All visitors to Bhutan must prepay for a visa and hold a current passport. Visa application is made through YANA Expeditions, Inc. Visa fee is US$ 200 and is collected along with the tour payment. Visa will be entered on arrival in Bhutan though they are cleared in advance and visa clearance numbers are issued. Other than Indian nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa; all visas are issued from Thimphu; visas are only issued after paying the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF). The tour operator submits applications for tourist visas for those booked through a tour operator. Visa clearance from Thimphu must be obtained before coming to Bhutan. Visa clearance process can be quick but can take up to 5 working days to process.
It is absolutely necessary that you double-check that the information you provided us with is correct. There will be delays and complications in issuing the visa when you arrive in Bhutan if there are discrepancies in any important numbers. YANA Expeditions, Inc. will process visa extensions for you if they become necessary.
We use what we consider to be the nicest accommodations in Bhutan (with the exception of the new resorts, which we can book). Hotels in w estern Bhutan have better standards than ones in the Central and Eastern part of the country. All accommodations are approved by the Department of Tourism, Royal Government of Bhutan. Each one is clean, comfortable, offering a warm welcome, friendly smile and restful haven that are much appreciated after a day of cultural exploration. All the hotels, lodges and guesthouses are equipped with telephones, fax machines and international dialing.
By Air: The best way to enter Bhutan is by Drukair – Royal Bhutan Airlines. The airport is in Paro. During monsoons and winter, unpredictable weather forces can delay flights and travelers should consider including an extra day in their itinerary. Druk Air is the national carrier of the Royal Government of Bhutan and operates to following stations:
> India : Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Gaya, Bagdogra, Guwahati
> Nepal : Kathmandu
> Thailand : Bangkok
> Singapore : Singapore
> Bangladesh : Dhaka
By Road: The nearest Indian airport is Bagdogra, which can be reached by plane from Kolkata and Delhi. The road from Bagdogra connects to Phuentsholing, a border town in Bhutan. It is a 3 – 4 hour drive from the airport. It takes approximately 6 hours from Phuentsholing to Thimphu or Paro.
Bhutan has an unusual variety of climate influenced by varying altitudes. Southern Bhutan, which is situated at low altitudes, has mild winters and hot summers during which morning and evening showers are common. Paro, Thimphu and other temperate regions have cold winters with sunny skies. In spring and autumn, days are warm but nights are cool. Summers are warm with light but frequent rainfall. The lower temperate regions such as Punakha and Trashigang have mild winters and warm summers. Spring is generally from March through May, summer from June through August, autumn from September through November and winter from December through February.
The Bhutanese currency is the Ngultrum . The Ngultrum is at par with the Indian Rupee. US Dollars are widely accepted throughout the kingdom and traveler’s checks can be exchanged at the bank. Ngultrum will be required for smaller purchases of souvenirs beyond Thimphu. Credit cards are now accepted in some locations but checks are generally not accepted.
Japanese vehicles are regarded as the most appropriate for the Bhutanese conditions. To ensure comfort and safety for our guests we use vehicle of high quality. We use Toyota Coaster buses for larger groups and Toyota or Nissan cars for smaller groups. The vehicles are given an all round mechanical check up before the tours.
The Bhutanese delicacies are rich with spicy chilies and cheese. Our selected chain of hotels; lodges and guesthouses offer delicious Chinese, Continental, Bhutanese and Indian dishes. Even on treks, our trekking team is prepared to serve Continental, Chinese, Indian and Bhutanese dishes.
Bhutan Standard Time is half an hour ahead of Indian Standard Time and 6 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) - Bhutan GMT +6
Government Office Timing:
> Summer ( March-November): 9AM – 5PM
> Winter (December-February): 9AM – 4PM
Current is 220-240 Volts. The plug is round, 3 prong, British Type.
Tipping is at each visitor’s discretion. Visitors are requested not to give candy, gum, pens, pencils, balloons, etc. to children , who soon learn to demand gifts; or not to hand out medicines to local people which may be inappropriate for their medical problems and delay their seeking professional help. If you want to give children pens, pencils, etc. it is better to give them to local schools. We will be happy to arrange a visit to a local school if you indicate at the time of booking. Instead of gifts, you can show them books and pictures of your country, your home, your children, etc. or teach them a song or a game.
All visitors are welcome to visit the Handicraft Centre or all local shops, which contains a very wide range of traditional and modern items. Beautiful hand woven textiles, postage traditional handmade paper, colorful bamboo baskets, thankas, ceramics, musical instruments and masks are some of many favorite items for purchase from Bhutan. The textiles with intricate patterns that take months to weave are made of cotton, wool or raw silk. Ethnic silver jewelry can also be found. The best shopping to be found is in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
All visitors should bring with them everything they need to take pictures. The photographic opportunities are immense on all trips. Also most important while visiting Dzongs, Monasteries and other religious monuments, please follow your tour guide’s instructions properly and carefully .
No vaccinations are currently required for traveling to Bhutan. However if you are arriving an area infected with yellow fever, you are required to have a yellow fever vaccination and it shall be administered at least 10 days before your arrival into Bhutan. Also if arriving from Cholera infected area, the vaccination is strongly recommended for all travelers who are visiting rural areas in the districts that border India.
Because of the variety of climates you may encounter in one day, choose garments, which can be layered. This means that the majority of your clothing can be worn in layers, so that you can put on more clothing if it is cold or take off layers as it warms up. In general, from June to September cottons and a good sweater will be enough, but from October to May you will need warm clothes including long underwear or woolen tights to wear under trousers, and a down jacket or a warm coat. Also don’t forget to bring an umbrella or a rain jacket. Comfortable sports shoes are highly recommended and mountain boots are necessary if you come on a trek or plan to hike up toTaktsang. In Bhutan, you can get sun burnt quite quickly. Don’t forget to include a sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and barrier cream for your nose and lips in your packing list.