Bhutan Travel Information

Visa and Passports:
A visa is needed to enter Bhutan but it is not issued abroad. Visas will be stamped in your passport (which should be valid for next 6 months upon arrival date) upon arrival in Paro and the visa fee should be paid along with your tour payment. To apply for a visa, contact either your local agency in your area or you may also contact us. You have to send the Passport details 15 days in advance.

Customs:
All visitors are required to complete a customs form upon arrival at Paro. The following items are exempt from customs duty:
a. Personal effects for day to day use
b. Instruments, apparatus or appliances for professional use
c. Photographic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods

Note:
Import of tobacco and tobacco products for personal consumption – 100% sales tax and 100% customs duty. The maximum allowed for personal consumption are:
a. Cigarettes: 1 carton of 200 cigarettes.
b. Pipe tobacco: 3 tins of 50 grams each.
c. Other tobacco products: 50 grams.

Customs regulations strictly forbid the export of antiques or religious objects out of the country unless you have clearance from the Antiquities Department. If you are carrying religious items from another country, declare them on your customs form on arrival in Bhutan to avoid any problems on departure. It is forbidden to export samples of flora & fauna.

Weather:
The temperature and weather can change quickly and you may experience different climates in one day. Depending on the altitude, you may be freezing on top of a pass and an hour later you may be in a semi-tropical jungle. It is difficult to generalize about the climate of Bhutan because of the variations in elevations and seasons.
The southern belt is at an altitude of 300 meters and border to the Indian state of West Bengal & Assam. It is cool and sunny in winter and hot and rainy in summer.
The central valleys share the same pleasant climate but the eastern ones are lower and warmer. Bumthang is the highest and coldest. Winter from November to March is generally sunny except for the occasional snowfall; temperature can be relatively warm during the day (15’C 51 ‘F) but may fall below freezing at night. Spring, from mid – March to May, is cool and often stormy as it slowly warms up. Monsoon can start from mid –June and last until September. It is warm and cloudy with showers falling mostly in the evening and at night. October is a pleasant autumn month with clear skies, warm days and cool nights.

Clothing:
Practical and comfortable clothes are appropriate, with dressy outfits only necessary if you are on a business trip in Bhutan. Because of the variety of climates you may encounter in one day, choose garments which can be layered. From June to September cottons and a warm woolen sweater should be enough, while from October to May you must also bring a down jacket or warm coat. Especially in winter, west and central Bhutan are much colder than any other district apart from the north. A pair of slippers/sandals/sneakers and hiking shoes is the only footwear required unless you are trekking.

Electricity:
Officially 220 volts is supplied by the Department of Power. But the power supply can fluctuate. Some hotels and lodges don’t have American plug points or converters.

Battery:
In most places around Bhutan you will find the Indian made batteries available. But quality is very poor. It is advisable to bring your own supply of batteries. The only other possibility is purchase in Thimphu.

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

Money Matters:
The currency is the Ngultrum, divided into Chetrums, which are at a par with the Indian Rupee. The Indian Rupee is also legal tender in Bhutan except for the denomination of 500 notes which are banned in Bhutan because of counterfeit. All the Banks in Bhutan accept the following currency:

  •  US dollar
  •  Euro
  •  Pound Sterling
  •  Canadian dollar
  •  Hong Kong dollar
  •  Singaporean dollar
  •  Australian dollar
  •  Japanese Yen
  •  Swiss Francs
  •  Danish Kroner
  •  Norwegian Kroner
  •  Swedish Kroner
  •  Traveller’s cheques