Bhutan General FAQs
- Are there availability of hospitals/ health care centers along the way?
Main referral hospital is in Thimphu, but you can find health care center in other towns also equipped enough to take care of minor health related issues. Also there will be first aid in the vehicle you will be travelling and in staying hotel.
- Once the Booking is received ?
Once The Booking is received?
Once the booking is executed after depositing USD 200 from your end, generally, one question that governs the guests’ mind is what is next? In the sense, that what will be the next course of action or what will follow. Given below are the general processes that take its course progressively.
With the sole intent to provide you with an idea and the steps involved and how and what are means that help the process to takes its course smoothly, once the booking is received till the post trip.
1. Land Arrangements
With the deposit of USD 200, the process of land arrangements start, notably hotels, where we send the reservation notice, upon hearing from the concern hotels we update you the status. We send you invoice/receipt of USD 200, if possible, with the hotel status also.
If the flight reservation is done by us, we require legal name as it appear in your passport to book and purchase the ticket. Better , the copy of Passport, preferably colors in clear and legible nature. Even if you buy flight ticket on your own, we still need your passport for issuance of Visa at later stage.
3. Links for Information
And also our Guests Relation Manager will send you email comprising with links containing information about weather, check lists of thing to bring, tipping etc. which can possibly assist you to prepare well for your forthcoming trip.
4. Mode of Payments
The remaining payment is due in full 70 days before the start of the trip. Note all payments (other than initial deposit) by credit card/paypal are subject to extra charges of 4%.
We accept payment by wire transfer, check (including personal checks) drawn on any US banks, and money order without any additional charges.
Invoice/Receipt will be sent upon receiving the final payment.
5. Final Documents
As the name itself suggests, its last document you will receive other than Visa from us. Our intent is always to send the final documents as soon as possible. As it basically confirm the every aspects pertaining to the trip. It contains confirm hotel list, flight details, confirmed itinerary, notes on what to expect from the trip etc.
For Bhutan portion, visa is done by us. Department of immigration issue visa a month or sometime even less prior to the commencement of trip, which is supposedly a standard practice.
7. Post Trip Feedback
Once the trip is concluded, follow up email requesting the feed backs, insights and your perspectives in regards to the trip’s nature will be sent. It’s paramount for us to have your view as it’ll assist to identify the area, if any, that possibly have potential for improvement.
Please note that all the documents including Flight ticket will be sent via email. And also if, you have any queries pertaining to the concern subject, please feel free to ask.
As per the recent notification, health/Travel insurance copy & digital passport size photos are required to process Bhutan Visa
- Do you recommend travelers receive rabies vaccine?
Answer – US CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends Rabies Vaccine for those visiting Bhutan, India, Nepal, Tibet and many other countries not covered by our travels. Chances of coming in close contacts with animals are high and exposure to stray dogs are particularly high in Bhutan. Although the odds of being bitten are low but not zero and so for the peace of mind, it best to get pre-immunization rabies vaccine. However on the plus side, Rabies vaccination is available readily in almost every clinics and health centers in Bhutan and Bhutanese and tourists can avail for free if bitten.
- When is the Weekend Market in Bhutan and where is it?
Weekend Market in Bhutan or Bazaar. When is this weekend market and where are they held. Are they interesting to see it? Does my tour incorporate such visits or I have to do it on my own?
Weekend markets are where the farmers as well as other vendors come to sell their produce/crafts. It is colorful to see so many people and different products. The most popular weekend markets are held in Thimphu, Paro, Phuntsholing and Wangdiphodrang. Among this, the one in Thimphu is the most popular one, followed by one in Paro and Phuentsholing. Small seasonal weekend market may be held in Trongsa and other towns in Bhutan.
Thimphu weekend market starts from Friday noon and it is over by Sunday afternoon. The market in Paro and Phuntsholing are held on Saturday. Weekend markets are usually held in the site constructed by the city/town in an open area with roof and it is similar to Farmer’s market in America. Depending on the tour operators, and depending on your time of visit, we normally try and incorporate this visit, if it does not hinder other programs / itinerary of your trip.
- Young women Traveler to Bhutan
Young women Traveler to Bhutan. I am travelling to Bhutan as solo young woman to Bhutan? Is it dangerous or do you have suggestions, feedback?
Compared to most Asian countries or developing world, Bhutan prides itself on its lack of a class system and an absence of sexual discrimination. Bhutanese women tend to have the same rights as men, including rights to education, voting and holding positions in government. Women, both foreign and Bhutanese, are not subject to harassment and do not need to take any special precautions. Bhutanese are more likely to help a woman in distress than a man. Young men have a reasonably liberated attitude towards their relations with women. There are several opportunities for misunderstanding if you don’t make your intentions clear from the very outset. As with any countries you have been to, you cannot be silly and do all the things you won’t do otherwise in your home. Exercise General Caution.
- Does the Bhutanese government have any policies concerning the acquisition of handcrafts and other products (such tea) in small quantities?
Generally all the items (Handicrafts) that are displayed in Souvenir shop are endorsed and cleared by Trade and Custom. Acquisition of handicraft and tea in smaller quantity should not pose any problem as long as it met the guideline proposed by laws of the land and upon showing the receipt.
- What is the Tipping structure in practise in Bhutan? Is it same for trek and tour?
Tipping is optional than mandatory. However, it is expected in our trade and has become a kind of tradition. Tipping is more of goodwill gesture or token of appreciation shown for the services rendered to guide and driver.
The nature of trip in Bhutan involves driver and guide with you throughout the trip. In some cases we have seen guests tipping generously in exchange of good services rendered. However, the standard practice is 8 to 10 USD per day for guide and driver for single group of family, friends or for a single traveler. And it is based on assumption of ratio 70:30 to Guide: Driver.
After having said that it is subjected to length of stay also, for instance if it’s a 15 days tour, the corresponding amount at the end could be a bit high when added each day. In such case, we advise our guests to exercise discretion based on the standard of services they received. In the same vein, for the shorter duration tour say 4 nights we again advise to adopt the principle of exercising your good judgment based on above mentioned factors. Ultimately, when summed up at the end, it would be safe to say to have baseline of 90 to 100 USD for longer tour and approx. 60 to 70 for shorter one and anything further up in addition as I said is up to you and believe me! Our guide and driver won’t be unhappy about it.
As for our group journey, perhaps it’s only natural to be higher than private trip in term of Tipping as it entails more number of members. Depending on the strength of members, you should pool together on daily basis among you or as per you suitability with the base amount of says USD 110 to 120 at the end. And less, again if the group size is small.
For the trek, the trend has been that the guests gather among themselves a slightly higher amount than cultural tour and at the end certain portion are distributed among the trek supporting staffs also. It again comes down to exercising your discretion for the concrete sum of amount.
As said tipping is optional, if any particular circumstance arises where you feel tipping is not necessary, then don’t tip.
- Do you recommend trip insurance?
Who do you recommend to buy trip insurance?
Yes, we do recommend Trip Insurance, There are many company providing trip Insurance, generally its based on guest discretion. For us to recommend, please visit the link https://www.windhorsetours.com/travel-insurance/
- What voltage and electrical fittings do I expect in Bhutan?
Bhutan’s electricity is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. You will need a voltage converter if your device does not support 230 Volts at 50 Hertz. Electrical outlets in Bhutan accept 3 types of plugs: three round pins arranged in a triangle, two round pins and two parallel flat pins with ground pin.
Wind Horse Ranch and Riding Club FAQs
- Dear Wind Horse, Hope this finds everyone well. I would very much love to do the 15 day Snow Leopard Trek. My only available dates are appx from October 18….onwards. Do you have other trekkers that would like to go at that time, if others are willing, i do not mind joining another trekking team. Please advise. Best regards, Kitty
If it does not meet our group departure date or for some reason you wish to do at your independent date. In that case, we can post your date in our website and invite other interested member. Generally, our group journey date revolve around attending a festival or good weather. In case no one sign in, still it will be a guarantee trip, however price for single person will apply.
- Snow Leopard Chomolhari Trek sounds incredible. However, why should we choose this trek versus some of the other treks you provide? Do you recommend any other Bhutan treks??
All treks in Bhutan are high altitude one, which require fair amount of good physical conditioning and shape in prior. And all other treks are good in its own way and sense. Jomolalhari trek still remains most popular in Bhutan for being moderate, its scenic beauty, mountains, wild life and standard time frame to complete the trek. In order to recommend other trek, it basically depends on the nature of physical shape and your liking. For instance, Snow Man trek, which can stretch as long as 32 days, very strenuous, which are recommended only for seasoned trekker, other simpler one like Druk Path and Bumthang owl trek for the shorter duration.
- How many guides/staff are typical for each group?
Trek – One guide, cook, 1 or 2 assistant (depends on size of group) and horse man.
- Please clarify the accommodations, logistic regarding the 7 nights we are camping on trek: Is each tent for 2-persons?
In term of trekking gears we have recently upgrade our equipment. It’s state of art. Hotels are selected for cleanliness, comfort and in line with TCB (Tourism Council of Bhutan) guideline. They are 3* or class A type. Local transports are modern and comfortable. Yes, each tent can easily fit 2 people
- How soon after sending Wind Horse Tours the $200 booking deposit will we receive the invoice containing the finalized price?
Finalised price will be known about a month before the departure date when we close the booking and the final price are based on number of participants for that particular group journey.This is for group journey. As for culture you will know immediately
- How is spring different from autumn for Bhutan (Chomolari) Trek?
Spring is more renowned for blooming of wild flowers in technicolor. The valleys, trail on the course of trek are carpeted with spectrum of colorful array of different flowers and untamed vegetation, a visual feast for nature’s lover. As for autumn, the weather is clear and beautiful, the warmth that autumn bring forth is clarity in visibility of far off mountains and majestic peaks.
- What is the best time of year to do the Chomolhari Trek? Why?
All the departure dates mentioned in our website are best time. It coincides with local festivities and weather is at its best during this time around in Bhutan.
- How many of these Bhutan Chomolhari Trek trips have Wind Horse tours run?
We started this trek since 1998 and say about 2-4 groups we run in a year, excluding private trip.
- Please confirm the maximum number of guests Wind Horse Tours allows per trip is 9 for Chomolari Trek
Yes, our maximum number is 9 people per journey. In fact all our group journey basically stretch up to 9 participants. It has been designed to ensure that it’s not over crowded so that it may pose managements deficiency nor lesser number of 3 or 4, where it become difficult to avail cost effective measures