Bhutan Permit procedure

Discussion in 'Resources' started by Dimitrz, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. neerajbanga

    neerajbanga Well-Known Member

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  2. Praful

    Praful Guru

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    FYI update since it looks like this thread hasn't been updated in 2016.

    As of 2016, permits are no longer issued on Saturday & Sunday anymore. This was done previously, in a small office beside the permit office. That is no longer happening, verified this with the permit officers whilst I was there in Dec 2016.
     
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  3. bondhutto

    bondhutto Travel Dreamer

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    Ok - so I am here with some worrying questions.

    Planning to visit Bhutan as part of my upcoming Sikkim-Bhutan trip in October-November this year. And I am not teaming up with anyone so far, plan is all for myself, alone.
    1. I have read and confirmed in many places that it is not possible to obtain a permit if you are a solo traveler.
    2. So, if I go alone, what is the chance of getting a permit for myself and my bike? I am ready to show all relevant documents as well as my booking details in a Paro hotel.
    3. I have also heard that there are agents there who can help you tag along with other rider/driver group to obtain the permit. Question is, how much reliable is that? Should I take that risk?
    4. Is there any link to request for the permit online? Or it happens only at Bhutan consulates at Delhi/Kolkata and at the Phuentsholling office?
    5. In case I am turned down from getting a permit because of my solo journey, is there anyone in this forum who is/are planning to visit Bhutan on or around 29th October 2017?
    6. My ICICI Lombard insurance is valid for India only. Do I need to extend it to cover Bhutan as well?
    Looking forward to some solid reply.
     
  4. Manan

    Manan Active Member

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    Getting an extension on your bike insurance is easy and is also not expensive. I would recommend you to do that as that's what I had done too.

    Tagging along with someone else is quite simple for the permit. The only problem is that I had noticed that they need to stamp your permit when you go into some areas like Punakha ... And that needs the original. So if you have taken a joint permission ... Your dates of those also must match. Not sure how it can be done otherwise ...
     
  5. bondhutto

    bondhutto Travel Dreamer

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    I have just 2 days for Bhutan. So, am planning to stay only in Paro. Do a Paro-Thimpu-Paro on second day and then come back to Jalpaiguri on the third day.

    How to get other parties for tagging along? As per my plan, I am entering Bhutan on 29th October (although that is Sunday, so if there is some issue, I can change it to 30th October) - anyone from this group going to Bhutan by that time?
     
  6. Ashish Hasrat

    Ashish Hasrat Member

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  7. bondhutto

    bondhutto Travel Dreamer

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    Read the entire thread - till Paro. It seems to be a nightmare to get it done yourself. I'll rather catch an agent to do the fight for me.

    No. 5 in my questionnaire still remains unanswered though. Oh yes, I called up the Bhutan Embassy at Delhi today. The person on the other side of the phone was polite enough to answer my queries, and he said he hasn't heard any such sort of restrictions for solo travelers. He mentioned that the process is same for all - solo or group. But he provided me couple of numbers of the Embassy at Phuentsholing, mentioning that they could answer it better.

    I'll call them tomorrow.
     
  8. Ashish Hasrat

    Ashish Hasrat Member

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    I think its more a function of when you travel, we traveled in peak season when most people (Indians are the only ones permitted by road) cross the border by road as schools are shut. End October may not pose such a problem as Diwali this year is 17th Oct and all schools will have reopened by then.

    To answer your question on solo traveler I had met another biker who was solo and he said that they are a bit more critical of solo traveler. In order to circumvent any issues he had carried with him additionally over the required paperwork
    - His complete itinerary in Bhutan (Thimpu & Paro Only) with hard copies of hotel reservations to substantiate his claims.

    Of course now it is mandatory for all travelers to show booking confirmations as per the itinerary.

    Regarding insurance you can just get an geographical extension for Bhutan on your existing policy for a nominal amount. gets done in a day

    BTW there are no online links for the permit will have to do it in Phuentsholing
    Hope this helps...
     
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  9. bondhutto

    bondhutto Travel Dreamer

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    Thank you so much - but I just talked to couple of agents over there. They are flatly denying of getting me a permit because I'd be a solo traveler. And again after that they are saying like - "Aa jaaiye, we'll arrange".

    not getting much confidence.
     
  10. Ashish Hasrat

    Ashish Hasrat Member

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    Seems like they are building a premise to fleece you once you get there. I think you should just go there armed with all the documents + itenerary as mentioned and you should be good to go. If you have confirmed hotels and all the paperwork should not be an issue. I know the solo biker got his permit because I met him later that day at RSTA for his bike permit. Eventually I guess its at the discretion of the immigration officer at Phuentshoeling to grant a permit. Am sure if you present yourself well there will be no issue
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
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