Travel HandBook

How do you get to Bhutan?

Travel by Air. Drukair fly regularly to Paro, Bhutan's only international airport, from Bangkok, Dhaka, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Gaya, Kathmandu and Singapore. Bhutan Airlines operate a daily service between Bangkok and Paro via Kolkata.
Travel by Land. The town of Phuentsholing in south-west is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport at Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, you begin your journey to Thimphu, the capital city with travel time of about six hours for the 170 km stretch.


Where is Bhutan?

The legendary land of Bhutan was first settled in the ninth century by wandering migrants from the Tibet region of China. Called Druk Yul (Land of the Thunder Dragon) by its people, the strikingly beautiful Kingdom of Bhutan lies in the eastern Himalayas, sandwiched between China and India.

Visa Formalities

Everyone traveling to Bhutan requires to obtain a visa in advance, except for passport holders from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives. Passport holders from these three countries can obtain a free Entry Permit on arrival, upon producing their passport with a minimum six months validity. Indian nationals can also use their Voters Identity Card. For other passport holders, visas cost $40. The visas must be applied and paid for in advance, from registered tour operators (not embassies), at the same time as booking the rest of your trip. You should try and make your travel arrangements at least 90 days prior to travel to allow time for all the formalities to be completed.

The visas are processed through an online system by the tour operators, and are approved by the Tourism Council of Bhutan once full payment of the cost of the trip has been received. Tourists are issued with a visa clearance letter, to be presented at immigration upon arrival at the airport. The visa is then stamped in the passport.

Tour Costs

The minimum price of tours (called a "Minimum Daily Package") to Bhutan is set by the government, to control tourism and protect the environment, and can't be negotiated. The price includes all accommodations in 3 star hotels, meals, transportation, guides and porters, and cultural programs. Part of it also goes towards free education, free healthcare, and poverty alleviation in Bhutan. "Minimum Daily Package" prices vary according to the season and number of tourists in the group.

High Season: March, April, May, September, October, and November

  • $250 per person per day, for a group of three or more people.
  • $280 per person per day, for a group of two people.
  • $290 per day for single individuals.

Low Season: January, February, June, July, August, and December

  • $200 per person per day, for a group of three or
    more people.
  • $230 per person per day, for a group of two
    people.
  • $240 per day for single individuals.

Discounts Are Available For Children And Students.

The Bhutanese currency is called Ngultrum and its value is linked to the Indian Rupee. With the exception of 500 and 1,000 rupees notes, the Indian Rupee can be used as legal tender.

There is no charge levied should your arrival/departure be delayed due to weather conditions, Drukair/Bhutan Airlines delays or roadblocks causing a delay.

Occasionally Drukair/Bhutan Airlines is forced to totally cancel a service for operational reasons. In such an instance any additional costs must be borne by the traveller and claimed via their travel insurance.

The Drukair/Bhutan Airlines air flight component of your tour package will be totally non-refundable once tickets are issued. Your Bhutan land arrangements are subject to the cancellation fees below. Travel insurance must be purchased no later than the day you pay your deposit for your protection.

From deposit date until 60 days prior arrival in Bhutan Loss of deposit
60-45 days prior arrival in Bhutan 75% of land package costs
Less than 45 days prior arrival in Bhutan No refund permitted

It is mandatory that you hold a valid travel insurance policy BEFORE you enter Bhutan. There is no insurance cover provided in any packages/tariffs provided by either Bhutan & Beyond or our Bhutanese ground operator BTCL, and we will not be liable for any illness, injury or death sustained during any package or trek.

The Bhutanese authorities strictly monitor export of any religious antiquities of any kind form the kingdom. Personal electronic devices and reasonable amount of cigarettes and alcohol are permitted into the kingdom.
The following goods may be imported into Bhutan:
200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
1 litre bottle of spirits
250ml of eau de toilette

Bhutan is non-smoking country however visitors can smoke at private places only.

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