Travel Tips


The Royal Government of Bhutan recognizes that tourism is a world-wide phenomenon and an important means of achieving socioeconomic development particularly for developing countries like Bhutan. The Tourism Policy of the Royal Government of Bhutan is based on a concept of “High Value & Low Impact”. Founded on the principle of sustainability, tourism must be environmentally friendly, socially and culturally acceptable, and economically viable. Therefore, the royal government of Bhutan has adopted a very cautious approach to the development of tourism in the kingdom in an effort to avoid its negative impacts on the culture and the environment.

Visitors must either be guests of the government or travelers on an approved travel program. Independent travel is not permitted in Bhutan.

  • Language

Bhutanese speak a variety of languages but Dzongkha is the national language and one of the most widely spoken language.  English is commonly spoken in the main towns and is the principal medium of instruction in schools throughout the kingdom.

  • Climate

March, April, May- Spring

June, July, August- Summer

September, October, November – Autumn

December, January, February, – Winter

Average Temperatures In Degree Celsius (High/ Low)

Paro Thimphu Punakha Wangdue Trongsa Bumthang Mongar Trashigang
Jan 9.4/-5.8 12.3/-2.6 16.1/4.2 17.0/4.3 13.0/-0.2 10.8/-5.1 15.5/8.2 20.4/10.5
Feb 13.4/1.5 14.4/0.6 19.6/5.3 19.0/7.8 13.9/0.4 10.0/-1.4 15.9/8.3 21.7/11.5
March 14.5/0.6 16.4/3.9 21.2/9.2 22.8/10.4 16.7/4.4 16.2/3.5 20.0/11.6 24.8/14.4
April 17.6/4.6 20.0/7.1 24.4/11.9 26.2/12.9 20.1/6.6 18.7/3.9 22.8/14.0 28.3/17.0
May 23.5/10.6 22.5/13.1 27.2/14.8 29.1/17.7 21.0/11.6 21.3/9.5 25.1/17.4 30.0/20.6
June 25.4/13.1 24.4/15.2 31.2/19.5 29.2/20.1 22.2/13.6 22.5/13.5 26.1/19.5 30.7/22.6
July 26.8/14.9 18.9/13.4 32.0/21.6 18.4/16.2 25.3/15.3 14.1/10.9 16.1/15.8 31.5/23.1
Aug 25.3/14.7 25.0/15.8 31.4/19.8 29.1/20.0 23.8/15.0 23.0/13.7 25.4/19.6 30.2/22.7
Sept 23.4/11.7 23.1/15.0 29.9/20.0 27.5/19.1 22.6/14.2 21.6/12.1 24.7/19.4 30.0/23.9
Oct 18.7/7.4 21.9/10.4 27.8/18.9 26.1/14.7 21.8/11.7 19.5/5.9 22.7/15.8 29.1/17.7
Nov 13.9/1.4 17.9/5.0 22.3/13.0 22.6/9.6 19.8/6.4 16.1/-0.5 19.9/11.2 26.1/13.6
Dec 11.2/-1.7 14.5/-1.1 15.0/7.9 19.1/6.3 18.2/2.5 12.3/-2.3 15.7/9.5 23.0/11.6


  • Food and Drink

Restaurants serving traditional Bhutanese cuisine tempered to Western tastes can be found in all of the hotels. Many of the hotel chefs have been trained at hotel schools in Europe and know how to prepare food to please the Western palate. Meals are usually served in buffet style.

Bhutanese delicacies are rich with spicy chillies and cheese. It is advisable that visitors stick to the Chinese, Continental or Indian cuisine that is served in most restaurants. Visitors can also choose among the various vegetarian and non-veg food. You can also try out momos, the Tibetan dumplings and for those daring, you may try out the ema datshi dish served with cheese and chili and other typical Bhutanese dishes. All tourist hotels have good selection of international and Bhutanese beverages.

For trekking groups, our own trained cooks will prepare dishes suitable to western taste in the above range, and every effort will be made to accommodate the individual dietary preferences of our clients. Please give some advance notice of any special dietary requirements so that we can make appropriate arrangements when the catering team assembles provisions.

  • What to pack
  1. Travelling Kits

Due to the wide range of temperature and climatic conditions it is advisable to dress in layers. So bring with you a couple of warm clothes and comfortable shoes to go with the weather, the terrain and the program. Others that you could consider bringing with you would be a pair of Sunglasses/spare glasses, knife, sun cream, sun burn relief cream, lip salve, soluble aspirin  and a hat; antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream, anti-diarrhoea pills, altitude & car sickness medicine and any medication you take regularly, or might need to take for a periodically recurring condition, such as asthma; insect repellent, hand cream, small sewing kit & safety pins,  torch or flash light (w/spare batteries),  mirror, scissors, umbrella, camera, films and accessories (including spare camera batteries)etc.

  1. Clothes and other Paraphernalia

With great altitudinal variations, weather is quite mixed in Bhutan. So be prepared to face the unforeseen weather conditions. We expect visitors to dress modestly and respectfully especially if you are planning a visit to the monasteries, Dzongs and other religious institutions. Long pants and long sleeved tops should be worn when visiting such places. As a mark of respect, be kind enough to remove your hats, caps etc. as you enter religious and administrative premises, institutions and in any other place that you come across with the national flag being raised.

  • Gratuities

Tipping is optional than mandatory. However, it is expected in our trade and has become a kind of tradition. Tipping is more of goodwill gesture or token of appreciation shown for the services rendered to guide and driver.

  • Tour Guides

We offer well trained, knowledgeable guides who are certified by Tourism Council of Bhutan to guide our visitors or tourist throughout the tour. Generally we provide English speaking guides, but the services of Japanese, Chinese, Thai, French & German speaking guides can be provided with sufficient prior information and on an additional cost.

  • Accommodation

As mandated by the Government, all accommodation for tourist use are three star and above, with the exceptions of farm houses , guest houses and home stays in certain areas.

Although the best Standard Hotels in Bhutan cannot be compared with international hotels, all offer the necessary facilities and are properly maintained.  Generally speaking, hotels in western Bhutan (Thimphu, Paro, Punakha) are better appointed, while accommodation establishments in the central and eastern part of the country are more modest, with fewer amenities.

While on treks, we will choose the best available spot for the campsite. You will be accompanied by a guide and a dedicated support team to help setup camp, transport baggage & camping equipment and prepare fresh meals.

A and A Bhutan Tours and Treks have close association with the best hotel properties throughout Bhutan, ensuring its guests a consistent style and comfort level throughout their stay.

  • HEALTH: 

Before embarking on a trip to Bhutan, please seek advice from your doctor with regard to vaccinations and appropriate medication you should have prior to your travels. As a minimum you should have tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A inoculations.

  • Precautions

Bhutan is one of the safest countries in the world however you should still exercise caution when visiting. Please ensure that your belongings especially your passports, cameras, wallets and purses are properly secured. Please refrain from leaving such items within sight in locked vehicles while sightseeing.

Avoid drinking tap water which has not been boiled or ice cubes in drinks at all times as most water sources in Bhutan are untreated. One can easily acquire affordable treated and bottled water.

Also, Bhutan has a duty to protect its citizens from drugs and tobacco products. To do this we need your help and cooperation. Please co-operate if stopped and asked about your baggage. Please do not carry tobacco goods in excess of the set limit (200 cigarettes for their own use, on payment of import duty of 200%)

  • Travelling within Bhutan

The main mode of travel within Bhutan is through road. With the development, there is also domestic airline opened in Bumthang , Yonphula and Gelegphug apart from Paro International Airport, so one can fly into eastern Bhutan through Yonphula airport, southern Bhutan through Gelegphug airport, central Bhutan through Airport in Bumthang and of course western Bhutan through Paro International airport.

There is no domestic train in Bhutan as of now. The places and districts are well connected by a good road network. The roads were built through mountains, passes which runs from west to east connecting all the major towns and villages. However the mountainous terrain and winding road restrict the average driving speed of vehicle to about 35 km per hour.

  • Shopping

Hand-woven textiles, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper products, finely crafted metal objects, thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps are the items mostly purchased by travellers in Bhutan. In Bhutan, the buying and / or selling of antiques is strictly forbidden.

  • Money

Bhutanese currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.). The ngultrum is on par with the Indian rupee (both the nu and Indian rupee can be used in Bhutan) but INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and 1000 are not accepted in Bhutan.

ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard. In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.

  • Banking

Financial institutions in Bhutan have been greatly enhanced and today we have a number of banks that caters to the needs of the people. Some of the banks that you can avail services and facilities while in Bhutan are the Bank of Bhutan Limited, the Bhutan National Bank, the Druk PNB and the Tashi Bank.

Traveler’s cheque can be easily withdrawn and exchanged into local currency. Many of these banks provide internet banking facilities.

ATMs are located within all main towns throughout Bhutan, where money can be withdrawn using a Visa or MasterCard. In addition, POS (Point of Sale) services are available nationwide, meaning visitors can pay by credit card at most hotels and handicrafts stores.

  • Electricity

All major towns are well connected with electricity that runs on 220/240 volts with round hole two-pin and three-pin power outlets.  In Thimphu, electrical appliance shops stock adapter plugs, but they are unlikely to be available elsewhere.

  • Customs and Immigration

Visitors are required to fill up the Custom Form and hand over to concerned authorities on arrival. Following articles are exempted from duty:-

(a) Personal effects and articles for day to day use by the visitor
(b) 1 litre of alcohol (spirits or wine)
(c) 200 cigarettes, on payment of import duty of 200%
(d) Instruments, apparatus or appliances for professional use
(e) Photographic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods for personal use

The articles mentioned under (d) & (e) must be declared on the declaration form. If any such items are disposed of in Bhutan by sale or gift, they are liable for customs duty. On departure, visitors are required to surrender their forms to the Customs authorities.

Import and Export of following goods are strictly prohibited :-

  1. Arms, ammunitions, explosives and military stores
  2. All narcotics and drugs except medically prescribed drugs
  3. Wildlife products, especially those of endangered species
  4. Antiques

Imports of plants, soils etc. are subject to quarantine regulations. These items must be cleared on arrival. Visitors are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items, especially of religious or cultural significance, as such items may not be exported without a clearance certificate.

  • Communications

Bhutan has a good network of telecommunication facilities. Most hotels and cafe’s offer Wi-Fi internet access. Bhutan has a comprehensive mobile (cell) phone network with global roaming also assessable.

  • Photography

Bhutan is an ideal place and a frequent haunt for photographers offering immense opportunities for photography especially during the outdoor sightseeing trips. There are certain places such as monasteries and temples, where photography is prohibited however there is no restriction on photographing Dzongs and Goembas from outside.  If you are uncertain about whether or not photography is permitted, please check with your local guide.  You should refrain from taking pictures of military installations. One can however, capture images of the landscapes, the panoramic views of the mountain ranges, the rural folk life, the flora and fauna, the Bhutanese architecture and the Dzongs and Chortens in particular. You will also wish to record the local people, their houses and shops etc., always ask by a gesture if it is alright to do so.

  • Travel Insurance

The tour price does not include Travel Insurance, so it is highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance prior to travel. Please ensure your policy covers exactly the activities you will undertake on your journey.