If you have already booked your trip to Bhutan from any tour agency then no hassle, they take care of all your needs and facilities. This article and the advice given in it is for those people who want to travel cheap and on a budget. Me and my friend made a plan for Bhutan for 7 days. For this, I tried to get information on the Internet to roam the budget but did not get anything like this. We still visited Bhutan and let me tell you what we learned and experienced. Also how can you roam Bhutan cheaply.
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Excursions In Bhutan
• Whenever you reach a place, inquire at a nearby bus or taxi stand for places to visit. Remember that bus facility is not available in all places. If possible, book in advance and plan your trip accordingly, otherwise there will be a lot of trouble.
• There are two bus stands in Thimphu. One is City Bus Stand and the other is Thimphu Bus Stand (RTSA). From city bus stand you will get bus to go to nearby places. But from Thimphu Bus Stand only buses will be available to go to big cities of Bhutan.
• City buses are much cheaper than taxis. In Bhutan, you have to take a ticket in advance to board the bus, it is not that you have boarded the bus anywhere and took the ticket by paying the conductor. You can buy tickets for buses from the city bus stand and select shops.
• A limited number of buses are available from Thimphu to Paro. Two buses of Dhug Transport run daily, one at 9 am and the other at 2 pm. One or two buses ply for any other transport, but inquire about them first.
• Two buses of Dawa Transport go from Paro to Phuentsholing. One at 9 in the morning and the other at 2 in the afternoon. Metro Transport also has 3 buses which depart at 8:30 am, 9:00 pm and 2 pm. But nothing can be said about them, so inquire from their office in front of Bharat Petroleum Pump.
• It takes 5 hours to reach Thimphu from Phuentsholing. You will get to see a beautiful view through the road. Book your tickets a day or two in advance, don’t risk booking tickets on the same day.
• For going from Paro to Tigers Nest, any cab driver will charge Rs 300 to 500 per person. If you want to save some money and don’t mind walking a bit, ask the driver to drop you off at Tigers Nest Junction. For this, you will have to pay 50 rupees in the sharing cab. From here, it will take 1.15 hours to reach the track’s starting point. The road is spectacular, and you can click on some lovely photos here. Your walk will not go to waste.
• Always carry your permit with you as it is needed at the check post. I had kept my permit in my bag, which took some time to take it off from the roof of the cab. These drivers are firm on their time, so they got a little angry with me.
3.Food And Drink In Bhutan
• Non-veg food is available in every corner in Bhutan. Well, getting vegetarian food is not so difficult, but if you want a good vegetarian, then you will have to spend some time looking for it.
• Alcohol is cheap in Bhutan. It will be found in every store and shopping mall. It’s like you get cake in India. But cigarettes are almost banned, so they are expensive too. You can try Red Rice Beer, which is pretty good in taste.
• A friend of mine in Bhutan said that India has 20 types of spices, but Bhutan has only one, and that is chili. They put it in every meal they eat. I only saw food made from chili. It is hotter and pungent than food made from chilies in India.
4.Where to stay in Bhutan?
Yes, If you are thinking to staying in bhutan if may hike your cost. But if you want, you can find the hotel on your budget. You have to hit the road and search every corner.
• Find out about Hanuman Mandir Dharamshala by visiting Jaigaon. I have heard that they give room for one night even for less than 10 rupees. But there are often bookings in advance as they rent out their buildings for weddings.
• You can visit Sahu Seva Trust in Jaigaon itself. The rooms and toilets here are clean. For this, the one-night fare will be Rs 300 for two people.
Some important things related to Bhutan
• For getting the permit, you have to keep these things in mind 1) Your recent passport size photograph
2) Valid Passport and Visa (Required for everyone except Indians, Bangladeshis, and Maldivians) or Voter’s ID card
3) Copy of hotel confirmation
4) Travel Itinerary.
• The list of these documents will be found on the notice board of the immigration office. For the itinerary, write the date, source, and places to visit and live on a blank sheet of paper. Make a set containing the permit application, copies of documents, and photographs.
• If you are a student, don’t forget to carry your student ID card. You may be asked to show this at the immigration office. You will also get many benefits from this card; you will get a 50% discount on the entry of many places in Bhutan.
• You can buy a government B-Mobile (Bhutan Telecom) SIM card by showing the permit at the immigration office. Its network coverage is so good that you will get network even at the height of Phajoding Monastery. To use the Internet with this SIM card, you have to make some changes to your APN.