Bhutan FAQ

Bhutan is a land-locked country with remote kingdom nestling in the Himalayas between its powerful neighbors, India and China and one of the most exotic popular destination in world. The Bhutanese name for Bhutan, Druk Yul, means "Land of the Thunder Dragon" and it only began to open up to outsiders in the 1970s. Besides, it is now steadily opening to the world with an insightful loom to tourism.

Capital: Thimpu

Population: 750,000

Area: 38,364 sq km (14,812 sq miles)

Major language: Dzongkha

Major religions: Buddhism (official), Hinduism

Life expectancy: 66 years (men), 70 years (women)

Currency: Ngultrum

The Land of the Thunder Dragon, The Kingdom in the Sky, The Land of the Hidden Treasures, Bhutan has been called many inexplicable and delightful names. For a country that remained essentially disconnected from the outside world until the 1960s that should come as no surprise. Landlocked between the most remote parts of India to the South and Tibet through the Himalayan Mountains in the North, this Buddhist Monarchy seems to have evolved completely separate from the rest of the world in many aspects. And that is a blessing in a mask and a source of many astonishing and interesting truth about Bhutan.

Bhutan experiences five prominent seasons namely summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. The western part of Bhutan experiences heavier monsoon rains whereas the southern part undergoes hot humid summers and cool winters and the central and eastern Bhutan remain temperate and drier than the west with warm summers and cool winters. Bhutan hence gives the flexibility for you to choose the location and the time of the year to visit, depending upon the preferable climatic conditions.

Bhutan Visa is necessary for all outsiders who are preparing to come in Bhutan. The visa has to be processed by tour operators, such as our company Great Nepal Treks and Expedition. No foreign mission or embassy abroad grants tourist visa. For the visa, a passport is required which must be valid for at least 6 months after you leave Bhutan.

By air: Travelers can get into Bhutan only through a Tour Company. Druk Air is the best way to enter Bhutan. There are also online tickets obtainable for Druk Air nowadays. You can check the tickets with Druk Air yourself online at http://www.drukair.com.bt/.

By land: The town of Phuentsholing in the south-west is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport at Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, you begin your journey to Thimphu, the capital city with the travel time of about six hours for the 170 km stretch. The other point is Gelephu in south-central Bhutan is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 kms from Thimphu and the journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. One will have to traverse across three districts and the travel time will be about ten hours.    

If you book your trip earlier you will get a better selection of departure dates. Moreover, for holiday trips, you have to book earlier to find the best selection and to get more advantages.

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 is 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. Vegetables commonly eaten include Spinach, pumpkins, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, river weed, onions and green beans. Grains such as rice, buckwheat and barley are also cultivated in various regions of the country depending on the local climate.

For entry in Bhutan, there is no need to vaccination, but it is generally recommended that your Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio boosters be up to date. In some rustic area of southern Bhutan, there is common of diseases Malaria. So you have to consult with your Doctor for taking anti-malarial pills if you are traveling in the southern part of Bhutan.

Even though the altitude in Bhutan is higher than most people are used to, altitude sickness is rare in Bhutan as most valleys are under 2,500 meters, and mountain passes are generally only just over 3000 meters. Our cultural tours do not reach altitudes higher than 3,500 meters (except the ‘Journey Across Bhutan’).

The currency of Bhutan is Ngultrum. Indian currencies are accepted and are a legal tender in Bhutan. Indian currencies are exchanged at Paro or used at the same value. Indian notes of Rs. 500 & Rs. 1000 are not accepted officially, as they suspect counterfeit notes. But all other lower value notes are accepted freely. You cannot buy Ngultrum prior arriving to Bhutan, but you can purchase it at the Paro International Airport, Bhutan National Bank, Bank of Bhutan. and  some hotels in Thimpu as well.

Credit cards are not accepted in Bhutan but in some handicraft shop, they accept card while purchasing goods.  

There is a generally open ATM facility for local people only.

Bhutan is a surprising destination in the world.  It is almost completely devoid of the scams; begging and theft that affects its neighbors will give your travel desires a whole new perspective.

Bhutan has hundreds of hotels located all across the country. They range from tiny, simple and clean local hotels to deluxe resorts for comfortable travelers seeking the ultimate getaway. Most hotels provide their guests with Television, Room Service, Fitness Centers, Spas and Wi-Fi.

In Bhutan the power sockets are of type D, F and G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Flat round 2-pin plugs are most common and a universal adapter is an important travel item.

There is strictly baggage limit on trekking in Bhutan, maximum of 15 kg is limited to each trekker because a horse/yak carries 30 kg load of two trekkers should make a load of horse/yak.

Bhutan has only one-time zone all over the country. It is +0600 ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), 30 minutes ahead of India, 15 minutes ahead of Nepal and one hour behind Thailand.

Smoking, Tobacco products is strictly prohibited in Bhutan. If you smoke in prohibited areas like public places and offices and may even have to go jail for 3 months to 1 year.

Can I have a Private Tour?  

Sure, we can arrange you a private tour as per your demand and holiday.