Insurance Travel / Medical
We highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance prior to travel to Bhutan from your local insurance company.
Currency/Cash/ Credit Cards
The currency in Bhutan is Ngultrum (currently at par with the Indian Rupee). Foreign currency can be exchanged on arrival at the airport as well as at any of the banks in Thimphu Bhutan or at Local Money Exchange authorized by Central Bank, Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan. Currency of higher denomination (100 and 50 notes) fetch higher price than the smaller denominations when you convert to local currency. Credit card are also widely accepted in Bhutan
Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines
Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines, you are allowed checked luggage weighing no more than 30 kg or 66 lbs in the economy class and 40 kg or 88 lbs in the business class. For more baggage information and other essential information, please feel free to check the Druk Air website at www.drukair.com.bt and Bhutan Airlines www.bhutanairlines.bt
Web Check in service
NOTE: The airlines have web check in service on their websites where you can check in online from 24 hours to 4 hours before your flight and block or choose your preferred seats. You must enter the ticket PNR number and your details.
Visitors are expected to dress decently while visiting temples, monasteries, fortresses, other religious institutions and museums. To visit women should wear full sleeved shirts with pants or long skirts and men should wear collared full shirts and pants. 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.
You are allowed to carry in 400 sticks of cigarette, 50 pieces of cigar
or 250 grams of other tobacco products (subject to 100% customs duty and 100% sales tax). Any excess in quantity will be subject to confiscation.
Most people in Bhutan speak English so you will be very comfortable communicating in Bhutan as English is the medium of instruction in schools. The national language of Bhutan, Dzongkha is widely spoken along with Sharchogpa (eastern dialect) and Lhotsampa (Nepali).
Make sure to carry a copy of your visa approval with you when you check in at the Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines counter. Your actual visa will be stamped on your passport at immigration counter at the port of entry. (Paro by flight, Samdrup Jongkhar, Gelephu and Phuenstholing by road)
Bhutanese dogs are notorious for sleeping all day and barking at night. Earplugs could therefore, come in very handy at night.
The country 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. IDD service is available widely in the country. You can bring a GSM 900 mobile phone and get a local SIM card during your stay in the country.
The country has a good network of telecommunication facilities. Most hotels and cafes offer Wi-Fi Internet access. Bhutan has a comprehensive mobile (cell) phone network with global roaming accessible.
Motion Sickness Medication
For those who get motion sickness, we recommend carrying medication for the long and winding drives.
Bhutan uses 220-240 volts with round hole two-pin and three-pin power outlets. You can use a stepdown transformer if you have things that use 110-120 volts. Most laptops, camera, and camcorder batteries are dual voltage and as such, you won’t need a stepdown transformer. However, you may need a plug adapter to plug into the outlets in Bhutan. Please check your product before plugging them in. If the voltage rating on your product states 110V or 120 V, it means that your product is single volt and as such, it will require a stepdown transformer. We recommend bringing a stepdown transformer and worldwide plug adapter that is designed to accept two or three prong plugs accepted around the world.
Bhutan offers immense opportunities for photography especially during outdoor sightseeing trips. However, you should check with your guide before taking pictures or filming inside Dzongs, temples, monasteries and religious institutions as in some area photograph/filming is not permitted.
You are free to capture images of the landscape, the panoramic views of the mountain ranges, rural life, flora and fauna, distinctive Bhutanese architecture and the exterior of Dzongs and Chortens.
Some popular handicraft items available for purchase are hand-woven textiles of raw silk or silk, carved masks of various animals, woven baskets of cane and bamboo, wooden bowls known as Dapas, handmade paper products or finely crafted gods of silver. Other items you may be interested in are the exquisite Buddhist thangka paintings or Bhutan’s wide array of colourful and creative postage stamps. You can come across these items in the many handicraft shops in and around Thimphu and in other major towns.
Note: Please remember that buying antiques, plants or animal products especially those of endangered species and carrying of ammunitions, explosive, other military equipment and Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)/Drones are strictly prohibited.
Tipping is a purely personal matter. There is no set amount for the tips. The bottom line in determining whether or how much to tip is to ask yourself how much Away Smile Travels team did to make your Bhutan trip enjoyable and memorable one.