Other Bhutan Travel Informations
Bhutan Tour Guides and Gratuity
All the tours and treks are guided by knowledgeable Bhutanese guides, trained and certified by the Tourism Council of Bhutan. They all speak English. Japanese, German and French speaking guide can also be provided on request and at an additional cost. Gratuity and tipping is a standard practice in Bhutan, quantum of which depends upon travelers to travelers.
Photography in Bhutan
Whether you are on a tour or in a trek, Bhutan provides immense opportunity for photography. Please follow your guide's instruction while visiting Dzongs, monasteries and other monuments as they are places of religious significance. Sometimes, photography inside the Dzongs and monasteries is not allowed. If you wish to photograph local people in Bhutan, you can ask them by gesture or the guide will help you get the permission.
Medical and Health
Anybody who is physically fit and enjoys outdoor life can participate on our treks and tours. Some of the treks maybe difficult because of high altitude. Hence it is advisable that they take fitness test, especially, for treks going to an altitude in excess of 4000 mts/1500 ft. There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Bhutan or within the continent. However World Health Organisation recommends that you are protected against Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis A, Malaria, especially if you are travelling to Bhutan. If you are suffering from heart related problem, please consult your doctor before considering to take a trek.
Bhutan Travel Insurance
None of our packages cover your travel insurance. It is advisable that you have full comprehensive insurance cover to protect against unforeseen contingencies. It should also adequately cover baggage and travel delays; helicopter evacuation, transportation and medical assistance in case of treks.
Food in Bhutan
Bhutanese food is rich with spicy chilies and cheese. Ema datshi (Chilli and cheese) is the most famous dish in Bhutanese Cuisine and is recognized as National Dish. A normal Bhutanese meal consists of rice and vegetables with abundant chilies. Meat is widely consumed in Bhutan. Common meat includes pork, beef, chicken, fish and yak. However, all hotels and restaurants affiliated with us offer delicious Indian, Chinese, Continental and Bhutanese cuisine. Restaurants normally serve mixture of all style where both vegetarian and non-vegetarian items are included. In some of the places in Bhutan, pure vegetarian restaurants are also available. However, most of the restaurants are happy to serve pure vegetarian dishes on prior information. While on trek, you will be provided with cooks trained and certified by the Tourism Council of Bhutan to serve you dishes suitable to your tastes.
Accommodations in Bhutan
For travelers traveling through us all the accommodations shall be arranged in a minimum of 3 Star category hotels. However in places not having hotels meeting international standards, we shall arrange accommodation in places where basic facilities and standards are met. For Travelers traveling with our Luxury Packages, accommodations shall be arranged Aman, Uma and Taj, Termalinca, etc as per their conformation. During Treks, accommodations shall be arranged in Tents. Travelers wanting to experience farm houses/village houses can do so with prior information. Till recently, hotels in Bhutan were not rated in star category. However recently the Tourism Council of Bhutan has taken steps in classifying accomodations in Bhutan according to the National 5 Star rating system, where by the Tourism Council of Bhutan has been trying to
- Farm Stays
- Home Stays
- Guest Houses.
Money, Credit Card, ATMs, Banks and Shopping
Bhutanese currency is known as Ngultrum. 1 Ngultrum is equal to 100 chhetrum. 1 USD is approximately equivalent to 62 Ngultrum. Visa Card and maestro cards have been introduced in Bhutan and you can withdraw money from most of the ATMs around the country using these cards. Most of the shops in Bhutan do not accept credit cards, and visa cards. It is always better to have Bhutanese local currency when in Bhutan. Travelers cheque and foreign currency can be exchanged in the bank. Your Tour/ Trek guide will help you to exchange the amounts.
The following banks operate in Bhutan.
- Bank of Bhutan
- Bhutan National Bank Ltd.
- Bhutan Development Bank Ltd.
- T Bank Ltd
- Druk PNB Bank Pvt. Ltd.
Tobacco/Smoking and Custom Declarations
Bhutan is a tobacco free country and every citizen here have a duty to protect Bhutan from tobacco and tobacco products. There are certain rules to be followed in regards to tobacco. Please do not carry tobacco products over the limits. For more information please follow the link below.
The Tobacco Control Rules and Regulations 2011
Custom Regulations at the Airport - All passengers must fill up a custom declaration form provided at the Airport. Everything must be declared in the form. Passengers coming as tourists should surrender the custom declaration form to the custom authorities at the time of departure.
Free Baggage allowance:
Personal belongings of the traveler either carried in hand or checked with a carrier excluding motor vehicle and merchandise to a maximum of 20 kg.
A person below the age of 15 shall not be eligible for a free baggage allowance.
1 bottle not larger than 1 liter of alcohol.
200 Cigarettes may be brought after paying 100% customs duty and 100% sales tax.
Clothing and Other Packing for Your Bhutan Tour
It is advisable to bring warm cloths for the months of January, February, March, April, September, October, November and December. The clothing may include woolen tights to wear, under trousers , down jacket or coat. For the other months cotton clothes plus a woolen sweater or light jacket will be sufficient. Other things to pack are, sunglasses, contact lenses, casual shoes and boots for hikes and treks, washing kit, shaving kit, towel, hat, umbrella, camera and accessories, maps, insect repellent, sunscreen lotion, flash light or torch and batteries, lip slave or soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, etc. Carry enough money if you do not have provisions to withdraw in Bhutan and and DO NOT FORGET to carry your VISA APPROVAL LETTER AND YOUR PASSPORT.
Time, Measure, Electricity and Battery
Bhutan's standard time is +6 Hours GMT. Bhutan uses 220/240 volts system. Electricity supply is generally good but it may be less stable in smaller towns around the country. The sockets used are the Indian round pin sockets. The adapters may be found in the hardware shops around Thimphu.