Bhutan is a nation in the eastern Himalayas of South Asia. China and India are its neighbors to the north, south, east, and west, respectively.
Yes, all visitors will need a visa to visit Bhutan, except for Indian Nationals, who will require a permit.
Nationals of Bangladesh and the Maldives, as well as nationals of Switzerland and Thailand who hold diplomatic or government-official passports, are also eligible for a visa on arrival at the port of entry.
The visa fee is USD 40 per person and it is not refundable.
The Visa allows you to remain in Bhutan for a maximum of 90 days from the date of entry. And extension can be applied before the original visa or permit expires.
The following documents are required for a Bhutan visa application:
- A valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining
- Recent copy of passport size photograph
- Valid Travel insurance for the duration of your travel
- Payment detail.
Bhutan has one international airport, Paro International Airport, which is located in the Paro Valley. Currently, two national airlines operate flight to Bhutan: Druk air – Royal Bhutan airlines and Bhutan Airlines. Departure points include Bangkok, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati, Bagdogra, Bodhgaya, Dhaka and Singapore.
You can also enter and exit Bhutan through its southern gateway of Phuentsholing, Chukha into the Indian state of West Bengal.
Bhutanese currency is known as the Ngultrum. Its value is also pegged to the Indian currency -Rupee which is widely accepted in the country. Visitors can also bring in sufficient cash preferably in US dollars for their personal shopping and expenses. Credit cards like visa and master card also accepted, however at very few establishment and local bank here.
The best time to visit Bhutan depends on the type of activity or experience you are looking for.
- If you want to see the beautiful rhododendron flowers in full bloom, the best time to visit is during the spring months of March to May.
- For those interested in hiking and trekking, the autumn months of September to November are a good time to visit as the weather is clear and dry.
- If you want to see the famous annual festivals (tsechus) the best time to visit is in the autumn.
- For those looking to avoid the crowds, the winter months of December to February are a good time to visit as tourism is low during this time.
It is always good to check the weather conditions before planning a trip.
The most celebrated Tshechus (festivals) in Bhutan are Paro Tshechu, Thimphu Tshechu, Punakha Tshechu, etc. Other festivals include Black-necked crane festival in Phobjikha valley in Gangtey and Rhododendron Festival.
Yes, English is spoken widely in Bhutan being the medium of instructions in schools. Government letters and road signs are also written both in English and Dzongkha, the national language.