When we link travel to Bhutan and its cost, many won’t need much time to come up with a conclusion that travelling to Bhutan is expensive.
However, some people travel to Bhutan. Its rich cultural heritages, traditional life styles, beautiful landscape and pristine nature make worth a visit. So why many actually don’t visit Bhutan?
Tourism Policy of Bhutan
Tourism is one of the highest revenue generating sectors. Yet Bhutan government is reluctant to develop tourism to its highest earning capacity. Its principal tourism policy is ‘High Value, Low Volume’.
Bhutan government don’t want to earn from it at an expense. Because they don’t want tourism to be a cause of cultures and environment deterioration.
No Independent Travel
If you aren’t citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives, chance you can travel to Bhutan independently is less. Because travelling to Bhutan, you need Bhutan Visa. And there is no VISA on arrival concept in travel to Bhutan.
However, government guests and volunteers of approved organizations can travel to Bhutan free. However, their free travel to Bhutan visa validity is 90 days.
Travel to Bhutan VISA
If you aren’t someone in that bracket who can travel to Bhutan without VISA, you must apply for Bhutan VISA in advance. And it should be through tour operators with valid business licenses.
You must process your travel before 3 months of travel date. And Tourism Council of Bhutan will approve your VISA only upon receipt of all your travel cost and VISA fees.
Bhutan Travel Costs
Bhutan travel cost is government approved ‘minimum daily package’. The total amount base on your number of days in Bhutan must be paid in advance.
However, there are some variations in this according to season and number of people. Therefore, you must try to have best combination of all to have cost effective travel.
Minimum Daily Package of Bhutan (March, April, May, September, October, November)
|Sl/No.||Daily Rate||No. of people in a group|
|1||USD 250||3 or more people.|
|2||USD 280||2 people|
|3||USD 290||One person.|
Note: Students and children also get discounts. Read Tourism Council of Bhutan’s website for details.
Minimum Daily Package of Bhutan (January, February, June, July, August, December)
|Sl/No.||Daily Rate||No. of people in group|
|1||USD 200||3 or more people.|
|2||USD 230||2 people.|
|3||USD 240||One person.|
Note: Students and children get discounts. Read Tourism Council of Bhutan’s website for details.
How to get there?
There is only one international Airport at Paro. State corporation DrukAir and private company Bhutan Airlines operate. Departure points are at New Delhi, Dhakha, Bangkok, Myanmar and Singapore.
On transit, they also fly to Bagdora Airport and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. So Indians can also depart to Bhutan from these two airports.
You can also enter Bhutan overland from India. There are three entries: 1) Samdrup Jongkhar in the Eastern Bhutan, 2) Gelephu in Central Bhutan and 3) Phuntsholing in Western Bhutan.
Money for Tourists
Indian tourists can use INR as legal tender in Bhutan. But 500 and 2000 rupees notes aren’t accepted so. Bhutanese currency Ngultrum is at par with INR.
International debit cards and credit cards aren’t widely used in Bhutan. So keep internationally accepted currency (USD) in cash and exchange with Ngultrum in Paro Airport.
Bhutan is developing fast. Paro and Thimphu, two districts where maximum of tourist travels happen are slowly losing ancient looks and charm.
Therefore, travel to Bumthang or Trashigang from Paro Airport to experience authentic versions of Bhutan. But these places are also changing. So it would be better you visit Bhutan sooner.