How to get into Bhutan

Get in into Bhutan through your personal travel partner Bhutan Rovers

There are two ways by which you can travel to Bhutan: Either by Drukair or overland through Phuentsholing, a small town in south Bhutan bordering Indian state of West Bengal. Drukair, the only national airline of Bhutan services to and from Bangkok, Delhi, Kathmandu, Kolkotta, Dhaka and Singapore. Quite recently, another locally owned airline, Tashi Air has been added to the Bhutanese sky.

It operates to and from Bangkok, Kolkotta, Kathmandu and Delhi. Overland entry from Phuentsholing is more convenient if you wish to tour Sikkim and Darjeeling before your tour in Bhutan. While you can exit from Samdrup Jongkhar, a town in south east of Bhutan bordering Assam. This exit is more convenient if you wish to tour Assam after Bhutan without tracing back the same lateral route back to Paro for your flight to other destinations.

Travel Tips

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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 Traveller’s cheque can be easily withdrawn and exchanged for local currency.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.
ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard. For concerned travelers a list of ATM locations throughout Bhutan is found on Bank of Bhutan and Bhutan National Bank. In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.

Precautions

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 in locked vehicles while sightseeing.
Avoid drinking tap water which 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.
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.

Travelling Kits

Bhutan experiences great variations in its climate. In general summers are warm with average daily temperature ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, while winter temperatures are usually below 15 degrees Celsius. The northern regions of the country are colder than the more tropical south and it is recommended you pack accordingly. Trekkers will need to bring appropriate warm clothes and comfortable hiking boots (well broken in) preferably with ankle support and weather-proof to complement the weather and rugged terrain.

  •  Hat
  •  Camera
  •  Umbrella
  •  Sunscreen lotion
  •  A pair of sunglasses
  •   Spare camera batteries
  • Flash light (with spare batteries)
  • Travel sickness tablets
  • Antiseptic cream
  •  Anti-histamine cream
  •  Anti-diarrhoea pills
  •  Insect repellent
  •  Altitude sickness medication it trekking above 3000m

When to visit Bhutan

Spring is clear early in the morning till around 10 -11 am when the first clouds begin to build up accompanied by strong wind. The sun can be very hot. The weather can be unpredictable with clear skies and sun in the morning and storm,rain,hail/thunderstorms in the afternoon.Temperature varies from 27 degree Celsius to 23 degree Celsius and can drop to 18 degree Celsius at night.

Gom Kora Festival(Eastern Bhutan):

Many of Bhutanese travel to eastern Bhutan to celebrate with rituals and to circumambulate the sacred stupa. The festival takes place in the second lunar month so it might fall in April.

Paro Tsechu:

Paro Tsechu features four days of cham (ritual religious dance) and the unfurling of a giant Thangka depicting the eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche.

Trekking:

Warm weather and rhododendron blooms at higher altitudes make this time of the year ideal for Druk Path trekking & Jomolhari Trekking but there are chances of rain so bring rain gear with you.

Temperature is cooler than in spring (23 degree Celsius to 24 degree Celsius by day and 15 degree Celsius to 16 degree Celsius by night). The weather is warm with rain during the day.If you want to escape the crowds, capture some great deals, see the country at its most lush green.

There is some rain but not as heavy as in summer. This is the time of the year when you will get literally clear views, pleasant temperatures & largest festivals take place.

Nimalung Tsechu Nimalung Goemba: 

Nimalung Tsechu Nimalung  Goemba in Bumthang holds a three-day festival starting on the 8th day of the fifth lunar month

Kurjey Tsechu :

This date marks the birthday of Guru Rinpoche whereby prayer ceremonies are held across Bhutan. Monks from Trongsa Monastery also perform religious dances for this festival held in Bumthang.

There is some rain but not as heavy as in summer. This is the time of the year when you will get literally clear views, pleasant temperatures & largest festivals take place.

Thimphu Tsechu:  

This three-day festival celebrates the defeat of the Tibetans in the 17th century and features four days of mask dancing in the Tashi chhoe Dzong.

More festivals like Wangdue Tsechu, Black-Necked Crane festival,Jampey Lhakhang Drup & Tamshing Phala Goenpa Festival are also happening in this time of year

Trekking :

October is best time for trekking in Bhutan. It may be cold at higher elevations but you can get clear a view of snow-capped mountain passes such Laya-Gasa Trek.

The climate is very harsh with heavy snowfalls in winter. It is more or less cloudless and you can get good views of snow on the mountain passes.

How To Book Tour

  • Before you plan to travel to Bhutan, know the best season and your time of arrival with a festival.
  • You can contact us with your travel plan. We offer inbound tours of cultures, festivals, trekkings and your personal interest tours.
  • You can design your sample itinerary in combination of culture, festival and trekking tours and your personal interest.
  • We will discuss with you on your itinerary or we can tailor for you depending on your special interest. If one of our sample itineraries is of your, express your interest to us.
  • Confirm us your itinerary, travel dates and long-hual flights to the gateway cities to Bhutan by completing the tour booking form .
  • Send us your scanned copy of passport along with filled tour booking form. View Our Sample
  • Bhutan Rovers will send you’re a confirmation of price with Bank details for the payment of your trip.
  • Send us your full tour payment. We will process visa for you. Please note that Visa is issued subjected to receipt of full trip payment only.
  • We send the confirmation of your itinerary, Drukair or Tashi air tickets, visa authorization, rooms and name of your English speaking guide.
  • Before you make inbound flights to Bhutan, visit our website for general information on Bhutan Rovers.
  • Bhutan Rovers look forward to seeing in Bhutan
Arranging your travel to Bhutan is not difficult as you assume.

Visa & Documents

Bhutan visas should be arranged through any of the tour operators in Bhutan

Arranging your travel to Bhutan is not difficult as you assume. Once you get in touch with any of the local tour operators such as Bhutan Outlander Travel, you will be advised to produce documents necessary to process your visas and your travel can be arranged within few days including your visas, Drukair flights, hotels, guides, transport and other logistics.

Bhutan visas should be arranged through any of the tour operators in Bhutan (all the tour operators in Bhutan are registered by the government of Bhutan). No foreign missions or embassies abroad sanction tourists’ visas.

As per the government regulations, you are required to make full tour payment in advance and upon receipt of full payment, we will process visas with the government. It normally takes 2-3 working days to clear your visas.

To process visa we need your following documents.

  • Scanned Passport Copy in JPEG or PDF and sent via email. Your photo must be clear. View Our Sample
  • Your passport should be valid for at least 6 month after your planned date of departure from Bhutan.

Visa applications are cleared in advance, and a visa clearance doc will be forwarded to you. The visa clearance doc is required for check-in/boarding the flight to Bhutan and on arrival at the Paro International Airport. On arrival at the Paro International Airport, the Actual visa is stamped on your passport. Passport size photo is NOT required for Immigration at Paro Airport.

Arrival by Land

Visa applications are cleared in advance, and a visa clearance documents will be forwarded to you. The visa clearance documents is required at the border Immigration Check Points at Phuntsholing & Samdrup Jongkhar & Gelephu. On arrival at the border town Immigration Check Points at Phuntsholing & Samdrup Jongkhar & Gelephu, the Actual visa is stamped on your passport. Passport size photo is NOT required.

Finger prints and photos will be taken at the at border town Immigration Check Points at Phuntsholing & Samdrup Jongkhar. Please make sure to travel with the same passsport on which the Bhutan visa was issued. We will not be held responsible if the passport on which the visa was issued does not match the passport used to travel to Bhutan. In such an event, you will not be allowed to board the flight or enter Bhutan at the border towns.

Please make sure to travel with the same passport on which the Bhutan visa was issued.If the passport on which the visa was issued does not match the passport used to travel to Bhutan. In such an event, you will not be allowed to board the Druk Air flight or Bhutan Airlines flight.

Tour Cost

The tourism tariff in Bhutan is controlled by the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Tourism council of Bhutan the only government regulating in Tourism . All tours must be booked through a licensed Bhutanese Tour Operator such as Bhutan Rovers Visitors may only experience Bhutan on an all-inclusive package tour. The price is set as follows

  • US $ 250 per person per night in peak seasons (Mar, Apr, May, Sept, Oct, Nov)
  • US $ 200 per person per night in low seasons (Jan, Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec )
  • US $ 40 Bhutan Visa fee per person (per one time visit)

 

On top of above land cost,below FIT surcharges are also imposed on small groups

  • Solo traveller : US $ 40 per night both peak and low seasons
  • Group of 2 members: US $ 30 per night per person both peak and low seasons
  • Group of 3 & more members: is waived

In the above price following services are included

  • Govt. approved standard hotels in twin sharing room (3 star)
  • All meals at the Govt. approved standard hotels or local restaurants
  • Luxury Transport / transfers within Bhutan for the duration of the tour
  • A licensed English speaking local guide for the duration of the tour
  • Sightseeing, entrances fees to museums & monuments, all permits
  • Trekking (basic equipments, haulage & crew)

Other services, activities and higher category of hotels will require a supplement

Hotels On Tour

We take utmost care in selecting your hotels. In your Bhutan tour package , we provide 4 starred hotels. Wherever four starred is not available, we provide you three starred hotels. All these hotels are approved and classified by the Tourism Council of Bhutan and they are clean and well maintained ones with choices of Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese and Continental foods.
There are few luxury hotels in Bhutan — Uma, Aman, Taj Tashi, Zhiwaling and Le Meridien which have come up recently.

These hotels do not fall under government categorized hotels and they have their own rates. If you wish to stay in any of these hotels, you will have to meet premium of these hotels yourself in addition to daily tariff.

Transportations

The cost that we provide includes land transport within Bhutan including airport transfers. The car is going to be with you through the day and can be used for off tour – meaning ferrying you to and from market or any other drop or pick up. We take utmost care of your safety and comfort while travelling in Bhutan. We always provide well maintained cars with experienced drivers.
For one to two people, we use comfortable SUVs 4WD cars such as Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Korean cars like Tucson, Santa Fe and Terracan.
For three tofive people in a group, we provide comfortable Korean Hyundai H-1 and Toyota Hi-ace buses and for five people and above, we provide AC Toyota coaster buses.

HAVE QUESTION ON PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO BHUTAN?

Climate & Weather

Bhutan has four seasons.

Weather in Bhutan depends upon the altitude. In the northern parts of the country where mountains rise up to 7,000m, weather conditions are similar to arctic. Southwards, closer to India, the weather is hot and humid in the summer and cool in winter. The monsoon rains are usually heavy. Winters can be a good time to visit the lower parts, but then the highest areas are freezing. The best times to visit Bhutan are spring (March-May) and autumn (late September – November) when the weather is warm, dry and sunny but always throw in a couple of warm clothes into your travelling gear when you travel to Bhutan regardless of the season

Bhutan has four seasons: Spring (March, April and May), Summer (June, July and August), Autumn (September, October and November) and Winter (December, January and February). However, its weather is difficult to generalize. Snowfall in Thimphu, Bhutan Snowfall in Thimphu, Bhutan Depending on the altitude, the climate varies from semi-tropical to alpine (For every 1,000 m height increase the temperature drops about 7 degree Celsius).

In Southern Bhutan, the climate is tropical in the monsoon season and may range from 15 degree Celsius in winter to 30 degree Celsius in summer.The east is also warmer than the west.

The centre enjoys sub-tropical climate with very cool winters while the northern parts of the country have harsh climate including snowfall two to three times every winter. In Thimphu the temperature ranges from -2.5°C in January to 25°C in summer with a rainfall of 100mm. In the high mountain regions the average temperature varies from 0°C in winter to10°C in summer, with an average of 350mm of rain.

Gears

What should you carry for Bhutan Trek

We will provide the essential equipment (tents, foam mattresses, eating utensils and kitchen equipment). Here is a detailed list of ideas of what to bring.