Currency of Bhutan is Ngultrum (Nu.). The Ngultrum is fixed to the value of Indian rupee and approximately Nu. 60 makes US$1. Tourists are advised to carry their money in form of travelers’ checks (preferably American Express) with cash (US Dollars) which might be needed for incidental expenses.
Credit Cards in Bhutan is not widely used, but few handicrafts and shopping malls accepts VISA & American Express Credit Cards. Currency withdrawl can be done through ATM facility.
Bhutan time is 6 hours ahead of GMT and 30 minutes ahead of Indian standard time. There is only one time zone throughout the country.
Dzongkha, is the National Language of Bhutan.
English is commonly spoken in few towns and also it is the medium of education in schools throughout the Kingdom.
There are comfortable hotels, lodges and guesthouses at tourist destinations. Western Bhutan has better hotels while in central and eastern part of the country, accommodation establishments are simple and offer minimum facilities. Back to Bhutan has carefully selected a list of accommodation units with the best of location, services and ambiance. Away from the towns and villages there are purpose-built huts on some of the principal trekking routes. Otherwise, there is nothing like camping out under the clearest night skies that you have ever seen. Wherever you spend the night, the warm Bhutanese hospitality will make you feel welcome.
All tours organized by Back to Bhutan are escorted by well trained, knowledgeable and English speaking guides, Certified by TOURISM AUTHORITY OF BHUTAN (TAB). The services of a guides could also be provided with prior information and on additional cost.
Bhutanese delicacies are rich with spicy chilies and cheese. Back to Bhutan has a list of selected hotels and lodges which offers delicious Chinese, Continental, Bhutanese and Indian Cuisine. Even on treks, Back to Bhutan Tours and Treks will provide you with well trained cooks who will prepare dishes suitable to western taste ranging from Continental to Chinese and Bhutanese to Indian.
The central valleys of Punakha, Wangdiphodrang, Mongar, Trashigang and Lhunsthi enjoy a semi tropical climate with very cool winters, while Thimphu, Tongsa and Bumthang have a much harsher climate, with heavy monsoon rains in the summer and heavy snow-fall in the winter, which often blocks the passes leading into the central valleys.
Winter in Bhutan is from mid-November until mid-March, and at this time of the year the climate is dry, with daytime temperatures sometimes falling below zero Celsius.
The monsoon usually arrives in mid-June, with the rain falling mainly in the afternoons and evenings.
At the end of September, after the last of the big rains, autumn suddenly arrives, and is a magnificent season for trekking until November.
The southern part of Bhutan is tropical, and in general the east of Bhutan is warmer than the west of the country.
It can be regarded decent if you walk around in clothes made from natural materials , which allow the body to breathe better. You will be offending people if you walk around in skimpy or tight fitting clothes. Although there are normally opportunities to wear shorts, we would advise women to wear skirts or loose trousers, men should not wear singlet.
During visit of Monasteries, Dzongs (Fortress) and other religious institutions we advise our visitor not to wear shorts & hats.
Other than clothing, we advise you to have carried with you a pair of sunglasses, spare contact lenses, a pair of casual shoes, extra camera films and other accessories.
The photographic opportunities on all trips are immense. You will also wish to record the local people, their houses and shops etc. Always ask by gesture if it is OK to do so. Don’t take your destination as living museum.
While visiting Dzong, Monasteries, Religious institutions and Museums, please follow your guide’s instruction carefully and always ask your guide if it is OK to take pictures in those areas.
Slide film is more difficult to find. Bring enough batteries if you use lithium batteries.
Buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden in the Kingdom. You may buy country’s postage stamps for your own collection, hand woven fabrics, woven baskets, wood made products as bowls, status and etc, handmade paper, scroll paintings (Thangkas) and other available goods.
In general, tipping is neither compulsory nor there is any fixed amount and the bottom line in determining whether and how much to tip is to ask yourself how much the individual did to make your travel more enjoyable.
Visitors of all Nationality, other then Indian having a valid Indian Passport, have to avail visa before entering Bhutan. We advise all the tour planners to send us your visa application form filled, to Back to Bhutan before a month of your starting of your tour, so as to let us process it for you by the right time. You will be inform and you will get your visa on arrival at custom checking office at Druk Air (Air Port) and even we would fax you a copy of it.
Back to Bhutan will process your visa & application and provide you with the Visa clearance number. But you must submit your trip payment in full. A visa clearance will not be issued by the government of Bhutan until all tariff and Druk Air fees have been received.
Note : Your visa fee will not be included in your Druk Air Fare.