FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

We have put together some common questions that frequently surface about traveling to and around Bhutan . If you still have questions, please feel free to get in touch with us.

Can I be a single traveler or must I join a group to travel to Bhutan?

You can be a single traveller. You will enjoy all the services that a group does. However you will have to pay a surcharge, which is set by the government, in addition to the daily minimum tariff. Please refer the Cost and Coverage.

When is the best time to travel in Bhutan?

The best time are during the two seasons of spring and fall. March to May and September to November, are the best times to visit Bhutan. The climate is good then and there are many festivals that are within short distances from places like Thimpu and Paro during these seasons. You can travel during the rest of the year too but, June, July and August are slightly humid because of the onset of the monsoon while December, January and February are winter months.

However with climate change, it is almost impossible to predict weather conditions and seasons.

You can visit western Bhutan (Thimphu, Paro, Punakha and Wangduephodrang) anytime of the year. Avoid central and eastern Bhutan during the monsoon months of July and August when the weather the road conditions are not ideal.

When is the best season for trekking?

Spring and fall are the best season for trekking. Hence, the months of March, April, May and September, October and November are the best times to trek and see the mountains.

What documents are required to apply for a visa?

All we need is a copy of your passport and we will apply for a visa using the online visa applying system created by the Government of Bhutan.

What kind of travel guides can I expect?

Licensed Bhutanese travel guides will introduce you to the many facets of Bhutan and its culture. Guides undergo regular training and are fluent in English. We also allocate specialized guides who are fluent in their respective fields like bird watching, various languages and other special tours.

When should I pay for my tour?

It is best to pay for your tour at least a month or more before the date of arrival. This will give us time to make all bookings and to clear your visa formalities (which is done only after the payment is received). For visits during the peak season in March, April, May, September, October, & November, it is advisable to make your payment 2 months or more in advance. This gives us ample time to confirm your bookings with the airlines and hotels since they are in high demand during these months.

How secure is my advance payment for my trip?

Your payment is secured as it goes directly to the Tourism Board (Tourism Council of Bhutan), which is a government organization.

Do I get a sleeping bag for hire for trekking in Bhutan?

Yes, but we recommend you to bring your own if you can. Most guests prefer to bring their own sleeping bags, which they are comfortable with. We provide extra blankets and mattresses.

Would I need travel insurance?

Not necessarily. However, we always advise our clients to get insurance coverage before traveling to Bhutan from their respective countries.

Who are BTT’s clients?

BTT has been serving clients from all over the world. We have successfully handled guests from United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, Spain, Belgium, Republic of Korea and Japan.

Most of our clients are Free Independent Travelers – solo travelers, couples, families or group of friends. Do check out our testimonials page to see samples of our international travelers.

What’s the difference between booking a trip directly through BTT and travel agents abroad?

BTT is a local operator based in Thimphu, Bhutan. We not only work closely with you to create your trip, but in accordance with our vision we try and implement activities and trips t0 local/rural areas where impact can be made through your travels. You also save a good deal of money by booking directly with us. The agents abroad are commissionable agents. Even if you book your trip through travel agents abroad, they ultimately need to deal with local operators in Bhutan.

What is BTT’s cancellation policy?

Please click here for our cancellation policy.

What does it cost to visit Bhutan?

The international tourist tariff is set by the Royal Government of Bhutan and is termed as the Daily Minimum Tariff.

For groups of three people or more, the rates are as follows:

High season (March, April, May, June and September, October and November): US $250/- per person per day.
Low Season (December, January, February and June, July and August): US$ 200 per person per day in

For a group of less than three people, there is a surcharge in addition to the daily minimum tariff:
One person:  US $40 per person per day.
Two and three people: US $30 per person per day.
Four people or more: No surcharge applicable.

A one-time visa fee of US $40 levied in addition to the daily tariff.

What is covered by the Minimum Daily Tariff?

The daily minimum tariff cover includes:

  • Visa and processing fees
  • Accommodation (3-star rated hotels minimum)
  • All meals (does not include water and beverages ordered at restaurants and hotels.
  • All land transport (4WD for travelling couples or mini bus or bus for bigger groups with an experienced and certified driver)
  • A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide
  • Trekking
  • Entrance fees to all museums and sightseeing spots
  • Mineral water
  • All Government taxes
  • Sustainable Development Fee
  • All administrative costs

The daily minimum cover excludes:

  • Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Accommodation and meals at higher end hotels and restaurants
  • Gratuity for guide and driver
  • Beverages and drinks ordered at restaurants and hotels.
  • Laundry and other miscellaneous expense

What currency should I carry?

The most commonly accepted currencies are US dollars, Australian Dollars, Singapore dollars, Euro, Pounds, Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, Canadian Dollars and Indian Rupees. Most handicraft shops also accept such currencies but will have varying exchange rates. These currencies can be easily exchanged to local currency (Ngultrums) in the banks without much hassle. Some local shops also exchange currency.

Can I use credit cards in Bhutan?

Banks have ATMs all over the country and you will be able withdraw local currency via Visa & Mastercard credit & debit cards especially in town like Thimphu and Paro. Most shops in these places also accept credit/debit cards. However with the ATM’s you’ll only be able to draw limited/small amounts in any single transaction, so carrying cash is always advisable.

How do I book my flights into Bhutan?

BTT can arrange your airline tickets to and from Bhutan. There is no commission fee for this service. However, you can also buy directly from the airlines through their websites www.drukair.com.bt and www.bhutanairlines.bt

What if there is a change in schedule for Druk Air/Bhutan Airlines flights? Or what if the flight is delayed?

For passengers heading to Bhutan, both the airlines will ensure that you get on the next available flight to Paro. For passengers who miss their flight due to late check-in, passengers can pay Druk Air an admin charge of US$50 to get on the next available flight.

For travellers returning from Bhutan, airline staff at Paro will assist you with all arrangements in case of a flight delay. They will also attempt to contact your connecting flight airline to inform them of a delay. Should you not be able to take your connecting flight on the same day, they will arrange for your accommodation in your transit port.

Any other fees and charges incurred will typically have to be borne by the travellers. You are advised to acquire your own travel insurance.

How will I receive my air tickets?

Airlines do not issue paper tickets any more. BTT will purchase your ticket and email the e- ticket to you.

Is there any likelihood of delays in flights?

Flights can be delayed in departure and arrival especially in the monsoon season.  It is advisable for passengers with onward connections after leaving Bhutan to keep at least one day’s gap before your next flight.

Are there any immunizations I should have before visiting Bhutan?

There are no vaccination requirements for entering the country. You may, however, wish to talk to your doctor about receiving immunizations against certain preventable diseases. The US Center for Disease Control has up-to-date travel information about which diseases you may want to immunize yourself against when traveling to Bhutan.

Is altitude sickness a common problem?

Although most visitors have no problem adjusting, altitude sickness may be a problem for certain people. Signs of altitude sickness include headache, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue. If you happen to be at a higher altitude than you are used to, descend immediately until you begin to feel better.

Is there a limit to the baggage I can bring?

The two airlines have a maximum cap of 30 kilograms per person, regardless of the number of pieces of check in luggage. While on a trek you will be accompanied by a trekking guide, a cook, an assistant cook, horsemen and several horses. We recommend you to limit your baggage to one daypack and one extra duffel/bag, which will be carried porter ponies. All other logistics like food and tents are provided by BTT.

Where can I leave my belongings that I do not take on a trek?

After you have packed for your trek you can leave the rest of your belongings with us or at your hotel. They will be safely kept.

What is Bhutan’s electricity supply like?

Bhutan uses a 240 V system. Electrical supply is generally good but can be less stable in the smaller towns outside the capital, Thimphu. If you are using laptops and other sensitive equipment, be prepared for fluctuations and power surges and we advise you to bring along an universal adapter.

What type of electrical plug is used in Bhutan?

Bhutan uses the round pin sockets as shown in the picture (Type C and Type D). You can also buy other types of power socket converters in many of the hardware shops in the capital, Thimphu.

Can I access the internet in Bhutan?

Internet access is available in hotels. You can also buy a tourist SIM upon arrival, which will enable you to connect with web.

How safe is it in Bhutan?

There is very little crime in Bhutan. It is also safe for women travelers and solo travelers to tour the country.

Is there a recommended attire for visiting temples and institutions?

The Bhutanese people wear their full traditional dress and formal wear to Dzongs, offices and places of worship. While visiting these places visitors should wear long pants (any kind of trousers) with full-sleeved shirts. Skirts and dresses should be long enough to hide your knees. Slippers and sandals are not allowed. Always remember to remove your sun caps, glasses and shoes inside Dzongs, offices and places of worship

Does Bhutan welcome gays and lesbians?

People’s sexual preferences are considered a personal matter and do not bother most Bhutanese. The Bhutanese people are, however, not used to intimate behavior in public places.

Is tipping expected in Bhutan?

Tipping is not an ingrained culture. This is totally your choice even though some guides and drivers expect a little something at the end of your trip.

Can I buy antiques in Bhutan?

The export of antiques is prohibited by law. Tourists should only buy artifacts that have been certified for sale and for export. The government provides an official seal to certify that artifacts can be taken out of Bhutan.

Are cigarettes available in Bhutan?

There is a ban on the sale of cigarettes in Bhutan. Smoking is also prohibited in public places, hotels and offices but each person is allowed to bring in 200 sticks or a carton for personal consumption.

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