1. Where is Bhutan?
Bhutan is a small, landlocked nation located in the eastern Himalayas between India in the south and China in the north. Its landscape ranges from subtropical plains and forests in the South to sub-alpine forests and snowy mountains in the North. Bhutan is a predominantly Buddhist country and is known as the last stronghold of Mahayana Buddhism.
2. Do I need to use a tour operator to book my travel?
It is a government regulation that you must use a licensed Bhutanese Tour Operator to book your travel to Bhutan or one of their international partners.
3. Do I need a visa to enter Bhutan?
All International tourists wishing to enter Bhutan require a visa which must be pre-arranged through a licensed Bhutanese Tour Operator or one of their international partners. Visa clearance must be obtained through your tour operator prior to travel. Indian passport or (VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and persons from the Maldives may obtain a visa on entry.
4. How much does the visa cost?
International tourists will pay USD $40 in advance to the tour operator or travel agent. Indian passport holders will pay a Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of Nu 1200 per day per person.
5. How do I get to Bhutan?
There are two ports of entry to Bhutan – via air and land. You can fly into Bhutan from Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati and Singapore. Drukair and Bhutan Airlines are the two airlines currently operating in Bhutan. You can also enter via land through Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. All travel arrangements to Bhutan must be made through a local tour operator. Your selected tour operator will make all the necessary arrangements.
6. What does the $400 per day minimum daily package include?
The $400 per day package includes accommodation at a three star hotel, three meals, an experienced licensed guide, transportation (with driver) within the country and entry fee to any two museums. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, entry fees to all other museums and temples are not included. A SDF of $200 per day that goes towards free education, free healthcare and poverty alleviation is included in the $400 daily minimum.
7. 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. However Indian notes in 500 and 1000 denominations are not acceptable.
8. Is there a limit on the number of tourists that can enter Bhutan each year?
There is no limit on the number of tourists admitted into the country each year. In order to protect our culture, traditions and natural environment the government has adopted a strict policy of “High Value, Low Impact Tourism”. This policy is aimed at attracting discerning tourists that will respect the unique culture and values of the Bhutanese people while also providing the visitors with an unforgettable one of a kind experience.
9. What’s the food like in Bhutan?
The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillies are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that is not spicy.
Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often. A wide selection of western and Indian food is also available in many of the restaurants around the country.