General Information

Bhutan

 

Bhutan is commonly known as the ‘Land of the Peaceful Dragon’ (Druk Yul).  It is also supposed to be the last Shangrila, in the midst of the incredible topography, and owing its air of tranquility to the peace and harmony within the country.  The tourism policies in Bhutan is based on the principle of sustainable growth where the tourism industries must be environmental, ecologically, socially and culturally acceptable as well as economically viable.

 

National Symbols of Bhutan:

 

 National Symbols

 Name

 Language

 Dzongkha

 Animal

 Takin

 Bird

 Raven

 Flower

 Blue Poppy

 Sport

 Archery

 Tree

 Cypress

 Anthem

 Druk Tsendhen

 Dress

 Kira (Women)

 Gho (male)

 

Language

 

Bhutan has a total of 16 dialects, from which Dzongkha has been termed as the national language.   Dzongkha means ‘the language of the Dzong (fortress)’.  However, English is the principal medium used in schools, which is precisely the main reason why English is commonly spoken in most parts of Bhutan.

 

Health Inoculations

 

No vaccinations are currently required while traveling to Bhutan. As a minimum requirement, you must take shots for tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A.

 

Precautions  

 

Due to the mountainous terrain, we advise all our guests to bring appropriate medicine for car sickness (just in case).  We also suggest all our guests drink only bottled mineral water, since the tap water in Bhutan is not treated.  Furthermore, we would like to remind our guests to bring any medication that is taken regularly or even periodically.

 

Climate

 

 Places

 Winter (Jan-Mar)

Spring (Apr-Jun)

Summer(Jul-Sept)

Fall (Oct-Dec)

 Paro

 -5.8 to 9.4

 4.6 to 17.6

 14.9 to 26.8

 7.4 to 18.7

 Thimphu

 -2.6 to 12.3

 7.1 to 20.0

 13.4 to 28.9

 10.4 to 28.9

 Punakha

 4.2 to 16.1

 11.9 to 24.4

 21.6 to 32.0

 18.9 to 27.8

 Wangduephodrang

 4.3 to17.0

 12.9 to 26.2

 16.2 to 28.4

 14.7 to 26.1

 Trongsa

 -0.2 to 13.0

 6.6 to 20.1

 15.3 to 25.3

 11.7 to 28.8

 Bumthang

 5.1 to 10.8

 3.9 to 17.7

 10.9 to 24.1

 5.9 to 19.5

 Mongar

 8.2 to 15.5

 14.0 to 22.8

 15.8 to 26.1

 15.8 to 22.7

 Trashigang

 10.5 to20.4

 17.0 to 28.3

 23.1 to 31.5

 17.7 to 29.1

 

 

Distance between the Dzongkhags

 

From

To

Distance (Km)

Driving Time

Paro

Thimphu

55 km

2 hours

Paro

Haa

70 km

3 hours

Thimphu

Phuentsholing

180 km

6 hours

Thimphu

Wangduephodrang

76 km

3 hours

Thimphu

Punakha

70 km

3 hours

Punakha

Wangduephodrang

17 km

45 min

Punakha

Gangtey (Phobjikha)

70 km

3 hours

Gangtey (Phobjikha)

Trongsa

125 km

4.1/2 hours

Wangduephodrang

Trongsa

129 km

5 hours

Trongsa

Bumthang

68 km

3 hours

Bumthang

Mongar

198 km

7 hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clothing 

 

As you can see above, Bhutan anticipates a wide range of temperature due to the mountainous terrain; hence it is advisable to dress in layers.Bring comfortable sports shoes for light hikes & sightseeing; semi-formal shoes for dinners/appointments/functions.While visiting the Buddhist institutions or the Dzongs, dress neatly and wear full sleeved collared shirts (covered arms, no shorts or short skirts).  It is also important that the guests remove hats, caps, sunglasses before entering the vicinity of Dzongs or religious complexes, as a token of respect. 

 

Money

 

We advise the tourists to carry their money in the form of traveler’s cheques preferably in American Express.  However, US dollars are also widely accepted.  Visa and master cards are also recognized by the banks, which allows a maximum withdrawal of 300-600$ per day. An approximate amount of 10$ per day is calculated as miscellaneous expenditure incurred by individuals on laundry, postcards, overseas calls, 

 

Electricity

 

In Bhutan, electricity runs on 220/240 volts, with round hole two-pin and three-pin power outlets. If you bring electrical appliances, also pack appropriate adapter plugs.

 

Internet

 

Most hotels in major towns have free wifi services (either in the room, or lobby or both) and in some hotels, it may be chargeable.Data Cards for the internet (usb/thumb drives) can also be purchased and can be used where ever there is a cellular network (B-mobile or Tashi Cell).

 

Accommodation

 

The standard hotels in Bhutan mostly refer to the 2-3 star hotels, which is usually properly maintained for tourists.  Most of the 5-star luxury hotels are located in Paro and Thimphu, and a few 4 stars in Punakha, Gangtey, and Bumthang.  The accommodations in the central and eastern parts of Bhutan can be more basic. 

 

Food

 

Bhutanese delicacies are rich with spicy chilies and cheese. The tourist restaurants will normally tone down the chilly for visitors. Chinese, Continental, Bhutanese and Indian cuisine are available in the hotels and local tourist restaurants.

 

Photography

 

Photographies in shrine rooms of the Dzongs, Chortens, Monasteries and any form of religious institutions is strictly prohibited.  However, scenic photography of the natural habitat, villages, locals, houses, monks, animals, etc is totally acceptable.

 

Tipping

 

Hotel and restaurant bills include service charges amounting to 5-10%. There is no need to add anything further on this. Pelden Bhutan Holidays will take care of this.

 

Tipping of your guide and the driver is a purely personal matter.