Bhutan Travel Guide: Your Handbook of Travel Tips

Kuzo Dzangpo La! Hello from the Land of Happiness – Bhutan. With its gorgeous valleys, calming monasteries, bright colors and truly delightful people – it is not surprising to find Bhutan on almost everyone’s bucket list – even the ones who have been there at least once. I am already craving another trip to this country. However, while I wait for that to happen. let me help the rest of you to plan yours with this Bhutan Travel Guide.

Thimphu - The Capital of Bhutan
Thimphu – The Capital of Bhutan

A landlocked Himalayan country, Bhutan is quite a traditional nation. Quite isolated from the world, it has taken care to preserve its origin. While they do welcome tourists, they are a little restrictive on how many they encourage and the areas where they can visit. Hence, as a traveler, you will find that there are Bhutan permits that you need to plan for. In addition, the mountainous terrain requires you to be well prepared. From travel permits to visas, places to visit, where to stay, what to eat & general travel tips – I will try to cover it all in this one ultimate Travel Guide to Bhutan. Hopefully, after this, you can just get down to the task and get going with your Bhutan holidays.

Bhutan Travel Guide: Getting to Bhutan

As an Indian, getting to Bhutan was quite easy. However, if you are a citizen of any country other than India, Bangladesh and Maldives, you will find it a little restrictive to get here. This is the case not just owing to the mode of visit to Bhutan but also, owing to their tourist requirements. Let me first deal with the Mode of Travel and then, I will share all about Government Prescribed Tourist Packages for Foreigners

Travel to Bhutan by Road

This is how I got into Bhutan. I flew to the closest Indian Airport – Bagdogra and then, took a cab to the Indian Border town – Jaigaon. From here, we completed our formalities at the Bhutan Border Town – Phuentsholing before proceeding with the rest of our trip. The roads to Bhutan and within are fairly good and the journey not so tiresome. Tea Gardens keep you company all way from Bagdogra to Jaigon after which the mountains of Bhutan take over. One cannot complain about boredom for the stunning views keep you company. There is this one leg where you just don’t see anything for you are traveling through clouds. It is quite a scintillating experience. And a bit scary too! However, the Bhutanese drivers are quite adept at these roads and the journey is quite safe.

Bhutan Travel Guide to getting here by Road - View enroute to Thimphu from Phuentsholing
Bhutan Travel tips for getting here by Road – View enroute to Thimphu from Phuentsholing

If you want to save some time, you can either land or depart in Bhutan directly and do the other way by road. In our case, we did both by road. Here are some handy tips for your road trip to Bhutan –

  • Avoid hiring a car from Bhutan for a pickup or a drop to Bagdogra. They will charge you the additional amount as they need to drive all the way from Bhutan.
  • It is better to hire an Indian cab for your airport leg to or from Bagdogra. Should you land in Bagdogra, you will get enough taxis at the airport for Jaigaon. The same is true from Jaigaon. The price per taxi (Xylo or SUV equivalent) is around INR 2700 -3000 for a one-way drop.
  • For travel within Bhutan, hire a Bhutan taxi. They charge you per day at around INR 3200 for a Creta or a Xylo. This includes everything and one needs not give out extra. A tip to the driver at the end of the journey is not a norm but is a good gesture.
  • There are no mid-sized Vehicles in Bhutan. You can either hire a small car like Wagon R or a big one like Xylo.
  • If you get an Indian Vehicle to Bhutan, there are some additional charges for the car. You will also, have to get a Bhutan road permit for it.

Getting to Bhutan by Rail

There is no rail to Bhutan directly. The closest station is 17 km from the Indian border town – Jaigaon. It is called Hasimara and you can get a train here using the Indian Railways Network. However, from Hasimara, you will have to follow the by road method of getting into Bhutan.

Getting to Bhutan by Air

Bhutan Travel Guide to getting to Bhutan by Air - Paro Airport
Bhutan Trip Guide to getting to Bhutan by Air – Paro Airport

Paro is the only international airport in Bhutan and only two air carriers operate here.  One is Druk Air and the other is Bhutan Airlines. There are limited flights into Bhutan and hence, the prices of air tickets are quite exorbitant. Whether it is from India or from the rest of the World, you need to book at least 6 months in advance to get a decent price, which will still be high. I tried booking 3 months prior and for 3 of us, the price from Bangalore to Paro International airport (via Kolkata) was a minimum of INR 50,000 one way.

A lot of tourists get into Bhutan by air and then exit by road so that they get to see a bit of India too. Some do it the other way round. It does make it a little more affordable.

Bhutan Government Tourist Packages for Foreign Nationals

As an Indian Citizen, I was able to do Bhutan on a budget. However, if you are not a citizen of India, Bangladesh or Maldives, you will have to avail of a Government Prescribed Package (called the minimum daily package) for your visit to Bhutan. These are at a fixed price of USD 250 per day. The price includes your 3-start stay, meals, driver and a guide per day. There are no discounts on this rate and if a tour operator does attempt to give you one, his license is forfeited. You should check out the country deals that Bhutan announces every year on their website. These give you a discounted rate. This year, it is Australia.

Thimphu Dzong - where you can get a guide as a part of your entry ticket.
Thimphu Dzong – where you can get a guide as a part of your entry ticket.

As a foreign national (citizen of countries other than the ones mentioned above), it is mandatory for you to have a guide with you all the time. In the case of Indians, this is not the norm. Please be aware of this for when I attempted booking a package for Bhutan, some of the tour operators insisted that as an Indian, we too have to follow this norm and have a guide with us all the time. However, with my recent visit, the only places that I found you need a guide are at the Dzongs. For these places, you will find a guide included in the ticket that you purchase at the counter.

When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

Bhutan Travel Guide to the best time to visit. Spring blooms at the Dochula Temple
Bhutan Travel Guide to the best time to visit. Spring blooms at the Dochula Temple

They say barring July and August, all months of the year are great for Bhutan. Each season offers a different beauty of Bhutan. Spring Time in April and May will have Bhutan greet you with a valley of flowers. The temperature drops to around 10 C or lower in Thimphu and Paro while places like Gangtey Valley will be around 1 C. September and October is again mild weather like Spring. Winters can get a little harsh but are pleasing. You will also, get to see the rare Black-Necked Cranes if you go in December. January is when the temperature hits the lowest. Me? I loved Spring with its gorgeous Rhododendron blooms.

Keep in mind the various festivals of Bhutan. Planning your Bhutan travel to coincide with some of these can be a good idea as they give you a unique Bhutan travel experience.

Festivals of Bhutan

Thimphu Tshechu

The Thimphu Tshechu is possibly, the biggest festival of Bhutan. It takes place in Thimphu around the months of September and October. You can get the exact dates for the same on the Tourism Council of Bhutan website. The festival is celebrated in the Thimphu Dzong and involves several colorful dances including the famous masked dances of Bhutan.

Paro Tshechu

While the Thimphu festival takes place at the beginning of winter, the one in Paro celebrates the beginning of spring. The festival takes place in the Paro Dzong only for the first day while over the next few days, the celebrations take place just outside the fort. Besides the masked dances, you can see the sacred Thangka on display. They say that one glance at this Thangka of Guru Rinpoche is enough to cleanse you of your sins.

Punakha Tshechu

The seven day festival in March is a perfect time to see the gorgeous Punakha Dzong. The masked dances and the Thangka are the key features of this festival. What makes it even more unique is the enactment of the battle scenes by the locals. They re-create the war that drove the Tibetans out of their nation.

Black-necked cranes festival or the Gangtey Festival

The festival not only celebrates the arrival of the Black-necked cranes to the silent Phobjikha valley. The celebrations include the unusual black-necked crane dances along with the traditional Buddhist masked ones. It generally, takes place in November.

Haa Valley Festival

The summer festival takes place in June every year. You can witness the nomadic tribes of Haa Valley celebrating their unique religion. The festival lasts for a week and involves a lot of local sports like Yak riding.

Places to Visit in Bhutan

Paro Taktsang or the Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan
Paro Taktsang or the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan

While I can say that the whole of Bhutan is fairly undiscovered, it is these three towns that will form the base of your itinerary. Thimphu, Paro and Punakha. It is from here that you might choose the lesser-known towns and valleys, either as a day trip or a few overnights. Here is a quick summary of the key Bhutan attractions in each of these places. A few of these Bhutan tourist places have been elaborated in separate posts that you can click through.

  1. Phuentsholing – Crocodile Zoo, ZangtoPelri, Karbandi Monastery
  2. Thimphu – Buddha Point, Trashichhoedzong (Thimphu Dzong), Simtoka Dzong, Memorial Chorten, The Folk Heritage Museum, Changangkha Lhakhang, Thimphu Handicrafts Bazaar, Thimphu Post Office
  3. Paro – Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), Ta Dzong, Taktsang Monastery, Farmhouse, Jangtsa Dumtseg Lhakhang, Ugyen Pelri Palace, Kyichu Lhakhang, Tachog Lhakhang.
  4. PunakhaPunakha Dzong, Suspension Bridge, Chimi Lhakhang (Fertility Temple), Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery, Dochula Pass (the prettiest pass in Bhutan)
  5. Haa Valley – A day outing or an overnight from Paro. You can even experience the highest pass of Bhutan – Chelela pass. Don’t miss Lhakhang Nagpo
  6. Phobjikha Valley – A day outing or an overnight from Punakha. A silent green valley with Gangtey Monastery and the home of the Black Necked Crane
  7. Bumthang Valley – An overnight from Punakha. A serene valley with traditional villages and undisturbed nature.

A typical itinerary of 6 nights/7 days will include a 2-night stay in Thimphu, 2 nights in Paro, 1 night in Punakha and maybe one night – either in Phobjikha or Haa Valley. Of course, you can choose to change things around based on your interests.

Travel Guide to Bhutan Permits and Visas

There are two types of Bhutan travel Permits that one needs to take care of  – Entry Permit and a Route Permit.  The Entry Permit is only required for Indians, Maldivians, and Bangladeshis. For the others, it is Visas.

The Visas for foreigners come as a part of the Government Prescribed Packages. You will have to pay an additional fee of USD 40 for it. The processing is done by the tourist agent through whom you book your trip to Bhutan.

Bhutan Travel Guide to Permits & Visa
Bhutan Travel Guide to Permits & Visa

For Indians, to get your Bhutan entry permit, you need to submit the following documents at your point of entry –

  • Government ID – Passport or Voters ID card
  • 2 passport sized photographs
  • Hotel Vouchers and Itinerary in Bhutan
  • In the case of solo travelers, a letter of undertaking
Phuentsholing Permit Office
Phuentsholing Permit Office

If you come in by air, the entry permit is granted at Paro International Airport. At Phuentsholing, since we came by road, we had to approach the Bhutan permit office and submit these to get our 7-day Permit for Bhutan. This permit is valid for Paro and Thimphu only. Remember to get to the Permit Window by 8 am to beat the crowd. You need to submit the above documents after filling a form. Submitting them through a local will get your processing done faster. The Phuentsholing permit office is open only till 5 pm on all weekdays (Monday to Friday). 1 pm to 2 pm is a lunch break. Please bear in mind these Bhutan permit office timings as they will affect your flight and other bookings.

Bhutan Travel Guide to Permits - The Thimphu office for Route Permits
Bhutan Travel Guide to Permits – The Thimphu office for Route Permits

The Route Permit for Bhutan is mandatory for everyone – foreigners, Indians, Maldivians, and Bangladeshis. This allows you to include places like Punakha, Haa Valley and Bumthang to your Bhutan road trip. This can only be obtained from Thimphu and is free of charge on working days (Monday to Friday) between 9 am to 5 pm. For this, you need to submit your passport or Voters ID and Visa or Entry Permit. Your driver or tour operator can help you with the same. Again, note that this is mandatory and if you plan your itinerary, please keep in mind the working hours of the Thimphu permit office. We almost had to extend our stay in Thimphu as we were in the capital over a weekend. Thankfully, our driver and tour operator helped us with the permit and we were able to continue with our original plan.

What to pack for Bhutan?

Our memory of Chele La Pass
Our memory of Chele La Pass

Dressing in layers is a good idea in Bhutan. Some of the places are quite cold throughout the year while others like Thimphu are milder. Punakha and Phuentsholing are considerably warmer. A down jacket, gloves, and a winter cap is always a good idea. Avoid shorts and sleeveless outfits as in almost all places, you will end up visiting a Buddhist temple or monastery. Here you will need to cover your legs and shoulders.

Trekking shoes or boots will be the most comfortable everywhere for there are little hikes that you will enjoy in Bhutan. Of course, they can get a little annoying when you visit the temples as you need to remove them before you get into the main sanctum.

Sunscreen and mosquito repellents are a definite must. Keep your basic medicines with you. If you are prone to motion sickness, you might want to carry a specific one for that as the roads in Bhutan are quite winding. At the high passes like Chelela pass, you might face a bit of AMS. It might be a good idea to carry Diamox or just head down to the plains asap.

Currency in  Bhutan

Ngultrum (Nu) is the currency of Bhutan and the value of the same is equal to Indian Rupees. In fact, all Indian currency is widely accepted across Bhutan. The shops even give you the change back in Indian currency. INR 500 and 2000 notes have a limited acceptance but are not completely rejected either.

Bhutan Travel Guide to Currency
Bhutan Travel Guide to Currency

Cards are hardly used or accepted in Bhutan. Most transactions are in physical currency form. ATMs are limited to the bigger towns like Paro, Phuentsholing, Thimphu and Punakha. These towns have currency exchange counters for any other currency that you might need to change.

Mobile Connectivity in Bhutan

Bhutan Travel Guide to Mobile Connectivity
Bhutan Travel Guide to Mobile Connectivity

Tashi Cell and Bhutan Telecom are the two mobile operators in Bhutan. As a tourist, you can take up a tourist SIM. For this, you need to show your Passport copy, Visa/ Permit and get a connection. The smallest denomination is 200 Nu which gives you the same value of talk time. For Data, there are various other plans. Of the two Bhutan mobile operators, Tashi Cell is highly recommended owing to its connectivity and signal strength. Wi-Fi is available in most hotels and restaurants.

Travel Tips for the Food in Bhutan

Be prepared for a heavy dose of Cheese and Chilli. And no, this is not a typo. Bhutanese food is quite heavy on these. And it is quite delightful too. Don’t miss the famous Ema Datshi (Chilli Cheese), Kewa Datshi (Potato Cheese) and Shamu Datshi (Mushroom Cheese). This along with Red rice is the main meal. There are plenty of other traditional things to try and I will shortly elaborate on those – but in a separate post.

Bhutan travel guide to Food
Bhutan travel guide to Food

The Bhutanese food is available everywhere and in most cases, you will have to do with those. Indian food too, is widely available. It is pleasing to note that fast food is not as readily available – even in the capital city – Thimphu.

Most hotels have a very basic breakfast – consisting of Bread, Jam, Eggs, One Fruit and one Indian dish (Aloo Paratha or Puri in most cases). You will have to pay extra for this as this is generally, not included in the hotels that you book online. The Breakfast ranges from 300 Nu to 500 Nu plus taxes. Food, in general, is a little expensive in Bhutan. However, if you are on the Government package, then this is taken care of in the price.

How to travel within Bhutan?

Cabs or Cars are the best way to get across Bhutan. Having a dedicated cab not just saves time but also, helps you in a lot of ways. For example, our driver helped us out with the permits and tickets. To save time, he pre-ordered our meals in places like Phobjikha, where you would otherwise have to wait long for one. The Bhutanese drivers also, help out with guides and suggestions. They are well-groomed and have to, in fact, earn a tourism certification to be a Tourist driver.

Roads of Bhutan
Roads of Bhutan

The price for hiring cabs is as shared in the Getting to Bhutan section. The other way to get around Bhutan is to use their public buses. There are no railways within Bhutan. Internal flights too, are limited.

The only traffic Signal in Bhutan
The only traffic Signal in Bhutan

The distances in Bhutan are not that huge. On average, the key towns are within 100 km for each other. However, the mountainous path makes the distance longer. The roads across the major towns are fairly decent. The one thing that I totally loved here was that every driver is considerate. There is no honking or unnecessary speeding. They are so disciplined that there are no signals in Bhutan. In fact, the only one signal in Thimphu is manual. πŸ˜‰

Where to stay in Bhutan?

Bhutan has a range of hotels  – from three stars to five stars – at least in the 4 major towns – Phuentsholing, Punakha, Paro, and Thimphu. On the Government Prescribed packages – these are taken care of by the tour operator. If you are visiting like me, then you can book them through any of the popular booking sites. However, if you are heading to Phobjikha or any of the other offbeat locations, it is best to book through a local tour operator. This is because there is limited availability and owing to low connectivity, these are not online.

Bhutan Travel Guide to Hotels - Pema Karpo, our hotel in Punakha
Pema Karpo, our hotel in Punakha

The hotels are well equipped with heaters. Most of them have a 24-hour hot water supply and Wi-Fi too. The food in these hotels is expensive and generally, not included in the online rates. Here are some of the key places to stay in Bhutan based on my experience.

  • Consider this link for the reviews of the hotels in Paro. I stayed in Golden Roots Resorts – which is fairly new. No doubt the rooms were comfortable and lovely but the food was very limited. The biggest disadvantage of this hotel is that the place is a little away from the main town center. We had to keep stepping out in our cab to grab a meal.
  • For the Thimphu hotels, consider the ones around the Clock tower square. I stayed at a mid-priced one called Hotel Shanti Deva. Big comfortable rooms with a separate bed for my daughter and decent breakfast options along with its central location were the big positives of the hotel.
  • In Punakha, you have to be careful about the distance from the main town. When you browse for the hotels in Punakha, you will get two main clusters. One of them with the names like Khuru Resorts is around the main town. The other cluster is closer to a nearby location called Wangdue (12 km from Punakha). I stayed near the Wangdue area in a hotel called Pema Karpo. The hotel as you can see in the picture, was just perfect in terms of the room. In addition to that, I loved the food here.

Travel Guide to Shopping in Bhutan

Bhutan Travel Guide to Shopping - Thangka Art in Bhutan
Bhutan Travel Guide to Shopping – Thangka Art in Bhutan

The handicrafts in Bhutan is what most people carry home. Most of them are symbols from Buddhism. From prayer flags and wheels to wall hangings, Thangka Art and singing bowls, these make good gifts for your friends and relatives. I found Thimphu and Paro the best to buy these for the prices here were reasonable. You can bargain a little more for a discount. Clothes and bags are quite expensive here as are shoes. In fact, I found them priced double of what you get in India.

On the whole, whether it is shopping or sightseeing, you will love this little country of Happiness. Hopefully, this Bhutan Travel Guide has got the ball rolling for you and you are well on your way to booking your own trip there. So, for now – Log Jay Gay – which basically means – See you again! πŸ˜‰

Bhutan Travel Guide
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73 thoughts on “Bhutan Travel Guide: Your Handbook of Travel Tips”

  1. What a guide Ami! For all the natural beauty of the place, Bhutan most vibes with me for the happiness of its people. I know it ranks #1 on the happiness index most if not all years recently. For good reason too. Folks live amid stunning beauty but have really mastered the art of acceptance it seems, blanket-wise, through their culture. I’ve readers from Bhutan. Each seems serene, placid, at peace and happy with life as it is. A simple, beautiful life, free from clutter that pulls many around the world into rejecting what is, versus accepting it.

    Thanks for sharing my friend πŸ™‚


    • Thank you Ryan. Bhutan charmed me not just with its landscapes but also, its people and culture. I hope that you get to experience it soon.

  2. Awesome coverage of Bhutan! I must say it is quite a restrictive country reading your inputs…as somebody who has not even thought about Bhutan ever, it sure is a dampener.
    But i guess once you are in, it is paradise to explore it!

      • Very useful guide. Thank You. We are planning to visit Bhutan this March. You have mentioned above that the entry permit is valid for 7 days, what should I do if I want to stay more than 7 days in Bhutan? Can I extend the validity of the entry permit? Also for how many days the Route permit is valid?

        • Hi there, you will need to first get the 7 days permit and post that, apply for extension in the Thimphu office. I don’t recall now but I think there is a charge for it. As for the Route permit, it is valid for the same time as your stay permit.

  3. Thanks for the amazingly detailed travel guide. Bhutan is my #1 priority to visit. This guide explained a lot of things. Bookmarking this guide!

  4. This is a very informative and useful guide. I had no idea that only nationals of India, Bangladesh and Maldives are entitled to do a flexible trip and every one else needs to buy a government approved package! And also good to know that as an Indian, I can traverse the area without a tour guide, considering that they try to give information contradictory to that. Thimphu and Paro are two cities I have heard and seen pictures of many times but I did not know much about Punakha. Also, thanks for the advice of renting a taxi to go around, if you’re not buying a pre-aranged tour package. I’ll refer back to your suggested itinerary, should I plan a trip to Bhutan some time.

    • I hope you plan one soon, Medha. Given our flexibility as Indian citizens, you definitely need to take advantage of it and visit this lovely country.

  5. Very useful .. loved the way u u explained everything.. now even i eant to visit there.. ! Keep Posting.! πŸ™‚

  6. Oh, the magnificent Bhutan! This is one of the most practical and useful travel guide I have read about Bhutan, Ami! I am definitely saving your post to reread it. How many days would be enough to explore this wonderful place?

  7. kuzo dzangpo la! This is indeed a complete travel guide to Bhutan. The details are meticulous and a virtual handbook for first time travelers. Bhutan is a place where we want to head out to as soon as possible. In fact the last time when we were in Sikkim and road tripped from Bagdogra to parts of Sikkim and West Bengal, we passed very close to the Bhutan Border, and thought, one day we shall cross this line! Hope to do that soon.I think the best way is to get to Bagdogra and from there take the road to Bhutan.

    • And I felt that way about Sikkim. I passed the same roads and I thought – next time it will be Sikkim. πŸ˜‰ I hope you get to Bhutan soon.

  8. That is a perfect guide. You have covered every detail so perfectly. We are planning to do a road trip to this beautiful country and this is going to be super helpful. Great pictures too. Thanks for writing this

  9. Ever since I read about this happy nation, I wanted to go there! Then, I looked at the pictures and thought – of course they’re so happy, look how beautiful it is! Since then, I’ve learned a little bit more about Bhutan and want to go even more. Hopefully sometime soon!

  10. What a detailed guide to Bhutan, Ami! Interesting to know about the government tourist packages for foreign nationals. This is so helpful especially for first time travelers. It’s a bit expensive, tbh but on the plus side, the amount is fixed and it seems like everything is already covered (accommodation, food, driver and guide). Definitely a handy guide as Bhutan looks very lovely! I sure would love to visit one day.

    • Yes, it does get a bit costly for the foreign passport holders but trust me, well worth it. I hope you get to visit this stunning country. Thanks for stopping by with this lovely comment.

  11. Actually had no idea about the restrictions on travellers from most countries, but looks like you had more freedom and flexibility as citizen of India. I’d love to explore this beautiful country but not so keen on packages.

    • Well, there are restrictions alright but once you get here, you realize that they are so worth it. I could see that with a lot of fellow tourists who were unsure of what they were getting into but once the reached Bhutan, they loved it. Thanks for stopping by

  12. I really love the tip about how each year there are different countries eligible for some savings. I’m going to keep a close eye on this because Bhutan would be a fantastic travel experience.

    • I hope your country soon comes up for the Friendship deal. It will definitely make it more affordable and easy. Thanks for stopping by

  13. What a detailed and informative post this is! I’ve actually wondered how to go about getting to Bhutan, so I’ll have to keep this post in mind when I plan to go. I really want that classic shot of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. I love the photo of the only traffic signal in Bhutan! You gotta respect them for putting something there.

    • There is tons to learn from this country but you need to get there to know that. It is really lovely out there in terms of how they live their life. Thanks for stopping by and I do hope you get to Bhutan soon.

  14. Bhutan is my dream destination and I was happy to read your post, and your loverly photos. It’s nice to see that finally the Indian passport has benefits and you can travel reasonably on a budget and get to Bhutan. This country is truly a model for some many countries in the world. Peace, happiness, preservation of culture.. and you had me at cheese and chilli!

    • It truly is a unique country and like you said, a model in a lot of ways. Having experienced it first hand, totally endorse it. Hope you get to visit here, Cheers

  15. Bhutan is still a mystery to much of the outside world. You have done a good job by giving useful information on the tiny landlocked country. The local food is very good in Bhutan. I particularly liked nakey and ema dhatshi. It is a budget destination for Indians but an expensive one for many countries. I had no idea that they offer discount to a selected nation each year.

    • Thanks Abhinav. I am missing the Ema Datshi….loved it. As for the each nation bit, I discovered it this year when I visited. It is a nice way of encouraging limited tourism.

  16. Kudos for the comprehensive write up on Bhutan. I am going to save this up for my travel, when ever that happens. We are lucky that, as Indians, we can travel as we please and not stick to packages. Can Indians stay there for a longer period , like 6 months or so?

    • I think you can plan to stay longer but there are some other procedures for the same. Even the free permit that you get is only for 7 days after which you can extend it as required. Take advantage of it as an Indian and head there, am sure you will love it Vasu.

  17. This guide is amazing! Thank you so much. This will definitely help with planning a trip. I had no idea that they give discount to one country every year. Whilst the thought of having a guide the entire trip somewhat puts me off, I’d love to experience Bhutan as the landscapes look stunning and the people so wonderful. That photo of Tigers Nest Monastary …………. unbelievable! Thanks for this invaluable guide!!

    • The guides here are so well trained that you might not mind having them around. They definitely know how to give you space. You should head there soon. Thank you for stopping by with this lovely comment.

  18. This is a wealth of information and tips for anyone travelling to Bhutan. Some of the information you have shared is not easily available. For example the information about tourist packages for foreign nationals and the fact that it is mandatory for foreign tourists to have a guide. Lucky that these do not apply for Indian citizens.

    • I realized how difficult it was to get this information for I myself, struggled for it. Guess it was best documented to help others. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you can plan your trip soon.

  19. I’ve always wanted to visit but the daily rate to go has always been an issue – I would love to go for the colorful festivals I always have wanted to experience.

    • Hopefully you will get a deal when your country signs up with Bhutan. It is so worth every penny. Even though the daily rate is high, the inclusions definitely justify it.

  20. Lots of helpful info in the post. A friend mentioned Adhaar card alone is sufficient to tour Bhutan, I need to show her this post. The food scene is very tempting. Great pics.

    • Aadhar card is accepted as a photo proof but you still need to get those permits with that proof. The food scene is amazing. You will love the Ema Datshi here – unusual and nice. Hope you can plan a trip there.

  21. Hi, as a fellow indian female traveler who would be traveling on her, do you think, a guide is necessary? it seems from your posts that the dzongs have their own guides which can help us when we buy the ticket. Also please tell me what was the cost of river rafting in punakha?

    • Dzongs do offer guides and those are fine. I don’t recall the cost of river rafting now but it is the cost of the entire boat unless you find someone to share it with

  22. Thanks much dear Traveller
    I must say all the details mentioned in post are perfectly articulated and helped us a lot while we are planning…


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