FAQ

1. Do we need visa to travel to Bhutan

Yes, all foreign national other than Indians and Bangladeshi nationals traveling to Bhutan needs visa.

2. What is the procedure to apply visa?

You will apply through one of the registered Bhutanese tour operator based in Bhutan. Tour payments are to be remitted to the account of Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) through wire transfer; subsequently visa application is applied by us on your behalf; need a minimum of 3 working days to process. Upon approval, we will forward you copy of clearance letter through email. You will be allowed to board flights to Bhutan with this clearance letter; visa will be stamped on your passport on arrival. Visa fee @US$ 40 is payable with tour payment.

3. How can I be sure about confirmation of tour?

Upon payment of tour transferred, visa will be immediately processed, cleared and can have the clearance letter from the Department of Immigration, Royal Government of Bhutan within a week time from the time you transfer payment. Confirmation of all services along with name of Hotels will sent to you through email.

4. What would be the cost of the tour?

Tourist Tariff is set & regulated by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) and is set @ US$ 250 per person per night during peak season (March-May & Sept.-Nov.) & US$200 per person per night during lean season (Jan.-Feb., Jun-Aug. & Dec.) . For Free Individual Travelers, surcharge at following rate will be applicable additionally:
1 person: US $40 per night.
2 persons: US $30 per person per night.

5. What are the services included in the tariff?

Hotel accommodation (minimum 3-star) on twin sharing basis, all meals, airport transfers, land transportation as per itinerary, licensed English speaking guide, entry fees in museums/ monuments, govt. royalty and all applicable taxes.

6. Do we need travel insurance?

It is strongly advised to seek insurance coverage from one`s own insurance company in their country before coming to Bhutan. It will be advisable to consider purchasing travel insurance to cover emergency assistance, baggage loss, or injury of any kind.

7. What will be the quality of guides?

Guides are trained and examined by the Tourism Council of Bhutan before they are issued license. They are normally with good aptitude. We are gradually upgrading them to specialize in areas like bird watching, botanical tours, adventures, etc.

8. When is the best time to travel to Bhutan?

January, February, March, April, May, June, Sept. Oct. & Nov. and December has clear skies and pleasant weather. Visitors tend to stay away during the monsoon months of July and August, when the weather is generally expected to be wet.

9. When is the best season for trekking?

Spring and autumn; hence, the months of March, April, May and Sept, October, November are best for trekking in Bhutan.

10. What are the airlines operating in Bhutan?

Druk Air, Bhutan`s national airline and Tashi Air, Bhutan Airlines are the two airlines operating in Bhutan.

11. How do I book my flights into Bhutan?

Since, you do not have an easy access to the Central Reservation System of these airlines; we assist you to make your reservation locally. We do not add any service charge on this.

12. What about flight delays?

Flights can be delayed for departure and arrival especially in monsoon season. It is advisable for passengers with onward connections after leaving Bhutan to keep at least one day`s gap before the next flight.

13. What is the flight cancellation policy?

You will get refund for the air tickets if you cancel 14 days before the commencement of the trip. No shows are non-refundable.

14. What is Bhutan’s electricity supply like? Can I use electrical appliances in the hotels?

It is a 240 Volts system. Electricity supply is generally good, but could be less stable in the smaller towns other than Thimphu and Paro. If you are using computers and other sensitive equipment, be prepared for fluctuations and power surges.

15. What type of electrical plug is used in Bhutan?

Generally round pin sockets are used; flat pin converters are available and can find adaptors in many of the hardware shops in Thimphu.

16. What kind of accommodation is available?

In general, Bhutan offers modest but clean hotels. Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) has classified hotels and we make all efforts to keep you at a minimum of 3-star hotels. There are none of the chain hotels in Bhutan although a couple of high end resorts have been opened in few places in western Bhutan. Visitors are advised not to expect luxury or five star services. Bhutan`s local hospitality is, however, an insight into a society where tourism may be a new venture, but where visitors are greeted with true warmth and friendship.

17. Are standards of hotels same throughout Bhutan?

Generally, standard of hotels in central and western Bhutan is much better; however as you go further interior towards east, you will find the standard a little rudimentary; this is due to less traffic of tourist towards Eastern Bhutan. Few modern hotels have lately come up filling this gap in Eastern Bhutan.

18. What kinds of meals are available in Bhutan?

Meals available are most palatable to the taste of western tourists; a varieties of Continental, Indian, Chinese, and local cuisine are available in all hotels. Both Vegetarian and Non- vegetarian dishes are available all over the places. Most popular being pork, beef, chicken, fish and local seasonal vegetables. Best advice could be to ask the hotel/restaurant to recommend what is fresh and seasonal.

19. How about crime? How safe is it to travel in Bhutan?

Crime rate is very low in Bhutan and it is absolutely safe for women travelers and solo travelers to tour the country. For in-depth and up-to-date information on travel to Bhutan, you can refer to the US State Department’s Consular Information Sheet on Bhutan.

20. Is it safe for women to travel alone in Bhutan?

Generally there is no sexual harassment towards females as Bhutanese women enjoy a good standing status in society. Since all tours are guided tours and have a travel guide, there is little chance of coming across unpleasant occurrences. However, it will be advisable to take the same universal precautions when in crowded entertainment places at night, particularly when in night clubs, discos, bars or if walking to hotel late in the evening. Sometimes, the stray dogs could pose a problem on the streets at night.

21. What kind of vehicles will be available?

We provide comfortable passenger luxury buses for bigger groups, cars for free individual traveler; luxury mini vans for smaller groups and imported cars and SUVs for FITs. All our vehicles are clean, well maintained, comfortable and reliable.

22. Are cigarettes available in Bhutan?

There is a ban on the sale of cigarettes in Bhutan. Smoking in public places, hotels and in offices is prohibited by the law of the land.

23. Can we buy antiques in Bhutan?

Export of antiques from Bhutan is prohibited by law. Tourists should buy only artifacts that have been certified for sale and for export. Government provides an official seal to certify that artifacts can be taken out of Bhutan.

24. What is the dress code for a tourist to visit Monasteries and other religious institutions?

Visitors should wear long pants, shirts with full sleeves and more formal skirts below the knees to these places. Slippers and sandals are discouraged. Sun caps are also not permitted inside Dzongs and Monasteries.

25. What should I bring for my trek to Bhutan?

Two pairs of foot wear either trekking or running /walking shoes, camp shoes or thongs, socks (polypropylene), down or fiber-filled jacket, jumper or piled jacket, hiking shorts, waterproof jackets, poncho or umbrella, hiking pants, T-shirts or blouses, underwear and Sun hat
Other equipment: rucksack, light rain gears, sleeping bag, water bottle, iodine (treatment tablets), torch, batteries and bulbs
For high altitude trek : Footwear – mountain trekking boots, socks or wool to wear with boots, socks, light cotton for under wool socks, insulated pants, nylon windbreaker, nylon wind pants, long underwear, woolen hat, gloves, long gaiters, light rain gears, water bottles, iodine (treatment tablets)
Miscellaneous items: toilet articles, toilet paper and cigarette lighter, small knife, sun block, towel, laundry soap; medical and first aid kit, sewing kit, bandana or scarf, goggles or sunglasses, sun block and salve for lips.

26. Is there a limit to the baggage while trekking in Bhutan?

Average carrying capacity of a pack pony is 30 Kilograms; entitlement is one pony two people. So trekkers are asked to keep their baggage to a maximum limit of 15 Kilograms each; please note that the baggage should contain only your personal belongings, as all food and other camping equipment are provided by us.

27. Where can I leave my belongings that are not required on trek?

After you have packed for your trek, you can leave the rest of your belongings with the representative of TLF Holidays who will be present at the trek starting point.

28. Will I be carrying the entire luggage myself?

You will carry only your basic things in your back pack; while heavier items will go into duffel bags which will be carried by pack ponies

29. Who else will be there on trek ?

Your trekking entourage will consist of a guide, camp chef, assistant, one or two horseman and horses.

30. Do I get sleeping bag for hire in Bhutan?

No, you will have to bring in on your own

31. What types of meals do I get on trek ?

Breakfast – Canned juice (orange, mango, pineapple, apple etc.) porridge / cornflakes / cereals, fresh fruits, sausages/bacon, toast, butter and Jam, eggs, and tea/coffee.
Pack lunch – a choice of vegetable cutlet/sandwich/boiled potato, chicken roast/beef roast, boiled eggs, choice of fresh fruits, canned juice (orange, pineapple, Pepsi /coke)/noodles. If it is a long walk, hot heavy lunch will be served.
Evening tea – Tea/coffee, cookies/sandwich and biscuits.
Dinner: Soup, salad, rice, noodles, 2 non-vegetable items, 2 vegetable items, desert and tea/coffee.

32. Is tipping a standard practice?

It is not mandatory to tip; a standard service charge is levied in all hotels and restaurants. However, if you are happy with the services, you may tip as a gesture of gratitude.

33. Does Bhutan welcome gays and lesbians?

People`s sexual preferences are considered personal matters and do not bother most of them. Bhutanese people are, however, not used to open intimate behavior. Sometimes, you come across people of the same gender holding hands but they are not necessarily gay or lesbian.

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