You will fly into Paro International Airport on one of the few airlines that fly into Bhutan. FS Travel Advisors will arrange for your flight into Bhutan from a destination that depends on your international flight arrangement.
OUR BHUTAN TOURS
GETTING INTO BHUTAN
BHUTAN TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS
PEOPLE AND SOCIETY
There are about 700,000 people that live in Bhutan, and the area’s national language is Dzongkha. While people throughout the country speak different dialects of Dzongkha, there is one language in common that most people can speak: English.
Most Bhutanese people are Buddhists. They also have a high respect for their country’s traditions and code of behavior, called “driglam namzha.” This means that they value and hold a high regard for the institution of marriage, their family unit, a dedication to civic duty, and respecting authority.
There’s a reason it’s considered the happiest country in the world: the Bhutanese people are actually happy! And, if you get a chance to visit and speak with them, there’s a good chance you’ll not only understand why they’re so happy — but you might leave feeling just as happy, too.
- Do I need a visa to travel to Bhutan?
US Citizens are required to have a visa prior to arriving in Bhutan, and FS Travel Advisors will facilitate getting visa through our representative in Bhutan
You must provide FS Travel at the time of booking with your full name, sex, date of birth, nationality, passport number & date of issue / expiry, plus a scanned copy of your passport, AND your email address.
If you have not booked flights to Bhutan with FS Travel, we will also require your flight details to finalise the visa process.
FS Travel will then forward you the scanned copy of your Bhutan Group visa shortly prior to your trip start date.
You must show the copy of your Bhutan Group visa at the check-in for your flight to Bhutan and on arrival at the immigration in Bhutan where you will have your Bhutan visa stamped into your passport.
- Is tipping customary in Bhutan?
Tipping isn’t compulsory in Bhutan, but it is expected. People who work in tourism are accustomed to receiving tips so set aside a small amount to show your appreciation for drivers, cooks and other service workers.
- What is the internet access like in Bhutan?
Most hotels and many restaurants have wifi. In rural areas, you will have limited access
- Can I use my mobile/cell phone while in Bhutan?
You will be able to use your mobile phone in some of Bhutan’s cities, although more remote areas may not have network coverage. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your mobile carrier before you leave home if you wish to use your mobile while in Bhutan.
- What are the toilets like in Bhutan?
You will have to adjust to different standards of hygiene and sanitation while in Bhutan. Western style flushable toilets can be found in most hotels and restaurants.
- What will it cost for a...?
Due to Bhutan’s unique tourism regulations, meals are included for all travel within Bhutan. Use local currency to buy small items like snacks and soft drinks and use US dollars to buy larger items like souvenirs. Expect to pay:
Prayer flags = US$1
Hand made coin purse = US$5-10
Gofur (wooden bowl) = US$10-15
Ceremonial mask = US$20-40
- Can I drink the water in Bhutan?
Drinking tap water isn’t recommended in Bhutan. Your hotel will provide bottled water, restaurants will provide bottled water, and your tour guide will provide bottled water. It’s also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
- Are credit cards accepted widely in Bhutan?
International credit cards are not widely accepted in Bhutan. Some souvenir shops may have credit card facilities; however, credit cards aren’t generally accepted elsewhere. Be prepared by carrying enough cash to cover your purchases.
- What is ATM access like in Bhutan?
ATMs are very rare in Bhutan. Be sure to carry enough cash to cover your purchases as you won’t be able to rely on ATM or credit card access.
- Do I need to purchase travel insurance before travelling to Bhutan?
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with FS Travel are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
- What public holidays are celebrated in Bhutan ?
- 2 Jan Winter Solstice (Nyilo)
- 28 Jan Traditional Day of Offerings
- 21 Feb Birth Anniversary of Fifth King HM Jigme (Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck)
- 22 Feb Birth Anniversary of Fifth King HM Jigme (Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck)
- 23 Feb Birth Anniversary of Fifth King HM Jigme (Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck)
- 27 Feb Losar (New Year) Year of the Fire Female Bird
- 28 Feb Losar (New Year) Year of the Fire Female Bird
- 2 May Birth Anniversary of Third King HM Jigme (Dorje Wangchuck)
- 5 May Shabdrung Kuchoe
- 9 Jun Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana
- 3 Jul Birth Anniversary of Guru Rinpoche
- 27 Jul First Sermon of Lord Buddha
- 23 Sep Blessed Rainy Day
- 26 Sep Thimphu Tshechu (Thimphu Only)
- 30 Sep Dashain (Nepali Festival)
- 30 Sep Thimphu Tshechu (Thimphu Only)
- 1 Oct Thimphu Tshechu (Thimphu Only)
- 2 Oct Thimphu Tshechu (Thimphu Only)
- 1 Nov Coronation of Fifth King HM Jigme (Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck)
- 10 Nov Descending Day of Lord Buddha
- 11 Nov Birth Anniversary of Fourth King Jigme (Singye Wangchuck / Constitution Day)
- 17 Dec National Day
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Bhutan go to:
CULTURE AND TRADITION
When you visit Bhutan, you may feel like you’ve stepped back in time. That’s because, while the country has recently embraced more modern technology, it’s a country that’s also steeped in its history and traditions.
Bhutan has a Buddhist legacy, and the Buddhist monks in the country are revered and considered leaders and protectors of the Buddhist faith. There are many monasteries throughout the country, and travelers who visit should ensure that they go to at least a few. At the Monasteries, visitors can take in prayer rituals, celebrations, festivals, and more. They can also meet Buddhist monks.
ARTS AND CRAFTS
Most of the arts in Bhutan are linked to Buddhism. The country’s traditional dance, drama, and art scene stem from Buddhist traditions. You can attend religious festivals in Bhutan, where you can experience parades, dance, drumming, and more.
Traditional crafts are also a big part of the culture of Bhutan. Most of these crafts involve using the natural resources of the area — like bamboo and wood — to create art or utilitarian objects. Visit markets throughout the country to see crafts like Thag-Zo, which are traditional woven textiles or Tsha-Zo, which are woven cane or bamboo products.
FS Travel is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It’s important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Bhutan
- Be considerate of Bhutan’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
- Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
- Always dispose of litter thoughtfully.
- Don’t light up! Tobacco products are banned in Bhutan, so avoid bringing them into the country as penalties apply and smoking in public is not accepted.
- Learn some local language and don’t be afraid to use it – simple greetings will help break the ice.
- Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
- Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
- Show respect for Bhutan’s current and former king when conversing with local people.
All visitors to Bhutan require a visa. Your FS Advisors will facilitate this for you.
All tourists must obtain a visa prior to arrival in Bhutan. FS Travel Advisors will facilitate the visa process through our representative in Bhutan.
You are required to send us your photo-page of your passport in addition to your permanent address, occupation and whether this is your first time to Bhutan. (If this is not your first time to Bhutan please inform us of the date(s) that you have previously visited Bhutan). We will then apply for your visa. The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) will process the visa once the full payment of your tour (including a USD $65 visa fee) has been forward by us and received in the TCB bank account.
You will be emailed a visa clearance letter. Please print this out, as you will be required to show your visa clearance letter at your point of entry into Bhutan. Once you enter Bhutan an official visa will then be stamped into your passport.
Please email us the following on: firstname.lastname@example.org
– The photo page of your passport
– Your permanent address
– Your occupation
– Whether you have visited Bhutan before. If so, please provide dates of your previous visits.
* Please ensure that all your details are correct. Supplying incorrect details will only slow down the process.