Resources

  • My Bhutan (www.mybhutan.com) Travel articles and tourist information.
  • Tourism Council of Bhutan (www.tourism.gov.bt) Approved tour operators and travel regulations.
  • Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/bhutan) Destination information, articles, traveller forum and more.
  • Druk Air (www.drukair.com.bt) National airline.
  • Kuensel (www.kuenselonline.com) News from the kingdom.
  • National Portal of Bhutan (www.bhutan.gov.bt) Official government site.

Top Tips

  • When planning your itinerary, try to include a mixture of can't-miss and off-the-beaten-track sights. Some of the smaller, lesser-known temples or hermitages may well rank as your highlights.
  • Despite the high daily costs, try not to cram too much in. Budget some time to ditch the vehicle and hike out to a temple or village.
  • Read up on Tibetan Buddhism and iconography before arriving in Bhutan; it will give you an essential insight into the people and sights when you are there.
  • If you normally don't travel on a tour or with a guide, you may have to get used to someone else making decisions for you. Not ordering your own food or travelling at your own pace requires some patience.

What to Take

  • Hat, sunglasses, sun cream and lip balm, for the strong Himalayan sun.
  • A torch for dark temple murals
  • Easy-to-forget toiletries like dental floss and motion sickness medication.
  • Ear plugs – essential against nocturnal barking dogs.

What to Wear

Bhutan has a fairly formal dress code for both Bhutanese and visitors. A shirt with a collar, preferably long sleeves, and long trousers are required to enter a temple or monastery. For women. a skirt or trousers are fine. One set of slightly smart clothes is good for hotel dinners and during festivals, when everyone wears their finest threads. Remember to dress in layers as temperatures vary a lot during the day, especially in spring and autumn. A swimming costume is useful for hot-stone baths and hot springs. A compact umbrella or rain jacket is useful any time of the year. Bring slip-on shoes, as you'll need to take them off at every temple or monastery.

Pre-departure Checklist

  • A copy of your Bhutan visa authorisation to show at check-in and on arrival
  • An Indian visa if headed there afterwards (it's inconvenient to get in Bhutan)
  • Cash (US dollars, British pounds or euros) in small denominations for souvenirs and tips, or US$100 bills for a better exchange rate.