The serenity and the unraveled beauty of Bhutan sure do invite a lot of tourists from all around the world. However, one thing that comes as a small disappointment is that Bhutan is not a place that people from all countries, except a few can easily plan a vacation to. What follows in this write-up are a few simple, but important stuff you need to know before you plan your trip to Bhutan.
The mandatory factor:
The very first thing you need to know before you book tour to Bhutan is that the Bhutanese government carefully picks her visitors, standing by the “low volume, high quality” strategy. If you are a soul that loves to plan an independent travel, you might want to stop and reconsider. Independent travel sure is starting to sprout, but sadly not applauded by the government. Visitors who do not hold passports form India, Bangladesh, and Maldives are asked to travel through a packaged tour with a well framed itinerary.
The indulgence of the Royal Government:
There is a minimum selling price set by the Royal Government of Bhutan for travel packages to Bhutan. This amount is to be paid to the government in USD before arrival in Bhutan.
There is a daily tariff requirement of 250 USD per person for a group of 3 or more tourists who visit Bhutan during peak seasons and a 200 USD per person daily tariff is set out for groups visiting during low seasons.
Who require visa?
All travelers who are not form India, Bangladesh, or Maldives would require a visa.
You can apply for a visa only if you book your packages with a local licensed tour planner either directly or via a foreign agent
Visas are issued from Thimphu, and will be mailed to you just 10 days prior to your travel to Bhutan.
The visa stamping will be done at the point of entry.
The cost of visa is 40 USD per person.
How to get to Bhutan?
The past picture:
Bhutan was nearly inaccessible until 1960s. There were only two entry points to this Himalayan wonder one through the rough mountains in the North that was through Tibet and the other through dense jungles in the south of group India. Thanks to the planned economic development, the country now has two airports and is well connected and accessible, which makes it easier to book flights to Bhutan.
Here are the ways to travel to Bhutan:
There are three land borders in Bhutan. Here are the details:
- Phuentsholing in south-west: Located at around 170 Kms form Bagadora airport in India. From Phuentsholing it is a 6 your travel to Thimphu, the capital city.
- Gelephu in south-central: This is another entry point to Bhutan that is around 10 hours (250 Kms) away from the capital city.
- Samdrup Jongkhar in south-east: This place borders Assam, India. This border is far from the capital and the journey takes as long as three days.
Paro is the only international Airport in Bhutan and Druk Airline is the only airline that operates fights to Bhutan from India, Thailand, Nepal, Singapore, and Bangladesh.
The beauty and the beast:
Paro is situated at 7300 feet above sea level and is well surrounded by mountains. The Paro valley is a beauty surrounded by beastly mountains. Flying to Bhutan is a sight to behold; especially the flight from Kathmandu to Bhutan covers sights of the Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.