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General Travel Information

Photography:

Bhutan’s landscape, architecture, people and mountains are the most photogenic sights in the world – it is, after all, called “Earth’s Last Shangri-La” for a reason. Photography is not allowed in some places of religious significance, mostly inside temples and scared places where cameras are prohibited.

Shopping:
Many travelers bring home with them good quality local products like wood carvings, thangka paintings, textile woven cloth and incense sticks.

Electricity and Voltage:
Electricity runs 220/ 240 volts. You may bring along international adaptor.

Media:
Bhutan’s oldest newspaper is ‘Kuensel’ established in the early 70s. 5 newspapers are in circulation in Bhutan. Online newspapers are also available –
www.kuenselonline.com
www.bhutantimes.com
www.bhutanoserver.com

The main radio station is the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS), which has programs in four different languages – English, Dzongkha, Nepali, Sherchop.

Communications:
Communication facilities are available in almost all parts of the country. There are fixed line phones and mobile services in all twenty dzongkhags (districts). Internet service is also there in almost all parts of the country.

Standard mail services like DHL and Federal Express are available in major cities like Thimphu and Paro.

Time difference:
Bhutan Standard Time (BST) is 6 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Bhutan is 30 minutes ahead from India standard Time. Time zone is same throughout the country.

Laundry:
Laundry facilities / services are available in most hotels. It is advisable to check the hotel’s pricing schedule and returning policy prior to using the services if available.

Money Exchange:
The Bhutan’s currency is called ‘NGULTRUM’, ‘Nu’ in short.

Ngultrum is officially pegged to the Indian Rupee. The Bhutan Government has banned tue use of Indian Rupee 500 and 1000 notes.

Visa is the more widely accepted credit card, while other credit cards may be accepted only at deluxe / luxury hotels.

Commercial banks have ATM facilities but only for local bank accounts.

Money Exchange facilities are available for travelers’ cheques and main currencies, including US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, Pound Sterling, Swiss Franc, Hong Kong Dollar, Canadian dollar, Australia Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Danish Kroner, Norwgian Kroner, Swedish Kroner. Exchange rates vary and travelers should check prior to transaction.

Distance and Traveling time:
Bhutan can be explored either by road or trekking in the mountains. There are no domestic airlines or train in the country. The main highway connects all parts of Bhutan from west to east.

From To Distance (km) Driving Time (Approx)
Thimphu Paro 54 1.5  hrs
Thimphu Phuntsholing 179 6 to 7hrs
Thimphu Punakha 71 3 hrs
Thimphu Wangdue 70 3 hrs
Punakha Wangdue 23 45min
Wangdue Trongsa 129 5 to 6 hrs
Trongsa Bumthang 68 3 hrs
Bumthang Mongar 193 7 to 8 hrs
Monger Lhuntshi 75 3.5hrs
Monger Trashigang 91 4 hrs
Trashigang Chortenkora 51 2 hrs
Trashigang Samdupjangkhar 180 7 to 8 hrs
Samdupjongkhar Guwahati(India) 101 3 hrs
Samdupjongkhar Phuntsholing 356 9 to 10 hrs

Travelling and sightseeing within the country: (BHUTAN TRAVEL GUIDE)
Travelling by road in a private car is one of the most wonderful ways to see the sights in Bhutan, which provides the most exciting way to travel in both valleys and hilly areas. You will be up-close-and-personal with the natural beauty of the country.

We have in our fleet safe and high quality imported cars from Japan and other countries. Depending on the size of the group the following 4 wheel drive cars are available :
1. Toyota cars
2. Land cruiser
3. Haice bus
4. Coaster bus
5. Terrican
6. Santa
7. Tucson

We have well experienced and senior drivers to accompany you on your trip, together with a qualified guide approved by the Tourism Council of Bhutan.


Health:

While it is not necessary for you to take any particular vaccinations prior to your visit to Bhutan, we do recommend that you take necessary precautions before coming to Bhutan if you have visited other infected places. You should bring along your own medical kits sufficient for the duration of your stay in the country.

If you suffer from motion sickness, do note that roads in most hilly areas are winding. We recommend that you bring along medication that can help you with this.

Visiting Bhutan is not a big problem as you will start your visit from low altitude places to acclimatize before moving on to the higher altitude places.

Clothing:
Spring and autumn seasons are peak seasons in Bhutan (February to March and August to December). During these seasons it is nice and cool during the day and might get cold in the evening and at night. It is always better for you to bring winter clothes.

Food and Drinks
Most of the restaurants and hotels serve Indian, Chinese, Continental and Bhutanese dishes. Bhutanese food is very spicy and Bhutan’s main dish is called ‘yema dechi’, which is chilly with cheese. During peak season most restaurants and hotels serve meals in buffet style. Alcoholic beverages available include locally manufactured whisky and beer as well as imported liquor.