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How much would it cost to visit Bhutan?

  Written by : Swotah travel

   Oct 23, 2022

  71 Views

How much would it cost to visit Bhutan?

Where does Bhutan lie?

Bhutan is a Buddhist kingdom on the eastern side of the Himalayas with a highly regulated tourism industry. Located east of Nepal between Tibet, China, and India, it has never been colonized. The nation is primarily Buddhist, and Thimphu serves as the capital. 

Bhutan has little over 800,000 residents, making it the second least populous country in South Asia behind the Maldives

Bhutan geographical map

An overview of the travel expenses for the Bhutan trip

To experience its charms, one must pay $250 per person daily. This price includes a tour, ground transportation, meals, and lodging. One incentive to go is to see the 320-year-old Taktsang Palphug monastery, the Tiger's Nest. The standard daily cost for exploring this remote Himalayan kingdom is $250 USD per person, which covers all expenses such as lodging, meals, and tour services.

 

While it's not quite expensive, some people find the price prohibitive. The government does this to prevent mass tourism from taking over the nation while also ensuring that its favored guests get the most out of their travels.

 

Visitors must actively contribute to Bhutan's economic, social and cultural development to fully experience the nation, which is renowned for giving tourists a rare authentic but magnificent glimpse.

 

The role of Bhutanese government in Tourism

 

According to the Tourism Council, the fees would improve infrastructure, train people in the travel industry, preserve cultural traditions, safeguard the environment, and create jobs with decent pay and working conditions.  

 

Traveling to Bhutan is expensive and complicated if you're from a small number of nations, like India, Bangladesh, or the Maldives. However, it is well worth it because of the distinctive Buddhist culture, pristine scenery, and clean mountain air. Every year, more tourists come to Bhutan for various adventures, demonstrating the growing popularity of the nation as a travel destination. The following information will help you plan your vacation.

The government sets a minimum price for trips  to Bhutan to regulate tourism and save the environment. This price cannot be altered. The cost includes all lodging, food, transportation, porters, guides, and cultural activities. Additionally, some support free healthcare, education, and efforts to reduce poverty in Bhutan. Prices for travel may vary depending on the time of year and the number of visitors in the group.

 

Can you travel to Bhutan independently?

The Bhutanese government has concerns about welcoming tourists. Bhutan is becoming more accessible and safe for independent travel, but this is not something the administration promotes. In general, visitors to Bhutan must be tourists or official guests. The only other alternatives for traveling there are invitations from volunteer groups or "a citizen of considerable standing."

 

All travelers, except those with passports from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, must take a pre-arranged, paid-for, guided package tour or a specially created travel program.

 

Visa Costs

All visitors, with the exception of those with passports from India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, must apply for a visa in advance. Passport holders from these three nations are referred to as "regional tourists," and they are eligible to receive a free Entry Permit upon arrival by presenting a valid passport with at least six months remaining on it. 

Additionally, Indian citizens may use their Voters Identity Card. These nations' citizens must still pay a $17 daily Sustainable Development Fee. Tourists traveling to 11 specified districts in eastern Bhutan, from Trongsa to Trashigang, are exempt. The Bhutanese government wants to boost travel to this place.

 

The Sustainable Development Fee for holders of different passports is $65. The fee for a visa is $40. When you schedule the rest of your vacation, you must also apply for and pay for the visas through registered tour operators-not embassies. To give yourself enough time for the necessary paperwork to be processed, you should book your travel at least 90 days in advance of your trip.

 

Once the total cost of the trip has been paid, the tour operators use an internet system to apply for visas, which the Tourism Council of Bhutan then authorises. A visa clearance letter is provided to visitors, who must submit it at immigration when they arrive at the

 

How to get there?

 

About one hour's drive from Thimphu is Paro, home of Bhutan's lone international airport. Drukair and Bhutan Airlines are the two national airlines offering flights to Bhutan. Bangkok (Thailand), Kathmandu (Nepal), New Delhi and Kolkata (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Yangoon (Myanmar), and Singapore are among the departure cities.

 

Road travel is another option for getting to Bhutan from India. Jaigaon-Phuentsholing is the primary border crossing. There are two more, located in Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu.

suspension bridge in bhutan

 

Months that are budget friendly for travelers: March, April, May, September, October, and November

 

  • For a group of three or more persons, the daily rate is $250 per person.

  • The daily cost is $280 per person for a party of two people.

  • $290 a day for single people.

 

 

Months that are a bit costlier for travelers: January, February, June, July, and August

 

  • June, July, August, January, and February

  • For a group of three or more persons, the daily rate is $200 per person.

  • The daily cost is $230 per person for a party of two people.

  • $240 a day for single people.

 

Most individuals believe they are bound by a predetermined itinerary and the accommodations assigned to them. To maintain business, however, tour operators will, in fact accommodate requests.

 

What currency should you take to Bhutan? 

 

The Ngultrum (BTN) is the currency of Bhutan, and it is connected to the Indian Rupee. Bhutan accepts the Ngultrum as legal tender, while India does not accept it as legal. There are only a few ATMs in operation.

 

The best course of action is to withdraw money in Thimpu or Paro before traveling further. Even though the Bhutanese Ngultrum is solely used in Bhutan, you can exchange foreign money for Nu when you get there. If you carry USD, $100 USD bills have a better exchange rate than smaller bills.

 

It is intended to trade at equilibrium with the Indian rupee. By 2022, 1 USD will purchase roughly 81 BTN, and 1 EUR will buy roughly 80 BTN.

 

Food and Accommodation

 

One of the huge expenses for any vacation is accommodations. Therefore, you should compute this number as precisely as you can. There are many three-, four-, and five-star hotels across the nation, and rates can differ greatly from one to the next, even among hotels with the same star level. 

  • In November (peak season), a regular double room at a 3-star hotel in Thimphu might cost anything from $40 to $80 USD (taxes and fees included).

 

  • The average cost of a regular double room in a 4-star hotel in Thimphu is between 90 and 250 USD (taxes and fees included).

 

 

Hence, every preference and budget can be accommodated. Of course, keep an eye out for deals and discounts because they really can make a difference.

 

Sim card availability

 

Purchase a local SIM card for the most affordable way to stay connected while visiting Bhutan. When you arrive in Paro, you can pay 200 BTN for a special SIM card with limited validity for tourists.

 

Just be aware that paperwork will be required of you and that the vendor will request a copy of your passport photo. If you have a tour guide and want assistance, you can ask them for it. Additionally, 1 GB of data is available for just 150 BTN.

 

Conclusion

Bhutan trips can be exciting and educational adventures. For the majority, traveling in groups is the best option. Initial impressions of the minimum daily package rate might be a little exaggerated. 

However, the Bhutan trip cost is reasonable, provided one knows its purpose and contents. Bhutan tours are offered for both short and extended periods. To fit your budget, you will have a wide range of options. Bhutan's progressive policies are important, but they aren't the sole reason visiting is worthwhile. Sustainable tourism is essential.

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