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Bhutan : Tourist Guidelines

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1. Tourism Policy of the Royal Government of Bhutan

All tourists must travel on a pre-planned, prepaid, guided package tour. Independent travel is not permitted.


2. Booking & Reservations of tours


Book your tours with us. Our associates in Bhutan will operate your tour.  Our Tour Manager cum birding guide will be present throughout to ensure service as per itinerary.


Your tour will be operated, within the parameters laid down by the Royal Government of Bhutan.


To avoid hitches, please book your tour as much in advance as possible. It is necessary to go firm on exact dates of entry and exit, in order to ensure confirmed bookings with Drukair, which offers only 71 seats per flight.


3.  How to get to Bhutan


By air, Bhutan is approachable only through Drukair from Bangkok, Kolkata (Calcutta), Delhi, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Yangoon.


By the land route, you can reach or exit via Phuentsholing, on the Indian border. Thimphu, the Capital, is 06 hrs away from Phuentsholing, whilst the nearest Indian airport of Bagdogra is 04 hrs away. Driving time from Darjeeling is 06 hrs, from Kalimpong it is 05 hrs and from Gangtok in Sikkim it is 08 hrs to Phuentsholing.


Please note that whilst you can enter and exit via the air route. You can use the land route either for entry or exit, and not both ways unless there is no seat available on Drukair.


4. Procedure for entry documents


Step 1: Book your tour with us. We will arrange for your entry documents and the operation of the tour, with our associates, who are registered in Bhutan. We will intimate the full amount due on your account.


Step 2: To process your visa, send the following details by email or fax

1) Full name 

2) Gender  

3) Date & place of birth  

4) Address  

5) Passport number 

6) Date of issue  

7) Place of issue  

8) Date of expiry  

9) Occupation  


Step 3.  (Simultaneously with Step 2), Electronically transfer full payment, for the tour plus Drukair fare into the designated Royal Government account, to be specified by us.


Step 4. Send us fax copy of intimation giving details of transfer of funds. This will enable our associates in Bhutan, to obtain the clearance number for your air ticket from the Bhutan authorities.


Step 5. On receipt of intimation of payment, and approval of visa, a clearance number will be provided to Drukair Bhutan Office. On the basis of this number, your confirmed tickets will be dispatched to the outstation office at the place from where you will be boarding the flight into Bhutan. We will reconfirm your tour and intimate you the address and contact numbers of the city office concerned. Tickets can also be delivered at airport, or sent to you by courier.

In case you are only returning via air, your tickets will be handed over when you arrive in Bhutan. 


Step 6. On arrival at Paro airport in Bhutan or at Phuentsholing – if using land entry point, your Bhutan visa will be stamped on your passport, for a fee of USD 20. Your Gurudongma Tour Manager, and Bhutanese Guide will greet you, as you arrive.


All this may sound very complicated – but in practice it works. Our associates in Bhutan will ensure smooth passage. For this we need to send them visa application and full payments, as per Step 2 & 3.


5. Accommodation


Hotel accommodation is provided at Thimphu, Paro, Phuentsholing, and Wangdue. At other places, you will stay at lodges, and guest houses with simple neat and clean rooms and toilets. Fully serviced camps will be set up in other remoter locations.


6. Cuisine


Indian, Bhutanese, Chinese, and continental dishes are available.


7. Transport


Japanese or Korean luxury vehicles with experienced and dependable drivers are provided.


8. Tariff


The Royal Government has fixed a standard tariff. This is irrespective of hotel accommodation, lodges or camping. The tariff is USD 200 per night.


(a) The land cost Includes -

  • Accommodation on twin share

  • Transport with driver

  • Trained and licensed guide

  • All meals

  • Sightseeing. Ongoing cultural events and festivals

  • Airport reception, land and airport transfers

  • Portage, tour leader, staff, camping facilities and all meals on treks / angling trips

(b) The land cost does NOT include –

  • Airfare and airport taxes

  • Single room supplement

  • Bar and laundry

  • Visa fee

  • Sleeping bags and mats whilst camping.

(c) Surcharge

Will be charged for groups of less than 03 persons.

An extra charge of USD 40 per night on tariff is levied on a group consisting of 01 person only and USD 30 per person per night for a group of 02 persons.


(d) Single Supplement

Single occupancy will be provided on request. Single room request supplemental charge of USD 30 per night will be levied.


9. Insurance

No insurance is catered for. Please obtain cover for life, baggage and accident.


10. Cancellations

All cancellations must be given in writing.

Cancellation charges are 10 percent of the tour price within 15 days of the start of the tour. No refund is permissible for a notice period of lesser than 15 days


11. Air Fare


Current air fares by Drukair, inclusive of taxes, are:-


(a) Bangkok – Paro

Y class: USD 365 one way, USD 730 return. J Class USD 445 one way. USD 890 return.

(b) Calcutta – Paro

Y class : USD 203 one way. USD 408 return. J Class USD 243 one way. USD 478 return.

(c) Delhi –Paro 

Y class: USD 328 one way. USD 648 return. J class: USD 393 one way USD 778 return.

(d) Dhaka – Paro

Y class: USD 195 one way. USD 390 return. J Class: USD 235 one way. USD 470 return.

(e) Kathmandu – Paro

Y class: USD 195 one way. USD 390 return. J Class: USD 235 one way. USD 470 return.

(f) Yangon – Paro

Y class: USD 320 one way, USD 640 return. J Class USD 385 one way. USD 770 return.


These are subject to change at short notice.

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Tour options for non-birding spouse/friends: www.gurudongma.com.

Bird photographs by Yashodhan Bhatia,

Ronald Saldino,  Niels Poul Dryer, Ketil Knudsen
Kalypso Adventures & Gurudongma Team

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Gurudongma Tours & Treks

Gurudongma House

Hill Top, Kalimpong, 73430, India


Phone & Fax: +91-3552-255204

Mobile: +91 94340- 47372


E-mail: guruttbsnl.in

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