Bhutan Tour Guides and Gratuity
All the tours and treks are guided by knowledgeable Bhutanese guides trained and certified by the Tourism Council of Bhutan. All the guides speak English. Japanese, German and French speaking guide can be provided on request and additional cost.
Gratuity and tipping is a standard practice in Bhutan. How much to tip is a personal matter.
Photography in Bhutan
Whether you are on a tour or in a trek, Bhutan provides immense opportunity for photography. Please follow your guide’s instruction while visiting Dzongs, monasteries and other monuments. Sometimes, photography inside the Dzongs and monasteries is not allowed. If you wish to photograph local people in Bhutan you can ask them by gesture or the guide will help you get the permission.
Medical and Health
Anybody who is physically fit and enjoys outdoor life can participate on our treks and tours. Some of the treks maybe difficult because of high altitude. In this regards, for those who are doing these treks, it is advisable that they take good training of fitness for at least a month at home, especially, for treks going to an altitude in excess of 4000 mts/1500 ft.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Bhutan or within the continent. However it is recommended that you be protected against Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis A, Malaria, especially if you are travelling out of Bhutan. If you have heart condition, please check with the doctor to ensure that it is ok to undertake high altitude treks or tours.
Bhutan Travel Insurance
The costs that we offer do not cover your Travel Insurance. It is advisable that you have full comprehensive insurance cover to protect against unforeseen contingencies. It should adequately cover baggage and travel delays etc. and helicopter evacuation, transportation and medical assistance in case of treks.
Recently the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan (RICB) has started travel and medical insurance scheme. If you like to apply for the same, we shall get detailed information of the same and assist you for the insurance.
Food in Bhutan
Bhutanese food is rich with spicy chilies and cheese. Ema datshi (Chilli and cheese) is one of the most famous and loved food in Bhutan. A normal Bhutanese meal consists of rice and vegetables with abundant chilies. Meat is widely consumed in Bhutan. Common meat includes pork, beef, chicken, fish and yak meat.
However, all our hotels and restaurants offer delicious Indian, Chinese, Continental and Bhutanese cuisine. Restaurants normally serve mixture of all style where both vegetarian and non-vegetarian items are included.
In some of the places in Bhutan, pure vegetarian restaurants are available. In those places where pure vegetarian restaurants are not available, the restaurants are happy to serve pure vegetarian dishes on prior information.
While on trek, you will have cooks trained and certified by the Tourism Council of Bhutan to serve you dishes suitable to your tastes.
Accommodation in Bhutan
For travelers traveling with our travel packages, except the luxury packages, all the accommodations shall be arranged in a minimum of 3 star category hotels. However, some of the destinations around the country do not have hotels meeting the internationals standards. In these places the accommodations shall be arranged in lower category hotels, however, it shall be ensured that the basic facilities and standards are met.
For Travelers traveling with our Luxury Packages, Accommodations shall be arranged Aman, Uma and Taj, Termalinca, etc as per the choice in confirming their travel to Bhutan.
During Treks, accommodations shall be arranged in Tents.
Travelers interested to stay in farm houses/village houses in order to experience and learn the lifestyle in Bhutanese villages may choose to do so, . However this has to be confirmed prior to Travel to Bhutan.
Till recently hotels in Bhutan were not rated in star category, however recently the Tourism Council of Bhutan has taken steps in classifying accomodations in Bhutan according to the National 5 star rating system, where by the Tourism Council of Bhutan has been trying to classify accomodations in Bhutan as follows:
1. Farm Stays 2. Home Stays 3. Resorts 4. Hotels 5. Guest Houses.
Money, Credit Cards, ATMS, Banks and Shopping
Bhutanese currency is known as Ngultrum. 1 Ngultrum is equal to 100 chhetrum.
1 USD is approximately equivalent to 62 Ngultrum.
Visa Card and maestro cards have been introduced in Bhutan and you can withdraw money from most of the ATMs around the country using these cards.
Most of the shops in Bhutan do not accept credit cards, and visa cards. It is always better to have Bhutanese local currency when in Bhutan. Travelers cheque and foreign currency can be exchanged in the bank. Your Tour/ Trek guide will help you to exchange the amounts.
The following banks operate in Bhutan.
Tobacco/Smoking and Custom Declarations
Bhutan is a tobacco free country and every citizen here have a duty to protect Bhutan from tobacco and tobacco products. There are certain rules to be followed in regards to tobacco. Please do not carry tobacco products over the limits. For more information please follow the link below.
Custom Regulations at the Airport – All passengers must fill up a custom declaration form provided at the Airport. Everything must be declared in the form. Passengers coming as tourists should surrender the custom declaration form to the custom authorities at the time of departure.
Free Baggage allowance:
– Personal belongings of the traveler either carried in hand or checked with a carrier excluding motor vehicle and merchandise to a maximum of 20 kg.
– A person below the age of 15 shall not be eligible for a free baggage allowance.
– 1 bottle not larger than 1 liter of alcohol.
– 200 Cigarettes may be brought after paying 100% customs duty and 100% sales tax.
Clothing and other Packing for your Bhutan Tour
It is advisable to bring warm cloths for the months of January, February, March, April, September, October, November and December. The clothing may include woolen tights to wear, under trousers , down jacket or coat. For the other months cotton clothes plus a woolen sweater or light jacket will be sufficient. Other things to pack are, sunglasses, contact lenses, casual shoes and boots for hikes and treks, washing kit, shaving kit, towel, hat, umbrella, camera and accessories, maps, insect repellent, sunscreen lotion, flash light or torch and batteries, lip slave or soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, etc.
Carry enough money if you do not have provisions to withdraw in Bhutan and and DO NOT FORGET to carry your VISA APPROVAL LETTER AND YOUR PASSPORT.
Time, Measure, Electricity and Battery
Bhutan’s standard time is +6 Hours GMT. Bhutan uses 220/240 volts system. Electricity supply is generally good but it may be less stable in smaller towns around the country.
The sockets used are the Indian round pin sockets. The adapters may be found in the hardware shops around Thimphu.