Bhutan travel is a truly unique experience. Because the Government of Bhutan practises a very cautious approach to the development of tourism in their Kingdom, entrance is only permitted via pre-planned, pre-paid, guided package tour or custom designed travel program and independent travel is, in fact, not permitted in Bhutan. So, whatever you do, don’t expect to just buy a ticket and walk right in. That being said – never fear, Thorya is here (sorry, silly pun).
There are a number of reasons for this, the main being that the government is on a very strict sustainable tourism plan in which they wish to limit and dampen the effect of tourism on their culture, traditions and their natural environment as much as possible.
I would say there are a number of advantageous and disadvantages to this procedure but that is not true. In fact, the only disadvantage is that you can’t just go there and must pre-plan, which in turn may appear a bit inconvenient. That being said you are able to enjoy a hassle free experience, where everything is already settled and planned in advance.
The tariff for travel to Bhutan is $250 per person per day based on double occupancy during high season (March, April, May, September, October and November and $200 during low season (January, February, June, July, August, December). This tariff is based on groups of 3 travelling together and there is a $20 single supplement per day for those traveling on single occupancy.
For couples traveling alone that tariff is $250 per person regardless of the season and there is a surcharge of $30 per day on double occupancy.
Individual travellers are charged $250 regardless of the season and the single occupancy supplement is $40 per single per day.
The rates are often considered high by many; however, please note that these rates do include your accommodation, meals, hotel taxes and service charges, royalties to the RGoB, transportation, local sightseeing, private guide and driver services so considering all that is included it really it is pretty much all in (with exception of flights), so… The reason for the higher rates for those travelling alone or as less than 3 people is because of the impact on the environment. Their theory is the more people travelling together the less they will impact the environment due to things like carpooling etc. As for the high and low seasons, I went in August and didn’t find the Monsoons to be frequent or annoying at all and actually enjoyed lovely weather most of the time.
Children & discounted Rates:
Children under the age of 5 travel for free.
Children ages 6-12 receive a 50% discount on daily rates
Full-time students under the age of 25 (valid ID required) receive a 25% discount on daily rates.
The rate of your custom package may vary but in general this is the rate required according to the government of Bhutan and will not be any less than this but may very well be exactly this. For additional information on Bhutan, things to do there and my experiences there please refer to my journal entries.
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