Useful Information

USEFUL INFORMATION

Accessibility

Entry into Bhutan can be made either by land or by air. Druk Air, the National Air Carrier of the country operates regular fights to / from Paro to Delhi, Kolkatta, Bagdogra, Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Bangkok. By surface, entry into Bhutan is possible through southern border town of Phuentsholing or Eastern border town of Samdrup Jonkhar. This frontier town is about 6 hours drive from Thimphu and Paro, 5 hours drive from Bagdogra and 7 hours drive from Darjeeling and Gangtok. Like Samdrup Jonkhar is approx 3 hrs drive from Guwahati of North-east state of Assam.

Entry Permit

Indian Nationals travelling between Bhutan & India do not need Visa. An identity document, be it either passport or an election commission I. D card is, however required for presentation at the immigration during entry, to obtain an entry permit along with 02 passport size photographs. Indian Nationals travelling between Bhutan and Nepal require valid passport.

Route Permit

It is required for those travelling beyond Dochula pass, in central and western Bhutan.. The Route Permit is processed & issued in Thimphu, only after arrival in Bhutan and on producing Entry Permit which travelers obtain on arrival. Two copies of passport size photos required while processing Route Permit. Also this permit can be processed only during working days (Mon-Fri) and applications are accepted from 9-11 a.m and permit granted on same day from 3-5 p.m in summer and 3-.4 p.m in winter.

Climate

Bhutan’s climate is quite unpredictable. The weather can vary dramatically from place to place and day to day. In Thimphu and Paro valleys, the winter daytime temperature averages 16 degrees Celsius during clear days and drops well below freezing point during the night. The fluctuations are not so great during the summer and the daytime temperature rises to mid-twenties Celsius.

Clothes

From May to September, cotton clothes are sufficient, plus a woolen sweater or light jacket. From November to the end of April, however, you will need very warm clothes. Comfortable sports shoes are also recommended. Mountain boots are not necessary unless you are trekking.

Food

Bhutanese delicacies are rich with spicy chillies and cheese but are normally tempered to the taste of the visitors. All our selected hotels and lodges offer delicious Indian, Chinese, Continental and Bhutanese cuisine. Hotels normally serve a mixture of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items on buffet style however pure vegetarian meals also served on request and prior information.

Currency

The Bhutanese currency is called Ngultrum (Nu.) and is at par with Indian Rupee. Credit cards (Amex and Visa cards) are accepted by only few limited establishments. Indian Rupee is acceptable all over Bhutan including Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations.

Language

The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha and a large number of dialects are spoken. English has been the language of educational instruction since 1964 and is widely spoken. Also locals at popular tourist destinations understand and speak Hindi.

Religion

Mahayana Buddhism is the state religion and the majority of Bhutanese people follow Drukpa school of the Kagyupa sect.

Security

Bhutan is very safe destination with lowest crime rate in the world. In general you will find Bhutanese people very warm, hospitable, helpful and friendly.

Telephones

Telecommunication is well developed and efficient in Bhutan. The country code is + 975. If you wish to bring your own mobile phone please contact your manufacturer/supplier directly to obtain up-to-date information.

Photography

You can photograph almost everywhere in Bhutan. The people are highly photogenic and everyone seems to wear a smile. However, very often the Bhutanese are camera shy so use your discretion at all times and when in doubt ask verbally or by gesture. Also while photographing Dzongs, monasteries and temples, please check with your guide.

Shopping

Shops are normally open between 0900-2000 Monday to Sunday. Markets are held regularly and are a rich source of local clothing and jewelry.

Customs

The Bhutanese authorities strictly monitor export of any religious antiquities of any kind form the kingdom. Personal electronic devices and reasonable amount of cigarettes and alcohol are permitted into the kingdom.

  • The following goods may be imported into Bhutan:
  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
  • 1 litre bottle of spirits
  • 250ml of eau de toilette

Bhutan is non-smoking country however visitors can smoke at private places only.

Time

Bhutan is half an hour ahead of IST (Indian Standard Time).>

Electricity

The voltage supply in the Bhutan is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. Standard Indian round pin sockets are normally used at all places.

Gratuities

Tipping is not included in our tour prices and it is at discretion of guests.

Opening & Closing of Places of Tourist Interest

There are certain places which are closed on weekends and other days. These places are listed below :

  • Ta Dzong – Paro (national museum) and Ta Dzong – Trongsa (museum) : closed on Sun & Mon (now opened all days except govt holiday until further notice)
  • National Library – Thimphu : closed on Sat, Sun & Government Holidays
  • Folk Heritage Museum – Thimphu : closed on Government Holidays and on Sat open from 10.30 a.m to 1.00 p.m and on Sun open from 11.30 a.m to 3.00 p.m
  • Textile Musuem – Thimphu : Closed on Government Holidays and on Sun and on Sat open from 9.00 a.m to 4 p.m
  • Institute of Zorig Chusum (Arts & Crafts School) – Thimphu : Closed on Sun & Government Holidays and on Sat open from 10 a.m to 12 o’clock
  • Institute of Traditional Medicine – Thimphu : Closed on Sat, Sun & Government Holidays