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Traveling in Bhutan: What you need to know before you visit Bhutan

Travelling to Bhutan

Bhutan is the tiny Buddhist Kingdom known as "the last Shangri-La" for its rich natural beauty, sustainable development, and long-preserved cultural heritage. No wonder it is one of the world's most exclusive tourist destinations and worth visiting. However, here are a few essential things you need to know before you visit Bhutan. 

How to get into Bhutan?

One of the most common ways to enter Bhutan through flying into Paro airport. Moreover, overlanding trip like Bhutan tours from Nepal is becoming increasingly popular for many tourists, especially those traveling from Nepal. First, you can take an overland journey from Nepal to India. By traveling through India, you can enter Bhutan via the border towns Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar, or Gelephu. So, you must carry the essential documents to transit through the Indian border.

Bhutan Visas

Except for tourists from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, all nationalities need visas to visit Bhutan. If you opt for a guided tour, your travel agency will take care of the visa. You just need to send the photo and passport copy to them. Later, your visa will be processed by the Bhutan’s Department of Immigration once you make the payment, including a US $40 visa fee.

Where to go in Bhutan? 

The top places of Bhutan lie in the western and central regions, mainly in and around Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha. In these famous cities, you can visit several iconic Buddhist sites, the stunning Himalayan trek, and the cultural cities of Bhutan. For instance, the famous landmarks of Bhutan, such as Tiger Nest, lie in Paro Valley, Changangkha Lhakhang in Thimphu Valley, Punakha Dzong in Punakha, etc. 

Bhutan Travel Cost

Bhutan Travel Cost

Never expect fee travel to Bhutan. Due to its tourism policy, Bhutan is relatively expensive to travel to compared to its neighboring countries like Nepal and India. Depending on the season, tour type, and services, Bhutan tour costs vary from the US $350 to 2000 per day per person. 

The government of Bhutan charges the US $ 200 per night as a Sustainable Development Fee (SDF). However, now you don't have to follow the standard itinerary. You can customize your travel plans and pay accordingly. So, you must pay your travel expenses separately, including accommodation, meals, and entrance fees to enter monasteries or other scenic landmarks. So, for the ease of visitors, we have categorized Bhutan tour packages into three types; 

  • Standard Tour Packages- US $ 350 - 400 per person per night with SDF
  • Deluxe Tour Packages - US $ 400 - 800 per person per night with SDF
  • Luxury Tour Packages- US $ 800 - 2000 per person per night with SDF

Now, depending on your budget and the type of service you want to enjoy, you can choose the Bhutan tour packages. It is clearly evident that standard tour packages are for least-budget travelers, while the deluxe and luxury tour packages are for high-budget travelers. 

Featured Trips

Bhutan Heritage Tour

Bhutan Heritage Tour - 8 days

Bhutan Heritage Tour lets you explore centuries-old dzongs and Lakhangs built by Bhutanese kings and spiritual leaders. Take this Bhutan Heritage Tour and journey across the cultural hotspots of Bhutan, a fascinating Himalayan kingdom.

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paro-taktsang-bhutan

Glimpse of Bhutan Tour - 4 days

Perfect opportunity to taste the charm of the glorious nation and culture of Bhutan. 4 Days the Glimpse of Bhutan Tour is absolutely the right one for those who are short of time but do not want to miss the stunning realm of the Last Himalayan Kingdom, Bhutan

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Grand Cultural Tour Of Bhutan

Grand Cultural Tour of Bhutan - 6 days

Grand Cultural Tour of Bhutan takes you in a tranquil cultural odyssey of Bhutan and its begins with a scenic flight to the historic town of Paro. This 6 days Bhutan tour package is ideal for exploring Bhutan.

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Where to travel next?

Get help from our travel specialists for holiday ideas that matches your interests.

Bhutanese Currency

Bhutanese Currency

Bhutanese currency is called ngultrum (Nu). 100 Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) = $1.5 USD

Also, it is bonded 1-1 with an Indian Rupee. So, you can pay with Indian currency in Bhutan. Several ATMs in the main cities accept both VISA and Mastercard. The local banks charge a 180 BTN fee for each withdrawal. However, there is a withdrawal limit from a local bank of 40000 BTN per day. 

Food, Accommodation, and Communication

You'll find momos or dumplings made of flour dough filled with meat, cheese, or vegetable. You'll get almost all dishes in Bhutan with spicy chilies or delicious cheese toppings. So, for spicy lovers, Bhutanese food is the one. However, if you don't like spicy food, then no need to worry. Local restaurants adjust the spice level to tourist preferences. 

You can find a good standard of accommodation throughout the country. As the tourism sector is booming, well-equipped hotels are also popping up. You can find rustic homestays, farmhouses, and lodges with beautiful Bhutanese traditional architecture. There are from 3-star level hotels to luxury boutique hotels. Most of all, hotels, lodges, and homestays are cozy and offer you high-standard treatment. 

Bhutan has two mobile network operators, namely B-Mobile and TashiCell. Roaming fees are pretty expensive, so many travelers buy a cheap local SIM card. 3G and 4G SIM cards are available and cost around 200 Ngultrum. You need a photocopy of your passport and fill in a form to purchase the SIM card. However, micro-SIM cards are not available. So make sure to check your mobile device to match SIM card compatibility.

People, Culture, and Religion

Bhutanese are the world's happiest people. They are very friendly. With the help of your local guide, you can easily chat with them. Their culture is also well-preserved for a long period. They are well-known for their uniqueness in protecting and fostering their cultural heritage.

Buddhism strongly influences Bhutanese culture. There are many colorful, vibrant festivals in Bhutan you can experience that showcase the authentic traditions of their particular regions. So, no visit to Bhutan is complete without attending one of the spectacular festivals held across the country throughout the year- you can check dates when planning a visit to Bhutan.

Likewise, most Bhutanese people follow Vajrayana Buddhism, their state religion. You must follow some religious etiquette while visiting buildings like dzong, monasteries, temples, etc.

  • Never wear shoes and any type of headwear inside temples and monasteries
  • Dress codes are available for religious buildings. Strictly shorts, skirts, and tops are not allowed
  • Always walk clockwise around stupas
  • Don't take photos unless you're allowed
  • Don't point at anything; if you want to do then use open your hand with the palm up
  • Don't make loud noises in public places
  • Don't climb stupas, statues, or any religious places for selfies

Featured Trips

Nepal Bhutan Tour

Incredible Nepal Bhutan Tour - 10 days

Nepal Bhutan Tour 10 days give you an opportunity to explore two countries rich in culture and natural beauty alike. Enrich your travel experience by touring two Himalayan countries together.

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paro-taktsang-bhutan

Glimpse of Bhutan Tour - 4 days

Perfect opportunity to taste the charm of the glorious nation and culture of Bhutan. 4 Days the Glimpse of Bhutan Tour is absolutely the right one for those who are short of time but do not want to miss the stunning realm of the Last Himalayan Kingdom, Bhutan

Enquiry Now
dochula-pass

Bhutan West East Traverse Tour - 14 days

14 days of Bhutan West East Traverse Tour tour is an incredible journey that takes you to the major tourist destinations across the Bhutan and this tour is specially designed to give you a real taste of rural Bhutan.

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Where to travel next?

Get help from our travel specialists for holiday ideas that matches your interests.

Best time to visit Bhutan

Best time to visit Bhutan

The best time to travel to Bhutan is generally in the spring, from March to May. The weather is stable and pleasant; valleys are in full bloom. These months are usually the best time for cultural tours and treks in Bhutan. Besides, there are several colorful festivals you can be part of around this time.

Likewise, the autumn season from September to November is another best time to visit Bhutan. It is a post-monsoon season, so that you can feel the fresh air, and the Himalayan views are also at their best. You can hike to famous monasteries like the Tiger's Nest or challenging trek such as Snowmen's Trek, Druk Path Trek, Jomolhari Trek, etc.

However, summer/monsoon from June to August and winter from December to February are considered the low season in Bhutan. So, most travelers avoid these seasons as prices usually go down during this time. But on the contrary, you can take pleasure in the best cultural tours in Bhutan during these periods by avoiding the crowd and enjoying discounts on accommodations, transportation, etc.

Is Bhutan safe for tourists?

Not surprisingly, Bhutan is one of the safe countries in South Asia to visit. The crime rate is very minimal. The production and sale of tobacco are illegal so as butchering animals, fishing, and hunting. It is forbidden to climb the high peak because there are religious beliefs. You can witness government employees wearing traditional clothes during work hours. 

Conclusion

Bhutan's natural beauty and well-preserved cultural heritage grab the attention of many visitors. So, if you are planning a Bhutan tour, Third Rock Adventures can help you plan, organize, and book your trip. You can contact us with the details of the trip length, budget, and places you would like to visit. With the help of a local expert guide, we will set you a customized itinerary.





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