Venue and Accommodation
The 21st Steering Group Meeting and 14th Regional Seminar will be held at Le Méridien Hotel, Tshokhang – Grand Ball Room.
The 2nd LEN Meeting will be held at Club Lounge, Level 4 in the same hotel.
For ADB/OECD-funded participants, the Secretariat covers the costs of your economy class flights and accommodation with complimentary breakfast. Upon registration, the Secretariat will arrange your travel and hotel booking at Le Méridien or Hotel Druk or Gyelsa Boutique Inn. Please note that you are responsible for all incidental charges, such as phone calls, mini bar and TV charges. Please settle these charges upon check-out.
For self-funded participants, upon receipt of your registration form, the Secretariat, in coordination with ACC, will reserve a standard room for you on your personal account. Since the event is during a peak tourist season in Bhutan, advance payment needs to be arranged. Kindly note that reservation will only be confirmed upon advance payment and in the event of cancellation or amendments made after 22nd September, 2016 or in the event of no-show, full room tariff will be imposed. Self-funded participants who prefer to stay in another hotel may contact Ms. Kinley Wangmo of ACC Bhutan.
Registration for the Steering Group Meeting will be on 8 November 2016 at 8:00 - 8:50 AM at the Tshokhang – Grand Ball Room.
Registration for the Regional Seminar and LEN meeting will be on 9 November 2016 at 8:00 - 9:00 AM at the Tshokhang – Grand Ball Room and Club Lounge, Level 4 respectively.
Visa and Passports
All delegates attending the meeting and regional seminar will require entry visa to Bhutan, except nationals of India, Bangladesh and Maldives whose passports are endorsed with entry permit and seal upon arrival at the airport.
While it may be possible to obtain visas from the nearest Bhutan Missions and Consulates, delegates are advised to submit the duly filled visa application forms and scanned copy of your passports to ACC in advance to process the visa. Passports must have a validity of six months at the time of entry.
Visa fee is Nu. 2,500 or approximately USD 40 and must be paid at the Immigration upon entry at Paro International Airport. Delegates who are holders of official, diplomatic and UN passports are exempted from paying visa fees.
Airlines, Airport and Transportation Information
Only two airlines operate to/from Paro International Airport, namely ‘Druk Air’ and ‘Bhutan Airlines’. The month of November is a peak tourist season in Bhutan, so it may be difficult to obtain a seat. Thus, participants are advised to contact Ms. Kinley Wangmo of ACC Bhutan upon registration, for flight reservations. To this effect, participants are kindly advised to connect your international flights (if applicable) to depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok to Bhutan on 7th November, 2016 at 6:00 am.
Paro International Airport is the only international airport serving in Bhutan. It is located 47.4 km (29.4 miles) from the Capital (Thimphu) and takes about 1 hour by car to reach the Hotel.
The ACC officials will be at the airport to receive delegates. At the arrival section of the airport, kindly look for ACC officials holding a placard with the message “21st Steering Group Meeting, 14th Regional Seminar and 2nd LEN meeting of the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific, 8-10 November, 2016”.
The ACC has arranged the airport transfers of all the participants. We encourage you to confirm your arrival and departure flight schedules with the Secretariat at least seven (7) working days before your arrival date to ensure the proper arrangement of your airport transfers.
Food and Beverage
Breakfast: Hotel accommodation at Le Méridien and Hotel Druk includes complimentary breakfast. Complimentary breakfast will be served at Latest Recipe Restaurant (at the lobby) and Restaurant respectively. However, hotel accommodation at Gyelsa Boutique Inn do not include complimentary breakfast. Details of other hotels will be communicated directly to delegates upon reservation.
Lunches and dinners: Lunches are arranged by the Royal Government of Bhutan and will be served at the pre-function area of the Hotel during the SGM and the seminar. A welcome dinner for the participants of the Steering Group Meeting and the Regional Seminar will be hosted by the Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission of Bhutan on 8 November 2016 at 7:00 PM. A cultural show and closing dinner will be hosted by the Royal Government of Bhutan on 10 November 2016 at 6:30 PM. The venue for the dinners will be communicated at a later date.
Coffee breaks: Coffee, tea and snacks will be served during morning and afternoon breaks outside the meeting/seminar rooms.
Language: The country’s national language is Dzongkha. English is widely spoken and understood in Bhutan.The meeting and regional seminar sessions will be conducted in English. All documentation will also be in English.
Currency: The unit of currency is Ngultrum (Nu.). The current exchange rate (as of 18 September, 2016) is approximately 1 USD = Nu. 68.10. Credit cards may not be freely accepted by all the hotels and businesses. Delegates are advised to carry cash which can be converted at the banks and currency exchanges. There is also a foreign exchange desk available in the Bank at the Paro International Airport. You may need to show your passport when you exchange money or travelers cheques.
Time: Bhutan Standard Time is 6:00 hours ahead of GMT. In winter, Bhutan has early sunset and late sunrise.
Electricity: Power is supplied at 230 Volts. The standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power sockets that are used are of type D / F / G.
Climate and weather: Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is situated at 2300 meters above sea level. Thimphu’s winter season spans from December through March. November is an autumn season characterized by bright, sunny days and some early snowfalls at higher elevations. The average temperature in Thimphu in November ranges from 50C – 17.90C. Delegates are advised to bring warm clothing.
Public transport: Taxis and city buses are available to go around Thimphu.
Sightseeing: ACC will arrange an optional programme- either a hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s nest temple) or a trip to Punakha (other district) on 11 November 2016 after the Seminar. This leisure programme will be at the delegate’s own expense for both funded and self-funded participants. While transportation will be provided by the host, all other expenses i.e. entrance fees, food, accommodation and extra nights in Bhutan will have to be borne by the delegates themselves. Kindly confirm if you wish to join any of the two programmes with Ms. Kinley Wangmo of ACC.
Other pertinent information: Bhutan is a tobacco-free country and it is prohibited to smoke in all public places. A person may import tobacco or tobacco products for personal consumption only as per the following permissible quantity: 800 sticks of cigarettes; or 1200 sticks of bidis; or 150 pieces of cigars; or 750 grams of other tobacco or tobacco products upon 100% tax payment of the value of the product.
For more details on customs restriction, please visit http://www.doat.gov.bt/index.php/customs/
Reminders to ADB/OECD funded participants
For ADB/OECD funded participants, please keep your boarding passes on your way to Bhutan. In case you purchased your ticket in your home country, please bring the original copy of the receipt. Please submit these documents, together with a photocopy of your tickets, to the Initiative’s Secretariat (Ms. Marilyn Pizarro).
Please note the following contacts during your stay in Bhutan:
Mr. Karma Thinlay, Tel: +975 17696655; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Kinley Wangmo, Tel: +975 17424438; email: email@example.com
The Secretariat of the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific provides this information solely as a resource for its users. Neither ADB/OECD nor ACC guarantees the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of this information, and will not be liable in any capacity for damages or losses to the user that may result from the use of this information. Special thanks to ACC Bhutan for providing important information in this document.