FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL

There are a number of airports where you can fly into Bhutan from (Bangkok,Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.). At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. Also, there are three land border crossings which you can travel into the kingdom overland. All crossings are along the Indian border only – Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. All travel arrangements to Bhutan must be made through a local tour operator. A list of tour companies operating in Bhutan is available on this website. Your selected tour operator will make all the necessary arrangements.

The $200 per day (low season) and $250 per day (high season) package includes a minimum of 3 star accommodations, costs for food, an experienced guide and transportation (with driver) within the country. Also included in the price is a $65 per day Sustainable Development Fee that goes towards free education, free healthcare and poverty alleviation. All of these services will be arranged by your tour operator.

Bhutanese currency is known as the Ngultrum. Its value is tied to the Indian Rupee which is also accepted as legal tender. However Indian notes in 500 and 1000 denominations are not acceptable.

ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard.

In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.

There is no limit on the number of tourists admitted into the country each year. In order to protect our culture, traditions and natural environment the government has adopted a strict policy of “High Value, Low Impact Tourism”. This policy is aimed at attracting discerning tourists that will respect the unique culture and values of the Bhutanese people while also providing the visitors with an unforgettable one of a kind experience.

The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillis are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy.

Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often. A wide selection of western and Indian food is also available in many of the restaurants around the country.

GRATUITIES

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.

OTHERS

ELECTRICITY/PLUGS

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.

TRAVELLING KITS

Bhutan experiences great variations in its climate. In general summers are warm with average daily temperature ranging from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, while winter temperatures are usually below 15 degrees Celsius.

The northern regions of the country are colder than the more tropical south and it is recommended you pack accordingly. Trekkers will need to bring appropriate warm clothes and comfortable hiking boots (well broken in) preferably with ankle support and weather-proof to complement the weather and rugged terrain.

Others suggested items to pack:

  • A pair of sunglasses
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Hat
  • Umbrella
  • Camera
  • Spare camera batteries
  • Flash light (with spare batteries)
  • Travel sickness tablets
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Anti-histamine cream
  • Anti-diarrhoea pills
  • Altitude sickness medication it trekking above 3000m
  • Insect repellent
  • 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 in particular.

    The following articles are exempt from duty:

    • Personal effects and articles for day to day use by the visitor
    • 1 litre of alcohol (spirits or wine)
    • 200 cigarettes, on payment of import duty of 200%
    • Instruments, apparatus or appliances for professional use
    • Photographic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods for personal use

    You have to complete the passenger declaration form at your port of entry.

    Visitors are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items, especially of religious or cultural significance, as such items may not be exported without a clearance certificate.

    If importing any items to Bhutan which are for sale or gift, they may be liable for customs duty. On departure, visitors are required to fill out a departure form, which will be asked for by Customs authorities.

    Import/export of the following goods is strictly prohibited:

    • Arms, ammunitions and explosives
    • All narcotics and drugs except medically prescribed drugs
    • Wildlife products, especially those of endangered species
    • Antiques

    Imports of plants, soils etc. are subject to quarantine regulations. These items must be cleared on arrival.

    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.

    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.


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    Olakha, Above Ariya Hotel
    Phendhey Khagzang, 5th Floor
    Buidling No.: 10, Thimphu, Bhutan
    Email: gatewaystobhutan@gmail.com
    Skype: +97577764008