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Majestic Bhutan
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Travel Tips)

Visa

IWith the exception of Indian travellers, all visitors to Bhutan need a visa. Visas are issued only when a confirmed booking through a Bhutanese or tour operator has been made. The list of tour operators and more information on tour packages are available on www.tourism.gov.bt

Entry

Bhutan can be entered either by air or land. The national airline Druk Air flies from Bangkok, Delhi, Dacca, Kathmandu and Kolkota. Entry by land is from India through the state of West Bengal that shares a border with Bhutan's border town Phuentsholing in the southwest.

Transport

There are various ways of getting around in Bhutan. The most convenient is to contact a tour operator who will arrange a tour package to suit your needs. You can also hire taxis. Bhutan is fairly connected by buses.

Accommodation

A wide variety of accommodation is available ranging from farm house stays to budget hotels to the high end resorts. Most of the accommodation is basic but clean. Information on rates is available with the Information Counter of the Department of Tourism at Phuentsholing or from the Department of Tourism, Thimphu.

Dining out

Almost all restaurants serve Indian and Chinese cuisine. Bhutanese dishes are also available in all the restaurants, the favorite being Ema Datsi - a cheese and chilly dish. All Bhutanese dishes use an abundance of chilli so do order according to your palette strength! Besides the locally produced beer and whisky the local brew, ara that is distilled from rice, barley or wheat is also popular with visitors.

Shopping

Bhutan is popular for its textiles and cane and bamboo products. There are a lot of shops that sell handwoven Bhutanese textiles, handicrafts and cane and bamboo baskets which the Bhutanese use for a variety of purposes.

Currency

The Bhutanese currency is called the Ngultrum and is at par with the Indian Rupee and both are used in Bhutan.

1 Nu.(Ngultrum) =100 Ch (Chetrums).
US$ 1 = 40Nu. (approximately)
Foreign currencies can be changed at the airport and from the banks. Some credit cards like the Visa, the American Express and the JCB are accepted by the bigger hotels and business establishments mostly confined to the bigger towns like Thimphu, Paro and Phuntsholing.

Telecommunication

Bhutan is well connected and virtually every town has IDD services. Internet cafes are available almost everywhere. Cell phones can also be used in most places around the country.

Time difference

Bhutan has one time zone for the entire country. It is six hours ahead of GMT. Bhutan is 30 minutes ahead of India, one hour behind Thailand, and 15 minutes ahead of Nepal.

Climate

Bhutan has three climatic zones - the southern belt that is tropical in nature, the cool and temperate zone of the central part and the alpine region in the north.


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