Bhutan Travel Information
Bhutan General information - Bhutan Travel Information
Landlocked between China in the north and India in the south, east and west, Bhutan is a small country with an area of 46,500 square kilometers. Its geography is characteristic of the Eastern Himalayas with elevation ranging from 150 meters above sea level in the south to more than 7,300 meters in the north. Bhutan is divided into three zones. The southern zone is characteristic of low foothills and dense tropical forests. With an average temperature of 20 degrees centigrade, this region is hot and humid. The central zone is the climate in the lower valleys is semi-tropical; most of the region is alpine with a monsoon. The central zone is divided into three regions: Western Bhutan, Central Bhutan, and Eastern Bhutan. The northern zone stretches from west to east between 6800 meters to 7400 meters, forming part of the Great Himalayas.
Buddhism is practiced throughout the country and the majority of the Bhutanese are Buddhist. Hinduism is practiced particularly in Southern Bhutan among the Bhutanese of Nepali origin. As practiced by the Southern Bhutanese, Hindu religion has many common saints and divinities with Vijrayana Buddhism, the school of religion prevalent in Bhutan. The main protective deity of the country, Yeshey Gonpo or Mahakala, is a Tantric Buddhist form of Hindu God Shiva and often appears in the form of a raven. Prior to the advent of Buddhism, various forms of animistic religions including Bon were followed in Bhutan. In some parts of the country these traditions and rituals are still practiced by minority groups.
The best way to enter Bhutan is by Druk Air, Bhutan's National Flag carrier. Druk Air has flights from India (Delhi & Calcutta), Nepal (Kathmandu), Thailand (Bangkok) and Bangladesh (Dhaka). Druk Air is the only air operating TO/FROM Bhutan.
By land, one can enter or exit Bhutan from Phuntsoling, the southern Bhutanese border town that is soon connected to West Bengal state of India. For travellers willing to visit Darjeeling, Sikkim and Nepal, Phuntsoling serves as a best connecting point. Exit from Bhutan can be made from Samdrup Zongkhar also. This frontier town is approximately three hours drive from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam state of India. Samdrup Zongkhar is the only other authorised exit point in Bhutan from where you can make further visit to other parts of India. As per government rule, it is mandatory to travel at least one way to/from Bhutan or both.
A visa is required for traveling to Bhutan and it is processed and arranged by travel agents in Bhutan. No foreign mission grants tourist visa. Once you've decided to participate in one of Around Himal's Bhutan programs, our partner agent in Bhutan will take care of your Visa preparation. Please download this <Visa Application Form> fill it carefully and mail it to us at least four weeks prior to date of your proposed travel, for processing it with the concerned authorities. Please include four copies of a recent passport size photographs. Actual visa is stamped on arrival in Bhutan while visa is cleared in advance and a visa clearance number issued. Once we've gone through this process and received a clearance number, we will confirm your travel.
CUSTOMS & REGULATIONS
The Bhutanese authorities strictly prohibit the export of any religious antiquity or antiques of any type. All personal electronics, cameras, video cameras, computers and personal electronic equipment may be brought into the country but they must be listed on the Customs form provided on arrival at Paro and will be checked on your departure. Two liters of Alcohol and reasonable quantity of cigarettes may be brought in to the country without duty.
Bhutan's unit of currency is the Ngultrum (Nu), which equals 100 Chetrums. It is at par with the Indian rupee, itself a legal tender in the kingdom. One US dollar is exchanged for roughly 44 Ngultrums. Tourists can exchange traveller's cheques or cash at the Bank of Bhutan or at any authorised hotels. US dollar, Australian dollars, pound sterling, Euro, French and Swiss francs, German marks, Dutch guilders, Hongkong dollars, Singapore dollars, Thai bath or Japanese yen are all accepted currencies.
Hotels vary in style and quality but are generally considered one of the welcome surprises for visitors. There is a variety of hotels in Bhutan, ranging from simple huts that cater to Bhutanese yak herders to Paro's fancy Olathang Hotel, which was built for royal guests. There is no International chain of hotels and not much imported hotel equipment. To be more precise, what you get is a Bhutanese version of what the tourists expect. In most cases, the facilities and service are good. The Tourism Authority of Bhutan approves the hotels for the International tourists.
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO
The photography opportunities in Bhutan are immense. Photography is permitted nearly everywhere in Bhutan and the local population has no aversion to being photographed. If you wish to record the local people, their houses, shops etc, always ask by gestures if it is okay to do so. Photography inside the Dzongs and Monasteries are not permitted. Please follow our guide's instruction carefully while visiting Dzongs, monasteries and religious institution.
Bhutan Tour Package
Duration: 04 Days
Cost: Contact us
A Glimpse of Bhutan- 3 Nights, 4 Days. This is the shortest trip that gives you an introduction of the religion, culture, people and the natural beauty of the Dragon Kingdom. You will visit Thimpu the capital city of Bhutan and Paro.
Duration: 10 Days
Cost: Contact us
Flight into Paro brings breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountains. If the weather permits you will be able to see Himalayan Mountains. The landing, flying through the Paro valley between the 4000 meters high mountains. Visit Simtokha Dzong, the oldest fortress of the Kingdom,