Facts for Travellers

General knowledge of Bhutan /facts for the traveler.

Culture.

The culture of Bhutan is among the oldest, most carefully guarded and well preserved Culture in the world. Bhutan’s culture is the only highlight of the small and less developed country unlike other countries. Bhutan’s traditional culture is alive in its performing arts, such as dance, festival and music which are an integral part of religion ceremonies. Bhutan is also appreciated for its amazing and unique textile products which are part of tradition.

Religion

Mahayana Buddhism has shaped the nations history and played an important role in the life of Bhutanese. It was in the 8th century AD that Guru Padmasambhava introduced Mahayana Buddhism to the people of Bhutan. Now Mahayana Buddhism is the authenticated religion of Bhutan.

Geography

Bhutan is a small and compact nation sandwiched by china to the north and India to the south. It is divided into three zones, the higher Himalayan range of north with alpine climate, the hills and valleys of centre region with cool and moderate temperature and the plains of south with hot and humid climate. The country extents from 100m above sea level in the south to more than 7500m above sea level in north. Most portion of the country lies in Himalayan range with natural characteristics such as rugged terrains, hills and mountains, fresh spring water, perennial rivers, green vegetation cover. Country lies between 88degre 45min east to 92degree 10min east in longitude and 26degree 40min north to 28degree 15min north in latitude which is roughly 170km north to south and 300km east to west with the total area 46500sq km.

Climate /Weather

Best season (March, April, May, Sep, Oct, Nov)

Monsoon (June, July, August)

Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb)

Broadly speaking we can divide the climate of Bhutan into four seasons.

Spring-(end Feb.-end May)

Autumn (Oct-end Nov) summer (June- mid Sep) winter (Dec –Jan)

Currency

Bhutanese currency is ngultrum (Nu); Ngultrum is officially pegged to the Indian rupee. Both the Indian rupee and Nu can be used in Bhutan. Credit cards are accepted only at a few high-end tourist shops, hotels. You can easily exchange Nu from BNB, BOB. Exchange rate of 1$ is roughly Nu 60 i.e. 1$ is worth Nu. 60. Tourist can exchange traveler cheque /cash at bank/authorized place.

Insurance

We advise our entire client to take travel insurance from their native country or other insurance agents; in Bhutan we don’t take any travel insurance policy.

Shopping

Shopping mall in Bhutan are filled with traditional handcraft like (textiles, jewelries, handmade baskets, masks, paintings, wood carvings and other deco rational pieces ) which all of the malls offer with excellent transportation arrangement. You can also find imported stuffs such as garments, sweets and kitchen stuffs. Bhutanese shopkeepers especially in the capital are well informed with upcoming fashion trends around the world so you can also find things of your choice positively.

Tour Payment

All tour payment must be settled in advance.

Power

Electricity is available in almost all of the towns which are frequently visited by the tourist. The voltage supply is 220/240. Tourist carrying electricity applied is advice to bring a converter with an adapter kit.

Safety

Bhutan has low crime rate, the towns and cities are safe to hang out anytime of the day and night. There is comparatively less danger to roam. There is security for the safety of fellow mates.

Accommodation

There are comfortable/Luxury hotels including Aman Kora, Uma and hotel Taj at (Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Bumthang) and in rest of the towns there are small and adequate hotels. Lodge and guest house are available and all tourist lodge and Hotel are recognized and requested by Tourist of Council of Bhutan, Royal Government of Bhutan.

Time Zone

Bhutan’s standard time is 6 hour ahead of GMT and half an hour ahead of India.

Transportation

We use comfortable and safe Japanese/Korean car, van and coaster to transport our guest.

 

Food

Tourist hotel have a choice of Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese, Thai and other continental dish.

 

Night club

Thimphu, Bumthang, Paro, Punakha has Authorized licensed night club, which Operates on weekly bases on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Banking Hours

Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm, Saturday 9am to 11pm (ATM facility are there in the entire town where the tourist frequently visit) Bank of Bhutan, Government undertaking has introduced Sunday banking too.

 

Photography

The photography opportunities in Bhutan are massive. It is permitted almost everywhere in Bhutan however photography inside Dzongs and monasteries are strictly prohibited.

 

Marriage

Arranged marriages were popular just a few decades back where people normally got married among their far cousins and relatives. For instance, particularly in eastern Bhutan, cross-cousin marriage was a popular tradition. This is now becoming unpopular among the literate mass and most of the marriages take place based on their own choice. Marriages are conducted in simple ways. A small ritual is performed by a religious head in a place. However, in some cases parties are organized.

Eating Habits:

Bhutanese eat with hands. Eating with spoon is an imported culture. The family members sit on the floor in a circle and the mother serves the food. Most of the Bhutanese still use traditional plates made of wood (dapa/dam/dolom) and bamboo (bangchungs). Before eating they toss some morsels of rice in the air as offering to god.

National language

Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan; however English is common in the most towns and cities and also is the medium of language in schools and colleges however Dzongkha {national language} is used in the education system across the country alongside with English. Bhutan is a multi-lingual society. Today, about 19 languages and dialects are spoken all over the country. In the ancient times this language was used by the people who worked in the Dzongs, the fortresses that was the temporal and spiritual seat. Later, feeling the need to have a common tool of communication.