Your journey begins
The journey to reach Bhutan is in itself an adventure, but it’s one to be savoured at every step, including during its planning.
First things first
Getting a visa for your visit to Bhutan is simple and straightforward. The whole process takes a matter of minutes, and then you’re ready to enter the kingdom.
Ways to travel
Bhutan's topography makes for exhilarating drives and breathtaking hikes. A fleet of transport options is at your disposal: from mountain bikes, motorbikes and yaks, to domestic buses and flights, SUVs with private drivers and helicopter services.
Arrive By Road
There are four official entry points by road from India: Samtse and Phuentsholing (in western Bhutan), Gelephu (in central Bhutan), and Samdrup Jongkhar (in eastern Bhutan).
Travel in the country
The most convenient way to travel in Bhutan is to hire a vehicle and driver from a car rental company or a tourism service provider. It is not possible to hire a self-drive vehicle in Bhutan. You can also book a local driver or transport service provider (as well as hotels and tour operators). Your hotel will also be able to provide or arrange transport for you.
Four airports connect the country's western, central, southern and eastern regions. Although airlines always aim to provide the highest service, Bhutan’s unique landscape occasionally makes for unreliable departure dates. Yonphula airport – located in the eastern part of Bhutan – is given to unpredictable weather in the summer months due to its altitude and micro-climate. Flights are thus sporadically delayed or cancelled. Other domestic airports are located in Bumthang and Gelephu, and there is the international airport in Paro.
We encourage you to reach out to our hosts or a local tour operator before you plan domestic flights, or any other travel within the country.
The check-in baggage allowance for domestic flights is 30kg for business class and 20kg for economy class. International travellers are advised to keep their passports with them at all times (with a minimum validity of six months).
The Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited (RBHSL) is available for private hire. The RBHSL was initially founded for emergency medical evacuations, but it also caters to heli-hiking and other guest services, making otherwise long journeys possible in less time, while offering an aerial view of our kingdom. Helicopters only fly in clear and calm weather conditions.
We invite you to consult our hosts for more information on accredited transport services and tour operators ahead of your trip to Bhutan.
Bhutan is a small country with a colourful cultural tapestry and deeply rooted beliefs. Our genuinely hospitable and compassionate people will rarely refuse guests’ requests. It’s therefore useful to know our local customs so that, when we welcome you to our kingdom, you may tread lightly on our soil and sacred sites.
Bhutan is the last Vajrayana Buddhist country in the world and it contains many revered religious sites – from roadside stupas to temples, monasteries and nunneries.
Please maintain silence to respect our people’s faith when visiting any sacred site.
Please be mindful if you want to photograph those praying or participating in one of our many holy festivals. Ensure you do not stand between religious observers and an altar or otherwise obstruct our people’s right to practise their faith in peace.
As a sign of respect, please remove caps and hats when visiting sacred sites or meeting elders. If seated on the floor with a monk, nun, elder or host, it’s advisable to sit cross-legged.
When visiting a temple, please wear long sleeves and cover your legs. Remove your shoes upon entering and refrain from taking photos inside sacred sites. Please do not sit on the lamas’ sacred thrones inside temples, or touch any religious items or paintings.
Bhutan has one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. Enjoy our natural abundance but leave the wild as it is.
Hunting and fishing are illegal in most of Bhutan. Please contact our hosts or a local tour operator for more information should these activities interest you.
Do not venture into the wild without an accredited guide. Although increasingly rare, encounters with wild predators are not unheard of – even a short hike away from our cities.
Please be considerate of our citizens’ privacy and always ask before you take someone’s photo.
The Bhutanese often live in their ancestral homes and in close-knit communities. We usually take off our shoes before entering houses.
We always smile, so don’t forget to smile back. Kuzu zangpo la means hello and can be used at all times of the day. Kadrin chey la means thank you.
All the answers you need
There’s so much to learn about Bhutan – so we’ve compiled answers to some of the most common questions our visitors ask. If you’ve got a not-so-frequently-asked question, we’re happy to answer that too.
We're here for you
To help you plan, and make the most of your time here, our team of hosts offer a complimentary service fielding any queries you have, or providing information you may need, before and during your trip to Bhutan.
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