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Frequently Asked Questions

Planning a trip is no small decision and you may have a lot of questions and uncertainties. We are here to make the process as easy as possible for you. We have been doing this for quite a while, and we believe we have the answers to all that you need to know and we are here to help you in any way possible. Just click on the questions below to learn about the most common queries. If your query is not answered below or you need more information, just drop in few lines in the ‘get in touch’ tab on the right side.

  • Why is the Sustainable Development Fee introduced by Bhutan?

    Bhutan is a carbon negative country. With climate change, it is imperative that Bhutan continues to conserve its environment. Based on our careful calculations, Bhutan believes that the SDF will put the country in good stead to mitigate climate change, maintain carbon-neutral & sustainable tourism. The SDF will be channelled towards activities that offset carbon footprint and maintain the carbon sinks in Bhutan through the replanting of trees, reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, for instance, enhancing its hydropower capacity and electrifying its transport sector. Beyond protecting the country’s natural environment, the SDF will be directed towards activities that preserve Bhutan’s living cultural heritage, including architecture and traditional values. These include well-managed community-led projects that promote the sharing of authentic experiences and understanding of Bhutan’s traditions and culture. The SDF will also ensure viable, long-term economic operations, which provide socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders. This includes the development of tourism activities that help local communities thrive economically, and the creation of stable employment with fair wage and working conditions.

  • What is the SDF fee and how much is it?

    The SDF of US$ 200 per person per night stay is applicable to all tourists visiting Bhutan.

    SDF is the Government mandated Sustainable Development Fee (Tax)

     

  • What makes Yangphel Adventure Travel different from rest of the DMCs in Bhutan?

    We are one of the pioneering and leading tour operators in Bhutan since 1988 in arranging just the right kind of trips for all our valuable travelers. From cultural and historic landmark to trekking through some of the world's most rugged mountains and trails, customising luxury trips on helicopters to offering comforts in world class resorts, meeting historic and public figures to offering philantrophic works, from engaging with local comunities, visiting remote temples to venturing into wilderness; birding, fly fishing, rafting, camping, ultra runnning, from organising your MICE Events to arranging retreats, from solo to group travels, you ask & we make it happen! With our diverse knowledge on various experiences - our team will cater to the kind of adventure and experiences you look forward to in the Kingdom of Bhutan!

    Sustainable practices is a key component in all our operations and above all we are an incorporated company.

    check  www.aboutbhutan.com  or enquire info@yangphel.com

  • When should i make my tour payment?

    We need to receive the full payment upon confirmation of your Bhutan trip, minimum 45 days prior to Bhutan arrival date. This will provide enough time to apply and clear your visa formalities with Department of Immigraion (which is done only after the full payment is received). Also we will need to reconfirm with other land arrangemens such as hotels, guide, car, etc. Some luxury hotels & the airlines require to receive payments 3 months in advance for the confirmation of the reservations during the peak season months.

  • Do i need to produce Covid-19 Certificate to travel to Bhutan?

    All international visitors wishing to travel into Bhutan are required to produce a COVID-19 negative certificate on arrival into the country. The test should be carried out by RT-PCR from a certified laboratory not earlier than 72 hrs (3 days) before embarking on the journey from the country of origin.

  • Do i need to check up for Covid-19 upon arrival in Bhutan?

    Visitors entering the country will be chosen at random to undergo random sampling of PCR testing.

  • What if i am detected with Covid-19 while touring in the country?

    If your PCR test detects Covid-19 in you, you will be escorted to a government certified quarantine facility where you will strictly isolate for five days before you are eligible for another test and based on the result will decide on continuing the tour. Kindly note you will need to bear the additional cost for quarantine. However, the tests are done only on random basis or upon your own requests.

  • What is the best time to visit Bhutan ?

    Bhutan is a year round destination. There is something special going on every season depending on what you are looking for. The views of the great Eastern Himalayan peaks during the winter months, to the variety of beautiful flowers & chirping birds during the Spring season, to the lushness / the greeness of summer and the wonderful festivals & trekking opportunities during the Autumn. Enquire with us info@yangphel.com

  • When is the best time to visit Bhutan ?

    The busiest times of the year for tourist traffic are the spring months of March, April, and May and the fall months of September, October, and November. These time periods draw the largest number of foreign travelers to Bhutan and when many of the festivals are taking place. However, we believe, Bhutan is a year round destination. The winter months start from Dec till Feb, but the typical sky then is clear with blue skies & bright sunshine. The monsoons start from June through August with only light showers mostly during the evenings & nights. Many savvy travelers are discovering the advantages of lean season travel to Bhutan during the winter months of December through February and the summer months of June and July.

  • How much doest it cost to visit Bhutan?

    The Royal Government of Bhutan has revised the Tourism Bill; with effect from 23 September 2022, the country officially reopened its door to toursim after 3 years due to Covid pandemi. The Sustainable Development Fee (SDF or Royalty) is now increased from US$ 65 to US$ 200 per night per person. This mean travelers will need to pay US$200 per night as SDF to the Government and incur additional expenses for other actual travel cost such as government certified hotels, vehicle, guide fee and meals.

     

  • How about accommodation? What are the hotels like?

    Bhutan now has a host of variety of hotels. You can get standard hotels with all the basic necessities, clean and hygienic. There also a number of luxury hotels offering the best of facilities matching any international 5 star property like Zhiwa Ling Heritage www.zhiwaling.com You can also choose to camp or try out the home stays in villages that are now becoming very popular with guests. Yangphel offers glamping (Deluxe camping services).

  • What is the weather like?

    The weather varies across different parts of Bhutan. Depending on the altitude, the climate varies from semi-tropical to alpine. In Thimphu, the capital city, the temperature ranges from -2.5°C in winter to 25°C in summer. In Southern Bhutan, the climate is tropical in the monsoon season and may range from 15°C in winter to 30°C in summer. The east is also warmer than the west. The centre enjoys sub-tropical climate with very cool winters while the northern parts of the country have harsh climate including snowfall two to three times every winter.

  • What flights are available and which airports can I depart for Bhutan ?

    You may depart for Paro International Airport (Bhutan) from Bangkok, Singapore, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bagdogra or Guwahati airports. At present two carriers operate to Bhutan - Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. We can help secure reservations on either of the airlines. Ticket purchase can also be taken care of by us and sent across to you, as all tickets are E-tickets. Reconfirmation, changes etc can all be routed via our office.

  • Do I need to use a tour operator to book my travel ?

    It is a government regulation that you must use a licensed Bhutanese Tour Operator to book your travel to Bhutan.

  • Will I pay more if I book a private trip to Bhutan through your global partners ?

    No, whether you choose to book directly with our Thimphu office or with our trusted partners abroad, you will pay the same land cost for a privately arranged trips.

  • Do I need a visa to enter Bhutan? How hard is it to obtain one ?

    All International tourists wishing to enter Bhutan require a visa which must be pre-arranged through a licensed Bhutanese Tour Operator or one of their international partners. Visa clearance must be obtained through your tour operator prior to travel. For Indian passport (or VIC) holders, Bangladeshi nationals and visitors from the Maldives may obtain a visa on entry. There is a misconception that obtaining visa to visit Bhutan is very difficult. This is not the case. Visas can be obtained in about three working days, if all papers are in order. All forms and paperwork will be processed by the local tour operator and the following items are the only things required of you, to process visas for Bhutan

    • Passport copy - color scanned copies can be sent via email
    • Full payments for the trip with Tourism Council of Bhutan account
  • What currency is used in Bhutan ?

    Bhutanese currency is known as the Ngultrum. It's value is tied to the Indian Rupee which is also accepted as a legal tender. Most tourist hotels and few shops also accept international currencies like US dollar and the Euro and major credit cards i.e., VISA and Master cards are accepted. Major convertible currencies and travelers' cheques can be exchanged at banks in all major towns. The current exchange rate is US$ 1 = Nu. 80

  • What is the food like in Bhutan ?

    The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chilis are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that is not spicy. Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often. A wide selection of western and Indian food is also available in many of the restaurants around the country. Tourists hotels cater to all kinds of continental, Asian, and other varieties of cuisines.