Travel Info

Bhutan is situated very near to the equator or just 28-degree north – latitude wise and so despite the Himalayan elevation, the conditions are mild and vary. And sometimes it can be misleading.

In Europe, at 7500ft above sea level, you will find snow throughout the winter or by 9000ft in North America, you will not find trees. In Bhutan, at 7500ft (at which Thimphu and Paro valleys are situated), it is considered lucky if you get one snowfall a year even at height of winter. Here, in Bhutan you will find tree going right up to 13000ft, after which there will be still shrubs and alpine grasses. The snow-line is much higher.

The country has altitude range from just 450ft above sea level down to south (near Indian border) with tropical conditions and rain forest going right up to 24000ft with alpine conditions and mountains. It makes the country one of the most diverse in biodiversity and in climatic conditions. So depending, which part of Bhutan you travel, your clothing needs will vary but it is good to have layers for every conditions.

Depending on the time of your travel in Bhutan and places the program has been set, we will provide you with custom packing list but generally being prepared to have multiple layers of clothing each day is always good idea. So that when you experience subtropical conditions you can shed after you have descended from 10500ft alpine conditions in an hour of driving! And all the roads are over mountains – winding and going up or down. There is no such thing as level or straight roads!

The temperatures below are average for some of the common places in Bhutan:

Month Celsius Paro (7500ft) Thimphu (7500ft) Punakha (4400ft) Trongsa (7000ft) Bumthang (8700ft) Mongar (4000ft) Trashigang (3900ft)
January Max

Min

9.4

-5.8

12.3

-2.6

17.0

4.3

13.0

-0.2

10.8

-5.1

15.5

8.2

20.4

10.5

February Max

Min

13.0

1.5

14.4

0.6

19.0

7.8

13.9

0.4

10.0

-1.4

15.9

8.3

21.7

11.5

March Max

Min

14.5

0.6

16.4

3.9

22.8

10.4

16.7

4.4

16.2

3.5

20.0

11.6

24.8

14.4

April Max

Min

17.6

4.6

20.0

7.1

26.2

12.9

20.1

6.6

18.7

3.9

22.8

14.0

28.3

17.0

May Max

Min

23.5

10.6

22.5

13.1

29.1

17.7

21

11.6

21.3

9.5

25.1

17.4

30

22.6

June Max

Min

25.4

14.1

24.4

15.2

29.2

20.1

22.2

13.6

22.5

13.5

26.1

19.5

30.7

22.6

July Max

Min

26.8

14.9

25.9

15.6

30.4

20.5

25.3

15.3

24.1

13.6

27.1

19.8

31.5

23.1

August Max

Min

25.3

14.7

25.0

15.8

29.1

20

23.8

15

23.0

13.7

25.4

19.6

30.2

22.7

September Max

Min

23.4

11.7

23.1

15

27.5

19.1

22.6

14.2

21.6

12.1

24.7

19.4

30.0

21.9

October Max

Min

18.7

7.4

21.9

10.4

26.1

14.7

21.8

11.7

19.5

5.9

22.7

15.8

29.1

17.7

November Max

Min

13.9

1.4

17.9

5.0

22.6

9.6

19.8

6.4

16.1

-0.5

19.9

11.2

26.1

13.6

December Max

Min

11.2

-1.7

14.5

-1.1

19.1

6.3

18.2

2.5

12.3

-2.3

17.7

9.5

23.0

11.6

Given that it is vastly Buddhist country, one is expected to go around temples, stupas, prayer flags in clockwise direction.

It is considered respectful to point at images or statues of deities with open hand (or with all fingers spread); same gesture is considered more polite in pointing at each other or other people as well.

It is considered more polite to receive or give both hands – sometimes Bhutanese will shake your hand with both of their hands as to show more respect. There are no preferences in use of either of the hands.

The Bhutanese are multilingual and so will often speak multiple languages and dialects of their country – often mixing them together (you may hear spate of English in barrage of local dialects or vice versa) but often to be polite one may add “la” to names or any terms to make them respectful and polite, including English words.

There are two airlines that operate into Bhutan – namely state owned Druk Air and private Bhutan Airlines. Most flights are operated by Druk Air from Thailand (Bangkok), Singapore, Indian (Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Nepal (Kathmandu) but Bhutan Airlines also are catching up on all of these networks.

We are authorized representatives for both Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines and offer ticketing services in addition to the tour packages.

Bhutan is 6 hours ahead of GMT and any international flights on average from North America to one of the ports into Bhutan takes 12 hours and 6 hours on average from Europe.

Given that the airport is weather bound and requires visual sighting for landing, there are sometimes delays and cancellation. It is always recommended that one have extra night in the port that one is flying out to, in order to manage such occasional incidents.  (We also recommend some nights before in the port before coming into Bhutan to get attuned to the time difference. With our partners, we can make arrangements there as well).

Depending on your travel program or the package you choose with us, you may have to fly domestic flights, in which case ATR 42-500 twin turboprop plane will either take you to or from central Bhutan – the Bumthang or East – the district of Trashigang or South Central- the town of  Gelephu to or from Paro west (the only international airport).

One can enter Bhutan by road through our Southern neighbor – India. There are 3 main routes from India into Bhutan.  The main one is from the Indian state of West Bengal  to enter into Bhutan through the Bhutanese town of Phuentsholing (major trade hub of Bhutan) at the western side. At the eastern side, one can enter into Bhutanese town of Samdrupjongkhar from Indian state of Assam. One can also come into Bhutan through town of Gelegphu that is situated south centrally.

There are no roads to the northern neighbor.

Bhutan is in same time zone as Dhaka or 6 hours + GMT, which is one hour behind Bangkok, two hours behind Singapore, half an hour ahead of India and 15 minutes ahead of Nepal.

All visitors (except those of Indian, Bangladesh and Maldives) travelling to Bhutan need a visa, which can be obtained by paying minimum tariff of USD 200 – 250 per day per person (additional surcharges depending on the group size).

The minimum tariff includes visa, basic accommodation, food at ground transport but premium services and facilities will always attract addition to the minimum tariff. Depending on the packages you opt, the pricing differs.

You are required to send the photo-page of your passport (with validity of more than six months before your date of travel) to us and we will process the visa.  The visa will be processed through the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (minimum tariff, additional for premiums if applicable, including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account.  Once received, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.

At your point of entry, you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

Indian, Bangladeshis and  Maldivian nationals need not pay the minimum tariff but still these nationalities need to obtain a permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months’ validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card).  We can make the arrangement prior to your arrival.

While there are no extra visa fees for the delays resulting out of weather bound flights, one may need to incur for the extra services and incidentals. It is always recommended that you have travel insurance, which we can arrange through our partners or you do in your own country.

All the payments for the trip need to be wired a month before the date of travel to the account of Tourism Council of Bhutan, details of which we will provide. Depending on the time of the year, the cancellation charges can be whole or part.

Given that Tourism Council of Bhutan is independent arm of the government that oversee the Bhutanese tourism industry, you should be assured that your commitments are being protected

The Bhutanese Ngultrum (pronounced ‘newl – trum’) is pegged to Indian rupee and so the value is same as rupee, and exchange rate moves up or down with rupee. Currently a dollar fetches on average 65 of Ngultrum, but this will vary depending on the denomination of the currency as well.

Along with credit card, most of the souvenir shops will accept US dollars or Indian currency but for the incidentals, it is best to exchange some local currency.

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