Tours to Bhutan, Travel to Bhutan
1.WHERE IS BHUTAN?
Ans: Bhutan is tucked away in the folds of the mighty Eastern Himalayas. It is a land locked country surrounded by on three sides by Indian states - Arunachal Pradesh in the east, Assam and West Bengal in the south and Sikkim in the West. The Tibetan autonomous region of China is in the North. The country lies between latitude 26 40" and 28 20" north and longitude 88 45" and 92 10" east.
2. HOW MANY DAYS ARE ENOUGH FOR A HOLIDAY IN BHUTAN?
Ans: This depends on the places you want to cover. If you were looking for a very short break, a 3 night - 4 days vacation covering Paro and Thimphu would suffice. A 7 night - 8 days package would cover Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Wangdue. However, if you have enough time on your hands and wish to cover the whole of Bhutan, then 13 days would be needed. You may enter from Paro or Phuentsholing in the West and exit from Samdrup or Jonkhar in the East.
3. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BHUTAN?
Ans: The best time to visit Bhutan is during spring or autumn, the months of February, March, April, September, October and November. The other months are either cold or rainy but they too have their own flavour.
4. WHICH DZONGS AND MONASTERIES CAN WE ENTER?
Ans: We can enter till the courtyard in most of the Dzongs and monasteries. We need a special permit from Special Commission to enter to the following ones:
*Taksang Monastery, Kitchu Lhakhang, Dungtse Lhakhang in Paro.
*Tashichhodzong, Changgangkha Lhakhang in Thimphu.
*Kuerjey, Tamshing, Jampay Lhakhang in Bumthang.
5. ARE BHUTANESE VERY TRADITIONAL?
Ans: Yes, Bhutanese are very traditional. They have imbibed their traditions into their living so much so that all the buildings including the airport in Paro have designs that are totally traditional. Mostly all men and women wear their traditional dresses called the 'gho' and 'kira' respectively. Even though most of their technology is from the world outside, they have learnt the art of blending it with their traditional life style.
Precautions: Amoebas and Giardias are rife especially in Southeast Asia, so avoid tap water and ice cubes. Please note that sometimes tablets for disinfecting water are not effective against all types of amoeba. Bottled mineral water is available throughout the country. If you are prone to getting sick during driving on a mountain road, it is best you get adequate medicine before you start.
Malaria: Keep plenty of mosquito repellent, cream or lotion for any exposed areas of skin when you are outdoors. Please ensure to keep them handy, especially while travelling by road.
Medication: Bring your customary medicines with you, an anti-diarrhoea medicine, antihistamine tablets, anti-nausea tablets (in case of mountain sickness), eye drops, lip salve.
Hospitals: There are simple medical clinics in all the major centres throughout the country. The hospital in Thimphu is equipped with modern facilities and has professional medical personnel.
7. WHAT TO WEAR:
Ans: Druk Air allows 20 kg (44 lb) weight limit in economy class and 30 kg (66 lb) in business class for your checked in baggage. Excess baggage sometimes may be offloaded.
Due to the wide range of temperature and climatic conditions it is advisable to dress in layers. For protection against cold, layered clothing is better than one or two thick garments. If you have scheduled your trip around a festival, you should definitely carry a set of formal clothing. Bhutanese are conservative and mostly wear their traditional dresses, so avoid wear tight body hugging clothes, sleeveless T shirts or mini skirts when walking around the public areas. During your visit to monasteries, dzongs and other religious institutions ensure to dress modestly and respectfully. Refrain from smoking while on the premises. Hats, caps etc should be removed before entering the premises.
Summers too can be cool in Paro and Thimphu, and downright cold in winters. Days can be quite warm, especially in the lower regions such as Punakha and Phuentsholing, and you could start off driving in the cold of dawn and be uncomfortably warm by mid-morning.
In Bhutan, electricity runs on 220/240 volts, with round two-pin and three-pin power outlets. If you bring electrical appliances, please ensure to pack appropriate adapter plugs. Thimphu electrical appliance shops stock adapter plugs, but they are unlikely to be available elsewhere.
The country is famous for its exquisite postage stamps, hand woven fabrics, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper, finely crafted metal objects and Thanka paintings. There are many shopping complexes when one can buy these.
9. CURRENCY & MONEY MATTERS:
Ans: Please refer to our column in visitor info.
10. WHAT KIND OF ACCOMMODATION IS AVAILABLE?
Ans: Please refer to our column in Visitor Information.
11. VISA AND CUSTOM FORMALITIES?
Ans: Please refer to our column in Visitor Information.
12. WHAT ABOUT THE CUSTOMS AND DUTIES?
Ans: Please refer to our column Visa & Customs in Visitor Information.
13. HOW ARE THE TREKS GRADED AND DO I NEED TO BE PHYSICALLY FIT OR HAVE PRIOR TREKKING EXPERIENCE TO EMBARK ON A TREK?
Ans: The treks are graded according to its difficulty of route, duration, and altitude. The treks are graded as Easy, Moderate, and Strenuous. As you are aware trekking is a physically demanding activity, so when it comes to easy and moderate treks you should be in good health and prior experience is not required. For strenuous treks, however, it is imperative that you are physically fit and can take the stress of long hours of walking, the ever changing elevation and varying mountain terrain.
14. HOW ARE THE TREKKING ROUTES GRADED ON YOUR SITE?
Ans: On our site we have included two moderates and one strenuous treks.
Druk Path - Moderate Trek
Gangtey - Gogona Khotokha Moderate Trek
Laya - Strenuous Trek
15. WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT ONE MUST BRING FOR THE TREKS?
Ans: You will need the following personal equipment on the trek:
(a) Sleeping bag.
(b) Good trekking boots (water resistant for the rainy season)
(d) Sun screen lotion.
(e) Hats or caps.
(f) Water bottle.
(g) Sun glasses.
(h) Warm clothes.
(i) Basic medical kit with medicines for high altitude, purifying water, insect repellents.
(j) Small backpack to carry personal belongings.
We will provide the following:
(a) Boiled water at all times.
(b) A cook.
(c) One guide.
(e) Horses and Yaks tents.
(f) All meals
(h) All the other necessary trekking accessories.
16. IS IT POSSIBLE TO JOIN IN AN ARCHERY GAME AND ALSO VISIT THE VILLAGES AND FARMHOUSES?
Ans: Yes, you can join in an archery game and also visit the villages and farmhouses.
17. IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A MEDITATION SESSION WITH THE MONKS?
Ans: Yes, it is possible to have a short meditation session with prior permission.
18. HOW CAN ONE REACH BHUTAN?
Ans: The most convenient way of entering Bhutan is by Druk Air, the country's national carrier. As flights can be delayed due to weather conditions (particularly during the summer months), it is advisable to allow 24 hours before any onward connection.
Druk Air flies few days each week between Bhutan and the following countries:
India (Delhi, Bagdogra, Kolkata and Gaya by air and through Phuentsholing and Samdrup Jongkha by road)
19. WHAT ABOUT FOOD?
Ans: Most of the hotels serve good quality food. The meals are mostly multi cuisine buffets but in case you have some special dietary requirements, be sure to tell the hotel at the time of check in and they will do their best to accommodate your diet plan.
Bhutanese delicacies are rich with spicy chillies and cheese. Pork and beef are easily available and cheese is a part of most dishes. Swiss Bakery in Thimphu is famous for its burgers and sandwiches.
20. I AM A VEGETARIAN - IS THIS A PROBLEM?
Ans: If you are vegetarian, there is no problem. Though there are very limited varieties of vegetables available, most of the hotels will serve you good vegetarian dishes.
21. WHO IS YOUR 'TYPICAL' CLIENT AND AM I TOO OLD/YOUNG TO TRAVEL TO BHUTAN?
Ans: Well, there really isn't one. Our clientele ranges from young children to grand parents. Anyone less that 18 years will have to be accompanied by a responsible adult i.e. someone over 18 years of age.
22. I AM A SINGLE TRAVELLER. IF YOU HAVE A GROUP, IS IT POSSIBLE TO JOIN THE GROUP?
Ans: No. All our trips are tailormade and each group departure is from one particular agent. We will organize a seperate tour for you and you will be accommpanied by a English speaking guide and driver for the entire journey. .