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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there an annual quota on the number of visitors entering Bhutan?

There is no quota on the number of visitors to Bhutan. However, Bhutan is only served by Druk Air, which flies only once a day from Bangkok, the number of visitors is naturally limited by the capacities of the airplanes serving the routes.

To help with the growing traffic volume to Bhutan, Druk Air has ordered will be adding another A319 to her fleet in 2012 and Druk Air will be adding new routes to Singapore and Mumbai in September 2012. The government of Bhutan in fact has set itself the target of over 100k visitors per year by the end of 2013.

2. Whats included in the tour packages listed?

The Tourism Council of Bhutan imposes minimum spending per traveler per day. Within this limit, the following are included:

• Visas for Bhutan
• A qualified & licensed English-speaking guide
• An experienced driver
• A good vehicle (4WD for travelling couples or mini bus or bus for bigger groups)
• All meals inclusive
• Accommodation (3 star rated hotels minimum)
• Mineral water for the duration of the stay (foc)
• Taxes, surcharges, government contribution

The following are not included:

• Travel Insurance
• Meals at 5 stars restaurants. Breakfast at 5 stars restaurant is included if you have booked a night at the hotel.
• Tips for the guide and driver
• Druk Air ticketing cost is usually not included in our listed travel packages due to the fluctuation of foreign exchange.

3. How is the mobile coverage in Bhutan?

Mobile coverage is pretty good in the Paro and Thimphu region. As travelers enter central Bhutan, mobile coverage may become less consistent. Mobile coverage is also haphazard when trekking and travelling from one town to another town. Blackberry users who are using 3G networks should have no problem receiving their data.

4. Can we access the Internet from Bhutan?

Internet access is usually available in hotels in the room and their lobby, only some hotels charges for Internet usage. In central Bhutan, tourists may have to pay for Internet access in the hotels. For a list of hotels with Internet connectivity, please refer to our listing of recommended hotels in Bhutan.

5. How is Druk Asia different from other travel agency?

Druk Asia is probably the only outfit in Bhutan with overseas offices. The international team from Druk Asia is made up of both native Bhutanese and local staff that has first hand experience on Bhutan. They made numerous trips to Bhutan in order to know the country and its infrastructure better. Druk Asia’s international staffs typically make a trip to Bhutan every quarter to catch up with the main operations and better understand the latest developments in the country. Druk Asia is also the sole representative of Drukair in Singapore.

6. Who are Druk Asia’s Customers?

Druk Asia has been serving clients from all over the world. Some of our clients are from Russia, America, United Kingdom, Italy, Chinese, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and more.

Besides working with direct customers, Druk Asia also use her knowledge of Bhutan to work with other travel agencies to assist them with trip arrangement. This is especially true since we are the only representative of Druk Air in Singapore and will be planning more offices around the world.

Do check out our testimonial page to see a sample of our international travellers.

7. What if there’s a change of scheduled for Druk Air flight? Or when the flight is delayed?

For passengers heading to Bhutan, Druk Air will ensure that you get on the next available flight to Paro. For passengers who missed 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, Druk Air staff at Paro will assist you with all arrangement due to the flight delay. Staff of Druk Air will also attempt to contact you connecting flight airline to inform them of a delay. Should you not be able to take your connecting flight on the same day, Druk Air will arrange for your accommodation in say Bangkok.

Any other fees and charges incurred will typically have to be bore by the travellers.

Travellers are advised to acquire their own travel insurance. For more information, please refer to Druk Air’s cancellation and change of schedule policy.

8. Is tipping expected in Bhutan?

Tipping is not an ingrained culture. Hotel & waiting staffs do not linger around expecting a tip. However, following industry norms, tipping the driver and guide is more commonly accepted. The rule of thumb is $5/day for the driver and $8/day for the guide. This comes to $130/car for a 10 days trip.

9. What’s the cancellation policy for travel to Bhutan?

For Bhutan trip booked and subsequent cancellation, the following applies.

• More than 30 days before start of programme, administration fee per traveller only.
• Within 30 days of start of programme ~ 15%
• Within 21 days ~ 25% of rate
• Within 14 days ~ 30% of rate
• Within 7 days ~ 45% of rate
• Less than 7 days or without notice ~ 65% of rate
• After arrival in Bhutan ~ 100%

A SGD120 administration fee will be payable for each traveller’s cancellation. For Druk Air tickets issued and subsequent cancellation, the following applies.

• 75% refund permitted for tickets cancelled more than 30 days from the date of travel.
• 50% refund permitted for tickets cancelled between 30 - last 10 days from the date of travel.
• 25% refund permitted for tickets cancelled prior to 03 (three) days from the date of travel.

There will also be SGD 165 administration fee on each ticket cancelled.
For Drukair tickets issued and subsequent reschedule, the following applies.

• USD 40 rescheduling fee or equivalent local currency for every flight reschedule less than 72 hours prior to date of travel.
• No charges for business class passengers.

10. I’ve paid for my tour package. How long does it take to process my visa to Bhutan?

You should expect to get your visa only between 14 to 5 days prior to your departure. Remember to print out a copy of your visa so that you can present it at the Druk Air Check-in counter and also at immigration points.

Please visit our Bhutan Visa Application Procedures page.
 


Written by + Cipto Handoyo

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