There are few things you might be curious to know before coming to Bhutan. Don't worry, you're not the only one, and we're here to help!
1. Where is Bhutan?
Bhutan is a small country of about 745,153 population with the area of 38,394 Square Kilometer located in the eastern Himalayas between India and China.
2. Do I need a visa to enter Bhutan? How much is the visa fee?
Yes, all tourists require a visa to enter Bhutan. A tourist visa required to visit Bhutan costs one-time application and processing fee of $40 in addition to the daily tariff. Upon completing your transaction with us, we will process your visa and send the confirmation to you. Tourists from India, Bangladesh and Maldives can obtain visa upon arrival with no cost.
3. What is the tourism policy in Bhutan?
In order to protect our culture, traditions and natural environment the government has adopted a strict policy of "High Value, Low Impact Tourism". This policy is aimed at attracting discerning tourists that will respect the unique culture and values of the Bhutanese people while also providing the visitors with an unforgettable one of a kind experience.
4. When is the best time to visit Bhutan?
It depends on what you'd like to experience: for plenty of snow and winter activities, December to February is the best time. For springtime sun and the revival of nature after the winter, March to May is the period. For long and warm summer days and plenty of events, opt for June, July and August. For autumn leaf colour, visit in September-October.
5. What about Temperatures?
During the winter months, temperatures can drop as low as below freezing point. Luckily, this is not the norm: regular winter temperatures fall somewhere to 15 degrees Celsius.
In the summer, it gets as hot as 30 degrees Celsius, sometimes even more in the south. Normal summer temperature is a bit over 20 degrees. In Bhutan, the climate varies with altitude which ranges from almost 97 m to 7570 m.
But Autumn and Spring are always the best seasons for visit with pleasant weather.
6. What should I wear?
If you are planning a winter visit, get a warm, padded winter jacket. Thermal underwear, a warm hat, thick socks and gloves help out a lot when temperatures drop below freezing.
If you have trouble finding winter gear where you come from, don't worry, everything can be purchased in Finland.
In the autumn and spring, waterproof footwear comes in handy if you intend exploring the outdoors. In the summer, casual wear is pretty much the same as in other parts of northern and central Europe light trousers, shorts, tee-shirts and so on.
7. What is Gross National Happiness(GNH) that I've heard of?
The fourth King of Bhutan propounded a unique development philosophy for economic self-reliance called "Gross National Happiness" (GNH). GNH is a concept that implies that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing. The concept is often explained by its four pillars: good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation.
8. I Don't speak any Bhutanese Language, will I manage?
While Dzongkha is the native language of Bhutan, English is spoken by almost every Bhutanese. English is the medium of instruction in Bhutanese schools. If you speak English, you should not have any difficulties at all.
In total, there are 19+ dialects in Bhutan.
9. What's the food like in Bhutan?
The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillis are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy.
10. Is Bhutan a safe country to visit?
Very safe. It's one of the few countries in the world where in most occasions lost wallets and mobile phones get returned to their rightful owner. Streets and parks are safe everywhere.
Bhutan is ranked 16th most peaceful country in the world as per the 2014 Global Peace Index.
11. Do I need to get vaccinated before entering Bhutan?
Before embarking on a trip to Bhutan, it is advisable to have tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A Vaccination.
12. What Credit cards are accepted in Bhutan?
Credit Cards have limited acceptability. It is only accepted in few hotels and Handicraft shops.
ATMs in Bhutan operate only with their respective Bhutanese banks. So ATM facility cannot be used by visitors. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to use Traveler's cheque or cash should you need any additional money. Cash and Travelers Cheques exchange facility is available for most of the main currencies including the US dollar, Euro, Indian Rupee, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, Pound Sterling, Swiss Franc, Hong Kong dollar, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, Singapore dollar, Danish kroner, Norwegian kroner, and Swedish kroner. Exchange rates may vary.
13. What is the legal drinking age in Bhutan?
The sale of alcohol to persons under 18 years of age is prohibited by law.