Visa Process & How to Book Tours
How to book a trip to Bhutan, what are the payment procedures?
Booking Bhutan Tour with us is an easy five steps procedures.
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1. Online Regional Permit System
In order to streamline and facilitate smooth visitation by tourists from Bangladesh, India and Maldives, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan have launched the Online Permit System. The system facilitates the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered Bhutanese tour operators and TCB certified hotels. The facility is offered as an optional channel to process permits for visitors from the region and is applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. Visitors who use this facility will be able to obtain their permit clearances and route permits ahead of their arrival in Bhutan similar to international tourists.
2. How to get to Bhutan
The Kingdom of Bhutan remained largely cut off from the rest of the world up until the early 1960’s. Entering the country was difficult as it was only accessible by foot from two main entry points, one in the North and another from the South. The Northern route was through Tibet, crossing high mountain passes that were inaccessible throughout the winters. The second entry route from the South came through the plains of Assam and West Bengal. The high frozen passes in the North and the dense jungles in the South made it extremely difficult to enter the country.
However, carefully planned economic development has made the country much more accessible and there are now a network of roads entering and traversing the country, as well as one international and multiple domestic airports.
Today the main roads entering the country are through Phuentsholing in the south, linking Bhutan with the Indian plains of West Bengal through the border towns of Gelephu, in the central region and Samdrup Jongkhar in the east, that link Bhutan with the Indian state of Assam.
Travel By Air
The best and quick way to get into Bhutan is by flight. There are flights to destinations that include Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.
Paro is situated at a height of 2,225 m (7300 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,876 m (16,000 ft). At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. There are also domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.
Flying into Bhutan’s Paro International Aiport is typically an exciting experience as the descent into Paro valley brings you closer to the mountaintops than most other flights in the world. The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting ones 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 and Kangchenjunga at their best.
NO Service charge: we will be happy to reserve your preferred seats on the window side and do airline ticketing for you.
Travel By Land
Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists.
The town of Phuentsholing in southwest is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport at Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, you begin your journey to Thimphu, the capital city with travel time of about six hours for the 170 km stretch.
Gelephu, in south-central Bhutan, is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250kms from Thimphu and the journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. One will have to traverse across three districts and the travel time will be about ten hours.
The district of Samdrup Jongkhar in southeast Bhutan borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150kms away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati is about three hours. Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, and from there over the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang and then finally into the capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 kms and will take you a minimum of three days to reach Thimphu.
3. Minimum Daily Package:
In keeping with the Tourism Council of Bhutan's policy of "High Value. Low Volume" tourism, a Minimum Daily Package is required for tourists.
The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan. These must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan.
The minimum daily package applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan for tourists travelling in a group of 3 people or more is as follows:
• USD $200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and
• USD $250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and
The minimum daily package covers the following services;
A minimum of 3 star accommodations, which are monitored timely and approved by government. (4 & 5 star may require a premium payment)
A licensed English Speaking tour Guide for the extent of your stay (we can arrange language guide if you will require with bit extra fees)
All three meals, + tea, coffee & snacks
Bottled mineral water for the entire trip (except water ordered in the hotels and restaurants)
Dedicated SUV vehicle with a driver
All internal ground transport
Day hikes, Packed lunches and snacks wherever required
Monumental and Museum entrance fees
VISA processing Fee
All administrative cost
Full service & assistance before, during and after your Bhutan trip
Package Does Not Include:
Airfare to and from Bhutan (we can arrange you tickets for you if you wish)
Refreshments and bottled drinks and alcoholics/gratuities
Cost arising out of Flight Cancellation/road blockades/ landslides and events beyond our control
Expenses of personal nature and any other expenses not mentioned in the above cost
Tips and gratuities to the local staffs
Travel and medical insurance
Wire transfer charge/fees
Tourists travelling in a group of two (2) persons or less shall be subject to a surcharge, in addition to the minimum daily package rates. These are as follows;
• Single individual - US$ 40 per night
• Group of 2 persons only - US$ 30 per person per night
The surcharge will not be applicable to representatives of foreign travel agents on business study or promotional visit duly approved and cleared by TCB.
5. Delayed Arrivals
There is no charge for delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or roadblocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required. It is highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance prior to travel.
6. Wire Transfer
Prior to your trip to Bhutan, you will be asked to wire transfer the full payment for your holiday to the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB). You must wire the tour payment calculated by your tour operator as well as USD $ 40 (one time visa fee) to the Bhutan National Bank through us ‘Absolute Happiness Origin Tours and Travel to Bhutan’ specified as the ultimate beneficiary.
You might also have to bear USD $30 for wire transfer fees/charges.