At a Glance
Area: 47, 000 sq. Km.
Continent: South Asia
Seasons: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Language: Dzongkha & English
Population: (2009 approx.) 683,407
Travel in Bhutan
The King of Bhutan is known as the “Dragon King”. Bhutan is also notable for pioneering the concept of gross national happiness. The country’s landscape ranges from lush subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan mountains in the north, where there are peaks in excess of 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). The highest mountain in Bhutan is the Gangkhar Puensum, which is also a strong candidate for the highest unclimbed mountainin the world.
The Royal Government of Bhutan has adopted a very cautious approach to the development of tourism in the kingdom in an effort to avoid the negative impacts of tourism on the culture and the environment. All tourists (group or individual) must travel on a pre-planned, prepaid, guided, package tour or custom designed program through a government registered travel company. Independent travel is not permitted in Bhutan. Payments
Tour payments must be made one month prior to the date of arrival in Bhutan and the government issues the visa only after the receipt of full tour payment. Clothing
Cotton clothes are sufficient from May until September but warm clothes are very much necessary from November to the end of April. However, visitors are advised to carry clothes consisting of layers (or preferably woolen sweater and jacket) throughout the season, as weather may change at anytime. Transportation
For cultural tours the booking should be completed 6 weeks in advance but for tours during festivals, 10 weeks advance information is required. Festivals held in autumn & spring are peak season for the tourists and without any early reservations; it can be difficult to confirm flights and hotels. For trekking groups, it is important to do bookings at least 10 weeks in advance, as it requires plenty of planning. For visitors in trek, we serve simple but nutritious and tasty dishes. Festivals
Religious festivals (Tse Chu) are important events and celebrated throughout the kingdom of Bhutan. The Tsechus are the most colorful event and all Bhutanese gather and celebrate at every Dzongs (fortress), temples and monasteries. Accommodations
Hotels and tourist lodges in Bhutan are comfortable but not luxurious. Although recently a few luxury hotels have been established in Bhutan, visitors in general can expect a unique combination of traditional Bhutanese style together with modern services, but not international five star luxuries all over Bhutan! Clean and well-maintained, most of the hotels are equipped with telephones; fax machines and long distance service. The food offered to the visitors is carefully prepared to suit the western taste combining Bhutanese food and western dishes.
The Royal Government of Bhutan categorizes all hotels and lodges. International visitors will be accommodated in hotels only, which fulfill the standards set by the government. Some of the more simple lodges have a special charm of their own, and convince with the traditional warm hospitality.
Bhutan Travel Information
Visa and Passport
Bhutanese embassies or consulates abroad do not issue tourist visa. The Druk Air ticket cannot be purchased without first obtaining visa. Visa application at least eight weeks in advance is advisable. The visitors are required valid passport and visa to enter Bhutan, except for Indian nationals. Travelers to Bhutan must have a visa approval prior to arriving in the kingdom of Bhutan. Those who have not had a visa approval will not permitted to board their Durk Air Flight.