Travellers cannot process on arrival tourist visa hence all travellers must process the visa prior to their arrival in Bhutan. Tourism regulation set by the Royal Government of Bhutan mandates that all tours must be booked through a certified local tour operator. The local tour operator will process the tourist visa on traveller’s behalf. The Tourism Council of Bhutanapproves the tourist visa upon full payment of the trip. A one-time visa processing fee of USD 40 per person is levied.
CUSTOMS AND DUTY FREE
Travelers can carry the following items for personal consumption 200 cigarettes; 30 pieces of cigars or 150 gram of other tobacco. A person importing tobacco products for personal consumption from countries other than India shall pay 100 percent sales tax and 100 percent customs duty and only 100% sales tax if imported from India. While in Bhutan, visitors must retain the tax receipt to present to, if you encounter any checking by Tobacco Control Inspector.
Import/export of the following items is strictly prohibited:
- Arms, ammunition and explosives
- All narcotics and drugs except medically prescribed drugs
- Wildlife products, especially those of endangered species
- Import of plants, soils etc. are subject to quarantine regulations.
Visitors are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items, especially of religious or cultural significance, as such items may not be exported without a clearance certificate.
Ngultrum is the local currency. The Ngultrum is pegged with the Indian Rupee at par. Foreign currency exchange services are available at the local banks. Updated foreign exchange rate information can be found at the local bank website and at the airport. Banks have also installed many ATM across the country. The ATM accepts VISA and MasterCard. Service charges may vary depending on the country and the Bank of where the card was issued and therefore we recommend travellers to get in touch with their bank prior to travelling to Bhutan. Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept card payment as well.
TOURIST SIM CARD
Local telecom service companies offer tourist SIM card. The services include talk time, text and data services. Tourists can avail the SIM card from the airport or visit distribution shops in town. Tourists are required to submit a copy of their passport. The SIM card cost Ngultrum 100 to 200. SIM cards are available in Standard, Micro and Nano sizes.