You can get visa on arrival in Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu and at border entry points of Nepal. A Visa is required to enter Nepal unless you are an Indian National. No visa fee shall be applicable to the passport holder of member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for 30 days. A Visa can be obtained at Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on Nepal-India border and Kodari on Nepal-China border. Visa can also be obtained at the nearest Nepal Embassy or Diplomatic Mission.
Tourist Entry Visa
Multiple entry – 15 Days US$ 30 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry – 30 Days US$ 50 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry – 90 Days US$ 125 or equivalent convertible currency
Gratis (Free) Visa
For first visit in one visa year (January to December), gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Tourist Visa Extension
Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US$30 or equivalent convertible currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$3 per day Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).
Transit visa for one day can be obtained from Nepal´s immigration offices at the entry points upon the production of departure flight ticket via Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal, by paying US$5 or equivalent convertible currency.
Note: Other Information- Nationals from Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan will need to obtain visa from Nepal Embassies or Diplomatic Missions in their respective countries, as they do not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal.
Getting to Bhutan
Bhutan’s only international airport is located at Paro. Druk Air is the only national flight operating in the route Bangkok (Thailand), Delhi, Kolkata, Bodh Gaya, Guwahati (India), Dacca (Bangladesh), Kathmandu (Nepal) and nowadays Buddha Air has started its service to and from Kathmandu- Paro
The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is a most exciting experience as the aircraft passes over four of the five highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you soar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu und Kangchenjunga from the window seat of the aircraft. Bhutanese visa is a must to board on your flight to Bhutan.
For the latest Druk Air flight schedules, please visit Drukair´s website or contact Nepal Eco Adventure Pvt. Ltd
Phuntsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar in eastern Bhutan are the only land border areas open for international tourists. The town of Phuntsholing is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport Bagdogra. After crossing Phuntsholing, your overland journey begins its mountainous climb through endless turns and hair-pin bends till you reach Thimphu, the capital city. The travel time for the 176 km stretch can be more than 6 hours.
Gelephu in South-Central Bhutan is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 km from Thimphu and your overland journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. The travel time will be about ten hours.
Samdrup Jongkhar is the only entry point in eastern Bhutan via the Indian border town of Darranga, Assam and it is approximately 150 km away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, the largest district in the kingdom, and from there the route branches off to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangde Phodrang and then finally into capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 km and it takes minimum three days to reach Thimphu.
Passport & Visa
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 is not permitted to board on Druk Air flight.
Travel Visa Application
Once you are ready to confirm your tour arrangements we will apply for your visas. You need to provide us the following details for visa processing.
• Your full name (exactly as it appears in your passport)
• Permanent address
• Passport Number
• Date of issue and expiry date of passport
• Date and place of birth
Your Bhutan visa will be stamped in your passport when you arrive in the kingdom. You need to pay US$ 20 cash upon arrival and provide 2 passport photos along with your passport number on the back. We can process visa extensions for you if necessary.
Best Season/ Weather
The temperature in Bhutan drops noticeably as one travels from the lower altitudes in the south to the high Himalayan regions in the north. The southern border areas are the hottest and have tropical conditions. Mercury rises above 30 °C in summer (mid May to August) though in winter (December to February) it dips to about 15 °C. Northern regions experience severe winters and mild summers (average temperatures range from 0 °C to 10 °C) with snow a permanent feature in areas bordering Tibet. In the central regions of Bhutan, a pleasant temperate climate is the norm throughout the year.
Autumn (late September through November) is the best time to visit Bhutan. The weather in Bhutan at this time is ideal for trekking and sightseeing, there is a lot of sunshine and very little rain. This is also the time when many colorful traditional festivals are held. Spring (March to May), when the country looks at its vibrant best, is another popular tourist season. Flowers are in full bloom and the weather is good.
Though showers can occur any time of the year in Bhutan, it really pours during the monsoon season (June to September) which coincides with the summer. Humidity is high, particularly in the southern regions and flash floods and landslides are not uncommon.
Festivals/ Events in Bhutan
Festivals in Bhutan are religious events. The ground where they are held is purified and consecrated by lamas, so when you are watching a festival you are, in essence, on the perimeter of an outdoor religious ground. The dancers whether monks or layman, are in a state of meditation. They transform themselves into the deities, which they represent on the dance ground. They generate a spiritual power, which cleanses, purifies, enlightens and blesses the spectators. The most common festival in Bhutan known as Tshechu is celebrated all over Bhutan, usually after the end of the harvest season. The Thimphu Tshechu in the capital of Bhutan is held in mid September.
The main highlight of the Tshechu is the performance of the masked dances by the monks. There are many kinds of masked dances all involving different moves, masks and costumes. All of them hold special religious importance.
According to legend, all these dances appeared in the past Buddhist master´s vision during their meditation. The steps and moves are strictly followed as it was performed in the past. Alteration of the steps is seen as sacrilegious and would not be attempted by any masked dance teacher.
The following chart provides an annual overview of the most popular festivals and events in Bhutan.
Festival Place Duration Month*
Trongsa Tsechu Trongsa Dzong 3 days January
Lhuntse Tsechu Lhuntse Dzong 3 days January
Punakha Dromche Punakha Dzong 5 days February
Chorten Kora Trashi Yangtse 1 day Feb / March
Paro Tsechu Paro Dzong 5 days Mar / April
Nimalung Tsechu Bumthang Dzong 3 days June
Kurjey Tsechu Bumthang Kurjey Monastery 1 day June
Thimphu Drubchen Thimphu Dzong 4 days September
Thimphu Tsechu Thimphu Dzong 3 days Sept / October
Wangdue Tshechu Wangdue Dzong 3 days September
Tangbi Mani Bumthang Tangbi Monastery 3 days September
Jambay Lhakhang Drup Bumthang Jambay Monastery 4 days October
Prakhar Duchoe Bumthang 3 days October
Mongar Tsechu Mongar Dzong 3 days December
Trashigang Tsechu Trashigang Dzong 3 days December
Gomphu Kora Tsechu Trashigang Gomphu Kora 3 days March
Bhutan Travel Information
The Royal Government of Bhutan categorizes all hotels and lodges according to their comfort level and facilities. Most of them are comfortable but not luxurious. Although recently a few luxury hotels have been set up in Bhutan, visitors in general can expect a unique combination of traditional Bhutanese style together with modern services, but not international five star luxury 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 taste combining both Bhutanese and western cuisines.
Food & Drink
The Bhutanese diet is rich in meat and poultry, dairy, grain and vegetables. Rice and chillies are the major features of Bhutanese diet. Emadatse (chilly pepper and cheese stew) is considered the national dish with many interpretations of this recipe throughout the country. Poultry and meat dishes, pork, beef and yak, are lavishly spiced with chillies, and it is common to see bright red peppers drying on rooftops in the sun. Salted butter tea, or suja, is served on all social occasions. Chang, a local beer, and arra, a spirit distilled from rice, maize, wheat or barley, are also common and widely favoured. Doma or betel nut is offered as a customary gesture of greeting. The chillies are considered a vegetable and not just a spice. Bhutanese dishes are mostly fiery but uniquely Bhutanese in every sense.
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 (preferably woolen sweater and down jacket) throughout the season, as altitudinal differences account for a wide range of temperatures from day to night throughout the year. Comfortable soft-soled shoes are essential for travel in Bhutan.
Our Tour Leaders
All tourist groups will be accompanied throughout their stay in Bhutan by our English-speaking tour leader and have a vehicle and driver at your disposal at all times. All of our leaders are trained by the Tourism Authority of Bhutan (TAB) and licensed by the Government. Our trekking guides and cooks undergo an additional mountain guide training, including safety and first aid instruction.
Comfortable Japanese cars, jeeps, vans and coaches are available for land transport. Latest model Japanese Toyota Cars, Land Cruisers, Hiace Buses and Coaster Buses are offered to tourists depending upon the group size. All drivers are fully trained in safety, well experienced and licensed by Department of Tourism. They are very much confident in driving on mountainous terrain. You will find that you feel more comfortable while driving through the winding hilly roads of Bhutan. The transport and tour guide accompany the tourist right from arrival until departure.
Bhutanese currency is Ngultrum (Nu.) and is officially fixed to the Indian Rupee. Also Indian Rupee is acceptable all over Bhutan except Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
Credit Cards have limited acceptability and payment through credit card is accepted mainly by Deluxe hotels and few selected Handicrafts establishments only.
There are ATMs in Bhutan but currently they only operate with selected Bhutanese banks. Traveler´s checks / cash are best option if you need additional money.
Cash and Travelers Cheques exchange facility is available for most of the main currencies including the US dollar, Euro, Indian Rupee, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, Pound Sterling, Swiss Franc, Hong Kong dollar, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Singapore dollar, Danish kroner, Norwegian kroner, and Swedish kroner. Exchange rates vary.
Electricity in Bhutan
In Bhutan, electricity runs 220 / 240 volts. If you do bring electrical appliances, take along an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs.
In Bhutan travelers can do shopping of various items that include postage stamps, lovely hand-woven fabrics, carved masks, woven baskets, thangkhas, wooden bowls, handmade paper and finely-crafted metal objects. In Bhutan, the buying and / or selling of antiques is strictly forbidden
Bhutan Time Zone
Bhutan time is six hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. There is only one time zone throughout the kingdom.