Dos & Don’t in Bhutan

Dos in Bhutan

  • Be prepared to carry Bhutanese currency with you. There are no ATM machines in all of Bhutan, and most small shops do not take credit cards. US dollars, traveler’s checks and other currencies can be exchanged at major banks in larger towns, but remember that banks will typically close at 01:00 pm in Bhutan.
  • Remember that while Chefs in Bhutan traditionally make food extra spicy, they will also try to lessen the spice when preparing food for consumption by Westerners.
  • GSM and Satellite phones works in Bhutan.
  • Be cautious about anything old or antique that you may wish to purchase in Bhutan. Customs will not allow anyone to export anything that is not certified as non- antique.
  • Enlist the help of your guide or driver in selecting good quality items to purchase. They know what is the best, but they are often too polite to say anything unless you ask.
  • Know that all visitors to Bhutan must have a visa approved prior to arriving in the Kingdom. All visa applications must be routed through local tour operators in Bhutan or a generating agent in your own country of origin.
     

Don’ts in Bhutan

  • Don’t wear shorts in public buildings and monasteries. It is a sign of disrespect. However, wearing shorts for hiking in the country and walking in towns is perfectly acceptable.
  • Don’t forget that all personal videos, cameras, personal computers, portable telephones or any other electronic device should be registered with the customs authorities on arrival in Bhutan, and will be checked again on departure.
  • Don’t forget that smoking is not allowed in most areas of Bhutan and the sale of Tobacco products is prohibited in Bhutanese stores. Visitors are allowed to bring 100 cigarettes into the country, but they will be subject to a 200% tax.

 

Weather/Climate

The Central valleys of Punakha, Wangdiphodrang, Mongar, Trashigang and Lhunsthi enjoy a semi tropical climate with warm summers and mild winters, while Thimphu, Paro, Tongsa and Bumthang have pleasant summers and very cold winters. The east of Bhutan is generally a little warmer than the west of the country. The southern low-attitude belt is tropical, with hot summers and pleasant winters.

Clothing

Travelling in the mountains means that you can experience a wide range of temperatures in any day. During the day, it can be quite warm whereas night –time temperatures can drop dramatically. Crossing over a pass requires an extra layer of clothing just for an hour or two. It is better to plan to layer your clothing rather than bringing too many bulky warm clothes. Long sleeves are advisable since the sun is very strong and, similarly, a hat is recommended. A small face mask is suggested on long drives since the roads can get quite dusty, depending on the season.

As for a dress code, you should be aware that Bhutanese are conservative in their dress and do get offended by the sight of tourists wearing skimpy or tight-fitting clothes. Shorts and vests are not advisable at any time but they must not be worn on visits to monasteries, dzongs and other religious institutions. Hats must be removed before entering the above mentioned places.

What to Pack

The following is fairly exhaustive list of what you should pack for a cultural tour:

First-aid Kit, including any of your usual prescription medicines

 Clothes appropriate for the season and type of trip

 Pair of Casual shoes

 Good UV-protection sunglasses , spare glasses or contact lenses

 Toiletries

 Towel

 Hat

 Umbrella

 Camera and Accessories

 Books , Maps

 Sun screen, After-sun Lotion

 Lip salve

 Insect repellent

 Hand Cream

 Small sewing kit and safety pins

 Torch of flash light with spare batteries

 Rehydration powder (for sports drinks etc)

Weather Chart

Bhutan Average Temperatures in Degree Celsius High/Low)

 

 JAN       Max  Min

FEB Max Min 

MAR Max Min

APR Max Min

MAY  Max Min

JUN Max Mini

JUL Max Mini

AUG Max Mini

SEP Max Mini

OCT Max Mini

NOV Max  Mini

DEC Max Mini

Paro

9.4

13.4

14.5

17.6

23.5

25.4

26.8

25.3

23.4

18.7

13.9

11.2

-5.8

1.5

0.6

4.6

10.6

13.1

14.9

14.7

11.7

7.4

1.4

-1.7

Thimphu

12.3

14.4

16.4

20

22.5

24.4

18.9

25

23.1

21.9

17.9

14.5

-2.6

0.6

3.9

7.1

13.1

15.2

13.4

15.8

15

10.4

5

-1.1

Punakha

16.1

19.6

21.2

24.4

27.2

31.2

32

31.4

29.9

27.8

22.3

15

4.2

5.3

9.2

11.9

14.8

19.5

21.6

19.8

20

18.9

13

7.9

Wangdue

17

19

22.8

26.2

29.1

29.2

18.4

29.1

27.5

26.1

22.6

19.1

4.3

7.8

10.4

12.9

17.7

20.1

16.2

20

19.1

14.7

9.6

6.3

Trongsa

13

13.9

16.7

20.1

21

22.2

25.3

23.8

22.6

21.8

19.8

18.2

-0.2

0.4

4.4

6.6

11.6

13.6

15.3

15

14.2

11.7

6.4

2.5

Bumthang

10.8

10

16.2

18.7

21.3

22.5

14.1

23

21.6

19.5

16.1

12.3

-5.1

-1.4

3.5

3.9

9.5

13.5

10.9

13.7

12.1

5.9

-0.5

-2.3

Mongar

15.5

15.9

20

22.8

25.1

26.1

16.1

25.4

24.7

22.7

19.9

15.7

8.2

8.3

11.6

14

17.4

19.5

15.8

19.6

19.4

15.8

11.2

9.5

Trashigang

20.4

21.7

24.8

28.3

30

30.7

31.5

30.2

30

29.1

26.1

23

10.5

11.5

14.4

17

20.6

22.6

23.1

22.7

23.9

17.7

13.6

11.6

TO DO IN Additional information of Bhutan