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Bhutan Travel FAQ and Do’s & Don’ts

Get information about how you can travel seamlessly in Sikkim. Know about permit formalities, transportation options in Sikkim, hotels in Sikkim, weather in Sikkim and much more. Here we have listed frequently asked questions (FAQ) when you are planning to travel to Bhutan.

Where is Bhutan?

Bhutan is a small country between India and Tibet, just east of Nepal and north of Bangladesh. Bhutan is known for its natural beauty, forest conservation, gross national happiness, great culture & heritage.

How to reach Bhutan?

There are two ways to reach Bhutan from India.

  1. By Road Via Phuentsholing Border

    This is the most common route taken by Indian tourists and also the cheapest way to reach Bhutan.Connectivity

    • Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport (IXB) 160 KM to Phuentsholing
    • Nearest Railway Station: Hasimara Railway Station (HSA) 18KM to Phuentsholing
    • New Jalpaiguri Junction (NJP) 150 KM to Phuentsholing

    Bhutan has 2 more entries via Road i.e. Gelephu & Samdrup Jongkhar, but these routes are very less taken due to connectivity and far distance to major tourist places in Bhutan.

  2. By Air Direct Flight to Paro

    Only 2 Airlines operates in Bhutan i.e. Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines. No other airlines fly to Bhutan. Bhutan has only one International Airport located in the beautiful town Paro. Paro airport has connectivity with the below airports.



India Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bagdogra, Gaya, Guwahati
Thailand Bangkok (BKK)
Bangladesh Dhaka
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur
Nepal Kathmandu
Qatar Doha
Singapore Singapore (SIN)

P.S. Paro (PBH) is a small airport and flight frequency is very limited. Some cities have flights to Paro only in particular seasons.

Do we need a visa to enter Bhutan?

Indian tourists do not require any Visa to travel to Bhutan. In Fact, there are only 3 countries’ tourists who can travel to Bhutan without a Visa i.e. India, Bangladesh and Maldives. Tourists from other countries have to pay a minimum of $250 per day for a Visa Including their accommodation and transportation.

However Indian tourists have to take a permit to travel to Bhutan which can be taken from Phuentsholing Immigration Office if you are coming via Road. If you are arriving in Paro by flight then you can get a tourist permit at Paro airport only.

This permit will be applicable to Travel to Thimphu & Paro, if you are planning to go to Punakha or another part of Bhutan, you have to take another permit from the Thimphu immigration office.

What documents will be required to get a permit to travel to Bhutan for Indian Tourists?

For tourists above 18 years of age either a Passport with a minimum of 6 months of validity or a Voter ID card is required.

For tourists below 18 years, a birth certificate along with a school/college ID would be valid for a permit.

You must carry at least 4 passport sized photographs with a plain background for each traveller.

Note: Aadhaar card is not valid for a travel permit to visit Bhutan.

What is the procedure of applying for a tourist permit to travel to Bhutan?

Indian Tourists coming by Road to Phuentsholing Border.

Tourists can apply for a travel permit at the Phuentsholing Immigration office.

  • You need to fill the immigration form (Click here to download form)
  • Need to submit the Travel Itinerary you will follow in Bhutan on a registered travel agent’s Letterhead.
  • Hotel reservation booking voucher.
  • Xerox copy of Passport or Voter ID Card.
  • 2 Passport Size Photographs.

Indian Tourists arriving at Paro airport by flight.

  • You need to fill the form along and need to present the Passport or Voter ID Card.

What are the timings of Phuentsholing Immigration Office?

Phuentsholing Immigration office opens from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Monday to Friday. Immigration offices remain closed on Saturday & Sunday and on Bhutanese National holidays e.g. festivals, elections etc.

As Phuentsholing is in Bhutan then how can we enter Phuentsholing without a permit?

Don’t worry! You are not required to have any permit to enter Phuentsholing in addition you can roam around up to 5 KM in Phuentsholing without a permit. Phuentsholing is a border area in southern Bhutan. It is a very unique and great experience crossing the Bhutan border by walking.

Can we stay in Phuentsholing without a permit?

Yes! You can stay in Phuentsholing without a permit. In fact, we suggest you keep a night halt in Phuentsholing when you are coming from Bagdogra Airport. The reason for an overnight stay in Phuentsholing is that most of the flights land at Bagdogra airport in the afternoon and therefore by the time you reach Phuentsholing from Bagdogra airport, there are high chances that the Immigration office will be closed. So it’s better to keep a night halt and apply for the permit the next morning. You can explore Phuentsholing and try some delicious food.

Pro Tip: If you are coming via Bagdogra airport, start your trip between any day from Sunday to Thursday so that the next day you can apply for a permit.

Is it possible to travel Bhutan Independently Solo?

It is suggested to travel in a group of 2 or more. Phuentsholing Immigration office may refuse to give permits for travelling solo.

Is Bhutan a safe country to Travel?

Yes!! Bhutan is one of the safest countries to travel to. The crime rate is very low in Bhutan. 

Is Bhutan safe for Female Solo Travellers?

Yes! Women who travel solo can choose Bhutan and roam freely around the places. Though basic safety precautions are still advised.

What languages are spoken in Bhutan?

Dzongkha is the official language, mainly spoken in the west. Hindi & English are commonly spoken in major towns, also commonly used in education in schools in the country.

Is there any Dress Code in Bhutan which we need to follow?

Always wear a proper dress when you are visiting government offices or any religious monuments. Please do not wear skirts, sunglasses or hats while visiting any religious place.

Is smoking allowed in Bhutan?

No! In fact, Bhutan is the only country to completely ban the production and sales of tobacco. So smoking is not allowed in public places in Bhutan. Tourists coming from India can carry 2 packets of cigarettes by paying 200% duty on it. However, people do smoke in Bhutan in private or closed places.

What time zone does Bhutan use?

Bhutan’s Time zone is GMT +6. Bhutan time is 30 mins ahead of India Time e.g. at 7:00 PM IST = 7:30 PM BST

What currency is used in Bhutan?

Indian currency Rupee is widely accepted in Bhutan. Bhutan’s national currency is Ngultrum. There is no need to exchange Indian Rupees for Bhutanese Ngultrum.

What is the price of Indian Rupees in Bhutan?

Indian National Rupee (INR) is equivalent to Bhutanese Ngultrum (Nu).

1 Rupee = 1 Ngultrum

What is the price of Indian Rupees in Bhutan?

Indian National Rupee (INR) is equivalent to Bhutanese Ngultrum (Nu).

1 Rupee = 1 Ngultrum

Which Indian Currency Notes are accepted in Bhutan?

All Indian currency notes are accepted in Bhutan except Rs 500 & Rs 2000 Notes. However, as per our practical experience Rs 500 notes have worked at all places except Punakha Dzong Monument.

Are ATMs available in Bhutan?

We suggest you do not rely on the ATM at Phuentsholing please carry sufficient cash.

Can we make payment via Credit Cards or Debit Cards in Bhutan?

Credit or Debit cards are accepted at very few shops in the main regions of Bhutan. Bhutan has a very basic infrastructure and most of the shops don’t have card payment machines. We advise you to carry sufficient cash for your trip.

Note: Rs 2000 Notes are not valid in Bhutan.

Power Plugs and Sockets in Bhutan.

In Bhutan charging sockets are the same as in India. No need to carry plug converters.

What local food options are available in Bhutan

The local cuisine has been able to maintain its unique character. It’s less oily than Chinese or Indian food and spicier than most Tibetan dishes.

Six must-taste foods to sample at least once.

  1. Ema Datshi – (Chilies and Cheese) – Veg 
  2. Jasha Maroo or Maru – (Spicy Chicken) – Non-Veg
  3. Phaksha Paa – (Pork with Red Chilies) – Non-Veg
  4. Momos – (Dumplings) – Veg & Non-Veg 
  5. Red Rice – Veg
  6. Drink Specialties- Ara (or arag), a fermented drink made from rice, maize, millet, or wheat. Ara tastes a bit like extremely, extremely strong sake. Cheers! – Alcohol

Do Indian Networks work in Bhutan?

We suggest you get a local sim card for calling and Internet, which can be issued by presenting your tourist permit, Identification document and a Passport Size Photograph. Some Indian networks provide international roaming services in Bhutan but the pricing for Bhutan International Roaming is quite high.

Which Bhutanese Sim Card should we buy?

In Bhutan, there are 2 Network operators i.e. Bhutan Telecom & Tashi Cell. Both networks are good in connectivity and coverage. Both have similar plans and pricing.


  • Always use Zebra crossing while crossing the roads otherwise you might be in trouble and local police can punish you.
  • Always ask for permission if you are photographing a person.
  • Respect Bhutanese cultures and learn about local customs. Locals are very sensitive, you may don’t want to sound rude.


  • Refrain from passing negative comments on religion, the royal family and the chief abbot.
  • Do not carry any drone camera, it is strictly prohibited in Bhutan.

Here we tried to answer all the FAQ that will help you when you will plan to travel Bhutan. In case you did not find answer to your query for Bhutan travel please feel free to contact us.