Here is a sneak peek into the FAQ on Bhutan. For those visiting the beautiful country of Bhutan for the first time, we hope the FAQ below is helpful. If what you are seeking is not answered, you can always contact us. Do not restrain yourself! There is so much to do while in the country apart from activities offered by conventional itineraries! Check out below the most FAQ asked on Bhutan.
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.
1. Yes, all visitors will need a visa to visit Bhutan, except for visitors from India, who will require a permit.
2. Nationals of Bangladesh and the Maldives shall be eligible for a visa on arrival at the port of entry.
3. Nationals of Switzerland and Thailand holding diplomatic and official passports shall be eligible for a visa on arrival at the port of entry.
4. Visitors from India will need a permit to visit Bhutan. This applies to anyone holding an Indian passport, or an Indian voter ID card. For Indian nationals aged under 18 years, a passport or a birth certificate will suffice, and they must be accompanied by legal guardians.
1. A passport copy is required. The passport must be valid for six months from the intended date of departure from the Kingdom.
2. Travel insurance valid for the duration of the trip. and
3. A recent passport size photograph.
The visa fee is USD 40 per person and it is non-refundable. While the process to issue the visa is usually quick, the visa can take up to five working days to process. But kindly note we can apply for your Visa only after transferring the Government SDF & Visa processing fee.
Visitors from India can use a passport or voter ID card. Children under 18 years of age can use a birth certificate or passport, and must be accompanied by a legal guardian. Passport size photograph is also required. Travel insurance is required and should be valid for the whole duration of the trip.
You can purchase the travel insurance from your Insurance Company. There is also an option to purchase domestic travel insurance from Bhutanese insurance providers at the port of entry during arrivals. There are also tourism information officers stationed at all ports of entry who can assist travelers. Click here to get details on the insurance from Bhutan Insurance Limited.
1. Guests from India are levied SDF of Nu. 1,200 or equivalent amount in INR per person per night.
2. Visitors from all other countries are levied SDF of USD 200 per person, per night.
3. There will be a concessionary levy of 50% on the SDF for children between the ages of 6-12 years and exemptions of SDF for children aged 5 years and below.
4. The SDF funds go to the national exchequer and are allocated to various projects that enhance facilities, services and infrastructure for nationals and guests who visit Bhutan, as well as funding free healthcare and education.
1. The SDF must be paid during the visa or permit application via wire transfer or using a credit card.
2. The SDF must be paid in USD; however, Indians can also pay in INR.
The SDF will be waived for visitors to the Bhutanese towns bordering India, until the first designated point identified by the Government. The SDF will be levied on visitors spending the night within border towns.
Yes, the SDF will be refunded by the Department of Immigration for any cancelled or shortened trips and any bank charges will be deducted from the amount that is refunded.
1. Visitors can travel to Bhutan by taking flights from Bangladesh (Dhaka), India (Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bagdogra), Nepal (Kathmandu), Singapore (Changi) and Thailand (Bangkok).
2. For now, there are two airlines that fly into Bhutan – namely, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines.
3. Private jets can fly into Bhutan after getting the relevant approvals from the competent authorities.
4. All visitors can also enter via land from Phuentsholing. Indian guests can enter Bhutan via other land entry points (Gelephu, Samdrup Jongkhar and Samtse).
There are two ways you can make payment
1. By using credit card
You can make payment through credit card by using Bhutan Payment Gateway. We can create the invoice for you by entering into the system and creating a link, you just need to visit the link and make payment. However, the bank transfer fee made via credit card is expensive (They charge 4.75%). The other option is international wire transfer.
2. International Wire Transfer
Beneficiary Bank name: Bhutan National Bank
Bank Swift code: BNBTBTBT
Address: GPO Building, Chang Lam, Postal Code: 11001, Thimphu,Bhutan
Beneficiary Name: @ Bhutan Best Inbound Tour
Account Number: 0100072790001
Address: RTC Road,White Duplex, Ngadiphu, PO BOX 2050,Thimphu
The visa or permit will be issued for a maximum of 90 days.
The visa or permit extension can be processed by the Department of Immigration before the expiry of the visa or permit, whichever is applicable. The applicable SDF and visa or permit extension fees shall be paid to the Department of Immigration.
While the process is usually quite quick for visa or permit extensions, it can take up to five working days. How does one make SDF payment for visa or permit extension while in Bhutan? If you have booked the tour through us, then we can extend your Bhutan Visa. However, the necessary SDF has to be paid.
Yes, the SDF will be refunded by the Department of Immigration for any cancelled or shortened trips and any bank charges will be deducted from the amount that is refunded. A refund request of the SDF shall be submitted online using the immigration system. The refund will be processed only after the exit of the visitors from the Kingdom.
It is mandatory to arrange trekking trips that require overnight stays through a local tour operator. The local tour operator can help you with all the logistical support for the hiking or trekking trip.
A guide is strongly recommended for all visitors to Bhutan. This is to ensure that all visitors have a good experience while visiting our country, and see the best that Bhutan has to offer. Guides also help look after the safety and security of the visitors, as there are wild animals in the countryside, and the altitude and landscape can sometimes pose unique challenges. While the guides do not have to accompany visitors for all experiences (such as restaurants and shopping), it is recommended that guides accompany visitors for experiences such as visiting temples and local places of interest, and it is mandatory to have a guide for all trekking activities and for any journeys that extend beyond Thimphu and Paro and visiting cultural sites.
For any visitors who enter Bhutan via the land borders, guides are mandatory when the visitors leave the border towns.
We have listed all the certified guide in our website https: www.mybhutanguides.com You can check their profile, and choose the one that fits you the best
Bhutan offers a wide range of accommodation facilities, from luxurious 5-star hotels to cozy homestays in traditional village settings.
Guests must stay in an accommodation certified by TCB or if trekking, camp at the designated areas only.
Although we recommend all visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to help stop the spread of the disease, there are now no COVID-19 vaccination requirements for adults or children to enter Bhutan from September 23, 2022.
However, all individuals (12 years and above) entering Bhutan may be subjected to random RT-PCR testing at the formal points of entry or at the worksite to maintain COVID-19 surveillance for new variants. No fee shall be charged for the RT-PCR testing for surveillance.
Yes, unvaccinated guests can enter Bhutan and there will be no quarantine period.
If a guest tests positive for COVID-19 during their stay in Bhutan, they will be required to quarantine in their hotel until they test negative. The cost for the additional quarantine nights and PCR tests will be borne by the guest. The SDF will be waived during the quarantine period.
There will be no COVID-19 protocols to leave Bhutan, unless they will be required by the country the guest is travelling to.
Visiting Bhutan is quite safe, and there is little crime there. Petty crime does, however, occasionally occur. Therefore, guests should take care of themselves and their possessions.
Landslides and flooding are both possible. Transportation and services may be impacted during the monsoon season, which runs from June to September. Inquire about potential interruptions with your accommodation or tour provider.
Numerous stray canines are allowed to roam freely in urban areas. Although they typically avoid people and do not bite them, dog attacks occasionally occur. It is advised that tourists visiting Bhutan refrain from giving stray dogs food or affection. Visitors should also exercise caution and maintain a safe distance from stray dogs, especially when travelling with young children.
Yes, there are visitor information centers at the arrival area just before immigration check at the airport and in all entry points.
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.
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.
The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillis are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was 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.
The best time to do a Bhutan trekking tour is in the months of April, May, September, October and November. However there are certain treks which you can do in other months as well. Like the legendary Punakha, Winter Treks are suitable to do in winter. However during monsoon season (Starting from late June to August), the Bhutan trekking Tour is not recommended. There could be unexpected rainfall and unfriendly Leeches. But there are short day treks available throughout the year. Although Bhutan has four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), the climate in each season cannot be generalised due to the height difference between north and south. The subtropical climate of the flat southern region features moderate winters, a hot spring, and a longer monsoon season.
Trekking in Bhutan is unlike anything else you’ve ever done. Take in the culture and natural splendour of this amazing kingdom. The equally profound scenery and culture of Bhutan will astound you, from the majestic Himalayan panoramas to virgin lakes.
Bhutan festivals or festivals of Bhutan are noted for their richness, brightness, and joy. The country’s ancient expressions of Buddhist culture and epic conquests are re-enacted and celebrated with such pomp and show that visitors and tourists from all over the world come to see them. The majority of these events honor Guru Rinpoche, the saint who converted Bhutan to Buddhism in the early eighth century. The celebratory celebrations include mystical dances, captivating performances, bold fire events, intriguing naked dances, enlightening re-creations, and other activities. Rare silk paintings and/or antique scrolls are occasionally on show. Bhutanese festivals never take you down from your high. Join us on a tour of 10 important events in Bhutan in 2022 and 2023 for a sneak peek. Bhutan’s Top 10 Festivals in 2022 & 2023 Here are some of the top Festival of Bhutan that you should visit if you’re planning a trip to the world’s happiest country.
- Thimphu Tshechu Festival
- Jambay Lhakhang Drup Festival
- Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu Festival
- Punakha Drubchen and Punakha Tshechu Festival
- Paro Tshechu Festival
- Haa Summer Festival
- Matsutake Festival
- Jomolhari Mountain Festival
- Gom Kora Festivall
- Royal Highland Festival
- Check out Bhutan Festival calendar for 2022 & 2023 here
Bhutan offers both beauty and variety when it comes to trek in Bhutan. The kingdom is home to some of the world’s most difficult high-altitude treks, as well as a plethora of moderate hikes in the forest. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a complete beginner, Bhutan has a multi-day journey to suit your needs. Try the 27-day Snowman Trek, which spans multiple high-altitude passes and requires camping in the snow, if you’re looking for a demanding high-altitude trek of a lifetime. If you’re looking for a shorter challenge, the Laya Gasa Trek and Dagala Thousand Lakes treks provide many of the same rewards as the Snowman walk but with fewer of the drawbacks. Check out the Jumolhari Trek , Druk Path Trek, and Owl Treks if you’re short on time or just want to stretch your legs more gently.
The much-anticipated Buddhist religious event ‘Paro Tshechu’ or ‘Paro Festival’ is held every year to honour Guru Rinpoche, the man who brought Tantric Buddhism, commonly known as Tibetan Buddhism, to Bhutan.
As tourists from all over the country join the locals to enjoy the masked dance and other religious rites that take place throughout the festival, there is a lot of colour, music, dances, and drama. The Paro Festival is a beautiful gala for everyone interested in Bhutan’s old culture and history. It is a wonderful gala for learning about Bhutanese customs and values.
The festival comes alive with vivid colours, music, dances, and other religious ceremonies amid flowering flowers and beautiful green landscapes. Mask dance and music are vital parts of Bhutanese culture, and they are performed to impart religious messages and righteous ways of life to the people.
The Land of the Thunder Dragon’s festivals are vibrant and joyful representations of its ancient Buddhist culture. In honor of Guru Rinpoche, the saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century, these Bhutan festivities are held in all regions. Tshechus span up to four days and feature a succession of highly stylized masked dance rites. They are held on auspicious days and months. You can check the Bhutan Festival calendar to see if you can include any Bhutan Festival during your time of visit. You can check Bhutan Festival Calendar for the year 2022 here.
Festivals are also important social and family gatherings. People put on their best outfits and wear their most opulent coral and turquoise jewelry. They bring picnic lunches in their traditional bamboo baskets and spend the entire day at festivities staged in dzongs (fortresses) or monasteries.
Bhutan is an all-season destination. Spring and summer fill the landscape of myriad flora and fauna. Autumn casts a bright Golden glow on the landscape. The crisp winter air and the clear skies make it ideal for capturing some of the best Mountain views. And all year round, there is a unique sense of peace and contentment in the environment marked by traditional festivals as people celebrate the festivals in ancient local traditions.