3 persons minimum):

minimum daily tour price

  • peak season USD 250 per person per night
  • off-season USD 200 per person per night

Rates for 2 persons:

minimum daily tour price
  • peak season USD 280 + 30 per person per night
  • off-season USD 230 + 30 per person per night

Rates for individuals:

minimum daily tour price
  • peak season USD 290 + 40 per person per night
  • off-season USD 240 + 40 per person per night

Surcharges:

For groups of less than three, the Royal Government of Bhutan imposes surcharges. In the figure above, surcharges are separated from minimum daily tour prices, Please visit the Tourism Department website: http://www.tourism.gov.bt/plan/minimum-daily-package

The minimum daily package covers the following services.

  • A minimum of 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
  • All meals
  • A licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay
  • All internal transport (excluding internal flights)

Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours also include:

  • All internal taxes and charges
  • A sustainable development fee of $65.

This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.
Please feel free to contact us: bookbhutatour@gmail.com

Sustainable Development Fee

A regional Leisure tourist shall be liable to pay concessional tourism levy of Nu: 1,200/ (one thousand two hundred only) per night halt as Sustainable Development Fee.

Regional Leisure Tourist means Nationals of.

  • India.
  • Bangladesh
  • Maldives.

However, it will not include those who come for business, construction work and employment as per existing rules.

This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.

This Act comes into force on the 11th Day of the 5th Month of the Iron Male Rat Year corresponding to the 1st July 2020.

Please feel free to contact us: bookbhutatour@gmail.com.

Bhutan Travel / Medical Insurance

The Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan has initiated a travel and medical plan solely for our visitors. Travel insurance can be provided through your Bhutanese tour operator or international partner. You may also visit the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan website at www.ricb.com.bt for more information.

Electricity of Bhutan

All major towns are well connected with electricity that runs on 220/240 volts with round hole two-pin and three-pin power outlets.

It is recommended that you bring flat-to-round pin converters for your electronics if necessary, however, most hotels offer multi-plug sockets. Bhutan is a carbon-neutral destination. Our energy is clean and green generated by hydropower.

Photography in Bhutan 

Bhutan offers immense opportunities for photography, especially during outdoor sightseeing trips.

However, you should check with your guide before taking pictures or filming inside Dzongs, temples, monasteries, and religious institutions as in some areas photograph/filming is not permitted.

You are free to capture images of the landscape, the panoramic views of the mountain ranges, rural life, flora and fauna, distinctive Bhutanese architecture, and the exterior of Dzongs and Chortens.

Clothes & Other Paraphernalia

With great altitudinal variations, the weather is quite mixed in Bhutan. So be prepared to face unforeseen weather conditions.

We expect visitors to dress modestly and respectfully especially if you are planning a visit to the monasteries, Dzongs, and other religious institutions. Long pants and long-sleeved tops should be worn when visiting such places. As a mark of respect, be kind enough to remove your hats, caps, etc. as you enter religious and administrative premises, institutions, and in any other place that you come across with the national flag being raised.

Precautions in Bhutan 

Bhutan is one of the safest countries in the world however you should still exercise caution when visiting. Please ensure that your belongings especially your passports, cameras, wallets, and purses are properly secured. Please refrain from leaving such items within sight or in locked vehicles while sightseeing.

Avoid drinking tap water that has not been boiled or ice cubes in drinks at all times as most water sources in Bhutan are untreated. One can easily acquire affordable treated and bottled water.

Also, Bhutan has a duty to protect its citizens from drugs and tobacco products. To do this we need your help and cooperation. Please co-operate if stopped and asked about your baggage. Please do not carry tobacco goods in excess of the set limit.

Average Temperatures in Bhutan.

It should be noted that average temperatures are recorded from valley floors. There can be considerable divergences from the recorded figures depending upon elevation.

Bhutan money

Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) It is at par with the Indian rupee which is widely accepted in the country.

In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.

Bhutan Banking

Financial institutions in Bhutan have been greatly enhanced and today we have a number of banks that cater to the needs of the people.

Some of the banks that you can avail of while in Bhutan are the Bank of Bhutan Limited, the Bhutan National Bank, the Druk PNB and the Tashi Bank. Traveller’s cheque can be easily withdrawn and exchanged for local currency. Many of these banks provide internet banking facilities.

Shopping in Bhutan 

Some popular handicraft items available for purchase are hand-woven textiles of raw silk or silk, carved masks of various animals, woven baskets of cane and bamboo, wooden bowls are known as Dapas, handmade paper products, or finely crafted goods of silver. Other items you may be interested in are the exquisite Buddhist thangkha paintings or Bhutan’s wide array of colorful and creative postage stamps. You can come across these items in the many handicraft shops in and around Thimphu and in other major towns. Please remember that buying and selling antiques is strictly forbidden in Bhutan.

Communications in Bhutan 

The country has a good network of telecommunication facilities. Most hotels and cafes offer Wi-Fi internet access. Bhutan has a comprehensive mobile (cell) phone network with global roaming also accessible.

Measures, Weight & Time 

Bhutan ascribes to the metric system and most weights are measured in gram (g) and kilogram (kg). The standard time is 6 hours ahead of GMT.

Health Inoculations

Before embarking on a trip to Bhutan, please seek advice from your doctor with regard to vaccinations and appropriate medication you should have prior to your travels. As a minimum you should have tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A inoculations.

Public Holidays in Bhutan 

Public holidays are observed throughout the nation. However, each Dzongkhag has its own list of regional holidays that are observed especially during the annual Tshechus (Religious festivals). For such a list, please contact your service provider or travel agent.

Gratuities

Tipping is a purely personal matter. We leave it up to you as to whether you want to give a gratuity to your guides and drivers. However, if doing so, we recommend that you place the gratuity in an envelope.

Weather and Climate of Bhutan

The climate in Bhutan is extremely varied. This variation in the climatic conditions and average temperature can be attributed to two main factors, the vast differences in altitude present in the country and the influence of the north Indian monsoons.

Southern Bhutan has a hot, humid subtropical climate that is fairly unchanging throughout the year. Temperatures can vary between 15-30 degrees Celsius. In the Central parts of the country, the climate cools a bit, changing to temperate and deciduous forests with warm summers and cool, dry winters. In the far Northern reaches of the kingdom, the weather is cold during winter. Mountain peaks are perpetually covered in snow and lower parts are still cool in summer owing to the high altitude terrain.

The Indian summer monsoon lasts from late-June through late-September and is mostly confined to the southern border region of Bhutan. It brings heavy rain and high humidity, to the southern region. These rains bring between 60 and 90 percent of the western region’s rainfall.

Annual precipitation ranges widely in various parts of the country. The northern border region to Tibet gets about forty millimeters of precipitation a year which is primarily snow. In the temperate central regions, a yearly average of around 1,000 millimeters is more common, and 7,800 millimeters per year has been registered at some locations in the humid, subtropical south, ensuring the thick tropical forest, or savanna.