Bhutan Travel Guide

Bhutan is one of India’s neighbouring countries, and one believes that we can hop over any time. Now, after much deliberation, you have decided to make that trip finally. But once the decision is made, it’s time to start preparing for the holiday. Things to pack, things to buy, visa and much more. Don’t worry. We’ve put together this guide just to make sure that you get done well in time for your upcoming holiday. 

Whether it’s two weeks before the trip starts or just a few days before, we’ve considered all the possible information that you could need.


Two Weeks Prior

Let’s get cracking, shall we?

What Are The Important Documents Required To Travel Bhutan?

Indian nationals wishing to travel to Bhutan require either one of the following:

1. Passport – All you need is a valid Indian passport with at least 6 months validity

2. Voter Id Card issued by the Election Commission of India

You don’t need a visa if you are an Indian national.

What Do I Pack?


  • Umbrella and rain gear
  • Camera with plenty of storage
  • Bug spray
  • Small day pack
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Heavy-duty deodorant
  • Comfortable clothing (season specific – more on that later)
  • Comfortable trekking shoes
  • A book to read

What Is The Maximum Luggage Allowed By Airlines?

  • When flying to Bhutan you will be able to carry checked-in luggage of up to 30 kgs. 
  • Your cabin baggage should not weigh more than 7kgs. 

Do check with the specific airline that you are flying with for its limitations on luggage.


Two To Three Days Before The Trip

Foreign Currency

At SOTC, we can help you with all your forex needs – currency notes as well as Forex Cards which can double up as ATM cards and for electronic transactions too. The currency in Bhutan is the Bhutanese Ngultrum and it is almost the same value as the Indian rupee, which is widely accepted in Bhutan.

Power Banks And Adapters

When you are traveling to a new country or place, you need to stay connected with people back home and need quick access to information. Carry your power banks and adapters to make sure that you never run out of juice. Get on your flight with a fully-charged phone and keep the power bank ready so that you don’t land at a new destination with a dead phone. Pack a universal plug so you aren’t stumped at the hotel. Bhutan uses power outlets and plugs of type D, F and G. 



  • Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times to protect yourself from germs that you could get exposed to during the trip. 
  • Your hotel will mostly include toothpaste and toothbrush but it is advisable to carry your own.
  • Bhutan’s high altitude makes the sunrays harsher. Carry a sunscreen and moisturiser.
  • A small bottle of your standard face wash will keep you fresh and ready all through your trip. 
  • The shampoos and conditioners in the hotel might not suit you. Carry small bottles of your usual brand.
  • A hair comb or brush, which must not be shared with anyone. 


  • Long sleeved clothes and pants if you plan to go trekking
  • A shawl or sarong to cover your hands and legs when you enter a temple
  • A thin sweater to keep your warm when you climb up or for the evenings
  • A raincoat or jacket
  • A wide-brimmed hat for protection against the heat and sunrays
  • Sturdy sports shoes
  • A pair or two of heels for the night


Carry all prescription medicines and also have a basic first-aid kit ready for emergencies.

  • Ginger drops to fight nausea
  • Pain killers
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Safety pins
  • Crepe rolled bandages 
  • Skin rash cream
  • Cough and cold medicines

The Day Of Travel


Airline food isn’t the most appetising. Instead of eating salty, fried stuff at the airport, carry some sandwiches or rolls from home. Keep a few nuts, fruits or even an energy bar with you to stave off hunger pangs.

Important Documents

  • Carry your valid photo identification such as your passport or voter id card and keep it accessible when entering the airport. You might be required to show it at certain places in Bhutan.
  • A printed copy of your ticket
  • Photocopies of all important documents, like your tickets, passports, valid photo identification and address proofs, credit/debit/forex cards, and hotel and other sightseeing bookings
  • Scan all these documents and email them to yourself before you leave on your vacation


Heaven forbid, something comes up and you are forced to cut short or cancel your trip after bookings have been made. Travel insurance is a way to get some of your money back. Today most international travel insurance companies offer medical assistance on your phone and reimbursement of medical costs during the trip, no matter which part of the world you have gone to.

Important Numbers

Keep the numbers of your local Consulate, police and other emergency services handy. Also have access to the numbers of the travel consultants and agents who have organised your trip. Don’t just add them to your mobile; keep them written down somewhere.

Hotel Bookings

Ensure that your hotel booking is confirmed and insist on a payment receipt or booking voucher before you leave for your holiday. Check if your resort offers you pick up and drop facilities from and to the airport. At SOTC, we are always eager to help travellers with their hotel bookings as a part of our holiday packages. 


Most hotels and restaurants in Bhutan accept credit and debit cards. There are plenty of 24/7 ATMs as well that you can use for cash withdrawals. Don’t forget to inform your credit card company of your travel dates and check on the surcharges, if any, on using your card abroad.


During The Trip

It is helpful to know a few phrases in the local language. And it also endears the locals to you.

  • Hello/Good Morning – Namaskar/ shubh prabhat 
  • My name is – Mero naam
  • Can you help me? – Ke tapai malai maddat garna saknuhuncha?
  • Where? – Kahan?
  • I feel sick – Ma virami mahsoos gardaichu

Tips For Travelling In Bhutan

Bhutan is a nation of opposites. You can exert your mind and body on wonderful treks. Or you can sit in solitude in many of the temples that dot the country.

Tiger’s Nest, the Temple of Divine Madame and the Punakha Dzong are some of the must-visit places in Bhutan.

Experience the joy and simplicity of a homestay to understand the culture of the people of Bhutan.

Getting around – Bhutan has no railway and you need to travel by road or by plane to move around the various cities. 

Being a land-locked region, Bhutan’s staple diet includes red rice, buckwheat and maize. Interestingly, a vast majority of the people in Bhutan are vegetarians. Some places to visit if you wish to authentic Bhutanese cuisine are Zomba la 2, a favourite among tourists. The Zone and Chh’a Bistro and Bar come highly recommended too.

If you are looking to try some local dishes, do have the Ema Datshi (a cheese and chillies stew), momos, of course, and Jasha Maru (chicken dish). Most traditional foods will be found at any restaurant in Bhutan. And you can’t leave Bhutan without sipping on Suja, the Bhutanese butter tea.


Tipping waiters and porters in Bhutan is entirely at your discretion. There are no laws for or against it. Be generous as per the service and assistance you received. 

Lodging Options -

  • From plush star hotels to rudimentary homestays, Bhutan has a stay option for every budget.
  • To ensure a uniform quality of stay and services, all types of accommodation are ranked as per the ‘Hotel Star System’ based on an exhaustive set of criteria.
  • Spend a night in the traditional Bhutanese home to experience their life and culture.

Social Etiquette

  • Do not criticise the monarch or the religion
  • Try not to point or nudge
  • Feet are considered unclean or dirty. Sit cross-legged and do not point your feet towards somebody.
  • Remove shoes before entering temple
  • Dress conservatively; shorts, short skirts and strappy tops will be frowned upon 

Cost Of Living In Bhutan

  • You might expect Bhutan to be cheap, but it is not your typical backpacker destination.
  • Indians and foreign residents can set their own budgets while all other tourists are expected to pay at least $250 per day.
  • Since all tours are prepaid, you only need to carry cash for drinks, laundry, shopping and tips.

When To Visit Bhutan

  • The best time to visit Bhutan would be from March to May when it is dry and pleasant, with occasional showers.
  • Since the per-day rates differ from season-to-season, you can visit Bhutan in the off-season to get a better deal.

A Glimpse Of Bhutan Through Art:

Movie – Crossing Bhutan: a story of four veterans who decide to cross the country on foot or on bikes to explore the country’s policy of Gross National Happiness Index.

Batman Begins, Epoch and Little Buddha are other renowned films that have been shot on various locations in picturesque Bhutan.

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