• Small Group Journeys to Bhutan
    Useful info to help navigate your way to Bhutan
    FAQs
  • Bhutan holidays
    Useful info to help navigate your way to Bhutan
    FAQs

FAQs


Bhutan is a country people don't know much about.
Often when clients tell friends they are going there, the first reaction is, "Where's that?". Here's a bit about Bhutan and how we can help you get there

Need to know

Bhutan is a tiny and remote kingdom nestling in the Himalayas. Never colonized, it is situated on the ancient Silk Road between Tibet, India and China, and has a distinct national identity based on Buddhism. Noted for pioneering gross national happiness, the landscape ranges from lush subtropical plains in the south to the subalpine mountains in the north where there are peaks in excess of 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). 

Australian Journey to Bhutan believes travel insurance is a necessary part of all travel and we insist on sighting your travel insurance policy prior to issuing travel documents.

You will be able to use your mobile phone in the cities, but the remote areas may not have network coverage.

Yes, which we will obtain for you when you provide the following details at time of booking: Full name, sex, date of birth, nationality, passport number, date of issue / expiry, a scanned copy of your passport, your email address and a contact number for you when you are in Bhutan. We will provide a scanned copy of your visa shortly prior to your trip which you must show at the check in for your flight to Bhutan and on arrival at the immigration in Bhutan where you will have a Bhutan visa stamped into your passport.

Helpful Info

Please speak to your Doctor about recommended vaccinations.


You may also choose to ask your Doctor about medication to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness which everyone reacts differently to. • Please carry all your usual pharmaceutical needs with you; chemists are few and far between in rural Bhutan!

NSW is 4 hours ahead of Bhutan

All hotels have electricity but it is advisable to take a torch as we may experience the occasional brown out or blackout. Australian appliances will function on the local 220/ 240 volts circuits. Power outlets are either the circular two pin type used in Europe or the three pin type used in the UK. You may want to take both types or a multiadaptor.

    

The local currency is the Ngultrum (Nu). It’s pegged to the Indian Rupee (also accepted except for 500 and 1000 rupee notes).


Please don´t rely on credit cards or ATMs in Bhutan. You can exchange money at the airport on arrival. The major banks have ATM’s so you can withdraw Nu via Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards (assuming ATM's are working). Also note that somewhat quirkily, there are variable rates for bigger foreign currency notes. That is, higher denominations get you a better exchange rate. Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted and most hotels and shops (less in central/eastern Bhutan) now accept Visa and MasterCard. But please note surcharges on credit card purchases can be high 


We recommend USD as a backup in case ATM’s are not working or for exchanging into Nu at local banks and also for guide/driver tips at the end of the journey. Major banks in Paro and Thimphu will also exchange Australian cash (no coins) for Bhutanese Nu.

Smart casual is fine. But remember that to enter temples, dresses and skirts need to be about knee length, quarter length pants (no short shorts!). Some temples accept knee length skirts and quarter pants. But it’s not allowed in the Dzongs where full length pants and longer skirts with collared T-shirts are more appropriate.  As to warmth - we suggest you take layers,  You never know what to expect

Photocopy all your paperwork – don’t just think because you have copies of everything in the Cloud you’ll be ok. You are IN the clouds!


Sunhat, sunscreen and lip saver


Plug adapter (as per India)


Wet weather gear


Ear plugs – cascading rivers, dogs howling…


Beanie, gloves, scarf (for high passes)


Torch


Warm jacket


Insect repellent


Fleece/fleece waistcoat 


Spare batteries/ memory cards etc


Any first aid stuff you think you might need (eg muscle anti-inflammatory)


Battery chargers (camera/phones)


Altitude sickness pills if doctor recommends


Washing powder


US$


Small packs of tissues, wet wipes or toilet paper 

 

Like the Bhutanese Government, we also believe in low impact tourism and recommend the following tips when travelling in Bhutan

  1. Be considerate of Bhutan’s customs, traditions, religion and culture – we will brief you on this
  2. Ask for permission before taking photos of locals especially monks
  3. Try out Bhutanese language - the locals enjoy you giving it a go!
  4. Dress modestly. Shoulders to knees should be covered when entering places of worship
  5. It’s respectful to place a small donation in the box at monasteries
  6. Always dispose of litter carefully
  7. Smoking is banned in Bhutan without a permit
  8. Buying local products helps keep traditional crafts alive
  9. Always show respect for religious objects
  10. Show respect for Bhutan’s monarchy
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