Please read through these frequently asked questions that provide specific information on how to prepare for your Bhutan Quest, including packing suggestions and other relevant information.
What are the dates for the Bhutan Quest?
March 28 - April 4, 2019
1 Night layover in Bangkok
6 Nights & 7 Days in The Kingdom of Bhutan
What kind of pace can I expect on this Quest?
Our itineraries are designed to include mind-blowing experiences from a Bhutan insider's perspective, including immersing ourselves in the Bhutanese culture, spiritual traditions, and pristine wilderness. Our Quest will include activities such as hiking to Tiger's Nest monastery, inspiring conversations with Bhutanese wisdom keepers, meditation in Bhutanese temples, and executive education to design your next evolution of personal and professional impact.
The schedule is pretty full but we do leave time for integration, rest, and spa treatments. The treks to the monasteries start at 7,000 ft and go up to 9,500 feet, so if you are older or typically find these treks strenuous, please do let us know in advance. On past experiences older participants just took their time and were able to enjoy the experience fully.
Who will be on the trip with me?
The group will include senior leaders and influencers from top organizations throughout the world. Expect high-net worth individuals, C-Suite execs, partners at major financial institutions, thought leaders, emerging leaders and their families.
Will this trip be unique?
What makes Bhutan magical - beyond the natural beauty - is the generosity you see in the eyes of the locals combined with the powerful spiritual energy that is consciously cultivated by the monks and monasteries located throughout this tiny nation.
On your Abroad Quest you will stay in luxury accommodations and be guided by locals on how to experience the best Bhutan has to offer.
7 nights stay in luxury hotels: Le Meridien Bangkok, Zhiwa Ling Ascent & Uma Paro
ExecEd for self awareness, leadership, purpose and mindset development
Mind-blowing cultural immersion and selfless service experiences
Pilgrimages to ancient monasteries
Rejuvenation and spa treatments
Session with a senior executive coach to empower your personal mission
$250 daily Bhutan visa fee
All meals, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks
Community dinners with Bhutanese environment, Buddhism, and government officials sharing their knowledge and passion for Bhutan
Powerful professional networking and collaboration opportunities
Comprehensive travel insurance policy
Tips for 8 Bhutanese guides and drivers
90-minute online group circle post the Quest
Dedicated local concierge
Put simply, once you arrive in Bangkok, we take care of the rest
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day begins with breakfast, followed by an excursion exploring Bhutan’s breathtaking cultural and physical landscapes. Some days we may hike up to a Buddhist monastery tucked deep into a pristine mountain valley, where we will blessed in an age old ceremony and witness peaceful and simplistic monastic life. Or sit in an outdoor forest classroom, learning and engaging with some of the most brilliant minds on the topics of mindset, purpose and ancient wisdom. Returning back to our hotels for rest or indulgent spa treatments, we will then reconvene for community dinner, some evenings graced by Bhutanese guest speakers, sharing their knowledge and passion for Bhutan’s policies on happiness, environment and wellbeing.
Every day will be filled with new discoveries, inward and out. Given the diversity of experiences, we advise always traveling with layers for the varying temperatures throughout the valley.
Are my flights included?
You will need to arrange your own flights to Bangkok (BKK).
We have held round-trip flights from Bangkok to Bhutan and the cost is additional.
When should I arrive in Bangkok?
You need to arrive to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) sometime on March 28, with a preference for morning or early afternoon, as we will begin our gathering with small welcome dinner at the resort. We have arranged a 5-star accommodation at a nearby hotel, Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi, for you to rest before our flight to Bhutan the following morning.
When should I arrange my return flight home?
On April 4, 2019, our flight will land in Bangkok around 4.05pm. We recommend leaving at least 4 hours of space between flights, and you may want to consider staying one night in Bangkok. Sometimes weather can cause delays when leaving Bhutan on small planes that need to fly over large mountains.
Furthermore, and we cannot stress this enough, please do your best to ease back into your work life. This is a powerful experience, so launching back into 10-12 hour workdays is not advised. You can work, just do so at a slower pace.
What are our flight details?
There are only two flights into Bhutan each day, one at 5 a.m. and the other at 6:30 a.m. Fortunately, we reserved the 6:30 a.m. to give you as much rest as possible in Bangkok.
Friday, March 29
Departure from Bangkok: 6.30am
Arrival in Bhutan: 9.55am
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Departure from Bhutan: 10.35am
Arrival in Bangkok: 4.05pm
I wish to book additional nights stay in Bangkok, how can I do this?
Send us a message and we will connect you with our associate at Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi, a 5 star airport hotel, who will offer special rates for additional night stays.
I’m arriving early morning on March 28th. Is there early check in?
Check in is at 1pm at Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi. If you are arriving before this, here are a few options for early arrivals:
Supplementary charge of half day room rate to check-in early. Contact email@example.com to connect you with our liaison.
Store bags at the concierge before check-in. There is a changing room which is located at the Kids club at the hotel, and you will need to contact hotel staff upon arrival / check-in at lobby.
Enjoy breakfast from 06:00-10:00 hrs at THB 650++ (THB 765.05 net).
Latitude 13°39' (Coffee house / bar in hotel) serves coffee and pastries starting from 07:00 hrs.
The spa will operate from 10:00-23:00 hrs (last booking will be 22:00 hrs).
There is shuttle van service for all in-house guests to Mega Bangna (shopping centre) http://www.mega-bangna.com/main/portal/aboutand and you can take the BTS Skytrain to the city - Udomsuk Station.
Where will we be flying into?
We will be arriving in Paro in a deep valley on the bank of the river Paro Chhu.
Do I need a visa to visit Bhutan?
Yes, all nationalities except for Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian Nationalities will need a visa. Our team will arrange a visa for you as it’s included in your package. All we need is a copy of your passport.
Do I need a visa to stopover in Bangkok?
The following 55 countries are eligible for Visa Exemption Rule.
The following 21 countries on the list of countries are eligible for the Visa on Arrival
Persons who are not eligible to enter Thailand under the VISA ON ARRIVAL and VISA EXEMPTION RULE are advised to obtain visas with the Royal Thai Embassy prior to their visit.
What is the size of the cohort?
We limit cohort sizes to 15-20 participants, along with 7-10 staff. This ensures we have an intimate group where everyone experiences focused personal and professional transformation. This also makes it easier to form meaningful relationships with other participants. By the end of the Quest, it is our hope that you form friendships and professional collaborations that last a lifetime.
What should I pack for this Quest?
Bhutan Airlines allows checked baggage up to 30kg for free. Carry-on luggage cannot exceed 7kg.
Dimensions can be found here.
Should you have more than 1 checked baggage and need additional weight, extra baggage charges are as listed on their website follows:
BKK to Paro (Bhutan) - Roughly US$6 / KG
Paro (Bhutan) to BKK - Roughly US$3 / KG
Best times to visit Bhutan are March to Mid June, and September to November when it's basically warm, dry and sunny. Temperatures are usually around 20 °C, however the nights can be relatively cool, so bring warm clothes and layers.
Dress in Bhutan tends to be casual and modest. Your clothing should be breathable, hand-washable, and quick-drying.
Long pants (zip-off pants are very useful)
Shorts, mid-thigh or longer
Long black socks (for monasteries)
Sweater, jacket, windbreaker
Rain jacket and/ or rain poncho
Sun hat with brim and chin strap
Bandana (for dust, washing, etc.)
Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes, closed toe, preferably waterproof
Tennis shoes, sandals, dressy shoes, and/or flip flops
Comfortable, breathable socks
Water resistant or water proof gear for the rafting
You’re invited to bring a nicer outfit for our final ceremony dinner at Uma Paro.
Suitcase or duffel
Day pack for daily activities and easy access
Waterproof plastic bags for organizing gear and dirty clothing (ziplocs and garbage bags work)
Money belt, security pouch, document organizer
Store electronics in sealed water-proof bags (double bagged if possible). Remember to set the date and time on your cameras.
Headlamp or flashlight, extra batteries
Camera / Video camera ~ however we will have a cameraman who will capture the trip beautifully so we can focus on the experience and teachings
Shampoo, conditioner, hair gel
Hairbrush, mirror, hair ties
Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
Lip balm with sunscreen
Small towel and washcloth
Feminine products for women
Personal medication(s), if any
Notebook and pen
Small umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season or even for sun shade
Will there be filtered water provided?
Yes, water will be provided. We advise you to carry your own reusable water bottle, to reduce the number of plastic water bottles that get thrown out daily in the country.
What about attire for monasteries and temples?
At monasteries, it is not culturally appropriate to wear hats, shorts or sleeveless shirts. Shoes are always taken off outside before entering the shrine or temple. Socks are allowed. Floors of these temples sometimes tend to be cold, so we recommend wearing warm socks. Smoking, consumption of alcohol or narcotics in and around temples/monasteries or religious monuments is a taboo, and so is shouting, yelling or laughing with loud voices in and around religious area. Do not point with your forefingers to a person, religious figures or statues. Instead a stretched palm is used as a reverence or respect to point to someone. When visiting a temples or monasteries, small donations are welcomed.
Do I need to purchase travel insurance?
Abroad includes a comprehensive travel insurance policy for each of our participants. We will require you to sign a liability waiver form at the beginning of the trip.
Do I need to worry about malaria?
According to the center for disease control and prevention, the estimated risk of malaria in Bhutan is very low.
While you may encounter a rare mosquito or 2, malaria is not found in the areas you’ll be visiting in Bhutan.
What is your deposit and cancellation policy?
Given we have limited spaces available, and we are traveling to Bhutan during the heart of high season, we require a 100% upfront payment to hold your space and demonstrate your commitment.
We understand that life and business happens and you may need to cancel. In those cases, we will refund:
75% of your trip cost 60+ days before the trip
50% of your trip cost 30+ days before your trip
If you need to cancel within 30 days, we will do our best to work with you as we try to fill your spot. It's important to recognize that very few people travel to Bhutan on less than one month's notice, so we may not be able to fill your spot and many of our costs are fixed upfront.
What about currency?
The currency in Bhutan is known as the Ngultrum and is listed at exchanges as “Nu” or “BTN.”
Although Bhutanese Ngultrum is only in circulation in Bhutan, foreign currency is widely accepted. Hence, travelers can always opt to convert some of their foreign currencies to Ngultrum upon arrival, or at the banks of Bhutan. Indian Rupees are widely accepted in Bhutan.
Is there anything I should know about purchasing items in Bhutan?
When buying handcrafted goods or antiques from a local village you're may receive a paper receipt. During your departure, you may be required to show proof of purchase should you purchase antique goods in Bhutan.
When using currency exchange, banks and making larger purchases and receipts are issued, make sure to hold onto these documents. You may be required to provide the paperwork when exchanging the money back to the Indian rupee or another currency upon leaving the country.
At the end of my trip, if I have spare Ngultrum, where can I exchange it?
Since Bhutanese Ngultrum is only circulated in Bhutan, we suggest that prior to your return from Bhutan, you should spend your remaining Ngultrum!
I plan to not carry much cash to Bhutan, are credit cards widely accepted?
Currently, not all places in Bhutan accept credit card and at times credit card machine may fail during the transaction. Further, certain credit cards may not be accepted in Bhutan. Most international cards will not be able to withdraw money from Bhutan local ATM as well.
We suggest our travelers carry at least US$1,000 in cash during their travel to Bhutan.
Is tipping customary?
Tipping is not compulsory in Bhutan, however we like to show our appreciation for the generosity and conscientiousness of our 8 Bhutanese guides and drivers with a group tip at our final closing ceremony. A way of sharing gratitude for their stories about their people, culture and history.
We have included tips in the cost of your trip so you don’t have to worry about having cash with you. Should you wish to tip someone on the team who really touched you, or people you meet along the way, we advise you to change US$ to Ngultrum at the airport and offer to them directly.
Is there laundry service at the hotels we are staying at?
Yes, all hotels offer laundry services. We recommend bringing quick-drying clothing.
What does the dedicated local concierge do?
Our local concierge is responsible for making sure you don't have to think about anything other than your personal and professional growth. Your Abroad Quest is a high-touch seamless travel experience made possible by our local concierge and all the wonderful locals we work with. By the end of this trip, it is our hope that you express your sincere gratitude to Lisa and our Bhutanese guides for all they are doing to give each of you a memorable life experience.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: 14 Jan, 2019