1. Where is Bhutan?
Bhutan (Druk – a dragon Kingdom) with the size of 38,394 km2 is a Buddhist Kingdom located between China and India and is known for its peace-loving people.
2. Do I need a visa to enter Bhutan?
Yes, all visitors will need a visa to visit Bhutan, except for visitors from India, who will require a permit. Nationals of Bangladesh and the Maldives shall be eligible for a visa on arrival at the port of entry. All International tourists traveling to Bhutan must obtain a visa.
3. How can I visit Bhutan and how much will it cost? (Sustainable Development Fees – SDF and other fees)?
Our Government regulation mandates that all tourists have to pay SDF before or on arrival for the grant of a permit or visa. Guests from India are levied SDF of Nu. 1,200 or an equivalent amount in INR per person per day and then permit is granted. Other International guests have to pay SDF USD 200/day/person + USD40/-visa fees (One time) for processing the visa.
You can either arrange it yourself or through the registered tour operator of Bhutan to arrange your visa and/or permit.
The other Ground costs consisting of accommodation in a minimum 3-star hotel, all meals, vehicle hire, guide fees, monumental fees, and all other extra fees have to be borne separately by the visitor and should be paid in advance to your tour operators as prior hotel bookings need to be carried out.
4. What are Sustainable Development Fees (SDF)?
Sustainable Development Fee which directly goes to the government exchequer contributes to social welfare, developmental activities, conservation of the environment, promotion of culture, and enhancement of infrastructure and facilities for tourists in Bhutan.
5. How do I get to Bhutan?
You can enter Bhutan either by road or by air. i) The road route to Bhutan is through Phuentsholing, (South), Gelephu (Central region), and Samdrup Jongkhar (East). ii) The air route is to fly into Paro International Airport either by Drukair or Bhutan Airlines, which operates in Bhutan. The two airlines cover the destination namely Bangkok (Thailand), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Kathmandu (Nepal), Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Bodh Gaya (India), and Singapore.
6. When is the best time to visit Bhutan?
You can visit Bhutan all year round but the following months of March, April, and May (spring season) and September, October, and November (autumn season) are high/Peak seasons for tourists. The winter months are cold at night, but the days are quite warm with bright and clear blue skies. In the summer season, Bhutan receives heavy monsoon rain causing difficulty in traveling sometimes.
7. What currency is used in Bhutan?
The Bhutanese currency is the Ngultrum and is the same value as the Indian Rupee. Both can be used in Bhutan.
8. Is there any ATM to withdraw money?
ATMs only accept cards marked Visa & MasterCard (credit or debit cards) and/or Cirrus or Maestro debit cards.
9. How safe is Bhutan for tourists?
Bhutan remains an extremely safe destination with an exceptionally low risk of theft or harassment. Bhutan is a Buddhist country and strongly believes in the law of karma literally means “action” or “doing” and the consequences it brings.
10. What is the food habit in Bhutan?
Bhutan is culturally known for its high consumption of rice and spicy diet. Popular ema-datsi (made from chilies and cheese) is the national curry in Bhutan. However, there are oriental and continental cuisines widely available in hotels/restaurants in Bhutan.
11. Do Bhutanese speak English?
The medium of educational instruction in Bhutan is English and as such most Bhutanese can speak and understand the English language, apart from our national language Dzongkha (the official language of Bhutan).