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Bhutan BorderVISITING BHUTAN

All foreign national tourists visiting Bhutan must travel through all-inclusive package tours, for which there is a fixed tariff set by the Royal Govt. This tariff includes the services of accommodation & meals, transport & Guide, sightseeing and entrance fees.

RESERVATIONS

All tours must be booked through local Tour Operator such as Wind Horse and entire land arrangements made by the same agent.

For clients travelling in peak seasons and festival time, it is necessary to book 8 weeks in advance. Festivals held in autumn and spring are peak time for tourists and without early reservation it can be difficult to confirm flights and hotels.

MONEY

Bhutan unit of currency is the Ngultrum. 1Nu = 100 Chetrum. The Ngultrum is pegged to the value of Indian Rupee. Approx. 1 $ =Nu. 43

ACCESS (Getting there)

AIR: The best way to enter Bhutan is by Druk Air, the national air carrier. Following stations are connected with Druk Air flight:

INDIA : Delhi, & Calcutta

NEPAL : Kathmandu

THAILAND : Bangkok

BANGLADESH : Dhaka

Druk Air is the only Airline operating in Bhutan. For more information about Airline, please refer page on Druk Air Schedule or visit web: www.drukair.com OR you can E-mail us at info@bhutanholidays.com

ROAD:

Entry / Exit to / from Bhutan is also possible through Phuntsoling, the southern Bhutanese border town. Bagdogra, in the state of West Bengal (India) is the nearest airport approx. 04 hour drive from this place. For travelers wishing to visit Indian states of Sikkim, West Bengal along with Bhutan, Phuntsholing serves as the convenient point.

Exit from Bhutan can be made through Samdrup Jongkhar also. This frontier Bhutanese town is approx. 3 hours drive from Guwahati, the capital City of Assam State. Samdrup Jongkhar is the authorised exit point only and an important link for visiting north-east India.

TOUR ESCORTS

All our tours are escorted by well trained, knowledgeable guides, certified by Department of Tourism. Most of the guides are English speaking but Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian speaking guides could also be provided with prior information additional and on cost.

FOOD

Bhutanese delicacies are limited with spicy chilies and cheese. However you will be served a buffet of Continental food with some local dishes too. On treks, our trained cooks prepare dishes suitable to western taste ranging from Continental to Chinese and Bhutanese to Indian.

CLOTHING

Due to wide range of temperature and climate conditions, it is advisable to bring appropriate clothing. For protection against cold; layered clothing is better than a few thick ones, so choose your cloths accordingly. On treks, Cloths should be preferably be made from natural materials which will allow the body to breathe better. You may be offending people if you walk around in skimpy or tight fitting clothes. Although there are normally opportunities to wear shorts, we would advise women to wear shirts or loose trousers, men should not wear singlets. During visit of monasteries, Dzong and the other religious institutions you should not wear shorts, hats and should be properly dressed. Here is a general list of things to bring on Bhutan trip.

WHAT TO PACK

Clothes as per season, sunglasses, spare glasses or contact lenses, pair of casual shoes, washing kit, shaving kit, towel, hat, umbrella, camera, film and accessories, books, maps, insect repellent, hand cream, small sewing kit, safety pins, torch or flash light with spare batteries, mirror, nail clippers, scissors, sun cream, lip salve or soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream [for relief of insect bites], anti diarrhea, preparation of relief of sunburn etc. (We will send you check list of things to bring based on the trip you undertake)

PHOTOGRAPHY

The photographic opportunities on all trips are immense. You will also wish to record the local people, their houses and shops, etc. You can always ask by gesture, if it is ok to take pictures. Don’t take your destination as a living museum. Also while visiting Dzongs, Monasteries and religious institutions, please follow your guide’s instruction carefully. Although films and batteries are available locally, it is best to bring it yourself.

MEDICAL & HEALTH

Anyone who enjoys outdoor life and is physically fit can participate in our treks and tours. However some treks may be rigorous and difficult because of high altitude and therefore a good training of fitness for at least a month at home is required for treks going to an altitude in excess of 4000mts/1500 ft. There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Bhutan or within the continent. However it is recommended that you be protected against Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis A, Malaria, especially if you are travelling out of Bhutan. If you have heart condition, please check with the doctor to ensure that it is ok to undertake high altitude treks.

INSURANCE

When travelling anywhere in the subcontinent, it is imperative that you have full comprehensive insurance cover to protect against unforeseen accidents and mishaps. Such policies are not available in Bhutan. It should adequately cover baggage & travel delays etc. and helicopter evacuation, transportation and medical assistance incase of treks.

SINGLE ROOM/TENT

Rooms and tent camp accommodations are provided on double occupancy basis. If you wish to reserve a single tent or hotel room, an additional surcharge is applicable. Single occupancy is usually from $ 10 –25 a night.

ALTERATION OF ITINERARIES

Wind Horse Tours, Treks & Expedition reserves the right to modify or alter any trip itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control, such as flight cancellation, weather conditions, and group transportation problems, political strike or restrictions etc.

AIRPORT TAX

Airport tax of Nu. 300 per person is payable at the time of departure. It is subject to change.

ACCOMMODATION

There are comfortable hotels and lodges at all tourist destinations. Western Bhutan has better hotels while in Central and Eastern part of the country, accommodation establishments are simple and offer minimum facilities. There is no star categorization of hotels here and five star luxuries are not available.

Hotels in western towns; Thimphu, Paro, Punakha are well developed providing decent accommodation and cuisine. However when one ventures into central and eastern region, the lodging gets more rudimentary. Even when you travel to remote areas of central and eastern Bhutan through Wind Horse, you can be sure that your accommodation in lodges, guesthouses, smaller hotels and tented camps will be of an approved standard.

Away from the towns and villages there are purpose-built huts on some of the principal trekking routes. Otherwise, there is nothing like camping out under the clearest night skies that you have ever seen. Wherever you spend the night, the warm Bhutanese hospitality will make you feel welcome.

We have carefully selected the accommodation units with the best of location, service and ambience.

Wind Horse uses the best establishments available. Although the best units cannot be compared to International standards but still they offer the necessary facilities. Situated conveniently in the heart of city or around the spectacular landscape, and built in traditional design, the units are well maintained

Sometimes the best hotels maybe the only establishment which may be very modest. In these cases, we feel that inconveniences are outweighed by unforgettable experience of these more remote areas.

TREKKING GRADES

To make most of your holidays enjoyable, it is essential that you choose one within your capability. Following grade approximately define the trek difficulty. However you should ask for more details to know the exact grade.

"A" These trips can be enjoyed by anyone leading a reasonable active life. Normally the walking part is up to 5-6 hours a day and the ascents are less then 500 feet.
"AA" These trips are mix of some longer and shorter walks. The ascent can sometimes go up little to more than 500 feet. Walking hours are normally 6-7 hours. Hill walking experience is desirable.
"AAA" The day stages on these trails are combined with strenous and moderate walks, which normally takes 6-8 hours a day.
"AAAA" These treks are regarded as genuine adventure. An experience of mountaineering with the capability of carrying on normally at an altitude of 4000-5000m. is recommended. Duration of walking can be sometimes 8 to 9 hours  day

 

DISTANTCE & DRIVING TIME BETWEEN VARIOUS PLACES IN BHUTAN

All mode of travels within Bhutan is by motor vehicles as there are no domestic airlines or trains. However motor roads are well maintained and link most parts of the nation. The mountainous terrain and winding roads restrict the average driving speed of vehicles to less then 35 kms per hour.  

FROM TO DISTANCE (Km.) DRIVING TIME (Approx.)
Thimphu Paro 60 02 hour
Thimphu Phuntsholing 176 06 hours
Thimphu Wangdiphodrang 70 03 hours
Thimphu Punakha 76 03 hours
Punakha Wangdiphodrang 17 40 min
Wangdophoidrang Tongsa 129 05 hours
Tongsa Bumthang 68 03 hours
Bumthang Mongar 198 07 hours
Mongar Lhunsthi 76 2 hours
Mongar Tashigang 91 03 hours
Tashigang Tashiyangtse 52 02 hours
Tashigang Samdrupjongkhar 180 07 hours
S/Jongkhar Gawahati 110 3 hours
Phuntsholing Bagdogra 170 04 hours
Phuntsholing NJP Railway Station 160 04hours

CLIMATE & AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF MAJOR TOWNS

Southern Bhutan has tropical climate, the central valleys of Punakha, Wangdiphodrang, Mongar, Tashigang and Lhuntshi enjoy a semi-tropical climate with very cool winters while Thimphu, Tongsa and Bumthang have a temperate climate, with monsoon rains in the summer and snow-fall in winter.

Winter in Bhutan begins from mid-November and ends in mid-March. At this time of the year the climate is dry, with day-time temperatures of 16-19 degree centigrade (with sunshine and clear skies) and night time temperature falling below zero. The monsoon usually arrives in mid-June, with the rain falling mainly in the afternoons and evenings. At the end of September, the rains cease and autumn suddenly arrives bringing in the best time of the year for trekking which lasts until mid-November

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES IN BHUTAN (In Celcius)

PLACES JAN

Max Min

FEB

Max Min

MAR

Max Min

APR

Max Min

MAY

Max Min

JUN

Max Min

JUL

Max Min

AUG

Max Min

SEP

Max Min

OCT

Max Min

NOV

Max Min

DEC

Max Min

Paro 9.4 5.8 13.4
1..5
14. 5
0.6
17.6 4.6 23.5
10.6
25.4
14.1
26.8 14.9 25.3
14.7
23.4
11.7
18.7 7.4 13.9
1.4
11.2
1. 7
Thimphu 12.3
2. 6
14.4 0. 6 16.4
3. 9
20.0
7.1
22.5
13.1
24.4 15.2 18.9
13.4
25.0
15.8
23.1 15.0 21.9
10.4
17.9 5. 0 14.5
1.1
Punakha 16.1
4. 2
19.6 5. 3 21. 2
9. 9
24.4
11.9
27. 2 14.8 31.2
19.5
32.0
21.6
31.4
19.8
29.9 20.4 27.8
18.9
22.3
13.0
15.0
7. 9
Wangdi 17.0
4. 3
19.0
7. 8
22. 8
10. 4
26.2
12.9
29. 1
17. 7
29.2
20.1
18.4
16.2
29.1
20.0
27.5
19.1
26.1
14.7
22.6
9. 6
19.1
6. 3
Tongsa 13.0
0. 2
13.9
0. 4
16. 7
4. 4
20.1
6. 6
21. 0 11. 6 22.2
13.6
25.3 15.3 23.8
5.0
22.6
14.2
21.8
11.7
18.8
6. 4
18.2
2. 5
Bumthang 10.8
5. 1
10.0
1. 4
16. 2 3. 5 18.7
3. 9
21. 3
9. 5
22.5
13.5
14.1
10.9
23.0
13.7
21.6
12.1
19.5
5. 9
16.1
0. 5
12.3
2. 3
Mongar 15.5
8. 2
15.9
8. 3
20. 0
11. 6
22.8
14.0
25. 1 17. 4 26.1 19.5 16.1
15.8
25.4
19.6
24.7
19.4
22.7
15.8
19.9
11.2
15.7
9. 5
Tashigang 20.4
10.5
21.7
11.5
24. 8 14. 4 28.3
17.0
30. 0 20. 6 30.7
22.6
31.5
23.1
30.2 22.7 30.0
23.9
29.1 17.7 26.1
13.6
23.0
11.6