LATEST TRAVEL INFORMATION FOR INDIANS,MALDIVES AND BANGLADESH NATIONAL 2020

Thousand of tourists travel Bhutan every year and it is increasing yearly. The year 2019 have seen more than 200,000 tourists traveling Bhutan from our neighboring countries like India, Bangladesh and Maldives. Almost 70% of the tourists were from India who contributed the growth of tourism.

India being the nearest neighbor, traveling to Bhutan is easier for those who travel by air and by road. Many major cities in India operate flights to Bhutan, but only local airlines i.e. Drukair and Bhutan airlines fly to Bhutan. The cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdugra and Guwahati have frequent flights to Bhutan.

Indian can also take a road trip to Bhutan from Siliguri. The road trip starting from Siliguri via Bagpool (Tiger bridge) is one of the most refreshing trips. The journey passes through tea gardens, Dhabas for quick lunch and the protected areas of Gorumara wildlife sanctuary.

Traveling to Bhutan is easier for Indian nationals, as they do not have to process Visa since their visa is granted upon arrival. This has made the travel easier and hassle free. I will be discussing more about how to book your trip to Bhutan in details.

Travel to Bhutan

Group tours of Bhutan with Lady Guide

Did you know Indians do not need a Passport to visit Bhutan?

Yes you have heard it right. Indians do not need a passport to visit Bhutan. This has made the travel easier.

What documents does Indian National need to get permit?

Passport is not necessary for Indian nationals to travel Bhutan but they need vote card for adults above 18 years of age.  For children below 18 years who do not have Voter card or passport, they can travel Bhutan with an original birth certificate accompanied by one of their parents. The Bhutanese Immigration office will not accept other documents like Adhar Card, Driving license or School ID to enter Bhutan.

Bangladesh National Traveling Bhutan

For Bengali tourists coming to Bhutan, they do not enjoy the same facilities like Indian nationals when it comes to documentation for Visa or entry permit. All Bengali nationals should have a Passport to travel Bhutan. No other documents will be accepted other than the valid passport.

Traveling Bhutan by Road

Bengali tourist from Bangladesh hardly use road trips to Bhutan since they need to apply Indian Visa before entering Bhutan. As they have to come via India before entering Bhutan since the country do not have a direct road connection with Bangladesh, which makes the travel difficult for Bengali tourists to take the road trip. Therefore, most of the tourists prefer flying to Bhutan.

Drukair operates flight from Dhaka to Paro International Aiprort 5 times a week. You can get the tickets from us or from any local agent based in Dhaka.

Maldives National traveling Bhutan

The nationality from Maldives  do not need visa for Bhutan. Their Visa is given upon arrival at Paro International Airport. Maldivian can travel to Bhutan without applying advance visa as they also dont need visa for Bhutan.

For them, they either need to take flights to India or any other places where Bhutan airlines operates to get to Bhutan. There are no direct flights to Bhutan from Maldives.

Mosque in Bhutan:

Muslim traveling Bhutan should know that there is mosque in Bhutan. Many muslim travelers ask me this question about Mosque but you are allowed to pray in your rooms as and when necessary.

Hindu Temple in Bhutan:

Big Hindu Temple overlooking Thimphu valley just after the Largest Buddha Statue is now ready.Many hindu devotee visit this temple for blessing. You can always visit the temple if you wish while coming back from Bhuddha Point.

Bhutan Permit/Visa Cost for Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian national

There is no visa cost or cost of permit charged for all of this three nationality. Some tour operator may charge you administrative fees for applying the permit and assisting you but Bhutan Immigration office do not charge any cost for permit or Visa. The Visa charge is only applicable for foreign national traveling Bhutan. You can find more info on Foreign national tour packages cost. Visa cost of USD 40 is charged for all foreign national apart from Indian,Bangladeshi and Maldivian national.

With new tourism policy for Indian national, tourist coming to Bhutan from 2021 may seem little expensive, as they have to pay INR 1200 per person per day. The applicable fees will be either collected by tour operator or by the Immigration officials while processing the permit.

Documents required to travel Bhutan

All Indian can travel Bhutan without Visa but it is mandatory to have proper documents and only vote card is accepted by Bhutan immigration office.

Only two travel documents is valid for Indian traveling to Bhutan and that is the valid passport or latest vote card which is updated in your system. Passport validity should be more than six months. If you are booking a tour with tour operator than you need to send you color passport scan copy for advance permit. This advance permit will save lots of time at the border.

If your travel date falls on weekends and government holidays advance permit will ease your journey.

Online Permit or Advance Permit for Indian National

There are two types of Permit issued by Immigration office for Indian tourist entering Bhutan. They are Route permit and Entry permit.

Entry Permit:

The permit you get upon arrival is called Entry Permit. This permit is only valid to visit Paro Thimphu and Phuntsholing.If you plan to visit other places you need to apply additional permit which is called route permit.

Travel to Bhutan

Advance Online Entry permit for indian

Route Permit:

You get the route permit only from Thimphu. You apply this route permit to Visit places beside Paro, Thimphu and Phuntsholing. You have to apply after getting entry permit. This route permit can be applied only from Thimphu Immigration office. If you visit Punakha,Gangtey or Bumthang than you need to apply route permit.

Bhutan Travel Permit

Advance Route permit for Indian

Advantage of Online Permit or Visa: 

Indian, Bangladesh and Maldivian can apply advance online permit if their arrival date falls on government holiday. Usually Advance online permit is useful if you are taking road trip to Bhutan. During peak season getting permit from Phuntsholing Immigration office is difficult due to huge rush of tourist lining up for permit. Advance online permit will ease the job without having to stay in long line. If you have advance permit you don’t have to apply route permit since advance permit covers all the places as per your itinerary. Advance permit also helps tourist get permission to enter Bhutan during public holidays and weekends.

Bhutan Tourism Policy for Regional Tourist

All tourists visiting Bhutan need to have proper Hotel booking before they apply the permit. Officials from Immigration will demand your Hotel confirmation voucher before they approve your entry permit or Route Permit.

The immigration office at Phuntsholing is usually crowded so it’s advisable to reach the office early to avoid wasting your time. Note that immigration office is closed during weekends and public holidays. Reaching Bhutan during weekdays is always important if you are planning the road trip.

Regional Tourism SDF update

The National Assembly today saw agreement to fix the SDF Levy for regional tourists at Nu 1,200 instead of 25% of USD 65.

However tourists visiting 11 of the 20 districts which are Trashigang, Lhuntse, Trashiyangtze, Mongar, Samdrupjongkhar, Pemagatshel, Zhemgang, Tsirang, Sarpang, Dagana and Trongsa will be exempt of SDF for both tariff paying tourists and regional tourists.The PM announced that Gelephu and Samdrupjongkhar will also be open to entry by regional tourists.Regional tourist children under the age of 5 do not have to pay the levy and those between 6 and 12 only need to pay 600.

To help hotels, they will be allowed to handle and get in tourists.

The Bill which has been renamed and introduced as a new Bill in the form of Tourism Levy and Exemption Bill of Bhutan 2020 will be passed tomorrow. Child below 6 years no need to pay the daily SDF. The rules shall be applied from July 2020. Do mail us for latest news.

Bhutan Tour

The Mighty Punakha Dzong Tour the winter capital of Bhutan

Guide is mandatory if you take Advance Online Permit:

If you plan to take online permit in advance, it’s mandatory to take licensed Guide for all your tours in Bhutan. Advance permit can be availed only from licensed tour operator like ourselves.

Documents required applying Advance permit:

Only tourist having valid Passport can apply advance permit. No other documents will be accepted.

OCI card for NRI

For NRI or OCI cardholder, they will have to go through same process like foreigner. They need to apply tourist Visa for Bhutan and buy pre package tour. They cannot enter Bhutan like Indian national without paying the daily tariff.

Bhutan Travel Cost for Indian National

Indian national do not have to pay the daily tariff like foreigner. The cost of the package will depend upon the following.

Hotel in Bhutan

Bhutan have ranges of Hotel from simple Budget hotel to luxury 5 star hotel. The cost will depend on what kind of hotel the tourist want to stay while touring Bhutan.Check all Bhutan Hotels

Meals: The cost of Bhutan Package also depends on meals. Some take packages with all meals where as some prefer rooms with breakfast only.

Best Time to Travel Bhutan

Country is considered all year round destination. The best time of the year to travel Bhutan is still considered Spring and Autumn. Spring season starts from March till May and Autumn from September to November. This is the season of festivals, good weather, warm temperature and season of flowers.

Bhutan Travel Restriction 2020

Entry is still closed for tourist. The flights are grounded and border are closed due to rise in Covid-19 with our neighboring country India. Bhutan have minimum Covid infection with just 256 people infected with zero death. The year 2021 may see the start of tourism with safety. The county is planning to start Bubble tourism where maximum protection is given to tourist traveling Bhutan. More details here.

Important office address 

Indian Consulate Office in Phuntsholing:

Consulate General of India
Maysel Apartments
Near Bank Colony
Phuentsholing BhutanPhone No: +975 5-252101 (O)

cons.psling@mea.gov.in


Indian Embassy in Bhutan
Indian Embassy in Bhutan is located in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, which is 15 minutes drive from the main city. Here is the proper address of Indian Embassy in Bhutan for your reference.

Embassy of India
PO Box:193,
Jungshina
Thimphu
Tel: +975-2-322162, Fax: +975-2-323195
Indian Embassy in Thimphu

Bangladesh Embassy in Bhutan: The Bangladesh embassy is located near craft bazar. Its new building structure recently shifted from Changangkha to present location. It’s just 10 minutes drive from the main town towards the Bangladesh Embassy. Below is the address of the embassy.

ADDRESS

PLOT: HIG-3, Upper Chubachu,Thimphu Bhutan.

Email: mission.thimphu@mofa.gov.bd

Phone # +9752332771

Emergency mobile No +975 77659875

Trekking in Bhutan for Indian Nationals

Bhutan is paradise for Trekkers. Indian Nationals have little option to trek in Bhutan. They can only trek Drukpath and Jumolhari Base Camp. Trekking can be very expensive for Indian national as there is no Dhaba or Tree house where you can negotiate on the price. All treks in Bhutan are completely organized by our trekking team starting from sleeping tent, Guide, meals, Porter Pony etc. The routes are remote and mobile network will not work. Mail us for the Trekking price.

Flights to Bhutan from India

Drukair and Bhutan airlines operates direct flights to Bhutan from multiple Destination. This two-airline company in Bhutan is the only airlines that operate in Bhutan. No other airline flies to Bhutan. Our airlines operates from Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdugra and Guwahati. Check the flights schedule HERE.

Flights from Delhi to Paro

The flights from Delhi Paro Delhi operates 6 times a week and most of the Delhi to Paro flight is early morning. The flights is approximately 2.5 hours journey. Take the left seat from Delhi to Paro if you are mountain lovers.

The view of Mt. Everest,Mt.Makalu and Mt. Jumolhari is mesmerizing and landing of flight at paro International airport is another beautiful moments as you cruise through small villages and temples. The fare is approximately INR 23400 per person

Travel to Bhutan from Kolkatta

Kolkatta Paro flight is daily and two airlines operates from Kolkatta. Its 1 hour flight and fare per person is approximately INR 16300 for adult. Make sure you carry your documents like vote card or valid passport while boarding the plane.

Bagdugra to Paro Flight

Bagdugra to Paro flight is just 30 minutes flights and this is the shortest flight. You have to stay overnight at Bagdugra if you have to take flights from Bagdugra. The fare is approximately INR 10900 per person.

Tiger Nest Temple Hike

Couple hiking up to famous tiger nest temple at Paro

Best way to Travel Bhutan

The best and easy way for Indian tourist to get into Bhutan is by flight. Flight operates from Delhi, Kolkatta, Guwahati and Bagdugra and your travel permit is given upon arrival at Paro international airport. Please note that permit is valid only in Thimphu and Paro. For other places you need to apply new permit.You can contact us for flight fare and its schedule.

Self Driven Vehicle and BIKE: If you plan to drive or ride your own vehicle you need to have complete documents like driving license, Insurance, Road worthiness certificate and License to apply permit for vehicle or Bike. You should have enough time at border to process all this formalities and plan accordingly. Please reconfirm with your agent or Hotel that Indian vehicle are allowed to ply as per your tour program because Bikes are not allowed beyond Punakha.

View of Mt. Everest

View of Himalayas while taking Delhi to Paro flight

Road Trip from India to Bhutan

The most popular road trip to Bhutan is to enter from West Bengal. There are various train station and airport where the Bhutan border is very near. If you travel Bhutan from any parts of India the best airport is Bagdugra Aiport. From there you can take a cab which will be around INR 4000 per cab and if you are in group your transport cost per person will be less.The vehicle will directly drop you to Phuntsholing Bhutan. Next day you can apply permit and start your journey.

Bhutan Group Tour

Senior Citizen Group Tour of Bhutan

Bhutan as a backpacker Destination

Many travelers around the world love to travel backpacking. This is more convenient and fun than to travel with group. In-group travel you have to swing according to the groups where as backpacker you can travel anyplace at anytime without having to worry about group leaving you.

IS BHUTAN BACKPACKER DESTINATION?

As for backpacker, travel destination like Bangkok or Nepal is best as a backpacker since they have all the varieties of cheap and best accommodation and good street food but Bhutan is not a place for backpackers as the tourism policy of Bhutan mandates the traveller to take guided tour.

All tourists have to pay the daily tariff of USD 250 except for national from India, Bangladesh and Maldives. Does this mean Indian can backpack to Bhutan? The answer is yes they can but they will land up paying more than the group tour. This is because Bhutan do not have cheap transport service operating in each district and this makes the backpacker travel more inconvenient and expensive.

There is of course good taxi service but taking taxi is expensive as you have to reserve the taxi all by yourself. There is of course shared taxi available and for that you really have to wait till the full capacity unless you have all the time to wait. We do not have any Uber or metro where you can travel cheap.

WHERE CAN YOU STAY AS A BACKPACKER IN BHUTAN?

We do have cheap hotel to crash on, starting from INR 1200 per night and don’t exact to be neat and clean like TCB approved as this hotels are all used by locals only.

What does Guided Tour means in Bhutan?

*The tour that you book with guide ahead of your travel date.

* Guide and driver will accompany you on all your tour of Bhutan.

*You need to stay in TCB approved Hotel in Bhutan.

*You should follow the tour itinerary that you have agreed before booking your trip to Bhutan.

How can I travel cheap as a backpacker from Phuntsholing to Thimphu?

Upon arrival at Phuntsholing you need to apply your permit. For permit you shall need your hotel confirmation.

FAQ

CAN ADHAR CARD OR DRIVING LICENSE GET PERMIT TO VISIT BHUTAN?

No other documents like Adhar card, driving license or student card is valid for entry into Bhutan. As for child without passport and below 18 years of age should have birth certificate but accompanied by parents during Bhutan entry.

Tourist should know that if you have Punakha visit and onward destination in your tour program than you must plan ahead because Punakha needs special permit which you can be apply in Thimphu. Thimphu Immigration office remains close during weekends and public holidays.

How to transfer money from India to BHUTAN?

Transfer of payment from India to Bhutan is very easy. Our Druk PNB have affiliation with Punjab bank in India based in Delhi Rajendra Nagar. You can transfer in cash but not more than INR 49000 per day or make online payment directly to the PNB bank in Delhi in the account number provided by us.

Very important thing to remember here is while making the transfer the bank will provide you with UTR number (Unique Tracking Reference number). You have to send this UTR number to us in Bhutan for payment claim into our account.

Is it safe to transfer the money to the tour operator?

Yes as long as you book your tour through licensed tour operator your money is safe.

Do we send 100 percent payment or partial will be ok?

This will depend upon individual company. Some company will ask for 100 percent and some 50% and rest upon arrival. You can make the deal with the operator regarding the Tour payment.

Which currency should I carry to Bhutan?

For Indian travelers you can carry Indian currency and you can use them in any corner of Bhutan. Denomination of 2000 and 200 is less accepted in Bhutan so better carry other denomination.

Can I use any credit/Visa/Master card in BHUTAN?

Yes you can use in some hotels and handicraft shop but not in other places. You better carry cash and you can also withdraw money from the ATM machine which accepts international debit and Master card.

Do Indian Need Visa to visit Bhutan?

Tourist from India,Bangladesh and Maldives do not need visa to visit Bhutan but they need proper documents like vote card or valid passport. Only this two documents is accepted by the immigration to enter Bhutan. No other documents like Adhar card or driving license is recognized.

Indian Tour Packages

Bhutan Magical Kingdom Tour 7nights 8 Days

cultural Tour

Bhutan at Glance 5 Days

Bhutan tour Images

Bhutan Wonders 7 Days

Bhutan Wonders tour

BHUTAN TOUR PACKAGES FROM KOLKATTA

You will tour Paro,Thimphu and Punakha. Visit the famous Tiger nest monastery,Dochula Pass,Farm House in Paro and Largest Bhudha Statue in Thimphu.

Day 01: Paro to Thimphu Sightseeing

Day 02:Thimphu sightseeing

Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha

Day 04:Punakha to Paro

Day 05: Paro Taktsang Hike

Day 06:Paro to Haa valley day excursion

Day 07: Paro sightseeing

Day 08: See off

BHUTAN TOUR PACKAGES FROM MUMBAI

Places Covered during the tour are Paro,Thimphu and Punakha, Dochula Pass,Farm House in Paro and Largest Bhudha Statue in Thimphu.

Day 01: Paro to Thimphu Sightseeing

Day 02:Thimphu sightseeing

Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha

Day 04:Punakha to Paro

Day 05: See OFF

BHUTAN TOUR PACKAGES FROM KOLKATTA/MUMBAI/DELHI

Sightseeing Covers are Paro,Thimphu and Punakha. Dochula Pass,Farm House in Paro and Largest Bhudha Statue in Thimphu.

Day 01: Paro to Thimphu Sightseeing

Day 02:Thimphu sightseeing

Day 03: Thimphu to Punakha

Day 04:Punakha to Paro

Day 05: Paro Tiger Nest Hike.

Day 06 Paro Chelela Excursion

Day 07: See off