In 1991, the Royal Government of Bhutan privatized the tourism industry, which had previously been run completely by the government. Today the industry is thriving, with a large number of tour operators in business. All tourism in the country is conducted according to the principal of sustainability. In order to preserve the natural environment and the lifestyle of the Bhutanese people, and avoid upsetting the socio economic balance, the number of tourists permitted to visit Bhutan is limited.
The Royal Government of Bhutan insists that foreign travelers (excluding Indian Nationals) entering Bhutan visit via a packaged tour, with a pre-planned itinerary. If traveling in a group isn't your style, there are certain provisions for an independent traveler. You may gain a little more freedom traveling without a group, but your tour operator to establish guidelines for what you would like to see and do while visiting.
Tourists are not allowed to enter many sites in Bhutan, including some national monuments and religious institutions. You will only view these destinations from the outside. Religious institutions are considered living institutions sites for worship and religious ceremonies. Travelers, it is argued, disrupt these daily activities. Some Dzongs are closed to tourists, because they house the local administrative and religious center. Visitors are allowed to enter the courtyards of the Thimphu and Punakha Dzongs when the Je Khenpo, Chif Abbot of Bhutan, and the monk body are not in residence. Thus, the Punakha Dzong is open to visitors in the summer, the Thimphu Dzong in the winter. All dzong courtyards are open to visitors during the tsechus, or festivals.
There are a vast number of rules governing tourism that all travelers must conform to in order to visit Bhutan. First, travelers must book Bhutan Tour Packages through one of the registered tour operators. You can either work with a Bhutanese tour operator directly, or via your international agent. After you have chosen an itinerary and paid for your trip in its entirety, you tour operator will take appropriate steps to arrange a visa for you (Visa not required for Indian Passport holders). The Package rate is inclusive of accommodation, meals, guides, and transportation within Bhutan, as well as the tourist tariff.
The Tourism Authority of Bhutan imposes a tariff on all non Indian visitors. The tariff is appx USD 250 per person per day during peak season, and USD 165 per person per day during off-season. Individual travelers and groups of fewer than three people are subject to an additional surcharge of USD 30 per person per day for group of two or USD 40 per day for solo travelers.
All travelers to Bhutan stay in government-approved hotels, guest houses, and lodges. During the busy festival seasons in the spring and fall, travelers are placed in Hotels on a first-come, first-served basis. Regardless of you accommodation, or the type of tour you choose, the rates remain the same, so book early if you plan on traveling in high season.
Travel within the country is limited to foot or car. Swan Tours will arrange to have knowledgeable guide and driver with you throughout your stay. Thu, transportation, including airport transfers, is not a concern for the traveler. Taxi service is only available in Thimphu. Depending on the size of the group, you will travel in a bus, minivan, or car. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is a necessity if you are traveling to central and eastern Bhutan during the winter (late Nov.-Feb.) or monsoon season (late June-early Sept.). Most of the utility vehicles used to transport guests are relatively new and comfortable.
Foreigners are only allowed to enter Bhutan via air into Paro, or by road into Phuentsholing, although they many exit by road throught Samdrup Jongkar. Guwahati, the capital town of the northeastern Indian state of Assam, has a domestic airport located about three hoursfrom the border at Samdrup Jongkar the offers daily flights to cal through lush pastures, alongside sheer rock cliffs, down mountains, and over high passes. The road takes many twists and turns. At times, the views are spectacular, and the drive can be quite an adventure.
Different culture, experience, smiling locals, Value for money is some of the reasons that Bhutan Holiday Packages are getting very popular.
It is possible to tour Bhutan even under the most stringent time constraints. However, if you want to observe Bhutan's cultural heritage, exotic festivals, pristine environment, and historic sites, or you wish to trek in one of the greatest natural wonders, the Himalayas, a longer stay is recommended.
If you would like a short cultural tour that incuses visiting to the larger cities, a four-day visit will allow you to visit Paro and Thimphu, as well as the National Museum and many other historic site. To really gain insight into this magical kingdom, eight days is the absolute minimum. Durin this time, you can take a short trek or travel to the central region, the lovely Bhuthang Vallry. In order to visit eastern Bhutan or take a trek into the Himalayas and other remote areas, you really need to stay two weeks.
As interest increases in this small Himalayan Kingdom, the Tourism Authority of Bhutan and tour operators are constantly researching new ideas and creating different tours to offer under Bhutan holiday packages. Some new packages that are popping up include nature walks through the rhododendron forests, bird-watching tour, fly-fishing trips, textile tours, ballooning, mushroom hunting, and even fertility tours. If you have a special interest, mention it to the Bhutan Travel expert at Swan Tours, since we offer different tours.
Arrive in Paro, via air, and spend a day or two exploring this picturesque town. Drive through the valley to Drukyel Dzong, Visit the National Museum, and see the 7th-century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan. A two-hour drive will take you to Thimphu, Bhutan's capital city. Visit the Memorial Chorten, the National Painting School, and Tashichho Dzong, the center of government and religion. Thimphu has a great selection of traditional Bhutanese arts, crafts, and textiles. Take time to browse through some of the many handicraft shops.
Start your trip with 2 days in the capital city of Thimphu, then drive east via Dochula Pass, towards the central region of Bhutan. Visit the tongsa Dzong, and then move on to the beautiful Bumthang Valley, where you will see Kurje Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakang, and the Jakar Dzong. If time permits, explore the many beautiful walks in the Valley. En route back to Paro, spend an evening in Punakha.
Although 14 days won't permit you to cover all of Bhutan tour packages, it does offer a lot of flexibility and allows you to visit eastern Bhutan. Stop in the Phobjika Valley, home of the black-necked crane. Explore the valley and visit Gangtey Monastery, the only Nyigmapa monastery in Bhutan. The journey continues eastward from Bumthang, winding through more rugged terrain. Pass through Ura village, before climbing to Bhutan's highest motorable pass, Thrumshingla Pass (3,800 m/12,465 ft). Spend an afternoon visiting the Tashigang Dzong and Chorten Kora. This region is known for finely woven traditional fabrics. Stop in one of the many villages to observe the women busy weaving. Exit via Samdrup Jongkhar. You can also spend a few days trekking instead of continuing east from Bumthang. There are several short treks, both cultural and scenic, that take as little as three days and give you a more varied look at the country.
Swan Tours - one of the pioneers in promoting Bhutan as a tourist destination can customise the itinerary according to your requirement, depending on the number of days that you have allocated for the Bhutan trip, the budget, special interests and other factors. The hotels and resorts promoted by Swan Tours can be categorised as home stays / budget / standard / deluxe / luxury and premium. The rates of the hotels vary according to the seasonality and are at the highest during the long weekends and the festival periods. Also the rates are different for Indian travellers and the guests from other countries, Indian travellers do not need visa and are required to present either the Passport or Election ID car to the immigration authorities in Bhutan.
Bhutan Tours from India - Bhutan offers natural ecosystem which is rich and diverse, because of its location and great lands and climatic varieties, Bhutan's high, rugged mountains and valleys brag marvelous biodiversity, making it as one of the world's ten most critical biodiversity hotspots.
Today, around 72% of the total land area is under forest cover and around 26% of the area zone fall under protected regions involving four national parks. Accordingly, Bhutan offers a magnificent raw and unexploited environment which makes the destination a popular holiday spot for international travelers. The Most popular Bhutan tour Packages includes a combination of the cities of Thimpu, Paro and Punakha.
Looking for a travel over the long weekend or for honeymoon or just a family getaway, Consider Swan Tours customized Bhutan Tour Packages. The duration of these tours can be starting from 3 nights to 7 nights. The biggest advantage of taking a Bhutan tour from India is that the passport / visa is not required for Indian citizens. All Inclusive Bhutan tour packages from Delhi can include air tickets on Druk Air, accommodation, meals, transfers and sightseeing. Bhutan holiday packages are very popular as extensions to the north east itineraries. For Bhutan itinerary options and most competitive prices for Bhutan tours contact Swan Tours, Delhi, india.
Bhutan Tours from India: are getting popular, as India's economy continues to grow, and for the reasons stated below and due to Bhutan and India's special friendship, Indian tourists visiting Bhutan is increasing rapidly. Therefore, the Government of Bhutan will be putting in place a proper system to regulate and manage Indian tourists visiting Bhutan. Under the new system, one of the requirements being discussed is the need for Indian Tour Agencies to have tie-up with local partners, tour operator or hotelier, in Bhutan.Bhutan Holiday packages...
Bhutan has become one of the most sought after travel destinations for many unique reasons. The unique development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) has caught the imagination of the entire world. The breathtaking natural beauty and the landscapes are unique in character. The high Himalayan Mountains, world's highest unclimbed mountain. Bhutan is also famous for the ancient Buddhist monasteries, temples and Dzongs (fortress monasteries), the Buddhist festivals of mask dances and for being the last surviving Buddhist Kingdom in the Himalayas.
Bhutan's rich biodiversity, environment and the recently acquired fame as the world's most carbon negative country. The country is also known for its impressive socio-economic development and for being the world's youngest democracy.
Swan Tours one of the leading Bhutan promoting travel agents in Delhi, India promotes Bhutan Tour Packages from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other cities in India, We have our associate offices in Thimphu, Paro and Punakha, The Vehicles, Chauffeurs and Guides are of the highest standards., We ensure the highest quality of services at the most competitive prices. Due to limited availability of airline seats to Bhutan, It is advisable to book the air tickets well in advance. The festival periods in Bhutan are very popular with the tourists and during this season the rates of the hotels increase by approximately 25%. We at Swan Tours can customize your itinerary according to your requirements, Add experiences such as Trekking, Cycling, Mountaineering, and Visit to the Monasteries. Also, if there are any special dietary needs, that can be taken care of. Be it just a hotel booking in Bhutan, Bhutan tour packages with airfare, Air tickets to Bhutan, Sightseeing in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Bookings at best rates in Luxury hotels in Bhutan such as Taj Tashi Thimphu, Le Meridien Thimphu, Le Meridien Paro, Uma Paro, Aman Paro, Dhensa Resort Punakha, Swan Tours can assist in all travel services related to Holiday package to Bhutan.
A few nightclubs pop up around the city on the weekends. Saturday nights, the hip crowd heads to Club X, a small, hole-in-the-wall club with an eclectic design and "groovy" atmosphere. The banquet hall at Intel Kruk-Yul becomes the Hub discotheque every Friday night and is very popular with both young Bhutanese and travelers. Check the Kuensel, the national newspaper, to see if any programs are listed, or ask your tour guide what's happening in town. Occasionally, concerts and dances take place at the high school or other public locations. Many hotel bars in Thimphu get lively during the busy season. Stop by your hotel bar or lounge, where you're bound to find other travelers who want to stay up late, and have a good time.
All Stars. This brand-new disco is aimed at the ever-growing night scene populated by Ihimphu's young and well-to-do. Wednesday is Ladies Night, with free admission for women. The only other nights the disco is open are Friday and Saturday. Off Wogzin Lam, near Druk Sherig, Thimphu. Nu 300.
Club X. In an alley off of Wogzin Lam, this small, cramped club attracts the young, hip, affluent crowd. Open on Saturday nights only, the place doesn't get hopping until around midnight. It gets steamy and loud, with a mix of rock and disco music and a happy-go-lucky DJ's techno beat. Off Wogzin Lam, near Druk Sherig, Thimphu, 02/ 3-25901.Nu 150.
Hub. By day this place is a banquet hall, but on Friday night it turns into the current hot dance spot. DJ-spun music gets the crowd going and keeps everyone dancing until the wee hours. In the basement of the Hotel Druk-Yul, 02/3-23592.
During festival time, when numerous travelers descend upon the small town of Thimphu, there are many events scheduled, including cultural programs, traditional folk dances, and bonfires arranged by tour operators and hotels. The events are held at hotels and various outdoor locations set up specifically for this purpose.
If you are traveling in a group, your tour operator can arrange a formal dance performance at the Royal Academy of Performing Arts or in the more relaxed atmosphere of the Tashi Nencha Cultural Studio. Both of these performance venues provide exposure to Bhutanese cultural through a variety of entertainment programs. Reservations for these cultural programs should be made well in advance.
The Royal Academy of Performing Arts. Run by the Special Commission for Cultural Affairs, the academy was created with the objective of preserving, promoting, and developing the performance skills that are so special to the Bhutanese tradition. The academy performs mask dances, folk songs and dances, plays, dramas, and other stage performances. Depending on the weather, afternoon shows take place in an outdoor amphitheater or in the new indoor theater completed in 1998. Chubachu, Thimphu, 02/3-22569. Nit 2,600 to be divided among all guests. Daily performances at 9:30 AM.
Tashi Honcho Cultural Studio. A group of talented musicians and performers provide an evening of cultural entertainment within the Zangto Petri compound. The program usually begins with a bonfire, followed by traditional instrumental performances and folk and tribal dances. Arrangements can be made to include a traditional Bhutanese buffet dinner with your performance. Ask your guide to make the reservations at least a week in advance. A fee of Nu 3,000—Nu 5,000 is divided among all of the guests, Zangto Pelri, Thimphu, 02/3-22804.
The Artshop Gallery. This is the first modern gallery to exhibit both modern and traditional artwork by several local artists. Adorning the walls are carefully chosen watercolors and pencil drawings on handmade paper. The owner also has a small selection of textiles, wooden bowls, and art supplies. Town Square, Thimphu, Bhutan Holiday packages...
Most Bhutanese handcrafts are not made for a tourist market, so they retain their authenticity. The prices tend to be more expensive than those of goods found in other Asian countries. Thimphu has an excellent selection of handcrafts shops selling high-quality traditional paintings, textiles, jewelry, mask, and carpet, several, shops on Norzin Lam have good selection of the textile, both ready-made and handmade kiras and khos. The philatelic shop at the post office has a fine display of stamps in vibrant colors and vivid images ranging from holographic images, to Walt Disney, to First Day Issues. Even if you're not a collector, it's still well worth the visit. Bhutan Tour Packages...
There are also many local shops carrying basic necessities and general household items. It's fun to browse in these stores and check out the local merchandise. In the last few years, many modern shops have opened, selling imported goods from Taiwan, Thailand, and India. A few kitsch items often found include Barbie-like dolls wearing traditional Bhutanese clothing, action figures, and 'I Love Mom" mugs.
Some shops pay a commission to tour guides bringing in large groups. It can be more fun to venture out on your own, or with a friend. Most stores have fixed prices, and although bargaining is not the custom here, it may be worth trying if you intend to purchase several items. Note: it is illegal to export antiques.
Check out some of the smaller shops, where the owners are usually available and are very friendly and helpful. For the most part, shops in Thimphu open around 8 AM and close around 8 or 9 PM depending on the season. Shops are open on the weekends, however those located on upper Norzin Lam are closed Tuesday, and those on lower market are closed on Wednesday.
Dolkar Handicrafts, a small shop run by a lovely woman, has an unusual collection of beautiful, turquoiseencrusted, antique equestrian saddles from Tibet and Lhadakh. There is also an interesting array of old wood carvings and traditional household items.
Norling Handicrafts has two shops in Thimphu, both on Norzin Lam, a few doors away from each other. The small one has a wide selection of high-quality jewelry set with semiprecious stones and designed by the owner's grandmother. The larger shop offers many carpets and textiles. The nontraditional colored shawls in ice-blue, pink, and green pastels are designed by the owner's mother.
Bhutan Arts & Crafts is a large new store that seems to have been designed for the traveler who can't fit India and Nepal into his or her itinerary; many products from these country's join the Bhutanese crafts. Upscale evening bags, silk pillowcases, and pashmina shawls are just a few of the specialized items in this salonlike store.
Handicrafts Emporium is a big, government-run store, often touted as the official tourist store. Although, the decor is a bit sterile, there is a wide variety of textiles and clothing downstairs, and a fine selection of traditional furniture, religious objects, and books upstairs. The quality here is good, but prices are slightly inflated.
Druk Trin Rural Handicrafts Center, the brainchild of an extremely successful businesswoman, has branch stores in the lobbies of some of the most prestigious hotels in Bhutan. The store on Jangchub Lam carries an excellent selection of woven textiles and embroidered linens; there's even an antique textile display.
Handicrafts Bhutan is a part of Cottage Industries, a local development project that benefits the women who make the crafts sold here. There's a great selection of handwoven textiles made with vegetable dye, as well as masks, bamboo baskets, and small bags. There is usually a weaver in the back room.
Choki Handicrafts (Kawangjangsa, 02/3-4728), located a few minutes' drive outside the city center, employs local painters, carvers, and weavers to design and make traditional handicrafts, furniture, and paintings. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Choki Traditional Art School for underprivileged students.
The Archery Shop, run by a group of very experienced archers, has who services technicians on staff and a services centers. Specializing in American-made fiberglass bows, they also keep a stock of traditional bows and arrows. There's an indoor practice range for those who want to test the bows before purchasing.
There are many short day trips and walks around the Thimphu Valley. A day hike to the Chari and Tango monasteries provides out-standing views of the valley. Simtokha Dzong, the kingdom's oldest dzong, is a mere 10-minute drive outside the city limits, and is home to the School for Buddhist Studies. The Royal Botanical Gardens, which were inaugurated in May 1999, are a great place to relax and admire the beautiful surroundings.