- General information
- Himalayan Wonderland
- Kingdom in the Sky
- Himalayan Splendor
- The Last Shangrila
- Mountain Journey
- Bhutan Odyssey
- Himalayan Heartlands
- Bhutan Treks
- Gangtey Trek
- Druk Path Trek
- Bumthang Cultural Trek
- Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
- Chomolhari Trek
- Laya Trek
- Snowman Trek
- Dhur Hot Springs Trek
- Wild East Rodung La Trek
- Samtentgang Winter Trek
- Punakha Winter Trek
Bhutan Information for Travellers
Time Climate Language Health Money Electricity Communication
Accomodation Food Clothing Packing Photography Shopping Gratuities
Time: Bhutan time is 6 hours ahead of GMT and there is only one time zone throughout the country.
Climate: The southern part of Bhutan is tropical, and in general the eastern region of the country is warmer than the central valleys. However, bear in mind that the higher the altitude, the cooler the weather, and that with a brisk wind blowing down off the mountains, even a low-lying valley can become quite chilly.
The central valleys of Punakha, Wangduephodrang, Mongar, Tashigang and Lhuentse enjoy a semi-tropical climate with cool winters, whilst Paro, Thimphu , Tongsa and Bumthang have a much harsher climate, with summer monsoon rains and winter snowfalls which may block passes leading into the central valleys for days at a time. Winter in Bhutan is from mid-November till mid-March, and at this time of the year the climate is dry and sunny for the most part, temperatures peaking at around 15c. in the daytime and falling below zero at night. The monsoon usually arrives in mid-June, with light rain falling mainly in the afternoons and evenings. At the end of September, after the last of the big rains, autumn suddenly arrives, and is a magnificent season for trekking until November.
Language: Dzongkha, “the language of the Dzong”, belongs to the Tibetan linguistic family. Originally spoken only in western Bhutan , Dzongkha is now Bhutan 's national language. English is commonly spoken in the main towns and is the principal medium of instruction in schools throughout the kingdom.
Health: No vaccinations are currently required for traveling to Bhutan . However, visitors coming from an area infected with yellow fever are required to have had a yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days before their arrival. Cholera vaccinations are strongly recommended for visitors coming from a cholera infected area. Anti-malarial medication is also recommended for all travelers who will be visiting rural areas of districts bordering India.
Money : Bhutan 's currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.), with 100 Chetrum = 1 Ngultrum. The Ngultrum is fixed to the value of Indian rupee. Tourists are advised to carry their money in the form of traveler's checks (preferably American Express) with some cash (US dollars would be best) which might be used for incidental purchases/expenses. There are bank branches in all major towns.
Electricity: In Bhutan , electricity runs on 220/240 volts, with round hole two-pin and three-pin power outlets. If you bring electrical appliances, also pack appropriate adapter plugs. Thimphu electrical appliance shops stock adapter plugs, but they are unlikely to be available elsewhere.
Communications: Clients will be able to check their email and make international telephone calls from most towns while touring Bhutan . While internet cafes are more widespread in the western region, even in the far east there are public IDD calling booths. IDD calls may be made and received at most accommodations used by Etho Metho, and at least in Thimphu , hotel internet access is assured also.
Accommodation: There are comfortable hotels, lodges and guesthouses at our tourist destinations. Generally speaking, hotels in western Bhutan are better appointed, while accommodation establishments in the central and eastern part of the country are more modest, with fewer amenities. There is no star categorization of hotels and five star luxuries are not available.
We have carefully selected the list of accommodation units with the best of location, service and ambience. Away from the towns and villages, there are purpose-built cabins on some of the principal trekking routes. But there is nothing like camping out in the forest or at the foot of a mountain! Wherever you spend the night, the warm Bhutanese hospitality will make you feel welcome.
Food: Bhutanese delicacies are rich with spicy chillies and cheese. All hotels and lodges on our selected list of accommodations offer delicious Chinese, Continental, Bhutanese and Indian cuisine.
For trekking groups, our own trained cooks will prepare dishes suitable to western taste in the above range, and every effort will be made to accommodate the individual dietary preferences of your clients. Please give some advance notice of any special dietary requirements so that we can make appropriate arrangements when the catering team assembles provisions.
Clothing: Due to the wide range of temperature and climatic conditions it is advisable to dress in layers. For protection against cold, layered clothing is better than one or two thick garments. Clothing should preferably be made from natural materials, which allow the body to breathe.
You will be offending people if you walk around in skimpy or tight fitting clothes. Shorts are not welcomed and women are advised to wear below the knee skirts or fairly loose trousers. Do not wear sleeveless T shirts (singlets, vests) as outer garments. Dress modestly and respectfully for visits to monasteries, dzongs and other religious institutions, and refrain from smoking while on the premises. Hats, caps etc. should be removed before entering the premises.
What to Pack: The following is fairly exhaustive list of what you should pack for the trip: Clothes as per season, sunglasses/spare glasses, pair of casual shoes, knife, hat, umbrella, camera, films and accessories (including spare camera batteries), insect repellent, hand cream, small sewing kit & safety pins, torch or flash light with spare batteries, mirror, scissors, sun cream, lip salve, soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream, anti-diarrhea pills, a preparation for the relief of sunburn, and any medication you take regularly, or might need to take for a periodically recurring condition, such as asthma.
Bring about twice as much film as you are expecting to use, and plenty of spare camera batteries, as these are unlikely to be available locally.
Photography: The photographic opportunities on all trips are immense. The natural scenery is superb, and you will also wish to record the local people, their houses and shops etc. Always ask by a gesture if it is ok to do so. Don't take your destination as a living museum! Also, note that photography in shrine rooms of dzongs, monasteries and religious institutions is generally not permitted. Outdoor photography is usually permitted, but when visiting such places, please check with your guide before taking any photographs.
Shopping: Hand-woven textiles, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper products, finely crafted metal objects, thangkha paintings and Bhutan 's exquisite postage stamps are the items mostly purchased by travelers in Bhutan . The buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden.
Gratuities:Tipping is a purely personal matter. The bottom line in determining whether or how much to tip is to ask yourself how much our team members did to make your Bhutan travel experience more enjoyable.