Frequently Asked Questions About Bhutan
What is the best time to visit Bhutan?
Bhutan has so many things to see and do in any season you visit and they come as per their own interest. However we consider March, April and May as peak season with most beautiful scenery of spring and September, October and November are the season of festivals. So there is always something for all parts of the year..
Do I need a Visa for Bhutan? How can I obtain a Visa for Bhutan?
All visitors traveling to Bhutan are required to obtain a Visa prior to your arrival to Bhutan, except for Indian nationals holding a valid Indian passport. After your confirmation to visit Bhutan with us, you can just send us the scanned copy of your passport copy with validity of six month prior to your visit. We will have to process your visa through Tourism Council of Bhutan and Immigration.
What Documents will I require at the Airport when I come to Bhutan?
You will need to carry your Passport which has 6 months validity for its expiry date, e-ticket, whether you booked it through us or the Druk air’s website and your Visa confirmation letter which we will send you prior to your arrival in the country. And please to carry a copy of your tour itinerary as well.
How do I enter Bhutan? From where do I enter?
You can enter Bhutan by Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines, the national airline from the following entry points; Bangkok, Kathmandu, New Delhi, India, Calcutta, Dhaka, Bagdogra, Singapore You can also enter Bhutan by road through Phuntsholing, Gelephu and SamdrupJongkhar in southern Bhutan.
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 much does it cost to visit Bhutan?
The tourism system in Bhutan is unique. All visitors will have to arrange their travel plan ahead of time through a tour operator. We the Bhutanese tour operators work closely with the visitors on preferred itineraries. Thus packages are all-inclusive – royalty, food and selective beverage, licensed guide, all trekking needs, a minimum of three star accommodation categories, local ground transportation, and other charges. For the above all-inclusive tour package, visitors will have to pay a minimum daily traffic per person per night as follows:
=> USD 250 for March, April, May, September, October and November => USD 200 for January, February June, July, August and December
What does 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.
How do I book the package tour to Bhutan?
If the tour itinerary given in the website suits you, you can book online, or contact us directly. If in case you want to customize your trip, then send your request through this link “Customize Tour” we can develop an itinerary together that really suit your utmost interests and travel dates. Also to help you in customizing the trip, decide the duration that you wish to spend in Bhutan. The duration of stay in Bhutan will determine your package costs.
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.
How should we make our payments?
All payments must be made in advance and settled one month prior to arrival in Bhutan. Visa clearance is obtained only after payment is made. Upon confirmation of your tour, we will inform you of our bank details so that you can transfer the payment.
What kind of transport vehicles are used for the trips?
We use 4WD imported cars such as Tucson, Santafee and Prado for a group 1-2 persons, Hiace bus for a group of 3- 7 persons and Deluxe Coaster bus for group 8 – 20 persons. All these vehicles are periodically checked and maintained for road worthiness by Royal Surface Transport Authority (RSTA), and will be at your disposal at all times with the drivers.
How far in advance do I have to sign up for the tours?
If you can book your tour as early as possible, it will give us more time to plan your travel. However, given our company’s purchasing power and experience, we can also hand last minute bookings without hassle. It is however advised to book your travel 6-8 weeks in advance if it is coinciding with popular festivals like Thimphu and ParoTsechu. Given that we only have one airline, tickets are notoriously overbooked during that period.
What will be the food like?
You will have a variety of cuisines to choose from- Bhutanese, Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, and Thai to Continental. The main staple diet of Bhutanese is rice which is savored with the most favorite dish made out of chilies and cheese called “emadatshi”. Meat is widely eaten in Bhutan as are the vegetables. Our partner hotels and restaurants are always aware of your eating habits and serve according to your palate. Even if you want to try Bhutanese, we do not make it as spicy as we are used to.
What is the language of Bhutan?
The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha, though there are many other dialects that each region in the country has maintained. Since English is an official language, it is easy to communicate with most Bhutanese people.
Are there any embassies in Bhutan?
We only have an Indian embassy in the country. There are consulate offices of the Netherlands, Kuwait, and Canada. The closest international embassies are in Delhi, India, Kathmandu, Nepal and Bangkok, Thailand.
Can I use credit cards in Bhutan?
You can use your Mastercard and Visa cards to withdraw Ngultrums from local banks. Some handicrafts shops also accept these international credit cards. However, you cannot pay the Visa fee of USD 40 at the Immigration Counter while entering Bhutan. You have to carry at least USD 40 with you while you enter Bhutan!!
Are there ATM’s in Bhutan?
There are ATM machines in Thimphu and Paro where you can use your credit cards.
Do we need to cover travel insurance?
Yes, we advise you to get your insurance cover from your respective country.
Is my advance payment safe and secure?
Your payment goes directly to Government account at the Bhutan National Bank with Bhutan Travel Beyond Paradise as the ultimate beneficiary. After the verification of the client’s payment slip with the Bhutan National Beyond Paradise, the Bhutan National Bank will then transfer the money directly to the officail account of Tourism Council of Bhutan. The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) will release money to Bhutan Travel Beyond Paradise only after the completion of your tour in Bhutan. In that way your payment is held safe and secure with the government account.
What kind of hotels do you use?
We use the best available hotels in each tourist destination, which are approved by the Royal Government of Bhutan (TCB) for the tourist. 5 Star and 4 Star (Luxury and Deluxe) hotels are also available in Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Phobjikha, Wangdue and Bumthang but you need to pay extra apart from package tariff. The cost of luxury hotels ranges from US$ 400 to 1500 per night, depending upon your choice and preference.
What kind of tour guide do you use for the trip?
We use knowledgeable, experienced and English speaking guides. French, German and Japanese speaking guides can also be arranged for a group of three or more persons upon the additional fees.
How do I book the Druk-Air, the Royal Bhutan Airlines and Tashi Air, Bhutan Airlines Tickets? And how will I receive the flight tickets?
We will book your Druk-Air and Tashi Air Tickets and there is no commission fee for availing this service. We will buy and send your air ticket via email prior to your schedule date well on time.
Is their internet available?
Most of the standard tourist class hotels now have WiFi….plus have a business centre where you can use the hotel PCs . Generally speaking WiFi is free for at least a few hours use. All of the luxury resorts & lodges offer a wireless internet facility however not necessarily in guest rooms.
Some more remote valleys, like Phobjikha, have intermittant pwer and internet supply so please factor in for some inconsistency as you travel.
Purchasing a local SIM card for your smart phone or iPad will give you wifi most of the way through the Kingdom for those who need more conductivity.