Frequently Asked Questions
The most Frequently asked questions & Answers.
What are the best months to visit Bhutan?
Bhutan, like many countries in the world, is experiencing some climate change.
Broadly speaking summers (mid-June-late-September) are warm, humid and wetter and Winters (Dec-early March) cooler and dry.
Winter nights are cold however the days are often clear, sunny and surprisingly mild in the valleys. The western valleys only average 2 snow falls per annum.
The wettest period is August/early September. Bhutan’s climate guide.
Don’t let a little rain or cold nights put you off. Bhutan is no beach destination so a little rain doesn’t matter. In our humble opinion the summer & winter periods are the best times to visit. Beat the crowds!
How far in advance should we book our trip to Bhutan?
During peak tourist travel months, Mar/Apr/May & Sep/Oct/Nov, we recommend booking at least 6-12 months ahead. We suggest booking 4-6 months in advance if travelling in Jun/Jul/Aug & Dec/Jan/Feb.
Is independent travel possible to Bhutan?
Yes. Most of our travellers to Bhutan travel on private tours; and choose their own preferred dates and duration of travel.
Bhutan only allows visitors to travel independently, meaning without the services of a guide, vehicle and driver, while in the two western valleys of Paro & Thimphu. You must have the services of a guide, vehicle and driver when travelling outside these two valleys. Please note the international airport is in the valley of Paro.
Bhutan & Beyond strongly advises first time visitors use the services of a guide, driver and private vehicle throughout their stay.
In our 20 year history of sending private travellers to Bhutan a consistent comment from returning travellers is “Our guide made our trip and we experienced so much more in his wonderful company.”
What does the guide do?
Your guide is there to facilitate in the most seamless way possible what you wish to get out of your Bhutan experience, whatever your focus. Buddhism, hiking, culture, architecture, textiles etc.
“Myth” your guide and driver are not there to hold your hand every step of the way, but they will if that’s what you prefer. You are free to explore on your own markets, wander quaint villages, interact with the locals.
What type of small group tours do you offer to Bhutan?
How do we arrange flights to/from Paro, Bhutan?
Bhutan & Beyond will book and ticket your air flights to/from Paro.
These are operated by two Bhutanese airlines being Drukair-Royal Bhutan Airlines and Bhutan Airlines.
Please click on the Getting to Bhutan weblink for further details.
Bhutan & Beyond must book & manage your Paro flights and notify you when flight timing changes occur, which can be at very late notice, and these two airlines do not automatically update travellers.
Another advantage is you do not have to adhere to any instant purchase airfare regulations for these flights and we can hold air seats secured for approx 2 weeks prior to ticketing (if booking more than 6 weeks prior to travel).
How do we obtain our Bhutan visa?
Bhutan & Beyond will pre-arrange your Bhutan visa and this is included in your tour cost.
- All we require to begin the visa process is a scanned copy of your passport photo page.
- Recent headshot photo.
- Scanned copy of your travel insurance certificate of insurance.
Please note – Passports must be valid 6 months longer than your journey.
Your Bhutan e-visa is generally issued between 14-20 days prior to arrival. We will email the e-visa to you as soon as it is received.
What are the cancellation charges & do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance is mandatory to visit Bhutan. Travel insurance should be purchased no later than the day you pay your tour deposit for your protection. Failure to purchase adequate cancellation insurance by the time your deposit is paid could result in serious financial loss should you be forced to cancel your journey.
Cancellation & Amendment Conditions:
Please see our comprehensive ‘Terms & Conditions’ webpage for full details.
The Drukair/Bhutan Airlines air flight component are totally non-refundable after tickets are issued.
Your Bhutan land tour arrangements are subject to the cancellation fees below.
• Deposit date until 45 days prior arrival in Bhutan Land tour deposit is refundable, less B&B service fees.(A$190.00 pp adult & A$95.00 per child) plus any upgrade hotel charges as per their Ts&Cs.
• 35 days or less prior to arrival in Bhutan – Sorry refund permitted.
Amendments to travel dates & itinerary structure etc will incur amendment fees as follows:
- First 2 amendments to land tour arrangements complimentary.
- Subsequent amendment requests @ AU$50 per event.
- Please note airline fees may be additional to the above.
When do the festivals in Bhutan take place?
Festivals in Bhutan have reputations for being raucous, joyous affairs. The most popular for tourists are those held in Thimphu & Paro.
For those seeking a more intimate Bhutan experience should consider avoiding these major festivals as they mark the busiest time of the year for the tourism industry. Festivals in Bhutan.
What is the average road travel speed in Bhutan?
Most of your travel through Bhutan will be along the one main road that traverses the centre of the Kingdom and you’ll usually travel at speeds between 35-60 kph.
The road has been upgraded over the last 5 years and, as at JAN 22, is in good shape between western & central Bhutan with just some further upgrading going in the more remote far eastern part of the country.
Most journey times by road have been reduced and the road has less bends than before. All good news for tourist visitors! Bhutan road travel times:
Why is it so expensive to visit Bhutan?
The Bhutan Sustainable Development Fee of US$100.00 per person per day is a Government imposed tax to benefit all Bhutanese. Bhutan is a carbon negative country. With climate change, it is imperative that Bhutan continues to conserve its environment, the traditional heritage and culture of the Bhutanese people, along with continuing to provide fee education & health care.
Because the Bhutanese Sustainable Development Fee is Government imposed, for all tourist visitors, Bhutan tours are more expensive.
The actual services provided, when visiting Bhutan with Bhutan & Beyond, are access to a private guide, driver, private vehicle and full board land package including all meals, accommodation, sightseeing, entry fees to sights and monuments, transfers, taxes, Govt Sustainable development fee (SDF) & visa fees. We also offer a 1/2 board package you get all the same inclusions but must pay your monument & entrance fees direct & lunch is at your own expense.
Bhutan is so safe and such a privilege to visit! Please contact us for a quote.
Is there internet available?
Most of the standard tourist class hotels provide WiFi….plus have a small business centre where you can use the hotel PCs.
Generally speaking WiFi is free but use at the 3* properties is sometimes limited to the lobby area of the hotels.
All of the luxury resorts & lodges offer a wireless internet facility however not necessarily in guest rooms.
Some more remote valleys, like Phobjikha, have intermittent power and internet supply so please factor in for some inconsistency as you travel.
Purchasing a local SIM card for your smart device will give you WiFi most of the way through the Kingdom, for those who need more connectivity. A local sim card, plus call credits, on the Bhutanese network are quite inexpensive.