Bhutan budget tours
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Jan 31, 2013 12:42 PM Last Post By: orangutan
Nov 13, 2012 5:01 PM
Bhutan budget toursHey
I am going to be based in China from next May and will be travelling around from there. Although I know Bhutan is very expensive I have got it in my head that I want to go there even for afew days...
I know the Government sets prices but the tours that I have seen online are way over that and since I will be alone I have to pay hefty single supplements. Has anyone been and can recommend a budget travel agency for a short trip? Would it be easy enough to arrange a trip from somewhere in China or Nepal where I will also be?
Thanks in advance, if anyone has been and would like to pass on what area is best to travel in Bhutan that would also be amazing!
Nov 13, 2012 5:42 PM
1No, you don't get it. The Government sets a minimum per day so there is no budget tour in that regard. I believe you will find by looking on the Lonely Planet pages located conveniently nearby that the minimum is a comfy 200+ a day. That is what you have to aim at. In KTM it will be easy to locate an agency that will set you up like that. Check out Blue Poppy as a local firm.
Nov 13, 2012 8:20 PM
Nov 14, 2012 7:38 AM
Nov 14, 2012 9:54 AM
4Be aware you can't travel directly (i.e.: without going through a third country) from China to Bhutan (or v.v.) as there aren't direct flights between both countries and the land border between them is closed.
Nov 16, 2012 7:31 AM
5After Bhutan, you are welcome to the NE states close to Bhutan for a cultural experience far more richer but way cheaper than Bhutan. Welcome to the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur n Mizoram where there's no restricted area permit, experience the colourful tribes of the north east states.
Enjoy your trip!!
Nov 17, 2012 5:48 AM
6My Bhutanese friend's family runs a travel agency in Paro. You can talk to them. Singey can book a tour and flight on Druk air. You will not pay more than the government fee. He can't book air tickets to get you to a airport that is served by Druk Air.
If you want an interesting perspective on where to go read " A Portrait of Bhutan" by Queen Wangchuck. She describes her experiences trekking all over bhutan
SINGEY RABGYEL ;
Nov 17, 2012 7:00 AM
7You might also want to check on other Bhutanese tour companies like Bhutan Mountain Holiday and Dukar Tours.
Nov 20, 2012 8:20 PM
Jan 18, 2013 10:38 AM
9Haha, posts like this might come close to breaching TT's new standard's of commercial advertising! So, I'll stay away from recommending one of the zillion's of travel agents for Bhutan, only that make sure they seem professional and know what they're doing. Eg, one agent i wrote to 3 times in a row gave my flight details different to the dates I wanted to visit, so didn't know how they expected to organise a tour for me. Book with a Bhutan-based company, a highly extensive list list can be found on Bhutan's tourism website, the only issue is you have to wire the money to them in Bhutan, although i could do this with my online banking. Booking with a foreign-based company for a Bhutan tour means they take commissions, book you with the same agent for the same experience and costs much more than these already very expensive base costs:
Also, as of the beginning of last year, the base cost went up to US$250 a day, plus a single supplement of, I think, US$40 a day. Plus $20-25 for the visa, flight costs (via Kathmandu, Calcutta and Dhaka are the cheapest, $130-200 each way and expense money there (for alcohol, souvenirs, etc). As i understood, there was no 'low season' discount, as all these costs given are set in stone by the government; there is no budget tour!!!! Unless you are lucky enough to be Indian, and then you can enter for free and travel on your own. All that said, its the world's best splurge, as you get a car, guide, driver, unlimited, delicious food and ultra-plush 5-star hotels.
Plz....DO NOT pay more than these costs! Then, you are just being ripped off as the base costs are assigned to give the companies get their share, which they get after you have left the country and all has gone well. At least, write to several companies and compare costs and traveller reviews. Make sure that they do exactly what you want too, while you are there. I found my guides didn't want to do anything that involved much walking (eg, Tiger Nest Monastery), which irritated me seeing how much i was paying to be there.
A back door way is the get 'invited' by a Bhutanese person, my guide offered this to me if i wanted to come back claiming he has family in the immigration department, and u could travel on your own this way. Don't know if any westerners have tried this, though.
Jan 24, 2013 7:05 AM
Maybe you have already been to Bhutan, but in case you haven't and fancy travelling with someone instead of alone; I'm planning to go as well :)
No idea about when exactly tho, but ideally somewhere this year
Couldn't send you a PM, but let me know if you wanna get in touch through email or so
Jan 27, 2013 7:40 AM
Jan 27, 2013 9:24 AM
Jan 27, 2013 11:11 AM
Jan 31, 2013 12:42 PM
(3 star Hotel)
From US$125.33 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$8.39 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$150.00 per night