Travel Information


Best Time to Travel 
Visitor can choose to visit anytime of the year, depending on one’s interest.

The winterseason (December to mid-March) brings snow to the higher regions however the southern regions and main valleys where visitors generally travel are considerably warmer. Paro and Thimphu normally experience only light dustings of snow so still well worth a visit with mid-December to mid-January normally offering cool, pleasant days and clear skies although temperatures fall below zero at night. It is also one of the best time for bird lovers especially the black –necked crane at Phobjikha.

Spring Season (March – May)

Is considered the best time to visit Bhutan for touring and trekking when magnificent wildflowers are in bloom and birdlife is abundant. It is also a perfect time for kayaking, rafting and trekking in moderate altitudes. The most popular religious dance festival Paro tshechu takes place in spring.

Summer Season (June - August) you may experience occasional heavy falls of rain during the afternoons however to see Bhutan so green and full of clear streams and waterfalls is worth it. While you may not experience grand Himalayan vistas at this time, you will enjoy the warmer weather and a noticeable reduction in tourist numbers. It is a beautiful time to visit!

Autumn season (late September, October & November) are the most popular times to visit with generally clear, mild weather, excellent scenery, lower rainfall and a range of festivals called Tshechus and Dromchoe. It is also a time to harvest rice which would give a superb picturesque landscape of rice terraces and its changing color

1. Clothing

Cotton clothes are sufficient from May until September but warm clothes are very much necessary from November to the end of April. However, visitors are advised to carry clothes consisting of layers (or preferably woolen sweater and jacket) throughout the season, as weather may change at any time. Formal dress is also required for visitors attending festivals or if you are in the company of high government official members.

Other recommended items are : comfortable shoes, sun glasses, sun hats, mountain boots for trekkers, down jacket (required in winter only), sun block cream, lip balm, flash light, insect repellant, ear plugs, pair of casual shoes, umbrella, antiseptic cream, anti diarrhea medicine, camera and accessories.

2. Money

Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.) that is at par with the Indian rupee. It is however recommended that you carry travelers’ cheque or cash, preferably American Express and US dollar instead, as the ATM facilities for foreign currency is limited to just few towns including the capital city Thimphu. Visa and American Express credit cards are also widely accepted.

3. Banking

Financial institutions in Bhutan have been greatly enhanced and today we have a number of banks that caters to the needs of the people. Some of the banks that you can avail services and facilities while in Bhutan are the Bank of Bhutan Limited, the Bhutan National Bank, the Druk PNB and the Tashi Bank. Many of these banks provide you with SMS and internet banking facilities. There are also ATM facilities that you can avail and ATMS are located in a number of places where you can withdraw your money especially in Thimphu and in the border town of Phuentsholing. Traveler’s cheque can be easily withdrawn and exchanged into local currency. However, as you travel into the interior, ATM and internet facilities are almost non-existent and we suggest that you do your banking facilities while in Thimphu.

4. 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. Our energy is clean and green energy generated by hydro power.

5. Photography

Bhutan is an ideal place and a frequent haunt for photographers offering immense opportunities for photography especially during our outdoor sightseeing trips. However you may need to check with your guide for indoor photography as taking photographs inside Dzongs, temples, monasteries and religious institutions are restricted unless you have a special permission from the Department of Culture. One can however, capture images of the landscapes, the panoramic views of the mountain ranges, the rural folk life, the flora and fauna, the Bhutanese architecture and the Dzongs and Chortens in particular.

6. Internet

There are abundant internet access facilities in Thimphu but once you proceed further to central and eastern Bhutan, you will have limited access to them. The rates are very reasonable. However, international telephone and fax services are excellent and available in all the towns.

7. Shopping

For people who love shopping and taking home gifts, Bhutan offers a variety of goods that revolve mainly round textiles. You may shop for items like hand-woven textiles that is either in 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. You can also shop for thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamp. One can come across these items in the many handicraft shops in and around Thimphu and also in major towns. Please remember that buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden in Bhutan.

8. Time

Our standard time is 6 hours ahead of GMT and there is only one time zone throughout the country.

9. Office Hour

Office hours in Bhutan are divided into two timings – the summer timing and the winter timing. The summer timing begins at 9AM Bhutan standard time and goes on till 5Pm in the evening. The summer timing is followed from March till the end of October. The winter timing that lasts for the months of November till the end of February begins at 9AM in the morning till 4 PM in the evening. However, these timings are followed only in Thimphu and few other Districts.  These timing is followed only by the Civil Servants who work under the Royal Civil Service Commission. For those people employed in Corporations and private organizations, the timings are usually from 9AM till 5PM irrespective of the season.

10. Tobacco/ Smoking

As buying and selling of tobacco products is banned in Bhutan, you may want to bring in your own stock. (200 cigarettes for personal consumption with payment of 200% import duty). Also it is prohibited to smoke in public offices and in government premises. It is also sacrilegious to smoke near temples and any other religious sites.

11. Precaution

Avoid drinking unboiled water or taking ice cubes at all times as most water sources in Bhutan are untreated though they have their source in the mountains. One can come across treated and bottled water readily in any town and are affordable.

12. Food

Most Bhutanese dishes are rich and spicy with a lot of cheese and chilli. It is advisable that visitors stick to the Chinese, Continental or Indian cuisine that is served in most restaurants. Visitors can also choose among the various vegetarian and non-veg food. You can also try out momos, the Tibetan dumplings and for those daring, you may try out the ema datshi dish served with cheese and chili and other typical Bhutanese dishes.

13. Accommodation

Over the years, many quality hotels have come up in Bhutan. Most hotels in Bhutan meet the recent standardization policy, most tourists accommodate in a 5 star or a 3 star hotel. The hotels are well maintained and have all basic amenities such as geysers and shower rooms and are properly maintained. Visitors can be assured of their warmth and comfort of the hotels and the ambience and the hospitality offered by the hotels are incredible. The 5 star hotels are mostly located in Thimphu, and in Paro,  towns like Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang also have a variety of hotels that are comfortable. Away from town, you may find it tempting to camp outside in the forest or make a night halt at the purpose-built in cabins sprinkled along some main trekking routes.

14. Custom

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.

You have to complete the passenger declaration form on your arrival before checking out. The articles mentioned under (d) & (e) must be declared on the declaration form. If any such items are disposed of in Bhutan by sale or gift, they are liable for customs duty.
On departure, visitors are required to surrender their forms to the Customs authorities.

Import/export restrictions of the following goods is strictly prohibited:
(a) Arms, ammunitions and explosives
(b) All narcotics and drugs except medically prescribed drugs
(c) Wildlife products, especially those of endangered species
(d) Antiques

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

15. Travel Insurance

Though Bhutan is a peaceful country and crime rate is very low, we still recommend you to purchase adequate travel and medical coverage insurance from your respective country before your departure to Bhutan, including the insurance coverage for the delay or loss of luggage, personal effects and travel documents.

16. Guide

You will be accompanied by our English speaking guides throughout the trips. All the guides are well trained and certified by the government of Bhutan. French, German and Japanese speaking guides can also be arranged for a group of three or more persons upon the additional fees.

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