When going to Bhutan, it is important to know your visa options. There are two types of Bhutan visas: trans-Tibet and continental. Each has its own requirements and offers a slightly different experience.
Trans-Tibet visas allow you to travel to Tibet, but require you to return to Bhutan within six months after visiting Tibet. The six-month clock starts when you enter the country as a tourist.
continental visas do not allow you to travel beyond the country they grant you access, but do give you freedom of movement.
Book your flights to Malaysia
When you get to Bhutan, you’ll want to be sure to book your flights in advance. Most airlines offer internet-based check-in and -jlobility systems, but if yours does not, you can still book a flight two to three weeks in advance via Phunetai.
Phunetai allows users to create an account and then upload their flight confirmation as well as the flight schedule. You will then have to confirm your arrival and departure dates via email before traveling.
Traveling from Kuala Lumpur Airport (KLAC) to Phuntsokhmo International Airport (BHX), where most international airlines fly into Dzongu National Park, takes about an hour on public transportation.
Book your visa for Bhutan
Bhutan is a landlocked country in the Himalayas, located near the tri-junction of Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Although it is not always advertised as international travel destination, Bhutan is a fascinating place to visit.
There are only two ways to enter Bhutan – through its capital Thubten Sangpe and its smaller town of Phuntsh Hoarpa. Both require a visa, which can be obtained in advance through the Bhutan Immigration Department.
Neither town has much outside of its temples and monasteries so it is recommended that you bring your visa with you so that you can leave and return to it without a hassle.
How Much Does It Cost? The cost of the visa is approximately US$500, but this must be paid prior to arriving in Bhutan.
Pack warm clothes
Bhutan is a very cold country, so be sure to pack plenty of warm clothes. You can also buy thermal leggings and sweatshirts, but these are recommended underormonal weight-lifting leggings or sweatshirts that are heavy-duty.
Both types of material will help keep you warm! If you are not aware of which material is which, they all look very soft and comfortable.
Also, check out whether your thermal legging or sweatshirt is lined or non-lined. Linings retain heat better and are more expensive. If you want to save money but want more comfort, opt for a non-lined thermal piece.
Check the label too to see if it shows how hot the clothes are in Bhutan or if they have a cooling property.
Know the customs of Bhutan
When you arrive in Bhutan, you will need to visit the local police to have your passport and visa inspected. If you have any crimes or missteps recorded in your past, these authorities will look over them to make sure you are a safe and honest person to travel with.
After this, you will need to register at a local clinic or hospital to find out your medical needs before allowing anyone into your home or hotel room with you. You may also be required to take a public-health checkup and/
inspection of your residence before moving in, depending on where you live.
These steps are important for maintaining the stability and safety of Bhutan as a country. Local residents play an important role in society and as health-carers, ensuring people are safe enough to live their lives.
If something were to happen against someone living there, it would be important for them to be aware of this so they could come forward and help ensure the safety of others.
Prepare your documents
Before leaving Malaysia, you should have your national identity card, passport, visa and immigration documents ready to go.
You can save time and energy by doing these before the trip, so make sure to do so. Or you can mail them ahead of time if you are very careful about taking them with you.
If you are travelling as a single person, your passport is enough for most countries. If you are travelling with family members or a non-headof-household member, then your national identity card is required.
Your visa can be obtained through your country’s embassy or high commission in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, but be aware that it may be more expensive than just getting it through the local tourism board or consulate.
Finally, make sure to have a good plan for yourself in case something happens during the trip that requires medical attention.
Get airport pickup or take a taxi
If you are traveling by plane, have your plane arrival and departure times arranged in advance. If you are traveling by taxi or car, get the driver’s phone number and call him/her to let him or her know your schedule.
Many taxi and car service companies in Bhutan are ready and willing to pick up tourists at the airport. If you have a small luggage size, you can even request the driver to stay put until you arrive so he or she can carry your smaller items.
If you are traveling with a large luggage, make the decision whether to bring it in a trunk or outside of it. A lot of travelers choose to leave their big bags at the hotel until they arrive because they feel it will be more comfortable for them to transport it outside of their house.
Stay in a hotel with hot water
Bhutan is quite a cold country, and staying in a hotel with an adequate heat system is a great way to prepare for the upcoming winter. Most hotels in Bhutan have this, so do not worry about being taken care of.
Additionally, check if the hotel has a fire safety system in case you are unlucky enough to have to stay inside during winter weather. If it does, then you have more security against fires happening because of wrong use.
Staying in a hotel that has a climate control system is also helpful when traveling alone as there will be someone else to help you with anything freezing or warm.
Finally, check out the emergency response systems at your hotel. If they are good enough, get yourself some emergency response tools like an automatic fire fighting system or an escape ladder. You never know when something might happen, and you will need them.
Enjoy the local food
While most people in Bhutan are vegetarians, you will still find some hungry meat eaters. The local cuisine is full of vegetables and not too sweet, so it is easy to find something to eat.
If you are vegetarian, you can enjoy the local food without eating meat! There are many sauces, seasonings, and spices that are delicious.
Many of the dishes are called gmera or gmeri which mean meat in Thai. While these words may sound offensive, they are actually used to refer to a kind of fish called gmera.
Enjoying the non-meat food in Bhutan is an important part of visiting this scenic country.