Why Rabphal

Discerning travelers are always looking for the authentic local experience wherever they travel to. Would you rely on a foreign agent who has probably never even visited Bhutan or at best a few times and claims to know everything about the destination or would you rather have a local expert plan your trip to deliver that true local experience.  

Therefore at Rabphal, our mission is to provide accurate and relevant information regarding Tourism in Bhutan directly to the end customers eliminating business entities in between. We promote transparent pricing and assist our guests plan their trip to Bhutan as hassle free as possible. Our website also features a comprehensive travel guide and extensive coverage of information on Bhutan including top attractions and experiences in Bhutan to offer our customers a preview of what to expect on their trip to Bhutan.

 

Our Offerings

With our extensive knowledge about Bhutan coupled with our expertise in tour management, we offer both pre-designed tour packages and tailor made travel itinerary for groups and individual travelers as per your preferences and interest.

During the discussion, we offer suggestions and guidance to address concerns to ensure our guests are satisfied with the pre-travel planning. Our services also include hotel and flight reservations, arrangement of guide, land transport and most importantly the visa processing formalities.

Known for our high standards of quality and attention to detail, we have helped tourists go back home with great memories of their trip to Bhutan.

Visa Information

With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all visitors travelling to Bhutan need a visa. 

Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card).  

All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior the travel to Bhutan.  Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent.    

You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa.  The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account.  Once received, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.

At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

Travel Requirements

The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan. These must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan.

The minimum daily package applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan for tourists travelling in a group of 3 people or more is as follows:

  • USD 200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.
  • USD 250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.

The minimum daily package covers the following services;

  • A minimum of 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star may require an premium payment).
  • All meals
  • A licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay
  • All internal ground transport 
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • USD 65 Sustainable Development Fee (SDF)

Surcharges

Tourists travelling in a group of two (2) persons or less shall be subject to a surcharge, in addition to the minimum daily package rates. These are as follows; 

  • Single individual – USD 40 per night  
  • Group of 2 persons only – USD 30 per person per night

The surcharge will not be applicable to representatives of foreign travel agents on business, study or promotional visit duly approved and cleared by TCB.

 Payment Transfer

Prior to your trip to Bhutan, you will be asked to wire the full payment for your holiday as well as USD 40 (one time visa fee) using the communicated process

Entering Bhutan

Travel By Air

There are flights to destinations that include Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai. 

Paro is situated at a height of 2,225 m (7300 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,876 m (16,000 ft). At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. There are also domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan. 

Flying into Bhutan’s Paro International Aiport is typically an exciting experience as the descent into Paro valley brings you closer to the mountain tops than most other flights in the world. The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting ones as the aircraft passes over four of the five highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you soar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga at their best.

Travel By Land

Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists. 

The town of Phuentsholing in south-west is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport at Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, you begin your journey to Thimphu, the capital city with travel time of about six hours for the 170 km stretch. 

Gelephu, in south-central Bhutan, is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 kms from Thimphu and the journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. One will have to traverse across three districts and the travel time will be about ten hours. 

The district of Samdrup Jongkhar in south-east Bhutan borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150 kms away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati is about three hours. Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, and from there over the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang and then finally into the capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 kms and will take you a minimum of three days to reach Thimphu.