Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Bhutan’s tourism industry is small and strictly regulated. It’s not possible for a western tourist or business traveller to enter Bhutan as an independent traveller. If you want to visit Bhutan, you must first register and confirm an itinerary with a specialist Bhutanese travel agent or group tour operator. The tour operator will process all visa and immigration requirements, issue an entry visa and make flight and accommodation reservations as appropriate.
The cost for such services can be high. A minimum daily rate of approximately US$200 per person is charged which also covers meals, guided excursions, cultural programmes and domestic transport. Failure to re-confirm travel plans with the tour operator and pay for the itinerary in full before travelling will result in travellers being refused entry.
On arrival, you must also pay a further US$20 visa fee and provide two passport-sized photos.
You can get more information (in English) on entry requirements from the Bhutanese Ministry of Tourism.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Bhutan.
Hospitals, medical facilities and health care services in Bhutan are generally of a very poor standard, particularly outside of Thimphu. Visitors may have to travel for several hours in order to get adequate medical services for serious illness and may have to be evacuated to India for further treatment. Medical treatment can be expensive and payment in advance may be required.
Acute Mountain Sickness
There are no particular health concerns but trekkers may experience Acute Mountain Sickness at high altitudes and should be well informed about possible hazards in high mountains.
Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum and Indian Rupees are also widely accepted. There are no ATMs in the country and it’s not possible to use credit cards. We strongly recommend you purchase travellers’ cheques in US Dollar denominations before leaving Ireland, which can be exchanged at any Bank of Bhutan branch or most major hotels in Thimphu.
Personal computers, mobile telephones, cameras and all other personal electronic devices must be examined and registered by customs authorities upon arrival at a port of entry and checked again at time of departure.
More travel advice
Because we don’t have an Embassy or Consulate in Bhutan, we can’t give you up-to-date travel advice.
But you can visit these foreign ministries for more detailed information:
Wed, 01 Jun 2016 12:44:25 BST