Bhutan is the most sought out destination & only carbon negative country in the World. Moreover, it has a very unique principal system for measuring country prosperity, which is not based on GDP (Gross Domestic Product), but it is based on GNH (Gross National Happiness), which is authentic & exclusive to Bhutan, where happiness & value are used as prosperity indicator rather than wealth. It is also known as last Shangri-La – “The Land of Peace & longevity”.
Bhutan is a small, landlocked nation located in the eastern Himalayas between India and China. Its landscape ranges from subtropical plains and forests in the South to subalpine forests and snowy mountains in the North. Bhutan is a predominantly Buddhist country and is known as the last stronghold of Mahayana Buddhism.
- By Air (Presently, there are only two airlines that operate flight to / in Bhutan namely)
- Druk Air (KB) which is a National carrier presently operate flight from Delhi (DEL), Kolkata (CCU), Bagdogra (IXB), Guwahati (GAU), Bangkok (BKK) & Kathmandu (KTM).
- Bhutan Airlines (B3) that is country only private airlines operates flight from Delhi (DEL), Kolkata (CCU), Kathmandu (KTM) & Singapore (SIN).
- By Road, one can drive into Bhutan via India into
- Phuentsholing (Jaigoan).
- Samdrup Jongkar (
- By Rail – Though Bhutan presently does not have any rail route but it is well connected with almost all part of Indian subcontinent vide Indian railway networks, which are in close proximity to Bhutan
It is advisable that one should always wear a comfortable layer clothing and carry heavy woolen in the winter.
Communication plays a very important role in staying connected, wherever one goes. Indian operator like
Indian Passport holder can make the payment in INR itself in form of normal bank transfer, cheque, all subjected to relevant GST. Whereas for foreign passport holder, full payment has to come in form of USD itself in our USD accounts, the details will be shared along with package confirmation. As per Bhutan Tourism policy, we are not in a position to accept INR payment for foreign passport holder. Only upon receipt of full payment by TCB (Tourism Council of Bhutan) in USD, the Visa clearance letter are issue, at the entry point, the guest needs to show the Visa clearance letter for the entry to be stamped on the passport.
Bhutan is one of the safest countries to travel. The crime rate is Bhutan is very negligible in Global index with family quarrel & Pitty theft accounting maximum count. It is completely safe for female travelers.
Below are few words, which could help while travelling into Bhutan
Hello – Kuzungpo la
Thank you – Kadrin Cheyla
Welcome – Tashi Delek
Food – Shay Go
Where? – Ga tey?
Which? – Gadee?
How are you? – Ga day bay ye?
What is your name? – Chhoe gi ming ga chi mo?
My name is… – Ney gi ming … inn la
Where are you from? – choe gatey ley mo?
I am from… – Nga … ley in
Where does this road lead? – Lam dig a thay jow mo?
Is it far? – Tha ring sa in-na
Extremely delicious – Name same shimbe
One – Ching, Two – Ngee, Three – Sum, Four – Shiee, Five – Ngaa, Six – Drug, Seven – Duen, Eight – Gay, Nine – Guu &
Ten – Chu Tham
- Person possessing a Voter ID Card or Passport (the original needs to be carried on travel) will be eligible to travel to Bhutan. No other document is considered valid for travelling into Bhutan. In case the guest is travelling with an improper / tampered documents this is considered a crime and is liable to be detained from boarding (for such case the airlines charge full cancellation with zero refund) / imprisonment / cash fine or both.
- In case the guest is using a passport for travelling, it must be minimum six months valid from the date of departure from Bhutan.
- Indian National below 18 years who do not have a passport must produce a birth certificate in hard copy (original) for procuring the entry permit. For the case where the traveler is using the printed version of online birth certificate, it must be Notarized / Certified as being a true copy of the original.
- Birth certificates issued in local language should be translated in English and must be support by Affidavit issued by a Notary.
- For Guest who are travelling with valid passport, we have the option of procuring advance entry permit for those guest subjected the scan copy of the passport is clear, color & readable with minimum of 07days in advance.
- This entry permit allows the guest to visit area of Phuentsholing, Paro & Thimphu.
- For covering all other area, they would require Pink permit, which is issued in lieu of entry permit from Thimphu on a working day other then weekend Saturday, Sunday & Government Holidays.
- The entry permits are given based on guest flight ticket or the itinerary of stay in Bhutan. There are provision to extend the from Thimphu on a working day with proper reason & documents for the extension. This extension of permit for Tourism is for maximum 30days from the date of entry in Bhutan.
- All NRI, OCI & PIO holder are considered as Foreign Nationals & will have to pay USD RATE as fixed by the TCB (Tourism Council of Bhutan).
- Foreign Passport Holder must obtain a visa clearance prior to arrival into Bhutan. Foreign passport holder is required to send the clear readable and viewable photo-page of their passport for applying their visa at the time of booking.
- For your kind information, once the full payment for the holiday has been wire transferred to TCB (Tourism Council of Bhutan). Upon receipt TCB, process the visa & issue a visa clearance letter. At the point of entry, foreign passport holder will have to show this clearance letter, for the visa to be stamped on their passport.
- Custom restrictions - There are certain items that are strictly prohibited by Bhutan customs namely
- Arms, ammunition and explosives
- All narcotics and drugs except medically prescribed drugs
- Wildlife products, especially those of endangered species
- Import of plants, soils etc, are subject to quarantine regulations.
Notes: Visitors are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items, especially of religious or cultural significance, as such items may not be exported without a clearance certificate.
- Dress code for visiting monasteries - The Bhutanese Constitution of 2008 provide freedom of religion in Bhutan & worship in Bhutan, as Bhutan is predominantly a Buddhist country, there are certain advice able dress code for visiting religious monuments. Short, mini & Sleeve cut are not permitted, it is also wise to take off hats while entering a Dzong, temple or monastery. It is safer to dress up in smart casual. Always walk in clockwise direction while visiting religious places or do not walk over any clothes, books, heap or materials left open in religious sites.
- Restrictions on carrying Tobacco & Smoking in Bhutan - It is the only country in the world that completely bans the sale and production of tobacco—and naturally, smoking is banned in public places. Tourists and the Bhutanese elite can bring in cigarettes, but ask your guide to find a place to light up. Under the law, the offender can be booked for penalty, imprisonment, or both.
As per the latest amendment made to the Tobacco Control Act of Bhutan in 2014, the following tobacco
products are permitted to be carried for personal consumption
- 800 sticks of cigarettes
- 150 pieces of cigars
- 750 grams of other tobacco products.
A person shall be allowed to import only one tobacco or tobacco product at a time as stated above. A proof or receipt of tax Payment shall be valid only for one month from the date of payment of ta
Tax on import of cigarettes and other tobacco products depend on the place of import.
Place of Import
100% Sales Tax
100% Sales Tax & 100% Customs Duty
Note: While in Bhutan, visitors must retain the tax receipt to present to, if you encounter any checking
by Tobacco control Inspectors.
- As far as drinking is concern, it is allowed in Bhutan with only Tuesday being a dry day in Bhutan. Good alcoholic brands are easily available in Bhutan at a very reasonable price. There are certain limited editors Alcoholic drinks are produce, which one can buy & bring back as souvenir. Tourist is allowed carry back 2 liters Alcohol from Bhutan under duty free allowance.
- 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, Moreover its ones responsibility to take care of one’s belonging while travelling or staying in hotels self cautions are must for all travelers.
- 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. In addition, Bhutan has a duty to protect its citizens from drugs and tobacco products. To do this we need your help and cooperation. Please co-operate if stopped and asked about your baggage. Please do not carry tobacco goods in excess of the set limit.
- It has been seen that many tourist have landed in entry points with photocopy of the election id cards or passport rather than carrying the original. This tourist will not be allowed entry into Bhutan without authentic documents & they will be deported back. POINTS ON HOLOGRAM & PEOPLE WITH OCI AND PIO CARDS MUST BRING THEIR COUNTRY ORGINAL PASSPORT ALONG WITH OCI OR PIO CARD.
Bhutan Tourism Policy is based on High value, low volume impact. The hotel rates are comparative very high in comparison to what we get in India. This is also evident from the fact that Bhutan being a small country, still its houses maximum hotels outlets of Aman & Six Senses group. The average per night room rate, for these properties comes to minimum of INR 01 lacs & above. You even have international Hotels that have come up in Bhutan i.e Aman, Six Senses, Uma, Lemeridien, Dusit,&Ramada.Majority of the Single block modern hotel located in Thimphu specially in 4 – 5 Star range do have lift & Gym in the hotels.
We have used hotels, which are not to be compared with the Hotels of other developed destinations. We have selected, combined & graded the hotels in a fashion, so that the guest gets similar kind of standard in services & facilities at every destination / place of retirement. For the easy understanding we have termed
- Services rendered by Hotel used under GRADE C will be equivalent to 1* TO 2*Properties.
- Services rendered by Hotel used under GRADE B & B1 will be equivalent to 2* TO 3* Properties.
- Services rendered by Hotel used under GRADE B2, B3 & B4 will be equivalent to 3* TO 4* Properties.
- Services rendered by Hotel used under GRADE A, A1 & A2 will be equivalent to 4* to 5* Properties.
- Services rendered by Hotel used under GRADE A3, A4 & A5 will be equivalent to 5* Properties.
As mentioned above we do not work with all hotels, hence we have selected, combined & graded the hotels in a manner, so that the guest get similar standard of services & facilities at every destination / place of retirement other than requested & specific grade. As majority tourist visit Thimphu - Capital City, Paro, Punakha / Wangdi, here the hotel standard are comparatively better. Here we would also like to inform that other then few hotels, majority of the hotel does not have lift facilities, where the guest needs to climb stairs to reach the allotted rooms. In case anyone, who has problems with blood pressure, breathing, knee & heart or if they cannot climb the higher floors, we will request you to report this prior, so that it can be handle with utmost care & concern and correction can be made.
While one is travelling towards Central, Eastern Bhutan & remote area like Haa, Tongsa, Mongar, Trashigang, Gelephu & Samdrup Jonkar. Please note that these areas are very remote. The facilities & services provided by the hotels, in these areas, are very basic which can be compared to hotels of 1* category or lower. Hence, please do not expect luxury facilities, while travelling to these areas. These travel, are mainly based on experiential nature. In case you are unable to cope up with the compromise on comfort, we will insist you drop your idea to travel to this area.
Other than Thimphu – Capital City, all other places in Bhutan are small town where good hotels are located slightly away from the market place.
Majority of the 4star & below category hotels follows below mentioned child policy.
- Children above 10+ years will be charged 100% as per EPSR
- Children of 5+ to 10 sharing parent’s room with bed / rollaway or mattress will be charged as per CWB
- Children of 5+ to 10 sharing parent’s room without bed / rollaway or mattress will be charged as per CNB
- Children below 5 years Complimentary without bed (Sharing the parent’s room)
- Hotels are very strict with the child policy. Please carry the age proof so that it can be produced when asked for.
- Some of the 4 star & 5 hotels consider 3 & below child as complimentary and anything above is charged accordingly.
Majority of the hotels in Bhutan provides Mattress / Roll over as a supplement for extra bed.
Check in time at Hotel: 1400 Hrs / Check out : 1100 Hrs. All the bookings are non-transferable & all in-house hotel rules will be effective during your stay. As imposed by the Government valid photo ID for all members staying at the hotel is mandatory. For early check in / late checkout / extending of stay, will all be completely subjected to the availability?
The people of this area are mostly Non Vegetarian. Most of the hotels, serves both Vegetarian & Non-Vegetarian food. The Jain food served by these hotels will be basic & cannot be compared, to the ones available, at the home town of the traveler. For the understanding, the food provided will be pure vegetarian meals, which will not include onion, potato, garlic etc, and things, which are grown underground. With changes in food habit globally, few hotels have come up in Bhutan, who are exclusively serving vegetable food to all its guest.
As a matter of policy & honest practices we do not use Indian numbers vehicle or operate tour without guide for Bhutan operation, we have our own reservation namely
- Depriving the local there share of Business thus promoting local employment
- God forbid in case of any medical emergency the claim if any will not be honored by the insurance company in case one is using Indian vehicle in foreign country.
- As per the law of the land, approved guide by Government of Bhutan must accompany all Bhutan tours. All our guides are very well experienced handling FIT & groups and have been working with us for so many years and all have gone through compulsory guide training and are approved by Government of Bhutan, The guest feedback have been big credential for the services delivery & sincerity.
As far as vehicle used is concern we use below vehicle for different group size
Generally in Bhutan, most of the vehicle we write NAC (Non AC) as because of its location & Altitude, AC are not required. In case guest is insisting on AC, Supplement cost as per vehicle selection could be taken. The AC will be on when the Vehicle is on move only. While travelling in the plains the clients would need AC, which will be switch on. When the car is travelling uphill AC will be switch off. All AC Vehicle request should come way in advance helping us to place the vehicle accordingly, on tours AC vehicle request will be difficult to entertain & will not be in a position to honor the same.
Other then Coaster buses roof top carrier are not a usual practice in Bhutan as most of the smaller & Mid segment vehicle do have good boot / Back space for guest luggage. Most of the vehicle nowadays does come with music system, it is wise if you can carry your collection of songs on your pen drive and also reconfirm the same before confirmation.
Since the Vehicles are limited in number, cancellation rules will be applicable on the complete tour package as vehicle are contracted accordingly plus the cost of new vehicle will be applicable.
We do not have a concept of using Driver cum Guide. In our packages, Driver is separate person and Guide (Trip Leader) is a separate person. This Trip leader speaks comfortable English and majority of them do understand & speak manageable Hindi. Here we would also like to inform you that these drivers are mainly concern with driving the vehicle with safety & comfort of the guest. They come from remote places and are not educated in tourism etiquette and some of them do not know how to speak & behave. You are requested to be soft & gentle with your drivers. Your point of contact is your Trip leader (Guide) or the FHE (File handling Executive), who is pre-assigned for your file.
The government of Bhutan has decided to implement SDF, for which we are yet to get any written directive, hence if it is implemented then it will a additional cost to the package cost.
Oversea insurance is not necessary for travelling to Bhutan, in case you feel it can take insurance policy from your home town but check the applicability in Bhutan.
We strongly recommend that the guest should opt for MAPAI (Breakfast & Dinner), where they will have option of having lunch in local restaurant during sightseeing. The accompanied Trip Leader can very easily organize this on direct payment.
We don’t have any credit policy hence payment option of upon arrival is not applicable. The very reason for upfront payment is that we also pay upfront payment to hotels & vendors thus commending better price & services authenticity, which are passed to the end guest. With us the situation like room bouncing / services disparity is not applicable as we pay way in advance and demand the promised services.
Our FHE (File handling Executive) give a call to the guest, on behalf of our sale counter informing the client how to prepare for the tour, what to except, taking extra request for making the tour comfortable.
- If you are arriving at NJP Railway station which has 03 entry & exit gate, please be informed that you will be meeting our Office Executive at the new exit gate, beside the escalator holding placard in you name / or as advised by you.
- Please note that our Executive will hold placard just outside the only exit gate of Bagdogra Airport.
- will hold placard just outside the exit gate of Paro International Airport.
Our FHE (File handling Executive) will be your one point contact for all matters.
Many of the guests have mentioned that they have booked the tour very well in advance so why isn’t the best room allotted to them. When the client choose to travel in the month of March, April, May, June, September, October & November & this happens to be the busiest months for Bhutan. Kindly be updated that the area of Bhutan are not developed like many other hill stations of the world. Here we understand very well the size of India & its population. We also understand well that most of India falls under heat wave during summers & spring. There are not many places where one can go for relief. Now even if 0.1% of the population turns up, towards Bhutan, the area runs out of capacity. Everything becomes chaotic. Delivering the promised becomes an issue. Patience & understanding becomes an important part in getting the tour organized & making the holiday into a memorable one. This is where our services & we come into counting.
It is to be noted that incase, you are arriving by train in the late evening / night & are departing early morning, it is mandatory for you to spend a night in SILIGURI. In such situation of late arrival & early departure, if you have not opted for a stopover package at Siliguri, then you will have to wait at the Waiting / Retiring Room of the station. Our Executive will be meeting you at 0600 hrs in the morning for the meet & greet and arrival transfer. This has been planned keeping your security factors in mind.
Tour start and end from New Jalpaiguri Railway (NJP) Station / Bagdogra (IXB) Airport / Paro Airport. The 1st Day tour Meal starts with Dinner at the booked hotel & ends with Breakfast at the booked hotel, on the last day for all the bookings on MAPAI. For APAI 1st Day tour Meal starts with Dinner at the booked hotel & ends with Packet lunch from the booked hotel on the last day.
In case of any Flight / Train Cancellation has affected the operation of the Tours then the Company will not be responsible for the same and the cancellation as per the policy will be applicable, we will still try our best to help the guest wherever possible to minimize the damages.
The Indian vehicle that picks you from Bagdogra / New Jalpaiguri Railways Station will only do the services until Bhutan Border town. In Bhutan, portion services will be done by Bhutanese vehicle only.
Landslide is a common occurrence in hilly areas. Expenses incurred for diversion, due to this or any other unseen, forced reasons will be collected directly as per actual expenditure incurred.
We try our best to assist the guest with minor changes wherever until & unless it does fetch financial damages. The cost any alteration if any will be collected directly as per actual expenditure incurred.
Yes, one has the option of adding extra sightseeing or addon tours in due consultation with your file FHE. Our only request that people in mountain sleep early, hence your timely & prior intimation on changes will give the necessary time to the FHE to organize better operation for you.
We make all contingency plans so that the sightseeing points do not fall on a closing day. Incase due to inevitable situation if the sightseeing falls on a closing day, it will have to be left out & cannot be carried forward to the next day. If you are taking the left out tour on the next day, you will have to pay the extra against the vehicle charges as advised by the File Handling Executive (FHE).
There will be no refund of any unutilized service in part or in full what so ever may be the reason.
Due to any unforeseen happening, and for suitable operational conditions, at the time of actual travelling, the itinerary could be altered, changed or removed, without assigning any reasons. All such right are reserved with the operating company.