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Sunday, January 21, 2018

General Travel Information

Tour Operator

All tourists visiting Bhutan are required to travel through a licensed/authorized tour operator based in Bhutan.  The travel has to be pre-planned, pre-paid, and guided package tour based on a government stipulated minimum all-inclusive entry fee per night to cover for all your logistical arrangements during your stay in Bhutan.

Entry Permit
Border towns in Phuntsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar have immigration offices to facilitate issue of travel clearance.  All you need is your passport which must have minimum 6 months validity before your travel to Bhutan.  Indian nationals don’t need passport but a copy of CID or voter card would suffice   to get a permit to enter Bhutan.

All visas must be processed through your tour agency in Bhutan.  A scan copy of your passport sent by email to your host agent in Bhutan is all you need to process for a visa number based on which actual visa is stamped into your passport on arrival at the entry points.  Visa fee is US$40 per person.   Visa extension if required is possible upon arrival in Bhutan for an additional fee of US$25.


You are provided with a custom declaration form while on the aircraft to allow you to declare dutiable items more than what is permitted. Export and import of antiques and wildlife products is strictly prohibited and dealt seriously.

Baggage limits on flights

Passengers flying an economy class ticket are allowed to carry upto 20 kg (45 pounds) weights plus a 5 kilo (11 pound) hand baggage.  For those on business class tickets, the weight limit is 30 kg (66 pounds) plus a 5 kg hand baggage.

Taxes & Permits
The airport tax on departure from Paro is US$12 included in the airfare.  Expect no other taxes during your stay in Bhutan.  Local journey beyond Thimphu to east of Bhutan required a single travel permit which will be pre-arranged by your host agent.  Tourists have access to all dzongs with some exceptions..

Health risks
There is no incidence of malaria in Bhutan in areas that you would visit, or unless you wish to travel south in the manas region for wildlife. There is also low incidence of hepatitis, typhoid, or yellow fever.  

Hospitals in Thimphu, Paro, Bumthang, Mongar, Trashigang and Phuntsholing have good medical facilities and qualified medical doctors.  Smaller satellite medical centers exist in the smallest administrative units alongside with indigenous herbal remedies based on the medicine Buddha teachings.  A nominal consultation fee is imposed should a tourists warrant medical services.  In the event of serious accidents or illnesses occur, you are immediately evacuated to nearest medical facilities in India or to Bangkok by aeroplane.  Please ensure that you have international health insurance coverage.

The local currency is ngultrum (Nu.) pegged to Indian rupee.  At the current exchange rate, it is Nu.57 for 1 US dollar or, Nu.66 for 1 Euro.  Credit cards are not popular in Bhutan although handicraft shops and larger hotels accept Visa cards as a mode of payment.  In recent years, introduction of ATM cards in urban centers facilitates use of Visa and Master cards in Thimphu, Paro and Phuntsholing towns.

Over two-thirds of the settlements within the country have electric power supplies generated from hydro-power.  Power supplies in the west are more stable but more erratic as we move to central and east.  The voltage supply is 220/240.  It is advisable to bring converters if you are coming from US or Canada.

Hotel reservation:
Our cordial relationship with Hotels in Bhutan enables us to offer you the benefit of securing room allocations in most of the properties in Bhutan. Our choice of hotels range from luxury to minimum 3 star properties either in the heart of city or away in the tranquility of nature.

Our modes of travel range from SUV cars for singles/couples to luxury air-conditioned Toyota hiace vans and coaches for larger groups. We have qualified drivers who are well trained and knowledgeable in the terrain of Bhutan to ensure a swift and comfortable transfer to your destinations. Domestic flight from Paro to Bumthang by ATR takes only 20 minutes while a travel by land routes take 9-10 hrs.

Air Ticketing services:
Snow Lion operates a ticketing department which provides ticketing services for the Bhutan sector flights. Electronic tickets are issued to facilitate fast and safe delivery to your email address online.

VIP services
We look up to you as our guest of honor ready to comply with your every wish of no less than a royal treat in the comfort  of personal warmth, distinguished hotels and exclusive treatment.