Travel Information


Except for passport holders from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, everyone traveling to Bhutan requires a visa prior to travel to Bhutan. Indian, Bangladesh and Maldives citizens can obtain a permit at the entry port on producing passports (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card). Bhutan visa process is different but simple and straightforward. There is no need to send your original passport away and what we need is just a scan copy of the photo-page of your passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of travel. On your behalf, we will apply for the visa and once cleared, the Visa Clearance Letter will be emailed to you based on which the actual Bhutan visa will be stamped on your passport on arrival in Bhutan.


Accommodation in Bhutan ranges from traditional farmhouses to swanky five-star luxury resorts. Government has a strict rule on starred hotels and it says only three star hotels and above can host tariff-paying tourists. Our hotels have a contemporary theme with a unique blend of Bhutanese architecture and modern amenities. In recent years, several luxury hotels have come up, including the COMO Uma, Zhiwa Ling, Taj Tashi, Amankora, Le Meridien and Six Senses. For these you will have to pay a supplement on top of the standard tariff. Besides starred hotels, there are options to experience family-run eco lodges, heritage lodges converted from traditional old houses, and farmhouses which would give you an excellent glimpse into the day-to-day life of a typical Bhutanese family.

As eastern Bhutan sees fewer tourists than the western regions, accommodation can be simpler here than in the west.

Visitors embarking on treks will be provided with weatherproof tents and whatever other equipment deemed necessary for camping (with the exception of your sleeping bag). Bhutan does not have tea houses or lodges on trekking trails like in other Himalayan regions. Here, it is real wilderness trekking!


Red rice or white rice form the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef, chicken and fish are the most common meats while a tasty variety of fresh vegetables are also on the menu. Buckwheat pancakes and noodles are also served in place of rice.

Ema Datshi, a spicy mix of chillies and the delicious local cheese is the national dish of Bhutan. Variations on Ema Datshi include adding green beans, ferns, potatoes and mushrooms. Most hotels will not serve this up to tourists so ask your guide if you want to try. You may also try other Bhutanese specialties, including momos (Tibetan-style dumplings stuffed with pork, beef or cabbages and cheese), phak sha laphu (stewed pork with radish), nor sha huentse (stewed beef with spinach), phak sha phin tshoem (pork with rice noodles) and bja sha maroo (chicken in garlic and butter sauce).

Besides native foods, Indian, Chinese, and the more common continental foods are also readily available.

On trek, you will be supplied with lavish food items and our trained trekking chefs will treat you with delicious and nutritious food at any altitude.


We use vehicles made in Japan and Korea. For three to five people in a group, we provide comfortable Korean Hyundai H-1 and Toyota Hi-ace buses and for six people and above, we provide AC Toyota coaster buses. Smaller groups of one to two passengers will discover the country in 4WD SUVs cars such as Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Korean Tucson, Santa Fe, Creta and Terracan. Not only for sightseeing, those vehicles will ferry you for off-site works like shopping in markets and meeting friends.

Now Bhutan has domestic air service. Drukair flies to Bumthnag (central Bhutan), Yonphula (eastern Bhutan) and Gelephu (southern Bhutan) on certain days. If you love to avoid the long drive, you can opt for domestic flights.


Mobile connectivity is good in all the towns. If you are trekking or travelling on the road between valleys, the network might be bad. Roaming is possible, so check with us to see if your operator has roaming agreement with our operators. If you would like a local number, it is possible to get a local SIM card from the airport and towns.

All the hotels we use have WiFi in their rooms and lobby. WiFi is provided free in most hotels but few hotels levy small charges.

Weather & Clothing

October, November, December, January, February and March will be cold, especially during mornings and evenings, and you need to bring warm clothes. While the months of April, May, June, July, August and September are warmer. In June, July and August rain will hit the ground at anytime after all it is monsoon and rain gear would be necessary.

Dress Code

Respectful casual wear is fine for general touring in Bhutan, and jeans/slacks would be fine. Shorts, skirts and revealing tight clothing are usually not appreciated. Bhutanese dress up formally when they visit Dzongs and temples, and they expect foreigners to do the same. You should wear long pants (even if jeans), shirts with full sleeves, and more formal skirts below the knees when you visit those places. Hats and shoes are not permitted inside Dzongs and temples.

Courtesy & Etiquette

You can greet people by saying “Kuzuzangpo” meaning “hello”. For seniors and elders, the Bhutanese bow their heads a bit and say “Kuzuzangpo La” (a more respectful greeting). Recently, shaking hands has become quite a common and accepted norm.

You can take photos of the outside of monasteries, but not inside. Monasteries and temples are considered sacred. People are generally happy to pose for pictures, but do ask for permission if you are focusing on one person. Do not photograph a member of the Royal Family even if they are present at a festival or gathering.

While circumambulating temples, chortens and prayer flags always walk in a clockwise direction.

Electricity & fittings

Bhutan’s electricity is 230 volts 50 hertz. Electrical outlets in Bhutan accept 3 types of plug: three round pins arranged in a triangle, two round pins and two parallel flat pins with ground pin. You can buy adapter plugs in many of the hardware shops in Paro and Thimphu.


Bhutan’s currency is called Ngultrum (Nu), which is pegged to the Indian rupee. ATMs outlets are available in major towns but they cannot always be relied on for foreign cardholders. The best way is to bring cash dollars and change this at the airport on arrival. Credit cards are accepted at major handicraft stores and some of the larger hotels in Paro and Thimphu but they often charge 3-5% fee. You can cash travellers cheques at any bank and the foreign exchange counter at the airport. You should carry well-known brands like American Express, Visa, Thomas Cook, Citibank or Barclays. The Ngultrum is valueless outside of Bhutan, so make sure you use all or change back excess Ngultrum before you go. Indian rupees can also be used in Bhutan (except 1000 rupee notes).


There are no vaccination requirements for entering the country. However, it is generally recommended that your tetanus, diphtheria and polio boosters be up to date. You may consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

We advise visitors to drink only bottled or boiled water, avoid ice, eat cooked and peeled food to avoid any diarrhea or stomach problems. Bhutan has good health coverage. All district headquarters have a hospital, and will accept you for medical treatment. Healthcare in Bhutan is free, even for tourists.

Most of the places tourists visit lie below 3000m and it’s unlikely you will have any problems with altitude unless you are trekking. However, individuals react to altitude differently and altitude sickness can strike anyone irrespective of fitness and age. Signs of altitude sickness include headache, dizziness, lethargy, nausea, loss of appetite, breathlessness and irritability. If you are at a higher altitude than you are used to, descend immediately until you begin to feel better.


Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan. English is the medium of instructions in schools, so educated people can speak it fluently. Signboards, books, road signs, menus are in English. Here are some useful words and greetings in the national language, Dzongkha.

Hello – Kuzu Zangpo
How are you? – Chhoe gadebe yue?
Thank you – Kadrinche la
Good luck – Tashi Delek
Yes – iee
No – Me
What’s your name? – Choe ming gachi mo?
My name is – ngi ming…(name) iee