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View Price & Dates
$4,729 AUD

* Please click here to read our payment terms

** Prices subject to change

  • $4,729 AUD
  • $5,339 AUD
  • $5,199 AUD
  • $5,749 AUD
Bhutan - 12 Day Heart of Bhutan Private Tour - is currently on backorder. You may still purchase now though and we'll ship as soon as more become available.
Travelbay Tours - Inclusions - Meals

32 x Meals
11 breakfasts, 10 lunches
and 11 dinners


Travelbay Tours - Inclusions - transport

Private Transport
All transport in a private
vehicle with your own personal driver

Travelbay Tours - Inclusions - Accommodation

Accommodation
11 nights accommodation in hotels of your choice of rating

Travelbay Tours - Inclusions - Tour guides

Tour Guide
Your own personal guide
with you for your time in Bhutan


Travelbay Tours - Inclusions - Included activities

Included activities
The highlight of any trip to Bhutan, the Taktshang Monastery also known as "Tiger's Nest Monastery" perched on the side of a cliff ~ Explore Paro with your guide including Kyichu Lhakhang, Ta Dzong, the ruined fortress of Drukgyel Dzong and more ~ Take a forest walk in Chelela to Kila Gompa ~ Visit the White temple and the Black temple in the Haa valley ~ Sightseeing in Thimphu including the King's Memorial Chorten, Trashi Chhoe Dzong, Buddha Point and more ~ Walk the Sangayang - Wangditse loop ~ Visit the National Library, home to an extensive collection of Buddhist manuscripts ~ Explore the Handicrafts Emporium, local bazaar and Textile Museum in Thimphu ~ Travel over the Dochula pass with spectacular views of the Himalayas ~ Visit the dzongs and temples of Punakha including Chimi Lhakhang known as the temple of fertility ~ Discover Wangdue town and the local markets ~ Explore the town of Trongsa ~ Visit Chumey, known for its wool weaving ~ See the sights, temples and monasteries of Bumthang ~ Explore the Tang valley and gorge of Membartsho ~ Discover the valley of Gangtey, an untouched area of Bhutan.


Itinerary

Bhutan is a hidden gem in the Himalayas and is still being discovered by tourists. A Buddhist country where monasteries (known as dzongs) dot the country. See the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery that hangs from the side of a cliff, marvel at the forests and valleys as you drive over mountain passes and around the countryside. Take scenic walks and wander dzongs. Enjoy the richness of the thriving tradition and culture along with the delicious food, gorgeous scenery and friendly people - an incredible holiday.

Tourism is regulated by Bhutanese government and all foreigners (except Indians) are required to travel with a registered guide, transport and on an organised tour. Only then are visa permits issued (Travelbay will take care of your visa and entry details after booking).

A certain level of fitness is required for this tour as there is some walking involved (see Day 2 in particular). We can adjust the itinerary to suit your requirements.

Click on the headings below to see details for each day.

Day 1: Scenic arrival in Paro, visit dzong, temple & market

The flight into Paro gives you great views of the Himalayas and foothills. Be greeted by the cool, fresh mountain air as you disembark from the plane. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, your driver and guide will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel.

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Rinpung Dzong, Paro

Depending on the arrival time of your flight and from where you have come, in the afternoon visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’. Explore the wooden galleries and fine wall paintings as well as the surrounds of the Dzong - also the site where Bernardo Bertolucci's movie ‘Little Buddha’ was filmed.

Continue on to the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan.

In the evening your guide can take you on an exploratory walk around the main street and market area.

Please note: If your flight arrives later in the afternoon, todays' sightseeing will be added to Day 2.

Overnight in Paro: Olathang or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Paro Eco Lodge - Standard Room (Deluxe)

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Visit the iconic Taktshang Monastery (Tiger's Nest Monastery) and more

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Taktshang Monastery, Paro

After breakfast visit the iconic Taktshang Monastery, also known as "Tiger's Nest Monastery". It is approximately a 5 hour moderate trek and is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries - you'll see why when you get there!

A decent level of fitness is required for the trek. The hike to the first view point is through the forest and there is an option to hire ponies for this section (around USD20 per person and payable directly). This part of the walk is 1.5 hours and there is a cafeteria with a good view of the Monastery. If you are unable/not wanting to do the full climb you can return from this point. Ponies are not permitted from this point onwards.

Later in the afternoon, visit Ta Dzong. Originally built as a watchtower, it is now home to the National Museum with an extensive collection of antique thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and more.

Please note: Ta Dzong is closed on Government holidays.

Continue on to Dungtse Lhakhang. This chorten like temple has three floors representing hell, earth and heaven. The paintings inside the temple are said to be some of the best in Bhutan.

On the way back to town stop at Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. Here you will also see typical farmhouses - colourful, decorative and traditionally built without the use of a single nail. The majority of the population of Bhutan continues to live as it has for centuries – in small isolated farms and hamlets, surrounded by terraced fields of rice, maize and buckwheat.

Overnight in Paro: Olathang or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Paro Eco Lodge - Standard Room (Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: The Chelela Pass, Kila Gompa and on to the Haa valley 

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Chelela Pass

After breakfast, drive over the Chelela pass. At 3,988m, Chelela is said to be one the highest motorable passes in Bhutan. The road is thickly forested and is a botanical paradise with wonderful views of Jichu Drake, considered a sacred mountain. The road is home to hundreds of prayer flags fluttering in the wind.

From Chelela, take a walk through the forest area to Kila Gompa, a nunnery perched on a steep cliff face at 3500m (approximately 1 hour walk). After your walk enjoy a picnic lunch before continuing by car on to the Haa valley, the least populated district of Bhutan.

On arrival in the Haa valley you will be taken to your hotel for the evening.

Overnight in Haa Valley: Soednam Zingkha Heritage Lodge or Lechuna Heritage Lodge - Standard Room (Standard); Risum Resort - Standard Room

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Temples, chortens, dzongs and the sights of Thimphu

After breakfast visit Lhakhang Karpo also known as the White temple. According to legend, a black and white pigeon were released to select the sites for temples and the white pigeon landed on the site where this temple stands today.

Continue on to the Black temple (where the black pigeon landed), Lhakhang Nagpo. Both these temples stand as the guardian sentinels keeping watch at the Southern entrance of the Haa valley.

Continue on your drive to Thimphu stopping at Dogar Dobji Dzong, built in the 16th century by the brother of the Divine Madman, Drukpa Kinley. Dogar Dobji became Bhutan’s first jail in 1976 but has since returned to being a monastery.

On arrival in Thimphu, check-in to your hotel. The capital of Bhutan is a unique city with an unusual mix of modern development alongside ancient traditions. With a population of about 90,000 it is perhaps still the world’s only capital city without a traffic light and is described as the heart of Bhutan.

Travelbay Bhutan Tours, Buddha Point, Thimphu

In the afternoon visit Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang), discover the largest statue in the country and enjoy a walk around the Point with wonderful views of the valley.

Continue on to the King's Memorial Chorten - a stupa continuously circumambulated by people murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Built as a memorial to Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (“the father of modern Bhutan”), it was completed in 1974 after his death and serves as both a memorial to the late King and as a monument to peace.

Conclude the day with a visit to Trashi Chhoe Dzong “fortress of the glorious religion”. This is the centre of government and religion, the site of the monarch’s throne room and seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot.

Overnight in Thimphu: Phuentsho Pelri or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Druk Hotel or similar (Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Explore more of Thimphu

After breakfast at your hotel, drive to the BBS tower (Sangaygang viewpoint). From here begin your 2 hour walk on the Sangayang - Wangditse loop. Along the way visit Wangditse Goemba, where the inner chapel houses a two-storey statue of Sakyamuni Buddha.

Continue on to Pangri Zampa, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan located just north of Thimphu. Here is a monastic school where Buddhist student monks learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy.

In the afternoon visit the National Library – home to an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts and the Institute for Zorig Chusum (the Painting School) where students undergo a 6 year training course in Bhutan’s traditional arts and crafts. Visit the Textile Museum, which provides insight into one of the most distinct art forms of Bhutan, and Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people.

Please note: The National Library is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Government holidays. The Textile Museum is closed on Sundays and Government holidays. The Institute for Zorig Chusum is closed on Sundays, Government holidays and in winter (December to early March). Simply Bhutan is closed on Sundays and Government holidays.

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Temple detail, Changangkha Lhakhang, Thimphu

Visit the fortress like temple and monastic school of Changangkha Lhakhang perched on a ridge above Thimphu. In the evening you will have the option to stroll through the government-run Handicrafts Emporium and local crafts bazaar where you can browse the many beautiful examples of Bhutan's fine traditional arts.  

Here you can buy hand-woven textiles, thangka paintings, masks, ceramics, slate and wood carvings, jewellery and much more.

Overnight in Thimphu: Phuentsho Pelri or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Druk Hotel or similar (Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Drive across the scenic Dochula Pass to Punakha & Wangdue

After breakfast, you will be driven to Punakha across the Dochula pass. On a clear day the views across the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas are nothing short of spectacular. At Dochula Pass, 108 chortens or stupas known as Druk Wangyal Chortens have been built. Explore the area and the nearby Royal Botanical Park before continuing on to Punakha.

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Punakha Dzong, Punakha

In the afternoon visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness) built at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers in 1637. In the past, this majestic dzong served as both the religious and administrative centre of Bhutan.

It measures some 180 by 70 metres and has a six-story, gold-domed tower. Inside you can explore the courtyards and religious statues.

Later in the day visit Chimi Lhakhang - a monastery situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley and known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that if couples who do not have children and want one, pray at this temple, they will be blessed with a child. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you a rare glimpse into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers.

In the evening explore Wangdue town and its local market.

Overnight in Punakha: Damchen Resort or similar (Standard); Zhingkham Resort - Standard Room (Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Drive to Trongsa via the Pele-la Pass

After breakfast, your driver will collect you for the drive across Pele-la Pass (3,300m) and down in to the beautiful Mangde Valley to Trongsa. The drive today is approximately 5 hours with some sightseeing along the way.

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Trongsa Dzong

Arrive in Trongsa and check into your lodge. After lunch visit Ta Dzong, now a museum, along with Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home to Bhutan’s monarch. Like almost all towns in the Kingdom, the Dzong dominates the entire Trongsa horizon dwarfing the surrounding buildings.

Later in the afternoon enjoy a stroll around the Trongsa main street area.

Overnight in Trongsa: Phuenzi Lodge or Hotel Tashi Ninjay - Standard Room (Standard); Yankhil Resort - Standard Room (Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Travel to Bumthang with a stop in wool weaving Chumey

After breakfast drive to Bumthang over the picturesque Yutong-la pass (3,400m). The road winds steeply up to the pass, then runs down through the forest into the wide, open Chumey valley. Take a short stop at Chumey, known for its famous wool weaving called ‘Bumthang Yathra’. Visit the Yathra weaving centre and have tea or coffee with a weaving family.

On arrival in Bumthang, check into your hotel.

Bumthang is the name given to the combination of the four valleys: Chumey, Choekhor, Tang and Ura with altitudes ranging from 2,600m to 4,000m.

In the afternoon visit Jambey Lhakhang, a monastery built in the 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits in the Himalayan region. It is also home to an early winter festival that draw thousands of Bhutanese for their annual blessings.

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Kurjey Lhakhang, Bumthang

Visit Kurjey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang before returning to your hotel for the evening.

Overnight in Bumthang: Wangdicholing Resort, Yugharling Resort & Spa, Hotel Pelling or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Mountain Resort - Standard Room (Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9: Explore Bumthang and surrounds including the Tang Valley

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Membartsho Burning Lake, Bumthang

After breakfast, begin your exploration of Bumthang with a visit to the beautiful Tang Valley. En route visit Membartsho (also known as Burning Lake) a holy site and pilgrimage place where Guru Rimpoche hid religious treasures later discovered by Pema Lingpa.

The seldom visited Tang valley offers a treat in revealing some off the beaten track lhakhangs and monasteries and well as the museum at Ugen Chholing Palace. A short hike takes you up to this well-maintained palace and its cultural treasures inside. Visit Tang Rimochen Lhakhang, a sacred place of Guru Rimpoche before returning to Bumthang for the afternoon.

Overnight in Bumthang: Wangdicholing Resort, Yugharling Resort & Spa, Hotel Pelling or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Mountain Resort - Standard Room (Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10: Discover the valleys of Gangtey and Phobjikha

Today visit Jakar Dzong (the Castle of the White Bird) before driving to Gangtey.

The valley of Gangtey is one of the most beautiful and untouched places in Bhutan. After a steep climb through dense forest, come to a wide, flat valley without any trees - a rare experience in Bhutan where most of the valleys are tightly enclosed.

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Phobjikha Valley

Visit the Gangtey Gompa (monastery), that sits on a ridge overlooking the valley. Then explore the Phobjikha valley, a beautiful glacial valley and the winter home for the endangered Black-necked cranes. If you are travelling between November and February you may see these winter visitors.

Return to your hotel in the afternoon.

Overnight in Gangtey: Phobjikha Resort - Standard Room (Standard); Hotel Dewachen or similar - Standard Room (Delxue)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11: Return to Paro visiting local village & Simtokha Dzong 

Early this morning visit the Monastic School to witness a prayer ceremony.

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu

Then drive to Paro stopping in Rinchengang Village for a walk and for lunch in Wangdue town. En route also visit Simtokha Dzong, the place of tantric teaching and the oldest dzong in Bhutan.

The drive today is 6 around hours.

Enjoy your evening at leisure in the Paro city centre.

Overnight in Paro: Olathang or similar - Standard Room (Standard); Paro Eco Lodge - Standard Room (Deluxe)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12: Time to go home or onto your next adventure

After breakfast, you will be taken to the airport for your flight home or onto you next stop. Your guide will help you with the exit formalities and bid you farewell.

Additional details

*All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard will be booked.

This is a Private Tour and on arrival you will be met by your personal guide. For the duration of your time in Bhutan you will have the same guide and driver.

If you would like a quote for your international flights to and from Bhutan, please let us know. Likewise, if you would like any stopovers or travel insurance, we would be happy to provide you with a quote.

Click here to download printable itinerary.

This is a Private Tour with your own private vehicle, guide and driver.

View more Bhutan Tours here.

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - 12D Tour Map

Want to customise this tour?

If you would like to change anything on this tour or customise it in any way, please contact us and we can assist you and provide you with a quote.

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Feel free to contact us
email: team@travelbay.com
freecall: 1800 020 020
phone: +61 2 6619 2020


Dates, Availability & Pricing

This tour can start on virtually any day of the year.

When booking online you will have the option to specify the date you would like to commence your tour. Please do not book any flights until you have received confirmation from us.

Low season pricing: applicable for travel in the months of January, February, June, July, August and December.

High season pricing: applicable for travel in the months of March, April, May, September, October and November.

The stated pricing is valid for travel until 31st December 2021. If you plan to travel after this date, please contact us for a quote.

The above pricing options for Standard and Deluxe are per person based on twin share (2 people per room). In most cases triple share is also available. If you would like triple share, a single room or if you are a single traveller, please contact us for a quote.

Please note: The Bhutanese love to celebrate festivals and there are over 40 each year in different parts of the country. These can be great fun and during festival times there may be a surcharge for accommodation - please check with us upon booking for any festival dates and applicable surcharges.

Hotel Information

Click below to see names of the selected hotels.

Hotel details

Paro

Standard: Olathang or similar - Standard Room
Deluxe: Paro Eco Lodge or similar - Standard Room

Haa Valley

Standard: Soednam Zingkha Heritage Lodge or Lechuna Heritage Lodge - Standard Room
Deluxe: Risum Lodge - Standard Room

Thimphu

Standard: Phuntsho Pelri or similar - Standard Room
Deluxe: Druk Hotel or similar - Standard Room

Punakha

Standard: Damchen Resort or similar - Standard Room
Deluxe: Zhingham Resort - Standard Room

Trongsa

Standard: Phuenzi Lodge or Hotel Tashi Ninjay - Standard Room
Deluxe: Yankhil Resort - Standard Room

Bumthang

Standard: Wangdicholing Resort, Yugharling Resort & Spa, Hotel Pelling or similar - Standard Room
Deluxe: Mountain Resort - Standard Room

Gangtey

Standard: Phobjikha Resort - Standard Room
Deluxe: Hotel Dewachen or similar - Standard Room

*All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard will be booked.

Ask a question

Thank you. We will be in contact.
This field is required
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This field is required

Feel free to contact us
email: team@travelbay.com
freecall: 1800 020 020
phone: +61 2 6619 2020

Enquire

Thank you. We will be in contact.
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required

Feel free to contact us
email: team@travelbay.com
freecall: 1800 020 020
phone: +61 2 6619 2020

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - Customer Reviews

Thank 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 Vietnam Tours - Customer Reviews

We had a fantastic time. The Tiger Nest Monastery was the highlight for me. It was a 12km trek and took 5 hours. Bhutan is certainly a hidden gem. I have been spreading the news about Travelbay and hope more people will venture to Bhutan. Thank you for putting this trip of a lifetime together - it's been on my list for some time now.

 

Cheryl White

Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Customer Reviews 6
Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Customer Reviews 6
Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Customer Reviews 6
Travelbay Bhutan Tours - Customer Reviews
Booking process

Upon purchase of your tour online you will immediately receive a receipt and order confirmation. Travelbay will contact the tour operator to confirm availability for all accommodation and transportation for your tour.

As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 48 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation.

We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as your accommodation preferences, dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements. We will also request a copy of each traveller’s passport.

Very Important:

It is extremely rare for any of these tours to not have availability (as we remove them when full) however, it is important to note that your dates are only confirmed once we have been in touch with you to confirm availability. Therefore, please wait on purchasing your international flights until you have received booking confirmation from us.

In the unlikely event that there is no availability on your chosen date we will offer you alternate dates. If these do not suit we will fully refund your payment.


Terms & Conditions

Click on the heading below to see the Specific Terms and Conditions for this tour.

Specific Terms & Conditions

Booking Information:

  • Quoted prices are per person.
  • Booking valid for selected and booked travel dates.
  • Please book at least 45 days prior to your desired date of travel.
  • Bookings are subject to availability.
  • Child prices: Please contact us for rates.
  • 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.
  • Low season dates: January, February, June, July, August and December.
  • High season dates: March, April, May, September, October, November.
  • The pricing options are per person based on twin share (2 people per room). In most cases triple share is available. If you would like triple share, a single room or if you are a single traveller, please contact us for a quote.
  • If you would like to arrive before the start of tour or leave later and require extra nights’ accommodation, please contact us and we can arrange it for you at very reasonable rates.
  • Prior to completion of your booking we take great care to go through all the details together with you until we get everything exactly as you would like it. At that point we confirm your booking and the details and you pay for it. If after payment, you decide to make further changes we will do what we can to accommodate them and will also need to charge an additional $50 administration fee.

Inclusions:

  • 11 nights' accommodation.
    • Check-in & check-out time: generally, check in is after 2 pm and check out before 12 pm. Early check-in and late check-out are subject to room availability and may generate additional full day room rate.
  • 32 meals as per itinerary - 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners.
  • English speaking guide - you will have the same guide with you from arrival until departure.
  • Personal driver - you will have the same driver (who accompanies you and your guide) with you for the entirety of your tour.
  • All transportation throughout your holiday in a private vehicle (no air con as it is not needed in Bhutan). Depending on the size of your group, the following vehicles will be used:
    • 1 - 2 people: SUV Hyundai Tuscon / Santa Fe or similar
    • 3 - 6 people: Toyota Hiace or similar
    • 7 - 9 people: Toyota Coaster Bus
  • All airport transfers - our guide and driver will be there to meet you on arrival and take you to the airport in time for your departure.
    • Please note: There is one airport transfer on arrival and one airport transfer on departure for the group booked. If within your group you will be arriving separately, please contact us for a quote.
  • Local sightseeing with entrance fees wherever applicable.
  • Bhutan visa fee of USD40. We will arrange this for you after booking.
  • Applicable hotel taxes & service charges calculated at 20%, subject to change.
  • All inland travel permits.
  • Royal Government of Bhutan royalties and taxes.

Exclusions:

  • International airfares to and from Bhutan (if you would like a quote, please contact us).
  • Meals not outlined in the itinerary.
  • Drinks for all meals.
  • Travel insurance. Please contact us if you would like a quote.
  • Festival period surcharge if travel dates fall on festival dates.
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
  • Optional activities and attractions as stated in the itinerary.
  • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the tour?

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 and received confirmation of your travel dates from Travelbay, 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.

How much is the tour?

Travelbay provides Standard and Deluxe pricing options, based on twin share (2 people per room). Please see the pricing at the top of the page.

In most cases triple share is also available at the same per person price. If you would like a single room or if you are a single traveller, please contact us for a quote.

Can I add extra nights?

Yes, of course. Just let us know how many extra nights you would like either before or after and we will arrange for you to stay at the same hotel and let you know the cost of the extra nights.

Arriving early or staying on won't affect your airport transfers - if you're staying at the same hotel and we book it for you, we'll collect you when you arrive and take you to the airport when it's time for your departure flight.

Can I change the itinerary?

Yes, we can alter the itinerary for you so that you get exactly what you are after.

We can provide you with a quote for any changes you wish to make.

What is the size of the group?

This tour is a Private Tour. It will be only you and your travel companions in the group and you will travel in a private vehicle with your own personal driver and guide.

Do you have single traveller pricing?

Yes, please contact us for a quote.

Can we do triple share?

Yes, triple share is available at most hotels.

Do I need any vaccinations?

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 for 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 and how much do I tip?

Tipping is entirely at your discretion.

However, it is usual to tip the guides, drivers, porters and waiters.

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 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 or purchase a local Sim card on arrival.

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 Bhutan to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.

What type of adaptor plug do I need for Bhutan?

In Bhutan there are 3 plug types: D, F and G.

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 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.

When is the 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.

Is travel in Bhutan controlled or regulated?

Tourism is regulated by Bhutanese government and all foreigners (except Indians) are required to travel with a registered guide, transport and on an organised tour. Only then are visa permits issued (Travelbay will take care of your visa and entry details after booking).

Do I need travel insurance for Bhutan?

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

Can I contact you?

You most certainly can.

Whilst our official office hours are Monday to Friday - 9am to 5.30pm AET (Sydney time) we are regularly in the office outside of these hours and at weekends.

Feel free to ring at any time before 7:30pm - 7 days a week - 365 days a year. If we are busy on other calls or not available please leave a message including your phone number and area code and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

You are also very welcome to email us on team@travelbay.com 24/7 - we check our emails regularly. We look forward to hearing from you.


Bhutan Holiday Information

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.

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 free quote.

If you choose to book your flights with Travelbay, 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%).

  • Thimphu 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!


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