8 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Bhutan

8 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Bhutan

Updated on 30/December/2021

Are you planning to visit Bhutan after the pandemic or when its border opens? Here are some things for you to take note of while preparing for your trip to Bhutan.

Tourism in Bhutan only started in 1974 when the Royal Government of Bhutan opened its door to the world. Since then, the tourism industry in Bhutan has developed dynamically and served as one of the main sources of income for Bhutan.

Important Things You Should Know Before Planning a Trip Bhutan

1) Get updated about Bhutan Tourism
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bhutan has closed its door for tourism since March 2020. The Bhutan Government continues to provide regular updates on the country’s situation.

As of December 2021, Bhutan is still not open for tourism. All tourists are not allowed to enter Bhutan until further notice. This includes regional tourists from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives.

So, if you are planning to visit Bhutan, it is essential to get updated about its tourism updates. Follow the Bhutan COVID-19 situation updates and sign up for our newsletter to get notified as soon as the borders to Bhutan reopen for tourism.

As soon the tourism opens, make sure to follow the guidelines set by the Government of Bhutan.

2) Find a reliable Bhutan tour company
To enter Bhutan, you must engage a reliable tour company. As part of Bhutan’s strict ‘High-value, low-volume’ tourism policy, all trips to Bhutan must be facilitated through a licensed tour operator. All tours to Bhutan must be guided by a local tour guide and driver. You are not able to do a free-and-easy tour or spontaneous backpacking tours in Bhutan.

If you engage a tour agency like Druk Asia, you’ll be able to customise your itinerary, and the consultants will provide you with the best recommendations.

3) You need to secure a Bhutan visa
Another thing that you need to know is that every visitor to Bhutan must have a tourist visa, except for India, Bangladesh, or Maldives passports holders. However, getting a tourist visa to Bhutan is relatively easy. Your tour operator will be able to assist you with the application process.

Find out more about Bhutan tourist visa application and the documents required.

4) You can enter Bhutan by air or land
Most of the tourists enter Bhutan by flight to Paro International Airport, the only international airport in the kingdom. But you can also travel to Bhutan via land through certain states in India. There are three land entries to Bhutan via the Indian borders.

Below are the three land entry points to Bhutan from India states:

  • Samdrup Jongkhar (Bhutan) from Assam (India)

  • Phuentsholing (Bhutan) from Jaigaon (India)

  • Gelephu (Bhutan) from West Bengal (India)

Drukair, Royal Bhutan Airlines fly to Bhutan directly from various Asian countries including Singapore, Thailand, Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

Find out more about: Travelling to Bhutan from Singapore Travelling to Bhutan from Bangkok Travelling to Bhutan from Kathmandu Travelling to Bhutan from Australia

5) There is a Minimum Daily Rate Package (MDRP) for tours to Bhutan

Since Bhutan implements a High Value, Low Volume tourism policy, all tours cost to Bhutan are fixed. The price of the tours to Bhutan will depend on the season that you plan to visit and the number of people in your tour group. The more travel buddies you have, the cheaper your cost to Bhutan.

High Season: March, April, May, September, October, and November

  • $250 per person per night, for a group of three or more people.

  • $280 per person per night, for a group of two people.

  • $290 per night for single individuals.

Low Season: January, February, June, July, August, and December

  • $200 per person per day, for a group of three or more people.

  • $230 per person per day, for a group of two people.

  • $240 per day for single individuals.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Season Low Low High High High Low Low Low High High High Low

The tariff covers the following cost and services:

  • All internal taxes and charges
  • USD65 sustainable development fee used by government to provide free education, healthcare and building infrastructure
  • 3 meals a day
  • A licensed English speaking Bhutanese tour guide throughout your trip
  • All transport on the ground including driver (excluding internal flights)
  • A minimum 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star will require additional premium)
  • Entrance fees to tourists attractions
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours (if applicable)
  • *Free loan of traditional costume (kira or gho)
  • *Free SIM card

*Only exclusively or Druk Asia’s guests. Book your trip to Bhutan with Druk Asia.

6) Bhutanese love spicy food
Almost every local cuisine contain chillies in one way or another. And the locals can take extremely spicy food. But worry not if you don’t fancy chillies. Because the Bhutanese will tone down the spice level for foreigners who cannot take hot stuff.

Aside from chillies, the Bhutanese absolutely love cheese. In fact, chilli cheese (ema datshi) is a dish that’s so well-loved, it’s deemed the national dish of Bhutan.

Learn how to cook chilli cheese (ema datshi) in your own kitchen.

Find out the must-try Bhutanese food.

7) Bhutanese can speak good English
If you are worried about communications issues in Bhutan, you can sleep well tonight knowing that Bhutanese speaks fluent English. As a matter of fact, English is the medium of instruction in Bhutanese schools. The majority of Bhutanese, especially the younger generation can speak very good English. There will be little communication barrier between foreigners and the Bhutanese. If English is not your mother tongue, you may also request for tour guides who speak Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean or Japanese if you travel with Druk Asia.

If are a language enthusiast, you may also learn some basic Dzongkha (Bhutanese language) to surprise your new friends.

8) You need to be a responsible tourist Bhutanese have worked hard to preserve their culture and tradition over the centuries. As a tourist, there are certain behaviours that you need to observe.

  • When visiting religious sites such as monasteries, temples or dzongs, you should not wear revealing clothes.

  • Do not point at deities or statues as it’s considered disrespectful.

  • Remove your headgear and take off your shoes when entering a temple.

  • Do not take photographs inside the temples as it’s strictly prohibited.

  • Be respectful of the members of the royal family as the Bhutanese hold them in high esteem.

  • Dispose of your waste responsibly as Bhutanese have a lot of respect for their environment.

Find out more unique facts about Bhutan.

For more travel tips and recommendations, grab a copy of Bhutan Travelog from Amazon. An easy-to-read comprehensive guide about Bhutan tourism.

Have More Questions About Bhutan?
For any enquiries about Bhutan, drop us an email at hello@drukasia.com.

Let us help you prepare for a hassle-free and memorable trip to Bhutan.

Planning To Go Bhutan?
You may consider taking a 7-day essential Bhutan tour or spending 10-day to delve deeper into Bhutan. Check the best time to visit Bhutan and our tips when you’re planning a trip to Bhutan.

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Planning to travel to Bhutan during a festival?

On popular dates of travel such as during festival time, flight tickets tend to get fully reserved 5 months prior. Due to limited flight and seats available, we recommend you to reserve your ticket as early as possible. You can reserve your ticket for free with us and plan your trip to Bhutan with a peace of mind knowing that you will have a spot on your flight to Bhutan.


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