Bhutan is known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon or as the locals say Druk Yul, Bhutan is a beautiful Himalayan nation. The magic in the atmosphere of this country is mesmerizing which will let you feel the sense of calmness within you. Until 1974, Bhutan is closed to the outside world that has preserved and protected its unique culture. To this date, the Bhutanese government has worked hard to preserve its legacy and the practices handed over from ancestors. Traveling to this country is a lifetime experience that will take you back in time. We, Go For Nepal Treks & Expedition is one of the authorized operators to run tours & treks in Bhutan. Get in touch with us to know more about the packages we offer.

Facts

  • Official Language: Dzongkha
  • Other Language: Nepali has spoken throughout southern Bhutan, whereas you will find many people speaking & understanding English as well as Hindi.
  • Power: 220V 50Hz. Adaptors D, F, & G
  • Currency: Bhutanese Ngultrum
  • 1 USD: Roughly 62 BTN

Best time to visit Bhutan

Bhutan has different climatic conditions in different regions. Easter Bhutan is warmer than the western part of the country, whereas southern Bhutan has a tropical climate. The northern part of Bhutan houses the great Himalayas and receives snowfall throughout the year.

The best time to visit Bhutan depends on the activity you are up to. October to December has clear and sunny days, while January to February is colder months. March to April is one of the best times to visit Bhutan as the climate is dry and pleasant.

In late spring, colorful flowers like rhododendrons bloom everywhere. June to August is the monsoon season. Likewise, September to November is the most crowded time of the year. The moderate climate and excellent weather attract tourists from all over the world. If you want to see the rare black-necked cranes, then visit Phobjikha Valley between late October and mid-February.

Entering Bhutan

By Air:

From Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Mumbai, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Guwahati, and Singapore, you will get direct international flights to Bhutan. To let you know, the flight between Kathmandu and Paro is the most thrilling and famous one. You will get to witness stunning views of snow-capped mountains (including the five highest mountains) and lovely scenery during the flight.

By Land:

Samdrup Jongkhar, Phuentsholing, and Gelephu are the only land borders that are open to tourists. Approximately 170 km east of Indian national airport, Bagdogra, the town of Phuentsholing is located. Crossing Phuentsholing, it takes around 6 hours to reach Thimphu.

Visa Information & Travel Requirements

Nationals from Bangladesh, Maldives, and India can get the visa at the port of entry on showing valid 6 months passport period ( (Indian nationals can also use their Voters Identity Card aka VIC). For another tourist, you need to get a visa clearance in advance. Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent. As a traveler, you also need to book your trip through a Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners.

You have to send a photo of a page of your passport to your tour agency. After you will pay you full payment of the trip, the visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) including a 40 USD visa fee. The visa clearance will be received within 72 hours. You have to show your visa clearance letter at the entry point, where your passport will be stamped with the visa.

Banking & Foreign Exchange

Ngultrum (Nu) is Bhutan's currency. The value is the same as the Indian rupee. There are no coins. Remember that USD 50 and USD 100 notes are given a better exchange rate than USD 20 notes or lesser. The smaller USD notes fetch about 5% less.

You can exchange cash at the foreign exchange desk at Paro Airport and Bank of Bhutan branches. The remote towns of Bhutan do not have ATM and banking facility, therefore make sure to do your banking work in the major cities like Paro and Thimphu. You will find foreign exchange services at some hotel, however, that can be limited to US Dollar exchange.

*Keep in the note that only a handful of places accepts credit cards, therefore it is also not a reliable source of payment. Also, only MasterCard, Visa, and American Express are accepted.

Electricity

The electricity outlets generally supply 220 and 240 volts AC in Bhutan. If you are plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then you will only need an adapter.

It is better to avoid carrying heavy electric appliances in remote areas. For your cameras, you can carry extra batteries with you to last your journey. In the major town, make sure to carry chargers and adapters.

Drinking water

Don't drink tap water at all. You can use it to brush your teeth only. You can find bottled water everywhere, which is the best way of drinking. You can also carry water purification tablets during your journey to remote areas. The hotels provide either mineral water or boiled water. On treks you will get boiled water, so you should bring a bottle to fill.

Bhutanese Cuisine

The unique species of Bhutanese make their dishes distinctive from others. Chilies are the main ingredient of almost every dish. Red rice is the most staple food along with buckwheat and maize. You will get rice served with a bowl of vegetables and meat. Make sure to taste EmaDatshi made with chilies and cheese while visiting Bhutan. Food like JashaMaroo or Maru (spicy chicken) and PhakshaPaa (pork with red chilies) are also very famous dishes to try.

Bhutanese Words & Phrases

  • English: Bhutanese
  • Greetings/Hello: Kuzoozangpo La (Response is also Kuzoozangpo La)
  • Welcome: Joen pa Leg So
  • How are you: Ga Day Bay Zhu YoeGa?
  • I’m fine: Nga Leg shom Bay Rang Yoey
  • Good wishes: Tashidelek
  • Thank you: Kaadinchhey La
  • What is your name? (for elders): Na giTshenGa Chi Mo?
  • What is your name? (for peers): Chhoeygi Ming Ga chi Mo?
  • Where are you from?: Chhoeygate lay mo?
  • How old are you?: Kay Lo gadem chi Yashi?
  • Good Bye: Log Jay Gay (means we’ll meet again)
  • Where does this road lead to?: Lam dig a thayjowmo?
  • Is it far: Tha ring sa in-na
  • Here: Na/Nalu
  • There: Pha/Phalu
  • Where?: Gatey?
  • Which?: Gadee?
  • What is this?: Aniga chi mo?
  • How much is it?: Dilugadem chi mo?
  • That’s too much: Gong bom may
  • Who is speaking?: Ga Sung Mo La?
  • Yes: Ong
  • I’m sick: Nganau may
  • Water: Chhu
  • Hot water: ChhuTshe
  • Milk Tea: Na Ja
  • Butter Tea: Su Ja

What to Pack for Bhutan?

  • A shawl/jacket or a shrug: These are mandatory for both men and women when entering a place of worship
  • Raincoat and Umbrella: In case you are traveling in the monsoon, these two things will be required
  • Pack light clothes for summer and monsoon, and heavy woolens if traveling in winters to Bhutan
  • Swimwear: If you wish to experience the traditional hot stone bath or hot springs
  • Comfortable flat shoes and a pair of trainers/hiking shoes
  • Motion Sickness Medicine: As the country has winding roads