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.
Travel / Medical Insurance
The Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan has initiated a travel and medical plan solely for our visitors. Travel insurance can be provided through your Bhutanese tour operator or international partner. You may also visit the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan website at www.ricb.com.bt for more information.
Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) It is at par with the Indian rupee which is widely accepted in the country.
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 Traveller’s cheque can be easily withdrawn and exchanged for local currency.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.
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.
Tipping is a purely personal matter. We leave it up to you as to whether you want to give a gratuity to your guides and drivers. However, if doing so, we recommend that you place the gratuity in an envelope.
The country has a good network of telecommunication facilities. Most hotels and cafe’s offer Wi-Fi internet access. Bhutan has a comprehensive mobile (cell) phone network with global roaming also assessable.
Clothes & 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.
Measures, Weight & Time
Bhutan ascribes to the metric system and most weights are measured in gram (g) and kilogram (kg). The standard time is 6 hours ahead of GMT.
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.
Bhutan is one of the safest countries in the world however you should still exercise caution when visiting. Please ensure that your belongings especially your passports, cameras, wallets and purses are properly secured. Please refrain from leaving such items within sight or in locked vehicles while sightseeing.
Avoid drinking tap water which has not been boiled or ice cubes in drinks at all times as most water sources in Bhutan are untreated. One can easily acquire affordable treated and bottled water.
Also, Bhutan has a duty to protect its citizens from drugs and tobacco products. To do this we need your help and cooperation. Please co-operate if stopped and asked about your baggage. Please do not carry tobacco goods in excess of the set limit. For more information please see following link. Tobacco Control Act
Public holidays are observed throughout the nation. However, each Dzongkhag has its own list of regional holidays that are observed especially during the annual Tshechus (Religious festivals). For such a list, please contact your service provider or travel agent.
Courtesy of World Airline News
Regular flights to Paro International Airport are operated by state owned Drukair and private Bhutan Airlines. Tickets should be arranged in advance, ideally 6 months or more, especially in high season.
Reservations and tickets
We will be happy to process non-binding reservation of your flight. Once reservation is confirmed, we will get time limit, usually few weeks or even months, during which you need to purchase the ticket. We will be happy to handle the process for you, just contact us.
It’s also possible to buy flight tickets through the airlines on-line booking system linked below. In this case you need to buy tickets immediately, paying by card. Please mind, that some customers were reporting problems with on-line booking system, so we don’t really recommend this.
Flight schedules and costs
See the airlines’ on-line booking systems below for up-to-date schedules and costs or contact us for the information.
- Drukair online booking system
- Bhutan Airlines will restart their regular service from 17 September 2022.
Destinations and transit points
- From Europe and Middle East the best connection is via New Delhi or Kathmandu.
- From west coast North America or South America the New Delhi and Bangkok comes as obvious options.
- From Australia, East Asia and east coast North America the best transit is via Bangkok.
Another options include Singapore, Dhaka, Kolkata and Mumbai. In some days, it’s also possible to fly to some minor airports in India like Bagdogra in West Bengal (gateway to Darjeeling and Sikkim), Gaya in Bihar or Guwahati in Assam.
Paro International Airport
Paro International Airport in Bhutan has a fame of the most difficult international airport in the world. It lies in the elevation of two and half thousand meters and it’s surrounded by almost five thousand meters high mountains. However, there is no reason to be afraid to fly to Paro. Pilots are well-trained and they never take any risks. In case of bad weather, there are chances of delays. In some cases, the flights can be diverted to other airport. Stay cool, it’s for your own safety.
Apart from Paro, there are three more domestic airports in Bhutan: Bumthang (Batpalathang) in central Bhutan, Yongphula in the east and Gelephu in the south.
We will be happy to help you with flight ticket reservation. Please do contact us.