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General information about Bhutan

General information on the kingdom:

Visiting Bhutan: Foreign national visiting Bhutan must travel through all-inclusive package tours which have a fixed tariff set by the Government of Bhutan.

Visa: With the exception of Indian travelers, all other nation visitors to Bhutan need a visa and it is processed in Thimphu through a local tour operator. No foreign Missions/Embassies abroad grant tourist visas. All passport details should be forwarded to the agent at least 2 weeks before the date of travel for visa processing. Actual visa is stamped only on arrival in Bhutan with the support of Visa clearance which will be sent to the visitor in advance. Visa clearance number will be forwarded to the overseas Druk Air station if flying or local authorities if through land.

Visa and TDF fee: VisaUS$ 40 and TDF USD 10 per person payable in advance in addition to the package costs. For visits exceeding 2 weeks, an additional fee of US$ 25 is charged.

Travel Insurance: We encourage people to purchase travel insurance that covers baggage and travel delays as well as helicopter evacuation for medical emergencies.

Transportation: There are various ways of getting around in Bhutan. The most tour operator have their own fleet of luxury Japanese Toyota car, van, haice and buses. All major places of interest are connected by paved roads.

Accommodation: A wide variety of accommodation is available ranging from farm house stays and budget hotels to the high end resorts. However there is no rating on star category but all government approved A-B-C grade. Basically comfortable 2/3 star category resorts and hotels are used on the tour.

Currency: The Bhutanese currency is called Ngultrum and is at par with the Indian Rupee and both are used in Bhutan. 1 Ngultrum = 100 Chetrums and US$ 1 = 40 Ngultrum approx.

Banking hours:

Monday – Friday 9 to 3 and Saturday 9 to 11

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

Time different:: Bhutan is six hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, thirty minutes ahead of India, fifteen minutes ahead of Nepal and one hour behind Thailand. In the winter Bhutan is eleven hours ahead of New York City and in the summer, during Daylight Savings Time, ten hours ahead.

Bhutan Photography: Bhutan is picturesque country for the Photograph so bring good camera with extra batteries memory as what you need may not be available in Bhutan. It is polite to ask people if you may take their picture. Ask your guide when it is permissible to take pictures in religious and public buildings.

Tipping and Gifts: You will find no beggars in Bhutan. Please do not hand out candy or trinkets to children. Small gifts to people you stay with and tips for your guide and other support people are appropriate.

Customs Regulations: The Bhutanese government prohibits the export of any antiques, plants or animal products. Personal electronics such as camera, computers and telephones may be brought into the country, but must be declared upon arrival and will be checked upon departure. If you leave any of these items behind, you will pay duty on them. Two liters of alcohol and 400 cigarettes may be brought into the country without paying duty.

Foreign Embassies in Bhutan: India and Bangladesh two countries have embassies in Bhutan.

Climate: Bhutan has three climates zones-the southern belt that is tropical in nature, the cool and temperature zone of the central part and alpine region is the north. The average temperature depending the season and places is between -6 to 32 DC.

Shopping: Bhutan is popular for its hand-woven textiles and cane and bamboo products. There are a lot of shops that sell above souvenir items.

Liability: Holiday Mountain Treks is not responsible for any loss, injury, or damage sustained by tourists. Additional expenses caused by weather related delays, original itinerary change and political actions must be borne by the traveler.

Dining out: Bhutanese dishes are also available in all the restaurants. The favorites being Ema Dasti- a cheese and chilly dish. All Bhutanese dishes use an abundance of chilly so do order according to your palette strength. Almost all restaurant serve Indian and Chinese cuisine too. Besides the locally produced beer and whisky, the local brew, are that is distilled from rice, barley or wheat is also popular with visitor

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