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Travel Tips

TRAVEL/MEDICAL INSURANCE
You should not travel internationally without travel insurance.

If you have not insured with your insurance company in your country you may like to insure with the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan. RICB has initiated a travel and medical plan solely for our visitors. Travel insurance can be provided through us and for more information you may also visit the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan website at www.ricb.com.bt

MONEY
Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) It is at par with the Indian rupee which is accepted as legal tender in the country.

Currently the exchange rate for US Dollar is (1$ = 70 Nu.)

Note: INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and 1000 are not accepted in Bhutan.

ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard.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

ELECTRICITY
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.

COMMUNICATIONS
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.

Bhutan Telecom Limit has a Prepaid Tourist SIM at Nu.100 with a Free Talk Time: Nu. 100 and Validity is: 1 Month

LANGUAGE
Bhutanese speak a variety of languages with Dzongkha being the national language and one of the most widely spoken. English is also spoken by the majority of Bhutanese making communication very easy. It is encouraged to speak with the local Bhutanese, especially in the urban areas and towns, as it will enhance your knowledge on Bhutan.

WEATHER
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 15-10 degrees Celsius.

TIME
The standard time is 6 hours ahead of GMT. Offices in Bhutan are open from 9am to 5pm in the summer and 9am to 4pm in the winter.

CLOTHING/DRESS
With great altitudinal variations, weather is quite mixed in Bhutan. So be prepared to face the unforeseen weather conditions. The northern regions of the country are colder than the more tropical south.

You are advised to bring warm cloths during winter season (November, December, January) will be very cold.

We expect visitors to dress modestly and respectfully especially when you visit 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.

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.

PHOTOGRAPHY
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.

SHOPPING
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.

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.

CUSTOMS
The following articles are exempt from duty:

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

If importing any items to Bhutan which are for sale or gift, they may be liable for customs duty and you have to complete the declaration form at your port of entry.

Import/export of restricted goods are strictly prohibited. Imports of plants, soils etc. are subject to quarantine regulations. These items must be cleared on arrival.

GRATUITIES/TIPS
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. But most of the guest give tips to the guides and drivers at the end of the trip for their services.

PRECAUTIONS
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 in locked vehicles while sightseeing.