Review our FAQs Before Travelling to Bhutan.
How do I book a Flight to Bhutan?
Only two airlines fly to Bhutan’s international airport at Paro (PBH). Bhutan Visit will book your flight for you as part of the package arrangement and we offer you the lowest prices available.
You only need to arrange the connecting flights to one of the main departure points – Bangkok, Singapore, Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu or Dhaka. There are also connecting flights from Bagdogra (access to Darjeeling) and Guwahati (Assam).
How do I apply for a Visa?
All visas must be processed in advance. There are no embassies or missions abroad that can issue Bhutanese Tourist visas. The visa formalities are taken care of by Bhutan Visit. You will be asked to complete a visa application form once you have booked your tour. The visa costs US$40 and the cost will be added to your invoice. There is nothing to pay on arrival at the airport but the actual visa is stamped in your passport upon arrival in Bhutan.
How do I Book and Pay?
Booking with us is simple. Once you have chosen your tour and decided the dates in consultation with us, we will send you the payment details and make a provisional flight reservation so that you can book international flights.
You can choose to pay in two instalments or in full. The Payment in full finalizes your confirmation and allows us to process your visa and confirm the airline reservations. Payment is made in USD by international bank transfer via the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s international bank account. It takes between 4 – 10 days to clear.
You can also pay by credit card. A 3.5% fee will be added to your invoice so please indicate if you wish to pay by this method. Once you have received your invoice, click on the link in the Fat Footer to proceed with your online payment.
What Insurance cover do I need?
It is important that you have an insurance policy with adequate cover for travel in this part of the world and according to the nature of your activities. Those who are trekking should confirm that your insurance policy covers you adequately if you were to fall sick in the mountains and need airlifting back to the capital or to a third country. While this is very rare, it is worth covering yourselves for peace of mind.
What Immunizations are required?
Clients should check with their doctors with regard to advisable immunizations prior to visiting Bhutan. As for COVID – 19 More will is written in another blog.
How much time should I leave for flight connections?
Flights usually depart early in the morning but Himalayan weather conditions can affect timings. Check-in usually opens three hours before departure and it is best to arrive early in case a flight departure time is changed at the last minute.
On the return journey, the airlines do not advise you to book a flight which connects on the same day unless you have a ticket that allows some flexibility. It is possible to experience delays of some hours or, in some cases, postponement until the next day. There are no night flights out of Bhutan.
Who will meet me on arrival at Paro Airport?
Clients will be welcomed at their entry-point by our representative and will be accompanied by him/her throughout their stay. Your tour itinerary has been planned by us to make sure you get the most out of your visit and your guide is there to assist you at all times. However, none of our tours are automated tour packages and so there is room for some flexibility in the programme, according to your interests and requirements. Please do not hesitate to discuss options with the guide.
What about cash, credit cards and ATM machines?
It is important to bring some cash with you if you plan to purchase souvenirs or pay for drinks and snacks outside the luxury hotels. Facilities for credit card payments are extremely limited outside the luxury hotels. A few handicraft shops in the main towns accept cards as payment for large items. Cash can now be obtained with Visa and Master Card debit cards at the Bank of Bhutan ATM machines but international withdrawals are not available at other ATMs or with a credit card. US$ (and, usually, Euro) cash is easily exchanged or spent anywhere and most international currencies are accepted at the bank in Thimphu. Indian currency is accepted everywhere but only small denominations – 500 and 1000 Rupee notes are not accepted by the bank but some shopkeepers will be willing to accept them.
What should I pack?
We have prepared a suggested packing list for you below, suited to your tour activities:
What to Bring:
Weather/ Climate The central valleys of Punakha, Wangdiphodrang, Mongar, Trashigang and Lhunsthi enjoy a semi tropical climate with warm summers and mild winters, while Thimphu, Paro, Tongsa and Bumthang have pleasant summers and very cold winters. The east of Bhutan is generally a little warmer than the west of the country. The southern low-altitude belt is tropical, with hot summers and pleasant winters.
Travelling in the mountains means that you can experience a wide range of temperatures in any one day. During the day it can be quite warm whereas night-time temperatures can drop dramatically. Crossing over a pass requires an extra layer of clothing just for an hour or two. It is better to plan to layer your clothing rather than bringing too many bulky warm clothes. Long sleeves are advisable since the sun is very strong and, similarly, a hat is recommended. A small face mask is suggested on long drives since the roads can get quite dusty, depending on the season.
As for a dress code, you should be aware that Bhutanese are conservative in their dress and do get offended by the sight of tourists wearing skimpy or tight-fitting clothes. Shorts and vests are not advisable at any time but they must not be worn on visits to monasteries, dzongs and other religious institutions. Hats must be removed before entering the above-mentioned places.
The following is fairly exhaustive list of what you should pack for a cultural tour:
- first-aid kit, including any of your usual prescription medicines,
- Clothes appropriate for the season and type of trip,
- Pair of casual shoes,
- Good UV-protection sunglasses,
- spare glasses or contact lenses,
- camera, film and accessories,
- books, maps,
- sun screen, after-sun lotion,
- lip salve,
- insect repellent,
- hand cream,
- small sewing kit & safety pins,
- torch or flash light with spare batteries,
- rehydration powder (for sports drinks etc