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10th World Dendro Conference

Travel / Visas / Accommodations / Conference Venue and Bhutanese Society

NEW: June 7, 2018. Conference venue locationOpenstreetmap.org.

conference venue map

The Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) Thimphu campus, is located within the vicinity of the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources, and the Institute of Traditional Medicinal Services. All or one of these offices are know to local taxi drivers.

Travel

Druk Air, and Bhutan Airlines (Tashi Air) are the sole carriers with service to Bhutan. Only Druk Air offers daily service to Paro, Bhutan from Bangkok, Delhi, Singapore and Kathmandu. Solely for the purpose of example, services offered by Druk Air are used in the following table Regardless of the airline there are only two ways to book flights to Bhutan, 1) through the airline directly via their internet booking services, or 2) through a representative of the airline embedded within a travel company registered in Bhutan. Examples of current fares for service to Bhutan (e.g. Druk Air) from selected ports of departure are found below. Overland bus service from all major cities in India is available as well.

Minimum, round-trip, economy fares (USD) collected from the web in August, 2014 for flights departing on May 24, 2015* and returning one week later.

A) DRUK AIR only

Bangkok/Paro - $800 Kathmandu/Paro - $450
Delhi/Paro - $640 Singapore/Paro - $1120

B) Any airline

Beijing/Delhi - $750 Beijing/Bangkok - $550
Buenos Aires/Delhi - $2000 Buenos Aires/Bangkok - $2100
Cape Town/Delhi - $850 Cape Town/Bangkok - $840
Frankfurt/Delhi - $750 Frankfurt/Bangkok - $720
London/Delhi - $800 London/Bangkok - $800
Moscow/Delhi - $500 Moscow/Bangkok - $650
NYC/ Delhi - $1100 NYC/ Bangkok $1500
Rome/Delhi - $750 Rome/Bangkok - $800
San Francisco/Delhi - $1300 San Francisco/Bangkok - 1100
Stockholm/Delhi - $600 Stockholm/Bangkok - $725
Sydney/Delhi - $1000 Sydney/Bangkok $850
Tokyo/Delhi - $850 Tokyo/Bangkok $550
Toronto/Delhi - $1050 Toronto/Bangkok - $1200

*Fares made less than two months prior to departure can be double amounts shown.

Visas

All visitors, except nationals from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, must have a visa to enter Bhutan. From The Royal Government of Bhutan we have permission to invite registered conference participants, accompanied by a spouse or partner, to Bhutan as a government guest on a 30 day, single entry visa. For participants arriving by plane, application for the Government visa can only be made with a confirmed ticket in order to match the date of visa issue with the date of arrival. Upon arrival in Paro participants from countries requiring a visa will be asked to pay a ~40 USD one time visa-processing fee paid in the local currency (Nugltrums). A foreign currency exchange service is available in the arrivals hall.

Note: To apply for this visa you will be asked to complete a visa application, and submit scans of your passport, and passport sized photo. Your passport MUST be valid for more than 6 months beyond your intended visit. There will be no exceptions.

All Tourist travel within Bhutan is registered and coordinated with travel agencies to maximize the efficiency of resource and minimize both cultural and environmental impacts. One of the beneficial consequences of this policy is that Bhutan is one of the safest on the planet. In order to visit Dzongkhags (Districts) other than Thimphu and Paro, visitors must have permission in the form of a route permit. Since the route permitting procedure is coordinated with the visa application procedure, any intention you may have for participating in more than just the conference (June 9th-16th) must be reflected in your registration form. Once your registration form is submitted, and you have selected those components of the conference you wish to attend, there will be little to opportunity to change your in-country program. What this means is you will not be able to visit locations outside the Thimphu and Paro Dzongkhas.

In the coming weeks we will be announcing the selection of post-conference excursions, from which you may select one. Depending on the level of interest we will consider adding further options.

The recommended steps for attending the World Dendro Conference in Bhutan are:

  1. Register for the conference/receive registration confirmation and visa guarantee
  2. Secure/purchase travel plans
  3. Send itinerary to conference organizers
  4. Receive visa
  5. Prepare for a rewarding experience

Accommodation:

Thimphu, Bhutan is one of the region's fastest growing cities. There are over 100 hotels in Thimphu and the number is increasing yearly. Current rates are as low as seven USD/night to as high as 1550 USD/night. A 30 dollar/night room is clean, includes private bath, hot water, phone and TV. Numerous websites (e.g., www.hotel.bt) provide information on Thimphu hotels, rates and services, including airport shuttles. We expect many participants will appreciate this range of possibilities.

Simple meals for one person cost about 5 USD at many of the local eateries. In more pricier restaurants and hotels one can expect to pay ~20-50 USD per meal. Finding a hotel, or restaurant within minutes of anywhere in the city center is not a problem as Thimphu is not large and there are plenty of public and private transportation options. Conference attendees will be given the choice to find and book their own hotel reservations over the Internet, or request assistance from the Bhutanese Secretariat. If it appears attendance may be higher than expected then we will consider block bookings at selected hotels in the low - moderate price range (e.g., 25-100USD/night). Personal accommodation assistance will be provided to all organizers, invited speakers, and Fieldweek instructors.

A map of suggested hotels within walking distance of the conference venue is available.

Bhutanese Society:

The Kingdom of Bhutan has a generation of young and brilliant leaders in place to lead its academic and governmental institutions. In Bhutan innovative ideas are being developed and brought into reality, like the ethos of 'Gross National Happiness' concept, and the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER), As a consequence of this outstanding leadership, the Bhutanese have developed many high standards of logistics and safety, making Bhutan an ideal location for environmental studies in the Himalayas, and possibly creating a new standard for the world. The Bhutanese people are very proud of their development particularly in the manner by which their path to development paved over their fundamental elements of their cultural heritage.

Walking through many of the larger towns and villages of Bhutan you will find most people, particularly the younger, can speak or understand English. You will also find the Bhutanese to be extremely polite, helpful, and above all respectful. We would appreciate it if you will show in kind respect for their culture and recognize that we are equally viewed in return as representing ours. If you do this you will find the Bhutanese to be remarkably pleasant people to work with. They value education highly and try to learn as much as they can when in the company of those they feel comfortable with.