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?
What Is The Maximum Luggage Allowed By Airlines?
Do check with the specific airline that you are flying with for its limitations on luggage.
Two To Three Days Before The Trip
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.
Carry all prescription medicines and also have a basic first-aid kit ready for emergencies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 -
Cost Of Living In Bhutan
When To Visit Bhutan
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.