Bhutan Visa Information
visitors to Bhutan requires visas. In 1994 individual tourist visas for a period
of up to two weeks cost US$20 and were issued on arrival at Paro Airport. All
visa application must reach Bhutan at least seven days prior to the tourists
intended arrival date. Tourists are remained to bring original photographs with
them to Bhutan as they will be required by the immigration authority at
Tourists who have not applied for a visa or who have not received the necessary
clearances from Thimphu will not be allowed to board the Druk-Air flight to
Thimphu is well connected by both telephone and fax. Any procedural problems
regarding visa application can usually be quickly solved. Extensions to two-week
visas can be obtained in Thimphu, the also cost US$20.
The Bhutanese authorities strictly prohibit the export of any religious antiquity
or antiques of any type from the country. Camera, video cameras, computers and
personal electronic equipment may be brought into the country but must be listed
on arrival and will be checked on departure. A reasonable quantity
of cigarettes and alcohol may be imported into the kingdom.
Bhutanese currency is the ngultrum. In 1994 approximately 31 ngultrum exchanged
for one Us dollar. The ngultrrum is linked to the Indian rupee. Dollars and
dollar traveler cheques are acceptable in larger hotels and tourist shops. Ngultrum
will be needed for small purchases and expenses outside the capital. Local currency
can be bought (and sold) at the airport on arrival and at all of the bigger
hotels in Thimphu and paro. Apart from more expensive gifts such as carpets
and long lengths of material, expenses in Bhutan are cheap and should not exceed
approximately US$10 per day.
Travel Agent can make reservations for Bhutan with the closest Avitation &
Tourism International (ATI) office, or directly with one of the many tour operators
Some periods of the year are extremely busy and others are particularly quiet;
to ensure availability of rooms and more importantly flights, bookings should
be made as early as possible. As some travel arrangements can take some time
to arrange, it is important to book early to ensure all requested services are
arranged. This is particularly true if special permits are required for trekking.
Maybe the smallest national carrier in the world, Druk-Air has a fleet of two
BAE-146 aircraft. An international flight crew and hostesses trained by Thai
Airways International give the airline its credibility and charm.
Druk-Air is the only airline that serves paro so all visitors to Bhutan are
initiated into the paro is one of the most spectacular in the world. Whether
flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Calcutta
or Dhaka, each flights is a mesmerizing aeronautical feat and offers an exciting
descent into the kingdom. Delays do occur on account of the changeable Himalayan
weather so travelers are advised to build an extra day onto the end of
their trip in case of hold-ups.
Druk-Air flies twice weekly to Delhi via Kathmandu and three times weekly to
Bangkok via Calcutta and Dhaka. For exact flight time contact your travel
agent or Druk-Air. Schedules change between the summer monsoons and the winter
Airline bookings should be made at the same time as booking your holiday in
Bhutan. Your travel agent can schedule international connections to connect
with the Druk-Air flight wherever you choose to meet it.
Hotels vary in style and quality from town to town nut are generally considered
to be one of the welcome surprise for visitors to Bhutan. All government approved
hotels are clean and well maintained . During the colder months hotles are heated
and extra blankets or comforters are provided in each room. Bathroom are reasonably
modern with running hot water common in Thimphu and paro but found less often
further east. Hotel staff are invariably exceptionally accommodating and will
do whatever they can do make guest feel more comfortable.
In Thimphu, paro and central districts all hotels are equipped with telephone,
fax machine and international dialing. Bhutan is surprisingly well connected
to the outside world and it may appear something of a miracle to telephone New
York or London from the Bhutanese heartland, but you can.
All hotels have their own restaurant and some also have a bar.
Most of the food eaten by tourist in Bhutan is eaten in the hotels. Three are
some freestanding restaurants in Thimphu but few elsewhere.
Traditional Bhutanese food is very hot and spicy. The food given to tourist
is tempered to western taste and even includes some western dishes. The Tourism
Authority has imported the knowledge of some European hotel experts to improve
the quality and quantity of food served is remarkable good. Evening meals are
invariably buffet style and served in the dining room of the hotels. Lunches
are often pre-packed from the last hotel and eaten on the road. Bhutan adheres
to strict environmental policies and refuse of any kind is never on the side
of the road.
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