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Bhutan

I watched a YouTube video on Bhutan. It looks great. However, when I started digging for info., it looks like the government closely controls tourism for self protection. It appears that a special visa is needed and all accommodations, meals, guides, etc. need to be booked through a licensed tour operator as a package in advance. Any tips on Bhutan?

Posted by
41 posts

Hi barb,
Yes you Are very much correct in saying that tourism in Bhutan is controlled by the government. i being an Indian don't need a visa but All Western countries citizens need to get a visa and that too through a registered tour and travel agent. it Costs around $250 per day of stay. The only international airport in Bhutan is paro which is about one and a half hour drive from the capital city of thimpu and makes the golden triangle with punakha another tourist destination. the country has kept itself knowingly separated from the Western standards of development yet it's listed in the world's happiest nations. you can check out whether you can get any direct flights or maybe go via India. another way could be from bagdogra airport in india and Then taking a taxi from there. My Best bet would be to take help of any Indian travel agency like make my trip. com or yatra. I Can provide you number of a friend who is in such a company. All In all it would be a great idea to explore another world by traveling to Bhutan.
Regards,
Vikas.

Posted by
484 posts

The taxes/visa seems steep! I don't blame Bhutan. It seems fascinating. How many days does it take to leisurely do the "golden triangle?" It would be great to visit for a week, but the visa taxes are a bit painful for me.

Posted by
41 posts

Bhutan Is a country where time is always at leisure. a week or better maybe 10 days should suffice for all the adventures n serene life experiences. its a place where people n everything is raw as yet n hasn't been destroyed by massive inflow of tourists.

Posted by
704 posts

A talk and slideshow was given on Bhutan last September at a nearby travel club (http://midvalleytravelclub.org). The $250 per day visa cost was mentioned, but the speaker was there because her husband had a contract with the government, I believe, so didn't have to pay. You might try to contact her via the travel club. Good luck.

Posted by
16893 posts

Bhutan is protecting itself from the budget-tourist overrun that Nepal or other neighbors have experienced. My sister worked for a year for the Amankora resort in Bhutan, and I'm sure they provide a quality experience, but there may be cheaper ways to visit. As with many destinations that Rick Steves' books don't cover, I'd start with the Lonely Planet guidebook, which is a new edition this year.

Posted by
484 posts

Thanks for your replies. From the brief travel info. I found online, it does indeed appear that Bhutan requires travelers to stay in hotels that are registered with the government and prepay for lodging, meals, and guide. It looks like Bhutan is deliberately keeping the backpack, hostel crowd out. Plus, I think Bhutan desires to protect its culture and temples. Bhutan is on my dream list. I think it will be a while before I can work this trip out. I think Italy and Ireland are in my near future.