The following information acts as a guide when traveling to Bhutan. This practical advice is not a comprehensive list but should provide some useful information for you as you plan your travelling.
Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) It is at par with the Indian rupee which is accepted as legal tender in the country. ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard. For concerned travelers a list of ATM locations throughout Bhutan is found here: http://www.bob.bt/contact-us/atm-locator/.
In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.
Financial institutions in Bhutan have been greatly enhanced and today we have a number of banks that cater to the needs of the people. Some of the banks that you can avail of while in Bhutan are the Bank of Bhutan Limited, the Bhutan National Bank, the Druk PNB and the Tashi Bank. Traveller’s cheque can be easily withdrawn and exchanged for local currency. Many of these banks provide internet banking facilities.
All major towns are well connected with electricity that runs on 220/240 volts with round hole two-pin and three-pin power outlets. It is recommended that you bring flat-to-round pin converters for your electronics if necessary, however, most hotels offer multi plug sockets. Bhutan is a carbon neutral destination. Our energy is clean and green generated by hydro power.
Bhutan offers immense opportunities for photography especially during outdoor sightseeing trips.
However you should check with your guide before taking pictures or filming inside Dzongs, temples, monasteries and religious institutions as in some area photograph/filming is not permitted.
You are free to capture images of the landscape, the panoramic views of the mountain ranges, rural life, flora and fauna, distinctive Bhutanese architecture and the exterior of Dzongs and Chortens in particular.
Some popular handicraft items available for purchase are hand-woven textiles of raw silk or silk, carved masks of various animals, woven baskets of cane and bamboo, wooden bowls known as Dapas, handmade paper products or finely crafted gods of silver. Other items you may be interested in are the exquisite Buddhist thangkha paintings or Bhutan’s wide array of colourful and creative postage stamps. You can come across these items in the many handicraft shops in and around Thimphu and in other major towns. Please remember that buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden in Bhutan.
CLOTHES AND OTHER PARAPHERNALIA
With great altitudinal variations, weather is quite mixed in Bhutan. So be prepared to face the unforeseen weather conditions. We expect visitors to dress modestly and respectfully especially if you are planning a visit to the monasteries, Dzongs and other religious institutions. Long pants and long sleeved tops should be worn when visiting such places. As a mark of respect, be kind enough to remove your hats, caps etc. as you enter religious and administrative premises, institutions and in any other place that you come across with the national flag being raised. You are advised to bring along walking shoes as there are some interesting short treks that may interest you.
Before embarking on a trip to Bhutan, please seek advice from your doctor with regard to vaccinations and appropriate medication you should have prior to your travels. As a minimum you should have tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A inoculations. To those under medication it is advised to bring enough stock of medicines.
Tour & Travel / Hotel / Visa / Pass
If you are coming by travel agent, all the necessary arrangements including visa/pass, transportation & accommodation will be done by your agent. If not, you have to process yourself.
Ganglingkha hotel, Phuntsho Pelri, Sinchula, Hotel Shanti Deva (Tel: +975-17119888), Thimphu Tower, Osel Hotel, Hotel Kisa, Hotel Jumolhari.
Tashi Namgay Resort, Hotel Dewachen
1. Bhutan Luxury Travel
2. Norbu Bhutan Travel
2. Tashi Tour & Travel
4. Tempa Tours
Starting Point Destination Distance Timing
1 Paro (Airport) Thimphu 55KM 2 Hours
2 Bagdora (Airport) Phuentsholing 165KM 4 1/2 Hours
3 New Jalpaiguri (Railway Station) Phentsholing 161Km 3 1/2 Hours
4 Phuentsholing Thimphu 176KM 6-7 Hours