1) Yatara Adventure offers the following services:
• Visa applications, tour programs and all other ground arrangements for the visitor.
• Provides full travel services, which include group packages, individual packages, and special interests tours.
• There are numerous tours offered these days, but Yatara Adventure offers the best highlights and the best accommodations, guides and services.
• On our treks, we use only the best tents and gears.
• We are experienced and will guarantee that all your personal requirements are satisfied.
• We guarantee an unequaled service and customized itineraries to satisfy your individual preferences and your experience of Bhutan tour with us will be more than expectation.
2) When is the best time to visit Bhutan?
The excellent time to visit Bhutan would be all the months except June, July and August due to the rains that may interrupt your flight schedule to get in or out of Bhutan.
In spring, the trekking season starts in moderate altitudes. Above 2500 meters, magnificent rhododendron forests and flowers are in full bloom. In Paro, one of the largest monastic festivals “Paro Tsechu” takes place. The temperature is enjoyably mild. Rain starts falling in May which is a sign of the approaching monsoon. Autumn is the tradition season in Bhutan. September, October and November have the highest number of religious festivals or Tshechus. Trekkers particularly like the clear view of the mountains in October and November.
3)Ground transportation used for our tour?
For individual travelers we use Hyundai 2WD, 4WD Land cruisers; for groups of 3-7 persons we have Toyota Hiace mini buses; for larger groups of 8-20 persons we have Toyota Coaster Buses. The guide accompanies the tourist entire Bhutan trips.
4)What is not included in the Package?
Airfares, airport taxes, visa fees, excess baggage, insurance, emergency evacuation, medical and all other personal expenses.
5)Can I find cheaper rates for travel to Bhutan?
Yes, but any other rates, other than the tariffs set by the government, are unlawful and you would be taking a serious risk. The tourism authority firmly checks any kind of undercutting, and will impose severe fines on anyone found guilty, such as cancellation of business license, disruption of tours, and even expulsion of visitors who use these agents. In any case, cheaper rates would without doubt lead to poorer customer service, as tour operators would turn as many guests as possible in large groups, put them up in sub-standard hotels to cut expenses, and hire unqualified guides to drag their visitors around.
6)Are there any discounts?
Yes, the following discounts on daily rates are allowed:
a) The royalty for CHILDREN up to the age of 5 years is exempted, while those between the ages of 6 and 12 years, accompanied by elders/guardians, will be given 50% discount on daily royalty
c) Full time STUDENTS below the age of 25 years, holding valid identity cards from academic institutions, will also be given a 25 % discount on daily royalty
d) For longer stays a discount is offered with effective from 9th night US$20 in peak months and US$15 in regular months
7)How can I be sure that I have a reserved place on the tour to Bhutan?
Your tour with Yatara Adventure is confirmed once the company receives your full payment. You will receive a confirmation via email.
8)When is the best time to travel to Bhutan?
You can visit Bhutan anytime of the year. Visitors tend to stay away during the monsoon months of June, July and August when the weather is sometimes a little wet for sightseeing.
9)Would we need travel insurance?
All visitors are advised to get their insurance cover from their own country.
10)Is tipping a standard practice?
There are no strict rules on tipping in Bhutan. A standard service charge is levied in hotels and restaurants. But if you are happy with the service, you can offer a tip to service staff.
11)What kind of travel guides can we expect?
Licensed Bhutanese travel guides will introduce you to the many facets of this interesting country. The English-speaking guides undergo regular training and, where required, specialized guides will lead you on bird watching, botany or other special tours.
12)What is Bhutan’s electricity supply like? Can I use electrical appliances in the hotels?
Bhutan uses a 240-v system. Electrical supply is generally good, but can be less stable in the smaller towns outside the capital, Thimphu. If you are using computers and other sensitive equipment, be prepared for fluctuations and power surges. Many rural areas are still without electricity although some farms have solar electrification.
13)Are there any internet cafes in Bhutan?
Yes, all most all the towns have internet cafes.
14)What type of electrical plug is used in Bhutan?
Bhutan uses the Indian round pin sockets. You can find adaptors in many of the hardware shops in the capital, Thimphu.
15)To bring in cigarettes and drinks have allowance in Bhutan?
A tourist shall be allowed to import free from customs duty, used articles of personal wear and regular use including cigarettes, tobacco, alcoholic drinks or a combination of these items subject to the following ceilings.
• Cigarettes: 2 cartoons subject to 100 percent sales Tax
• Cigars: 2 Boxes or 50 pices subject to 100 percent customs duty and 100 percent sales tax.
16)Can we buy antiques in Bhutan?
The export of antiques is prohibited by law. Tourists should buy only artifacts that have been certified for sale and for export. The government provides an official seal to certify that artifacts can be taken out of Bhutan.
17)What is the difference between booking a trip directly through Yatara Adventure and agents abroad?
Yatara Adventure is a local operator in Bhutan, and you safe a good deal of money by booking your trip directly through us. The abroad agents are commission agents and you will have to pay commission on top of daily tariff, and hence the cost goes up. Even if you book your trip through any one of abroad agents, they ultimately need to deal with local operators in Bhutan, because tourist’s visas can only be arranged by the local operators.
18)Does Yatara Adventure operate tours in any other regions or countries?
Yes, we operate in Sikkim, Darjeeling, Thailand, Sir Lanka, Nepal and Tibet on your recommendation have lot more to explore, and it is relatively a new destination.
19)Are there any tips for taking pictures in Bhutan?
hutan is perhaps one of the most photogenic places in the world. The landscape, nature, architecture and the people make it a photographer’s paradise. People are generally happy to pose for pictures, but do ask before you do so if you are focusing on one person. Photography is not permitted inside Dzongs, monasteries and temples as they are considered living institutions.
20)Can I get films and other photographic needs in Bhutan?
It is advisable to bring your own photographic equipment and needs. Films and camera batteries are available generally only in major towns. Slide film is generally not available so bring plenty of slide rolls if you’re shooting slides.
21)What does it cost to visit Bhutan?
The International Tourist Tariff is set by the Royal Government of Bhutan and is valid for all inclusive packages. The tariff is divided into a high season and a low season rate. The rates are the same for cultural tours, treks or any other special interest tours.
For a group of less than three persons, there is a surcharge to the daily tariff:
One person: US $40 per person per night.
Two persons: US $30 per person per night.
Three persons and more: No surcharge applicable.
22)When should I pay for my tour?
It is best to pay for your tour at least four weeks before the date of arrival. This will give enough time for the Royal Government of Bhutan to clear your visa formalities (which is done only after the payment is received). For visits during the peak season in March, April, May, September, October, & November, it is advisable to make your payment 12 weeks in advance. This is to enable us to make a confirmed booking for you on the airline, since seats are in high demand during these months.
23)How should I pay for my tour?
The best way to transfer money is through wire or bank transfer to the Bhutan National Bank in Thimphu. Yatara Adventure will provide you with full instructions on how to transfer your payment once you confirm you tour.
24)Can I use credit cards in Bhutan?
Credit cards are accepted in very few hotels and shops in the capital and towns. All credit card transactions take extra time and are cumbersome to use. For convenience, it is preferable to have travelers cheques and cash.
25)Is there ATM facility in Bhutan?
Bank of Bhutan 13 December, 2010 – Tourists carrying the MasterCard and Visa international credit and debit card will now be able to withdraw money from the Bank of Bhutan’s network of 23 automated teller machines all across the country.
26)What is Bhutan’s currency? Can I buy the currency before arriving in Bhutan?
Bhutan’s currency is the ngultrum and is equivalent to the Indian rupee which is widely accepted in Bhutan. You will not be able to purchase ngultrum outside Bhutan, but you can easily buy ngultrum at the Paro airport, at Bhutan National Bank and the Bank of Bhutan, and at major hotels in Thimphu and Paro, all of which accept traveler's checks and/or dollars and various other currencies. It is advisable to bring ngultrum with you when visiting smaller towns as it may not be possible to exchange your currency.
27)How secure is my advance payment for my trip?
Your payment is secured as it goes directly to a government account. Tour operators receive their payments after the tour is completed.
28)What services are included in the cost of a tour?
The cost of your tour includes:
• hotel accommodation in government classified hotels
• three meals a day and tea and snacks
• the government royalty
• in-country transport with airport drop and pick up
• guide service
• tours specified in the itinerary, cultural programmes where specified
• entrance fees to museums and monuments
On treks it includes: tents for sleeping, dining and toilet, guide service, meals prepared by trained cooks, porters, pack horses and yaks, and a guide.
29)Are there additional costs for extra services? Which are these?
The following are additional costs:
• travel insurance
• mailing fee for Druk Air tickets
• visa fees of USD 20/- per person
• airport departure tax of USD 20/- per person
• bank transfer fees for making your payment to the bank in Bhutan
• excess baggage charges
• tips and gratitude
• drinks – alcohol, soft drinks
• sleeping bags on treks
• telephone calls
• evacuation by helicopters
• bills of personal nature e.g. laundry etc.
30)What do I need to do to apply for a visa?
Yatara will arrange your visas. We will send you a visa form where your personal particulars and passport details are required. Simply fill it in and return to Yatara Adventure along with your payment for the tour you have booked.
31)What are the procedures for my visa application to be approved?
After we receive your full payments for the tour, the government takes about less than a week working days to clear the visa applications. This approval is sent automatically to the respective Druk Air stations where your flight is booked for travel into Bhutan. A copy of it will also be sent to you. Your Bhutan visa is stamped on your passport only arrival at Paro airport. All visitors should carry their visa approval letter with them to be shown at the Druk Air check-in counter and for immigration on arrival.
32)Is there a visa fee for Bhutan?
On arrival, visitors should pay US $20 visa fee to the immigration desk to get your Bhutan visa.
33)What is the best way of getting to Bhutan?
Bhutan can be reached via air travel or by road. If you plan to fly into Bhutan, the national airline flies to Bangkok, Kolkatta, Delhi and Kathmandu. The overland entry and exit points to and from Bhutan are from the two cities in the south of Bhutan -- Samdrup Jongkhar and Phuntsholing.
34)What is the schedule for the airline that flies into Bhutan?
Bhutan’s national airline, Druk Air operates daily flights from several destinations.
35)What do the airport taxes cost?
The airport tax is US $20/-. This tax should be paid in advance along with your tour payment to avoid having to make the payment at the time of departure.
36)How do I book my flights into Bhutan?
Yatara Adventure can arrange your airline tickets on Druk Air flights into Bhutan. There is no commission fee for this service.
37)What is the baggage limit on Druk Air?
Druk Air provides the standard baggage allowance of 20 kg for economy class travelers and 30 kg in business class. The allowance for carry-on bags is 5 kg.
38)How will I receive my Druk Air tickets?
Drukair does not issue paper tickets any more. Yatara Adventure will buy your e- tickets and send it to you through email prior to your scheduled visit. This is a legal travel docuement, which carries the same function as the paper tickets and you will have no problem in boarding Drukair.
39)Is there any likelihood of delays in Druk Air?
Druk Air flights can be delayed in departure and arrival especially in the monsoon season. It is advisable for passengers with onward connections after leaving Bhutan to keep at least one day’s gap before the next flight.
40)Will I get a refund on my tour payment if I cancel my trip after confirmed booking?
We have framed our tour cancellation policy that is favorable to both the parties. Please see below:
1. Full refund will be made for the tour cancelled 30 days or more prior to arrival date.
2. 20% penalty on the total tour cost for the tour cancelled less than 30 days prior to arrival date. This is because by this time hotels would be already booked and company is subject to cancellation charges for rooms cancelled in less than 30 days.
3. Duration lost or trip shortened due to unforeseen reasons after arrival in Bhutan, no refund will be made - because we will already have paid for the hotels and other logistics.
41)What is Druk Air’s cancellation policy?
As Drukair is a separate entity, they have their own cancellation policies.
1. 100% refund permitted for tickets cancelled more than 30 days from the date of travel.
2. 50% refund permitted for tickets cancelled between 30-last 15 days from the date of travel.
3. No refund permitted for missed connections or "no show" at the airport.
4. Additional fee of US $10 is levied for every date change once the tickets have been issued.
5. For every cancelled ticket, an administrative fee of US $25 is levied.
43) What kind of accommodation will we stay in?
Bhutan offers generally modest but clean hotels. There are none of the chain hotels in Bhutan although a couple of high end resorts have been opened in some districts. Yatara Adventure puts you up in the best available hotels that are classified and approved by the Royal Government. Visitors are advised not to expect luxury or five star hotel services. Bhutan’s local hospitality is, however, an insight into a society where tourism may be a new venture, but where visitors are greeted with true warmth and friendship
42)Are standards the same through out Bhutan?
Generally, tourist facilities and services are good in western Bhutan, but the quality of service and facilities decreases the further east we go. This is because tourism is less developed in the more remote east.
44) What kind of meals is available in Bhutan?
A variety of meals are available in most hotels – the most popular being Indian, Chinese,Thai and the more common continental food.
43)Are most dishes in Bhutan vegetarian?
Non vegetarian dishes are generally available in most parts of Bhutan - pork, beef, chicken, and fish. The best advise is to ask the hotel and restaurant to recommend what is fresh and in season.
44)Are there any immunizations I should have before visiting Bhutan?
There are no vaccination requirements for entering the country. You may, however, wish to talk to your doctor about receiving immunizations against certain preventable diseases. The US Center for Disease Control has up-to-date travel information about which diseases you may want to immunize yourself against when traveling to Bhutan.
45)Is altitude sickness a common problem?
The altitude in Bhutan is higher than many people are used to. Though most visitors will have no problem adjusting, altitude sickness may be a problem for certain people. Signs of altitude sickness include headache, nausea, loss of appetite and fatique. If you are in higher altitude than you are used to, descend immediately until you begin to feel better.
Our cultural tours do not reach altitudes higher than 3,500 meters. All of our treks reach at least 3,500 meters, and some of our treks go as high as 5,000 meters. You can obtain more information on altitude sickness and prevention from the US Centers for Disease Control and from the International Society for Mountain Medicine.
46)What about crime? How safe is it to travel in Bhutan?
There is very little crime in Bhutan, and it is safe for women travelers and solo travelers to tour the country. For in-depth and up-to-date information on travel to Bhutan, you can refer to the US State Department's Consular Information Sheet on Bhutan. You may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to cover emergency assistance, baggage loss, or injury of any kind.
47)What is the dress code in Bhutan?
Visitors are advised to dress comfortably as Bhutan is generally a formal place. Shorts, skirts and revealing tight clothing are to be avoided.
48)Is there recommended attire for visiting temples and institutions?
The Bhutanese people wear their full traditional dress and formal wear to Dzongs and to temples. Visitors should wear long pants (even if jeans), shirts with full sleeves, and more formal skirts below the knees to these places. Slippers and sandals are discouraged. Sun caps are also not permitted inside Dzongs and temples.
49)What is the best way to greet people, and what are some basic etiquette that I should be aware of?
Bhutanese people have a distinct manner of greeting people, sometimes with a slight nodding of the head or bowing slightly if we meet older, senior people. Guests are encouraged to observe the local etiquette and not to talk too loudly when meeting Bhutanese. A nod of the head is also appreciated when meeting people, particularly in villagers and towns outside Thimphu. Intimacy in public is generally not appreciated.
Here are some useful words and greetings in the national language, Dzongkha.
When addressing elders or anyone older than you, we use the term "Au" which is a respectful form of saying older brother, sister, or uncle…
Conversation & Essentials
Hello - kuzuzangbo la
Goodgye- lazhimbe jon
Good luck – trashi dele
Thank you- kadrinche
No – me
how are you? – che gadebe ye
I am fine – nga lazhimbe ra ye
Where are you going? – cho gati jou mo?
What is your name – cho meng gaci mo?
My name is……..- nge meng ……….. ing
Where are you from? – cho gati la mo?
I am from…. – nga ……….. la ing
I am staying at……..- nga……. Dop ing
What is this?- de gaci mo?
It’s cold today- dari jam-ma
It’s raining – chap cap dowa
I know- nga she
I don’t know- nga mi she
Can I take a photo? – pa tab ney chokar la?
That’s okey – di tupba
Father – apa
Where is the toilet?- Chabsa gatey mo la?
Where is the post office?- Dhrem khang gatey mo la?
Where is the bank? - Ngul khang gatey mo la?
50)Is it safe for women to travel alone in Bhutan?
There is no sexual harassment as Bhutanese women generally enjoy a good standing in society. Since all tourists have a travel guide, there is little chance of coming across unpleasant occurrences. Women are however, advised to take the same universal precautions when in crowded entertainment places at night, particularly when in discos or bars, or if walking to hotel late in the evening. Sometimes, the stray dogs could pose a problem on the streets at night.
51)Does Bhutan welcome gays and lesbians?
People’s sexual preferences are considered personal matters and do not bother most Bhutanese. The Bhutanese people are, however, not used to open intimate behavior. Sometimes, you come across people of the same gender holding hands but they are not necessarily gay or lesbian.
52)When is the best season for trekking?
In Spring and Autumn. Hence, the months of March, April, May and Sept, October, November
53)What should I pack for my trek to Bhutan?
The following lists will be useful for all treks.
• Two pairs of foot wear either trekking or running/ walking shoes
• Camp shoes or thongs
• Socks (polypropylene)
• Down or fiber-filled jacket
• Jumper or piled jacket
• Hiking shorts
• Waterproof jackets, poncho or umbrella
• Hiking pants
• T-shirts or blouses
• Sun hat
2.Light rain gears
5.Iodine (treatment tablets)
6.Torch, batteries and bulbs.
For high altitude trek
2.Mountain trekking boots
3.Socks or wool to wear with boots
4.Socks, light cotton for under wool socks
7.Nylon wind pants
12.Light rain gears
14.Iodine (treatment tablets)
•Toilet paper and cigarette lighter
•Medical and first aid kit
•Bandana or scarf
•Goggles or Sunglasses
•Sun block and salve for lips
54)Is there a limit to the baggage I can bring along if I am trekking in Bhutan?
Trekking horses carry 30 kgs each and one horse serves two people. So trekkers are asked to keep their baggage to a maximum of 15 kg each – which is a lot as it will contain only your personal belongings. All food and tents are provided by Bhutan Travelers.
55)Where can I leave my belongings that are not required on trek?
After you have packed for your trek, you can leave the rest of your belongings with the travel company.
56)Will I be carrying the entire luggage myself?
You will carry only your basic things in your back pack. While heavier items will go into duffel bags which will be carried by horses.
57)Who else will be there on trek?
Your trekking entourage will consist of a guide, camp chef, assistant, one or two horseman and horses.
58)Do I get sleeping bag for hire in Bhutan?
No, you will have to bring in from your place.
59)What types of meals do I get on trek?
Canned juice with choice of orange, mango, pineapple, apple etc. porridge / cornflakes / cereals, fresh fruits, sausages/bacon, toast, butter and Jam, eggs cooked to order and tea/coffee.
For pack lunch:
Vegetable cutlet/sandwich/boiled potato, chicken roast/beef roast, boiled eggs, choice of fresh fruits, canned juice (orange, pineapple, pepsi /coke).
For evening tea:
Tea/coffee, cookies/sandwich and biscuits.
Soup, salad, rice, noodles, 2 non-vegetable items, 2 vegetable items, desert and tea/coffee.