Visa & Payment

TOUR RESERVATION:

1. All tours must be booked through a recognized Bhutanese Tour Operator such as Bhutan Twin Travels, with entire land arrangements provided by one and the same operator;

2. For Culture tours, booking arrangements must be completed 4 weeks in advance, but for Cultural Tours during festivals, arrangements must be completed 6 weeks in advance.  The spring and autumn festivals are our peak times for tourism, and without early reservations it can be difficult to confirm flights and hotels;

3. For Trekking groups, booking arrangements should be completed at least 8 weeks in advance, as this activity requires detailed forward planning.  Bhutan Twin Travelshas built up impressive resources over the last 15 years and can offer you a wide array of choices of the finest and best organized trekking experiences in the entire Himalayas;

VISA

·    Visas are required for traveling in Bhutan, and applications are processed through Bhutan Twin Travel in conjunction with tour booking.  (No foreign mission abroad grants Bhutan Tourists Visas).

· All information as mentioned on the visa  application form must be forwarded to us for processing with the concerned authorities at least three weeks prior to date of travel, but note that for all FITs/GITs traveling during festivals,  details should be sent at least 6 weeks prior to date of travel, as this is the peak time for tourism.

Of note, please submit online at tashel website.  A Bhutan visa application data form is available online.  We do not require any additional photos or visa forms in advance.

· Whether entering Bhutan overland or by air, visa applications are cleared in advance, and visa clearance numbers issued.  Visas are stamped on arrival at the port of entry.

· For travelers entering Bhutan by Drukair, visa clearance is required for the issuing of Drukair tickets.  The visa clearance number is forwarded to the Drukair station at which the flight originates.  Travelers without a visa clearance number on record will not be permitted to board their flights.

· For travelers entering the country overland from India, through the southern border town of Phuentsholing, Gelephu, and Samdrup Jongkhar, the visa is stamped on arrival, as per visa clearance number.  Travelers without a visa clearance number on record will not be permitted to enter the country.

Other than Indian, Bangladeshis nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa; all visas are issued from Thimphu; visas are only issued to tourists booked with a local licensed tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent. Applications for tourist visas are submitted by the tour operator. Visa clearance from Thimphu must be obtained before coming to Bhutan. Visa clearance takes at least 10 days to process. Air tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance. At your point of entry, the visa will be stamped in your passport on payment of US$20, two passport photos will also be required. Visas are issued for a 15-day period; extensions can be obtained in Thimphu at a cost of $40.

PAYMENT PROCEDURE

a) All tour payments shall be made in US dollars  or in any convertible currency acceptable to the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan and shall be made in advance to TCB for the visas to be processed;

b) TCB shall not process tourist visa applications of those Tour Agents who are not able to deposit advance payments in convertible currency;

c) As far as possible, all tour payments shall be routed through either Bank of Bhutan or Bhutan National Ban;

d) Payments must be received either by telegraphic transfer to an overseas account of the two banks mentioned or by means of a bank draft or banker’s cheque drawn in favor of Tourism Council of Bhutan.  In all the cases, the name of the local tour agent as the “beneficiary” shall be clearly stated;

e) Bank charges involved shall be borne by local tour operator or agent abroad as may be mutually agreed between them.  TCB shall have no responsibility in this regard;

f) Any other modes of payments other than ones mentioned above, especially in cash, are illegal and are discouraged by TCB.  However, under certain circumstances where payments are received in such forms, tour operators shall declare them to TCB along with proper documentary testimonials supporting the mode of payments and the amount.  Any such payments without the supporting documents shall be considered illegal and shall be liable to confiscation as per foreign exchange rules.

Delayed arrival/departure

a) There shall be no charge for the number of days delay in departure of visitors due to weather conditions, Drukair problems, or road blocks.  They will be charged only the actual expenses on accommodation, food, transport, and any other services required;

b) The tour Agents shall immediately notify TCB in writing about the change in tour itinerary as a result of situations explained above.

Tour payment

Advance payment in full for the entire tour must be sent to TCB in favor of Bhutan Twin Travels by bank transfer, within the specified time frame.  Services are confirmed subject to advance payment only.  We will provide full information on remittance of tour payment when we cost your requirements.

For high season travel (March, April, May, Sept, Oct, Nov), it is advisable to remit payment for Drukair flights 3 months in advance.  This will help us to obtain confirmed seats on the requested flights.

Fund Transfer

To transfer money to Bhutan National Bank, from any place outside Bhutan and India, Please request your bank to remit money through Bhutan National Bank Ltd., Correspondent Bank as follows:

1. Bank Address : Standard Chartered Bank Ltd.,

(Correspondent Bank)        One Madison Avenue, New York,

NY 10010-3603

SWIFT Code: SCBLUS33

CHIPS ABA: 0256

FED ABA: 026002561

2. Beneficiary Bank Account : 358-202-171-9001 (USD A/C)

3. Beneficiary Bank : Bhutan National Bank, P.O Box 439,

GPO Building, Chang Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan

SWIFT Code: BNBTBTBT

4. Beneficiary/Ultimate Beneficiary: Account No…0000065034012 of Bhutan Twin Travels maintained with BNB, Thimphu, Bhutan

 

Central Bhutan

TRONGSA:  Elevation 2,316m

About four hour’s drive from Wangduephodrang is the central district of Trongsa, the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family, from where the first two kings ruled the kingdom.

Read more...

Western Bhutan

THIMPHU:  Elevation 2,320m

Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan with a population of approximately 100,000 people.  Thimphu became the capital in 1961, and the town is the largest in Bhutan.

Read more...

East & South

For those with enough time on their hands, venture into eastern Bhutan for something quite different.  This is the land of the Sharchops, who speak their own language and nurture their own culture and weave beautiful textiles.

Read more...