Travel Tips

Travel within Bhutan is mostly by road and single lane paved highways with switch backs. At the moment there are some road widening works going on at some locations, the road can get bumpy with pothole. The air transportation are implemented in some parts of the country.

Climate:

The climate in Bhutan varies widely depending on elevation. The southern plains close to the Indian borders are Warmer and more tropical while the central valleys are warm and the alpine north cold. Summer months from June-August are warm with frequent monsoon rains. Spring and Autumn are cooler and winters spanning from December to February can be extremely cold. Only in the high Himalayan region of northern Part of the country, snow remain year round.

Language:

Dzongkha is the National language. English is the medium of instruction in schools and is widely spoken in the country.

Time:

Bhutan time is 6 hours ahead of GMT and there is only one time zone throughout the country.

Health:

Inoculations: No vaccinations are currently required for traveling to Bhutan. However it is advisable to have tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A shots.

Precautions: Avoid drinking unboiled water or ice cubes, amoebae and giardiae are quite common. People prone to car sickness should bring appropriate medicine as the winding roads on the mountains have plenty of curves and turns.

Anti-malarial medication is also recommended for all travelers who will be visiting rural areas of districts bordering India.

Tobacco/Smoking: Buying and selling of tobacco products is banned in Bhutan. Visitors may bring in 200 cigarettes for their own use, on payment of import duty of 200%.

Travel/Medical Insurance

All visitors are advised to get their own medical/travel or any other relevant insurance before visiting Bhutan as we do not have this facility here.

Money:

Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.), with 100 Chetrums = 1 Ngultrum. Ngultrum is fixed to the value of Indian rupee. Advise to our visitor that The use of Indian currency of denomination of rupee 500 and 1000 bill are probhited of use in the country. Visitor are advised to carry their money in the form of travellers checks and cash (US dollars would be best) which might be used for incidental purchases/expenses. Bill of US dollar denomination of 50 and 100 has better exchange rate then denomination of US dollar of 20 and below. Credit cards are accepted in some places. Visa credit cards is widely accepted than Mastercards. There are ATMs in Bhutan for domanstic. There are bank in all major towns and one can make exchang during working hours.

Electricity:

Electricity in Bhutan runs on 220/240 volts. The device that does not accept 220/240 volts, you will need to voltage converter. Most of the places will have round hole two-pin and three-pin power outlets. In Thimphu, electrical appliance shops stock adapter plugs, but they are unlikely to be available elsewhere.

Clothing:

Clothing: Due to the wide range of temperature and climatic conditions it is advisable to dress in layers. For protection against cold, layered clothing is better than one or two thick garments. Clothing should preferably be made from natural materials, which allow the body to breathe.

You will be offending people if you walk around in skimpy or tight fitting clothes. Shorts are not welcomed and women are advised to wear below the knee skirts or longer skirts or fairly loose trousers. Do no wear sleeveless T shirts (singlets, vests) as outer garments. Dress modestly and respectfully for visits to monasteries, dzongs and other religious institutions. Hats, caps etc. should be removed before entering the premises.

Shoes: Bring comfortable sport shoes for light hikes & sightseeing; hiking boots for treks, sandle for leisure evening,semi formal shoes for dinners/appointments/functions.

Others: Sunglasses/spare glasses, knife, hat, umbrella, camera, films and accessories,including spare camera batteries, insect repellent, hand cream, small sewing kit & safety pins, flash light, mirror, scissors, sun cream, sun burn relief cream, lip salve, soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream,anti-diarrhea pills, altitude & car sickness medicine and pressure point bands and any medication you take regularly, or might need to take for a periodically recurring condition, such as asthma.

Trekkers: It will be better to bring your own bring sleeping bag and thermal mats for your comfort.comfortable trekking boots which have already been broken in and plenty of pairs of socks, noting that woolen socks dry quicker than cotton ones. Also bring a water bottle and plastic bags for packing clothing while on trek,plastic bags are difficult to find in Bhutan as it’s banned in Bhutan.

Photography:

Bhutan’s landscape, buildings and people are some of the most photogenic in the world.While photographic local people, it is always better to take permission first. Don’t take your destination as a living museum. There are certain places such as monasteries and temples, where photography is prohibited. However, there is no restriction on photographing Dzongs and Goembas from outside. If you are uncertain about whether or not photography is permitted, please check with your local guide.

Customs:

Visitors are required to complete a passenger declaration form for checking by concerned officers on arrival. The following articles are exempt from duty:

(a) Personal effects and articles for day to day use by the visitor

(b) 1 liter of alcohol (spirits or wine)

(c) 200 cigarettes, on payment of import duty of 200%

(d) Instruments, apparatus or appliances for professional use

(e) Photographic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods for personal use

The articles mentioned under (d) & (e) must be declared on the declaration form. If any such items are disposed of in Bhutan by sale or gift, they are liable for customs duty. On departure, visitors are required to surrender their forms to the Customs authorities.

Import/export restrictions of the following goods is strictly prohibited:

(a) Arms, ammunition and explosives

(b) All narcotics and drugs except medically prescribed drugs

(c) Wildlife products, especially those of endangered species

(d) Antiques

Imports of plants, soils etc. are subject to quarantine regulations. These items must be cleared on arrival. Visitors are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items, especially of religious or cultural significance.