Guide to Regional Tourist

Who are the regional tourists?

Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivians are considered as regional tourists to Bhutan.


Visa to Bhutan for regional tourists

Regional tourists do not require visa to visit Bhutan but are required to get a permit which they can process at the port of entry on producing their passport with a minimum validity of 6 months.

Indian nationals can process their permit either by using their passport or voter identity card. Children can use their student ID card or birth certificate if they don’t have passports and voter identity cards.

All the travelers must carry couples of passport size photographs for processing their permits.

With latest development in tourism policy in Bhutan, regional tourists can process their permit to visit Bhutan prior to their arrival in Bhutan through a licensed Bhutanese tour operators or through a hotel registered with tourism council of Bhutan.


Accommodations

Unlike international tourist where their accommodations are arranged in 3 star government approved hotels or guest houses, regional tourists have the flexibility to choose their own accommodations either in star rated hotels or budget hotels.

Luxury hotels (4stars and 5 stars) in Bhutan are limited to only few western districts but 3 star rated tourist standard and budget hotels are available throughout Bhutan.


Getting to Bhutan

Regional tourists can visit Bhutan either by air or by road through India. Bhutan’s only international airport is located in Paro one of the western districts. Bhutan has only two airlines; Drukair and Bhutan Airlines which flies to following international destinations:

Sl. No

City

Country

Airport

Remarks

1.

Bangkok (BKK)

Thailand

Suvarnabhumi Airport

 

2.

Singapore (SIN)

Singapore

Singapore Changi Airport

 

3.

Kathmandu (KTM)

Nepal

Tribhuvan International Airport

 

4.

Dhaka (DAC)

Bangladesh

Shahjalal International Airport

 

5.

Kolkata (CCU)

India

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport

 

6.

Delhi (DEL)

India

Indra Gandhi International Airport

 

7.

Guwahati (GAU)

India

Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport

 

8.

Siliguri (IXB)

India

Bagdogra Airport

 

9.

Gaya (GAY)

India

Gaya Airport

Seasonal

10.

Mumbai (BOM)

India

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport

Seasonal


For those entering via road from India have three entrance points; Phuntsholing and Gelephu bordering with Indian state of West Bengal and Samdrupjongkhar bordering with Indian state of Assam.

The nearest Indian airport to Phuntsholing is located at Siliguri, Bagdogra (4 and half hour drive) and the nearest railway stations are NJP junction, Siliguri (4 hours drive), New Alipur Dur (1hour 30 minutes drive) and Hasimara Junction (45minutes drive).

The nearest railway station to Gelephu is New Bongaigaon (1 hour 30 minutes drive).

The nearest Indian airport to Samdrupjongkhar is located at Guwahati, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (3 hours drive) and the nearest railway station is Rangiya Junction (1 hour drive).


Transportation in Bhutan

Unlike for international tourists whose transportations are arranged by their respective tour operators, regional tourists have the flexibility to choose their own transportation within Bhutan. They can use public transport, arrange through local tour operators or Indian nationals can drive their own car.

For Indian nationals driving their own car have to process for route permit from Road Safety and Transport Authority of Bhutan (RSTA). Their offices are located just within few kilometers from the border towns.

Following documents must be produced in original while getting route permits to drive Indian cars into Bhutan:

  • Valid Indian Driving License
  • Original Registration Certificates
  • Original insurance papers
  • Pollution under control certificate (PUC)

 

Tour guides in Bhutan

Unlike international tourists, hiring a guide is not compulsory for regional tourists while visiting Bhutan. However for those who are arranging their visit permits through a licensed Bhutanese tour operators or registered hotels, hiring guide is mandatory.

Hiring an English speaking guide in Bhutan can cost between Rs 800 to 1500 per day. Guides in general can speak Hindi.


Cost of visiting Bhutan for regional tourists

Cost of visiting Bhutan for regional tourists depends on the type of services they choose. Unlike international tourists, regional tourists are exempted from paying the mandatory minimum daily tariff of $250 during peak tourist season and $200 during lean tourist season.

Do contact us along with your tour itinerary and service options to get the exact price at info@bhutantourinformation.com or info@seebhutantravels.com .