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    Introduction

    Encased by India and China, as well as the deep folds of the Himalayas, the kingdom of Bhutan is also known as the ‘Land Of Thunder Dragon’. It is one of the few remaining Shangri Las on Earth, and a magical place where centuries-old tradition has survived and coexisted with modernity. The country was only opened up to travelers in 1974, and those who have been there since give it a pride of place; Bhutan is rated as one of the top ten global tourist hotspots in the world.

    Bhutan is as adorned with natural wonders as it is with the art and colors of Buddhism. The scenery is amazing, the architecture inspiring, the people hospitable, and the culture undiluted. Travelers will get to explore various religious and cultural sites, experience the wonders of nature, and admire the traditional farmhouses that punctuate the countryside.  The kingdom along with Nepal holds the greatest concentration of mountains and living heritage of Buddhism.

    This spiritual land is the last bastion of the Vajrayana school of Mahayana Buddhism which provides the essence of a unique identity for the 750,000 people.

    While so much has already been written about Bhutan, one must visit the country in order to fully appreciate this exotic land. Far Out Nepal has been operating various tours in Bhutan for years. If you would like to travel with us, please send us an email and we can put together a great package for a good value

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    Bhutan Travel Information

    All tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior to travel to Bhutan.  Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent.

    You are required to send us the scan copy of the page of your passport where all the details are mentioned (i.e.NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, PASSPORT NO WITH NATIONALITY, ISSUE AND EXPIRY DATE).  The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account.  Once received the visa clearance will be processed within one to two weeks.

    At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

    Tourist Visa Fee
    Visa Facility
    Duration
    Fee
    Tourist
    As Per The Package Tour
    US $ 40.-
    Entry points
    • Paro
    • Phuntsholing
    Total Area :
    38,394 km²
    Land Area :
    Capital : Thimphu
    Population :
    7,60,000 (2015 census)
    Government

    Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy

    Religion :

    Vajrayana Buddhism & Hinduism

    Languages :

    Dzongka (official language), English (medium of instruction), Tshanglakha, Lhotsamkha ( Nepali) and Khenkha, Sharchop.

    Ethnic Groups :

    There are two main population groups in Bhutan: the Dukpa (67%) of Tibetan and Monpa origin and Lhotsampa (of Nepalese origin).The rest comprises of indigenous tribal groups such as Toktop, Doya and Lepcha of SW Bhutan.

    Festivals :

    Tshechus are the main annual religious festivals of Bhutan that are celebrated to honour Guru Padmasambhava, also known as "Guru Rimpoche". Tshechus are considered as an occasion for reverence, feasting, socializing and blessing by the people.

    Time :

    Bhutan time is 6 hours ahead of GMT and there is only one time zone throughout the country.

    Getting There & Away:

    There are only two ways to enter Bhutan – by air and by road.

    Getting to Bhutan via Air
    Bhutan’s national carrier, Druk Air, and Bhutan Airlines both provide international flights into Bhutan’s international airport located in Paro, about one and a half hours drive from Thimphu.
    Druk Air has a fleet of modern Airbus A-319 and ATR planes. Druk Air flies in and out of Bhutan from:
    • Bangkok (BKK – Thailand)
    • Delhi (DEL – India)
    • Mumbai (BOM – India)
    • Kolkata (CCU – India)
    • Bagdogra (IXB – India)
    • Gaya (GAY – India)
    • Guwahati (GAU – India)
    • Kathmandu (KTM – Nepal)
    • Dhaka (DAC – Bangladesh)
    • Changi (SIN – Singapore)
    Bhutan Airlines began its international operations in October 2013. It’s sectors to Bhutan include:
    • Bangkok (BKK – Thailand)
    • Delhi (DEL – India)
    • Kolkata (CCU – India)
    • Kathmandu (KTM – Nepal)

    Entering by Road :There are currently three authorised entry & exit points by road for foreign tourists.

    The first is at Phuntsholing in southwest Bhutan, from West Bengal in Northern India. The adjacent Indian town is called Jaigaon. We strongly recommend vistors entering or departing at Phuntsholing spend the first night there on the Bhutan side. Jaigaon is chaotic and only offers low standards of accommodation.

    The second entry/exit point is at Samdrup Jongkhar in the far southeast of Bhutan. This option, bordering the Indian State of Assam, is useful for visitors who travel to the more remote eastern side of Bhutan. It is 3 hour drive from Samdrup Jongkhar to the Indian airport of Guwahati which will connect you by air to your onward destination.

    The third entry/exit point is Gelephu in central southern Bhutan for those on specialised itineraries.
    Important Note: Driving in Bhutan, the roads are narrow and the driving speed in Bhutan is generally 35-60 kms per hour, courtesy of the high number of bends per kilometre (up to 10 or more bends per km in some areas and especially in eastern Bhutan).

    Electricity :

    All towns in western Bhutan have a reliable power supply. Elsewhere, access is less consistent, and electricity is not available in some of outlying areas of the country. The voltage supply is 220/240, the same as India. If you do bring electrical appliances, take along an international converter kit with adapter plugs. The sockets are round and same as in India. some newer hotels are fitted with multi country sockets.

    Safety :

    The current crime rate is extremely low, making Bhutan one of the safest places in the world. It is rare to feel insecure within the country.Generally people are good natured, friendly and helpful.

    Communication :

    All major towns have basic communication facilities including post, telephone, fax and telegraph. Television and internet were introduced in 1999, and nowadays, most of the hotels avail internet facilities.Albeit it mayn’t be as fast as you are used to in west. Cell phones network are widely available and you can easily purchase a local sim card if you bring your device.

    Climate :

    The climate in Bhutan varies with elevation, from subtropical in the south to temperate in the highlands and polar-type climate, with year-round snow in the north. Bhutan experiences five distinct seasons: summer, monsoon,  autumn, winter and spring. Western Bhutan has the heavier monsoon rains; southern Bhutan has hot humid summers and cool winters; central and eastern Bhutan is temperate and drier than the west with warm summers and cool winters.

    Local currency used in Bhutan is Ngultrum.  It is at par with the Indian rupee and accepted as legal tender in the country.

    You may change your unused Ngultrums (local currency) back to foreign currency (though usually only into US dollars) on departure if you can produce your original exchange receipts.

    Note: INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and 1000 are not accepted in Bhutan.

    Traveller’s cheque can be easily withdrawn and exchanged for local currency from different banks. Many of these banks provide internet banking facilities.

    ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard..

    In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.

    The main health risks are similar to other South Asian countries, namely diarrhoea, respiratory infection or more unusual tropical infection. It is wise to have health insurance and although vaccinations are not mandatory, they are recommended. When trekking, there are also risks associated with altitude sickness and accident. In an event of health problems, there are basic hospital facilities in each district headquarters that provide free medical service.

    The wide range of temperatures does not make dressing easy. The best solution is to wear several layers, such as a cotton shirt, pullover, wool cardigan jacket, which can be taken off or added as needed. Conservative sport wears is the appropriate style for a traveller in Bhutan. Even in Summer you will need a sweater or a light jacket in the evening.

    We expect visitors to dress modestly and respectfully especially if you are planning a visit to the monasteries, Dzongs and other religious institutions. Long pants and long sleeved tops should be worn when visiting such places. As a mark of respect, be kind enough to remove your hats, caps etc. as you enter religious and administrative premises, institutions and in any other place that you come across with the national flag being raised.

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    Festivals of Bhutan
    Bhutan Festival
    List of some major Bhutani festivals dates
    Festival Name
    Date
    Punakha Tshechu
    Mar 05 - 07 2020
    Gasa Tshechu
    Apr 01 - 03 2020
    Paro Tshechu
    Apr 04 - 08 2020
    Haa Summer Festival
    Jul 11 - 12 2020
    Thimphu Drubchen
    Sept 22, 2020
    Wangdue Tshechu
    Sept 24 - 26 2020
    Thimphu Tshechu
    Sept 26 - 28 2020
    Gangtey Tshechu
    Sept 28 - 01 Oct 2020
    Jambay Lhakhang Drup
    Oct 31 - 03 Nov 2020
    Black Necked Crane Festival
    Nov 11 2020
    Mongar Tshechu
    Nov 21 - 24 2020
    Trashigang Tshechu
    Nov 22 - 25 2020
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