…with immediate effect

Dechen Dolkar   

Tourists visiting Taktshang will have to pay Nu 2,000 hereafter. The National Monument Committee revised the entry fees for eight existing monuments and sacred sites for all tourists beginning July 15.  

According to the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), the fees were charged at eight sites for tourists during pre-pandemic. The sites include Taktsang, Taschichho Dzong, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Memorial Choeten, Changangkha Lhakhang, Kyichu Lhakhang, Rinpung Dzong, Punakha Dzong and Chimi Lhakhang.

TCB Director General Dorji Dhradhul said that during the pre-pandemic the entry fees were levied Nu 1,000 at Taktsang and the other seven sites charged Nu 500.

“The fees have been revised and doubled because of the inflation,” the DG said.

However, those children below 18 years will get a 50 percent concession on the fees and children aged five years and below will be exempted from entry fees.

The DG said that until September 23 this year, the entry fees would be collected by the TCB based on the itinerary. After September 23, as the borders open, the respective monument sites will collect the entry fees.

Similarly, from September 23, entry fees of Nu 1,000 will also be charged at eight other locations which include Jampa Lhakang at Bumthang, Jangtsa Dumgseg Lhakhang and Dobji Dzong at Paro, Rinchending Goenpa and Palden Tashi Choling Shedra at Phuentsholing, Buddha Dordenma and Simtokha Dzong at Thimphu, and  Trongsa Dzong.

These monument sites will be restricted to locals only on six auspicious dates, which include the 15th of the first month (Chotrul Duchen), 10th day of the third month (Zhabdrung Kuchoe), 15th day of the fourth month (Saga Dawa Duchen/Lord Buddha Parinirvana), 4th day of the sixth month (Chokhor duchen/first sermon of Lord Buddha), 22nd day of 9th month ( Lhabab Duchen/ descending day of Lord Buddha) and 10th of day of fifth month which is the birth anniversary of Guru Rinpoche.

Dorji Dhradhul said that this was because usually on these days Bhutanese people crowd these sites since it is also a national holiday.

“The tourists will not be able to avail of proper services at the sites since it will be much more crowded,” Dorji Dhradhul said.