FAQs

  1. 1.      Why is it so expensive to visit Bhutan?

Visiting Bhutan might seem expensive because of the nightly tariff imposed by the Government. The nightly tariff which is imposed by the Bhutanese Government is inclusive of all the services while you are in Bhutan. It includes services like accommodation, meals, ground transport, sightseeing, entry fees, English speaking guides, trekking arrangements, Government tax and royalty, visa fees.

  1. 2.      Remitting huge sum of money to an unknown company is a risk?

The money that you have transferred will be withheld by the Tourism Council of Bhutan and the company can only withdraw the money after your departure upon submitting the tour invoice.

  1. 3.      Why do we have to remit the full payment in advance?

According to the Bhutanese Government, every tourist must remit the full payment in advance without which they do not issue the visa for your trip.

  1. 4.      How do I process my visa?

Tourist visas will have to be approved prior to your arrival in Bhutan. We process the visa on behalf of our guests and ensure that the visa number reaches Druk Air (national airline) office. The actual visa is issued/ stamped on your passport at the port of entry and you are required to remember your visa number. You will need to pay $20 and two passport sized picture are also required. Your passport has to have a validity of at least six months. The following are the list of documents needed to process your visa:

  1. Your full name ( as it appears in your passport)
  2. Scanned copy of your passport sized photo
  3. Occupation
  4. Nationality
  5. Passport number
  6. Date of issue
  7. Date of expiry
  8. Place of Issue
  9. Date of birth
  10. Place of birth
  11. Permanent address

 

  1. 5.      Is tourism restricted in Bhutan and can tourist come on their own?

Tourism is not restricted but Bhutan prohibits independent backpacker style visitors to maintain its strict cultural and ecological values. For any tourist to obtain a Bhutanese visa, they will need to come through a licensed and approved inbound tour operator to plan your itinerary and process your visas.

  1. 6.      Are there regular flights?

The national airline DrukAir operates once a day from Bangkok and four flights a week from New Delhi, Kolkatta (India) and Kathmandu (Nepal) and two flights from Dhaka (Bangladesh). The flight schedules for the summer and winter are different.

For flights details you can visit www.drukair.com.bt

  1. 7.      What will the weather be like in Bhutan?

Summers which is from June to Mid-September, are warm, humid and wetter. Winters, December to early March, are cooler and dry. Winter nights are cold and the days are sunny and mild. The wettest month is August.

Climate

Bhutan has three climatic zones – the southern belt that is tropical in nature, the cool and temperature zone of the central part and the alpine region in the north.

Temperature

The average temperature of each month in some of the Dzongkhags is shown in the table below:

oC Paro Thimphu Punakha Wangdue Trongsa Bumthang Monger Trashigang
JAN Max

9.4

12.3

16.1

17

13

10.8

15.5

20.4

Min

-5.8

-2.6

4.2

4.3

-0.2

-5.1

8.2

10.5

FEB Max

13.4

14.4

19.6

19

13.9

10

15.9

21.7

Min

1.5

0.6

5.3

7.8

0.4

-1.4

8.3

11.5

MAR Max

14.5

16.4

21.12

22.8

16.7

16.2

20

24.8

Min

0.6

3.9

9.2

2.4

4.4

3.5

11.6

14.4

APR Max

17.6

20

24.4

26.2

20.1

18.7

22.8

28.3

Min

4.6

7.1

11.2

12.9

6.6

3.9

14

17

MAY Max

23.5

22.5

27.2

29.1

21

21.3

25.1

30.1

Min

10.6

13.1

14.8

17.7

11.6

9.5

17.4

20.6

JUN Max

25.4

24.4

31.2

29.2

22.2

22.5

26.1

30.7

Min

14.1

15.2

19.5

20.1

13.6

3.5

19.5

22.6

JUL Max

26.8

18.9

32

18.4

25.3

14.1

16.1

31.5

Min

14.9

13.4

21.6

16.2

15.3

10.9

15.8

23.1

AUG Max

25.3

25

31.4

29.1

23.8

23

25.4

30.2

Min

14.7

15.8

19.8

20

15

13.7

19.6

22.7

SEPT Max

23.4

23.1

29.9

27.5

22.6

21.6

24.7

30

Min

11.7

15

20.4

19.1

14.2

12.1

19.4

23.9

OCT Max

18.7

21.9

27.8

26.1

21.8

19.5

22.7

29.1

Min

7.4

10.4

18.9

14.7

11.7

5.9

15.8

17.7

NOV Max

13.9

17.9

22.3

22.6

19.8

16.1

19.9

26.1

Min

1.4

5

13

9.6

6.4

-0.5

11.2

13.6

DEC Max

11.2

14.5

15

19.1

18.2

12.3

15.7

23

Min

-1.7

-1.1

7.9

6.3

2.5

-2.3

9.5

11.6

 

Altitude

The maximum elevation that you can reach on a Bhutanese road is 3150m in the west and 3750m in the east. There are rare cases where individuals have suffered from altitude problems.

  1. 8.      When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

The spring months of March, April, and May and the fall months of September, October, and November are the busiest times of the year for tourist. Most of the festivals take place during this time of the year. The winter months of December through February and the early monsoon months of June and July is the period when the savvy travelers take advantage of the off season holidays to Bhutan. If you are trekking you will need to visit during the peak season months because of the suitable conditions. You can visit anytime of the year and we assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

  1. 9.      What currency do I take?

The local currency called Ngultrum which is pegged to the Indian Rupee which is also accepted throughout the Kingdom (Please note that 500 and 1,000 rupee notes are not accepted). In 2011 with the introduction of ATM’s in Thimphu & Paro, it is now possible to withdraw local currency which bears the logo of Visa & MasterCard credit & debit cards & Cirrus endorsed bank debit cards. As a more convenient alternative to taking in Indian Rupees we strongly encourage visitors to take in USD cash or travelers cheques, which we recommend as a back-up in case ATM’s are not working. You can use low denomination USD to cover any small purchases and use higher denomination USD for exchanging into Ngultrum at local banks and also for guide/ driver tips at the end of the journey.

While credit cards are widely accepted, please do note that the merchant surcharges on credit card purchases can be as high as 7%. Before you use your credit card for any payments it would be wise to inquire about it.

10. Are there internet facilities available?

You can access your e-mails/ internet from the business center of your hotel. Most of the cafés offer wireless broadband internet and there are internet cafés in most of the valleys.

11. Will my mobile phone work?

A local sim card with prepaid call credits can be easily purchased on arrival. We can arrange a sim card for the duration of your stay, if you let us know in advance.

12. What do I pack?

Summers are warm with average temperature ranging from 20 to 25 Celsius, while winters are cold. In winter temperatures are usually below 15 Celsius. So bring with you a couple of warm clothes and comfortable shoes to go with the weather, the terrain and the program. You might want to consider ‘what to wear’ for hikes, trekking and sightseeing, as well as for dinners, appointments and functions that we have for you. Others that you could consider bringing with you would be a pair of sunglasses, sun screen lotion and a hat; antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream, anti-diarrhea pills, altitude and car sickness medicine; insect repellent, flash light( with spare batteries), umbrella, camera, films and accessories(including spare camera batteries) etc.