FAQ for Bhutan

1. How much does the tour package cost?
The Royal Government of Bhutan imposes a minimum tariff for all tours. For a minimum group size of 3, the high season tariff is USD 250 per person per night (March, April, May, September, October & November) while the low season tariff is USD 200 per person per night halt (January, February, June, July, August & December). For group size of 1, there is an additional surcharge of USD 40 per night. For group size of 2, there is additional surcharge of USD 30 per night. For children age 5 or below, there are no charges. For children age 6 to 12 accompanied by elders or guardians, there is a 50% discount on daily rates. For full time students below the age of 25 years holding valid identity cards from their academic institutions, there is a 25% discount on daily rates. The tariff covers all internal taxes and royalty, accommodations, all meals, licensed Bhutanese tour guide, internal transport and entrance fees to all attractions. For example, if you are a group of 4 working adults traveling in December on our 7D6N itinerary, your tour package for each person is USD 200 x 6 nights plus visa fees of USD 40 plus return air tickets.  Our tour packages will be invoiced in SGD so there is no need for you to worry about remittance fees. 50% payment is required for trip booking and 50% balance is due 1 month before trip departure. Our prices are the same as any other travel agencies.

2. What is the local currency and how much money should I bring for the tour?
The local currency is Bhutanese Ngultrum or Nu for short. Ngultrum is currently pegged to the Indian rupee at parity and you can use Indian Rupee INR throughout Bhutan. So we recommend bringing Indian Rupee for easier exchange conversion in your home country. The major spending you will have is tips to guide and driver. We suggest tips of around SGD 150 and SGD 120 to guide and driver for the whole group for a 7D6N trip. This is still subjected to good service. You can give the tips in local or foreign currency.  Other optional spendings will be probably soft drinks/beer during meals, donations at temples, purchase of souvenirs.  Generally, hotel and restaurant staff do not expect any tipping. As a ballpark figure, we suggest each visitor to bring around 100 SGD worth of INR and 100 SGD of foreign currency (e.g. SGD, USD, EUR).

3. Which month is the best to visit Bhutan?
Traditionally, autumn and spring see more visitors. Summer is the raining season while Winter can be colder but the tour prices are lower and there are less crowds. We feel that Bhutan can be visited all year round. If we have to recommend, we will suggest visiting in autumn, spring or winter.

4. Do I require a visa to visit Bhutan?
All visitors except Indian and Bangladesh passport holders require a tourist visa. Visa application is only done via a travel agency so this will be handled for you. Current pricing is USD 40 for each visitor. So far, we have not known any cases where visa is rejected by The Tourism Council of Bhutan. A passport soft copy is required from each visitor for visa application.

5. Will you take care of our international flights?
Yes, our tour package includes return Drukair international flights between Singapore to Paro, Bhutan. Drukair releases its schedule 3 to 6 months in advance so we are able to confirm travel dates within this advance notice. The air ticket prices for return trip between Singapore and Paro (Bhutan) is around SGD 1370 for 2019. This price is subjected to change.

6. What are the flight timings?

For a 7D6N tour package, most visitors will depart Singapore on Sunday and return on Saturday. Alternatively, it is possible to depart on Thursday and return on Wednesday.

Thursday and Sunday

KB541 SINGAPORE (SIN)

GUWAHATI (GAU)
GUWAHATI (GAU)

PARO (PBH)
0630

0910
0830

1030
A319

A319

Wednesday and Saturday

KB540 PARO (PBH)

GUWAHATI (GAU)
GUWAHATI (GAU)

SINGAPORE (SIN)
0805

0910
0830

1610
A319

A319

For flights KB541 and KB540, Drukair uses Airbus A319.

Flight timings are subjected to change and we will confirm the flights with every tour booking. If you are flying from elsewhere such as Bangkok or Kathmandu, we will be able to arrange as well.

7. Is travel insurance provided in the package?
Travel insurance is not included in the package. We strongly recommend you to procure your own travel insurance. Please visit our travel insurance page for more information.

8. What are the accommodations included in the package?
Our hotels are 3 star equivalent. Generally, quality is good and service level in Bhutan is high compared to other countries. There is no real need to upgrade the accommodations. But we can do so should visitors have preferences on particular hotels.

9. What amenities are available at the accommodations?
Hot shower, hair dryer, bar soaps, portable heaters, towels are provided by the hotels. You should bring your own toothbrush, toothpaste and personal shampoo/shower foam.

10. What kind of meals are provided?
Most meals will be a buffet of 5-7 dishes of Bhutanese fare. Usually, there will be one meat dish and the rest of the dishes will be vegetarian. We find local food delicious and they use fresh organic vegetables. We especially like Chilli Cheese (if you can take spicy food). However, food can get repetitive so you can always inform your guide on which Bhutanese dishes you would like to have. Your guide will try his/her best to inform the restaurant or hotel in advance to best cater for you. If you like Indian food, most places can dish up decent dishes as added variety.  It is also possible for you to choose to eat at other restaurants. However, it will be at your own expense.  Do read this link for more information on Bhutanese food, you will be able to try most of it during your trip.

11. What are the upcoming festivals which I can coincide my trip with?
Here are the recommended festivals:

Name Town Start Date End Date
Punakha Drubchen Punakha Feb 12, 2019 Feb 14, 2019
Punakha Tshechu Punakha Feb 15, 2019 Feb 17, 2019
Talo Tshechu Punakha Mar 14, 2019 Mar 16, 2019
Paro Tshechu Paro Mar 17, 2019 Mar 21, 2019
Rhododendron Festival Thimphu Apr 19, 2019 Apr 21, 2019
Haa Summer Festival Haa Valley Jul 13, 2019 Jul 14, 2019
Mushroom Festival Thimphu Aug 15, 2019 Aug 16, 2019
Thimphu Drubchen Thimphu Oct 04, 2019
Thimphu Tshechu Thimphu Oct 08, 2019 Oct 10, 2019
Jhomolhari Mountain Festival Thimphu Oct 14, 2019 Oct 15, 2019
Dechenphu TshechuDechenphu Thimphu Nov 08, 2019
Druk Wangyel Tshechu Thimphu Dec 13, 2019

If you are visiting during the festival, we will rearrange the itinerary for 1 day at the festival.

12. Can I buy or rent hiking stick for Tiger’s Nest?

Yes, you can rent one for 50 Nu at the entrance of Tiger’s Nest.

13. What is the vehicle used for the trip?
For 2 pax, it will usually be a 4-wheel drive vehicle such as Hyundai Sante Fe, Creta or Toyota Prado. For 3 pax or more, it will usually be a Toyota Hi-Ace. For bigger groups, we may use a mini bus or a combinations of Toyota Hi-Ace. Vehicles will be comfortable with good seats. A bottle of mineral water will be provided each day for each visitor.

14. Can I purchase a local sim card?
You can purchase local sim cards from B-Mobile or Tashicell. There is a booth at the airport which you can make the purchase or our guide can help you to make the purchase in the city. A copy of your passport is needed for sim card purchase.  Expect to pay around 450-650 Nu for 3GB of data for 7 days. Generally, mobile data is available in most places except in rural areas.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Loved by IWT LLP, World Nomads offers travel insurance coverage especially suited for adventure travel at a reasonable price.

Travel insurance: simple & flexible

You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from World Nomads is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.  When you buy travel insurance from World Nomads, you also give a little back and support a community development project!

 

Top 3 Points Of Interest at Gunung Lambak You Probably Don’t Know About

Many hikers might have been to Gunung Lambak (or Mount Lambak) due to its proximity to Singapore and its relatively easy summit trail which takes around 3-4 hours to complete. However, not many hikers know that Gunung Lambak offers quite a few side trails to different points of interest which can make the trek a lot more challenging.

Here are our top 3 points of interest at Gunung Lambak which most hikers probably do not know about.

1) The Second Summit

If you have seen Gunung Lambak from Kluang town, you would have noticed two obvious humps indicating the presence of a second summit. The trek to the second summit is rather straightforward, although it is an extra hour effort for the return journey. There is no view at the second summit as it is forested but if you are lucky, you might meet some local grandpas practising Tai Chi at the open space. You can even have a sit at the three long-standing plastic chairs there.

TC_20151214_GunungLambak01

Continue reading

21 to 22 Mar 2015 – 2D1N Mt Ophir Camping & Sunrise Hiking Trip (Completed)

Date: 21st (Sat) to 22nd (Sun) Mar 2015 (2D1N)

Pricing: SGD 165 per pax

Meeting Point: 630am at Lavender MRT Station Exit A

Group Size: 10 – 15

Status: Completed

Mount Ophir, or Gunung Ledang, is a 1,276m tall mountain situated at northwest Johor in Malaysia. It’s one of the most popular mountains in the region and was said to be the most climbed mountain in the country.  On the first day of the trip, we will take a hike to the Twin falls at Kolam Gajah and camp at CP4 for the night.  We will finish the adventure on the second day with a sunrise hike to the summit.

Mt Ophir or Gunung Ledang

Continue reading

7 Mar 2015 – Pelepah Falls & Firefly Cruise Day Trip [Completed]

Date: Saturday, 7 March 2015

Meeting Point: 630am at Lavender MRT Station Exit A

Group Size: 16

Status: Closed

Pelepah Falls, also known as Lumbong Falls, is made up of a series of waterfall cascades.  It is located at the outskirts of Kota Tinggi just 56km north of Johor Bahru. Offering a challenging yet relatively short river trek (~5 hours return), the trip is suitable for beginner to intermediate hikers.  We will end the day with a dinner and firefly cruise along Johor River.

I_Pelepah_001

Photo courtesy of Nan

Continue reading

What Type Of Traveler Are You?

Are you the Indiana Jones type, always seeking out adventure and excitement or a touristy kind of person, with your head buried in a citymap and your change in a money-belt? come find out what kind of traveler you really are!

[playbuzz-game game=”https://www.playbuzz.com/routeperfect10/what-type-of-traveler-are-you”  info=”false”, recommend=”false”, comments=”false”]

2014/09/14 – Dragon Boat Orientation Program @ Marina Reservoir [Completed]

Event: Dragon Boat Orientation Program @ Marina Reservoir

Date: Sunday, 14th Sept 2014 (845 AM – 12 PM) at Kallang Water Venture Club

Description: Row with us in Marina Reservoir with its spectacular city skyline backdrop of Singapore Flyer, Esplanade, and Marina  Bay Sands.  The program will start off with a physical warm up and some dry land coaching (correct method of holding paddle, paddling techniques and commands etc) before on-board rowing. We will launch the dragon boat from Kallang Water Venture near the mouth of Kallang River and into Marina Reservoir and towards Marina Barrage (if time permits). The Dragon Boat Orientation Course is suitable for those who want a taste of team rowing, and to enjoy building comradeship with like-minded people.

E_DragonBoat_01

Continue reading

What Country in the World Best Fits Your Personality?

This quiz will determine which country in the world best reflects your personality and living style. It is where you will thrive in life the most. Plan your next vacation there, or make the big move!

[playbuzz-game game=”http://www.playbuzz.com/larak10/what-country-in-the-world-best-fits-your-personality”  info=”false”, recommend=”false”, comments=”false”]

 

2014/07/12 – Horse riding at Riders Lodge Johor Malaysia [Completed]

Event: Horse riding at Riders Lodge, Johor Malaysia

Date: Saturday, 12th July 2014 (Full Day)

Meeting Point: 0700 am at taxi stand outside Marsiling MRT Station

Description: This will be a day trip to Riders Lodge in Malaysia, (http://www.riderslodge.com.my/) about an hour’s drive away from Singapore. We will go for an hour of horse- riding lesson in the morning, followed by 1.5 hours of riding along the forest trail in the afternoon. Transport to Riders Lodge and back to Singapore is included. We will stop for breakfast at a coffeeshop in Johor enroute to Riders Lodge. We will have lunch at nearby Kulai town (about 20 mins drive away from the lodge) and dinner in Johor Bahru before returning back to Singapore at night.

E_RidersLodge_01

Continue reading

2014/06/21 – Mount Ophir Day Trip [Closed]

Event: Mount Ophir (Gunung Ledang) Summit Hike

Date: Saturday, 21st June 2014 (Full Day)

Description: Mount Ophir, or Gunung Ledang, is a 1,276m tall mountain situated at northwest Johor in Malaysia. It’s one of the most popular mountains in the region and was said to be the most climbed mountain in the country. For this trip, we will be taking the Sagil trail up and down. We will set off from Singapore at 530am and expect to complete the hike by sunset. After that, we will wash up and have a good dinner before returning to Singapore.

Mt Ophir or Gunung Ledang

Continue reading