Travellers Guide

[restabs alignment=”osc-tabs-left”  responsive=”false” seltabcolor=”#eeee22″ tabcolor=”#1e73be” tabhovercolor=”#dd3333″]
[restab title=”Travellers Guide” active=”active”]

Bhutanese Native Home

Bhutanese Native Home

The easiest way for visitors to enter Bhutan is by air on Druk Air, Bhutan’s national carrier and the only airline operating in Bhutan. Druk Air’s fleet consists of two Airbus A319, which are specially designed for Bhutan.

Druk Air flies to Paro airport in Bhutan from Bangkok in Thailand, Delhi and Calcutta in India, Kathmandu in Nepal, and Dhaka in Bangladesh. Latest flight schedules are available from Druk Air.

On clear days the flight into Paro offers spectacular views of the Himalayan Mountain Range, including Mt. Everest (Jhomo Lungma), Mt. Kanchenjunga (Kangchen dzonga), Chomo Lhari, and Kula Gangri. One will also notice the green and dense forest cover as the flight crosses over the international border into Bhutan. The country boasts more than 70% forest cover, which is one of the highest in the world. From the moment you enter Bhutan, you are an honored guest and you will enjoy the traditional hospitality and friendship of the Bhutanese.

Paro Airport, located in the mountains, is subject to the vagaries of mother nature, and weather conditions do sometimes prevent flights from landing and taking off. Druk Air itself has an impeccable safety record, without a single mishap since its inception in 1983.

Yu-Druk can book your tickets with Druk Air well in advance, avoiding last-minute rush during peak tourist seasons of Spring and Autumn.

Druk-Air Tickets and Visas

Druk Air e-tickets will be issued in Bhutan and sent to you. To expedite this procedure, it is essential that you send us all information detailed below immediately so that the visa application can be made. This process takes about 3 to 5 working days.

Visas

Visas are not issued by Bhutanese embassies abroad. Visas are issued only when you arrive in the country, either at Paro airport or (if by road) at Phuentsholing. You must apply in advance. You can either fill in the visa application form using Adobe Acrobat, fill it out and fax it to us or email or fax us the following information. We will take care the rest:

  • Your full name as it appears in your passport
  • Permanent address
  • Occupation
  • Nationality
  • Passport number
  • Date of issue and expiration of passport
  • Date and place of birth

Double check that the information is correct; if there are discrepancies in any important numbers when you arrive in Bhutan, there are delays and complications in issuing the visa.

After the visa clearance is issued by the Department of Immigration, they send a visa confirmation number to Druk Air and your tour operator.

The actual visa endorsement is stamped on your passport when you arrive at Paro International Airport. You will then receive a visa for the period you have arranged to be in Bhutan. We will process visa extensions for you if they become necessary.

Accommodation

In the major towns such as Thimphu, Paro, and Phuentsholing, comfortable hotels await the visitor, while in smaller towns, modest but still comfortable hotels await the visitor. Yu-Druk will ensure that the best available accommodations are arranged for you. More information is available from the Tourism Council of Bhutan, which regulates hotel standards and all travel regulations in Bhutan. Accommodations are included in the daily tariff rates.

We also arrange luxury hotels that range from 250-1,300 US dollars per night.

Payment

Government regulations require that the tour payment be deposited before the visa can be processed. The easiest way to make this payment is to transfer the money to Bhutan National Bank using the following details.

  • Re Receiver’s Correspondent Bank: 
    StaStandard Chartered Bank
    On One Madison Avenue
    Ne New York, N.Y.10010-3603
  • Account No: 3582036853001
    Swift Code: SCBLUS33
  • CHIPS ABA0256
  • FEDABA026002561
  • Ultimate Beneficiary: 

1.AccountNo: 10200220455450025
2.Beneficiary Name: Mr. Tashi Tshering

3.BOBL Branch Name: Thimphu

Guides

You will be accompanied throughout the time in Bhutan by an English-speaking guide and have a vehicle and driver at your disposal at all times.All of our guides are trained in programs conducted by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) and licensed by the Government. Our trekking staff undergoes an additional mountain guide training, including safety and first aid instruction, also offered by TCB. TCB has received assistance from the Austrian Government in the form of trainers and funds to establish the training programs.

The cost of the guides and drivers is covered by your daily tariff and no additional payments have to be made.

Tourism Council of Bhutan and Tariffs

Tourism Council of Bhutan regulates all tourism related activities in Bhutan. The existing travel agencies are registered with them, and they also fix the daily tariff rates. Thirty-five percent of the daily tariff goes directly to the national treasury. These funds are used by the government for the socioeconomic development of Bhutan, and hospitals, schools, and roads are built and maintained with the income. The Department of Tourism has released a travel information website at www.tourism.gov.bt detailing their role and the regulations by which we and all other travel agencies are governed.

Peak Seasons and Sample Itineraries

The peak seasons when most visitors come to Bhutan are during the Spring and Autumn. Spring is from April through June and Autumn from September through November. There are many festivals during these periods, and visitors come to take advantage both of the pleasant climate and the festivals. However, Bhutan has limited tourism infrastructure and during peak seasons facilities are packed. For more private visits, off-peak seasons are recommended. For a list of he latest festivals and suggested itineraries.

Tariff

The normal rate for travel in Bhutan is US$250 per day. The following surcharges are applied for small groups:

Two people travelling together – US$30 per night per person
One person travelling alone – US$40 per night per person

Contact us via email if you have any questions regarding the tariff.

The daily rate may sound high at first, but remember that this includes your accommodation, all food, guide, and transportation within Bhutan.

What to Bring

The following list will cover your needs for a vehicle-based cultural tour. Since you will be travelling in Yu-Druk’s private vehicles, there is less concern about bulk and weight than if you were transferring your own luggage on and off various forms of public transport. There is a 20 kg (44 lb) weight limit (30 kg or 66 lb in business class) on Druk Air. You should hold yourself to this allowance. Even if you pay for excess baggage, it still travels standby and may be offloaded. As with all travel, the less you carry, the easier it is to move about and the less there is to misplace.

Casual clothes are fine, but you would also do well to have a set of dress-up clothes (jacket and tie for men, dresses for women) for festivals or in the likely event that you are invited to a Bhutanese home or social function. Thimphu and other towns in Bhutan have a small-town atmosphere, and you might easily find yourself in the company of a high government official. If you have scheduled your trip around a festival, you definitely should carry a set of dressy clothing. Bhutanese people dress quite formally, and dirty jeans don’t fit in on such occasions.

Even in the summer, it can be cool in Paro and Thimphu, and it’s downright cold in winter. Days can be quite warm, especially in the lower regions such as Punakha and Phuentsholing, and you could start off driving in the cold of dawn and be uncomfortably warm by mid-morning. Use a layering system, starting with thermal underwear and adding a shirt, pile jacket and windbreaker or parka as necessary. If you are not trekking, you will need:

  • Underwear (including thermals for cold weather)
  • Swimming costume (for the hotel swimming pool in Punakha)
  • Cotton trousers
  • Cotton skirt for women
  • Pile jacket or sweater – even in summer
  • Down jacket – in winter; not needed in summer
  • T shirts or short sleeved (not sleeveless) cotton shirts * sneakers or walking shoes and socks
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Rain jacket – Gore-Tex if you can afford it, otherwise a poncho or nylon jacket
  • Dress-up clothes for festivals
  • Sun hat

All hotels provide sheets, blankets or quilt, and a pillow. Unless you are trekking, you won’t need to carry bedding or a sleeping bag. Most hotels also provide some sort of heating in winter, either an electric heater or a wood stove. The heating, plus the pile of blankets on your bed, should keep you warm.

You will be outside a lot, and much of this time is at altitudes above 2,500 m (7,800 ft); so there is plenty of sun and wind. Bring a supply of sun cream and some lip protection, such as Blistex; these items are not available in Bhutan.

Essential Extras

There are several things that you should carry to make a trip to Bhutan more comfortable. All of the following items are essential:Pack a folding umbrella; especially if traveling during the monsoons. Rain is possible any time, and is almost certain from June through August.Be sure to carry ear plugs (and spares) to reduce the noise from the barking dogs at night. The Bhutanese are Buddhists and do not euthanize stray dogs.

There are occasional electric outages throughout the country; so you should always keep a torch (flashlight) beside your bed.

Miscellaneous Items

Carry a pair of sunglasses (as protection from high altitude glare). A Swiss army knife has many uses, such as cutting cheese and opening bottles. Bring a small clock with an alarm to help you wake up, because not all hotel rooms have telephones.

Packing

If you are on a cultural tour, it’s OK to bring a hard suitcase, though a soft bag is more versatile and easier to pack into the luggage space of a vehicle. You will also want a small rucksack or waist pack to carry your camera, water bottle and other essentials in the vehicle and when you are walking around town or visiting monuments.

[/restab]
[restab title=”Medical Kit”]

1. Aspirin or paracetamol for pain or fever.

2. Antihistamine or Benadryl for decongestant for colds and allergies to  ease the itch from insect bites or stings and to help       prevent motion sickness. Antihistamine may cause sedation and interact with alcohol, so care should be taken when using them.

3. Antibiotics must be prescribed by your physician.

4. Loperamide or diphenoxylate for diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

5. Rehydration mixture for treatment of severe diarrhea.

6. Antiseptic such as povidone iodine for cuts and grazes.

7. Multivitamins for long trips when dietary vitamin intake may be inadequate.

8. Calamine lotion or aluminum sulphates spray to ease irritation    from bites or stings.

9. Cold and flu tablets and throat lozenges. May be useful if flying with a cold.

10. Insect repellent, sunscreen and lip salve.

* * * *


[/restab]
[restab title=”Essential Messages To Our Guest”]

Essential Reminders to our guests

1. You will be greeted and received by your tour guide at the airport exit hall, who will offer and garland you each with an Eight Lucky Sign inscribed silk Khada scarf. Please wear your Khada scarf until you’ve checked in at your hotel rooms and hang it in a proper place. You might like to keep it as a token souvenir.

2. Please bring along a warm jacket, a sun cap, a sun glass, a pair of light trekking sneaker, couple of handkerchief, your essential medicines and sun screen ointment.

3. If you wish to replace your mobile SIM card with a local one, please carry extra photocopies of your passport to process obtaining your local SIM card and internal route permits.

4. If you are a smoker, please ensure to bring along only enough stock to last during your entire trip as any types of tobacco products are not available or sold in the market. Smoking is restricted in several areas other than your hotels and restaurants. Try to refrain from smoking in open public places. Do not hesitate to ask your guide if it is OK to smoke.

5. Whenever you visit holy shrines and temples, it is mandatory to wear proper dress like wearing a thin jacket or suitor over your shirt and a long pant over your half pant. Carry small denomination changes if you wish to offer some cash at the temple alter.

5. Please note that riding a pony to Taktsang Pephug monastery will require some sort of horse riding experience as dependent pony escorts are not provided during the entire riding process throughout the hike. And you cannot ride the pony on the downhill route. Those of you who are bit overweight can buy wooden staff sticks from the base hike starting point. Best is to bring along a foldable aluminum support stick from your home hike sports shop.

6.  Before you check in at the Paro International Airport for your onward departure, your tour guide bid you farewell Bon voyage outside the airport departure hall, who will offer and garland you each with an Eight Lucky Sign inscribed silk Khada scarf. Please wear your Khadha scarf until you are seated in the aircraft. You may like to carry it and display it in your living room as an everlasting token memory.

* * * *


[/restab]

[restab title=”Guests Tour Briefings”]

Guests Tour Briefings:

1. Introduction notes:

a) Interdependency and personal associations

b) Maximize transparency

c) Optimizing on positive thoughts and mindfulness

2. Buddhist ethics and customs:

a) Respect holy shrines and monuments

b) Wearing decent dress at holy sites

c) Offering tips at the holy sites 

3. Expectations and unexpected on tour:

a) Cooperating with guide’s directives

c) Being open and transparent with your guides

d) Showing a genuine sense of appreciation to your guide’s services

4. Individual endurance and compassion:

a) Overcoming personal frustrations and differences

b) A sense of gratifying by rejoicing the tour

c) Accumulating a genuine sense of satisfaction and relaxation

5. Hiking advisories:

a) Being mindful and alert of your guide’s advisory directives

b) Being mentally confident before taking on a hike journey

c) Avoid pushing beyond your reserved energy reservoir

6. Shopping and money exchange advisories:

a) Seeking your guide’s opinion on authenticity of the products

b) Procuring proper cash memo for items bought

c) Ensuring proper packaging of products bought through your guide

7. Food and beverages advisories:

a) Cautioning on Bhutanese cousin and beverages intake

b) Ensuring on mineral water intake at all times

c) Seeking your guide’s opinion on any locally available hard drinks

8. Toiletry advisories:

a) Ensuring to discharge your nature’s call before a journey begins

b) Seek your guide’s assistance for any open air toilet discharge

9. Photography advisories:

a) Avoid any kind of photography and digital recordings inside any     temple shrine rooms or monuments

10. Tips and gratitude:

a) Ask your guide before attempting to give any kind of tips or gratitude to temple caretakers and wayside bystanders during the tour.

[/restab]
[/restabs]


Uling Dharma Tours
City Mall, 5th Floor, Chubachu
P.O Box No. 900, Thimphu, Bhutan
Mobile: 975-17612011 / 77612011
Tel: 975-2-339631
E-mail: uling@druknet.bt/ ulingconsult@gmail.com

Mobile Numbers:
Mr. Khaling Karma +975-1761-2011

Office is opened from 9AM till 05PM
Bhutan Time is +6hrs GMT