Taktshang tourists must pay entry fee

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Tourists visiting Taktshang must pay an entry fee of Nu 500.

To provide guided tour and maintain sacredness of Taktshang monastery, Dratshang Lhengtshog along with Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) introduced an entry fee of Nu 500 per person for tourists, starting March 1.

However many tourists are unaware of the fee system.

At Ramthangka, where the ticket counter is located, tour guides have to inform tourists about the entry fee and assist them to the ticket counter.

Otherwise, many who head to Taktshang without paying the fees have to return without getting an opportunity to visit the monastery.

The fee does not apply to Bhutanese visitors.

According to TCB, the fee system has been put in place to provide a better experience to the visitors and manage important places like Taktshang and its trekking routes.

“Tourist who pays US$ 65 will not have to pay the fee. Those who have to pay are the people who are here for business, to visit relatives, as an official guest and people who do not pay US$ 65 like Indian tourists, Bangladesh tourists and people from the Maldives’,” says the TCB’s Media Spokesperson, Damcho Rinzin.

He added that the students will have a discount of Nu 250 upon producing their student ID.

The tourist will receive guided tours of the monastery after reaching Taktshang.

The monastery remains open from 8 AM till 4 PM without lunch break.

Sangay Chezom, Paro
Mar 14 2017

Heavy snowfall in Bhutan

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Bhutan sees heaviest snow in more than a decade

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People living in the western, central and northern regions of the country woke up to a thick blanket of snow on March 11. Some isolated places of eastern Bhutan also received snowfall.

Senior meteorologist, Tayba Buddha Tamang, said that the Department of Hydro Met Services had a good amount of precipitation across the country on March 11. “We have correctly predicted the event.”

Bhutan sees heaviest snowfalls

Gasa recorded 11.4 inches of fresh snow, the highest among the six dzongkhags that received snowfall on the day, followed by Haa at 8.7 inches.

Thimphu and Paro recorded 7 inches of snow each while Bumthang recorded 1.8 inches.

Trongsa had traces of snow while the rest of the country received moderate rainfall.

Request for help

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Bhutan Hotel School Expanding!

I would like to ask you for your help.

As you know we have set up a non-profit hotel school in Bhutan: Bongde Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (BIHT)  www.bihtbhutan.org/

In a short time, we have achieved great success with the following milestones as proof:

  • 100% success rate! All students have found jobs in 5 star hotels
  • Our Restaurant was voted Best Restaurant in Bhutan,by Lonely Planet
  • Extremely low dropout rate
  • Costs kept to bare minimum. Lowest costs per student for any comparable Hotel School
  • Transformed lives:Students are underprivileged and unemployed. Some are even former drug addicts.

We are extremely proud of how far our students have come.

BIHT is entering its third year and will start training its third class. To deal with the increased demand, we have opened a new dormitory. This will allow us to train 70 students (doubling our capacity).

To further put BIHT on a solid financial footing we plan to open a quality bakery and coffee shop near the airport in Paro, Bhutan. This will generate more revenue and train students in baking, coffee, and retail service.

Last year, we received financial support from the Bhutanese government, but due to govt. budget restrictions, our grant funding has been cut to zero for 2017. This has created a shortfall of Euros 50.000 that we must fill.

I am reaching out to our friends now for help.

I am making a personal request to help BIHTYour support will allow us to continue our important work toimprove lives of disadvantaged youth in Bhutan and expand our important work.

Please support our work with a donation of Euros 1.000,–

Your support will fundamentally change lives.

Thank you

Dr. Rieki Crins

Founder of Bongde Institute for Hospitality and Tourism.

 

 

Connection to APIS

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Bhutan will be linked to the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (APIS) to improve internet connectivity in the country.  At present, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific is working on identifying the missing link among the 62 member countries.

“Bhutan being a landlocked country depends on the connectivity from neighbouring countries and in many cases, landlocked countries suffer from high internet transit cost” said Atsuko Okuda from United Nations ESCAP. She added “by working with neighboring countries, there is a scope that the cost can come down and at the same time we also recommend some policies and measures which can also reduce the cost as well as expand access to rural areas”.

A research found that millions of people in the region have poor access to

internet.

Exchange ngultrum to rupees

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Bank in Thimphu in a hope to exchange Ngultrum with Indian Rupees. Most of them are pilgrims waiting to go to visit holy sites in India.

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However, the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) allows an individual to exchange only Nu 5,000 a month.

Also, given the depleting reserve, RMA caters to only 50 individuals a day based on lucky dip.

“I came all the way from Trongsa to get Indian Rupees. This is my fourth attempt. Still I wasn’t lucky enough to be among the 50,” said Wangi.

Wangdi said he even got his ticketing done. “It is almost time to leave and I haven’t been able to exchange my money.”

Tenzin from Paro said he has been in Thimphu for a week and visiting RMA every day.

“It would be convenient if instead of 50, 100 people are given the chance. Those staying in Thimphu can bring their family members to increase the chance of getting Rupees, but not us.”

Officials from the RMA said the 100 rupee notes reserve is critical. They said they are in constant touch with the Reserve Bank of India for fresh supply of Rupee notes, following the demonetisation of the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in India, last month.