Time zone: GMT + 6
Telephone services: Country Code: 975
Outgoing Code: 00
Emergency telephone numbers: Not available at present.
Tourist information: Tourism Authority of Bhutan, P.O.Box.126, Thimpu, Bhutan. Tel: (2) 23251/2. Fax: (2) 23695., Bhutan Yod Sel Tours and Treks. PO Box 574, Thimpu, Bhutan. Tel: (2) 23912. Fax (2) 23589.
Passport information: Valid passport required by all. Return Ticket required. Requirements may be subject to short-term change. Contact the relevant authority before departure.
Visa information: Visa required by all except for nationals of India. Tourists must pay a minimum sum in Bhutan (about 220 US dollars) NOTE: There are two ways of entering Bhutan, by air to Paro Airport or by road to the Bhutanese border town of Phuntosholing. All travellers entering by road must ensure they have the necessary documentation for transiting through India.
Health information: Polio and Typhoid: Vaccination Recommended.
Malaria: Exists throughout the year in the Southern belt. Resistance to chloroquine has been reported in the falciparum variety of the disease.
Yellow Fever: A vaccination certificate is required if coming from an infected area.
Other Health Risks: Cholera, Rabies, Meningitis. Altitude sickness affects some tourists. – Medical facilities are very limited in Bhutan.
Food & drink: Water is untreated and not safe to drink. Avoid dairy products as they are not pasteurised. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled before consumption.
Currency: 1 Ngultrum (NU) = 100 chetrum (Ch).
Exchange: Leading foreign currencies can be exchanged at the Bank of Bhutan. Major hotels may also exchange currency. Amex and Diners Club have a very limited acceptance. Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at the Bank of Bhutan branches.
ATM availability: Unavailable.
Cost of living: Caters for all budgets, but predominantly very inexpensive. Accommodation varies from hotels in the capital to guesthouses and cottages elsewhere.
Languages: Dzongkha is the official language. A large number of local dialects are spoken due to the isolation of many villages. Nepali is common in the South of the country.
Weather: June – Aug: The temperatures drop dramatically as this is the monsoon period. Nights are cold. Generally Oct, Nov and Apr – mid Jan are the best times to visit when rainfall is slight and temperatures are pleasant.
Electricity: 220 volts Ac, 50 Hz.
Post: Airmail to Europe can take up to 2 weeks.
Transport: ROAD: The country has a fairly good internal road network. The Northern regions of the High Himalayas have no roads. YAKS/PONIES/MULES: The main form of transportation. DOCUMENTATION: IDP is required.
Special information: Due to the high terrain altitude sickness would be a problem for some and medical evacuation is difficult. Tourists are required to pay a minimum daily sum (aprox. US$ 220.) Religion has a strong influence on traditional ways of life. Travel to the country has been restricted to visitors for many years and some areas are closed to foreigners. The country must be entered via India or Bangladesh.