Bhutan Travel Guide

The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is the final citadel of the ‘Shangri-La’ visitor destinations and is the last independent Buddhist kingdom on earth. It’s home to a population of just over 700,000, and the majority of population are dependent on agriculture for livelihood with 60% living in the rural areas. The landlocked country is sandwiched between the Tibetan Autonomous Region in the north and India  at the south at an elevation ranging from 2,000 ft in the eastern Himalayan foothills to a magnificent 23,000 ft, with its diverse climate patterns giving rise to an outstanding range of ecosystems and biodiversity.

The contrast between Bhutan’s capital’s cultural confusion of East and West, and the remote traditional enclaves in the rural areas is equally outstanding, that ensures harmony with modernization. The national dress of Bhutan is called the ‘Gho’ for men and ‘Kira’ for women that perfectly blend with elegant architecture, gaily-painted buildings in Bhutan. The negative effects of mass tourism are rigidly controlled through the policy of high value low impact tourism, with two-thirds of the country a forested haven for ecotourists, hikers, trekkers, and those searching for an escape from the modern world.

The Bhutanese peoples are incredibly friendly and welcoming, and the transportation networks are accessible via roads and domestic airways. Modest accommodations are available in all district towns, although the quality varies considerably. The capital and other tourist areas offer the best selection, including several five-star hotels. All visitors to Bhutan must book through a pre-arranged, all-inclusive tour by the local travel agency. Bhutanese cuisine involves hot chillies and cheese, stews with dumplings, and other warming dishes, the majority of eateries in the capital serve standard Indian or Chinese dishes.

Bhutan Virtual Travel offers special service and trips around the country, taking in all its amazing sights, temples and monasteries, textile and folk heritage museums, festivals, nature reserves, ancient fortresses, markets, traditional towns and villages, and fertile valleys overlooked by stunning snow-covered peaks. Bhutan is a haven for trekkers, hikers, and ecotourists, and wilderness backpacking is the best way to glimpse all the glories of Bhutan and the lives of its gentle people. The little country was only opened to tourism some 30 years ago, and is at present free of commercialization which blights many other popular Asian destinations.

Guide to Regional Tourist

Who are the regional tourists?

Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivians are considered as regional tourists to Bhutan

Visa to Bhutan for regional tourists

Regional tourists do not require visa to visit Bhutan but are required to get a permit which they can process at the port of entry on producing their passport with a minimum validity of 6 months.

Indian nationals can process their permit either by using their passport or voter identity card. Children can use their student ID card or birth certificate if they don't have passports and voter identity cards. 

All the travelers must carry at least two passport size photographs for processing their permit.

With latest development in tourism policy in Bhutan, regional tourists can process their permit to visit Bhutan prior to their arrival in Bhutan through a licensed Bhutanese tour operators or through a hotel registered with Tourism Council of Bhutan.


Unlike international tourist where their accomodations are arranged i 3 star government approved hotels or guest houses, regional tourists have the flexibility to choose their own accomodatons either i star rated hotels or budget hotels.

Luxury hotels (4 stars and 4 stars) in Bhutan are limited to only few western districts but 3 star rated tourist standard and budget hotels are available throughout Bhutan.

Getting to Bhutan

Regional tourist can visit Bhutan either by air or road through India. Bhutan's only international airport is located in Paro, one hour drive from Capital city, Thimphu. Drukair and Bhutan Airlines are the only two airlines that flies to international destinations.

Sl. No.






Bangkok (BKK)


Suvarnabhumi Airport



Singapore (SIN)


Singapore Changi Airport



Kathmandu (KTM)


Tribhuvan International Airport



Dhaka (DAC)


Shahjalal International Airport



Kolkata (CCU)


Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport



Delhi (DEL)


Indra Gandhi International Airport



Guwahati (GAU)


Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport



Siliguri (IXB)


Bagdogra Airport



Gaya (GAY)


Gaya Airport



Mumbai (BOM)


Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport



For those entering via road from India have three entrance points; Phuntsholing bordering with Indian state of West Bengal and Gelephu and Samdrupjongkhar bordering with Assam.

The nearest Indian airport to Phuntsholing is located at Siliguri, Bagdogra (4 and half hour drive) and the nearest railway stations are NJP junction, Siliguri (4 hours drive), New Alipur Daur (1 hour 30 minutes drive) and hasimara junction (45 minutes drive).

The nearest railway station to Gelephu is New Bongaigaon (1 hour 30 minutes drive).

The nearest Indian airport to Samdrupjongkhar is located at Guwahati, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (3 hours drive) and the nearest railway  station is Rangiya junction (1 hour drive).

Transportation in Bhutan

Unlike for international tourists whose transportations are arranged by their respective tour operators, regional tourists have the flexibility to choose their own transportation within Bhutan. They an use public transport arranged through local tour operators or Indian nationals can drive their own car.

Indian nationals driving their own car have to process for route permit from Road Safety and Transport Authority of Bhutan. Their offices are located just within few kilometers from the border towns. 

Following documents must be produced in original while getting route permits to drive Indian cars in Bhutan:

1. Valid Indian Driving License

2. Original Registration Certificates

3. Original Insurance papers

4. Pollution under control certificate (PUC)

 Tour guides in Bhutan

Unlike international tourists, hiring a guide is not mandatory. however, for those who arranged their visit permits through a licensed Bhutanese tour operators, english speaking guide is mandatory and it would cost between Rs. 800 to Rs. 1500 per day. Guides in general can speak Hindi.

Cost of visiting Bhutan 

Cost of visiting Bhutan depends on the type of services they choose. Unlike international tourists, regional tourists are exempted from paying the mandatory minimum daily tarrif of $250 during peak season and $200 during lean season.

Exchange rates for Regional Tourists (Bhutanese Ngultrum)

1. Indian Rupee is pegged to Bhutanese Ngultrum (Re. 1 = Nu. 1)

2. Bangladeshi Taka (Taka 1 = Nu. 0.82)

3. Maldivian Ruffia (Ru 1 = Nu. 4.49)

Do contact us along with your tour itinerary at


Standard Rate (International Tourist)

US$250 per person per night – Peak Season
US$200 per person per night – Lean Season
US$40 Bhutan Visa fee per person

Cost Includes

  1. 3 stars categories hotel twin sharing room
  2. All meals
  3. Government royalty
  4. Entrance fees, visa and permit
  5. Overland transportation within Bhutan
  6. Sightseeing as per itinerary with English speaking guide
  7. Necessary hotel and airport transfers with in Bhutan

Cost doesn’t include

  1. Travel Insurance
  2. Airfares
  3. Beverages
  4. Airport taxes if any
  5. Expenses of personal nature
  6. Excess baggage
  7. Tips to guides and drivers
  8. Services not mention

Cancellation Policy