Trekkers paradise
Paro International Airport
Faces of Bhutan
Nomadic way of life
Explore beautiful valleys
Explore the trail less trodden
Thimphu valley
Tourists arrive at Paro International Airport
Whitewater rafting
Land of Festivals
Rich biodiversity
Picturesque glacial valley
Unique architecture
Biking in the Himalayas
Black-necked cranes in Phobjikha

Travel Essentials

What To Bring

Druk Air flights observes the baggage weight limit of 20 kg (40lb) in economy class and 30 kg (60) in business class so it can be troublesome and expensive to carry too much. Even if you pay for excess baggage, it still travels standby and may be offloaded. As with all travel, the less you carry, the easier it is to move around and the less there is to misplace. Due to wide range of temperature and climatic conditions it would be advisable to bring appropriate clothing. From May to September, cotton clothes are sufficient plus a woolen sweater or light jacket. From October to the end of April, you will need very warm clothes including long johns or woolen tights to wear under trousers and down jackets or coat. During visits to monasteries, Dzongs and other religious institution, you should be properly dressed and you should not wear shorts and hats. Casual clothes are generally more suitable though a set of formal wear might come in handy for festivals or in the likely event that you are being invited to a Bhutanese home or a social function. You will be outside a lot so you might also want to carry sun glasses, sun caps, sun cream and lip protection. Rain gear will be a useful item in your check list if you are traveling during the monsoon season from June through August.

Travel Insurance

The tour price does not include travel insurance. All visitors are advised to get a travel insurance cover as we do not provide travel insurance policy in Bhutan. Travel insurance will prove useful should any unforeseen or mishaps occur while your stay in Bhutan.

Tour Guides

Our guides are licensed and trained by Tourism Council of Bhutan. Our trekking guides have an additional mountain guide training including safety and first aid instructions to lead any size of groups. You will be accompanied throughout your stay with English speaking guide, driver and a car at your disposal at all time.

Tipping

As tipping is not compulsory but if you appreciate the services offered by our guides, drivers and service staffs, you may tip them according to your will.

Currency

The national currency of Bhutan is Ngultrum. It is at par with Indian rupee which is widely accepted in Bhutan except for the denomination of 500 notes which are banned in Bhutan because of counterfeit. You can exchange your money with Ngultrum at the airport, hotels or from the Bank of Bhutan and Bhutan National Bank.

There are few ATM centers which cater to withdrawal of money. Credit cards are accepted in very few hotels and shops. All credit card transactions take extra time and are cumbersome to use. It is preferable to use cash dollars.

Accommodation

All the hotels are luxurious and are 3 star and above in Bhutan approved and regulated by Tourism Council of Bhutan. We will put you in the best hotels available in Bhutan. Visitors are advised not to expect luxury or five star hotels although a few luxury hotels have opened recently and that would come in with an additional cost on your tour payment.

Food

Bhutanese food is hot and spicy. For our visitors, however, Chinese, Indian and Continental foods are also served. The more adventurous can try hot Bhutanese dishes. For visitors on trek we serve simple but nutritious and tasty dishes. Meals are normally served in buffet style in hotels.

Rice is a staple with every meal. Vegetable or meat dishes cooked with chili and/or cheese comprise the accompanying cuisine.

Bhutanese food has one predominant flavor - chili. This small red condiment is not only added to every dish but is also often eaten raw. So, if you don't like spicy-hot food, make this abundantly clear before ordering a meal. Otherwise, you'll be spending the next hour dousing your mouth with cold yogurt or milk.

Drink

Ara is local spirit brewed from rice or corn. It is popular in rural areas.

Tea. Located next to the tea growing regions of Assam and Darjeeling, a steaming cuppa remains the popular drink in Bhutan, with both the butter variety (suja) and sweet milk kind (cha) readily available throughout the country.

Coffee. The coffee culture that has swept most of the planet is just beginning to creep into the country. However, for the most part, coffee in Bhutan means the instant variety and it is served simply white or black.

Transport

We use comfortable and modern Toyota cars, land cruisers, SUVS and coaster buses for all group sizes. Every vehicle is rechecked properly before every tour to ensure the safety and comfort for all clients.

Electricity

It runs on 240v system. The power supply is generally good but it may fluctuate sometimes.

Time difference

Bhutan is 6 hours ahead of G.M.T and half an hour ahead of India

Taxes

A departure tax of US $19 is levied at Paro airport. Subject to change without notice.

Customs

All visitors are required to complete a customs form upon arrival at Paro airport. The following items are exempt from customs duty:

  • Personal belongings
  • Instruments ,apparatus or appliances for personal use
  • Photographic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods

Tobacco

Bhutan is the first country to ban usage of tobacco products. Smoking is prohibited in the public places. Cigarettes may not be bought or sold in the country however visitors can bring in 200 cigarettes (1 cartoon) on 100% customs duty and 100% sales tax.

Shopping

There are wide array of hand woven textiles, handmade paper products, woven baskets etc... the most popular purchases made by tourists are postage stamps which is world renowned in the philatelic community. Please note that buying and selling antiques in Bhutan is strictly forbidden.

Medical Services

Every district in Bhutan has a general hospital and is staffed with competent doctors and offer basic health services however, you should come well prepared with all the necessary medicines like anti-nausea pills, anti- diarrhea pills, oral dehydration packets , eye drops, anti biotic ointment, and anti -histamine ointment.

Filming

The rules and rates for filming in Bhutan differ from that of normal rates of tours and treks.

Tourists or professionals intent on filming in Bhutan must abide by Bhutanese Filming Regulations 1995 available with the implementing agency (Tourism Council of Bhutan) . The regulation does not apply to feature and cinematography films.

Application for a filming permit must be submitted to the Tourism Council of Bhutan TCB) at least 30 days in advance. The application must be accompanied by :

  1. Synopsis of the film - theme/ background /objective/purpose
  2. Specific location/objects/activities
  3.  Composition of the filming team and the list of equipment including accessories and consumables( film crew members have to pay full daily tourist tariff)
  4. Letter of recommendation from sponsoring agency (application form available with TAB at a cost of Nu 300)

Royalty on filming

  • First 30 minutes or part thereof - US $10,000
  • Next 30 minutes or part thereof- US $6000
  • Every additional 30 minutes or part thereof- US $3000

In addition a security of $5000 must be deposited with TCB. The deposit will be refunded upon completion of the film to the satisfaction of Tourism Council of Bhutan.

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