Bhutan Destination

Travel Tips

Travel Insurance
To protect against unforeseen accidents and mishaps, it is advisable to obtain travel insurance from your country. It should adequately cover helicopter evacuation and medical assistance. For further information please consult with us at info@happyfeetmountaineers.com

Currency
The national currency is the Ngultrum (Nu). 100 Chetrum = 1 Nu. Exchange rate is approximately USD 1=Nu. 45.85. Indian Rupees circulate at par and is widely used except for the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs1000

American Express credit cards
VISA credit cards are accepted in few shops in the capital and important towns. American Express credit cards are accepted in few hotels and shops at a higher commission. Visitors are advised to carry traveller cheques (preferably American Express) with some cash (US Dollars or Euro)

Time Difference
Bhutan Standard time is 6 hours ahead of GMT. There is only one time zone throughout the country. The time in Bhutan is 30 minutes earlier than India, 15 minutes earlier than in Nepal, and 1 hour later than in Thailand.

Electricity and its Plugs and Sockets

230-240 volts, 50 cycles A.C. The current is variable. If you do bring electrical appliance, bring along an international converter kit with a set of adapter plugs.

Bhutan uses the standard Indian round-pin sockets which come in variety of sizes. Most European round pin-plugs work, but their pins are usually smaller than the Indian variety and fit loosely and provide an unreliable connection. There are plenty of Electrical shops in Thimphu where you can buy an adapter if you have any trouble plugging in an appliance.

Laundry
Hotels do the laundry, but very few hotels have dryers. Same day service is possible depending on the availability of sunshine. There are few dry cleaners in Thimphu and Phuntsholing.

Communication Facilities
Reliable telephone and fax services are available in all towns in Bhutan. International connections are excellent. Internet cafes are few in number and available only in a few places however most tourist hotels have internet connection. Prepaid Mobile SIM card can be purchased and used in most of the major towns.

Vaccinations
No Vaccinations are currently required for travelling to Bhutan.

Cuisine
Bhutanese delicacies are rich with spicy chillies and cheese. Continental, Chinese and Indian cuisine is served in most restaurants. In Thimphu, there are more choices with restaurants specialized in Chinese, Thai, Italian and Indian cuisines.

Shopping
The country’s exquisite postage stamps, lovely hand woven fabrics, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade papers, finely crafted metal objects, thangkas and other paintings are popular items purchased by foreign visitors. Buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden in the kingdom.

Gratitudes
In general, tipping is neither compulsory nor there is any fixed amount. It is dependent on how much the individual did to make your travel more enjoyable.

Clothing
While casual clothes are fine, sleeveless shorts and caps are strictly not permitted while entering into Dzongs, government offices and monastic festivals. To withstand Bhutan’s changeable weather, it is advisable to bring travel cloths and wamer clothes for evenings.

Photography
Bhutan is a photographer’s paradise. However, it is recommended to seek permission before you photograph people and places of interest.

Smoking in public places
On the 17th December 2004, in keeping with the decision of the Bhutanese parliament, the nationwide ban on the sale of tobacco products was implemented making Bhutan the first country in the world to do so. The maximum amount of cigarettes that can be imported for personal consumption is 200 pieces. For other tobacco, the maximum import amount is 50 grams. For pipe tobacco, it is three tins of 50 grams each.

Smoking in public places which includes parks, discotheques, entertainment centres, sports facilities like football grounds and archery ranges, commercial centres including shops, bars and restaurants, institutions like Dzongs, hospitals, schools, and government offices, public transport carriers, public gatherings such as monastic festivals, official receptions, national celebrations, and vegetable markets is banned.