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  • Bhutan Tours
  • Reviews
  • Transport & Tour Guides
  • Accommodation
  • Holiday Information
  • Bhutan FAQs
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BHUTAN TOURS & HOLIDAYS

Bhutan is a tiny country, a hidden gem of Asia nestled between China and India. The country is dotted with monks, dzongs and friendly smiles. With much of Bhutan protected as national forest, the mountain passes and valleys are spectacular as is the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery that hangs from the side of a cliff.

This Himalayan Kingdom is a delight to explore and the best time to go is now while it is still being discovered by tourists. Bhutan does things differently - instead of traffic lights, they have policemen in white gloves and they are famous for their Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of other countries.

Travel in Bhutan must be with an organised tour operator and your time in Bhutan includes all meals, accommodation, transport and official guide - you'll be cared for from start to finish.


Ready-Made Private Tours

Just you and your family / friends.
Choose from a range of Tours.

Tailor Made Private Tours

Design your own Tour with our expert support.
Tailor make your next holiday.


Travelbay India ToursThank you!! We had the most amazing trip…Bhutan was just so beautiful, scenic & unspoilt…the guides & accommodation, staff could not do more for us. Thanks again until our next trip.

Debbie Richardson


Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Customer Reviews

We had a fantastic time. Chimi our guide in Bhutan was a wonderful lady. The Tiger Nest Monastery was the highlight for me. It was a 12km trek and took 5 hours. Chimi made it look easy as she sometimes does it 2-3 times a week. We ended up jumping on a couple of horses heading back down the mountain for the last 10 minutes to the 1/2 way point, to rest the old legs for the second half. Bhutan is certainly a hidden gem. I have been spreading the news about Travelbay and hope more people will venture to Bhutan. 
Thank you Nikki, Nicola and Fiona for putting this trip of a lifetime together – it’s been on my list for some time now."

~ Cheryl White


Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Transport in Bhutan

Private Tours - Transport

On arrival into Bhutan your driver and guide will be there to greet you and will take care of you throughout your holiday.

Your transport in Bhutan will be by private vehicle and the size of the vehicle will depend on the size of your group.

  • 1 - 2 people: SUV Hyandai Tuscon / Santa Fe (non AC)
  • 3 - 6 people: Toyota Hiace (non AC)
  • 7 - 9 people: Toyota Coaster Bus (non AC)

The vehicles do not have air-conditioning as it's not needed in Bhutan.

Drivers and Tour Guides

For your time in Bhutan you will have a licensed official tour guide - this is a requirement for travelling in Bhutan.

In addition to your tour guide, you will have a driver who will be the same driver for your time in Bhutan.


Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Accommodation in Bhutan

Choose your accommodation style 

Standard or Deluxe

Standard hotel options are akin to 3 Star and Deluxe to 4 Star.

In some locations we can also offer Super Deluxe (5 Star) - please contact us if you would like a quote for Super Deluxe.

In some of the less frequented locations, Standard accommodation may be the only option.

Usually your hotel will be centrally located.

We provide pricing options for each option.

High season / Low season

Low season in Bhutan is for travel in the months of January, February, June, July, August and December.

High season in Bhutan is for travel in the months of March, April, May, September, October and November.

Different rates apply for high and low season - please see our pricing for each tour.

Festivals

There are various festivals in Bhutan and during festival times there may be a surcharge for accommodation - please check with us upon booking for any festival dates and applicable surcharges.


Bhutan Facts

Capital City: Thimphu

Population: estimated 763,092

Languages: There are 19 different languages and dialects spoken in Bhutan. Dzongkha (or Bhutanese) is spoken by over half a million people.  

Currency: The currency used in Bhutan is the Ngultrum. The Indian Rupee is also accepted all over Bhutan.

Time Zone: (GMT +6)  

Dialling code: +975

Religion: The official religion of Bhutan is Buddhism.


Bhutan weather

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Bhutan Weather

You can visit Bhutan any time and it is a country of contrasts - from the tropical Southern border with India to the Northern snow-capped mountainous border with Tibet. Temperatures vary greatly between day and night and at different altitudes - we recommend taking clothing that is good for layering.

There are four distinct seasons - each one has its merits.

  • Summer: (June - August) Temperatures are in the high twenties - this also coincides with the monsoon season. In the central valleys the rains are not as heavy as the South.
  • Autumn: (September - November) Temperatures can reach the mid to high twenties and drop below 10°C.
  • Winter: (December - February) The temperature highs range between 10°C and 15°C and drop below 0°C in some places.
  • Spring: (March - May) Temperatures range from 15°C to 28°C and this is the dry season in Bhutan.
  • Monsoon season: June to September with July being the wettest month. The Southern parts of the country see the most rainfall. The Northern parts have light showers.  
  • Dry season: March to April.

How to get to Bhutan

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - How to get there

Tours to Bhutan start and end in Paro.

Usually flights to and from Paro are booked on local Bhutanese airlines (Tashi Air and Druk Air).

Flights from Australia to Bhutan are approximately $2,000 - $2,200 per person return. The actual price varies depending on departure city, time of year and luck of the draw!

Travelbay works together with an excellent corporate flight booking company and we would be happy to provide you with a quote and organise your flights. We charge a $50 booking fee for this service.


Interesting facts on Bhutan

  • By law, 60% of the country must remain forested for all future generations (it's currently above 70%).

  • Thimpu is the only capital city in the world without traffic lights (if you find another - let us know!)

  • Bhutan is the only nation in the world where the sale of tobacco is banned.


Bhutan visa information

A tourist visa is required for travel in Bhutan. This needs to be done via the tour operator - once you have booked your tour with us, we will take care of your visa for you in conjunction with our colleagues in Bhutan.

We will need a clear, readable colour copy of the photo page of your passport showing your passport number and photo. We will need this in JPEG or PDF format at least 30 days prior to your date of entry into Bhutan. Your passport needs to be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date you return home.

Please note: If you are travelling to Bhutan from India and plan to re-enter India again (for more than transit) you will need a multiple entry visa for India. Please also check if your India visa has "2 months entry restriction" meaning there must be a gap of at least 2 months between two separate visits to India - if this has been stamped in your passport then you will need to get it endorsed by the Indian embassy in Thimphu for a nominal charge. This will need to be done in Thimphu on working days during office hours. You will be asked to provide your travel documents and of course our tour guides in Bhutan will help if you do need to do this.

To find out the visa requirements for Bhutan, you can check here with Visalink.

Please note: We attempt to provide you with the latest information and links. However, please be aware that it is each traveller’s responsibility (and not Travelbay’s) to ensure that you have a valid visa if required for any country you visit.


Tipping

Tipping is entirely at your discretion.

In response to some customers questions here are a few guidelines:

It is usual to tip the waiters, porters, guides and drivers. Tips are not included in the bills for hotels, transport companies or any other suppliers. At hotels and restaurants, about 10% of the bill is usually acceptable.  

Although we give below a few general guidelines, it is to be remembered that tipping is a sign of gratification for good service, and therefore please view the guidelines as the middle ground, which can be adjusted depending on the level of service you feel you have received.

Please note the below amounts are per person for individual travellers and are given in Australian Dollars.

  • Guide (Full Day): AUD 8 - 16 per day
  • Driver for the tour: AUD 6 - 10 per day
  • Bell Boy: AUD1 per person
  • Restaurants: About 10% of the bill total (Unless service charge is mentioned as included)

Tipping tip: It can be handy to have small notes for tipping.


Currency

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Currency

The currency used in Bhutan is the Ngultrum and the Indian Rupee is also accepted all over Bhutan.

Please note: INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and 1000 are not accepted in Bhutan.

What currency to take is a personal choice. The US dollar is readily acceptable at major handicraft emporiums and some large hotels. The AUD is not widely accepted although you may be able to exchange AUD to Ngultrum in Bhutan.

International credit cards are not widely accepted, we recommend carrying enough cash to cover your expenses.

ATMs are not common and remember to always have your passport with you as identification when changing money.

We recommend letting your bank know that you will be using your card in Bhutan to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.


Shopping in Bhutan

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Holiday Information - Shopping in Bhutan

Bhutan is a great place to buy colourful textiles and the souvenirs and handicrafts are unique to Bhutan.  

  • Handicrafts - from wooden bowls to hand made paper, rugs, wall hangings, jewellery and more, you can find some great locally made traditional souvenirs.
  • Hand-woven textiles and fabric - Traditional weaving is common in Bhutan. They use a combination of cotton, wool and silk and you can choose from rugs, clothing, blankets and more.
  • Prayer flags - You'll see prayer flags all over Bhutan and what better place to buy some than in Bhutan itself!


Where can I go in Bhutan?

Anywhere and everywhere. Here are some suggestions, but there is no limit - you can go virtually anywhere: Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Trongsa, Bumthang and more. Bhutan combines well with a holiday in India or Nepal - to see our India Tours, click here.

When can I go to Bhutan?

You can pretty much choose any date (subject to availability) and we can usually accommodate everyone including short notice and long term bookings.

Is my departure guaranteed?

Once you have paid for your booking, your holiday is guaranteed on your chosen departure date - except in cases of major weather events and alike in which case we do our best to adjust your holiday accordingly.

 

Is my money safe?

 

All funds received from customers are paid into a Trust account and secured against holidays purchased. Travelbay is ATAS Accredited and a member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents. We are also members of ACS, the AFTA chargeback insurance scheme.

Do I need any vaccinations before travelling to Bhutan?

 

We recommend you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels. Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information.

Do I need a visa to travel to Bhutan?

It is your responsibility to ensure you have obtained a valid visa prior to travel.

A tourist visa is required for travel in Bhutan. This needs to be done via the tour operator - once you have booked your tour with us, we will take care of your visa for you in conjunction with our colleagues in Bhutan.

We will need a clear, readable colour copy of the photo page of your passport showing your passport number and photo. We will need this in JPEG or PDF format at least 30 days prior to your date of entry into Bhutan. Your passport needs to be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date you return home.

Please note: If you are travelling to Bhutan from India and plan to re-enter India again (for more than transit) you will need a multiple entry visa for India. Please also check if your India visa has "2 months entry restriction" meaning there must be a gap of at least 2 months between two separate visits to India - if this has been stamped in your passport then you will need to get it endorsed by the Indian embassy in Thimphu for a nominal charge. This will need to be done in Thimphu on working days during office hours. You will be asked to provide your travel documents and of course our tour guides in Bhutan will help if you do need to do this.

To find out the visa requirements for Bhutan, you can check here with Visalink.

Please note: We attempt to provide you with the latest information and links. However, please be aware that it is each traveller’s responsibility (and not Travelbay’s) to ensure that you have a valid visa if required for any country you visit.

Is tipping customary in Bhutan and how much do I tip?

Tipping is entirely at your discretion.

In response to some customers questions here are a few guidelines:

It is usual to tip the waiters, porters, guides and drivers. Tips are not included in the bills for hotels, transport companies or any other suppliers. At hotels and restaurants, about 10% of the bill is usually acceptable.  

Although we give below a few general guidelines, it is to be remembered that tipping is a sign of gratification for good service, and therefore please view the guidelines as the middle ground, which can be adjusted depending on the level of service you feel you have received.

Please note the below amounts are per person for individual travellers and are given in Australian Dollars.

  • Guide (Full Day): AUD 8 - 16 per day
  • Driver for the tour: AUD 6 - 10 per day
  • Bell Boy: AUD1 per person
  • Restaurants: About 10% of the bill total (Unless service charge is mentioned as included)

Tipping tip: It can be handy to have small notes for tipping.

What type of adaptor plug do I need for Bhutan?

Type D (Old British 3-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth) Type G (Irish/British 3-pin) Type M (see D)

A useful resource to find out what plug or adaptor you might need for any country can be found by clicking here: https://whatplug.info/to/ and then selecting the country or countries you are visiting.

Travel tip: Take a power board with multiple outlets. This way you can use the one adaptor and plug in multiple devices or electronics.

What is internet access like in Bhutan?

You can find internet cafes in Paro and Thimphu and most large hotels will have internet access. Outside of the cities and in more rural areas, internet access may be less common.

Can I use my mobile phone in Bhutan?

In some of the main cities you will be able to use your mobile phone. More remote areas may not have network coverage.

You will need to check with your mobile carrier at home about roaming and charges and make sure global roaming is activated before you leave home.

Can I drink the water in Bhutan?

It is not recommended to drink the tap water in Bhutan.

You can ask your driver to help with buying water.

We even use bottled water for brushing our teeth and personally recommend avoiding ice in cold drinks and to peel any fruit or vegetables.

What currency do they use in Bhutan and can I get money out of an ATM?

The currency used in Bhutan is the Ngultrum and the Indian Rupee is also accepted all over Bhutan.

Please note: INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and 1000 are not accepted in Bhutan.

What currency to take is a personal choice. The US dollar is readily acceptable at major handicraft emporiums and some large hotels. The AUD is not widely accepted although you may be able to exchange AUD to Ngultrum in Bhutan.

International credit cards are not widely accepted, we recommend carrying enough cash to cover your expenses.

ATMs are not common and remember to always have your passport with you as identification when changing money.

We recommend letting your bank know that you will be using your card in Morocco to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.

Best time to visit Bhutan

Trips to Bhutan can be planned throughout the year. Spring (March - May) and Autumn (September - November) are great times to visit Bhutan as the weather is ideal. It is also the most popular time and flights and accommodation can fill up quickly - we recommend booking well in advance. The Rhododendron blooms peak in March and April, making the views of the Himalayas incredible.

The shoulder season runs from December to February (the winter months). There are less tourists and the weather is still pleasant. Whilst December and January can be cold (especially at night) it makes for great scenery and panoramas .

What is the weather like in Bhutan?

You can visit Bhutan any time and it is a country of contrasts - from the tropical Southern border with India to the Northern snow-capped mountainous border with Tibet. Temperatures vary greatly between day and night and at different altitudes - we recommend taking clothing that is good for layering.

There are four distinct seasons - each one has its merits.

  • Summer: (June - August) Temperatures are in the high twenties - this also coincides with the monsoon season. In the central valleys the rains are not as heavy as the South.
  • Autumn: (September - November) Temperatures can reach the mid to high twenties and drop below 10°C.
  • Winter: (December - February) The temperature highs range between 10°C and 15°C and drop below 0°C in some places.
  • Spring: (March - May) Temperatures range from 15°C to 28°C and this is the dry season in Bhutan.
  • Monsoon season: June to September with July being the wettest month. The Southern parts of the country see the most rainfall. The Northern parts have light showers.  
  • Dry season: March to April.

What's happens on arrival in Bhutan?

When you arrive into Bhutan your guide will be waiting for you after you clear customs at the airport with a sign with your name on it. If you can’t see them inside the arrival lounge, they will be waiting just outside the doors. Sometimes they have the Travelbay logo but it is your name that you will most likely notice.

Do I need travel insurance before travelling to Bhutan?

Travelbay strongly recommends you take out travel insurance – we are very happy to provide you with a free quote.

Freecall:

1800 020 020

Telephone:

+61 2 6619 2020

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