Bhutan is no ordinary place like other. It is relatively unexplored and untouched destination. Only a few fortunate tourists visit the stunning country Bhutan, having amazing remarkable culture, mountainous landscape, ancient monasteries, incredible fortress like Dzongs, colorful religious dance festivals, outrageous archery competitions, specular trekking trails, stunning flora and fauna. When you are in Bhutan, you imagine yourself catapulted hundreds of years back. Bhutan has limited number of travelers in order to preserve its culture.
Kingdom of Bhutan is known as the last Shangri-La on earth, one of the unique countries in the world. Bhutan has been hidden from the outside world for centuries and it has only been open to the outside world just 3 decades ago, therefore it has so many unique facts, which is unknown to the outside world.
It is a journey of your life time, an experience that you will never forget, a vacation that you will cherish forever, a memory that will never fade away. Explore the Living Museum and untouched natural beauty of the hidden Himalayan Kingdom.
There is not much information about Bhutan on internet. Bhutan remained largely isolated from the rest of the world up until the early 1960’s. Entering the country was difficult as it was only accessible by foot. With the immense support from the Indian Government and carefully planned economic development has made the country much more convenient to travel.
There are the few important things that you have to know before visiting Bhutan. All tourists, excluding Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals who wish to travel to Bhutan require a visa and must book their holiday through a government approved Bhutanese tour operator. Visas are only issued to tourists who booked tour packages. The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum daily price of US $250 (US $200 off season) for packages to Bhutan and this must be paid prior to arrival in Bhutan. It can’t be negotiated and if a tour operator offers a tour at a reduced daily rate (undercut), the Bhutan government will not approve the tourist visa. The Bhutan government grants a tourist visa after it receives the full tour payment from the tourist. Indians, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals they are exempt from minimum daily package rates. The minimum price includes 3 star Accommodation, all Meals, licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide, all internal Transport and taxes.
All tourists, excluding Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals
Tariff: US $250 (Per Person per Night)
Sur-charge: US $30 (Per Person per Night if the Group Heads less than 04)
Visa: US $40 (For Entire Trip)
The minimum tariff for tourist visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:
High Season Tariff: US $250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October and November.
Low Season Tariff: US $200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August and December.
The minimum price includes the followings:
• All internal taxes and charges (including the royalty)
• 3 Star Accommodation
• All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
• All travel with a licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide
• All Internal Transport
The rates given above are applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan. On the day of departure, the local agents host obligation shall be limited to breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on actual basis.
Individual tourists and smaller groups of less than four persons surcharge applicable as follows:
a) Single individual US $40 per night
b) Group of 2 persons US $30 per person per night
Visa Requirement for Bhutan:
With the exception of nationals from India, Bangladesh and Maldives; all visitors to Bhutan are required to obtain visa approval prior to arrival in Bhutan, which will be processed by any Govt. authorised tour operator. You can’t personally apply for tourist Visa yourself. However, the travellers should produce a valid passport with a minimum of 6 month validity. All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior to travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed through an online system by the Bhutanese authorized tour operator in Bhutan on behalf of you. You are required to send the copy of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours. At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.
How to get or apply Tourist Visa to Bhutan
1. Book a Bhutan tour package with a licensed travel agency.
2. Confirm air-ticket.
3. Passport with at least 6 months validity months from the date of exit from Bhutan.
4. Clear readable colour copy of passport (page containing passport no and face picture in JPEG or PDF format) at least 20 days prior to date of entry into Bhutan.
5. Provide the information required as listed below:
A. Full name as per passport
C. Mailing address
D. Contact No. (mobile preferred)
E. Submit a scanned copy of your passport.
Tourism Council of Bhutan issues visa clearance letter closer to travelling date which we email or fax you or your local travel agent. Travellers are required to produce aforesaid visa clearance copy at the time of entering into Bhutan, they are required to produce this Visa Clearance letter at the Immigration counter. Actual visa is stamped at passport on arrival in Bhutan.
Visa only service is not offered in Bhutan, guests have to buy full service tour package from local tour operator that includes accommodation, guided tours, transfers etc. Visa fee of US$40 is not included in the tour package cost.
All Indian Tourists
Tariff: Normal as suggested by Bhutan Govt. authorized tour operator.
Document Required: Only Valid Voter ID card for Adult & Birth Certificate for Child.
Sur-charge: Do not require.
VISA: Do not Required.
02 Copies Passport Color Photo (Each Traveler)
(IT IS ADVICED TO EVERY TRAVELER TO BOOK YOUR TOUR FROM BHUTAN GOVT. AUTHORISHED TRAVEL AGENCY)
Bhutan Permit for Indian:
Citizens of India are lucky that they need not pay the daily tourist tariff of US $250/night and moreover they can enjoy the luxury of travelling on their own, rather than through an expensive travel agent. But, the immigration rules are different from other countries. Remember this is only for Indians.
Entry Into Bhutan:
India has three entry points into Bhutan through road one each at Phuentsholing, Gelephu (maybe used only for exit) and Samdrup Jongkhar. The best option is to use the primary route that is through Phuentsholing. Phuentsholing shares neighborhood with the town of Jaigaon on the Indian side. You could just cross the border on foot from Jaigaon through an official entry point.You do not need any permits to enter the Phuentsholing.
Extending your permit and getting special entry permits:
If you want to extend your permit or get special entry permit to the other districts of Bhutan, you need to apply for such permits at the Immigration Office in Thimphu. If you want to get special permits for entering the other districts of Bhutan, you need to write your whole itinerary on a paper and submit it along with the respective form and photocopy of your earlier permit.
All Indian nationals visiting Bhutan does not require visa to enter Bhutan. However, they MUST produce any of the following identity documents:
A. A Valid Indian Passport
B. Election ID card or Voter ID
C. For children below the age of 12 years, following documents are required.
(i) Original Birth Certificate in English
(ii) If the birth certificate is in local language or Hindi, it has to be translated into English and notarized by a magistrate.
N.B. An Indian citizen must be in possession of a valid passport when entering from a place other than India and when exiting from Bhutan to a place other than India.
Paro is usually the entry and exit point to Bhutan and flights operate from Delhi, Bangkok, Kolkata, Bagdora, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai. Bhutan can also be reached overland from India, but it is a long drive from the border to the main places of interest.
TRAVEL BY ROAD:
Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists.
TRAVEL BY RAIL:
Though Bhutan does not have any railway link but it is connected by the Indian Railway to the nearest border city of Hasimara, New Jalpaiguri (Siliguri), Alipurduar and Guwahati.
TRAVEL BY AIR:
There are flights to Paro that include Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdora, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai. Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines are the two airlines that operate in Bhutan.
BEST TIME TO VISIT IN BHUTAN:
Bhutan is beautiful any time throughout the year, but avoid July, August as it is monsoon season. The best time to visit Bhutan is from September to November and March to May when the climate is pleasant.
Always Book your tour package with Bhutan Govt. Authorized Travel Agency. Book the Air ticket first, because in Bhutan the Flights are very limited & the tourist flow is much higher. Book your Tour at least 3 months before to get the best hotels & service (In Bhutan everything is limited Resources).