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Entry into Bhutan can be made either by land or by air. Druk Air, the National Air Carrier of the Kingdom, operates regular flights to and from Paro to Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu, and Bangkok. By surface, entry into Bhutan is possible through southern border town of Phuentsholing. This frontier town is about 6-hours’ drive from Thimphu and Paro, 4-hours’ drive from Bagdogra, and 7-hours’ drive from Darjeeling and Gangtok.
Indian Nationals travelling between Bhutan & India do not need an entry visa. However, an identity document, be it either passport or an election commission I. D card, is required for presentation at the immigration during entry to obtain an entry permit, along with six passport size photographs. An Affidavit from Supreme Court is needed for those who don’t have any of the above documents.
Indian Nationals travelling between Bhutan and Nepal require a valid passport, as per Nepalese immigration regulation.
A Route Permit is required for those travelling to restricted areas beyond Dochula pass. The Route Permit is processed and issued in Thimphu, only after arrival in Bhutan and upon the production of the Entry Permit. Two copies of passport size photos are required for the processing of the Route Permit. Also, this permit can be processed only during working days (Mon-Fri) and applications are accepted from 9-11 AM and permit granted on same day, from 3-5 PM in summer and 3-4 PM in winter.
The Bhutanese currency is called Ngultrum (Nu.) and is at par with Indian Rupee in terms of exchange value to foreign currency. Credit cards (Amex and Visa cards) are accepted by only few limited establishments; and no ATM centers are available. Indian Rupee is acceptable all over Bhutan; however, it is also advisable not to carry Rs 1,000 and/or Rs 500 denomination currency notes.
The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha, and a large number of dialects are spoken. English has been the language of educational instruction since 1964, and it is widely spoken. Also, locals at popular tourist destinations understand and speak Hindi.
Bhutan is very safe destination with lowest crime rate in the world. In general, you will find Bhutanese people very warm, hospitable, helpful, and friendly.
Telecommunication is well developed and efficient in Bhutan. The country code is + 975. If you wish to bring your own mobile phone, please contact your manufacturer/supplier directly to obtain up-to-date information.
The Bhutanese authorities strictly monitor export of any religious antiquities of any kind from the kingdom.
Personal electronic devices and reasonable amounts of cigarettes and alcohol are permitted into the kingdom. The following goods may be imported into Bhutan:
– 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
– 1-liter bottle of spirits
– 250ml of eau de toilette
Bhutan is half an hour ahead of IST (Indian Standard Time).
The voltage supply in the Bhutan is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. Standard Indian round pin sockets are normally used at all places.
If you are departing by air, there is departure tax of Nu 300 (Rs 300), payable at Bhutan’s Paro International Airport.