General Information

Druk Air, the National Air carrier is the only way to enter Bhutan via countries such as India (Delhi & Calcutta), Nepal: Kathmandu, Thailand (Bangkok), Bangladesh (Dhaka), and Singapore. Also, there is the Nepal Airline called Buddha airline to enter Bhutan.

To experience Bhutan (Exit or Entry) via land, tourists can enter from Bagdogra (state of West Bengal), India which is approximately 5 hours’ drive away from Phuntsholing Bhutan. From Phuentsholing, there is 176 km from the capital city, Thimphu. Samdrup Jongkhar which is 150kms from Guwahati, India is another entry route to Bhutan and it takes three days (700kms) to reach Thimphu.

Cancelation & Refund

Since full payment has to be made to confirm a trip to Bhutan, in the event that you need to cancel the booked trip, please be informed this shall subject to the following cancellation charges: Tour cancellation & Refund Policy:

  • There will be full refund made for the tour canceled 30 days prior to your notification.
  • There will be 20% penalty on total tour cost if canceled less than 30 days prior to arrival date since the company has to bear the cost of the cancellation of hotel rooms.
  • There will be charges of USD 75 for administration fee.
  • After arriving in Bhutan, if the booked tour needs to be canceled or shortened due to unforeseen reasons, there will be no refund made since we will already have paid for the hotels and other logistics.

Druk Air cancellation and refund policy:

  • There will be 100% refund for tickets cancellation if made more than 30 days from the date of travel.
  • There will be 50% refund for tickets cancellation if made between last 15 days to 30 days from the date of travel.
  • There will be no refund for miss connections or no-show at the airports.
  • For the change of every date, once the ticket is bought and issued an additional fee of USD 10 is charged.
  • USD 50 will be levied for every canceled ticket.

Note: If you cancel your tour after you have sent payment then we will process your refund in accordance with the above list of charges. To return funds to you from Bhutan we have to request permission from the Royal Monetary Authority to send foreign currency outside Bhutan. Once we have this we have to ask the Tourism Council of Bhutan to return the funds to you, as they are still holding them at that point since your tour has not yet run. This process of arranging the refund can take some time – at busy periods even 6 to 8 weeks.

Delayed Arrival/Departure

There shall be no charges for flight delays in arrival and departure of tourists due to weather conditions, problems with Druk Air, and roadblocks. However, actual expenses on accommodation, food, transport and other required services in the time of delay in departure will be charged.

Travel Insurance

The minimum daily package does not include any travel insurance. The tourists must have travel insurance to protect against accidents or mishaps, as Bhutan do not have such policies. The insurance policy must cover baggage and travel delays, medical assistance and transportation.

Agency Commission

10% of the gross tour payment commission is payable to the agents abroad after deducting all the discounts wherever applicable. Moreover, there will be no commission for agents abroad on a surcharge if the number of tourists is less than 3 persons.

Tipping

Tipping is a purely personal matter. Whether you want to give tips to your guides and drivers, it’s up to you. The bottom line in determining whether or how much to tip is to ask yourself how much our team members did to make your Bhutan travel experience more enjoyable.

Trekking

The high altitude and the stunning nature of evergreen forests is a sight to be seen. The forests let the trekkers witness diverse species of flora and fauna. The trekkers are given the chance to see the rich culture and life of the rural people by entering villages, visiting temples and interacting with the people. All in all Bhutan, for trekkers, provides stimulating and gratifying experiences.

To make the trek worthwhile, excellent guides, cooks, porters and pony handlers are there to assist you. The horseman and cook will lead the group and they usually move ahead so to set up camp, prepare hot meals and welcome you. On your arrival at camp, you will be offered hot tea and delicious dinner will be prepared, that will definitely rejuvenate you after a long day walk. Most of the trekking supplies like camping gears, kitchen equipment, and food supply will be carried by horses or yaks depending on the region.

While on the trek you don’t have to worry; you just need to enjoy the walk by taking in the incredible scenery and enjoying with the people you meet on your journey. We are also ready to customize treks to suit each individual of different groups and needs.

In Bhutan, the summers are warm with daily temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, while winters are cold with daily temperatures often falling below 15 degrees Celsius. If you’re visiting Bhutan during winter, be sure to pack a few sets of warm clothes and comfortable shoes.

Tariff Information

Tourism Council of Bhutan has set the tourist tariff which is valid for all-inclusive packages.The minimum daily package for tourists traveling in a group of 3 persons or more is as follows:

-USD 200 per person per night during off-peak for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.

-USD 250 per person per night during peak seasons for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.

These minimum daily tariffs are inclusive as follows:

  • Government’s royalty and taxes of USD 65
  • 3 stars hotels (upgrade to 4 & 5 stars at additional costs)
  • Internal transportation (all tour and transfers throughout your journey)
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) at local restaurants/ standard hotels/ on treks
  • Free mineral water throughout your trip
  • Camping equipment and assistants for treks
  • Licensed English speaking tour guide services
  • Entrance fees to museums, monuments, and cultural sites
  • All sightseeing within Bhutan

Surcharge

For single individual tourist – USD 40 per night

Group of 2 persons– USD 30 per person per night

No surcharges for 3 or more tourists

Payment Procedure

Entire tour payment must be settled at least 6 weeks prior to the date of arrival in Bhutan and VISA is cleared by government subject to advance payment only. It is advisable to remit payment for Druk Air Flights 3 months in advance or at the time of booking. This will help us to obtain confirmed seats on the requested flights.

Payments must be sent by wire transfer. Unfortunately, there is no credit card facility in Bhutan for tour payments. We will provide full information on remittance of your payment when you are ready to make the payment. If you are unfamiliar with the wire transfers, please visit your bank in person with the transfer details and they will be able to assist in making the payment. Our services are confirmed subject to advance payment only.

Discounts

  • There shall be no charge for Children up to the age of 5 years.
  • A 50% discount on daily rates for children ages from 6-12 years accompanied by their parents or guardians.
  • A 25% discount on daily rates for Diplomats.
  • A 50% discount on daily rates for one person in a group of 11-15.
  • A 100% discount on daily rates for one member in a group exceeding 16 persons.

Visa Information

  • Indians, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can enter Bhutan by obtaining a visa at the port of entry with minimum 6 months valid passport. Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC). Other than the visitors from the aforementioned countries, all visitors must obtain visa clearance prior to traveling into Bhutan. We will process your visa through online or through a foreign travel agent.
  • To apply for a visa, vividly scanned passport copy must be emailed or faxed to us 4 weeks prior to the date of arrival in Bhutan. After we receive the documents with full tour payment (including visa application fee of USD40) which can be wire transferred. It will be sent to the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) bank account and TCB will process the visa which takes 72 working hours. Once visa clearance is ready we will email you a copy as a reference.
  • Then you are required to show your visa clearance letter at the port of entry. And we will handle you thereafter.

Customs and Immigration

When entering customs and immigration visitors are exempted from duty as per following articles:

  • Personal effects and articles for day to day use by the visitor
  • 2 liters of alcohol, 400 cigarettes, 150gms of pipe tobacco
  • Instruments, apparatus or appliances for professional use
  • Photographic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods for personal use.

Accessibility

Druk Air, the National Air carrier is the only way to enter Bhutan via countries such as India (Delhi & Calcutta), Nepal: Kathmandu, Thailand (Bangkok), Bangladesh (Dhaka), and Singapore. Also, there is the Nepal Airline called Buddha airline to enter Bhutan.

To experience Bhutan (Exit or Entry) via land, tourists can enter from Bagdogra (state of West Bengal), India which is approximately 5 hours’ drive away from Phuntsholing Bhutan. From Phuentsholing, there is 176 km from the capital city, Thimphu. Samdrup Jongkhar which is 150kms from Guwahati, India is another entry route to Bhutan and it takes three days (700kms) to reach Thimphu.

Health information

No vaccination is currently needed while entering Bhutan but if the visitors come from an infected country then they need to get the vaccination. For example, if a visitor comes from an area infected with yellow fever, the visitor needs to get yellow fever vaccination. If the visitors intend to travel to the rural areas in the district areas of border India, then we recommend anti-malarial medication. As the tours in Bhutan have long drives and winding roads it is common to get motion sickness as well as high altitude sickness so it is recommended to carry appropriately prescribed medications.

Standard accommodation

There are various tourist standard hotels veering from 3 to 5 stars hotels, farmhouses (in few particular places) homestays and resorts. For 4 or 5 star hotels the tourists have to bear the additional cost.

Food and Drink

  • The most popular food in the country is red rice and Ema Datsi (Chili mixed with plenty cheese). It is a spicy food and a cup of Suja (butter tea) compliments the dish. Set meals of continental, Indian, Chinese and Bhutanese dishes will be provided by most hotels in buffet-style. In Bhutan the water is so fresh that people directly drink water from the tap, however, we recommend visitors to drink only bottled or filtered/boiled water.During the tour the following food will be provided:

    Breakfast: canned fruit juice both locally and imported with different choices, cereals/porridge/cornflakes, fresh fruits, sausages/bacon, toast, butter and jam, eggs, tea/coffee

    Lunch: Rice/porridge, vegetarian and non-veg, dessert, and tea/coffee

    Dinner: Soup, soup, salad, rice, noodles, vegetarian and non-veg, dessert, tea/coffee

    Evening Tea: Tea/coffee, cookies/biscuits/sandwich/pastries

    For those visitors who use tobacco, we remind you that Bhutan is the only country in the world to ban the import and sale of all tobacco products. However, you are allowed to bring cigarettes for personal consumption by baring 100% import duty. And also, smoking is banned in all public places including restaurants and bars.

Clothing and Accessories

We recommend all visitors to bring warm and layered clothing except for summer season (June to July). The temperature falls zero in the winter season (December to Mid-March) where extra warm clothing is heavily recommended.Appropriate clothing should be worn while visiting temples and other religious places, as long as you are equipped with a collared shirt (either full or half-sleeve) that can cover your shoulder, full-length pants/skirts and shoes with socks.

Other necessary items you should bring along for the trip are a pair of sunglasses, sunscreen lotion, hat, umbrella, camera, spare camera batteries, flashlight (with spare batteries), travel or motion sickness tablets, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream, anti-diarrhea pills, altitude sickness medication and insect repellent.

For trekking:

It’s always important to ensure that you’re well-prepared for following packing list guide before you head off on your trekking expedition in Bhutan.

-Footwear, trekking shoes with socks (camp shoes or thongs), clothing (insulated pants (nylon windproof pants, Nylon windbreaker, long underwear, woolen hat, gloves, long gaiters), down or fiber-filled jacket (jumper or piled or waterproof jackets), hiking shorts, umbrella, hiking pants, T-shirts or blouses, underwear, and sun hat.

Other equipment:

-Rucksack, sleeping bag, water bottle, Torch, batteries and bulbs, and photography equipment.

Miscellaneous:

-Toilet articles, cigarette lighter, small knife, sun block, sun block for lips, sunglasses, towel, laundry soap, medical and first aid kit, sewing kit, and walking sticks.

Shopping

The currency of Bhutan is Ngultrum (BTN) which is equivalent to Indian Rupee (INR). We advise all tourists to carry their money in traveler cheques/cash that can be exchanged in currencies including the US dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, Rupee, Thai Bath, Pound Sterling, Swiss France, Hong Kong Dollar, Australian dollar, Singapore dollar, Danish Kroner, Norwegian Kroner, Swedish Kroner, and Canadian dollar.

Though there are some places which accept American Express credit cards and visa, credit cards cannot be accepted in most of the hotels and shops for transactions except high standard hotels and selected Handicrafts. Moreover, the ATMs present in the country can operate only with the local banks, therefore, we strongly advise to carry traveler’s cheques and cash.

Bhutan is one of the best countries to shop for unique and traditional goods like the exquisite hand-made Kiras and Waist Bands, Thangkhas, Handwoven Bags, Yak-Bone Jewellery, etc. Moreover, you can buy small souvenirs which represent a symbol of Bhutan. We would recommend Thimphu and Bumthang to buy these as souvenirs. Take it with you and cherish the memories of Bhutan.

Photography

Bhutan will offer you breathtaking sceneries to be captured like the panoramic views of the mountain ranges, flora and fauna, buildings and people. We understand that taking a photo while traveling is one way to make and cherish memories but we advise you to seek permission or check with your assigned guide when it comes to taking photos or filming local people, inside the Dzongs, temples, monasteries and religious institutions.